Crafting an unsolicited email to a stranger takes skill, especially when you're asking for a favor.
But if done correctly, sending a cold email can yield great results. Just ask 25-year-old Alex Banayan, who has scored coveted interviews with the likes of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, Google co-founder Larry Page and “The 4-Hour-Work-Week” author Tim Ferriss.
In his quest to uncover how the world’s most successful people launched their careers, which he recounts in his book “The Third Door,” Banayan made a number of cold email blunders.
His first mistake? Sending Ferriss’ assistant a total of 31 messages, some of which were nine paragraphs long.
Though Banayan eventually secured a phone interview with the bestselling author and entrepreneur, it was largely because Ferris wanted to know “what the hell” was wrong with him. Suffice to say, the discussion didn’t go as Banayan had planned.
“In my interview with Tim Ferris, he was essentially beating me over the head, teaching me all the [email] mistakes I made,” Banayan tells CNBC Make It.
As uncomfortable as this experience was for him, Banayan says Ferriss gave him some much-needed advice, especially the top five cold email mistakes to avoid: