#39: Grow Your Business With Cold Emails With Mailshake Founder Sujan Patel

If you want to know how to improve your cold email strategy, then you should hear it from the founder of Mailshake, a leading cold outreach app.

Welcome to The Creator's Adventure where we interview creators from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business.

Today I am talking with Sujan Patel on how to grow multiple business ventures, how to be a good CEO and how cold emails can help you grow a business and gain more leads.

Sujan is the managing partner at Ramp Ventures, he is mostly known as the co-founder of Mailshake, owner of other Saas companies such as RightInbox, Pick, and an agency called WebProfits. Aside from running 5+ companies, Sujan has invested in 10+ other business ventures and is a dedicated husband and father of 3.

Learn more about Sujan Patel: https://sujanpatel.com/


Bryan McAnulty: Welcome to The Creator's Adventure, where we interview Creator's from around the world, hearing their stories about growing a business. Today I'm talking with Sujan Patel about how to be an effective CEO and how you can best use cold email in your business. Hey everyone. I'm Bryan McAnulty. I'm the founder of Heights Platform.

Let's get into it.

Hey everyone. We're here today with Sujan Patel. He is the managing partner at Ramp Ventures and mostly known as the co-founder of Mail Shake, the owner of other SaaS companies such as Right Inbox and Zoomshift, and an agency called Web Profits. Aside from running five plus companies, Sujan has invested in 10 plus other business ventures and is a dedicated husband and father of three Sujan.

Welcome to the show.

Sujan Patel: Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm pump to talk to you.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, me too. So my first question for you is, what would you say is the biggest thing that either you did or you are doing that has helped you achieve the freedom to do what you

Sujan Patel: Yeah, I think I, I would say I am doing and I always go back to this, so as I'm always doing it which is extreme focus on what moves the needle for me, for my business, for my family I, I kind of ask myself like, what, what are things like, here's a concrete example like at mail.

What's gonna help us? What are the one or two or three things that are gonna help us hit our goal for the year, for the five year target, or like whatever. In our case, it's like a revenue goal. So like how we, what are we doing to get there? And that's all I focus on. Everything else, there might be some time spent on it here and there.

I'm either it, somebody should be doing it elsewhere, like someone else should be doing it, or we should stop doing it if it's not impacting that goal. And so I have very, very short goal, Like I have like one or two goals typically, or like one or two initiatives that help me hit my goal and that's all I'm doing and, and everything else is just time to think and play or whatever.

Bryan McAnulty: Awesome. Yeah, I think that's really important. Definitely I feel myself, I've noticed that I have to do that more and more in the last couple years. I think I've gotten much better at it. But but yeah, I guess it's been a theme in the, in the past year, especially for me to think of what are the things that I can take out that is not the best use of my time in working towards my goals.

Sujan Patel: Absolutely. And typically in these initiatives, I'm not the one driving it. If they're that big initiatives, I should probably get somebody with more experience in that initiative. So I could get an example as like, we have two big initiatives from milkshake this year. Mm-hmm. launch Increase Our nr, which there's a couple things we're doing inside of that and it really involve.

Development and product, and then, you know, going upmarket as a second initiative, and that requires an experienced outbound sales leader and a team, right? If I'm doing outbound sales related stuff, that's not like managing the people, the, the folks. Then I'm in the wrong seat. I'm holding it back. I didn't invest enough into it financially to to do the, to get the outcome I want.


Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, I like. So you're mostly known as the co-founder of Mail Shake, the email automation tool. It's something we're a customer of Mail Shake ourselves. And you also have these other SAS companies that you're working with. Can you share a little bit about the story of how you founded Mail Shake and now how it turned to what you have today with this collection of c.

Sujan Patel: Yeah, so so this kind of all started in 2015. Can't believe it's been like seven years now. But ultimately I wanted to get myself, I wanted to be a SaaS owner. I wanted to be on the, the I wanted to start a SaaS company and it started with kind of solving and scratching my own date, which is kind of like doing these automated email sequences.

It's something I use a lot for, for link building, recruit. Partners, you know, like for a lot of different things. You know and I, at the time, all the tools I ran into suck. And so I was like, Well, there's gotta be a better way to do this. Like, why don't I just solve this problem? I didn't even think about the tam, the like, I didn't think much outside of I can do something better.

