March 14, 2023

JF3113: How to Use Email Marketing to Increase Your Investor List ft. Adam Rosen



Adam Rosen is a former real estate investor and Founder of Email Outreach Company, which helps entrepreneurs optimize their email marketing through automated email outreach to get companies more leads, more conversations, and more deals. In this episode, Adam discusses how you can use email marketing to find better deals, increase your investor list, and leverage cold emails to find your next big opportunity.

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Adam Rosen | Real Estate Background

  • Founder of Email Outreach Company
  • Based in: Worldwide, digital nomad
  • Say hi to him at:
  • Best Ever Book: Built to Sell by John Warrillow
  • Greatest Lesson: Build to sell from the start. Get to product-market-fit ASAP, systemize everything, then profit.


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Slocomb Reed: Best Ever listeners, welcome to the best real estate investing advice ever show. I'm Slocomb Reed, and I'm here with Adam Rosen. Adam is a digital nomad who is joining us from Hawaii. He's the founder of email outreach company, which helps entrepreneurs optimize their email marketing through automated email outreach, to get companies more leads, more conversations and more deals. A former real estate investor, Adam has sold all his developments and now focuses on helping investors build their portfolios through lead generation. Adam, can you tell us a little bit more about that background and what you're currently focused on?

Adam Rosen: Yeah, thanks, Slocomb. I appreciate you having me on. I'm excited to be here also because I have a pretty different background from a lot of the other guests that you've had... And I'm excited to share it and hopefully give some value to your listeners. So thanks again for having me.

Slocomb Reed: Nice. Yeah, absolutely.

Adam Rosen: So I'll give you a little bit of background into my first company, because it leads into my real estate experience, what I'm doing now, and how that's all tied together, and how we're working with real estate developers investors from all over the world. So I never had a true job out of college. I started my first company about three weeks before I graduated. And it was a tech startup, I had it for about five years. I sold the company back in 2019, and it was all around connecting students at colleges to companies like Bank of America, Amazon, Apple, for more jobs and internships.

When I sold the company back in 2019, that's when I first got into real estate. So in that period between selling my company and starting this newest venture I have, I started to work on new real estate developments, with no experience at all. So my primary developments were [unintelligible 00:02:23.14] developments in the Northeast, so New York and Vermont specifically. I did some developments over in Florida and Texas as well.

And one of the things that I learned in that process was, number one, how many sharp real estate business people there are, that know the ins and outs of real estate, and are great, really traditional business people. But what I found was that there was a huge gap between people that have such an amazing expertise in real estate and know how to make money, but the tech gap. And that tech gap is what I learned from having my tech startup, and how to leverage automation. So it was a huge asset with what I did with my developments, and now for about a little over 18 months now I've been working on my newest venture, which is an email a company where we've set up companies with more sales appointments. And we do work with some pretty big developers; a large real estate developer that buys and sells properties all over the US, more of a regional real estate company as well, and then another real estate company that's doing some really interesting work around tiny homes, one of the largest tiny home companies in the country as well. So I love helping real estate companies on the buy side and also the sell side as well.

Slocomb Reed: Nice. So I am an apartment owner-operator and I have my hands in a lot of cookie jars, especially around residential real estate investing here in Cincinnati, Ohio. Through my work with this podcast, the hundreds of people I've interviewed, the hundreds of people I know here in Cincinnati, I don't know anyone who focuses on email marketing for lead gen. Why is it that your current company focuses on email? And is there a particular demographic that you target with your email campaigns, where you see particular success?

Slocomb Reed: It's a great question. It depends on, of course, who your buyer is. But at the end of the day, real estate's a lead game, whether you're on the buy side looking to buy opportunities, buy investments, buy properties, or if you're on the sell side; everything is about top of the funnel. Everything is about how do I get more leads. And for anyone that's done any type of marketing before - I know I've got thousands and thousands and thousands of leads off of Facebook ads, for example, in real estate. But so many of those leads, whether it's your phone number, the email you have, they might not get back to the first time, and we can feel like we're banging our head against the wall, trying to follow up with them, email them, call them, text them, everything. And the whole point is how do I get you on the phone? Through email. It can be one of the many tools you can use, but we love email because email just straight up works if you know what you're doing. Email is a great avenue to get you on the phone with more people without you having to pick up the phone and dial 95, 100 times every single day.
In terms of demographics - and we've set up meetings with a former CEO of MasterCard, [unintelligible 00:05:09.16] That's how MasterCard became a client of mine. We've set it up with really any industry, any person. So email works, if you know what you're doing.

