6 Steps to Writing Great Cold Emails

6 Steps to Writing Great Cold Emails

I get about 2 emails a day asking for coffee or advice.

Lately, I've been deleting them because no one takes even a minute to write a well crafted email.

I used to feel guilty but I figure since the person is being selfish, I can be as well. I've written before about "What have you done for me lately?" This question applies to a lot of things, especially cold emails, introductions or when asking someone else for something.

A few days ago I got a surprising email from Dave Daily.


I want to share what an amazing cold email looks like (and dissect WHY it's so great); it's a great template for those looking for how to write cold emails. (Click to Tweet!)


Subject: How I lost your Sperry's.. and apt. And why you should meet with me.

(He referenced spending money to meet me already.

I kept bidding them up.. to $600. Then I stopped with 3 seconds left and the other person won. 

(Relevant to me.)

I didn't want the apartment. I was going to use it as an expensive excuse to get an App idea in front of you...and we wear the same size shoes. I have since bought a pair of Sperry's..er Sperries? Size 11 - they fit!

(Okay, $600 just to show me an idea. I'm intrigued. Bonus for wanting to wear my shoes.)

Why you should meet with me:

(Why it's worth it to me. Not how I'm going to spend 30 minutes giving him free help. I have money so a free lunch just doesn't appeal to me.)

1. I'm the founder and CEO of Grav . I've been running this business for the past nine years. I started it when I was 24. I have 70 employees in Austin and operations in China. I love my business. It's profitable and I'm really good at it. However, I want to do more.

(Okay, he's got his shit together and I like meeting ballers.)

2. I'm Jewish - I hate playing that card, but.. what the fuck

(Haha. Self-explanatory. Low blow, but mildly works. He did some homework on me.)

3. This App idea is disruptive. It's not in my wheelhouse (glass), but I know a good idea when I see one - I get about 3 presentations a week from stoners about their pipe ideas.

(Shows more validation and credibility. I kinda skipped this point.)

4. I have a wireframe ready so you can breeze through it quickly.

(He values my time so I don't have to hang with him forever - in case he's creepy)

5. The factory is really close to downtown - on St. Elmo just south of Ben White. 

(Convenient and again more focus on my time)

6. Even if you hate me and my idea, you'll love the **** factory - it's insane. 

This Wednesday 4/17 at 10am (or earlier) would be a great time to come by (I know it's short notice, but what if this is the bestidea you've ever heard and I'm the coolest guy you've ever met?) 

(See how he didn't say, "When is a good time to meet?" Then I'd have to check my schedule. Instead he suggested something specific so I can easily see if that's available for you. 

2 improvements he could have done here. a) Make the start time an odd # - meet for 15 minutes.       b) Let me know how much time he's specifically requesting.)

Feel free to bring anyone from Appsumo. I'm a huge fan. 

(Wow, I can bring the whole team if I want. This dude is good.)

Thanks for your time!


David Daily

* * *
I'm met with Dave yesterday. He said the email took OVER 1 hour to compose.

So how does this help you?

Let me give you a simple frame-work when you are cold emailing or trying to get someone to chat with you:

1- Flattery. Do you compliment them or stroke their ego a bit?

2- Benefit. How will this benefit them (not just you)? Do you spell it out and is it a real benefit?

3- Credibility. How can YOU be the person the other person would enjoy meeting?

4- Call to action (aka the ask). He didn't ask for a 60 minute phone call but a digestible request that seemed appropriate.

5- Read it out loudRead your email out loud with a timer. If it's a longer than a minute, cut it down.

6- Make it easy to say yes. It's much easier for the other person to help when they see you’ve made a solid investment already — handwriting the note, researching, or just doing their work for them. If you're emailing important people do what you can in advance to so they can just forward your email or answer the questions quickly.

We put together an easy to use checklist for you. Download the Cold Email Checklist for the next time you write up an email.

Click to Tweet the 6 steps to a great email.

Shameless plug: Sumoe put together email templates with years of research behind them. If you're looking for more templates and guidance (to write like Dave) click here.


p.s.  Leave a comment. If YOU can get me to reply I'll send you a $25 Amazon gift card.

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137 responses to “6 Steps to Writing Great Cold Emails”

Gonzalo Pena
January 22, 2020 at 10:01 pm

I just wanted to thank you for writing a piece that is going to be crucial for my career and my business. All the best to you.

October 22, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Noah, I am sure you never considered your copywriting tips being used in my industry but I would like to tank you for all the tips. I own an individual eyelash extensions company and I am trying to reach out to neighbouring businesses to invite them to come and try our services for a discount. Most lash extensions do very dramatic extensions that are not suitable for professionals. My company focuses on natural looking extensions for professionals. I am trying to write a copy to reach out to the business close to the salon for them to come and try our service

January 15, 2019 at 9:28 pm

For me, the hardest thing is how to find the right person to email to, any suggestions? Thanks~

March 5, 2019 at 10:51 am

Use linkedin salenav to find leads, Search for articles in google of your leads, by going though those articles understand your leads business ,find your leads contact details using softwares like LUsa, norbert etc. and follow above article to compose an email to your lead.

Honeyy Allure
September 8, 2019 at 9:51 pm

You're giving away exactly what to do for you to respond. Do you need more valuable friends? Im it.

Beverly Peng
December 5, 2018 at 4:10 pm

Can I have Muhammad's contact info from Pakistan who helped you with AppSumo for $50?