So I was very much like solutions oriented and I was trying to find the problem to make sure it's actually good, but I just really went, went with it and, and because of those, the way I went into it, which is with the solution first. I didn't, I should have done way more research, but it took us a long time to get the product market fit.

Long story short, in a two year window from 2015 ish to like 2017, we were really trying to hit product market fit. And we got, cus we got some tractions, but really we thought we were building for, for marketers and we were really building more for sales and, you know, founders and, and all those folks. But the reason people would use it first for sales, like that's the stickier customer and marketing marketers would also use it.

But we really like, we found that the sales, when somebody like closes revenue. Using milkshake, they're like way happier. They're gonna stick around longer and all that stuff. And so during that time, which was super painful, like, and I'm like, I'm a marketer, but that's my background. And so I'm like why do, instead of trying to build new companies, I just started buying them and just leverage my skill like I buy under marketed or like things that I could use my skill set to do.

And that's kinda where the other companies came. And then web profits came about because, well, Che was just a money pit. I was just like spending money in it, not making money. And I was also spending money buying companies, so I needed income to live and, and, and whatnot. So I, I started doing again, what I know, which is marketing, consulting and, and, And so that business took off.

I had always get leads from my website, like people wanting to hire me for marketing. So I kind of built a small team and then I partnered with a larger agency called Web Profits that we took on their name, but effectively It was a way to like, do what I know how to do to make money. Now I didn't take that much time or bandwidth so I could go do what I wanna do to build wealth and, and like work on something fun.

Now in hindsight, I'll put it to your perspective. I, you know, Mashape got so big that everything else has just become noise. And, and so valued, like, just like from a wealth and and revenue income perspective, like, Everything else is kind of, not necessarily a rounding error, but like, not making a big difference in my lifestyle or like life, a wealth and kind of goal.

Now I love working on multiple things, but really so during that two year period, I started buying these companies and we got good at it. And so we just kept doing it. And, and again, like, you know, got to a millionaire, like we found another opportunity like, eh, should we buy another company? Yeah.

This is only, this other company's only a million bucks a year. I don't know how big it's gonna grow, blah, blah, blah. But like, you know, so I just kept doing more stuff and then over time we got way more picky and all that stuff. And so I still am actively looking to buy more companies. But our target like.

It's way, we have way more criteria than buying these companies. And then like how I'm actually managing these things with like having, you know, I sleep well and I've got three young kids and you know, I spend, I don't spend a whole lot more time than as need. Another business is, I have a great team. I have each company is own team.

Again, we're very laser focused on a thing that's gonna drive the business. And that means like, we're like willing to not do stuff. I feel like as a founder or a, a CEO or owner of a. It's hard to be like, I wanna do all the opportunities. Well, like, you know what, why would you do five things? Okay. And when you could just do one or two things really freaking well.

Right? And or double down the one thing and, and, and give you an example of that, like we, at Mail Shake, I had to fire the whole marketing team. They were doing a good. , but in order for us to go up market to a larger customer, it was an outbound sales motion and marketing could do stuff and make a difference, but like, I had, you know, like, like it wasn't gonna move the needle the way the outbound sales would, and I had to, like, we, we, like, we were doing it in a nice way.

We like helped like folks kind of get next jobs and whatever. And we like, essentially like downsized marketing to really just be focusing on our core, which is concept marketing. And, and you know, that's the thing that always worked. And so we just continue to invest there where we're on our own sales, if that's the driver.

Why not focus all of our attention there? So again, like I feel like a lot of folks just like do try to do too much and do too much meaning like too many initiatives. Right? And then also themselves like try to be the person that owns this initiative. I own nothing. Like I own no initiatives. And I, like I told you before, like if I own the initiative, I should have probably hired somebody to do it, cuz that's more experience in that one function.

Otherwise I'm wearing too many hats. Now, that's easy for me to say where I am today, but that same logic, if I applied it to the last five, seven years of my decisions, probably right after I got to maybe half million, million dollars in annual revenue for my business, I should have started thinking that way because I would've gotten there with a faster.

