My Email Exchange with Evan Spiegel

Back in Spring of 2015 I was planning the tour for Cal Poly Entrepreneurs. Everyone in the club wanted to meet the CEO of Snapchat, Evan Spiegel and I got to work. Long story short, it worked and we were able to do a Q&A with him at Snapchat HQ.

I have other students begging me to see the emails. I decided to put them up for easy sharing.


Before I reached out, I had to do my homework to figure out how I could get Evan’s attention. I’ll spare you the details, but it included reading everything about him on the first 3 or 4 pages of Google…Once I knew everything about Evan, I could craft relevant and engaging emails…

Email 1 — 4/27/2015:

Subject: Giving Zuck the finger + Advice and a Snapchat Tour.
What’s up Evan!
You’re a busy CEO of one of the most valued companies in tech right now. Hell, you pretty much gave Zuckerberg the finger when he offered to buy out Snapchat for $3B. You’re young and you do whatever the hell you want — I dig it. Now Snapchat is worth 10x that and it’s clearly gotten under Zuck’s skin. Guess he can’t have everything he wants.
Would you be willing to share some wisdom and insight with a group of badass college entrepreneurs? I’m in charge of organizing a tour for Cal Poly Entrepreneurs (a club up in San Luis Obispo) and we would love to talk with you about how you’ve raised over $800M, built a brand, and (for my own personal curiosity) how to throw badass parties (from your internship at Red Bull).
Unlike Mark Zuckerberg, we’re not asking you to go anywhere! We’ll make it real easy and come to you. Our tour is planned for Friday, May 22 — May 23.
Let’s make something work.
- Cameron Wiese

Email 2— 4/30/2015

Subject: Re:Giving Zuck the finger + Advice and a Snapchat Tour.
Hey Evan,
I know you’re busy. You get a ton of emails a day. Most of the emails you get are probably people asking you for funding or something else boring and generic. I can guarantee you’ll have a good time talking with us — we’re funny and engaging. Plus, we all use snapchat on a daily basis so we can give you some good feedback. If it makes any difference, we’ll bring you a six pack of San Luis Obispo’s finest from Firestone Brewery.
Some of these:
I was thinking we could swing by Snapchat Friday at 12:30pm or 4:30pm. Would either of those times work for you?
Best,
Cameron Wiese

Email 3— 5/03/2015

Subject: The biggest waste of time…
Evan,
Of course I’m talking about that fight last night. I’m sure you went to Vegas to party and watch the fight — I’m hoping you didn’t put money on Pac..if you did this email may solicit frustration and inhibit a (positive) response. Ooops.
I wanted to follow up with you again. I really want to bring the club to check out Snapchat and pick your brain on how you’ve raised over $800M, built a brand, and (for my own personal curiosity) how to throw badass parties (from your internship at Red Bull).
Let’s make something work. If you’re not interested in this, no sweat… I’m still a fan of you and your company!
- Cameron Wiese

Email 4 — 5/05/2015

Subject: Re: The biggest waste of time….
Evan,
What’s up! Hope your day isn’t too much of a shit storm. I want to touch base and see how we can make something work. Again, I’m not Zuckerberg — I’ll bring the whole crew down to you! You just do your work at the Snapchat HQ and we’ll bring beer and great ideas for a quick 30 minute tour and Q&A. Would you be willing to take 30 minutes out of your schedule Friday afternoon to meet with us?
Best,
Cameron Wiese.

Email 5 — 05/06/2015

Subject: Re: The biggest waste of time….
Evan,
Good news! You don’t have to worry about your plans for Memorial Day weekend being ruined! We had our officer meeting last night and decided to do the tour the next week -> Friday, May 29. Hopefully this works better for you and we can get something rolling!
If you would be willing to take 30 minutes out of your day to allow us to pick your brain on how you’ve raised over $800M, built a brand, and (for my own personal curiosity) how to throw badass parties (from your internship at Red Bull). It’ll be well worth your time. Plus, I’m still game to bring you some beer from Firestone.
Does this stuff not look amazing? (their branding is pretty solid as well):
Hope to hear from you soon. If you’re not interested in this, no sweat… I’m still a fan of you and your company!
Best,
Cameron Wiese

Email 6— 05/06/2015

Subject: Re: The biggest waste of time….
Evan,
Beer obviously isn’t enticing enough.. probably because you won’t want anything to do with it for a month after Memorial Day weekend (if you do it right). This Fall I’m organizing the second annual Startup Career Fair on campus where we’ll have the best and brightest CS, SE, and CPE students looking for jobs at tech companies. If you meet with us, I’ll guarantee you first dibs on Cal Poly’s best and brightest.
If I was off about the beer, let me know. I’m willing to negotiate.
- Cameron Wiese

Email 7 — 05/07/2015

Subject: What’s not to like about FREE beer
Yo Evan!
I’ve noticed you’ve been opening my emails — I figured I’d send you another email at a different time to see if I could get a response. Worth a shot.
For the third time, I’m not Zuckerberg — I’ll bring the whole crew down to you! Just run your show at Snapchat HQ until Friday afternoon. Then we’ll bring beer (FREE BEER) and great ideas for a quick 30 minute tour and Q&A. Would you be willing to take 30 minutes out of your schedule the afternoon of Friday, May 29 to meet with us? We honestly don’t need you to give us the tour! If you would take some time to just share your experiences with us, that would be awesome.
- Cameron Wiese

Calling him out on the failure to respond is what I think did it. After 7 emails (I would have kept going) I finally heard back from Evan. His response:

Lol okok

So that’s what it took. It wasn’t too bad, I was prepared to go a lot longer than 7 emails to get a response. Two takeaways:

  1. Write engaging emails that connect with the person you’re contacting
  2. Don’t give up, especially if you don’t get a response.