Slocomb Reed: In the commercial real estate investing space, what is it that your clients are using email for?

Adam Rosen: Could you explain more about how do you mean exactly in the commercial real estate space? More on the buy side or the sell side?

Adam Rosen: I mean both. Let me give you a hypothetical... Asking for a friend who is an apartment owner-operator in Cincinnati, Ohio, who primarily buys off market deals and looks a lot like me, and sounds a lot like me, and may be actually me... I'm asking how I can use email to get better off market opportunities when I'm looking to buy apartments, or mixed-use spaces, or things like that here in Cincinnati.

Adam Rosen: Yeah, Slocomb, I would say to tell your friend that I would find all these deals that fit whatever you're looking for. So you have all your parameters of what's a good deal for you; you know all the different benchmarks you look at, whether it's location, maybe size of property, whatever those parameters are that you look for. But there's ways to get not just the contact information in terms of their mailing address, but there's also ways to get the email address of those folks as well. Now, it doesn't mean you're gonna get 100% of the contacts, the email addresses for all those properties, but you can get a good chunk of them. And then you just send a simple email asking to have a conversation. And you use our follow-up system, or a follow-up system, you leverage automation to get you on the phone. Because the whole goal is when you get your friend on the phone with one of these property owners, that's when the sale is going to happen. The sale isn't gonna happen on email, but the whole sale is "How do I get on the phone with this property owner for this off market deal?" so that you can pitch why they should sell their property to you. But all this contact information exists, whether it's their physical address, or more importantly, their email address. And once you get their email address, that's when you can leverage the different simple tools and steps and strategies to get you on the phone with them.

Slocomb Reed: So Adam, I personally, and I imagine most of our listeners who are actively involved in off market lead gen, we already have methods for building out our lists, doing our skip tracing, we often get email addresses... I personally have never had any success getting anyone to respond to an email. Tell us more about how your funnel works, and how it is that your emails lead to phone calls.

Adam Rosen: The simplest way I can put it - there's many things that I'm not good at at all. There's many, many, many things. But one thing that I am good at and we are good at, my co-founder and I, as a team, and the rest of our team, is we're really good at converting through email. It's what we've always done; since 2015, when I started my tech startup, just about every one of our customers we got through cold email. We were forced to get good at it, we were forced to get scrappy and learn how to make it work. I can't tell you how many of our customers come to us and they say "I can't get a single appointment booked. On email nobody gets back to us." I don't care what industry it is, from real estate, to tech startups, to a movie we're working with, where we're reaching out to churches and pastors and priests. They hadn't had a single person respond to one of their emails; we were booking them on average 20+ meetings every single month. The truth is, we're just really good at what we do. We know how to craft a really strong email, with a simple call to action. We know how to follow up, to send eight follow-up emails; it takes on average about three and a half females get one successful meeting books, but we also have the management and the processes, which is a difficult part of it, to manage the whole process. Because we're sending right now 250,000-260,000 emails every single month. We're booking 1000s of appointments right now across a variety of industries.

So the truth is, is most people don't know how to email. And it's because it's not their skill, they don't want to do it, they don't want to have to learn it; nor should they ever have to learn it. We get on average 121 emails a day, we ignore 111 of them. So most people experience what you've just shared, Slocomb. But the truth is, we are just really good at what we do. We know how to write the email, we know how to manage the whole process, and we know how to convert.

Slocomb Reed: Thinking of myself and a lot of our Best Ever listeners as target customers of yours, Adam, I want to ask how much your services cost, but I really want to ask what metric it is that you track. In an ideal world for me, I want to know how much I'm paying per follow up call that I get to schedule with a prospect, or how much I'm paying per appointment. How is it that you charge for your services?

