Daily Lab: The opposite of advertising

Cold outreach often sends the exact wrong signal.

Daily Lab: The opposite of advertising

Every week, I get a few cold outreach emails or LinkedIn DMs offering the same service: They can provide me with 5–10 leads a week for my business.

Of course, I never reply to spam, but if ever did reply to their increasingly desperate follow-ups, here’s what I’d say:

“This is the opposite of advertising.

If you’d read about my business like your email says you did, you’d know I’m strongly opposed to wasteful lead gen tactics.

Plus, if these leads were any good, you’d know that 5–10 a week would be way too many for a business of my size.

And if the leads are no good, then why are you offering them?”

Cold outreach can work—if you know who you’re reaching out to, what they need, what they truly want, how you’re uniquely suited to help, and when they’ll be most interested in you in particular.

But from theses short interactions with lead generation businesses, I’ve learned they either don’t actually research their prospects (so they’re sending spam), or the leads aren’t actually any good (so they’re a scam).

Just like advertising companies who generate all their new business through RFP responses (signalling that they don’t have a strong brand themselves), service businesses who attempt to drum up leads through cold outreach are also sending the wrong signal:

“I don’t know what I’m doing, but I can help you with that you’re doing.”

That might seem like a good offer to somebody.

But to me, that’s the opposite of advertising.

100% organic content, no generative AI.