Or chose not to do things faster, meaning like, let's say I want to go build a product, well I can't afford to and do all these other things. So now I have to really like put all these ideas to the like, to the test, like, will this act, does this action need to be done? And if I asked those questions to myself, these tough questions and made these decisions of like to do something or not to do something, I probably would've done like a third of the stuff.

And the reality is like, I've probably made like three to five moves in the last five years that have actually gotten me here. I've tried 50,000 things, like three to five things are actually the things that got me here.

Bryan McAnulty: Awesome. Yeah, That's great advice. Yeah, for myself like starting out, we were a web design agency.

And eventually we wanted to figure out, well, how can we build our own products, get away from the client work, and with Heights, Platform, I guess we had a couple products before Heights Platform with varying levels of success or, or not success, but Heights. Platform then eventually became what is now our, our sole focus and.

I think what you're explaining about having that focus and deciding the things that you want to choose to work on is so important. And it's interesting because I think that the business owners starting out, you don't really think about how much of a mess you're, you're putting yourself into until you can look at it in hindsight as you're saying because you work on all these different little things.

But it's, yeah, which one of those is actually going to move the needle for your real goals? And is it really possible for you to succeed with all of those different things that you wanna try and I guess what I'm getting at is it becomes, it only becomes more clear once you get to the point that there's just way too much for you to be able to do and manage.

And then you start to realize like, yeah, what, like what can I drop? Cuz things have to be dropped or things have to be, I have to choose specific things to focus on because. There's just way too much for me to do all by myself.

Sujan Patel: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I think, like I put my CEO hat on and I'm like, I should be doing nothing.

If I am doing something, I'm underperforming somewhere. Right. And I'm not saying like nothing, like there's stuff, like your job is to get all the information, drive the business, and you make, make decisions to drive the business forward. Manage your managers to make sure they're happy. They're like leveling up, they're doing the right things, like maybe get roadblocks out of their way and to think, Right, take all the data and input in your experience, which generally as like a ceo, founder, like owner.

You usually have the most information and like the broadest view to make these decisions, and sometimes you may not. So spend the time out of your bus. Sorry. My point is like, don't spend too much time in your business as a ceo. Spend time on your business and on your business is what do I not know that could help me build up my business?

What, like, do I need to hire this person? Do I need to. What's my business worth? Like what's my goal? Like, how do we think spending time to think about like, how can you create a core differentiator, Right? Stuff like that, right? Or, or you know, can you build certain partnerships or channel partnerships or are there certain influencers or folks you need to, to, to deal with?

And so I did this. There's this this concept called 10 K work. And this is kind of, I did this exercise that helped me, and I'll be honest, like this is something I have to do every year. Like I'll do what I call the Purge. It's, you know, the movie The Purge, like where they kill people at once a day, once a year.

I'm not killing people. I'm killing things off my to-do list. So I'll make a list of things I need to do and I'm like, honestly, it'll be like two, three pages of notes. And I'm like, Why the hell am I doing all this stuff? Like, What stuff doesn't move the needle, right? Like, so one time I had a podcast, I was doing videos and, and, and I was like blogging all the time.

I was like, just like, there was just so much stuff and I'm like, wait, yeah, that, all that personal brand stuff got me to build a personal brand. But I didn't think and be like, okay, well what helps me scale? And what does, why, why do I, why do I spend time to build a personal. Right? Like, do I need to continue to invest the same amount of effort to continue to build a personal brand?

And it wasn't until like I had kids when I realized like, Oh shit, I can't do it all. I don't have the time. Like you know when you're like single and you like, you literally have 24 hours in a day, and I'm like, Actually, I only have nine hours every day where I should, I have time to function. Now if I do have 24 hours, everyone has 24 hours, but those other hours are taking from something else.

And, and so I don't know. So there's a, you can do this. So read this, blogs just Google 10 K work and there's a, a it's actually a content creator that, that, that wrote this. And there's this time audit you can do. It's like where you spend your time. And so I did this and I was spending time all over in my business and I was like, Oh, wow.

Like I'm doing all this stuff. So Now I'm spending about eight to 10 hours a week in my business. I'm spending about 10 to 20 hours a week connecting with other smarter people than me who are doing what I'm trying to do. I'm buying businesses, so I'm like trying to level up those types of things.