Jess Rowe
September 7, 2018 at 5:59 pm

Hi Noah,
I'm fairly green in the video/photography sales industry and loved this article--lots of valuable insights for effectively reaching people by simply being another person, not a computer. Awesome reminder to show your prospect that humanity does still exist online in emails--it doesn't have to be a "template" approach. I'll be following your posts for more helpful tips. Thanks!

August 18, 2018 at 4:57 am

Thanks for a great response.

I specially got an insight/a-ha (and will apply instantly!) on stroking people's ego a bit at the start of the e-mail. Even if you're Dalai Lama, you like a compliment every now and then. It also gives a positive starting tone to the mail (starting with "No" it's a no-no).

Second, it impressed me that writing a non-chalant looking e-mail took an hour. Of course, this is a type of what I'd call "pitch e-mail" (sort of an elevator pitch applied to e-mail), but the advices apply to every mail. In the end, it's about thinking a bit on the persona you're writing to (you don't have much time but you certainly give a minute or two if they cut the crap and are compelling and give a good story.)

Profesionally, my biggest problems are follow-up (create a sustainable conversation) and appeal factor (getting the people to interest me on the first e-mail).
Now you make me think, is it probably because I'm f****g boring? You certainly brought a different point of view and some advices that will become instant changes in the way I write.


June 16, 2018 at 10:19 am

Hi Mr. Kagan! I really enjoyed this article! Just to give you some background, I'm currently 16 and I have found myself to become interested in this subject quite recently. Since I'm 16, I'm not sure what I can do at my age. I can't drive, I'm still living with my parents, in high school, and I've got nothing to offer. Is there any tips you could give me to make me known to a millionaire or mentor? I want to prepare for the future ahead of me. Anyways sorry if I took up any of your time!

April 26, 2018 at 5:40 pm

Hi Noah; You make an offer in this post:

"Shameless plug: Appsumo put together 33 email templates with more than 10 years of research behind them. If you're looking for more templates and guidance (to write like Dave) click here."

When I click, it's a 404 page.

Really liked the article, & have signed up for your emails (which are also Very good),;

Though I would very much appreciate it if you would please fwd me a link to the promised Templates - Those are of Far greater value to me than a $25 gift card (though I would't turn it down, either 😉 )

david kelly
May 6, 2018 at 3:44 pm

What's up, Rick! D'oh, great catch.

Unfortunately, those are gone — but check out this article: https://sumo.com/stories/cold-email-templates

That has some even better templates you can use.

sharon mizrahi
February 20, 2018 at 5:40 am

great artical very useful and usable. now i feel ready and understand how to do the next step in starting my busines

Johnny Ringo
January 19, 2018 at 11:46 pm

Hey Noah! I run a woman's wrestling company. I like your tips, and I love the guy's gusto who emailed you.

However, on point 1, do I really want to use flattery if I'm trying to cold open women through email/messenger about joining my company?

Eric liu
January 9, 2018 at 1:12 am

Everything you point out is great but one, that is an email took him over 1hour to compose. It is unreasonable for a sale to develop new client.

Ryan Fly the Hireology Guy
May 4, 2017 at 4:33 pm

What is ironic about your game is most people in sales don't have the balls or brains to leave a message. (I am 1.5 % Jewish, so do I get a free gift card too? I will spend it on something Star Wars related for my sales team. May da 4th be with you)

Sajid Iqbal
February 3, 2017 at 10:07 am

I am not looking for $ 25. It's more to do about you making $2500

Chaz at LeadFuze
December 24, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Hey Noah, great post. I like your suggestion to craft a cold email nicely. Can't wait to check out the sumo email templates you referred.

January 12, 2017 at 1:31 am

Did you end up using any of the sumo email templates? Looking for email drip templates.

Taylor Presley
November 30, 2016 at 8:23 pm

I really want to comment on the article, but first, I have something to get off my chest.
Although you could argue that dropping the challenge of getting your reply will get you a literal ton of comments (118, going on 119), it makes you less accessible to readers. It disincentivizes you from continuing discussion by punishing you for replying.

Thanks for the actionable cold-emailing advice and thanks for the templates. I've been doing a lot of cold-emailing trying to get a base for my company but haven't had any luck. I'm going to try yours out and see if I can get some bigger bites.

Reply to my comment and I'll use that gift card to send you my favorite book. (Spoiler alert: I didn't write it)

November 20, 2016 at 5:23 pm

Noah as I watched your presentation on teachable I had two thoughts:
1) this guy is mad genius
2) this guy probably has a hard time getting a girlfriend (the kind that like him and not his money)

Proposal short and sweet: you help me - I help you

Wyatt Jozwowski
July 26, 2016 at 11:17 am

Haha, point #2 is awesome.

Atul Singh
July 6, 2016 at 11:30 pm

Hey, Taco Lover. Really good breakdown of a good cold email. One thing that is common in all good emails is that they are about the recipient.

Here is about the reply:
If you reply, I will order Tacos from Amazon.in and order "Understanding Digital Marketing" to become a better marketer so that I can help others. 🙂

March 24, 2016 at 4:25 am

ran bing nuan..... because I wouldn't wanna to reply if I could ignore the email if I were the recipient

March 18, 2016 at 3:05 pm

Quick point - know your audience and don't assume profanity is acceptable. It may sound hip or be acceptable to you, but why include it and risk offense to someone.

John De Guzman
January 6, 2016 at 2:39 am

Thank you for the sample email template. As a new entrepreneur, this templates help me craft engaging emails that help me close more deals.

