Recently I was featured on the I Will Teach You To Be Rich blog for an interview I did with Ramit Sethi for his Brain Trust program. Ramit’s readers are very sharp. Below are some of my favorite cold emails that they sent me.

Thanks Ramit for featuring me in your Brain Trust!

Thanks Ramit for featuring me in your Brain Trust!

DISCLAIMER: My website openly and actively invites people to email me. I do like meeting new people. I’m giving this feedback for anyone who might want to make it past someone’s filter.

Best messages

subject: Dammit Ramit!

He’s let the secret out. Sold out tours coming soon.
Museum Hack is genius. You already knew that though.
Keep up the great work. I’m sure you’re developing new genius as well.

I liked this one because of the bold, simple subject and that the message was nicely written, asks nothing of me, and plays to my ego. This was my favorite email and I’m most likely to reply to this one super positively!

subject: Love Museum Hack

What a fantastic idea!! I just want to throw it out there, you’re pretty awesome.
I would love the opportunity to buy you a drink?
If you ever need to (OFFER OF SERVICES), I’m your guy

Flattering and very kind to give value with the drink offer. Someones that gives me something free: awesome! I used to work in the industry that this person sells now, so I am interested still in the marketplace. I don’t want to be rude, because this person is giving value, but besides a free drink, I’m not sure why I would want to meet. They did not include their title in their email signature, and that would have been nice to know a little bit more detail.

subject: Nifty Idea!

Your tour service sounds awesome, Nick—we’ll contact you before our next NYC visit. Happy Thanksgiving

This was just nice and classy. I liked it.

subject: Hello

Read about you today on Ramit Sethi’s blog. Sure you’re being inundated with mail today… a good thing.

I live in the Village as well. The Frick is my favorite museum. Maybe you’re offering a tour there?

My favorite exhibit: “Van Gogh and Gaugin” at the Chicago Institute back in 2001… took you back to the summer when they lived together, displayed art they’d painted side-by-side, showed portraits of women at the local bar who were their muses, and described in beautiful detail events of their “Felix and Oscar” relationship. Genius!

I love museums, but agree with you that many of the tours are ho-hum. Would love to know more about Museum Hack.

Again, I don’t want to be rude, I’m just giving feedback as someone who got a dozen or two messages after this interview: the goal is to help you, the reader, write better copy. Two things rub me the wrong way about this:  (1) The subject line saying just Hello, and (2) The request of “Would love to know more about Museum Hack” because I spoke about it in the interview, we’ve got a great website, and what exactly should I share about?


Someone featured in a high-profile publication is probably handling email more like a triage and less like a fireside conversation. Keep it short, offer value, and if you ask for something: make it specific, and include something to stand out from the crowd (a creative subject, a photo attachment, etc). If you’re trying to connect with someone, I suggest your goal be simply to get to Message 2  (Get them to reply)  and not to achieve your end-goal from Message 1.

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