Blogger outreach is a common practice in the SEO landscape that is commonly used to acquire high quality links or to get some coverage on top media outlets (e.g. Huffington Post).
When done right, outreach can bring tons of value to a certain brand or website, including:
- Strong connections or relationships with authorities or influencers in the space, making it easy for the brand to attract high quality in-content links from influencers’ personal blogs.
- Can help sales team or outreach specialists to understand how competitive the industry is, in terms of the linking behaviors of bloggers/webmasters in the niche.
- Extracts new content ideas from conversations with influencers (these ideas are common topics people want to discuss and share in the community).
- Helps build trust and visibility in the industry, even if goals such as links are not met, people would start to become familiar with your website (which makes it easy for your team to engage with your prospects in the future).
There are still other benefits one brand could get from doing outreach.
But today, let’s dig in to how you can effectively reach out to your prospects, particularly to your target influencers. Let’s get started.
Timing of outreach
One of the important things you should consider, if you want to get more responses from your outreach, is the timing of sending your emails to your influencers.
Though there are other variables that would affect your response rate, scheduling your emails at the peak hours of your recipients would help increase your outreach’s conversion rate.
Things to consider when scheduling your outreach emails:
- Scheduling initial messages to prospects is good, but doing the same thing for reply and follow up emails is better.
- Choose mid-weekdays preferably Tuesday and Wednesday as days for outreaches.
- Breakfast and lunch hours are best time for outreach.
If you’re contributing content for influencers’ blogs, you can use this weekly schedule created by SEOteky.
Monday and Wednesday are best times to send your outreach emails. And as soon as you get responses from them, you can already write posts and send those articles the following week (Monday to Wednesday).
I’ve covered a few ou treach techniques in my latest post on Digital Philippines about 25 content promotion strategies. You may want to check that out.
Aside from the timing of outreach, interest is also another factor you should consider when doing outreach. People only open an email when they find it interesting, or in most cases, the email is very urgent and would require immediate reply.
So how can you identify if a prospect is interested to your pitch? Or at least show that your email is worth their replies?
Here are a few things you can consider.
- Look at the USP of your pitch. What do you think is the main reason why you’re pitching someone? If it is for links, then the person must be interested in linking to you. Ask yourself, does he show signs of interests that he might somehow link to your page, content or website (e.g. identify if the blog is already linking to relevant blogs or websites).
- What is that one thing that makes your pitch different from other pitches? Differentiating your offer is not the main point, but actually making your pitch more beneficial to your prospect (e.g. if other brands are offering 4% commission program, you might as well as increase the rate or add more incentives to the program).
- Do you show empathy in your emails? If you only reach out for the sake of achieving your campaigns’ goals, then it may sound too biased for your brand. You should give away value to your prospects.
You can base your outreach on data gathered from your email analytics account to identify your audience’s main interests and needs.
Reasons why email analytics is important for audience’s data gathering (interest):
- The data you’ve gathered from email analytics helps you in analyzing what works in content and engagement activities given that the large portion of data came from your very targeted and engaged audience (email subscribers).
- Email subscribers are one of the most responsive and interacting audience that you can contact to (feedbacks from them could provide valuable insights for your company in terms of email outreach, engagement and content ideation).
You can use GetResponse to gather data from your email marketing campaign through their email analytics feature and use it to identify your audience’s interest, which will be useful then in creating email templates for outreach and tweaking/customizing your newsletter offers.
Personalizing your outreach emails doesn’t guarantee responses and conversions. However, it affects how your prospects view you as a brand, making it easy for them to determine if you are worth investing their time for conversations and possible brand partnerships.
Actionable tips to semi-personalize your emails:
- Make your subject line standout by adding your prospect’s Site Name or First Name. This is pretty basic but it really works in outreach.
- Point out the value that you want to provide to your influencer (e.g. an affiliate program that has a higher commission rate than other similar programs).
- Add some niche-specific greetings to your email (e.g. you can use Happy Parenting for parenting blogs). This can separate your email from generic emails that your prospect receives in a daily basis.
- Mention at least one thing, element or page from the website/brand (e.g. you can mention the latest blog post published by the influencer).
To give you an example, I have a client who is targeting parenting blogs for content contribution.
So at the time of prospecting, I included the bloggers’ personal details in my document, such as:
- Blog name
- Guest blogging guidelines
- Topic resonating with the community of the target guest blog
These are common things to include to your email template but how you write your email copies makes the difference.
As an example, I wrote this email to one guest blog target.
And the response was great.
A few things why our outreach works:
- The introduction states our name and position (we want to show to the recipient that we’re real marketers, not robots).
- Topic that resonates with the audience of the blog (Tip: Use OSE to find top pages of the blog and use that to identify popular topics on that blog).
- We provide good examples of posts we’ve written in the past (at first, we just share links pointing to our blog’s content) to prove that we’re capable of writing high quality posts for them.
As I said earlier, there are several factors that can affect the success of your outreach campaign, which you should be aware of to improve your efforts and get more outstanding results as the campaign progresses over time. But the above outreach elements should already give you enough knowledge and tips to help you connect with your target influencers via email.
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- 3 Very Important Elements You Should Consider In Influencer Outreach - October 16, 2014