How NOT to do email outreach as an online coach

An email landed in our inbox recently from ‘Adam’ with the heading:

‘Writing services for fitness, nutrition, and online coaching.’

And it’s categorically the worst outreach message that we’ve ever seen.

Adam has sent an email to 106 people, all in the ‘to’ field. So, before he’s even started, he’s nailed breaking GDPR ruling ✅.

We’re pretty sure that he’s used chat GPT to write this email.

Here’s what the email says:

“I hope this email finds you well. My name is Adam, and I specialise in writing content for fitness, nutrition and online fitness coaching. I’m emailing to help you create engaging and informative content for your audience…”

A photo of a person using Chat GPT on a laptop
Photo by Matheus Bertelli

Basically, he charges £5 per script, or a monthly subscription service for £25 pounds a month. He goes on to write that you receive 25 scripts per month produced by him (AKA chat GPT) and to get in touch if you’re interested in his services.

And he’s attached some of the most generic scripts we’ve ever seen – which are completely devoid of personality and style, and could be lifted straight from Wikipedia – to 106 people he’s found online.

The font and size of the text totally changes throughout the email, and the whole thing makes you want to scream:

“Just write a personalised email!”

Who knows, maybe Adam’s smashing this mass outreach thing…

But everyone knows it’s a pretty generic message.

And if you’re considering mass outreach yourself, then at the very least, you should check your formatting.

Your outreach email is your sales pitch

We receive so many emails like this. They all look like they’ve been copied and pasted from a template.

But your outreach email is a chance to create your best piece of powerful and engaging copy.

It’s your sales pitch.

And you’re reaching out to people who’ve never heard of you before.

So, if it isn’t powerful or engaging…

If it’s difficult to read and poorly worded…

And if you’re not even writing it yourself

You’re not likely to get far. 🤷‍♂️

The thing about AI is that anyone can use it to write something, but it’s the person operating it who is the difference between average writing and great copy.

And that’s something you can’t teach.

Don’t outsource selling your business

If you’ve got a small business, you’re probably already doing email marketing.

It’s not something that you want to outsource readily.

Because it’s such an integral part of your business.

The way we see it, anything to do with selling your business should be the last thing you outsource, not the first.

And there are no shortcuts to writing engaging emails that:

  • offer something of real value
  • solve an actual problem.

When cold outreach actually works

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff

Using cold outreach isn’t a strategy we recommend for our own clients at PropaneBusiness.

But if you are going to do it, the things that will bump up your response rate are:

  1. Using personalised voice messages
    These show that you haven’t just stumbled across the person you’re contacting and have actually put some thought into what you’re going to say to them.
  2. Having something that the person wants (and that will save them time)
    There’s no shortcut to this. But if someone could genuinely save you tons of time, that’s really valuable. For example, if someone contacted us about one of our videos to say this:

    “I noticed this is long-form, and actually, I think it would work quite well for a short-form platform. Here are a couple of quick edits I’ve made. Do you like them? If you do, feel free to use them, and I can do some more.”

    Then they’d have our attention.

Done in this way, with a proper strategy behind it, there can be some real money in cold outreach.

Because you can spend half your day:

  • researching a brand
  • putting that strategy together
  • putting the message together
  • recording the audio
  • sending the audio across

But if you get their attention and they say yes, it might be worth £10K or £20K if you can solve the right problem for the right person.

But if you tried to contact 100 people a day on Twitter with a generic message, you’d get 100 annoyed responses.

Or no responses.

There are no shortcuts

Nobody wants to do the boring, hard stuff.

It’s the same in training.

You’d not tell your personal training clients that there’s a shortcut to their goals.

And there’s no shortcut to a successful online business. It takes time.

But if you’re prepared to put the time and effort into doing one thing really well, it will pay off.

Most people aren’t prepared to spend months (or sometimes years) working away at something with little to no return.

But for those who take the time to learn to do one thing really well, and work at it consistently, it will pay off.

How we can help

Watch our free training video

If you’re starting out as an online personal trainer, or you’re thinking about how you can take your business to the next level, take a look at this free training video. It takes you behind the scenes of PropaneBusiness, including:

  • How we selected our ideal client & a simple niche selection tool
  • A walkthrough of our 14-day sales sequence

Book in a call with us

We’re also happy to put some time in for a chat if you’d like to find out about how we work with online coaches to help them grow and scale their business.

Book a call with us here.

free video guide: ⬇️

The EXACT process we used to build PropaneFitness to 15k/month: