ToolGuyd has been around for more than 13 years now, and so my contact info has inevitably made it to a lot of PR and marketing lists.
I tend to use different public-facing email addresses, but my attempts to preserve the privacy of my direct email address has failed.
I’d say that half of the non-tool-related companies that cold-email me are looking to manage ToolGuyd advertising, and the other half offer some other obscure marketing services.
My direct email address still isn’t publicly available, but I somehow get a lot of cold marketing emails. A TON. Some of the worst companies auto-subscribe me to newsletters, and many send persistent and increasingly annoying auto emails.
The worst-ever marketer somehow found my personal mobile number in a paid directory service and calls me every other month. After initially learning about their services, I said I’d contact them if I had any questions or interest. And yet he calls again and again. As soon as he says “Hi, Stuey?” I hang up. Sometimes his colleagues cold-call me too.
Anyway, here is the BEST cold-email I have ever received:
You should know, my husband has been all over your site recently, especially the reviews – his latest project is to build a free-standing pergola in our backyard and he’s got a lot of research to do!
It looks like you run both operations and content for Toolguyd.com, and I do see Google AdSense running. With the advertising world constantly evolving, we can actually give you a more powerful setup that maintains the simplicity of AdSense but will give you a nice uplift in revenue while not changing much visually.
Think of Google AdSense like a hammer, and we can give you a power drill. They do the same thing, but one is much more effective.
Would you be open to learning more?
I was impressed, and we spoke after two other reasonably tactful emails.
The initial email piqued my interest, and it worked because they tried to understand what ToolGuyd is about. Maybe this was formulaic and completely fabricated, but it worked.
It is incredibly rare for non-tool industry-related companies to cold-contact me with this level of care.
That person left their company, and I’ve spoken to their successor a couple of times. I might someday be interested, but not at this time.
Here’s one of the recent emails I received from their successor:
I’ve sent a couple notes your way already chatting high level about AMP and how [REDACTED] can help. But since I found this email address, I’m not sure if it’s getting to a human person (I’ve been told that cats stacked on top of each other hiding in a trenchcoat are posing as human employees at your company). Can you let me know if a human gets this, and if it’s the person I should talk to?
If you are, keep reading because our ability to truly monetize AMP, which historically has been a challenging portion for most publishers, is something we are uniquely excelling at via our [NEW DIVISION].
Honestly, we are seeing 20-50% revenue increases in just using our AMP solution. Ignoring all of the other amazing things [REDACTED] can help with, just AMP alone.
That number is impressive. And doable. We provide the team, the code, the data and the dashboard. Let’s connect and test this out!
“But since I found this email address”?? I called them out on this, as we had exchanged words before, and they said it was an attempt to be funny.
Do they think these auto emails will wear me down? Zero-effort emails do nothing but clog up my inbox.
I’m contacted by similar companies all the time. Everyone wants to “boost” our advertising. They all claim to be able to increase ad revenue, but things fall apart when I look at example implementations. All of the live samples I’ve seen so far have more ads than content, leading to a terrible reader experience. “We can work with you on that.”
I understand, it’s easy to throw a bunch of email addresses into a list and send them automatic misc. newsletter-type marketing messages, but does that really work?
Here’s how another cold marketing email chain went:
Email 1: Newsletter-Type, 4 Ways to Supercharge Your Supply Chain
Email 2: Simplify Product Creation
When I talk to leaders and peers in the Amazon world, many of them are focused on how there isn’t enough space in the market to sell products because of the massive amount of competition out there.
That’s why at [REDACTED], we streamline the process from concept to production to sale. We also help you to avoid costly pitfalls by providing a heads-up view of upcoming trends.
If there’s any way I can help, i would be free for a quick 15-minute call?
Email 3: Wrong person?
I haven’t heard back from you yet, so I have a feeling I might be barking up the wrong tree at your company. If that’s the case, do you mind referring me along to the most appropriate contact to speak with?
Did this company simply buy a bunch of email addresses, thinking maybe some of them were somehow related to whatever services this company provides?
I received a PR/Influencer-type email yesterday. The email came from an agency I’ve never talked with before, about a restaurant group I’ve never heard of, and with meat-related Father’s Day gift suggestions.
A PR or influencer marketing email focused on very expensive mail-order meat? Maybe that ties into tool user demographics – I can see loose connections there. Maybe not, but this is far closer to tool user audience interests than many of the other affiliate and influencer-type emails I get.
Meat pitches I can understand. How could anyone think that ToolGuyd is in need of supply chain streamlining?
And then there’s this person who has sent me 8 separate messages in the past week:
Email 1: a new idea for ToolGuyd
Stuey, I really like that you combine both video and written content – this is really taking off at the moment and I expect a huge uptick in the usage of video over written content in the months and years to come, so you are already ahead of that curve in my opinion! I am writing from [REDACTED], where we use artificial intelligence to maximize advertisement earnings by auto-adjusting ad combinations for each visitor. I have an opportunity for you to seek an earnings uplift with a test running [REDACTED]’s technology. I came across ToolGuyd and it seems a perfect fit based on the hundreds of sites I have worked with in my 4 years here at [REDACTED].
What’s more, we can link your existing AdSense account to [REDACTED] (since [REDACTED] is a Google Certified Publishing Partner) and allow [REDACTED] to make the guesswork for you on the ad placements, sizes etc.
Last year, the average improvement from prior partners to [REDACTED] was 236%, so the potential uplift here is significant, alongside user experience improvements, which I can explain in more detail later.
Are you open to learning more?
Email 6 (Day 7): Hey, sorry to keep bothering you – but I really believe that your site is a great fit for [REDACTED]….
(Email 6 contents removed for brevity.)
Linkedin Message 1:
Hey Stuey, I reached out to you about ToolGuyd a few times via email, but I didn’t get a response yet so I just wanted to check if [my social media email] is still the best way to reach you, or would here be easier for me to send my message?
Email 7 (Day 8):
ultimately, as a publisher, it’s becoming more and more difficult to stay on top of the daily tasks of running a website.
[REDACTED] is free & tells you the best possible advertisement setup for each one of your users. Whilst also offering free tools to help with things like site security, site speed, ads.txt, core web vitals and much more.
quick question- aside from all the technical stuff – if you could improve your revenue and user experience at the same time, would you consider that a good investment of your time?
I haven’t responded to this person, and at the start of email number 6 they apologized for bothering me with so many emails. But then they kept messaging and emailing me more?
I’m probably not the best at crafting cold emails myself, but I shake my head at many of the cold emails I receive on a daily basis. The emails tend to mix into regular cold PR and marketing emails, and so there’s no easy way to avoid them.
And, while I don’t expect strict adherence to grammatical conventions, certain errors or violations make it hard to take someone seriously.
I don’t even want to tell you about the meme emails I get – they’re thankfully less frequent, but disturbingly inappropriate for cold email business outreach.
Outreach via social media direct messaging is a relatively new (but not really) practice. But email? There’s no reason for marketing professionals and companies to be so bad at this.
Or am I just overly sensitive?