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Ask HN: Dear tech managers, how to make you open my email?
4 points by artembugara 49 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 10 comments
We're building a data product [1] for the alternative data market.

I want to interview as many CTOs, CDOs, VP of Data, Head of Data, PMs from many different industries to find those for whom we resolve a must-have problem.

Tech managers are much more difficult to get in contact, in my opinion.

Could you share some great examples of emails that you wanted to open and reply. Important: not those personal type of emails where sender read all you blog posts, please.


[1] https://newscatcherapi.com/

I think you're going about this the wrong way. Your target audience gets tons of unsolicited email, most of which is trying to sell them something. You also are selling... not asking for their money (yet), but asking for their time.

You need to get warm introductions by other means. Use your professional network if you have it. Find out where some of these people hang out (industry events) and start chatting casually; this includes virtual events during COVID. Is there a support group or message board where these individuals go for support regarding the problem you're solving? Try helping them directly since they're actively seeking help. If the VP of data has a problem that your product solves, who does that person task with solving the problem? Target that person instead of the VP.

People with power at the top of an organization are difficult to reach, by design. The front door is locked: you need to find the side door.

Imagine you had a skin-care product that helps any person instantly look 10 years younger, and you want to offer this product to your favorite movie star. How would you reach this person? Not by sending email.

We are busy.

Stop thinking of outbound marketing, it does not work and I delete tons of these daily, think inbound. How are you giving me good value for free the first and at least the second time? Then maybe I'll be interested in a chat. I need to discover the value on my own, in a natural way and not be sold it. This is pretty much universal to sales.

If you are targeting a larger business the cycles can be a year or more in length before you will see sales from initial discussions. Internal selling from a champion on the inside (the company) to your product is crutial, then there are tons of approval steps, budgets, legal review, pocs, etc...

Good luck

When I was a VPE at a mid stage startup, I tended to ignore 99.9% of these pitches.

Except for one. It came through a trusted contact, and he specifically wanted to intro me to a founder who had built a data security solution that he truly believed in. Out of respect for him, I took the video chat with the founder, and included my head of security on the call.

The founder's pitch was amazing, and I knew I wanted to use her product. She identified a problem that we definitely had, had built an elegant solution for it, and could demonstrate value very quickly in a 30 minute video call.

So if you want to get a VPE's attention, build something great but leverage someone in their network to warm up the intro for you. It works wonders.

We purchased her product within a month and implemented it within 2 weeks. It's now a core part of how we secured data internally.

I send a fair amount of unsolicited email and often get 75% response rate doing the thing I am asking of them.

I’m assuming that you have actually tried emailing people and found getting responses difficult.

If that is that case, a likely problem with your emails is that instead of solving their problem and saving them time immediately, you are asking them for at least 30 minutes to an hour of their time so you can maybe solve their problem and sell them something at some point in the future.

You can't. My company spam filter is probably going to catch it, and if it doesn't. I'll delete it. I only open email from people I know. Zero cold emails.

I’m not responding to your email because you’re introducing a new problem that I don’t want to deal with right now. I know you want to make money, but I’m still trying to get funding for the problems we already have. We have a funding cycle that is about two to five years. Your email is not a priority because of that reason. Get your proposal properly vetted and written before the funding cycle and make sure that we know why the LOE and cost estimates are before we need money for it.

Have you read The Mom Test? https://www.amazon.com/Mom-Test-customers-business-everyone/... Also, Rob Fitzpatrick did a youtube series focused on remote interviewing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcWqxq2fJgY&t=1s

I'm into The Mom Test right now. It helps to interview but my issue now is how to make this interview happen.

Thx for links

Gotcha. Have you exhausted your first and second degree LinkedIn or ex-coworker network? Most of the user interviews I've done (different domain) have stemmed from reaching out to acquaintances, including those I hadn't spoken to in several years. People are usually willing to give you 20 mins of their time.

There is no product-related email I want to open and reply to. Maybe you can use something like Respondent to target the users you want and schedule paid interviews with them.

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