April 11, 2019

How to start cold emailing?

Alex Becker @alexbecker

I've read a lot of advice about how to write a cold email. But how do you even find an email address to reach out to? #ask-ih

I'm having a lot of trouble finding contacts for potential customers for https://pydist.com. My target market is companies using Python that publish private packages. I can find a lot of companies using Python on e.g. AngelList, but it is hard to get contact info for someone at the company, and I have no way to tell whether they use private packages. Any advice?

  1. 2

    Dear Alex,
    Very good advices in the post above. In addition, I can advise you to:

    • read this article about cold emailing which I find great: https://deux.io/cold-email/
    • try out Mailmeteor, a Google add-on allowing you to send personalized emails to your potential customers once you have sourced them : https://mailmeteor.com/ (to be transparent, I'm cofounder of Mailmeteor, and happy to help you ;-))
  2. 2

    Hey Alex,

    Your audience is likely very similar to mine, with the exception of you are looking for companies using Python specifically. I'm not sure how to solve for the "using private packages" bit, but in terms of finding and verifying the validity of email addresses I've outlined the process I use here:


    Following this format I've consistently gotten a 40% response rate on cold emails. Happy to chat further!


    1. 2

      Hi Geoff,

      I really like your blog post and I'm following the process you laid out now. I'll let you know how my first 10 emails go :)

      • Alex
  3. 2

    Here is my suggestion.

    Definitely, the person you should be looking for is the CTO or Head of the Dev department. You can search out the person by google and verifying their position on Linkedin.

    You already know the name of the company and now you know the right person you want to talk to. I use hunter.io to verify or search out the email addresses of my prospects and its been pretty good.


  4. 1

    Find your target website, try to find their CTO name, and to find their email address, you can using snov.io (free).

    To track your email being opened or not, you can use mailtrack. Don't write spammy email, ask them if they using python as their stack.

    One more thing, follow up is important. Maybe they was busy, so you need to follow up.
    2-3 followup is enough.

  5. 1

    Just don't do that. Because:

    1. Your TA hate cold emails and you can be banned very easily
    2. they would find your service via Google if you would provide more usecases, articles, how-tos, questions-and-answers etc.
    3. you never know if they publish private packages or not. It's very specific requirement and I don't know to be honest, why they would do that (I use Python for my projects too).
      Good luck.
  6. 1

    @ness told me about builtwith.com literally earlier today, and it looks like you can do searches based on Python!

    1. 1

      I actually have used BuiltWith in my day job, and I can tell you their data quality is... not great :/

      I'd suggest wappalyzer.com instead. They only work with client-side tech, so aren't as useful to me as BuiltWith claims to be, but they're much more accurate.

      1. 1

        You can check whatruns.com and see if it helps.

      2. 1

        Fair -- for MY work I need to know what cloud service provider they're with, which it seems like BuiltWith EVENTUALLY lets you know.

        1. 1

          Cloud service provider is comparatively easy to determine--you can check whether their IP addresses are in the ranges owned by AWS/GCP/etc, with the caveat that this only tells you where their webserver is hosted, not whether they're directly using the provider (e.g. they could be using a service that in turn uses AWS). I imagine BuiltWith is relatively accurate in this case.

          1. 1

            Yeah, sometimes I do DNS lookups to verify -- then I know, for example, if they're using Route 53. Still doesn't tell me for suresies if they're using EC2 vs serverless, for example, but c'est la vie

    2. 1

      Builtwith only shows client facing tech. It won't show if they use private packages.

      But a great tool if you can use it .

  7. 1
    1. Put all the companies you find on AngelList into a Google Spreadsheet.
    2. Sign up to Upwork and have a worker fill in as much contact info as they can find for each company.
    3. This alone should produce a decent enough list of contacts. If not, take those results and hire a different Upworker, provide that Google Sheet and tell them to fill in the blanks. Keep doing that until you have a few handfuls of results.
    4. Cold email them with a simple, plain text email asking them your question:

    "Hey there, I found your company on AngelList and see your a Python shop. We are too! Trying to understand how other companies are using Python today. Quick question - do you use private packages?"

    Set up a sequence of 6 different emails, just as simple as the first, to drip out to them over the next 6 weeks.

  8. 1

    As suggested, you probably need an email verifier to do that job. I can also vouch for Hunter.io. The most important part is to identify the right prospects first, and LinkedIn/Sales Nav can be useful for that.

  9. 1

    I don't think the person you need would be the people actually listed on the websites of people who use Python.

    Would those decisions come specifically from python people/developers themselves? And therefore, you need to find out where they hang out.

    Pretty easy to find developers by job title on LinkedIn.
    Or perhaps Stackoverflow?
    Reddit python?

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