If you have been in Digital Marketing for any amount of time, you know the importance of Link Development for your website.
Links are viewed as a “vote of confidence” for your website in Google’s Eyes and Digital Marketers have leveraged content marketing to get more of those valuable links.
In 2019, the game is tougher than it’s ever been, and smart Webmasters are tired of seeing the same old emails requesting a guest post.
I’d like to share a few tips that I have used to make connections with awesome content providers across the web in hopes that your email Outreach levels up to provide steady, relevant links to your site.
We will not be talking about the types of links or link building strategy or link prospecting today – but rather how to make the best 1st impression on your email outreach.
Here’s what I would like to share with you:
•Use External Validation if Possible
•Use Unique Emails – No boilerplate emails
•Impactful Subject Lines
•Nurture the Relationship
•Send a Follow Up – Don’t Call it a Follow Up
Offer Value in your Content Pitches
We don’t send emails to say “hello” or have a courtesy social call. We email to offer advice, content or something of value. Nine times out of ten, an email is a request for something or assigning an action item to someone.
But how do you convince a stranger from the internet that you got what it takes to provide killer content in a sea of content pitches? Provide real Value.
Now I must be frank here, you need to have top notch content. Original, Unique and Passionate is the name of the game. If your content is the same as your competitor’s, this will not work. Take time to craft the content (or at least the pitches for your content and write this stellar content later).
If you cannot provide 3 content pitches that are dynamite and super relevant to the website that you are reaching out to, step back and develop your content pitches.
I like to provide webmasters with 3 possible content pitches that are SUPER relevant to their audience. Take time to understand the audience, the site and then it will be clearer what type of content pitches to furnish.
If the content pitches that you create don’t strike this webmaster/editor like lightning, then consider if your content pitches aren’t specific enough for your prospects. Relevancy is crucial.
Be Likeable – Common Courtesy and Charm
In the digital world, much of the emotional context for human interaction is stripped away. Without these emotional cues, it’s very easy to sound like a bully, a jerk or just unpleasant.
The outreach psychology I began using stemmed from my days as a sales associate. In those days, I had heard time and time again that “People want to buy from their friends”.
Up until this point I hadn’t applied this to my outreach, but it’s very much the same idea of a buyer and seller relationship.
You, as the content marketer, are selling your content to the buyer and it’s in your best interest to be likable. Finding a common interest is crucial.
If you are doing prospecting in a field where you cannot identify common interests between yourself and the people of the industry, you might be in the wrong industry!
Bloggers love to embellish their sites with the things they love. Take your time to listen (or read rather). The best salespeople practice active listening and perhaps it’s time to bring that into your own outreach.
Use External Validation – Boast a Little!
Everyone wants to bet on a winning horse. Once you get some great links, it becomes easier to cite experience or victories that are relevant to the content that you are pitching.
Listing the publications that you have contributed to provides a great track record for you to cite later. Establishing authority and trust will help you out immensely.
Heck, it doesn’t even need to be link building related.
• Have you volunteered in a community program related to your industry? Put that in!
• Have you done some public speaking or led a community discussion on the subject matter? Add it!
Get creative and find a way to cite past experiences or contributions to establish that you are an authority and capable of creating value online.
Use Unique Emails – No Boiler Plate or Cookie Cutter Emails
I was under the illusion that copy/pasted the same walls of text and sending it off to webmasters all over the web was more efficient. But if your copy/pasted outreach emails get 0 responses, it is truly a wasted effort.
The realization hit me that these webmasters see hundreds of emails each week that do not project a personality or show minimal attempts of personalization. Don’t join the ranks of the discard email majority!
It’s easy to slap a bunch of emails into a mass emailer and “fire and forget” but impersonal email outreach is easily noticed. Save yourself the heartache – Get Personal!
Impactful Subject Lines
A subject line is the first impression. Be sure to dazzle and delight. A copy/pasted Outreach email often has a lack-luster subject line. Webmasters can see right through this.
Tell me which do you think is a better headline (imagine I was pitching this very article to a content source):
• “Email Outreach Tips for Digital Marketers”
• “8 High Impact Email Outreach Tips for Digital Marketers”
Yes, it’s a loaded question, but it’s the same content – just in a different packaging.
Use numbers, adjectives, and hooks to get attention. Tailor the subject lines to the content source and Get Creative!
If you are responding to a particular query, like a HARO request, be sure to let the reader know that you can answer their query with a super relevant subject line.
EG: If a HARO query is asking for Cosmetic Experts to discuss the impacts of Vitamin C on Skincare, I would structure my headline like:
• “3 Ways Vitamin C Supplements Provide Radiant Skin”
You get what I mean. It’s Problem-Solution structuring. They have a problem or a question provide the answer in your Impactful Subject Line.
Nurture the Relationship
If you are dead-set on a particular website or content marketing opportunity, it’s not a bad idea to “lurk” a little bit prior to sending your outreach.
Engage with them in the comment section, find them on Linkedin or engage/share their content on Social Media.
That way when you start pitching content, you have laid the foundation of the relationship previously.
Send a Follow Up – But Don’t call it a Follow Up
Most email outreach attempts won’t get a response. It’s a simple fact, even if you follow all the steps I have highlighted in this article, you may get a null response.
It’s ok to reach out again, but do not call it a “follow up”. Diving into the psychology a bit, using the word “follow up” implies that your reader or content opportunity failed to read or register your 1st request.
Remember, we want to be nice and helpful, so attempting to invoke a sense of guilt for the content source is counterproductive.
After reaching out again, if there’s no response, feel free to email someone else within the organization.
And my final secret:
I reach out to people all day, and many of them don’t get paid to care about me or my success. But I have seen such an increase in positive responses when I include the phrase (or something very similar):
“Please reach out to me if I can assist in any way”
See what I did there? I am asking for a favor or expediting a due date or something. But this is simple human psychology at work. Reciprocity is innately human and we shouldn’t forget that there is a human on the other side of that screen, and how it feels to be appreciated and reciprocated.
I hope you’ve gotten new ideas to supercharge your email outreach program. Feel free to reach out to me using the form below if you need help with your Digital Marketing Campaign or to ask any follow up questions.
Please reach out if I can assist you in any way!
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