Email Outreach From A to Z
Running an online business is a real challenge. It requires implementing different strategies. Some strategies take lots of time and give poor results; the others don’t fit your business at all.
Nevertheless, you must work hard to put your business on top of everything and outrank your competitors.
So, you stumble upon the question “what strategy should be used?”
I advise you to stick to the practice that works for sure despite the fact that it isn’t a new one. I am talking about an Email Outreach.
I am going to show you how to do email outreach from A to Z that will help you grow your customers and drive traffic to your website.
Shall we begin?
1. Who Are You ?
I would like to start with a question “how often do you read emails from people you have never heard about before?” As for me, I am picky about reviewing messages that I’ve received from people I know nothing about. I’ve experienced the same “attitude” regarding my own messages that I sent to well-known influencers in the marketing world.
Why does it happen?
I think the answer is obvious. There are no guest publications from you, no activity on social media, no brand visibility at all. Hence, no one knows you. No one trusts you. No one reads your emails.
You must turn the ship around!
First of all, create accounts on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+. Make sure you added all necessary information that covers your professional achievements, your work experience, and personal hobbies. Let people know more about you.
When you see that you get some exposure on social media channels, it is time to look for the ways on finding your target audience.
2. A Couple of Ways on How to Find a Target Audience
On the one hand, it is not hard to find a target audience that is relevant to your niche. Everything that you should know is where and how to search.
I advise you to follow these two ways:
- Search on social media channels
- Discover your competitors’ customer database
1) Social media channels are a nice opportunity to find the right people to reach out to. I recommend searching on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Let’s see how it works.
LinkedIn is a business platform where lots of people from your niche are registered. Just type a query you are interested in the most and get a list of people you need.
I put the query “affiliate marketing,” and LinkedIn gave me the list of people who have a direct relationship to this subject. However, be cautious with these profiles because you can stumble upon people who offer the same services as you do. Thus, they won’t be interested in your service. Likely, you can run across companies these people are related to and find customers for yourself.
Facebook is a social media platform that is used by different people all around the world. It is good both for business and entertainment. Take the same steps as during your search on LinkedIn. But here I would like to draw your attention to groups on Facebook related to your inquiry.
These groups contain a few thousands of subscribers so you won’t have any issues with searching targets for your outreach.
Twitter works awesome too.
Keep an eye on the subscribers these people have. You can find something useful.
Searching for potential outreach opportunities using social media channels doesn’t always bring the results you need. Thus, I would like to suggest you to see what opportunities you will be able to find with the help of your competitors’ database of customers.
2) Competitors’ database is the only source of outreach opportunities that meets your needs for a hundred percent. To find these opportunities, you’ll need Google and a backlink checker tool from Ahrefs. Let’s take a look on how to do this in detail.
Firstly, go to Google and type a query you are interested in. I want to give you an example by putting the following inquiry “off-page SEO.” Here is what Google reveals.
Google revealed us a few competitors articles that are located in Top10 Google results. These pieces have lots of backlinks that lead to people who might be interested in the service you offer. But the next question is how to find these backlinks?
I recommend you to jump to Ahrefs backlink checker and get a list of backlinks that would get you an opportunity to run a successful outreach campaign. Take a link to a competitor’s post and put it to Ahrefs.
The link contains 850 backlinks that are a pretty good result. However, you can filter the results by the past month to get the freshest opportunities.
I narrowed down the results by the past month, and now you can see 30 new backlinks for your outreach. Despite the fact that you already know how to find opportunities for your outreach, there are still a few crucial elements that I want to explain you.
3. More Data You’ll Need
As far as you understood, you’ll need more additional data for a complete email outreach campaign. The data I’m talking about is private email addresses of the people you’re going to reach and the information about their business activity.
“Have you ever got this notification?”
You can get this if an email address was invalid or simply not found. It may happen since the recipient you’ve contacted had changed a current workplace. As a result, this particular email address is no longer available. If you found a wrong email address, I recommend you to double-check it with the help of LinkedIn. Pay attention to “experience” section.
There are cases when people tend to point out their personal contact information on LinkedIn as well.
Nevertheless, it is not always possible to find email addresses using social media channels.
So, what to do next?
You will have to start an “email hunt” using specialized tools.
Let me tell you about a couple of tools I use.
ContactOut is an extension for Chrome that allows you to get emails from LinkedIn.
If this Chrome extension doesn’t find emails you need, I recommend you to use such tools as Findthat.email and Voilanorbert. Furthermore, using Rapportive in your browser will help you identify if the email address is valid.
