How to Get a Reply When Cold Emailing Seth Godin, James Altucher and Noah Kagan

“Why didn’t they fecking reply! That email was so good.” – I privately said out loud to myself this morning as I reread the final email pitch that I sent to James Altucher, which was intercepted and eventually ignored by his wife, Claudia Azula Altucher.

But I digress.

This is a semi education and possibly semi entertaining post into the world of my attempt to try and bring three big names from the entrepreneurial start up business world, James Altucher, Seth Godin and Noah Kagan down under to Australia in order to get them to… how do the French say it again?

oh yeah, that’s right.

Yack.

Get them to Yack in front of an entrepreneurial conference I wanted to put on.

To get things started I should probably show you the initial pitch email I sent out to the three VIP’s.

(Oh and yes I know the below email pitch is addressed to James only, but it’s basically the exact same template as what I sent to the other VIP’s).

AKA. You get the jist!

James-Altucher-Email

My aims of the initial pitch were to keep it:

a) Funny. Humour always wins my heart over. Maybe it could win theirs?

b) Readable. I wanted them to be able to get from start to finish and to not think “wow, this sounds really freaking boring. Delete”.

This meant keeping it short, sweet and to the point in a fun kind of way.

c) Safe. Noah is a friend of James’ (from what I know…), therefore by dropping Noah’s name in as a potential speaker I attempted to try and make this strange event in a foreign land sound a little bit safer for him to accept as he could… roll with a homie.

I also tried to make it sound safe to James by only initially asking him for an agreement to “consider” the event.

I figured it was much more likely that I would get a yes for an act of consideration rather than a yes by shoving a 46 page lock-in contract under his nose the first chance I got…

After all he didn’t know me from a bar of soap…

D) Openable. The whole pitch hinged on whether or not the VIP’s would open the email.

This meant that the subject line… Being the first form of written contact with the VIP’s had to be good.

It had to be intriguing enough so that the VIP’s would open it.

To test my subject line I worked on the idea… that if someone sent me an email saying that “SOMECOUNTRY, wants me!” would I or would I not open it?

I came to the conclusion that I would probably open it…

I don’t know if this was the best practice, but in hindsight it did work as I got replies from all three VIP’s! Boo YAH!

James-Altucher claudia-altucher

The James Altucher Chronicles:

It turns out that James’ wife is the gate keeper to the contact form on James’ personal blog and she was my first point of contact in getting to James.

Here is her initial reply to my pitch:

Claudia-Azula-Altucher-James

So far so good right?

This email sounds rather promising.

I got a quote for James’ fee (which I have blurred in respect to him) and some of his basic speaking requirements.

Least to say, at the time I was psyched!

So, here’s my response:

James-Altucher-Claudia-Azula

Now I would have personally LOOOVEED to see these three VIP’s speak live in Australia…

But, I had to ask myself the questions “Would others also?” and “Would they also pay to do so?”

In order to hedge my bets and gauge interest in the imaginary event I was trying to put on I tried to explain to Claudia my concept for a “hype page”.

It would not have been smart on my behalf to firstly pay James’ fee and agree to his added requirements without firstly gauging demand for him to be seen.

FUN FACT FOR Y’ALL!
This is how all of your favourite bands/singers do business when organising their own tours and concerts.
However, they take it one step further and actually pre sell tickets.
But they don’t tell you this!
You just buy a ticket and believe without a shadow of a doubt that they are coming, but in reality if they don’t sell enough tickets, they won’t be!
This has happened to me numerous times – Ice Cube, DMX etc. Yeah, I like rap music, but poo on them they never came out. Not enough pre sales!

Oh and here’s another fun fact.

I mentioned to Claudia that I wanted to share the hype page for the event over some of my “associates” webpages and email lists (In my head I was referring to entrepreneurial meetup group leaders and big name Aussie business bloggers).

But to stay honest with you I had zero associates at the time…

Therefore my plan after sending the reply was to immediately go and find some associates that could help me gauge interest in my imaginary event.

You may be asking how exactly I was going to persuade these meet up group leaders and big name bloggers to help me out by advertising my event to their audience?

Well, I could have offered them cold hard cash (that I didn’t have), but that would have been stupid and non-creative.