November 11, 2015 at 8:51 am

I would like you to try and get a physician to reply to your email after them posting their Cv on a popular job board.

October 26, 2015 at 1:45 pm

how many people got you to reply Noah?

Bob Janitz
July 9, 2015 at 7:28 am

TYPO-"bestidea?" How about "best idea?"
Great article, btw. Good stuff.

March 11, 2015 at 4:30 pm

What's the best way to establish credibility/offer mutual benefit if you feel that there is nothing they could possibly want from you because they are too awesome and you are just starting out/having nothing to offer?

Michael Demapan
August 7, 2014 at 7:15 am

Leave the gift card take the Canole. What say you?

August 2, 2014 at 12:07 am


I needed this post. Thanks!!

The beer meetup you challenged me to do. I didn't get it done. I appreciate the challenge because it forced me to get out of my comfort zone and DO something.

I think if you give me a new challenge, I will get it done this time then you'll have one more person that will stop bothering you for advice and challenges and being all wantrepreneur-ish. 🙂

If you could take 1 minute to give me 1- 48 hour challenge in the category of web development or computer stuff that would be awesome.



James Page
July 17, 2014 at 11:35 am

they key point that jumps out at me is the fact I can bring anyone with me to meet him. This is excellent for both parties. It shows he has confidence in his product and is prepared to take question from you or if need be anyone else who would have pertinent questions.

Andrew Berls
July 16, 2014 at 5:02 pm

This is great! We've had a lot of success with cold emails using these tips (flattery never hurts ;)) and tools like LimeLeads.com for email gathering and Toutapp for sending. We're in the process of launching a new software product and this has been huge for getting us off the ground!

Mike Bundrant
July 5, 2014 at 5:03 am

That TITLE! Powerful use of presupposition combined with a hypnotic pseudo-orientation in time. To merely make sense of the title of that email you have to 1) Imagine a new past where this guy had your Sperry's and apt....in other words, he ingeniously built an immediate history with you in just a few words. Then, he follows the curiousness with concrete, credible reasons why he is the real thing, thus legitimizing the new relationship. This stuff is not at all easy to do. Thanks for sharing it.

April 29, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Cabo Bob's tacos are WAY better than Taco Deli's. Taco Deli's tacos seem to become mushy and sticky if they sit too long. You respond, there may be a Cabo Bob's gift certificate in it for you. Oh, and they also serve pure cane sugar drinks... Who can say no to that?

Now that I gave you some advice, maybe you can give me some. What's the best cold E-mail strategy to get that "face to face" when applying for jobs? Should I be professional? Witty and/or funny? Not sure if saying "fuck it" in the body of the message will do it. Should I use AppSumo? Are there any "market myself" tools out there? One thing's for sure - putting myself out on these career site black holes ain't workin' for me because guys in my profession are a dime a dozen. That, and I'm pretty old school...a social media minimalist.

Oh, I may as well mention I'm not Jewish, but I "am" a veteran. If I wait too long, I may need to find a piece of cardboard and write "homeless vet" on it with a marker and stand somewhere along Cesar Chavez. You don't want that, do you?

Patrick Foley
April 30, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Hey Tom - my .02 ... I'm not in a position to hire anyone right now, but if I were, a veteran would automatically get you considered (thanks for keeping me safe). So definitely mention that. If you were also funny and/or "real" that would genuinely get me intrigued. It seems like a great combination, so I would lean into that.

As for using the word "fuck," I would look at who you're applying to. If they use colorful language, then go for it. If not, then maybe hold back ... or maybe even filter out companies if they are too corporate and afraid of a salty word.

If you live in Austin (or are willing to) and want to practice, reach out to Jason Cohen at WPEngine. They're growing and would be pretty cool to work for, IMO.

Good luck - and thanks again.

Patrick Foley
April 30, 2014 at 4:04 pm

... and I may be naive, but I think Taco Deli tacos rock. Happy to give Cabo Bob's a try next time I'm there, though 🙂 (around Memorial Day, I believe)

April 16, 2014 at 4:32 am

Wow, yay selfishness!! Can you give an overall tip for us- on how to just BE shamelessly badass wise with life and biz (as you are)?

April 10, 2014 at 1:26 pm

Just got a "Tldr" email from you Noah, thought of all the amazing things "tldr" could mean, looked it up, ouch, but as Ben Franklin said "There is no gains without pains"

Thanks for your honesty 🙂 Keep up the good work

March 4, 2014 at 11:13 am

So I think I just fell in love with your blog/writing style and way of thinking. Randomly leaving that little nugget here but there are multiple posts of yours that I could have posted this to...And I read a lot! Have never written such a comment before or liked a blogger so much. Great job! (But just because I care, I have to tell you that the neon green popups are killing my eyes...can't close them fast enough.)

Steven Hughes
February 2, 2014 at 8:22 pm

Definitely would have thrown in something about Tacos as the cherry on top

Amie Williamson
January 3, 2014 at 11:49 am

Dearest Noah,
As I walk through the valley of crusty content and recycled marketing BS, written by people who don't create anything unique or awesome, I will fear no more, for you are with me.

December 6, 2013 at 12:23 am

Hey Noah, I am applying this now in my blog posts to get people attend my Google+ Hangout and I will comment again on how it will turn out 🙂

Notice you often put a touch of your ego when you tell stories in first person. Becomes more personal and connective.

