Don’t be the weakest link: 4 Secrets of successful outreach emails
You’ve managed crazy brainstorm sessions, survived data tsunamis and worked with genius developers and quirky designers to create a piece of irresistible linkbait for your client. You’ve even identified which influencers are most likely to share your content. All you need to do now is let them know it’s there. Don’t muck it up.
1. Pick up the phone
The more personal the approach, the higher your chances of success. If you’ve been in touch with a blogger or journalist before and if you know their phone number, consider calling them to have a chat and tell them about your infographic, app, contest or opportunity to review a product.
2. Craft a good subject line
If you are subscribed to a couple of newsletters, weekly digests from forums and social media alerts, you know why reading emails has become similar to skimming newspaper headlines for many of us. A headline has to be pretty damn fascinating to get you to open the message and read the full text. So what makes a good subject line?
- What’s in it for them?
If you get it right, this line points out how reading this email will benefit the recipient. For example because it contains relevant content that competing website owners don’t have access to – yet. Take the time to see your message from the recipient’s point of view and identify what they would really find most interesting about it.
- Match their style
Mirroring your target’s tone of voice or “creating rapport” can be a very efficient way of enticing someone to read further. Look out for superlatives, jargon, special punctuation, puns, rhyme, metaphors and other figures of speech in the titles of the recipient’s articles and adapt your word choice to their vocabulary.
- Keep it concise
The first words to go in the bin should be the ones that are vague and don’t add a jaw-dropping effect. Don’t waste space on phrases such as “blogger announcement”, “weekly update of opportunities to…”, “are you interested in…?”
- Do the spam-check
It can sound like a great idea to have a call to action, question or “special offer for you” in your subject line, but before you go with it, ask yourself one question: if you received an email with this subject line in your personal inbox, would you read it? Signals such as “FREE”, “guaranteed”, “approved”, spelling mistakes and capitalising every word of your subject line will make mental spam-alert-bells ring.
- Opening salutation
Guess what… an analysis of nearly 30,000 outreach emails by iAcquire shows it’s best to start your email with a personal opening. 20.6% of personally addressed outreach emails were responded to. If you really can’t find the name of the person that will receive your message, it is better to simply start with “hi,” rather than customising it with the name of the website.
4. Personal opening line
The best way to connect with people is by paying them a deserved compliment about the work they’ve done. You’ve visited their blog and thought it was good, otherwise you wouldn’t be emailing them. So, all you need to do is mention what it is about their website that you like. Is it the creative angles of the articles, the design of the site, the sense of humour?
5. Keep the body slim and simple
But I didn’t need to tell you that, did I?
Deborah Klaassen is a Copywriter and Editor.