Now I believe you won’t have any problems with finding anyone’s email address.
4. Outreach Phase
Outreach phase involves three primary stages – crafting email templates, sending follow-up emails, and tracking the progress of every outreach campaign you run.
1) Crafting email templates
At first sight, it seems like there is nothing hard in creating email templates. You have the exhaustive data on your outreach targets, their email addresses, and the idea of the message you’re willing to send them. Hence, the practice shows that mistakes that people do during outreach are still there. Let’s have a look at the major ones.
- Absence of a recipient’s name
Have you ever got messages that didn’t contain a reference by your name? Well, see what I’ve got.
You can see that the one who sent me this message hasn’t included my name in it. However, this person didn’t forget to put a link that was a goal number one. I don’t like this approach to outreach. I just neglected the message.
- An attempt to create an impressive subject line
Sometimes we try to impress with our creativity during outreach. I don’t mind to do creative outreach. Despite this fact, using weird subject lines to catch one’s eye isn’t always appropriate.
There is no need in writing too long, complicated subject lines. Also, don’t use capital letters for each word you use in the subject line + don’t overuse the emoticons.
Now let’s learn to write subject lines correctly.
Keep in mind that a subject line should reflect the primary idea of the message. Thus, there is no better way to make up subject lines then writing them short and sweet. Like this one.
I guess this subject line gives you an idea of what is this message about.
If you want to add some creativity to your subject line anyway, you should try to combine the main purpose of the message with something entirely irrelevant. Let me help you understand what I am talking about with the example below.
I agree with you that this subject line looks a bit weird. Nevertheless, I decided to figure out what aside hobbies this particular person has and try to combine them with his professional skills. As you can see the result is a pretty tricky one.
The second part of the template that should be personalized is an introduction section. Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind. Discover the background information regarding the person you want to reach out to. Be polite and careful with your criticism. It goes without saying that you can share your thoughts on something but don’t tell rude things.
Here is how a well-personalized email template should look like.
During the process of personalization of this very message, I was hooked on “movie” subject and adjusted it in the post. It was a beautiful way to build a conversation. Check out the reply.
The person was pleased with my informal message and he didn’t mind to help me with identifying the movie I was interested in. Plus, I got the information I needed from this man. Thus, this approach to email personalization worked for me.
2) Follow-up emails
If you think that a single email can bring you the result you need, you are wrong. Keep in mind that your message can be lost among dozens of other emails. Yes, even a well-personalized email can be ignored by your recipients. It doesn’t mean that your message sucks. No, it says that it wasn’t simply opened yet.
What to do then?
It is easy to do with the help of follow-up emails.
Here is a bit of statistics that says “follow-up emails have 30% higher response rate in contrast to your first email pitch.” If the response rate is 30% higher, so we can just imagine how high the open rate is.
When you want to send a follow-up email, I recommend you to use a kind of “reminder” subject line along with a body of the message. Don’t write anything else except the thing you need to specify. Here is an example of a follow-up message.
You can see that I’ve asked the only one question. Nothing more. You should act the same in your follow-up emails. Specify only those things that are related to your first email pitch.
The next moment that I want to cover is when you should send follow-up emails.
Any follow-up email can be sent in a few days after your first notification. However, there are cases when it can take months before this. Here is an example that illustrates the difference in the time frame.
This example shows that I sent a follow-up message in 13 days after my first email pitch. The result wasn’t slow to arrive.
Sending follow-up emails is a must option if you want your messages hit the targets.
3) Track the progress
Every aspect of outreach must be 100% polished.Tracking the outreach progress is not an exception too. It is critical to see how your email template performs. Thus, you will be able to understand which template is worth using and which one is not.
I advise you to use Buzzstream for running all your outreach campaigns. Besides a convenient system of crafting email templates, this tool allows you to track how each template works in terms of successfulness thanks to such metrics as clicks, open and reply rates.
Furthermore, Buzzstream has another awesome feature in its arsenal that shows you when and how many times a particular message has been opened. “Green eye” icon tells you the truth.
From my perspective, Buzzstream is an all-in-one tool for outreach purposes only. Use it wisely, and your outreach will be rewarded for sure.
Over to You
I have just shown you the entire process of email outreach. You can see that it involves different stages that can’t be missed or thrown away. It takes lots of time and patience. First results won’t be impressive. Nevertheless, your practice and desire to achieve the progress will be rewarded.
If you found this guide useful, please, feel free to share it on your social media channels.
Don’t forget to leave your comments as well.
Author’s bio: Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Manager at Ahrefs. Apart from working at Ahrefs he likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.