And you know, so again, it's. Other, I'm work hanging out with other founders and then I'm, I'm spending like probably 10 to 12 hours a week thinking or reading or learning and or like freeing up my brain to not do stuff so that when I do stuff, it's there anyways. Easy to say. Like, I guess like those of you watching don't look at this and like, Oh, this is how you don't work hard.

No, no, that's not the point here. It's to like really be laser focused on the things that can move the needle. And every 12 months, this whole thing breaks because what happens is like something changes of what, what I need to do in the role to to get to the next level, right? Maybe you've hit the goal and you need to do another one, but you haven't figured out, like a thing you need to do next is different than what you're doing today.

And so, yep. This is constantly a struggle that people are gonna face, but like, ask these tough questions of yourself and go. Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, that's great. I mean, what I would say is like, as the ceo, like you are the commander and you're, you're not saying by, by doing nothing in the business that you're, you're, you're being lazy.

But no, it's nobody else's job in the company to sit there and think and make those decisions. So if you don't do it, then who else is going to do? And so you wanna make sure that you're giving yourself the, the time and energy to put into making those important decisions.

Sujan Patel: Absolutely. Exactly. So that, that, that's kind of my, And you know, it seems like by running four, five businesses now, you think like, Oh, this guy looks all over the place.

I'm like, No. Like, I've got this agency business. People like it's a business, it works, it's growing. There's no reason to stop doing it. But I don't need to be in that business. You know, I've got a GM and, and he's doing a great job. I sync up with him once a month. You know, it's really kind of like Tiny Capital has a very similar approach to like managing multiple businesses as they're kind of more the chairman seat.

And the reality is like a small company, like a, so a small software company or even any company for that matter, doesn't. Full-time ceo, like I'm effectively a CEO of five businesses. But like the, it's all about the execution. And that takes the longest time. Like honestly, if I talk to my management team at Mail Shape more, all I'm doing is taking away time from them doing the things we just set to do with new shit.

And the new shit doesn't move the needle until the old stuff's done, right? Or, or maybe it does, but. We're not, we're clearly not vetting the new idea versus the old idea that they're 50% of the way through, you know?

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. Something to think about, I think for the Creator's out there who are still considering like hiring their first person and and wondering what would that look like for them in the future as they grow they aspire to reach your level.

What I wanna talk about now is a little bit about cold emails. So when do you think is the best time for an independent creator or a small business owner to start sending cold emails

Sujan Patel: when you've got your course outline of what you wanna sell, like before you've got the course completed. Like when you've got, when you've got the like idea and you figured out who your customer is.

And I, I think you got two jobs. Build whatever of value that the content or whatever you, you need to teach to solve, you know, whatever problem you're trying to solve. And number two is figure out and connect with all the people who have influence to the customer you're selling to. And do that before you have anything.

Because I say that two, two things, two reasons. One is get them involved in the journey of the process, right? And number two, Build the relationship with them so you can learn about the customer. And, and secret value here is they're gonna bot, hopefully get bought on the journey and hopefully sell, help you sell or promote your, your content or your business.

Yeah, I like that. So what I typically do, I try to do it in a, like, and I, I do this because. I do it early, cuz then like for me, I'm not selling to somebody. I'm just like building relationships. And so I, again, I use nail shake myself. And, and it's a great, it's a great platform to do this with because it's, it's, it, you don't have to do much.

It's really sending a couple emails. Following somebody, you're connecting with 'em on LinkedIn, if that's applicable, meaning like LinkedIn is like the right place for you. But my approach is like, I, I want, here's an example. I wanna connect with all the staff's software founders in Austin. I'm actually doing this right now.

I, I, I connect with them on LinkedIn. I stopped following them if you know well until they accept the connection I emailed. And I'm like, Hey, a big fan of your work. Like, would love to go grab coffee. Right? And I'm literally just like, I'm following you. You know, we're both in Austin, would love to meet up, no agenda, I don't tell you or anything.

Just wanted to say hi to other, My goal is to, you know, know all the folks in Austin. And, and that was my, and then like I would fall on hair and turn back and be like, For a phone call or maybe a coffee. And, you know, we're gonna grab coffee, so you kind of did something similar maybe to me too, right?

