Thursday, January 31, 2008

mediocre marketing: how not to cold email someone

A friend of mine from Boston, Dharmesh, recently wrote on how not to describe your startup. He runs a popular website called OnStartups; I won't give you any hints as to what it's about, but it remains one of my favorite examples of how a site like reddit provides a global stage for good content to be discovered. I still remember when his entries first started appearing on reddit, then they became a regular occurrence (not unlike our pals at XKCD). I love knowing that reddit had even a small part in their success.

But back to the matter at hand, bad "cold emailing" (the cold call 2.0?).

Granted, this startup was automatically at a disadvantage by being yet another social networking site, but this mass email didn't help their cause (formatting preserved for authenticity, names and URLs replaced out of compassion):


An amazing new Social Network is coming..... But this one has a BIG difference. It's going to PAY YOU to play Games Online... (fun skill games..not gambling games!) PAY YOU to introduce others via MLM and PAY YOU passively when a game is played by anybody in your downline...even whilst you sleep! Payment will also be INSTANT!!! weSpam is coming in January 2008.

You can pre-register for FREE TODAY before it actually launches, securing your place before the expected hundreds of thousands of people join. See my site at

The brand weSpam is predicted to be as big as Facebook and Myspace

If YOU register for FREE via this email, I'll try my VERY best to let you participate in the advance beta testing of the games, see for yourself whats taking the world by storm.You have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain! This is THE road to financial freedom as weSpam features THE MOST EXCITING payplan in MLM history! You'll be amazed. It's going to be FUN, AMAZING and VERY PROFITABLE!

For your FREE promotional website and MUCH more information, simply go to Don't delay...It takes only 20 seconds!

Thanks for your time

I wish I could be as constructive as Dharmesh and suggest some improvements, but I don't know where to begin. Your thoughts?