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Results from a $300 cold-email campaign

At last month's Indie Worldwide meetup I met the founder of Prospect Role, Martin Knapic. He talked a lot about how he uses cold-email campaigns to drive traffic to his website and it seemed like something that could work for Indie Worldwide as well.


Summary

Tools Used: Airtable, Upwork, Streak, Prospect Role
Expenses: $320.12
New Revenue: $400.00
Profit: $70.88


Plan

Send cold email and cold-twitter DM's to encourage people to sign up for a free event. After the event, follow up with a pitch for my paid founder-matching service Founders' Club.

Execution

  1. Set up an Airtable with columns for name, email, twitter, and a 1-2 sentence personalized first line.
  2. Used Prospect Role to search LinkedIn for people who'd be interested in a virtual meetup for indie hackers and bootstrapped founders.
  3. Hired freelancers from Upwork to find names and emails and write a personalized introduction.
  4. Downloaded the Airtable as a CSV and used a Streak CRM mail merge to send 20-30 emails a day leading up to the event. Also sent a similar number of Twitter DM's, but didn't automate it.
  5. Emailed all attendees after the event to thank them for coming and to invite them to check out Founders' Club

I also increased the sticker-price of the event from $6 to $39 in order to hypothetically increase the number of conversions. My thinking was that more people would sign up using the free-ticket coupon if they saw the sticker price was higher.

The Result

Made a small profit, but arguably could have made the same amount of money with just our normal promotion and follow up emails. Ended up with 50% less RSVP's than the previous event, but had a better turnout and converted about the same number of people to paid users.

Takeway

A highly customized cold-email system becomes more worthwhile the higher the price-point is of the product you're trying to sell.

I'll continue to experiment with cold-outreach but probably won't pay for first-line writers again unless I'm selling something more expensive.

This experience also led me to set up a lead-gen webinar for next week. If you're interested in learning how to set up a similar campaign yourself, come learn from the experts. We've invited Martin from the beginning of this story as well as Vukasin Vukosavljevic (Head of Growth at Lemlist) and Matt Kohn (Different Hunger) to come talk about lead-gen and email marketing.

Learn from the experts: Sign up here

  1. 2

    This breakdown was great, working on a cold email campaign as well!

  2. 2

    interesting, does prospect role really work for other than gmail/hotmail emails?

  3. 2

    nice work brotha! keep it growing. excited for the panel

    1. 1

      Thanks Matt, 85 RSVP's so far :D

  4. 2

    Thanks for sharing, super insightful 🙏

    At which price point for your product would you say it's worth investing in cold emailing? I also target indies and founders.

    1. 2

      It costs about $1 per lead to hire someone to write first-lines for you.

      If 1 in 100 people you email convert, then your CAC is $100 ignoring any other costs (especially your own time).

      So the LTV of that customer needs to be at least $101 to turn a profit.

      Those are the variables, you can play with the numbers to see how much you need to charge to make it all make sense. I'd say ~$200 LTV it becomes a no brainer.

      1. 2

        Awesome thank you. Makes a lot of sense.

  5. 2

    Thanks for acknowledgement @AntCas, I am super grateful. There is no doubt that you'll lead this growth to the next level. I am happy to ride along =) #muchfun

    And also looking forward for the event, I am sure it's going to get crowded =)

    1. 1

      Thanks Martin, looking forward to it too :)

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