How to Reach CEOs and VIPs with Cold Emailing

In this post, you will find top cold emailing insights from youngest betselling business author in American history, Alex Banayan.

What should you put in the subject line for a cold email?

Choose something short, interesting, and honest, and do not use clickbait! Try to thoughtfully craft it to the person you are reaching out to. In that same vein, don't invest all of your energy into reaching out to one person, they may just be really busy at this time.

If you subject line is misleading, you will not get a response. Something like "[Their Name], Your Advice?" would be a good one that typically has a high open rate. Make sure you just ask for a few sentences and not a huge ask in order to increase your chances of getting a response.

What stands out in a cold email?

Alex says that putting in the research before sending the email is essential. Someone only wants to take time to respond if they see that the person who sent the email is hungry and has put in the work.

Don't be afraid to put your personality into a cold email template, like Tim Ferriss'. Also, emailing someone who isn't the founder of the company can be worth your time to build relationships with other people in their network.

How do you know who to contact when you are still deciding your career path?

Do the 30 Day Challenge first to help find your path, and then after that do the 30 Day Cold Email Challenge.

30 Day Cold Emailing Challenge:

  • Send 3 cold emails for 3 weeks, use the remaining days for research

Monday: Research

Tuesday: Cold Email

Wednesday: Research

Thursday: Cold Email

Friday: Research

Saturday: Email

Sunday: Rest

How can I follow up with a recruiter?

A response like this would be a great one: “Dear ____, I just want to gently follow up and see if you received my last email? I can’t imagine how swamped you are and totally understand if you do not respond."

What is the ranking for cold introduction methods?

Warm introductions are always the best, as they provide context for the person you are meeting. However, cold introductions are sometimes your best option sometimes.

Typically, a cold introduction is the "best" while social media would be the "worst," but this list is flexible and can definitely change depending on the situation.

1. Cold in person

2. Handwritten note

3. Phone


5.Social Media

Keep in mind:

  • When meeting people in person, especially if they are your hero try not running up to them to meet them. Find a less crowded place to get their attention, or use social media.

  • If you try to get connections through someone's family (kids, husband, mother, etc.) you automatically be blacklisted.

  • Don't call a cell if you haven't personally been given their number from them

How do you find people’s emails that aren't publicly available?

You have to put in hours of research. If they work for a corporation it can be pretty easy to just check the website and see what format they use for employees. If you do not get the email bounced back, then you have found it.

Sometimes you may just have to take a stab in the dark and email many different potential email endings. Be sure not to CC with all of the potential emails.

Also keep in mind that if someone is under 40 and lives in the US, they likely have a Gmail account. Sometimes Google will even populate an email if it corresponds with a Google Plus account.

How do you make an email comprehensive and interesting at the same time?

Use the Tim Ferriss email template. Start small and keep the email short.

How do you determine which context cards to play in your email?

Research the person you are emailing and use what is most relevant to them that they will find interesting about you. You can also put all of your cards in the email, and see which ones they respond to.

How long do you wait to follow up when you hear nothing after sending an email?

Play the long game. You can use the same email chain to show credibility. Just do not use an old email chain where you hit them up too much.

Where can I go to fill up my singer and song writer pipeline?

Young professionals groups are always a great place to start. You want to be building connections with people who are at lower levels in big music production companies. There are a lot of people under the radar you can find on SoundCloud that may prove to be great resources. Look for friends who become mentors and mentors that become friends.

How do I get interviewed on other people's podcasts?

Keep in mind the 4 networking methods: Farming, Hunting, Trading, and Trapping. Warm intros should really be your main focus, as cold emails can be hard work with rare reward. Go on podcasts you are interested in and then ask for introductions to people in their network.

Are there specific times and dates that are better to send emails?

There's really no way to know when is a good time to send, although you can check their Twitter to see when they are typically online.

Is it okay to pitch in a cold email?

Making a pitch is fine, as long as it is short enough. You never want to hide your intent in a cold email. If you genuinely think your pitch has value, then go for it. You will have a bigger chance of getting a response if you ask for a one line piece of advice on your pitch.

Is there a strategy to approaching people if you see them in person?

This really depends on the person and on how well known they are. Feel out the situation and be straightforward.

When sending an ask for an interview, what's the best way to schedule a time?

Ask first, and then send time options once they agree. Make sure they are diverse and spaced out.

In a politically surged time, how do I go about getting interviews with political figures?

Have a long term vision. Contact former press secretaries and other people who are no longer in the job, and ask them for advice on how to make thoughtful asks. Look for people with good integrity to interview, start small, and be patient.

This post is in relation to Alex Banayan's Third Door Mentor Sessions.

Topic for Friday 6/19: Addiction

You can find posts on past mentor sessions, as well as sign up to get weekly recaps here.

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