The “best sales email ever” from a personalised t-shirt company

Cold Email

Back in 2017, Ramp sent 50,000 emails to companies hoping to sell some personalised t-shirts.

Rampt T-Shirts Cold Email

I think the best way to illustrate why this email is so good is by contrasting it to what another t-shirt company might send. I will call the fictional t-shirt company: Average America T-Shirts.

Example of a bad cold email

Their email is just the “sales pitch” from the Ramp email.

Subject Line

Firstly, lets compare the subject lines:

Average America T-Shirts: Looking for personalised t-shirts?

Ramp: I'm wearing a [!Your Company] t-shirt

Ramp’s gets your attention. Average America’s doesn’t. It’s that simple. An attention grabbing title dictates open rate which is a half the battle.

The Pitch

Ramp’s email is a great example of how to tee up your “sales pitch”. They begin by acknowledge that:

Nobody likes cold emails...

I'm a fan of calling out your own cold email. Addressing the elephant in the room head on is the best way to get rid of it.

Next, you see the photo of Ramp's founder wearing your companies t-shirt. Hopefully they have you chuckling a little here. Whilst your interest is piqued they quickly transition to the “sales pitch”.

Compare this to Average America T Shirts. There is no tee up. They make the classic mistake on kicking straight off with the “sales pitch” without first getting your attention. This results in a deathly boring email ready for the trash can.

Small criticism

I do think the bottom half of Ramp’s email drags on too long. Brevity should be a priority when writing cold emails. But hey, I guess it worked for them.

Content Marketing - 2nd Order Benefits

When you successfully pull of a stunt like this, there's also the 2nd order benefits of all the great content you can produce as a result. Ramp duly wrote an excellent blog about the campaign which was shared so widely it has been translated into French and German .

The story of this cold email is the top answer to the Quora question, "What's the best cold email you have ever read?" and the founder, Neil Cocker, has told this story at conferences and events across four different countries.

In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Ramp made more money through circulation of this story than the email campaign itself.

SEO - 3rd Order Benefits

As you can see the cold email blog pulled in 25 referring domains, more than the rest of Ramp T Shirt's blog combined.

Rampt T-Shirt Backlinks

Lots of high value backlinks, media and social shares will work wonders for Ramp's domain authority. Particularly useful given the competitiveness of keyword phrase: customised t-shirts.

Bold marketing is underrated

People are typically blinded to just the direct consequences of a marketing strategy, however, once you begin to analyse the 2nd and 3rd order effects you realise just how tremendously underrated viral marketing is.

In my opinion creative marketing which generates a viral buzz is the high road to great content marketing and huge SEO improvements.

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Harry Dry
by Harry Dry