Tiramisu cold email that got us interviews with Rand Fishkin, Aaron Ross, Tim Soulo...

June 11, 2020

In two campaigns where I used Tiramisu cold email strategy, the results were amazing.

Tiramisu cold email
Tiramisu cold email

The idea was to bring industry leaders to our live webinars where we'd aim to produce most actionable sales and growth advice that people can use to close more deals and become better at their craft.

On top of that, they could also ask questions since all interviews are recorded live, exclusively for lemlist family community.

So far, we've been able to bring amazing guests like Rand Fishkin, Aaron Ross, Jill Rowley, Anthony Iannarino, Tim Soulo, Morgan Ingram, etc.

In this short and sweet article, you'll see how we did it. Our cold email templates, what this Tiramisu strategy is all about, how live webinars have impacted our business overall, everything...

Let's crack on!

"Let's create lemlist TV"

It was more than once that Guillaume and I brainstormed around having our own show.

Every time we started talking about it, we concluded it's too time-consuming at that point of time. Back then there were just the two of us in the growth team.

Eventually, we scaled, brought in more people, and were able to take on more responsibilities.

So one day, my Slack is ringing.

"Heeeeeeey lemlister Vuk!", G was laughing.

This greeting became like a mini-tradition. Whoever calls first, it's yelling time. You need to lower the volume a bit, but the energy goes up high and we haven't even started.

"How's your schedule looking like these days?", G asked.

"The usual", I answered scrolling down my Notion.

"I think we can finally add that one level of content we always wanted to do".

A few minutes later, we were chopping up ideas. Here's what we came up with:

  • Host live webinars exclusively for The Sales Automation Family, so our members can enjoy quality content + ask questions live

Why go live in TSAC only?

The reasons are twofold. First, you're part of the family and we really mean it.

There's an exclusivity that comes with, like priority access to the lempire updates, along with the option to ask all our guests questions live.

  • Invest time in inviting the right guests and creating a scenario

A great guest brings a lot of listeners, some of which can become valuable new TSAC members or high-quality prospects down the road. On the other hand, well-thought-out scenario leads to actionable, authentic content.

Both require work and good preparation.

  • Address key sales and growth questions to produce ACTIONABLE advice

For this, we already have a policy in place.

lemAIR content policy

Likeable // does it have our brand character?
Empathetic // do we understand the pain?
Monumental // how does it help our business?
Actionable // can people extract value?
Inspiring // what makes it unique?
Result-oriented // are we doing what we’re preaching?

The same rules apply to our webinars.

This is the reason why we didn't jump into this project too early. It required a lot of time and work.

No law abides entrepreneurs to host a webinar or podcast if they want to become successful.

Walk before run! Prioritizing projects that matter most at that moment is what makes it happen. Go step by step, from the ground up. There's no reason to rush and do everything at the same time.

Tiramisu cold email strategy

You might saw me talking about Tiramisu cold email strategy in TSAC family a few times now.

It's precisely the one I used to organize webinars with such amazing guests.

Why we call it Tiramisu?

Well, as a cake, Tiramisu is quite nice and tasty. So is this cold email strategy.

It's about writing genuine intro lines and adding custom sentences that change for each prospect.

The entire work happens in your .csv file that you eventually upload to lemlist. Here's how it looks.

Imagine the following cold email structure.

Hey {{firstName}},


The rest of the email...

If you go back to the .csv file I shared with you, you'll see that the {{firstName}} tag is replaced with Guillaume, and {{Tiramisu}} becomes...

"I've checked out your $1M ARR article the other day. It's brilliant and
congrats for reaching this huge milestone. I remember reading the first
episode ($250k ARR one you wrote) and really appreciate that we can
follow your journey in such a detailed way."

The result is a unique email that no one will receive but Guillaume. And it works like a charm because it gets attention and shows I'm a player, not some lazy person emailing everyone the same 💩 and issuing fake compliments.

"But Vuk, this takes a lot of time.", I hear someone saying.

It does! But then again nothing good should come easy. Plus, if you do the research right, your cold emails will write themselves, believe me. 😎

Back to our campaign... We've delivered two to be precise.

The first one was sent in February to 20 people we wanted to interview.

Tiramisu cold email
Tiramisu cold email

Here's why it worked:

  1. {{Tiramisu}} tag is replaced with a genuine compliment for that person. In most cases, it consisted of 1-3 sentences where I'd comment on their recent work and add another sentence on why G and I admire that person
  2. {{Tiramisu2}} was changed with our topic proposal. In other words, what we aimed to make webinar with them about
  3. The goal was to show how their participation will bring them exposure in front of our entire audience that's relevant for their brand too
  4. Credibility is key! We want everybody to know that we are practitioners of our craft with a real track record
  5. Always make it easy for them to answer and know what the next step is. The sentence I used after "You game?" was irrelevant and you'll see it disappear in my 2.0 campaign later in this article

I also decided to A/B test two subject lines as I was curious.

A/B testing

Pro tip: Always A/B test

It's always a good idea to let your prospects decide what subject line,
image, call-to-action, or sequence works best. Don't waste your time
debating these on your internal meetings. Split test it instead.