So I instead offered them VIP seats for themselves and general admission seats that they could give away to their audience.

Note that these seats didn’t even exist yet. They were just an idea I was giving away. If the event went forward of course they would have received the seats, but if the event didn’t go forward I wouldn’t have lost anything as I wouldn’t have put any of my own cash into a deal.

Again I digress.

Here is Claudia’s response to my request for a hype page:

James-Altucher-Claudia-Azula

Okay, okay so she wasn’t really cool with my idea to gauge interest via a hype page.

Maybe James/Claudia are just more used to people just wanting James as a speaker and not needing to deal with a promoter or an event organizer that wants to gauge interest before some kind of a bargain is struck.

Which is fair enough and totally understandable as I was probably seen as a little annoying.

Here is my reply to Claudia:

James-Altucher-Claudia-Azula

This email received no reply.

:(

I guess they just weren’t that keen on the idea of a hype page. In my opinion, this definitely had something to do with not enough trust in me.

So, in the end – No dice.

noah-kagan

The Noah Chronicles:

To get things started here is Noah’s response to my initial pitch email.
(As I said earlier, this pitch is basically the exact same thing I sent to James).

Noah-Kagan-Appsumo-Email

I got a “hit me up next year” and he told me he liked my email!

Boo yeah, I was psyched!

I replied with the below email on the same day as his response:

Noah-Kagan-Appsumo-Email

And here is Noah’s crushing, yet subtle reply to me…

Noah-Kagan-Appsumo-Email

This time I replied to him the next day.

(I think I needed some time to think about how I was going to approach this…)

Note that I am still talking to him after he asked me to hit him up next year.

Was this a big no no?

I don’t know.

Probably.

I think at the time I was just too psyched.

In hindsight however, I probably should have just done as he asked and… waited.

(How rude of me).

Here is my reply. I’m sure you might get a kick out of it haha. But YOLO right?

Noah-Kagan-Appsumo-Email

Noah-Kagan-Appsumo-Email Noah-Kagan-Appsumo-Email

Noah-Kagan-Appsumo-Email

Take note that the above response was also possibly way too long to send to a super busy VIP.

You want to keep things short, sweet and more or less to the point when talking to VIP’s so you don’t get viewed as a time waster and given the ol’ boot!

I think I wrote so much in this response because I desperately wanted to build trust with Noah and this was the only way I could think of how to do it… So I kind of just vomited out who I was into an email and just hit send.

In the end the above email received no reply…

Damn.

Maybe I scared him off. Maybe he just wasn’t keen.

At the time I didn’t know.

Recently, I thought “Fek it, I’m going to find out why Noah Kagan ignored me so I can learn from my failure!”.

So I sent him the below email:

Noah-Kagan-Appsumo-Email

(Take note that VIP’s are usually super busy for small Joes like me, therefore it is good practice to make things as easy as you can for them. I did this by letting Noah know that a one sentence reply would suffice!).

Here is Noah’s response:

Noah-Kagan-Appsumo-Email

Haha yep.

So, it turns out Noah just isn’t that interested in flying. Well that’s what he told me anyway.

Maybe I could have offered him more?

Maybe I could have made a better pitch?

Maybe I could have done something else differently to have tried to better persuade him?

But I didn’t at the time and in the end he told me he just wasn’t keen to fly.

So now its a few months on and right now I’m kind of past the idea of putting on some kind of an event

But if I ever change my mind.

Noah and James, I’m coming for you!

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anyway, so that’s my attempt at trying to bring some VIP’s into Australia and get them in front of an audience.

I hope you found this at least mildly interesting and at least mildly educational.

WAIT A SEC! I nearly forgot!

I almost forgot to tell you about Seth Godin.

seth-godin

Here’s what Seth said:

Seth-Godin-rejection

Clear cut and straight to the point, thanks Seth haha.

3 thoughts on “How to Get a Reply When Cold Emailing Seth Godin, James Altucher and Noah Kagan

  1. Jordan Flynn

    If you liked my half ass attempts at cold emailing and want to see how cold emailing is done like a true professional…!

    Read this guest post article by Sam Parr from nevblog.com:

    http://kopywritingkourse.com/heres-how-to-cold-email-like-a-boss/

    Reply

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