Updated on November 22, 2018
Let's address the elephant in the room head on.
Cold email marketing is like picking your nose. At some point, whether they like it or not, everybody does it.
Who here hasn't guessed an email address of a friend, a coworker, a person they read about or saw speak at a conference? You do it because you have something to say, a relevant offer, a burning question, a desire to connect.
Guessing emails to reach out to people for a good reason is not a wrongful act. It's not malicious, it's not something that needs to be done in the shadows, hidden from view in dark alleys, shunned by the greater marketing society. No, it's just a means to connect and we humans are all about connecting.
If all this is true then why the stigma? Well, like picking your nose, free diving, and standing in the front row of loud rock concerts, too much of it done improperly and without care can be damaging.
But this is true of so many things (I could list more). So again, why the stigma?
I think it's because email marketing is so cheap, so effective, and therefore also so easy to abuse. Some marketers get lazy because lists are cheap to buy, sending emails is cheap to do, and there are few ways to police the bad actors in this industry. And since many of us marketers (myself included) get pummeled by poorly-written, hastily-targeted cold email campaigns, we get a bad taste about it.
And then we blame the list buyers and the list sellers for promulgating this practice. Well here's my hot take on that: it's wrong.
There's nothing inherently wrong with buying cold email lists and also nothing wrong with selling them. It's all about what you do with the data and the tools once you have them.
There of course are wrong ways to send cold email. I can list more than a few. However, there are also many right ways to do it, and those are the tactics that will grow your business and allow you to hire more people and bring more value to your community.