Mm-hmm. , or you can like lower, like, okay, so maybe one on one doesn't work, maybe one on many. Like recently I just got a bunch of software owners, SaaS technology entrepreneurs in Austin together. So I just emailed a bunch of people, like I knew like five or six people in Austin and I was like, Hey, I'm hosting happy hour.

On Thursday, like two weeks from now, essentially who do, who, like, I want you guys to come. Who else do you know? And they brought, it ended up being like 20 people. Right. And, but like, so again, my goal here is I wanna, I'm trying to sharpen my pencil. Like what, what are the things to look at for and other SaaS operators experiencing today?

I wanna buy another company. So I'm building this like scorecard that. Quantitatively assign value based off certain things. And I'm vetting that through these folks that are operators of software companies. And so that was my, like, that was my like hidden agenda. But I also wanna know everybody. So if you're a course grader, like you obviously wanna sell your product.

That's the wish. That's the wish. The hope, well maybe you want to get feedback on the, the thing you're creating and, and then ideally you want them to know who you are. The next time you ping them or five months from now when you're ready, maybe they will be in the state. They know who you are. They like you, they, you know, they, they got to know you.

Maybe you got more drinks with them or dinner or whatever. And now they are on your team to go help you promote this thing. Right. So like, value is there, right. But like how you go about getting the values built in the relationships up front. Awesome.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, I like that because I think like the clear.

Clear use case for cold email is for selling and for especially like a, a B2B course creator, if you're selling to a business and if that business is on LinkedIn or they're gonna buy a bunch of seats from you and you can email their employees or something like that cold email really makes sense. But then if you're a creator and you're thinking, Okay, well I'm not really selling to business, I'm more selling to individuals.

There's still a lot of ways that you could use it, as you mentioned, where like even in the case of what you're saying that you could make it, make connections that way.

Sujan Patel: So yeah, so like I use Mailshake to like build connections with other SA founders. We, we use to build partners and affiliates, right?

So like we know we have a belief XYZ persona would be great affiliates, right? Like a lot of course Creator's. So anyone who's written on like cold email or anything, email or sales related. You bet. I've pinged them already. And, and and then also hiring and recruiting, right? So I'll go hunt down like I believe the best employees already have jobs and, and so I don't rely on people inbound.

I go outbound and I'll go hunt them down and I send 'em a LinkedIn message and I, I send him an email and I've got a cool template. I'm happy to share like a screenshot or something later, but, Yeah, those are the three main uses I use mail shape for. And then our sales team, obviously, like people often forget, so another big value prop of we don't have to talk, use whatever tool you want at the end of the day, but one thing you can do, cause I'm usually too agnostic, like whatever works with your workflow.

But what I love with with anyone who opts into your like email newsletter, subscribe. Send them an email sequence and then dump them into the newsletter last, Right? And so why not treat every new marketing lead or email as a lead, not a blanket email and just send them stuff, right? And so like, what I typically do is I like if somebody subscribes to my blog, they're going down this like I used to use like MailChimp or something, like some email marketing platform to like send this like sequence.

And then they get dumped into the list. Now I use mail. She, and it's me emailing them from my email address. And it's one to many, but they don't know that. Right. And so now my deliverability has gone up. Because you're not using the marketing automation tool you're using, it comes across as a personal email.

Yeah. And then you can also build a report. You're treating them like a lead. And I'll, I'll be honest, it's, they're not responding to me. It's one of my sales guys, right? Like, so like it comes back to like my salesperson, but like, what I'm really doing is really condensing the time from when someone subscribes to my blog or whatever, to when they become a lead through personalization and, and whatever.

And I'm trying to get them to, you know, to a sales. Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, that's great. And because even just the look of the email and things like that I, if you're sending somebody this formated like email newsletter all the time, then you're right, it could be something where maybe a year from now they decide to try to reply to that email and say, You know what, can I see if I can get in touch with this business?

And then they, they reach out and then they become a lead. But if you're sending an email to them that appears that is personal and really from you, then you're really inviting them to have that conversation with you right away instead of thinking about it potentially a year from now. Yeah, exactly.