Recommended read: How to run A/B tests in lemlist?

In May, I was ready to do the campaign numero dos.

Having already interviewed sales and marketing experts, we now had more credibility so I wanted to introduce some changes to my pitch.

We targeted 12 + 3 people for new episodes. First 12 were part of the Tiramisu campaign. As for other 3, I decided to leverage my own inbox. Will explain later.

Tiramisu cold email
Tiramisu cold email

I won't outline all the things in the second campaign as the logic is the same. Let's focus on the changes only.

  1. Having recorded several episodes already, it's okay to brag about them a bit. These names bring respect and credibility in our prospects' eyes
  2. As you can see, simple and clear call-to-action. I don't want them to think too much what to do next

And the strategy worked fine for both campaigns.


Three people that were approached from my own email rather than G's were Rand Fishkin, Tim Soulo and Ryan Stewart.

The reason why is logistical, the template was pretty much the same. Some small changes perhaps. Since I already had on-going email threads with them, I decided to play on these.

Pro tip: Manual reviews in lemlist

lemlist allows you to, just before you send your campaign, to add
last-minute changes for specific people. By doing this, you can make
your cold email even more personalized for a specific person or group
of people. You'll see this feature once in review stage.

More info: Personalization superpowers for cold emails

But overall, the results were awesome, our community members are loving the webinars, and it's mind-blowing to connect with people you admire and get to pick their brain.

lemlist webinars

You can see all episodes on our YouTube channel. 🤙

The most important things to remember about the Tiramisu cold email strategy and how to make it work for you:

  • Everything comes down to your research. The end result of it are custom sentences for each prospect
  • Anything can be a {{Tiramisu}} tag --> your intro, your proposition, your CTA, name it...
  • Remember the rule! Every prospects "eats" their own Tiramisu... one sentence for each prospect

How we run our live webinars?

The webinar strategy itself is broken down into three phases...

  • Planning stage
  • Promotion stage
  • Going live

In our cold email, we've already told our guests what the webinar will be about. However, we still need to think about how to attack the topic and what questions are we going to ask.

Once the questions are ready, we can move to webinar promotion and try to get people excited.

Our first to-do is to share the plan with the guest. What we do is drop them an email containing:

  • Webinar questions so they know where our head is at
  • Links, promo plan and webinar materials
  • We also ask them to share the news on their Social Media. We also send them a post draft they can use to save time (totally up to them)

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't... you never know. But they all appreciate professionalism.

Tiramisu cold email strategy

Plus, it's what kind of a brand we want to always be building.

Then comes the obvious. Sharing it on our online real estate, including the community, newsletter, company, private profiles, etc.

Once people are members of TSAC, they will get notification when we go live, but we also set up the Eventbrite link so people have reminders.

We love the fact Eventbrite puts the event on their calendar and we're collecting emails as well, but we're not obsessed with having people to sign up. All you need to do is join TSAC to watch and participate.

Doing the actual webinar also requires a tactical approach.

Obviously, we want to have a lot of people join live and post comments. However, the main goal is driving the interview in the right direction.

If you bring value, people and comments come naturally. So it's important to have our priorities in order.

Logistically, G and I divided responsibilities in a simple way. He's the host focused on recording the interviews. I'm in the shadows taking care of the comments, picking interesting questions for our guest and handling any surprises.

Sort of like Batman and Mr. Fox in "The Dark Knight". Here's how it all looks once we're out there grinding...👇

Once the webinar is done, the two of us hop on a quick call and analyze our work.

How good was the episode? How many people were there with us? What were their questions like? How many people joined TSAC?

Answering all these questions leads to "You know what we can try next time" ideas. And that's why we have these calls.

The impact of live webinars on the business

In general, good content marketing is generating two types of outcomes. It's important for your business as it gets you attention. It's what marketers label as top-of-the-funnel marketing.

Traffic, user acquisition and revenue increase happens eventually down the road.

It's also extremely beneficial for your brand and positioning yourself as both experts and practitioners.

Here's a quick overview of the main benefits for us:

  • TSAC community grows with people interested in topics like cold emailing, sales automation, LinkedIn outreach, etc
  • Inbound leads that we later qualify as "bother a bit" or "don't bother at all"
  • Collabs with industry experts expose us to our target audience at low cost
  • Exposing guests to our audience and providing them value as well opens up great win-win opportunities and builds trust... like 👇
  • Producing great episodes and value to people generates great word-of-mouth and brand awareness
  • Content that solves real problems positions you as a trustworthy expert

Plus, we're having a ball internally.

Bottom line

G and I finally got to bring our "live webinar series" to life. If you're watching the episodes, I hope you're enjoying it as much as we are.

On the other hand, if you were here for some cold email ideas, Tiramisu strategy or just to get inspired to do your own show, I hope you've found what you were looking for.

Finally, for those of you who might have a great guest in mind that you think it might be the perfect fit for our webinar, or any sales/growth questions/topics you'd like to have addressed, shoot me an email at vuk@lemlist.com.

Always looking to connect with curious folks.

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