If you send me a $25 Amazon Gift Card, I'm gonna buy the 4 Hour Workweek and UnLabel! If not, I will still promote Okdork, AppSumo and you 🙂


Siddhartha RT
November 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Would this work if I were mailing a professor who taught me long ago (and gave me a $10 gift card for my project) for a recommendation? If It does, and I come all the way there from here, India, I hope I can come by and meet you!

Because right now I am applying for an admit to a University. And I'm gonna "cold mail" him just the way you describe. Wish me luck!

October 19, 2013 at 11:42 am

Noah--I do not want the gift card, but really want to ask why sending at 10:01 is more effective? is it because
1. the email checking time
2. being the last mail sent in the email checking time?

Dinesh Agarwal
October 8, 2013 at 9:59 am

I used to run spammy sites a long time ago. I really wanted a link from this guy who loved his site and would not let my link go on it. I sent him a nude pic of a lady pretending I was the lady and sending the email to my boy friend. He thought the sexy lady got confused due to the same first name and sent the email to a stranger without double checking the email. Guess what? I had a link on his site.

Victor Castro @thephonecovers
September 27, 2013 at 8:51 pm

Has anyone watched the Noah Live Course? It's EXCELLENT.

This is what i don't understand................ 🙁

Why the f*&k is everybody asking for Noah's feed back ???? Don't wait for somebody's feedback to get things going, just GO OUT AND VALIDATE IT for YOURSELF

Most of us just want a seal of "approval" (if Noah likes it I'm set for life kinda thing). Sell it even if you don't have it ready! That is your true validation not an opinion from somebody else. ( NO ripoffs please, money back guaranteed 😉 )

Just do it, then tell Noah and maybe ask for his opinion, by then you probably won't even need it, just want it, like me.

For Noah...



September 23, 2013 at 9:27 pm

But isn't it too cheesy, I meant it's not the politically correct way of saying this. Some of the persons at higher management level whom we will be forwading mails might not like this.

Corey Wlodarczyk
September 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm

If you give me a $25 card, I will share my world famous chili recipe with you. I can't offer to sign up for How to Make Your First Dollar for the card, since I already did that today.

Sean Hanrahan
July 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Insightful post Noah

but you can't buy good TACOOOooS w/ an amazon gift card!

Maybe I could barder it...


Steve P
June 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm

This is perfect since I'm $25 short on two of the books you recommend.

The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes


The Education of Millionaires by Michael Ellsberg

June 19, 2013 at 1:34 pm

I have been cold emailing for weeks. Your right. The more personable you can get the better. Thanks for the blog content. I like the internal dialogue you added! No.. I LOVED the internal dialogue you added.

Julie Anne Longano
June 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm

You know you want to.

I just used the five-principles provided and nailed a meeting with someone who had already said NO to me three weeks ago.

Cold. Mail. Bang.

May 14, 2013 at 9:56 am

I was ready eat breakfast with tea when i found your site... half an hour later my tea was finished and waffles untouched.

Tip: When buying me $25 giftcard you can get it cheaper at...?

Fine ill tell you, Ebay!


April 25, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I've been thinking about your challenge (to get you to reply to me) for about a week now. I am working on so many projects that I have a trillion questions (ok, maybe 3 big ones and 14 little ones) I would love to ask you. Why do I want to ask YOU?

At the risk of a seemingly NON-flattering comment, because my first impression of you on the CreativeLIVE Event with Tim Ferriss in Seattle was that you were kind of a jerk the way you shot down the toothbrush guy. BUT....You not only made a good point, but you made it fast, and it had enough shock value to stimulate thinking differently. Job Well Done!

Now, why should you respond to me?
I think big.. HUGE even.. and you want to be a part of MY success! My projects/goals are as follows:
1. Help people cure addictions WHILE laughing about it.
2. Provide a way for single people meet WITHOUT the internet. Never before in history (that I know of), has their been a 'way' of doing what I plan to do.
3. Give Sears and/or JCPennys AND Staples (3 of the top 5 companies that are going under) a shot in the arm to stimulate the economy.
4. Make being a bi-polar OK = increase acceptance/reduce violence.

I realize this is a short novel and may have taken over a minute to read, but I am a girl, we usually have more to say. 😉


April 23, 2013 at 9:19 am

Isn't it surprising how few people understand the potential of using a start time that stands out? People misinterpreted the term "an odd # time" to be a time that ends literally in an odd number (1,3,5, etc) as opposed to a "strange" time like 7:42. Hitchhiker's fans would never miss a meeting ending in :42, but most people would remember it and show up promptly, regardless.

Also, it's pretty funny that people were curious what kind of factory/what the company was that you went to visit. Guess they didn't take the extra minute to really look at the picture of your tour.

Great insight in this post!

- Another David

April 23, 2013 at 12:22 am


I used Rapportive to make sure this was your personal email and thought this would be a better route to a $1,000 Amazon gift card than to compete with hundreds of people giving you virtual BJ's.

Flattery. - Althought I've never actually bought anything from AppSumo, I always download the freebies. I'm slowly turning into a real community member because the UI and the content is kick-ass, plain and simple.

Benefit - I live in China. I manufacture and design products. I speak fluent Mandarin and can bargain a better price on any product than anybody here. I served for 2 years as a volunteer to help Chinese immigrate to Canada through teaching them English & French, so I know the people and the culture inside and out. If you ever need anything out of China, I will provide you my services for free.

