How to Maximize the Efficiency of Your Outreach
It’s no secret that good outreach can help you secure placement of or a link to that piece of content you spent hours on. Many people have a single strategy for outreach that they use to contact each prospect – that won’t always get you from Point A to Point B. There is a huge difference between crafting a pitch for 100 recipients versus crafting a pitch for one recipient. Think about it: would you rather receive a generic, cookie-cutter email that has been sent to 100 other people, or a customized, clearly researched pitch that shows you did your homework? Hopefully you agree with the latter. Successful outreach is all about building relationships.
If you’re just sending out a ton of generic emails hoping to get a high response rate, it’s time to reevaluate your process.
Here are some simple, but effective ways you can maximize the efficiency of your outreach:
Blow them away with a catchy subject line
Subject lines are just as important as the body of your outreach emails. It’s the first thing the recipient sees before opening your email. If it looks spammy or uninteresting, that email is going straight to the trash. The last thing you want to happen is to have the email you spent a chunk of time crafting going straight to their spam folder, right?
Keep in mind that if you personalize your subject line, the prospect might be more likely to open your email. For example, you can be direct and write a subject line along the lines of “Pitch: Client/campaign name” or for a broken link building campaign, “(DOMAIN) broken link”.
Bottom line: Write a subject line in a matter that proves you are worth their time. Always ask yourself: Would I open this email?
State your purpose
Just how your subject line should state a clear purpose, the body of your email should do the same. People don’t want to read lengthy emails; nobody has time for that. Try to get your message across in a clear and concise manner. For example, if you’re crafting a link building pitch, clearly explain to the prospect why linking to your website would be beneficial and how it can provide value to their audience. To prove you did your research, it’s helpful to mention what you like about the prospect’s site (i.e. an article, the visuals, etc.). This will show them that you actually took the time to read through their site. This article from SEER interactive gives some great examples of good and bad outreach.
Before sending your email, make sure your client/campaign aligns well with the brand you are reaching out to. For instance, if you’re pitching a clothing brand to a tech company, this wouldn’t provide any value to either parties.
Bottom line: Think of your email like a cold call. You’ve got one chance to prove yourself to the prospect. Be creative, clear and concise – that will help establish rapport.
No spelling/grammar mistakes
This pretty much speaks for itself. Nobody wants to receive an email with spelling mistakes because it shows you didn’t take the time to proofread your work. It also decreases your credibility.
Bottom line: Always look over your email before you send it.
Use templates effectively
Many people find that using pre-written templates can help save time when sending outreach emails. While templates can be beneficial in some aspects, it’s extremely important to personalize them to each individual prospect. Some people will immediately send your email to their trash if they think the same email has been sent out to multiple people. And you can kiss any chance or a response goodbye if you spell their name incorrectly – or worse, use the wrong name.
If you are going with the template route, make sure to highlight the areas of the email that need to be personalized, such as the subject line, recipients name, the name of their website, something you liked about their site, etc.
Bottom line: Personalize templates as much as possible to show the prospect they are valuable.
Follow up without sounding needy or pushy
Following up after sending an outreach email is something a lot of us forget to do. If you don’t get a response immediately after sending an email, that’s okay. People’s inboxes fill up very quickly, so your email could have just gotten lost in the mix. Wait a couple of days, and if you still didn’t get a response, send a short follow-up email reminding them why you’re worth their time. If you don’t get anything back after that, leave it alone – you don’t want to come off as desperate.
Bottom line: While following up can definitely be beneficial, you won’t get a response to all of your pitches – don’t take it personally.
To sum it all up, outreach can be a difficult process, but the more pitches you send out, the more you’ll learn about what works and what doesn’t.
Bonus pro tip: It helps to have something worth sharing!