Results not typical

I met one of my best friends through cold email outreach.

If you’ve been on my list long, you know I like to joke around a fair bit. That’s how I am IRL too. But I’m not kidding at all when I say that I met one of my best friends, Dave Haeffner, through cold email outreach.

A few years ago I spun up a productized service I called Drip Sherpa, which was a done-for-you Drip migration, setup, and optimization service.

Here’s how I set up and sold that service:

I made an educated guess about the value proposition for the service.

I spun up a WordPress instance on some cheap hosting, loaded my favorite theme at the time, and wrote a landing page that described the problem I saw (Drip’s potential power is held back by its complexity and the associated learning curve), and described how I proposed to help solve it, provided social proof (I did a few free 1-hour consults with friends who used Drip and they in exchange provided testimonials RE: my expertise with Drip), and slapped a quick call to action (an application form, probably powered by Gravity Forms) at the bottom of the page.

I spent a few hours writing a 3-part email course. It describe 3 lessons about Drip I’d learned the hard way and then had a few more emails inviting people to schedule a free consult with me to see if my services were a fit. Used the Drip “toaster” form to invite site visitors to opt in, and (my memory is fuzzy on this one) probably also created a landing page opt in for the course as well.

My memory is also fuzzy on this, but I almost certainly started over-engineering at this point with setting up Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) to process payment and other forms of gold-plating where instead I should have set up a PayPal buy button or used Freshbooks invoicing and called it a day. Live and learn. This gold-plating probably 2x’ed the amount of time I put into this MVP. Oh yeah… I just remembered, I did more gold-plating in the form of a dedicated email account to match the DripSherpa.com domain name I used for this project. Equally unnecessary.

I borrowed a friend’s BuiltWith account and exported a list of web sites that had the Drip Javascript code. Got somewhere between 300 and 500 sites. I cleaned the list minimally.

I set up a Quickmail account and sent a quick and dirty cold email sequence to my list. The first email was one line only: “Are you interested in getting more revenue from your getdrip.com account?” The followup emails were not much more elaborate than that. When people replied I handled everything from there manually.
This actually worked. I got a few clients who paid me to help them set up or tweak their Drip email account.

I eventually realized I’d created a monster I wanted nothing to do with. The complexity and ease with which you can make yourself look like a careless doofus when making changes to someone else’s email list scales linearly with their list size, but it feels like exponentially more risky when you’re dealing with a 5k or 10k-person list. I was constantly walking on eggshells when I was providing this service! I was still in a sort of honeymoon phase with Drip at that time, so I didn’t realize Drip really isn’t for everyone, so I also took on a migration project I should have turned down. The client expected a more powerful version of Mailchimp, not a fundamentally different model for doing email marketing and were disenchanted with the results.

But before I got to that point, my friend Dave Haeffner (http://elementalselenium.com) responded to my cold outreach. We got on the phone to talk about email marketing and Drip, but ended up really enjoying the conversation and became fast friends. Dave lives on the opposite side of the country, but we’ve spoken at least twice a month via Skype and spent a few days hanging out IRL each year since he responded to that cold outreach email for Drip Sherpa.

This is why I titled this email “Results not typical”. In fact, I’ve never heard of anyone else finding a really good friend via cold outbound email.

But plenty of people, myself included, have used it to find early clients for a new service, or find clients in a new vertical where they don’t have referrals or connections.

That’s what Workshop 3: Basic Lead Generation fits into Specialization School. Not helping you find future online buddies, but helping you start to use outbound marketing over email and LinkedIn to connect with prospective clients.

What I’ll teach you in this workshop is embarrassingly simple. That’s not really the value of the workshop.

But if you’ve been needing a structured push to get over any hesitation you might be feeling about using outbound marketing to connect with clients in a specific vertical, this might be just the workshop you need.

Workshop registration is open now, but closes April 22, so if you’re interested in getting the kind of support and guidance these workshops offer, the best thing to do is to set up a call with me to make sure the fit is ideal: https://calendly.com/philipmorgan/20m-call-to-check-for-workshop-fit

The description and schedule of workshops is always available at http://specializationschool.com#schedule.

-P