Credibility - I've got an interesting life. We're creating YouTube content that shows how ridiculous this country is. When I first arrived I didn't have a job. I got paid to PRETEND to be certain types of people (cause I'm white and tall...). In this example I got paid $1,000 USD to pretend to be a doctor from the U.S. that helped find the cure to clitoral atrophy. WTF? Just watch this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MEzln3K2r1k

Call to Action - Gimme yo gift cardddd!!!! ???!!

Read it out loud - Came out to 1 minute exactly... on my first try.

Stay thirsty my friend,

Joshua K. Fairbairn

April 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm

@Will: I think I'm going after much higher profile people than you. Formatting and to the point is the only way to go. If you think I haven't tried both, you haven't been paying attention.

Amber M
April 21, 2013 at 5:25 pm


Did you ever get the right size shoe? I noticed Barney's doesn't have that particular shoe on their site anymore. 🙁 I think it's terrible you had to go through all that trouble to get them.

If I had been your assistant, you wouldn't have had to call Sperry's directly, scour Amazon and even go to Barney’s in NYC. I would have done all the searching for you. Think of all the things you could have done if you hadn't spent all that time feverishly searching for your Sperry's. (woah, I just got a mental image of you caressing your shoes and calling them your "precious".)

Let me know if you ever need my help shopping for something. Seriously! You have my email address. My fee is a $25 Amazon gift card. I would normally charge by the hour but for you I will make an exception. 😉

P.S. Reply within the next 2 hours and I will let you test drive my researching skills...FREE! You know what to do... *points up at her email address*

P.P.S. It took me 40 min to write this!

April 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm

Noah - send me the gift card and in my next sales meeting ill print this article up with the rest of the sales team and manager. You never know it might grab the right attention.

April 20, 2013 at 2:14 pm

... WRONG. Did I say anything about bulk? NO.

Try both and see that you will agree! A strong CTA in a 1-1 email is by far the only way to go.

April 20, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Brenda that was my first thought when looking at this page.

JJ your comment is off putting, highlighting is fine for short emails targeting many but carefully crafted well written and thought out emails can get a much higher response. Try both and see.

Thanks Sumos

Ps. Click my name to watch something real special, I'm sure Noah would agree.

Brenda Meller
April 20, 2013 at 7:57 am

Can you post the email in its entirety w/o your commentary, too? I'd love to share w my team who create "average" (aka blah) emails. We are trying to fix that.

Ps I found this on twitter. Rock on.

April 19, 2013 at 7:01 pm

I used a modified version of one of your templates and got a phone call with someone I thought was completely out of reach...

Would love to tell you all about it.

Patrick Foley
April 19, 2013 at 6:29 pm

A well placed "fuck" never hurts, either

April 19, 2013 at 4:33 pm

This would NOT work most of the time. Not a great cold email.

#1: If it takes more than 20 seconds to read, it's too long.
#2: The ask should be bolded, highlighted, underlined, centered, and the immediate thing the eye focuses on immediately upon opening. Formatting is huge.

Too much experience here to just let your conclusion pass me by.

tracy on a houseboat
April 19, 2013 at 3:15 pm

wow! i had absolutely no idea who you are, but enjoyed our quick phone chat, signed up for your program, googled you, love this blog entry, and subscribed to your posts. Thank you for schooling me on generosity! you've got a new fan noah kagan- a lot can happen in 10 minutes- guess it all starts with one person at a time 😉

Bob Koby
April 19, 2013 at 2:40 pm

If you would like me to take full control and ownership of Appsumo, leave me no reply.

With the $25 (assuming you reply... just so you know my game plan), i will buy a couple of your recommended books or another month on Mixergy.

To discuss our Appsumo deal (if you dont reply), i already have a meeting with you next Wednesday, from 10-12. We can work out the details then. =)

And thank you to Homer Simpson for the idea on how to get or not get a response

Gianni Ponzi
April 19, 2013 at 4:44 am

Cool post, thanks 🙂

We have lots of clients.

I think they could benefit from AppSumo promos such as the 33 email templates.

It's 6:43am in Austin (we're in Ireland), so I can email you after breakfast / yoga.

p.s.The $25 gift card is earmarked for a cool kid building his own stuff 🙂

Jason I
April 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Don't send me $25. but can you tell me if you liked the idea he was proposing? It was a good email but how was the pitch? I'm intrigued...

Aditya Kumar
April 18, 2013 at 8:38 pm

I have a friend whose already drooling over the "make your first dollar course". It started all with the email I received so I passed it on to a couple of others.

So they weren't convinced at first and then I pitched in to analyze how this is going to work for them and help them build their 1st $1.

He then went ahead and transfered $200 into my account and said you pay the 100$ and the day I make my 1st $ I send you $150. The extra 50$ to making me believe and inspire me enough to take this course.

I have already a extra 250 in my paypal just because I tutored well enough 5 of my friends to buy this..I was like WOW - noah should definitely hire me to be his brand ambassador...:)

PS: Its not about just other's buying the course and me helping them with the extra 100$ to buy it off; but it's more about the commitment I was able to offer to my 5 friends to believe and invest.

April 18, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Noah, I'll be honest, I just want the $25 gift card 🙂


Well I used up my last $$$ buying "Anything You Want" on Audible.com ... yeah I got hooked on Derek Sivers silky voice.
Anyways that was a great listen, short, and full of great tips.

NOW I just read your review on Amazon for Facebook Fame - http://amzn.to/11mHotb and I want to buy it http://amzn.to/XUehQU

$10 each right? So I better have a giveaway on Facebook to the first person to post on my dodgy page..

