Thoughts on Emails


-Valleywag has a nice example of exactly how NOT to do guerrilla PR. If you have a site or deal with the press at all, you know that horrible emails are the curse of the industry. And because most people can’t step outside their own head and look at things from someone else’s perspective, they are laughably bad at cold contact emails. If you can craft something decent -and it really is a craft – you can open up all the right doors.

-I’ve had two brothers email me off and on for the last few months. Together they’ve sent me emails addressed to the wrong person, hit me with the obnoxious Tim Ferriss autoresponder, invited me to join a FB group one of them created about himself, tagged me the same blog from like four different accounts and asked me to look at a quote list they didn’t bother to give me credit for.

Its funny because as ridiculous as all those things are, at least they’ve shown some initiative. That’s great. I know who they are. I just have a sneaking suspicious that they might be retarded.

-Tim did a great post on this a few weeks ago but he’s missing one thing: Humanness. For young people, your emails need to have life. Spirit. Use the word “really” or “thank you” or “hope” or anything that makes you real. Because you are real When I see “I am grateful for your consideration” I think this isn’t someone I have going to bother giving anything back to.

-Everyone has their own their own style. There is not right or wrong way to navigate new media emails. But if I had to offer some advice…

* Be human

* Be brief

* Be personal

* Offer something in exchange

* Create a reason for a response (“getting an answer” implies something)

* If you’re going to go covert, be untraceable

Again, emails, questions, comments, views – all of those incur a cost upon the person you want something from. It’s your job to make those as low as possible.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.