Email Cold Calling: How To Open Opportunities For Your Game

September 2, 2022

Direct email messaging can be an effective way to open an array of opportunities to market your Kickstarter campaign, even if you have a low budget to promote your product.

Some ideas for who to send your emails out to are:

  • News websites to report on your Kickstarter
  • Influencers with podcasts to interview you
  • Reviewers to cover your game 

We will cover the basics of how to craft your email pitch so you’ll have the most success with your direct email messages. 

Guide To Email Cold Calling

Your Kickstarter or product must be appropriately suited for the platform or person you want to reach. 

This platform or person should easily integrate your media into their already existing line of work without it feeling out of place. This requires you to know your contacts well and not simply push out mass email messages.

You need to directly message the person responsible for moving the needle in your desired direction. This is especially important for larger corporations that could delay forwarding your email to the relevant person and even lose your email within their internal communications.
 

For small businesses or influencers, you will most likely be messaging them directly by using the website contact form and sending your message to the webmaster. However, it is still better to directly email the person, and for that, you need to do some detective work. 

Find A Name

The best place to find a name is on LinkedIn. 

By searching for “Kickstarter” and limiting the search results to people who have the word “Kickstarter” in their job title, I was able to find the Head of Community at Kickstarter in NY. A LinkedIn Premium subscription would make this easier. 

Once you locate the person who has the authority to answer your request and their name, it’s time to find their email. We recommend three services to do this: Voila Norbert, Hunter.io, and Rocketreach.co.

These websites crawl the internet, verifying whether an email is attached to a particular name and business somewhere. You might not be able to find the exact email using this method; however, you might discover the naming structure of the corporation’s emails, for example:

  • [First Name]@[Domain]
  • [First Name].[Last Name]@[Domain]
  • [Job Title]@[Domain]

Knowing this email structure will help you work out the person’s actual email you hope to reach. 

Track Your Emails Before Sending

If you’re successful in your sleuthing and discover the email you want to get, you’ll have to know they have opened your email.
 

The easiest way to do this is by installing the Gmail-integrated Chrome browser extension Mailtrack. Mailtrack uses an invisible tracking pixel in your emails to notify you if your recipient has opened the email. 

Since influencers can miss your email due to the volume of messages they receive, it is essential to keep track of who you have contacted for your records. This might come in handy later if you’re considering resending your email later or at a different time. 

Craft Your Subject Line

Keep your subject line concise and friendly. Avoid capitals and emojis. 

Here is an example:

SUBJECT: A thank you and interview request from a fan

This example is brief and personalized with words like “thank you” and “fan”, enabling your email to stand out and increasing the likelihood of getting clicked, opened, and read. 

SUBJECT: Just want to say thanks and ask you a quick question

Constructing The Pitch/ Body Of Your Message

With your subject down, follow these 8 tips to craft an engaging pitch:

1. Keep It Personal

You want to come across as being genuine, so do your research on who you’re contacting to put this across. Address them by name, and never copy/paste excerpts from other emails. Watch, read, or listen to their content so you can reference something you enjoyed with a quick explainer, for example:

“I loved your video coverage of the Skyrim board game! It convinced me to take a closer look.”

This is pretty basic information, but it’s worth being reminded of since it can be all too easy to adopt that off-putting salesman tone.

2. Value Their Time

Keep it short and precise. This is not the space to give your life story. You will want to keep your email to a maximum of three short paragraphs. Less is more in your email pitch. 

3. Press Kit

If you are reaching out to a news agency or article curator, attach a short press kit when you receive a reply.

Include all the information needed to write an article about your Kickstarter with ease. Ensure that the question “what is it?” can be answered through your press kit. 

4. Avoid Being Funny or Too Clever 

Clarity is your best friend in a short email. Make it clear why you are contacting this person and what you want. 

Remember that there is a possibility of being misunderstood when communicating through plain text. 

5. Actually Pitch 

This might sound strange, but it’s possible to forget to include a request in your email pitch, so make your request clear and offer several options if possible. 

6. Can You Solve A Problem?

Can you add value to this person or organization? By agreeing to your request, how can this help them? 

Avoid making your email about you. The person you’re emailing could read this in the wrong tone. 

Everyone knows that you will also get something out of your request, so be upfront about this.

7. Provide Social Proof 

When relevant, include a link or two from other sources that have also covered your game. Put yourself in their shoes. What would impress you about your own project?

Your external links should be limited, but the right links will build your credibility and help the person reading your email trust you to do what you say.  

8. Close Loop

Don’t end your email with an open loop or a command for the individual to take action now. Instead, give them space to ignore your email if they so choose. 

Ending your email with a strong call to action can be off-putting.

Also, avoid ending with “Hope to hear from you soon.”

This can evoke a sense of urgency in the reader that they are not prepared for. They could be busy, and the expectation of an immediate reply could annoy them. 

The Template

Introduce yourself and acknowledge the individual or organization for something you admire about them (do not pitch here).

Describe what you want from them very clearly. Describe how they can benefit from your request. Do not oversell.

Thank the individual or organization for what they do.

End your email. 

It Only Takes One 

Don’t allow rejection to discourage you. It’s easy to assume the worst when you see that they have opened your email but have not replied, especially when you have been sincere. 

But don’t take it personally. There could be many reasons why you have not received a reply. Keep trying. Something will eventually stick. 

It only takes one reply to get the ball moving. The more social proof you can acquire, the easier it will be to get new contacts on board to talk about your projects.

It is better to go for it than to be left wondering, so make sure to apply all you have learned here in your next email pitch!

Check out our podcast interview here with Gabe Barrett of The Board Game Design Lab at 05:50 to learn more about pitching and marketing tips!

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