Sujan Patel: Exactly. And just like decreasing the time to value for both parties because generally I find most people are excited when they subscribe. In the first like 30, 60 days, right? Like why would, why, why do you have to take, And, and I also think like email newsletters, people focus so much on the content.

I just created not their best performing content, right? Like my best content was from 2015 to 2019. Principles I like wrote about and like, like whatever that was, that was great. Like I updated them, but why am I, why, why would I miss, why would a new subscriber miss out on like my best post ever? You know?

Yep. In exchange of getting my latest post. Yeah. Doesn't make any sense.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. Yeah. That's true. I like thinking about that myself. We're looking at some of our email sequences now and how we can optimize. Because I think the same way, like I don't want people to miss out on all the good stuff just because we're sending them the recent.

So I, I think it is really important to optimize all that stuff that you've created before. And if you might know it yourself. If you're a creator and you're listening to this and you know that you had these couple pieces of content, maybe they resonated with you, maybe they resonated with your audience.

Maybe it's something that, you know, got you a lot of sales or a lot of leads. Why leave that out in exchange for only your new content? Why not optimize that? Yeah, you can send your new content as well, but make sure that every lead that comes in contact with you is getting the best from you.

Sujan Patel: Yeah, absolutely. And that goes to like, should you create new content versus just update your best stuff, Right? Like I always find like a mix of both. Yeah.

Bryan McAnulty: So other than that, can you share any other maybe best practices or tips on crafting a powerful cold email campaign?

Sujan Patel: Yeah, so a couple big things here is You wanna keep everything short subject line, short to the point, right?

You'll, you, everyone here is probably receiving code email and some that's like, got you to open it up or whatever, right? So two big things. Keep your subject line super short and don't lie. So like, when you start a relation, like when you start a relationship with a lie, it's just they're gonna go open the email, but then they're, they're like, Oh, you got tricks, so I can re forward.

Intro, like if it's not that, don't pretend it's that it'll work to get you open rates up. But like, maybe it'll work even to get a reply. But remember you're trying to build that, like you wanna sell them something or build a relationship and starting with a lie is not good. So, you know, quick question about whatever, or like big fan that's like, just like something super short.

Ideally three to five words max, new subject. Number two in your email. Also short. But starting with a compliment is the best opening line. So don't do this. Hey, my name is Susan . I'm the co-founder of Milkshake, blah, blah, blah. You've just wasted the most valuable seconds, milliseconds of somebody telling them something they probably already know from your name in the email, right?

Because you're like, Who the hell cares who I am and what my company? If I just said, Hey, I'm a big fan of your blog. I'm like, If I just email you like, Hey, I'm a big fan of your podcast. I've been watching the last three you know, your YouTube lives and I haven't had a chance to answer the, the questions, but like, I love the concept, especially your speaker on blah, blah blah, Right?

Like, if I just did the, like milliseconds of. Like maybe seconds of research. That'd be great. Now, again, like let's say you didn't do all that. You could just say like, Hey, I'm a big fan of your your, your, your podcast. I listen to it every week on my way to drop my kids off or whatever. Right? Like that, like one little detail.

I guarantee you, you'll probably like, they'll put a smile on your face right now when that, when you have a smile on your. Go for the ask, right? Hey, I'm I'm building. I wanted to invite you to my dinner. I'm like, Hey, I'm launching this course. I'm working on it right now. Would you be open to like, taking a look at it or like, would you, would you be able to talk about potential partnership?

Boom. Super simple. Ideally, two, maybe three sentences, right? Some sort of quote, some, some, some sort of compliment or flattery. One sentence number two. Ideally like what you're doing, and then you ask if you can do it in a sentence, great. You should be able to do it at least two. If you can't do an email in three sentences, you do not know how to write copy.

Go like, go learn how to say your whatever. Pitch it better, right? Like you have elevator pitch problem. You just need to get practice and shorten it up. Cause no one's gonna be like five paragraphs on what the hell you do. They will after they know you, but like not in the first email. So boom, super simple.

Minimize images minimize like links and stuff in an email. Keep it super short. And so, and then the next last thing is follow up at least three times. Here's for our sales team and every like email campaign I've run when I'm trying to get leads. One third of my leads come from the first email.

