I once worked with a client who wanted to build an exclusive community for top financial advisors.
Their approach thus far had been to use LinkedIn and Clearbit to gather and qualify a list of 700+ prospective members.
Then they sent a series of (unsolicited) emails inviting them to join this new community.
It had been 3 months and this legally ambiguous approach hadn’t succeeded.
A mass email from an unknown organisation inviting you to join something you have no interest in is almost certainly one you will ignore.
We took a different approach.
We identified 5 founding members and then asked them who else would be a good match. We then sent a personal email (cc’ing the person who recommended them) which read:
Subject: [friend] suggested I contact you
[Your friend] suggested I reach out to you.
We have an exclusive group of top [topic] professionals and your name has come up a few times.
I’d love to schedule a call and see if you would be a great fit for the group.
Let me know if you’re interested”
Aside from ‘out of office’ and ‘bouncebacks’ replies, the emails had a 100% response rate.
You can spot the psychological appeals here. The subject line is clear enough to be opened, credibility is established in the first sentence, and it provokes curiosity (as well as flattery).
We could have filled the email with more content about the community, its goals, and mission. But those aren’t the kind of emails people enjoy reading. That’s what the call is for.
In the call we asked prospects about their goals and vision for the topic, their passions, and who else might be a good match for the community. Around 65% of those who received our outreach messages went on to make at least 3 posts in the community.