Ps. You'll see why if you click my web link!

Venus Barak
April 18, 2013 at 4:28 pm

this is great. bought email templates a while back.

Justin Brooke
April 18, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Nice breakdown bro...

Neville was at my talk in Austin last week, I bought us all like $200 worth of Sushi later that night.

I was too drunk after the fruity ass drink he and I ordered, but I meant to ask him... If I could do a split test on AppSumo using my split-testing software.

I'll send you a couple hundred bucks worth of clicks.

Would you publish the results on your blog if I did? #HOLLA

Jay Samolowicz
April 18, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Brian - I will go in on that with you too. If Noah respond to both of these, we'll buy the course.

I will even do a video testimonial when I make my first dollar.

Noah Kagan
April 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Sent you a $25 gift card too 🙂

Go time.

Looking forward to your video.

Rocky |||
April 18, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Let me just start with that Matt Cohler is an idiot.

Would you believe in a social startup where Kim Dotcom is involved ? Where anonymity is highly regarded ?

Send an email my friend so we can talk properly 🙂 you know what's cooler then to lose 100 million dollars ? Think you know the answer. 🙂

Ps: emails only read if received between 9.00-10.18 London time.

Brian Pulliam
April 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Anyone else want to join me on this deal?

Noah if you reply to me, I will sign up for your "First Dollar" course to help you reach your 3333 goal.

All I ask is that you video yourself thrift rocking to "Thrift Shopping" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Think of all of the dates you could get by showing how confident you are in yourself!


Noah Kagan
April 18, 2013 at 2:59 pm

You got it Brian.

By joining I want you to help yourself, the goal doesn't matter otherwise.

I just sent you a $25 Amazon Gift Card 🙂

Noreen Sullivan
April 18, 2013 at 1:26 pm

Hey Noah,

One of my clients forwarded me your post. You looked familiar to me and I have been racking my brain trying to figure out where we met. I think it may have been at the Draper Fisher Jurgenson party at the Airport Museum with Mahul Patel or at a Thai place with Tontek and Jack Dorsey. Or it may have been at SXSW. Anyway you look very familiar and this is an interesting thread. I am pretty sure I recognize you or it may simply be the facial hair looks familiar. I honestly hate templates but I love research so I am curious. I am not trying to name drop but I am trying to find out who we have in common. It could also be Rich Hecker form Bootstrapper or Sarah Austin who I produced at D7TV. Anyway, it is interesting to hear what inspires a response as social scientist I love this stuff. HAve a fantastic day!

April 18, 2013 at 1:02 pm


Adam Bowie
April 18, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Haha I got you to respond!! Trickery is allowed right??

No, I am just kidding 🙂

I will try it, today - and report back!

April 18, 2013 at 12:13 pm

Can you predict when Facebook will be banned?
P.s I miss South America!

Noah Kagan
April 18, 2013 at 11:59 am

If you are curious about why I use unique times in my emails.

Try it and see the response 🙂

Best way to learn.

April 18, 2013 at 11:56 am

Noah - I am fine to not have the giftcard but would still be interested to hear the "why" on the 10:01 being more effective!!

Noah Burford
April 18, 2013 at 11:56 am

here it is plain and simple: your post compelled me to buy your email template from Appsumo! Win win!

Pam Krengel
April 18, 2013 at 11:52 am

On a daily basis I receive a ridiculous amount of newsletters, blog posts, breaking news, and industry news. The reason I read so much is to glean something, to learn a new a takeaway that I can move forward with in accomplishing goals.

The last thing I needed was to subscribe to another newsletter. But this was sent to me by a colleague and caught my attention. I thought wow this is good, really good. It struck a chord because I am in the thick of it and David found a way to break through the clutter. Bravo David! And you did as well for now you have another new subscriber. I thank you for sharing, and taking the time to dissect what really worked for you and what could be done better. I learned something new today. I look forward to seeing you in my Inbox.

Noah Kagan
April 18, 2013 at 11:45 am

Done : ) http://cl.ly/image/2m1H1S110k0n

April 18, 2013 at 11:41 am

If you reply I will immediately give away the giftcard to someone else via Twitter saying it was from you along with a $10 Amazon giftcard so they can offset buying the Sumo Email Templates which I just bought

Matty Mo
April 18, 2013 at 11:33 am

Check your inbox playa. $26 gift card arrived.

April 18, 2013 at 11:28 am

Are jews disproportionately more successful that people from other religions or are jews just "louder" about their religion?

There are less than 13.8 million jews on this planet but somehow many very successful people are or were jews.

April 18, 2013 at 11:26 am

Good read and provides very good pointers for intro emails.

I personally thought it's too long.

It may be perfect for you and your style - for example "putting a date & time in place" - a different person would consider that 'rude' for assuming you'd have the time (heard that in startupgrind12') so really I'd concentrate on getting you curios about me / project and then provide relevancy (matters to you because..).

I find that most 'high caliber' individuals prefer 2 liners that basically answer 2 questions

1.what do you want?
2.why should I care?


January 20, 2015 at 5:01 am

Gil, yours reads perfectly! Amusing and definitely gets to the point. Clearly.

April 18, 2013 at 11:06 am

Great post and it didn't have anything about you being naked! 😉

Keep it up man!

April 18, 2013 at 11:03 am

Why start at an odd time? Do you mean, instead of just 10 o'clock, say from 10:15 until 10:45?