Adam Rosen: So number one on the metric - our metric is simple; it's quality sales appointments for you. I would talk to people like me before I started this company and I would always ask "What do you guarantee I'll get?" and it always frustrated me because I would hear "Well, we don't guarantee meetings, but we'll guarantee opens", which opens for the most part is BS, so don't worry about opens. Or replies. "We'll get you a certain amount of replies." What do I care about a reply for? I want meetings. So that's number one. That's the metric that we use, and that our customers judge us on that. That's how we want to be judged, because that's success.

Pricing, the way that works is it starts at $2,500, and it goes up to $3,500 a month, and then through our pricing, we're incentivized to get our customers on as many quality appointments as possible.

Slocomb Reed: So it's $2,500 to $3,500 a month, regardless of how big the list is?

Adam Rosen: Yeah, we're judged more on meetings. We don't say we're going to reach out to 5000 people in a month, or 1000, or 20,000 people in a month... For us, it's all about meetings.

Slocomb Reed: I'm imagining two friends of mine here in Cincinnati, neither of which is me, who have very different target sellers that they are looking to reach. One of them is a single family wholesaler, house flipper, has a small rental portfolio, but his list is over 50,000 properties long. And that's an opportunity to send around 50,000 emails to get those meetings booked.

I have another friend who is very particular about a niche asset class in the Greater Cincinnati Area and the areas where he is interested in looking. And there might be 100 properties or property owners on his list. How does or how should email marketing differ between my friends who have a 50,000 single family list and a 100-property niche commercial asset property list?

Adam Rosen: Really good question, because it is very different. Your universe, as I call it, of potential customers is small. So 100, that's a small universe; so you want to get much more targeted, specific and customized in your outreach. So in that scenario, you do want to do more research, so that in your email to them - I'm not saying you need to put three paragraphs about every little detail about them, but put one to two extra sentences in the beginning, that shows that you did your extra due diligence on them. And then maybe you're only reaching out to 20 a week, and in five weeks you've reached out to everyone, including your follow-up sequences, to do all 100 in a week. But with a very tailored list like 100, you can get much more specific.

If you have a list of 50,000, the way that you're specific is having a general idea of who they are and what they want, and then crafting a very simple email with a call to action of let's get on a phone call. But some people, when they have a big list, they spend way too much time personalizing. They think that's gonna get them the appointment. For me, when people email me and they say, "Hey, I see you're based in Hawaii" or whatever the thing is, and they think that's why I'm gonna get on a call with them... I don't care about that. I would much rather you talk to me about my problem, and how you have a solution to my problem. That's what's gonna get me on the call.

So if you have a big list, do not spend too much time personalizing it; personalize it again in the way of "I know what your problem is", or "I have a good idea what your problem is. I have a solution. Are you interested in having a conversation about this?"

Break: [00:13:19.22]

Slocomb Reed: Thinking in terms of hiring a third-party vendor to do this email marketing, if I'm a guy with a 50,000 property list, it makes a lot more sense to me to have a flat fee that I pay per month, to have you blast slightly personalized emails to all 50,000 people every month. When I have a list of 100 - yes, you the vendor should expect that I the client have a more detailed knowledge of each property and possibly each owner. But hiring a third party vendor to send 20 emails a week - is the scale just too small?

Adam Rosen: Yeah, it's a list of 100. The way I would recommend working with a third party would be -- we'll do trainings for people. So how to write an email, how to create the system. So we've spent in this business a little bit less than two years building this business and building out the systems that have allowed us to scale with a small team, where we're sending, again, over 250,000 emails every week, and we're able to manage that process where we're getting thousands and thousands of responses every week that we're responding to.

So with a small list like that, I would recommend talking to a professional, whether it's me or somebody else, you know, that's an expert in this space, to help coach you through the best way to get the most out of that list. So I'll do trainings for things like that. But yes, if your list is that small, it's probably not worth it to outsource it to a company like mine, because the scale is just so small.

Slocomb Reed: Let's look at another hypothetical here, Adam. I am a syndicator of commercial real estate who is looking for investors. My list of investors has already connected with me, and I already have them on an email list or an email newsletter. How would you recommend that I Use email marketing to increase my investor list?

