The Things I Learned from Emailing Seth Godin

The Things I Learned from Emailing Seth Godin

So if you are marketing professional, Mr. Godin needs no introduction. For all others, read here. As one of the premier marketing minds of the last decade, I’ve devoured his content. I've read a few of his books. 6 to be exact. He is one of the reasons I started my company.

Fast forward to today.

I was headed to Boston for a conference put on by Hubspot called Inbound. Mr. Godin happened to be one of the keynote speakers. Since I live in Grand Rapids, MI, I think this might be the first time he and I will be in the same place at once. So I had this crazy idea.. why don’t I email him and see if I can spend some time with him! It’s important to glean from the best...right?

I find his email.

I started writing. Naturally, I hit a wall. What does one say to Seth Godin in an email? I think of all the time I spent writing/concepting copy for clients and I can’t put a header together for one email…

So, I skip the header until I have the email written. I decide to ask him out for a drink. I figure he’ll be staying at a nice hotel and maybe we can meet in the lobby for a quick glass of wine. Who doesn’t like wine?..right?

Then I started to worry. Seth wouldn’t like wine. He is a bourbon guy. I don’t know why I got caught up with his drink preference. It’s probably because I wanted to impress him.

So I decide to write this:

Any chance I can buy you a glass of wine, a bourbon or a scotch while in Boston?

Stupid, I know. I wanted to give him options. ha! #SMH

I finish my email. I wrote an embarrassing header, a short intro and then asked him if he’d like to join me for a drink.

Nervously, I sent the email.

I figure it’s a win if he opens the email and it’s a complete victory if I get any acknowledgment at all.

I proceed to go to the gym to get a workout in. I come out of the gym and look at my email. 1.5 hours later, there it is.

There, in my inbox is an email from Seth Godin (not his newsletter). I wrote an email that Seth Godin opened!

I’m proud of that.

I don’t care to share his email here, but he graciously declined my offer. I would, however, like to share a couple things I learned during this short experience.

3 Things I Learned From Emailing Seth


1. Take Risks - It's Worth A Shot

Take risks. It might not have paid off this time, but it was absolutely worth it. I’ll work on my email marketing skills and I’ll entice him with the next one! ;)

2. Seth Godin is Really Nice

He definitely didn’t have to respond to my email. He probably gets emails all the time from his ‘fanboys’ and he graciously acknowledged everything I wrote in my email. His courtesy was impressive.

3. Know your Target

As marketers, it's important to know who your message is being sent out to and how they’ll receive it. Seth Godin was my target in this instance. Turns out that Seth Godin doesn’t drink. I probably shouldn’t have led with ‘Can I Buy You A Drink?’. You learn these things as you A/B test your content and you go back to the drawing board to find a better reiteration. Hindsight is 20/20.

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