April 18, 2013 at 11:02 am

Wow...exactly how much do you love yourself? If someone sent me an email with such blatant suck up-ery as that I would not be able to take them seriously.

April 18, 2013 at 10:46 am

Interesting that he used fuck. Do you think men talking to men can use fuck and get away with it? What would you think if a woman used fuck in a pitch you?

Elle C
April 18, 2013 at 10:43 am

If you need someone else to stroke your ego to feel important, then you should scroll past this comment. As I read further into the post, it annoyed me that you were wasting my time explaining why people should be rewarded for producing litanies of shite (creepy let-me-google-you-to impress-you in order to feed your narcissism instead of being more direct and to the point)

The only redeeming factor was the bottom bit with the numbered list. $25 isn't enough to cover the time I lost reading the entire first part of the post, but I suppose it's a start.

April 18, 2013 at 10:43 am


I really yelled for this long

April 18, 2013 at 10:37 am

hahahaha who is this guy? ^

Matty Mo
April 18, 2013 at 10:28 am

I'll send you a $26 amazon gift card if you reply.

Noah Kagan
April 18, 2013 at 11:29 am

REPLIED. Send first and I'll send yours 🙂

Anthony Paganini
April 18, 2013 at 10:23 am

He played the Jewish card yet resisted the temptation to self-deprecate...just made it brief and in the middle. That was executed perfectly.

Chris Milas
April 18, 2013 at 10:11 am


What is the link to buy the 33 great email templates?
I think we would ALL like to know 😉

April 18, 2013 at 9:57 am

This comment is worth more than $25 because I'll give you $26 to respond.

James Leodux
April 18, 2013 at 9:55 am

Please tell me you don't have a pony tail and a pinkie ring on right now. You are coming across very Tom Cruise in Magnolia. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.) But I imagine you are wearing a head set right now and waving your hands around a lot as you talk folks into making "millions". )

I will admit you could easily be able to make folks millions but I'm guessing the plan starts with:
1. Have a pile of money
2. Give pile of money to yo
3. Make a bigger pile of money
4. Lather, rinse, repeat

Having made (and lost) enough to be an angel investor I'm dubious and curious. It is hard out there for pimp...

April 18, 2013 at 9:49 am

What if I just knocked on your door?

Zamil Hudani
April 18, 2013 at 9:44 am

Clever James!
I'm a successful "New Rich maverick"
I'm quite reputable - google me

I don't make money, I print it (legally)

Oo Nwoye
April 18, 2013 at 9:40 am


Chief Sumo

I see why your Nigerian friend did not make it.

During SxSW, you do not get an hour to compose an email! :(.

April 18, 2013 at 9:39 am

Awesome that he got you to write a blog post about him! Too bad his "grav" website is completely down for me. A missed opportunity for great PR.

Hoon Park
April 18, 2013 at 9:38 am

just wanted to clarify my "terrible picture" comment earlier... on the iPad, the picture was the same dimensions, but sideways (so it looked compressed AND was rotated)... on desktop it looks fine

James Ledoux
April 18, 2013 at 9:29 am

Zamil Hudani - your pitch is intriguing but sounds like you may actually be following a Nigerian biz model.

Dipesh Garg
April 18, 2013 at 9:19 am

Hey Noah,

I loved ur idea of promoting 33 email templates with more than 10 years research in just a minute.

AppSumo Rocks 🙂

Zamil Hudani
April 18, 2013 at 9:19 am

P.S. I'm Indian just like your best friend Neville.

Zamil Hudani
April 18, 2013 at 9:14 am

I was not too impressed with his email.

Sure he got your attention, but he didn't say how he could make you money.

I assume that is something you're interested in.

I can show you how to make millions with a non correlated asset that produces unheard of returns northward of 50% on your money per year - all passive income.

I believe you have my email and if I don't hear from the great Noah Kagan, I'll just assume he's not interested in making money!

Marc K
April 18, 2013 at 8:44 am

How long does it take for you to write these emails/posts?

They seem really casual, but doesn't necessarily mean you write them in one go. (i.e. that guy's email seemed casual as well, but was completely scripted)

April 18, 2013 at 8:37 am

Hey, it's a fantastic example, thanks for revealing how to cold-email you. However, how can people who haven't done anything extraordinary (like having a business with 70 f*cking employees!) or became successful in their own terms yet, get you interested?

Should all the mere mortals, who are just starting out, just keep their emails away from super-awesome people and simply keep on working on something impressive instead? 🙂


Jay Samolowicz
April 18, 2013 at 8:34 am

There are amazing quotes here that I just can't compete with since this is my first comment on the blog. I don't have anything witty to say, other than I learned a lot from reading this email, and that I learned a lot just by reviewing the format of the email.

Love the "shameless plug" - it really smooths the transition to selling and not only makes it less awkward, but fun.

And love the "leave a comment part" for a $25 gift card. It awesome to see a great examples of how to get people to take action and leave funny, interesting and helpful comments!

April 18, 2013 at 8:26 am

I've heard AppSumo goes through a lot of tacos.

TONS daily from the word on East Cesar Chavez St.

If you're not spicing it up regularly, I bet those same tacos can get a bit boring.

Instead of giving $25 to someone who'll spend it on some book they'll never read, donate it to someone who knows a thing or two about hot sauce.

Hot sauce is my best friend. I basically use Sriracha as a fork.

If you're interested in a wealth of hot sauce resources, why not just reply below.