One third comes from like one, or like the one or two follow ups in one third comes from like my last couple follow ups. I do like eight or nine follow ups. Wow. In the course of like three months. Right. Okay. So yeah, so it's not super long. I try to like space it out like five to 10 days apart. And then some kind of longer intervals.

Bryan McAnulty: Cool. Yeah, I think that's helpful. I like the, the point about getting the person's attention but making sure that they, they care about it first. That, that's the way I think about it when I'm writing an email like reading it through, I say to myself like, Do do I, as the reader, do I care about this yet in the, in the first line?

And if I don't care about it, I can't, I can't say that part yet if I don't care about it yet. As you mentioned, like the example of saying, Oh, hi, I'm, I'm Brian. No, nobody cares who they are yet. You have to. Give them a reason to care about it first. Yeah. And then you can introduce whatever that point is.

And exactly. I, I like about the following up. Because I think that a lot of people, they say, Okay, I'm trying the cold email. I'm sending it, but I'm not really happy with the response. And of course they could potentially optimize their campaign, optimize their copy. But a lot of times if you're not sending the follow ups, you're missing out on potentially a lot of the leads because.

Myself, I know I get hundreds of emails every day and generally I ignore the first, the first email from anything that's a, a cold email. But the the follow ups are usually what gets me to take a look at it. And even sometimes it's maybe something that I saw the first email and I wanted to respond to it, but I forgot.

And that follow up a week later, a couple days later, that's what got my attention.

Sujan Patel: Yeah, absolutely. And in your follow ups, keep a short, simple, like, Hey, I'm following up to see if this is something of interest to you. Like, Hey, just wanna see if you yeah, if you miss my email, if you have things of value to add, like, Hey, I was reading this article on blah, blah, blah.

I thought this might be this. I think this might be right up alley, right? Like, so let's say you're like emailing, like I'm emailing other SaaS founders. If I find a good article on. How to reduce churn. I'm like, Hey, completely off, off topic, but like I was reading this, maybe this is something of value to you.

So I like find content to be really good. And remember, if you're just starting out and you don't have any content yourself, it doesn't have to be your content, it could just be something you found, right? Curating content is almost as valuable as creating the content yourself. So don't forget about just finding a good article on, on whatever topic somebody be interested in, and like using that in your follow up.

Bryan McAnulty: Awesome. Yeah, that's a great tip. I didn't think about that one.

Sujan Patel: So like, ah, this guy's thinking about me in some value. It's cool.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I like that. So it sounds like you used cold email as a way to to grow milkshake and in your own business. Would you say there's any other marketing strategies that in your personal experience have brought you great result in your business?

Sujan Patel: Yeah, I mean, the biggest things that I've figured out how to do is like creating word of mouth from our product, right? Like, and so I think that whether you're a software content creator, whatever you're doing, I think there's a way to create word of mouth, right? So like the wow factor I don't know what that is for your business.

But it, it, it's thinking about like, what can you do that others aren't? Right? And so, like for us early on, our word of mouth, the thing that got word of mouth was that we did the opposite of what anyone else was doing. We, everyone was, we ran some reviews. Everyone was super expensive and hard to use.

And so we did the opposite. Super cheap and dead simple to use. Now what is it in you? What is it for you that is different? You know, your business that's different. And then now our differentiators, like we're the best in deliverability. We're still like, we still kind of got, we got the super cheap anymore, but we got still, like, ease of use is there.

But now that, that is, that that value prop has changed because everyone's expecting that. So now our biggest thing is like we've got actual people who are gonna help you. Get your campaign like live. So we've got like, we've got really good customer success team and like copywriters on staff and like our, we know, we know from hard learnings that like, customers aren't the greatest at writing copy and so let's just help them with that one thing.

And so for us it's the people that's, that makes the difference. And our deliverability. Focusing on that has been good. So again, like back at like the viewer here, what is it that's valuable that you do? Or what can you do that's different than everyone else? It's just one thing that will get the word of mouth out.