Adam Rosen: Number one, I would think about what do my investors look like? What's their typical net income? Are they owners? Are they involved in real estate properties? What's their typical job title, so you can find the folks, so that we can scrape the contact information for those folks. But first, you have to understand who they are, what they look like, so we can get the contact information for them. Once we do that, it's all the same. The message, sure, will slightly vary. But it's the same thing. Number one, you've got to figure out who your buyer is, two, you have to figure out how you can get them... So we do a lot of creating lists for companies, creating lists for ourselves. So two, you have to build out that email list. And then three, it's all the same stuff, whether reaching out to potential investors, customers for a tech startup, influencers... It doesn't matter who you're reaching out to, the process is the same, but the messaging will differ, of course.

Slocomb Reed: Adam, I want to ask about your own personal successes and failures through email marketing. Let's start with the successes. You don't necessarily have to name-drop, but what's the most interesting situation you found yourself in doing email marketing for a client?

Adam Rosen: I'd say a couple of notable ones that people will know. My first batch doing cold email from my own was when I was in college, and I emailed Mark Cuban. It didn't turn it into an appointment, but he responded back to me. So that was cool. For my own tech startup, an interesting one I mentioned earlier was that now the former CEO of MasterCard, one of the biggest companies in the world, [unintelligible 00:17:29.27] responded, got on multiple phone calls, ended up becoming a customer.

One of the larger real estate companies that probably a lot of the listeners will know, WeWork, for one of our startups we got on a cold email the CEO and CTO of WeWork on a phone call with one of our customers just from a cold email on the first meeting. So again, that's why I say the power of cold email - if you do it right, if you know how to leverage it, it can work with anybody, whether it's someone like a Mark Cuban or an [unintelligible 00:17:57.17] all the way down to whoever you're looking to reach out to.

So cold email can work, and can be a huge asset for anybody, if you know what you're doing, if you know how to leverage it. But if not, it's a huge wasted opportunity. There's a ton of money, a ton of opportunity, ton of leads, ton of top of the funnel that's waiting for you, if you can leverage cold email. I always say you're one email away from your opportunity changing, but you got to do it right. Because if you just build out a list, you write a BS email, you press Send and you wait back, you're not going to get results. You've got to do it right. There's a skill to it, which I feel like is underappreciated by a lot of people. But if you do it right, it can be a huge asset for you.

Slocomb Reed: Thinking through my own experience with cold emails, you're absolutely right... And things like LinkedIn messages that people send; there are a lot of generic openers that I just skip over. But there are a couple of vendors I use in particular who cold-emailed me. And part of is that they happen to have what I needed in the moment... But there are a couple of vendors that I use that have come from cold email. Adam, either for yourself or for your clients, where has your strategy failed? Where have you just not been able to get results?

Adam Rosen: The only times I've really failed - because, sure, there's been times with customers we didn't have as good of a month as we wanted... But you change it up, you change the messaging, maybe reach out to different types of people, you were reaching out to the wrong vertical etc, and you fix it. The only times I've had failures in cold email is when I tried to overthink it, when I tried to be gimmicky.

I remember back when I was running my tech startup, we had a new launch which we were really excited for. We had this great email list of student organizations at colleges that I was getting ready to reach out to. And the university on this list happened to be Brigham Young University, a Mormon University. I thought it'd be funny to put in the subject line, "Sign the f up" with a bunch of asterisks. And then in the body of the email I said "Kidding. Here's what we're doing. We'd love to have you sign up." I thought it was gonna be a smashing hit. I was so excited to get the results. Never in my life did I get such bad email responses back, which were well deserved. So I got the worst emails ever. I'm the worst person, terrible representative of my brand, etc, etc.

