The cold email I'd send to get my first 10 customers

Let's say I'd built some podcast recoding software. This would be the email I'd send to get my first 10 customers.

Subject Line: Your podcast audio...
If you want to personalise: PS — Get Dr Patel on again. Hilarious episode!

Nice and simple :)

If you'd like more practical marketing tips (like this one) in your inbox join the newsletter. I email the best tips twice a month.

  1. 6

    Love this email copy!

    1. 4

      Gracias! Took a couple of hours to get it this short.

  2. 3

    Dru from Trends.vc usually has an emoji in the subject line and no preview text. Do you have any experimental data on the effectiveness of something like that?


    1. 2

      I've run A/B tests

      It works

      1. 1

        That's sick, thanks Dru ;)

    2. 2

      Ohh would be some interesting split testing data to see. If having the emoji leads to better open rates or conversions.

      1. 2

        Exactly. I know personally an emoji (well picked) always catches my eye in the inbox. That as well as a short subject line and no preview text after it.

        Unfortunately I don't have a big enough list to test something like this.

        1. 1

          Yeah for sure. I always find them more interesting. But I also think it is because not many people use them. So you see one, maybe two emails in your inox with an emoji. It doesn't get overly distracting, but if every email had it then...ehh..less good.

          1. 1

            probably like most "marketing" type thing: effective until they become saturated.

    3. 2

      Haha. Nope. Got no experience or data on this. Sorry.

      Perhaps @dru_riley can share :)

      1. 1

        No worries, thanks Harry.

  3. 2

    V. cool Harry. Here's how I'll adapt it for technical course creators:

    "Hey Harry,

    Really enjoyed your course on how to be a marketing badass, but I noticed
    you didn't have any interactive exercises?

    With CourseMaker you get code in the browser exercises, and the code syntax looks awesome too.

    If you'd like to give it a try, we're running a founding customer deal which is pretty bonkers.

    Best, Chris

    p.s. You were great on Everybody Hates Marketers"

    1. 1

      haha. nice adaption.

      Perhaps get more specific on the founding customer deal tho.

  4. 2

    Great copy, Harry. 👏 However it's not always possible to sniff around for the "cranky audio's". 🤷‍♂️

    Another option is to go find angry customer's reviews of the prospect I'm targeting, but at times that's quite a challenge too.

    Do you see any other "hooks" to find out what problems they got?

    1. 1

      yes. nice point. Like your suggestion.

      Have a browse on

      • reddit/podcasters
      • indie haclers podcast group

      for people talking audio setups :)

  5. 2

    I don't like how the email begins with a neg.

    Usually when I send cold emails I lead with something positive- like congratulating them on raising a round of funding. Or I'd give them a thoughtful one line reaction to a LinkedIn or Twitter post that they just wrote.

    1. 3

      Yes. No one way to do it. I like what you're suggesting.

      I wanted to keep this example incredibly short and simple. It is a neg. But it's also their pain point.

      Help solve their problem in as few words a possible

      1. 4

        You could improve the neg a little in my opinion. Instead of saying "I noticed the audio is a little crackly", you could say "Do you feel that the audio is a little crackly?". What that does is that it makes the prospect less defensive and actually make them agree with you. So let the prospect answer the crackly question instead of you judging it already even though technically it is true. Questions are always better than a statement. My 2 cents.

        1. 1

          The problem with your approach on the phrasing is that the first line seems a bit "proposition-y" and unpersonalized to me. Like "hey here is an auto generated email I sent to you" view "I listened to your stuff and I think you could do better"

          1. 2

            Perhaps reword it to "I listened to it and overall a great podcast. However I felt the audio to be a bit crackly. Do you feel the same?". The point I a making is that you don't just make an statement but you end with a question. This way you are not forcing your own opinion on them but kinda asking them to agree with you in a subtle way and help them reach that conclusion themselves. If you just say "audio is crackly", the prospect may subconsciously think "Wait. who is this person to say that. My audio is perfect and it is a subconscious thing to do and get defensive". Instead if you ask "Do you feel the same", the prospect will now think "Hmm do I ? Is the audio really crackly ? Now that this person asked me, it does seem like it".

            This is all subjective obviously. This is why sales is hard though :). None of us are technically wrong.

            1. 2

              Ahh I see where you are going with it. I totally agree with you. And a great way to think about things (especially marketing and cold emails)

            2. 2

              haha. cheers yash! i like how your mind works. i like your line (the 2nd version)

      2. 1

        I get your strategy-

        1. identify the problem
        2. offer the solution
        3. try to convert by making the solution irresistible

        Wondering out loud if there's a more tactful way to go about identifying the problem.

    2. 1

      Everyone sends those though. Why should I care about a stranger congratulating me for raising a new round ? That's superficial. Get to the point which is more likely for me to read the rest of the email.

      1. 2

        Eh, the congratulations is a bit shallow, I'll give you that. Well researched and short compliments have worked for me in the past.

  6. 2

    Love this.

    Love this, love this, love this. This is the way they should be.

    I get too many emails just of people spitting out their product or app and don’t even try to make a better connection.

    Thanks for laying this out, Harry.

  7. 1

    Yo @harrydry how did you add the subscribe button to the post?

  8. 1

    This is excellent. Short and sweet.

  9. 1

    What if they don't use zoom but Podcastr already 😱.

    Jk, good stuff

  10. 1

    Nice and simple! Thanks Harry

  11. 1

    Thanks for the example, Harry! :)

  12. 1

    Thank you for this.

    We're trying to experiment with copies now but I think I see the problem with them based on this post -- they're too damn long! We will tweak to something just as short. Thanks again!

  13. 1

    Thanks for sharing, Harry!

    It would be awesome if you really try this copy :-)
    Do you have any data to back up some copy ideas? Which of them worked better/worse?


    1. 1

      gonna try this in real life yeah with a friend who runs a podcast SAAS :)

      stay tuned

      1. 1

        Perfect! Keep us posted, I am thrilled :-) I would be next level to your marketing tips to have some data to back it up. On the other hand it would be tricky, because they can be other important variations, but let's see/

  14. 1

    Good insight.

    I am a big fan and have seen results from framework below:

    <main point>

  15. 1

    Hi Harry, great copy! Perfect example of simplicity is key. We are sending a little video, which has been working extremely well for us. Might be interesting for you to check it out. Wrote a piece on IH about it: https://www.indiehackers.com/post/how-to-send-1000-personalised-videos-per-week-0ca3a7b62f?utm_campaign=digest-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_source=indie-hackers-emails

  16. 1

    What're your thoughts on using bold and italics to make certain lines stand out?

    Does that just look too spammy?

    1. 2

      Well... I used italics in this to stress a few key words and i thought it looked okay.

      But yeah... obviously don't go too crazy. No real rules here.

Trending on Indie Hackers
✨ Let's hack Twitter ✨ 74 comments My SEO experience 20 comments How long did it take to build your MVP? 4 comments The best way to use Webflow (financially speaking) 2 comments My first year of making money on the internet 🤑 This is how it went... 1 comment PostureNet is Featured on ProductHunt 1 comment