July 16, 2020

There are way too many cold emails from IH members

Jesper Bylund @JesperBylund

We can't become "that community". In the past week I've gotten a handful of randomly cold emails asking me to participate or check out stuff that is at best tangentially interesting.

Don't make IH a spam community. Pls. Keep it in the forums.

  1. 15

    It's inevitable. I even saw a guy in another forum talking about scraping email addresses from IH profiles. I removed mine months ago and opened my Twitter DMs so anyone genuinely interested can contact me there. Hopefully one day IH will have its own DMs 🙂

    1. 14

      +1 for DMs

        1. 1

          +1 more

          1. 1

            +1 more

            1. 1

              +1 more

    2. 1

      Yes, I also prefer Twitter DMs. Anyway it seems I am not yet interesting enough for people to spam me :).

    3. 1

      Yessir my dude 😎 +1

    4. 1

      Dang! Where is my mails.
      I wonder what's difference with e-mails and DMs? Both could be automated I guess.

    5. 1

      I just did the same... you think people would contact you for things that actually may interest you, but that's almost never the case.

  2. 10

    There's always the possibility to put the email away :)

    I've gotten really great cold emails from this community. I'm never sold to, mostly asked for opinions, advice or my experience. If that qualifies as 'spam', then there is not really any use in making your email public.

    1. 2

      Completely agree.

      I am also on board with people selling stuff that fit my needs (without email sequences that it's hard to unsubscribe from).

      1. 1

        I agree with that.

    2. 1

      That's true. But it depends on how well they are targeted right? I've gotten quite a few in the last few days that are just general email blasts.

      1. 1

        Of course, I just haven't had a bad experience so far (or they didn't make it past the spam filters). On the contrary, many great connections specifically through IH emails

  3. 5

    I mark them all as spam.

    1. 3

      That is why they all end up in my spam.

    2. 2

      same, that's why I had to remove my mail

  4. 5

    Cold email is probably the best growth engine for newly started startups and side-projects.

    It's even more true in 2020 with big companies that dominate SEO, social media, app stores and content creation.

    As long as you weren't subscribed to an automated email sequence, it's part of the game.

    1. 4

      I don't mind cold emails, I mind generic email blasts. I've also gotten a few really good cold emails.

  5. 4

    It is always automated, they have the power to cold email highly relevant people but they chose to spam :(

    I had great success cold emailing, but it was always personalised.

    1. 2

      You are correct. Even this week, keeping my expectations low, to the hackers whom I think may be interested in my product, I sent out 4 highly personalized cold emails and got a reply and a follower on Twitter. 😅

      1. 1

        This and what Volkan are doing is cold emailing. What the OP is describing is not cold emailing, it's simply spam. Treat it as such.

  6. 3

    One way I know of to "save" yourself a little bit: you can add +IH to your email name. like [email protected]. and then you can filter those emails (if you use gmail) into a folder you check every so often... or forget about completely.
    While this won't stop everyone, it does mitigate it a little bit and will keep you from having to passively get bombarded from the worst spray pray-ers.

    In my experience, (of which is very little) I do enjoy getting any outreach from other IH'ers. No matter how off target they are. Some might truthfully think their product can help me. And we all make different products at different times. I'd rather not try to burn any bridges today with someone who could make something better tomorrow.

    And of course my opinion could change if the spamming doesn't stop.

    1. 1

      This is a great idea! Thank you :)

  7. 2

    I’m surprised at the tolerance level of other commenters.

    My interpretation of the OP is not that he is commenting on the efficacy of cold emails. He is simply saying that cold pitching each other outside this forum is not what this community should be about. And I agree.

    I joined this forum to be around other indiehackers, learn from them, and be inspired by their successes.

    Lately there has been a rise in “unsavory” behavior. People spamming their products in every post, copycat products, and sending spam to emails obviously scraped from the forum.

    Without sanity checks like the OP, we risk the community devolving into a place where genuine knowledge / experience exchange no longer happens and it simply turns into a sleazy “mastermind” style group of people trying to make a quick buck as easily as possible. I want nothing to do with that kind of community.

    I would like to see better reporting / moderation controls in place to prevent this, personally speaking.

    1. 1

      Well said!

      Is it okay though to mention your project in posts or replies once in awhile? I am newer to IH and would love to hear the proper etiquette.

      Thank you for this post.

    2. 1

      Exactly! Well put!
      Though I do agree with other posters that it isn't necessarily cold outreach that's the problem, but rather BAD cold outreach. Some moderation feedback tools are needed to keep IH constructive I think.

  8. 2

    You can use a contact link instead from https://Contact.do

    I'm using mine for almost a year and got ZERO spam messages so far :)

    1. 2

      Where do you use this? Won't it get rejected if you try to enter it where there should be an email address?

      1. 2

        Since this is a link, you won't be able to use it fields that require an email, but you can use it on your about/bio page on IH, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, etc.

        Please let me know if you want me to hook you up with https://contact.do/blake for free :)

        1. 1

          Sounds great, I responded by email as well. Thanks!

