Another “cold” email travesty…..and the debate rages on

boxing-dog On Feb 25th I published a debate about whether cold email prospecting works and if so, what were the best and worst practices. Hands down all the experts believe that if you are going to be successfull you can’t rely on trickery or lies. Yesterday I received one of those emails and I thought in the spirit of learning  I should publish it here for you to learn from:

What not to do (names removed to protect the guilty) – and typos intentionally not removed.

Subject: Hey Colleen.. quick question..

Hey Colleen,

It’s been awhile since I’ve been in touch.. sorry about that. We’ve had our heads down for almost a year solid building some pretty wild new tools for our XXX platform.

But that’s not why I’m writing today.

Right now, I’m hoping I can get you to help me out with ONE minute of your time and answer just 5 very simple questions about how you market your business today and what your biggest challenges are.

Take our little survey now! (We don’t require email or name or anything.. just your thoughts!)

In return, I’ve got a couple of thank you gifts: 

First, a really good paper I just wrote that demystifies, once and for all, the email delivery problem that all marketers face.  If you’ve been frustrated by the conflicting information, the excuses your email provider gives you, etc.. this paper will explain everything in clear, simple detail.  It even includes an interesting history of how we got to where we are today with email delivery.

Second, I’m offering almost $50 worth of printing and postagethat you can use to mail your prospects or clients with our system when it comes out.  No strings attached at all.. you can even just demo our system for free, use the 50 bucks to mail your prospects and drum up some busines, and then cancel.. no hard feelings.

Don’t have physical addresses? No problem, our system helps you handle that too. 

If you’ve ever wondered if there was an easy way to send email AND direct mail… well, you’ll just have to check this out.

Thanks again for your thoughts..  we’re out to completely change the game for small business marketers, and your insights are invaluable to us.

Please take give us your thoughts!

Thank you!


Sigh….I guess never having been in touch with me and “it’s been a while”are synonymous to this sales person. That opening line is designed to make me feel like I might know this company and person thereby psychologically goading me into taking the survey. Ding so will confirm my address and get me on their list. Not hnest and definitely not a top 10% best practice. Sure it might work in the short term but my rule is that if the activity is something you would be embarrassed about be caught doing. Don’t do it. You will only sacrifice the long term relationship and lifetime customer value.

I think this email is a good candidate to be posted on our Top 10 Sales Hall of Shame…coming in May with the release of Honesty Sells