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How to book Brad Pitt using nothing other than email

True story: 


Lil Dicky, the rapper turned actor turned director, was just on the New Heights podcast with Jason and Travis Kelce. And he gave one of the coolest emails stories I ever done heard—and this is coming from Your Humble Daily-ish Narrator here who has written and sent more emails than most people ever will in their life. 


Anyway, here’s the story:


For the past few years, Lil Dicky had a comedy show about his life on FX. The show was aptly called Dave, Lil Dicky’s real name. 


Dave became Lil Dicky’s main project. He stopped releasing music (besides a soundtrack to Dave, which is a bunch of raps he created for the show). And he was able to book some heavy hitting actors on his show: 


Dave featured Andrew Santino as his best friend, a whole slew of famous rappers (including Trippe Redd, Lil Yachty, Denzel Curry, Drake, and more), a bunch of hip hop-adjacent stars, pop culture stars (like Kareem Abdul-Jabar), and yes, the aforementioned heavy hitting actors. 


The actors he got on his show include Rachel McAdams, Kevin Hart, Don Cheadle, and yes, one Brad Pitt (one of my favorite actors, and generally one of the best actors of his time). 


But the story about how he landed Brad Pitt as a character for a show is even more interesting. 


Y’see, Dave didn’t know Brad Pitt before he got booked for his show. The first time they met was on set for the one episode Brad Pitt appeared in. 


And Dave landed Brad Pitt by… 


…sending him a cold email! 


A massive win for email everywhere (even though I do not consider cold email marketing in the same boat as actual email copywriting). 


Still a cool story. 


But it brings up an important lesson too: 


This is how you should approach cold email. 


In my business, I use cold email to get in front of ecom brand owners and marketing heads. It’s a key part of my outreach strategy. But there have been a few ecom brands who wanted to use cold email as part of their strategy to promote their ecom brand… and this is almost always a massive failure. 


Why? 


How can cold email work so well to book Brad Pitt for a TV show, and yet fail so massively to promote your ecom brand? 


Well, it’s the nature of cold email. 


Cold email is best used as a 1-to-1 promotion strategy. That’s why Brad Pitt opened Dave’s email, and decided to do an episode of his show. 


But response rates in cold email generally aren’t high. Even a 1% response rate is considered good. Of course, Dave’s positioning (as a successful rapper turned actor turned director) is a key reason why Brad Pitt responded. My positioning as an email professional with documented proof of surging revenue for various brands is why brand owners reply to my emails. 


But when you use cold email as part of an ecom growth strategy? Even if you double the average response rate and get 2% of people to take action (whether replying, clicking, or buying), it doesn’t increase your bottom line as much as you’d think when you, say, buy a list of thousands of “leads.” 


Just sum food for thought today. 


Anyway, if you want to double, triple, or mayhap even quadruple your email revenue, hit reply. 


We’ll set up a quick call to make sure we’re a good fit, then laugh to the bank. 


John

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