    2. 2

      Looks cool! I'll try it :)

      1. 1

        Please let me know if you like it and I can hook you up with https://contact.do/brayden for free :)

        You can get in touch via https://contact.do/toni

  9. 2

    I am not against cold emails but I do agree we should display a good amount of judgement when cold email someone in this forum. E.g, before sending out a cold email, maybe it’s worth thinking about if your cold email will bring values to people receiving them, if not, maybe you should not send it.

    If you honestly believe your service is gonna help out, I’d say go ahead and reach out, introduce yourself and your product, send me an email, have a chat. I don’t mind that at all.

  10. 2

    All communities that grow too big become this. It's time for the unbundling!

    1. 2

      Nah! Not sure a few emails outweighs the current benefits.

      Any new community would need to find a way to be sustainable and most likely have to keep sending emails to pitch their own products.

      1. 1

        Yeah agreed. Who knows how many countless amazing things happen behind the scenes. Plus most of the community does not do this. Only a few bad apples.

  11. 2

    I got one cold email and while it doesn't lead to selling either way — it's great to have contact with another founder "on the same cart" :-)

  12. 2

    Is there a way to report people who reach out in such a way?

    1. 4

      You can always tell me and I can let them know people aren't happy. Not much more I can do about that. You can always let them know too.

      For me, the positives far outweigh the negatives.

  13. 2

    Yeah I think if you don’t like it then don’t list your email. This is “indie hackers”. Emphasis on “hackers”.

    Let’s hope @csallen can prioritise IH native DMs sometime in the future. If I thought it was a possibility to contribute I’d write them myself.

    1. 4

      "Hackers" does not mean "grab everyone's email and blind spam them"

      I guarantee most of the emails I get from people doing that here have no idea what I am working on or have posted, they just scraped my email and threw it into a automated email program.

      1. 0

        Well it’s obviously subjective but i think that is exactly what “hackers” means; do anything and everything to get eyeballs on your product.

        1. 4

          Downvoted for having an opinion. I love the world we live in 😂

        2. 3

          No offense but this sounds more like shitty marketing to me than hackers 😂

          1. 3

            "Growth hacking" ;)

          2. 2

            Why would I take offence?

          3. 2

            Yeah this is definitely not "hacking" in this sense. It's spam.

          4. 2

            It's quite often a synonym lmao

        3. 2

          That's harsh, but a fair point.

    2. 2

      What makes cold DMs better than cold emails? Super curious because I saw the poll and think DMs should have super low priority. Don't want to have another channel to check...

      1. 1

        I think because it would be more difficult (much more difficult I believe) to simply automate a "mail blast" type scenario with DMs.

  14. 1

    It may have been me that broke the camel's back on this one which led to this discussion. Apologies for sending you something you were not interested in earlier this week Jesper. The first half of the email was actually custom, the second half, was mostly generic as it applied to everyone. I messaged folks on IH meetups because I was building something (https://meetfromhome.io) that I thought was relevant to them.

    FWIW, I did put effort into personalizing the email, kept it brief, and set up a pre-made event for you to try/out demo. You had a meetup you were hosting, and had your email public. Personally, I thought this was ok: personalized + brief message, relevant and timely topic, public email. I feel these are things we actually talk about quite a bit on IH. Anyways, sorry for the trouble.

    Btw, I do want to say in total it was around 10 emails sent out from my personal email. Nearly half replied same day. I had 2 long-running discussions since, and a f2f call w/ one fellow the day after. I tried reaching out to people on other sites and got way less traction. To me this is a testament to IH being "innovators" in the tech adoption curve, which I love!

  15. 1

    There are many people asking for acquisition. It's so strange. Just curious what makes them think my app is a good investment?

  16. 1

    That's really interesting I wonder why you're a target. I haven't gotten any at all.

    1. 1

      You don't have enough points or an interesting profile, yet, to make yourself a target.

      1. 1

        Oof. Hurts but valid point.

  17. 1

    In defense of cold emails from IH people, they seem more relevant than the ones I get from those who got my email from play store or chrome web store of other places where I must list an email. But I very much dislike this cold email strategy as a whole. I write my own comments, emails, tweets whatever. And I will respond if you do the same. Do not throw this automated crap at me. I will NEVER respond to you or click your stupid links if you approach me with what is an obviously automated cold email.

    1. 1

      This is true, and as indie hackers we should have empathy for one another. They are try-ers, most of the time. I've had far worse elsewhere.

  18. 1

    I don't disagree that it can feel spammy, but there clearly is a desire to reach out directly to IH members which seems like a good thing.

    Adding a way to DM someone on IH could help? Obviously that would require some work though.

  19. 1

    In general is advisable not to put your email anywhere. Not because of the community (which might or might not abuse it) but because there are bots that recollect addresses to sell them, that's their business.

  20. 1

    Personally I don't mind cold emails as long as they are targetted and some what relevant to me. I happily reply to most of them saying I am not interested right now (if I am not). If it is completely irrelavant and just a bulk copy paste then I mark them as spam.

  21. 1

    Were they bots? People you haven't seen before?

    1. 2

      I don't think they were bots, I think they were serious IH founders. Just generic email blasts.

      1. 1

        Yep they just scrap and spam.