Week 12: How to Personalize an Email – Michael Ellsberg

My name is Davis. In September 2014, I decided to spend a year reaching out to role models I’ve never met. Here’s why

This week, I reached out to author Michael Ellsberg.

Credit: reblogging Donk

Credit: reblogging Donk

Who is Michael Ellsberg

I came across Michael’s work a year ago at Barnes and Nobles. Michael’s book wasn’t strategically placed, but the title caught my attention as I was scanning the aisles: The Education of Millionaires (who hasn’t thought about being a millionaire at some point?)

I rarely buy from Barnes and Nobles, but I decided to buy this one (sorry Amazon!).

Michael’s book quickly became one of my favorites. Michael writes about skills that aren’t taught in traditional college courses that helped dozens of millionaires he interviewed become who they are today. You can think of the skills he writes about as street smarts: networking, marketing yourself, fundraising an idea, etc.

I actually keep a few copies of his book in my dorm to give to friends I think would benefit from reading it.

Having a reason to reach out

I read a lot about ways to grow your website. One of my favorite experts is Derek Halpern who writes about email conversion. One of the strategies he advocates for is to include an email opt-in box on the side bar of your website.

Derek tested his theory and saw increases in subscriptions by 26% just by having a side box opt-in box.

I’ve visited Michael’s website a few time and each time noticing that he doesn’t have an opt-in box on his side bar.

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Reaching out

I decided to reach out to Michael Ellsberg to mention my suggestion for improving his website. (I got his email from being on his mailing list -> it was free to sign up)

Email to Michael EllsbergMaking your emails personal

I have found that personalizing an email separates my email from other people who write and thus increases the chances that I am actually read.

First I show Michael that I am not just a random person emailing him and that I am actually a huge fan. I cite that I’ve read his book and I even follow his story – he talks about his wife Jena a lot on his blog and his book (Jena is a weight loss specialist). Someone who hasn’t read his material wouldn’t know about Jena.

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Then I move right away to the value I have to offer (my insight into how to increase his subscriber count). I make sure not to overstate my credentials, but that at least know a bit about what I am doing.

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Lastly, I close with a personal story about how I applied his book and the results I got from it. One of my favorite stories about how I applied a book’s lessons to my own life.

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Results

I haven’t gotten a response from Michael and the website still doesn’t have an email opt-in area, but at least I suggested.

Next Tuesday:

For this week, I will be reaching out to Ryan Holiday, former Director of Marketing for American Apparel and author of The Obstacle Is The Way. 

 Want to join me and reach out to your role models? You can get details for the 7-Day CWA Challenge below.

Week 11: The Keynote Speaker – Andrew Klaber

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My name is Davis. In September 2014, I decided to spend a year reaching out to role models I’ve never met. Here’s why.  “I’ve had more than 10 times as many failures in my life as I have had successes. The good news is that no one talks about my failures.” – Andrew Klaber. Who is […]

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Week 10: Connecting with a past coworker – Mike Erwin

Credit Jeffrey Smith | AnnArbor.com

My name is Davis. In September 2014, I decided to spend a year reaching out to role models I’ve never met. Here’s why.  Why I chose Mike Erwin this week Mike Erwin is the coworker I wish I could have connected with when I interned at Quiet Revolution this summer. One thing that made working at […]

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Week 9: An odd request – Scott Berkun

Book from Mark Earls

My name is Davis. In September 2014, I decided to spend a year reaching out to role models I’ve never met. Here’s why.  Update From Previous Weeks: Last month, I reached out to Mark Earls and asked if he would sign a copy of his book. After a month of getting mail through customs, guess what […]

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Week 8: Asking Advice from a Role Model – Jesse Bonanno

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My name is Davis. In September 2014, I decided to spend a year reaching out to role models I’ve never met. Here’s why.  I love listening to Pandora. I get to hear my favorite songs and every now and then, Pandora will play a song it thinks I will like based on my past preferences. A month ago, […]

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Week 7: Finding a difficult email – Brené Brown

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My name is Davis. In September 2014, I decided to spend a year reaching out to role models I’ve never met. Here’s why.  This week was quite challenging. My goal was to reach out to Brené Brown, best known for her work with vulnerability and shame. She delivered this TED talk on embracing the power of […]

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Week 6: Using LinkedIn Creatively – Sean Covey

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My name is Davis. In September 2014, I decided to spend a year reaching out to role models I’ve never met. Here’s why.  Last week, my connection goal was Sean Covey (@sean_covey): writer, motivational speaker, and Vice-President of Products at FranklinCovey. Why Sean? When I was 12, I was given 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by  my friend […]

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Week 5: Dining with a Local Celebrity – Parker Liautaud

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My name is Davis. In September 2014, I decided to spend a year reaching out to role models I’ve never met. Here’s why.  I first learned about Parker Liautaud from reading about his journey becoming the fastest person to reach the South Pole. I was amazed by the type of quest Parker chose to embark on. While I was […]

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Week 4: How to Meet the Conference Organizer – Sherry Ott

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My name is Davis. In September 2014, I decided to spend a year reaching out to role models I’ve never met. Here’s why.  This week, my goal was to connect with Sherry Ott and help her accomplish a goal. Who is Sherry Ott? Facing burnout, Sherry Ott (@ottsworld) decided to quit her corporate IT job to travel the […]

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Week 3: Asking a hero to dinner – Tom Scott

Tom Scott

My name is Davis. In September 2014, I decided to spend a year reaching out to role models I’ve never met. Here’s why.  Long before it was cool to be working at what could be the “next Facebook”, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. The problem is that “wanting” and “doing” are not the […]

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