Drumming up new business over email can be hard – especially cold pitching.
However, Jon Buchan at Charm Offensive knows just the right way to do that.
A year or so after setting up an agency with his brother, they started quickly losing clients. With a payroll deadline to meet, he needed new business.
“I was desperate and didn’t know what to do. So, I decided to get blind drunk,” he says. “When I was drunk, I wrote this completely absurd cold email. In the morning, I still thought it was a good idea to send it to senior decision markets at some of the world’s largest brands and corporations… and to my amazement, it worked.”
Jon received several positive replies from big companies, explaining that while they didn’t usually reply to cold emails, they had to follow up on his to discuss things further – it was that good.
“Every time I sent the email, the same thing would happen. I started sending it out as a letter, using it on LinkedIn, and managed to convince journalists to reply to me and cover my clients,” he explains.
“I realised this style of irreverent, charming, silly, light-hearted copy made it easier to get people to say yes to reasonable requests.”
He set up a Facebook group to share his results and responses to cold emailing, which led to selling email templates and products, before it eventually became his full-time job.
Now, he not only sells email templates but also runs courses on cold pitching, closing deals and building audiences – and the key is how you sell the formula.
“I never studied copywriting, but I was obsessed with stand-up comedy and sitcoms from a young age. When it came to writing the original cold email, that’s what came out,” says Jon. “It wasn’t copywriting concepts, but joke formulas.”
We’ll be talking to Jon about his cold email style, the types of joke formats he uses, and how you can adapt them to win business yourself.