How to send cold Twitter DMs like a pro

Sending cold DMs (messaging people you don't know) is a great way to open yourself up to job opportunities, clients for your business, advice from more experienced peers, and friendships.

In this post, I will teach you a simple but effective framework you can use to reach out to people (and get a 30%-60% reply rate).

First line - cold open

When people look at the incoming DM, the first thing they see is a short preview of your message (30-40 characters).

To demonstrate that you're not a spammer and get the person to open your DM, use that space to mention something personal that you'd only know if you cared enough about them to do the research:

  • Mention them by name.
  • Compliment them on something they've done well (recent thread, blog post, interview, well-designed website, congratulate them on an accomplishment they have shared).

Hey, Mike! Saw your thread on coming up with content ideas, was really impressed by the depth of insight you have offered, decided to say hi.

Remember - address people as a friend and a peer, not as a salesman, applicant, co-worker, or a fanboy.

Second paragraph - a question or an offer

Don't try to sell to people in the first message, or ask them to do things for you. Instead - focus on building a relationship and offering value.

  • Offer them something for free - constructive feedback on their work, a way to improve their website or copy, a service you can offer with no strings attached.
  • Ask them if they are struggling with something and need any help.
  • Ask them an insightful and specific question about what they do.

In my opinion, specific questions work best, because you're not putting on the person the burden of figuring out what to reply - you're engaging them in a conversation that has a specific purpose.

Do's and Don'ts

  • Be brief, don't require people to read a wall of text, make it as easy as possible for them to respond.
  • Be clear and specific, state precisely what you want and what you have to offer (don't just say "Hi!", or ask a vague question like "I just want to pick your brain").
  • Respect their time, don't ask about things you can easily figure out with a quick google search.
  • Don't ask people for things that require time and effort, especially if you don't have anything substantial to offer in return.
  • Don't get too disappointed or upset if they don't reply, and don't keep messaging them. People are busy, and there are plenty of other people you can reach out to.

Take action

Commit to sending 10 DMs during the next week, and see the results for yourself!

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