The next morning after feeling like crap that night, I sent a genuine email, apologizing and inviting them to my community in a much more sincere way... And then the response from that was very good. And the lesson I learned from that is don't be gimmicky. Don't try to trick people into responding to you. For me, everything that we do -- look, the name of my company is Email Outreach Company. We're trying to be as black or white as possible. It's all about utility and simplicity. With email, we are all bombarded with emails, all day, every day. So how can we just get to the point as quickly as possible to show "Here's the purpose of my email. Here's the problem that we solve. Here's our solution. Here's our social proof. Here's our call to action. Book a 15-minute call." And then "Hey, if you're not interested, please let me know and I'll stop reaching out." But let's be simple. Let's get to the point. Let's not be gimmicky. That's one of my biggest pet peeves. So the only time, to answer your question, Slocomb, that I feel like I failed in cold email is when I've tried to overthink it and tried to outdo myself.

Slocomb Reed: Adam, that makes a lot of sense. Are you ready for the Best Ever lightning round?

Adam Rosen: Let's do it.

Slocomb Reed: What is the best ever book that you recently read?

Adam Rosen: My favorite book, "Built to Sell." I feel like every single startup, entrepreneur, founder real estate investor, everybody, you need to build your company to sell it from the start. So I recommend everybody read "Built the sell." Great book on building your company processes, systems etc. so that you can eventually sell the company.

Slocomb Reed: Who's that by?

Adam Rosen: John Warrillow. I might have pronounced the last name incorrectly. That's John Warrillow.

Slocomb Reed: John Warlow, or John Warrillow. One or the other, yes.

Adam Rosen: John, I apologize for potentially getting your name wrong. But hey, I wanted to give a shout-out for the book. I love it. It's a simple read, and that's advice I got from mentors with my first business, but I didn't do a good enough job of this early enough, so everything I do now is based on a lot of the tenets in that book.

Slocomb Reed: What is your best ever way to give back?

Adam Rosen: I love entrepreneurs, I love small business owners, I love growth-minded people, so for me, I love spending time working with small businesses, because I feel like they're the heartbeat of America and don't get enough credit. And for me, I just love helping good-hearted people that are trying to make a good impact.

Slocomb Reed: Adam, I asked about failures... Outside of getting gimmicky with your email campaigns, what is the biggest mistake that you've made and the best ever lesson that resulted from it?

Adam Rosen: I'd say the biggest mistake I made - and this goes back to my tech startup. Because for me, I was never able to get that company to product-market fit as quickly as every single business needs to. I don't care if you're a tech startup, or real estate professional, you're building on a development, you're showing a house as a realtor... It doesn't matter. You have to get to product-market fit every company; every entrepreneur, every organization needs to get to product-market fit. And with my tech startup, the reason why -- yes, we were acquired, but it was not the fancy acquisition that everybody dreams of when you start your own business... It was because I never got to true product-market fit. So that's one of the biggest things that my co-founder and I with my current company have been focused on from the start, is how do we build something that works, where are the systems, the processes, everything we do can work, can scale, and most importantly, can add value to our customer. So the biggest failure was never truly gaining to product-market fit with my first company, and now everything I do is focused on getting into product-market fit.

Slocomb Reed: On that note, Adam, what is your best advice?

Adam Rosen: Focus on value. I think we're taught when we're younger is like focus on what you're passionate about, focus on what you love doing. And yes, all that is important. But if we always focus on bringing value to everybody that we're with, whether it's in our business, our life, every interaction that we have - if we focus on giving value, we will get so much more value in return, just because it's a byproduct of it. So for me, I try to go into every situation with how do I give value. Because I know if I do that, in return, I will get more than I could ever ask for.

Slocomb Reed: Bonus question. Adam, for your clients of email outreach company - do you send an email newsletter?

Adam Rosen: Do I send a newsletter? Yes, I do.

Slocomb Reed: I figured the answer had to be yes... Real last question - where can people get in touch with you?

Adam Rosen: If you want to check out our website, it's My email is Adam [at] EOC And on social media I'm typically @AdamIRosa.

Slocomb Reed: Those links are in the show notes. Adam, thank you. Best Ever listeners, thank you as well for tuning in. If you've gained value from this episode, please do subscribe to our show. Leave us a five star review and share this episode with a friend that you know we can add value to through our conversation about email marketing. Thank you, and have a best ever day.

Adam Rosen: Thanks a lot, Slocomb. I really appreciate you having me, and thanks to all listeners.

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