May 9, 2022

This Doesn’t Feel Gross

But It Should?

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Stanley Bogode
This audio column explores the intersection of culture, business, and morality. But mostly fart poop jokes. Welcome.
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Two-weeks ago, I dipped my toes into some ick. As an avid reader of this column, I implore you to sit down, preferably in front of a toilet, before you learn of this shocking revelation.

On Monday, the 18th of April, in our year of the lord 2022, I, Stanley Bogode, became a cold-emailer. I emailed 100 people I have never met, whose names and addresses I stole from the Internet.

And afterwards... I didn’t hate myself. In fact, I’ve now sent a total of 5,153 emails to over one-thousand complete strangers. I’ll pause here until the vomit clears out of your throat.

You’ve read this column, you can presume that a tactic so impersonal, so tasteless, and so basic is beneath a refined marketing creature such as myself. You were wrong. As part of this year of expanding my comfort zone, I added cold emails to the list, here’s why.

As Head of Product, I now have a title in my LinkedIn profile that attracts a lot of offers. I’m approached by marketers, software agencies, compliance firms, and headhunters – their emails are so cold they could fight global warming. But once in a while, an email strikes me right in the part of my brain that says, yes, actually that is something we could use and I’m interested in learning more. And I respond.

Surprisingly, the emails which fail to entice me also fail to bother me. Yes, there are some salespeople who’ve trapped my inbox in an infinite follow-up loop. And it’s time to setup a filter which burns every email beginning with, “Hey Stanley, checking to see if you got my last email…” But when an offer breaks through, I have no criticism of the representative who brought it to me.

They had a solution that piqued my interest, and they left both my body and mind unharmed as they told me about it. No bodily torture? That’s an A+ outreach to me. I concluded that receiving cold emails is mildly annoying, but receiving offers I find valuable is pleasant. I can then assume that people receiving cold emails from me, will, on the whole, experience the same thing.

That discovery gave me permission to unlock my talent. As a digital marketing freelancer, I wrote dozens of clever and crafty cold emails for clients. I even wired up the technology to send them out to prospective customers. Creating these campaigns on a client’s behalf never rattled me, my name stayed off the letterhead.

But applying that talent for my own behalf was always out of reach thanks to my pride and my fear of rejection. Today, I’m going for ‘no’ – I'm actively looking for people to unsubscribe from my emails, to reply ‘stop,’ or to shoot me down – and I’m at 93 souls and counting.

I’m still doing it, I’m not stopping, and I’m even growing perversely attracted to it – somebody, call the police.