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One of the best cold emails I’ve EVER received

Noah Kagan
Noah Kagan

December 14, 2013

Learn why this email made me respond and how you can do the same with your cold emails

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

Lately, I’ve been deleting them because it feels like 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.

Last week, I got a surprising email from a fellow named Dave Daily.


I want to share what an amazing cold email looks like (and dissect WHY it’s so great).

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

A couple months ago, I auctioned off my shoes and a month at my apartment. First thing I read in this email from Dave, and he's already mentioning spending money to meet me.

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 stuff together and I like meeting ballers.

2. I’m Jewish – I hate playing that card, but..

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 best idea 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 me.

2 improvements he could have done here:

  1. Make the start time an odd number for fun (10:07 AM)
  2. Let me know how much time he’s specifically requesting. (Meet for 15 minutes)

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!

Best, David Daily

After getting this email, I met with Dave last week. He said the email took OVER 1 hour to compose.

Dave and I

Dave and me.

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 loud. Read your email out loud with a timer. If it’s a longer than a minute, cut it down.

Shameless plug: We 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.

Selfishly, Noah

P.S. Leave a comment below. If YOU can get me to reply, I’ll send you a $1,000 Amazon gift card.

Update: I replied to not one but TWO comments: 1. Burrito Time and 2. Gifts for the AppSumo team


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