Emailing Influencers & Validating a Business Idea

I have an idea for a new business. I have lots of ideas but I think this one could really work. I’ve done some research and don’t see any competitors, or at least ones that show up on Google for the term I searched.

So my plan is to email influencers with my product offering. I will give it for free and see if they respond, and if they do respond, if they’re interested.

This is all I’m doing to validate the business. I’m emailing people who wrote about this very subject, and if I can’t get them interested, maybe it’s not good to throw money at this idea. So far all I’ve done is create one item and I’ll be crafting an email shortly.

My hypothesis: Emailing a free piece of content to influencers that wrote about this subject will elicit a response rate of 30%

That means if I’m emailing 10 people, I expect 3 to respond. This is really just a guess because I know these guys are extra busy and don’t have time to go through every single email they get.

My email may also end up in spam. Or the subject line may not catch anyone’s attention.

I’m writing a unique email to each person. I have 14 people who wrote about this subject, though I’m sure I can find more.

First on the list, Noah Kagan, head of AppSumo. I made the content and will be sending it out today. I’m still not sure on the subject line but hopefully it comes to me soon.

I’ll update what happens!

Update 1

Here’s the email I wrote to Noah.

Noah Email 2

So I started off with flattery, letting him know that I’m actually a fan of his. Then I move onto why I’m emailing. Next, my offer for him, and what I’m asking of him (send YAY or NAY if you like the checklist I made). And an offer of more help.

I also sent a follow up email that said:

PPS. If you REALLY like the checklist paypal me $30 and I’ll make your next content upgrade 🙂

Let’s see what happens!

Update 2

Noah replied! All I wanted was a response so I’m very happy with that 🙂 Plus he liked the idea so it’s some validation.

Noah reply



Next up I’ll be emailing Nick Loper of Side Hustle Nation

Update 2

I got a response from Nick, he said…

Nick Loper

I’ll try following up with him again in a few weeks or a month, just to see if he’s interested.

Update 3

I emailed Stuart from, his assistant replied with…

Stuart response



Marketing Automation Flowcharts

Here are some great resources for marketing automation novices. These flowcharts will help give you some inspiration as to what you should be creating. You can’t just copy and paste them, but you can find certain logic and drip campaigns you like and adapt them for your own needs. I’m citing all the sources for these because I have gathered them from all over. (If you own any of these images feel free to ask me to take them down habitcontent @

marketing automation flow chart


pardot flow chart
Flow chart from Pardot










Are awards scams?

What a great business model when you think about it. People love winning awards and people running businesses love winning awards to show off to their customers. You may not notice them much anymore because it seems like every business you visit has won some kind of “prestigious 5 star platinum diamond service” award.

I thought about this topic because I was writing a blog for a client and referencing a large national newspaper’s poll where the city in which the client is located had been placed #9. I saw it in the local newspaper’s website and thought it was great news! It’s a relatively small town and had seemingly won some recognition.

I go to the contest website and see polls for everything you can think of: Best River for Tubing, Best Boardwalk, Best Bratwurst in Wisconsin, Best Crab Cake Sandwich in Maryland. The list goes on and on.

Each list has a bunch of places chosen by “experts” then readers come in and vote for their favorites.

I look at the contest that this client’s city had just won and scrolled  to the bottom of the article. I notice a little link saying “License the (contest name) Award Logo”. Curious, I clicked it and landed on a new site.

The site is offering “Logo Licensing & Custom Display Products” featuring the contest’s logo. It’s like people who win a Zagat Award, if you want to display your Zagat award in your business (and many people do) you have to pay for a special plaque ($99), certificate ($20) or Premium mounted certificate ($60).

For this particular contest here is what I found:

award payment



Zagat is well regarded for their ratings. But this contest is pretty new to my knowledge, that or I have just never heard of it. But this contest is charging at least $375 for a display item such as a plaque to put in your business! As for licensing their logo which says that you won one of their contests, I have no idea what that costs but I will update once I contact them.

Hey, I understand business and I totally get the business model. This national newspaper is getting their name out there, especially because all these winners and top 10 finishers are likely linking to their site, and mentioning their name. Plus, charging people to display the award is another nice monetization method. I’m not knocking them, I’m just afraid that awards are becoming too ubiquitous nowadays.

A Michelin star is still a badge of honor and not every restauranteur is going to ever get one. But some of these new contests or awards that don’t have such strict standards can muddy the waters.

Next time you walk into a business and see plaques on the wall for awards, write down the name of the award and look into it. An award is not an automatic sign of an outstanding business anymore.