The Story Of:
Hi {{}} - just kidding

The tactic that made its way around the sales world.
sdr cover photo
Here's the story of "Hi {{}} - just kidding" and why I think SalesPipe influenced SDRs everywhere by bringing attention to this tactic.

First of all, I'm not making the claim that we invented the tactic.

For me, the credit as inventor goes to a fellow who cold emailed my partner Vivek. That's where I saw it first. I can't for the life of me find the screenshot of the actual email. So, unfortunately, that is lost to the sands of time unless the SDR finds this and reaches out.

Here's what happened:

Sometimes I receive forwarded emails from my partner Vivek, where he shows me different kinds of cold emails that he receives.

One day, he forwarded me a cold email he had received - this one was different.

The cold email looked something like this:

Hi {{}} - just kidding Vivek :)

We can do blah bla bla for QuestionPro - I made a custom thing for QuestionPro on the whiteboard here.

[whiteboard image was here]

[call to action was here]


The SDR uses the "first name" incorrectly on purpose to expose the first name tag, then corrects it quickly so it comes across as a head fake/light hearted joke.

My reaction to Vivek…
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And then I sent it to the SalesPipe team…
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I've always thought the custom whiteboard clearly fake to me but it may not be to others. SDRs have done that for a long time. You may also see it used on a coffee cup i.e. "this coffee has your name on it, Rob".

I thought the {{}} tactic was very clever.

What I realized was the following:

1️⃣ The founder didn't seem like a salesperson to me. So he was probably not emailing this at scale, or at least at the type of volume SalesPipe can produce with our SDRs.

2️⃣ Given he was also pairing it with a whiteboard tactic (two variations at once) led me to also believe the volume couldn't be super high, i.e. not many were seeing this.

3️⃣ I'd never heard or seen of that tactic before personally, which carries some weight, given I look at cold emails every day and generally have a good understanding of what's going on in this world.

I thought prospects needed to see this. The cold email world needed something new. A break from some of the monotony would be refreshing to them.

I thought we could get results with it.

How I Decided to Implement the Tactic

At SalesPipe, I share my cold email framework with the team, which is designed in a certain way.

I like one-step-away variations. So if I have a trusted framework that I know works, I like to keep the core of that with the cold email and leave it open to some customization.

This could be a cool variation and a unique one!

I thought with my trusted framework combined with the {{}} tactic, we could have a recipe for success.

The email volume SalesPipe could produce through our SDRs, we could run this tactic out with some scale and see what would happen… so that's what we did.


What resulted did not surprise me.
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Ashton Kutcher of "Dude, Where's My Car?" fame and other movies thought it was clever enough to connect on LinkedIn.
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Sales leaders thought it was interesting enough to share on LinkedIn with their networks.
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Prospects loved it too and would explicitly call out the message.

In reality, we booked a lot of meetings and value for our customers using this tactic.

The tactic started making the rounds on LinkedIn. Many SDRs and BDRs picked up and started using it. Those who used this tactic because we spread it, likely booked a ton of meetings too.

So it's really difficult to track the amount of pipeline this has truly generated across the board.
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As of late 2022, it was reported to me that this was still making the rounds.

Occasionally I even get this tactic sent back to me.
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micah infographic

Key Takeaways

So what are the lessons learned?

1️⃣ It's important that variations like this sit on top of a sales strategy you have confidence in (through results) and that the problem/value statement of what you're reaching out about is strong. Because the crux of your message is still about the difficulty you solve and how that should resonate. The tactic helps get more eyeballs on that.

2️⃣ If something is good, it will be replicated and used in an improved way or diluted way… this is how the game of cold email works. SDRs are always going to try to find the best ways to book meetings.

3️⃣ This is a textbook example of why being bold can pay dividends. You should take smart risks in cold emails sometimes. Getting attention is hard and at the end of the day, there is a finite amount of email volume you can send. Don't be afraid to be creative.

4️⃣ In particular, when it comes to creativity and risk-taking, humor is a good bet. Cold emails don't have to be boring. There is a human behind the email, and humor is a gateway to building trust and shows you like to have fun.

5️⃣ In general, it's good to be early on things like this. At this point, we're able to publish this blog post with honesty on how we were a part of an interesting outbound tactic that no one had really seen before. That relates to risk-taking. We gave a lot of prospects a little unexpected chuckle in their day-to-day.


The shelf life of some tactics can be short.

This tactic is still out there from SDRs/BDRs doing this today.

When it first popped up for me, it was novel. It had a lot of positive shock value. Shock value means attention. Attention means your emails get read and responded to.

I'm sure there are some target prospects that typically see a lot of cold email that have not seen it yet, even 2 years later.

That's your decision if you believe your prospects might react positively to this tactic.

So hold your ground and pull the levers in cold email that you know produce results, while at the same time, experimenting and letting your creativity loose.

Thanks for reading {{}} ;)
Post by Rob Whitley.
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