I'll take that gift card, donate $25 of my own hard dollars from recycled Sriracha bottles and hook up the AppSumo crew with some fire to kick those tacos up a notch.

So take 10 seconds and drop a reply.

Nev, Daniel, Anton, Susan (she still there?), and the rest of the team will thank you.

Your hot sauce buddy,

PS. Get FREE hot sauce by replying below

April 18, 2013 at 8:18 am

Great post. Love the way talk and write. 🙂

April 18, 2013 at 8:02 am

Love the story. Love the Sperrys. But you really shouldn't brag about your shoe size like that!

Brad Nickel
April 18, 2013 at 7:21 am

How about finishing the story.... Was the meeting worth it?

James Ledoux
April 18, 2013 at 7:02 am


I've really come to enjoy your e-mails. They are wildly varied, clever, and spark ideas in me.

Did I ever mention you are my here? (read in Bett Midler voice)

In any event, I'm wildly curious about Dave's factory + app and love the idea of a FACTORY in walking distance to my house. USA! USA USA! The factory is also in close proximity to 2 gentleman's clubs but we won't comment further about that.

[Since Dave is in manufacturing I'm going to guess the app let's folks order custom manufactured goods built to order. And Dave if you read this I'd love a tour.]

Thanks again Noah and good luck Dave.

PS I will ignore the fact that you both have horrible taste in shoes. Sperrys are for gandpas with fishing boats.

Hoo Kang
April 18, 2013 at 6:50 am

Does that mean you are going to work on something with him?

Anyway kudos to David. Kudos to the comment bribe. I hope it works like gangbusters.

April 18, 2013 at 6:50 am

If I emailed or Skyped you (Noah) right now, I'm pretty sure I would get a reply.

But! ...I didn't use the method you described above to start that.

Let me know if you'd like me to post the method I did use here in the comments.


John Lamerand
April 18, 2013 at 6:19 am

Look, I don't know if this is going to come across as witty, but I did feel compelled to let you know that I wish I had received your email 25 hours ago instead of 1 hour ago. You see, I sent a pitch last night... I spent hours on it... but on reading your advice I realise what could have been better. Your post made so much sense. The good news is that I will use the advice tomorrow. Cheerio!

Erik Johnson
April 18, 2013 at 5:56 am

Why do you suggest that he should have made the meeting time and duration odd numbers? Does that make them stand out more to you?

Thanks for sharing this. Awesome stuff, nice work Dave!

April 18, 2013 at 5:55 am

Not fair. You were selling men's size 11 Sperry's and I wear a women's 8. Do you want people to think I have a foot fetish?! Next time, sell puppies. Contact me and I'll tell you what breed will get you the most cashish.

Also, ^^Yogi guy above: try to win the Amazon GC, man. You could use it to buy some books on grammar. Oy.

Chuck Stormon
April 18, 2013 at 5:55 am

1. Agree it's a good email. Thanks for sharing.
2. I have money, so a $25 gift card doesn't motivate me.
3. I once sent you a bad cold email, and you replied. I'm sad to hear you're deleting the bad ones now.

April 18, 2013 at 5:52 am

Love this topic, it reminded me a of "the copywriter who used Adwords to get a job" -> http://wallblog.co.uk/2010/05/14/would-be-copywriter-uses-google-adwords-to-get-ad-agency-job/

I would always spend a lot of time composing an email of this nature, it surprises me most don't think them through (considering the amount you receive)... I'd never have thought to specify a time and place without asking first though so that was an interesting insight.

I'd like to know if David and his disruptive app idea lived up his email's quality, and whether once meeting you feel a sense of pressure to stay in touch / donate more time?


April 18, 2013 at 5:44 am

I just love you're recipes for emails, I already bought AppSumo email templates, they are so great, and even with them I constantly add this kind of gems to my messaging arsenal.

April 18, 2013 at 5:28 am

lol the first comment is funny...

his strategy for getting a response:

1) use non sequitur
2) ask for stuff
3) move on

P.S. Noah, I forwarded your email to a friend. Loved it!

Hoon Park
April 18, 2013 at 5:20 am

Great article, amazing email, but TERRIBLE PICTURE

April 18, 2013 at 5:19 am

Want to have a backlink from a top10 site that immediately boooost your SEO like hell? Want to get some thousands extra visitors in only 10 minutes?

ACT: Rename your free Interrupt plugin to Social Entrepreneurs Plugin and publish it on WordPress.com official plugin site.
Attach some screenshots + video + tutorial -> good to go!

Don't need your 25$ Appsumo stuff.
But please do fix the errors what the plugin gives when trying to use it with MailChimp 😉

Jagadeesh Rayala
April 18, 2013 at 5:14 am

Took me more than a minute to read this article 🙂

Adam B
April 18, 2013 at 5:10 am

Cool article - agree with most of your points. I'm in your First Dollar course btw (people, do it!!)

But why do you think selecting an odd time like 10:01am is more effective?

Mike Holubowski
July 16, 2014 at 4:06 pm

I don't think the general population realizes how viable cold emails really are as a marketing strategy. I've found success by following a few simple rules:

1) Iterate. Send a batch a day for a few days until you know what works.
2) Automate. Toutapp or quickmail for sending. LimeLeads.com for email gathering.
LimeLeads + QuickMail work wonders. Seriously.
3) Win or Lose, ask to be pointed in the right direction. You talk about this in the book.

When launching a brand new product or site, following this basic formula + everything outlines in this post are an excellent use of your time. Cheers!