And I often find, I remember word of mouth is like a percentage of a customer that comes through the door user. So like you need scale to really use it as a channel. And so Maybe you launch a lifetime deal that worked really well for us early on, where you get a bunch of users, maybe you do like a free, you know, I see this in the, I see this in the, in the book world all the time, right?

Like people like decrease the price of their book to a dollar, right? To become like a best seller. Totally works, right? Low price, promote the heck out of it. Now you do have volume. And so stuff like that could be really good ways to get out there. I always find when I launched Mail Shake, I, I got a hundred and something customers within like a day, and it was because I built, I launched an ebook a year before and I emailed everybody every week and I like, and that whole list, I ended up selling like 50,000 eBooks.

So 50,000 email addresses roughly. Translated to about 150 customers. Now that's a pretty low rate. That's because I wrote a book on growth and I built like a marketing and sales product. So like there wasn't a hundred percent relevancy, but like launching with an audience is a superpower. So if you don't have an audience, I mean hopefully everyone here does, but like build an audience, never stop building that audience.

Bryan McAnulty: Definitely, yeah, we, we like to tell everyone that when you're, you're going out there and building the course your course, your coaching membership, whatever it is, to go and focus on building the audience before you launch everything. Because you can't just launch it and say like, Okay, now where, where is everyone?

It's much better to build the audience, at least to some extent, because they're the ones who are gonna give you the feedback and inform you on what you should change or improve. But I like the idea also. If you're thinking, Well, what's something I can do for my marketing and to, to kind of get people to know who I am?

It could be building an ebook, a small mini course or something like that, where you're giving just this tremendous value for either free or a very low price. And use that to start to grow the audience. And then over time, now that they know that the value from you, then they may purchase your bigger or flagship product in the future.

Sujan Patel: Absolutely. Yep. Awesome.

Bryan McAnulty: All right. Well, I have one more question for you on the show. Everybody who I have on, I'd like to ask them if they have any questions to ask the audience. So if you could ask our audience anything anything you're curious about, anything you want them to think about, what would that.

Sujan Patel: Yeah, I think the, the big thing I would ask the audience is like to think about how good are you? Are you at your elevator pitch? Can you describe, can you describe your value prop in a sentence? Can you do it with the least amount of words? Can it be a headline? Can you do it? And with your brand name?

And I say all this because the closer you have, Elevator pitch to your positioning and your branding, the more success you have just by an eyeball being of value, right? Somebody comes to your website and they're like, Oh, I get this. I need this. And so that's, that's really a big question. I want you guys to think about and, and maybe practice getting good at, I took me a long time and it's still like okay at it.

Bryan McAnulty: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. That's, it's something that it sounds simple when you just have to write a few words, but to write them so clearly is really makes a huge difference on your landing pages and your cold emails. Everything. Yep. All of it. Yeah. Awesome. All right. Well, Sujan, thanks so much for coming on.

Before we get going, where can people find you online?

Sujan Patel: Yeah. Best place is on LinkedIn is just, yeah, just search Susan Patel, and then my website, susan patel.com.

Bryan McAnulty: All right. Awesome. Thanks so much. Awesome. All right. If you enjoyed this interview and want the chance to ask questions to our guests live, tune in on Tuesdays when new episodes premiere on the Heights Platform Facebook page.

To learn more about the show and get notified when new episodes release, check out The Creator's Adventure dot com. Until then, keep learning and I'll see you in the next episode.

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About the Host

Bryan McAnulty is the founder of Heights Platform: all-in-one online course creation software that allows creators to monetize their knowledge.

His entrepreneurial journey began in 2009, when he founded Velora, a digital product design studio, developing products and websites used by millions worldwide. Stemming from an early obsession with Legos and graphic design programs, Bryan is a designer, developer, musician, and truly a creator at heart. With a passion for discovery, Bryan has traveled to more than 30 countries and 100+ cities meeting creators along the way.

As the founder of Heights Platform, Bryan is in constant contact with creators from all over the world and has learned to recognize their unique needs and goals.

Creating a business from scratch as a solopreneur is not an easy task, and it can feel quite lonely without appropriate support and mentorship.

The show The Creator’s Adventure was born to address this need: to build an online community of creative minds and assist new entrepreneurs with strategies to create a successful online business from their passions.

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