Monthly Archives: May 2011

Tip #171: Be direct

If you pitch me on Twitter, make sure you are following me so I can send you a direct message to follow up. (It happens.)

Better yet, just email me.


Filed under Twitter

Tip #170: Rafe brain hurt! No like!

I hate to break it to you, but there’s no award for Most Convoluted Pitch. I therefore suggest this writing strategy: Lay off the Red Bull and only write in the still quiet of the dewy morning. Or something. Just not this:

Hi Rafe,

With thousands of travel apps available, it would seem that business travelers would have an endless selection to choose from, right?

Not necessarily. While many apps simplify consumer travel, they don’t necessary translate to corporate travel. Rather, they can cause companies major headaches and add expenses because they fail to take corporate policies into account, and multiple apps might be needed to juggle all the “simplifying.”

The key is finding a mobile solution that focus both on end-user experience and productivity, while keeping travelers compliant to corporate policies. But as more mobile developers jump on the HTML 5 bandwagon, sorting through the ‘business travel’ mobile market is about to get tougher.

How about a story that educates corporate travel managers about why consumer travel apps shouldn’t cut it for their business, how to get the most productivity out of an app by choosing one app that can do the work of 4 or 5, and how HTML 5 development is about to transform the mobile travel experience?

As a source, I can put you in touch with [a guy] of [a big Web development company], who is heading up the companies’ development of its [new app] in HTML 5.

Would you like to arrange an interview?

I think what you’re trying to say is that your product is better than TripIt for corporate clients. Is that it? Did I get it right? Where’s my cookie?

Related: Tip #98


Filed under Email

Tip #169: Scale up your pitch

If you’re going to show a pitch video on your laptop during our meeting, at least make it full-screen so I can see what I’m ignoring.

Bonus tip: Learn how to do this before the meeting.

Related tips:
#16: Point of view
#41: Press F5!

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Filed under Meetings

Tip #168: There is a right answer and a wrong answer

Another one from the Department of Emails We Never Finished Reading:

To: Rafe Needleman
Subject: Lying awake at night…

…wondering ‘what in heck does [Whatever] Systems do anyway??’

One of the secrets to success in business is to get people to say, “yes.” To what? To anything. Don’t ask questions where you can pretty well guarantee that the answer is, “no.”

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Filed under Email

Tip #167: Don’t bury the lead

Although it pains me to repeat myself, I post the beginning of an email pitch I received this morning. It’s the perfect example of why I wrote Tip #98: Make it snappy, Sweetheart.

Subject: Everyone loves a good pitch in the morning


Who am I kidding, no one truly enjoys reading a press release; much less being bombarded by them hourly. If you don’t mind hearing mine, then keep reading… and if you don’t, then feel free to click the shiny red X or red circle at the top of the page anytime.

[Our company] is releasing a new service called…

By this point, you’ve lost your audience. Look, it’s your job to pitch. It’s my job to be pitched. So let’s do our jobs — quickly, please — and move on.


Filed under Common sense, Email