As an online marketer or business owner, it’s fair to say, you’ve probably sent out an outreach email or two. But, thinking back, how many of those emails actually generated positive outcomes?
Not many, right? So, you move onto other methods of communication and leave email outreach behind, without looking back.
But, don’t let their bad reputation fool you, as if done right, cold emails are an excellent tool for networking, increasing brand awareness, acquiring new leads, collaborating with others, and more.
So, rather than letting your email outreach take the backseat, here are some tips to make your email outreach more effective and ensure you get a response.
1. Find the Right Contact
Finding the right contact is crucial to your chances of success for many reasons. First, it’ll prevent your email not being passed on. Second, it’ll demonstrate to the recipient how much effort went into finding the appropriate person, and third, it’ll push you closer to accomplishing the goals you set out with your email outreach strategy.
No matter who you’re outreaching to, one rule you should try to keep is to avoid using a general contact form at all costs. The chances of actually getting a response from a website ‘contact us’ form is extremely low.
You can examine the list of contacts provided, cross-reference it with LinkedIn, or even make an educated guess at their email based on their name.
2. Nail the Subject Line
While email outreach may be becoming dated – that doesn’t mean it’s not being used. More and more marketing teams are attempting to promote its comeback – which means, you’re not the only one sending out a cold email. With dozens of other cold emails swamping up your target’s mailbox, you need to make sure yours stands out. And, this can be accomplished with a punchy subject line.
Ultimately, you need to give the person that you are targeting a reason to read the email you have spent a lot of time crafting. Just think about it, what are the chances that you would click on a general marketing email? Zero to none, right?
Get them to open the email by writing an interesting subject line that will offer insights into the email. Make it smart, target it to your audience, and deliver some value.
3. Ensure They Are the Right Fit
Before sending a cold email, take the time to explore your prospect’s site to get a feel for the topics they usually cover and ensure that they fall into your target. There’s no point spending the time crafting a personalized email if the prospect doesn’t fit the bill. Take the time to nosy around their site, and if they do seem like a good match, then reach out – as they are much more likely to respond.
Of course, this is all easier said than done as finding the right influencer can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. To narrow your search, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is the influencer’s audience? Is their audience aligned with yours? Ergo, is there a potential for a mutually beneficial relationship?
- Does the influencer already share or accept content? If they are already sharing, then they are more likely to accept your content.
Also, you can use BuzzSumo to search for posts similar to your topic, and see which influencers are sharing similar content.
4. Make It Personal
No one likes to feel second best. Sending out an email which has clearly been reused time and time again, is a surefire way to get your email deleted right away. However, with a little bit of personalization, you can turn your luck around.
Naturally, you may assume this means changing the name of the recipient and acknowledging their industry. And, while doing so is a good start, there’s more to personalization than that.
A personalized email is one that pitches the prospect something that helps them. It’s important you take the time to find out how your pitch aligns with their work, interests, and so on, and clearly explain that to them.
Don’t take the easy route and simply state that you are a “loyal reader” or “have been reading their posts for a while.” Go the extra mile and do your research! Find out what pain points your prospect is dealing with and layout how you can help. This is a great way to get a response.
5. Pick the Right Time
Before you hit send, think about the other person’s inbox. How many emails do you think they receive? Are they likely to be swamped with similar requests? And so on.
Obviously, sending your email on a Friday afternoon will not generate the best results, neither will sending emails during the weekend or holidays.
The best days to send emails are Tuesday through Thursday between 8 am – 10 am and 3 pm – 4 pm. Of course, other factors may impact this, such as time zone differences, daily routines, and so on, but in general, these are the times you should focus on testing out. Right Inbox’s email scheduling feature can help with this.
6. Provide Value
Your prospect, naturally, won’t waste their time on someone who comes across as ‘a taker.’ It only takes a second for the recipient to determine if you want something from them, or if on the contrary, you’re interested in lending a helping hand. When it comes down to it, who do you think they will respond to, the giver or taker?
Demonstrate to them that you are genuinely interested in their brand and work, explain how their work has benefited you, and provide them with some of your own valuable insights – your chances of getting a response will rapidly increase.
7. Get to the Point Quickly
We’re all busy, especially your prospect, who let’s be honest, probably receives countless cold emails daily. And, if that’s not the case, then even your “less busy” contacts probably have more important things they would rather get on with.
So don’t waste their time. DO: get to the point quickly, and keep it short and scannable. So, introduce yourself in a friendly way, butter them up in a single sentence, and move on to the important aspect of the email – what you’re after.
8. Tastefully Show off Your Credentials
Stating your credentials in any outreach email can be very tricky. On the one hand, stating a few credentials is crucial to establishing your credibility. But, on the other, nobody likes a show-off, and you don’t want to end up overdoing it – as bragging about yourself is an easy way of turning someone off.
Just remember, the main focus of the email should be on providing value to the recipient. Listing off all your credentials isn’t essential in your email signature. Stick to one or two of the most recent, and most relevant, credentials. This could be anything from notable businesses you’re affiliated with or recent publications you’re featured on.
This way, you’ll be tactfully establishing your credibility in one or two sentences and swiftly shifting the focus back onto the main issue.
As the saying goes, “if at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.” When it comes to outreach, persistence is key. To put it simply, most likely your prospect is receiving over 100+ per day – therefore, it’s fairly reasonable to say, that the chances of your one email being seen, opened, and replied to are pretty slim. You wouldn’t believe how many people forget to reply to an email. But, a follow-up email can completely change the game – and failing to follow up is a huge mistake.
One study found that sending just one additional follow-up email can boost replied by 65.8%. When you send another email, you have yet another opportunity to cut through the noise and stand out. The follow-up email should be a gentle nudge. There is no need to repeat what you wrote in your initial email. Nowadays you can automate follow ups in Gmail so you don’t even have to think about following up, it does it automatically for you when set up correctly.
10. Nurture the Relationship
Once you’ve received a positive response, and got what you wanted – don’t just let your new contact go. It pays to keep in touch and build on the relationship you have formed. While it may take time and commitment, it’s definitely worth it.
Just think about it, the next time you want to get a piece of content in front of them or want them to check out your latest work, chances are they’ll be more than willing to take a look, and very likely to help.
Outreach emails can be the start to a long-term mutually beneficial relationship – if, you manage to get a response.
Armed with our tips and tricks, your outreach process will be a breeze. So don’t forget; always personalize, keep it simple, give before taking, be respectful, and make sure you’re contacting the right person.
While this process is easier said than done, the benefits of receiving a positive response are very much worth the trouble. So, test it out, determine what works for you, and don’t give up after the first round! You’ll see just how many more responses you’ll start to get.
****This is a guest post from Kelly Abraham. Kelly is a content marketer at Ranky, and is a marketing enthusiast and tech blogger. As a Brit who’s moved to Israel, she loves writing, traveling, and discovering boutique cafes.****