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How To Write High Performing Outreach Emails Without Relying On Generic Templates

The Secret Sauce Of Writing High Performing Outreach Emails

Blogger outreach is one of the most effective ways to promote content, secure guest post opportunities, acquire backlinks and more.

But here’s the problem:

Most people rely on overly generic templates they find on the web.

Before you know it, conversion rates plummet because everyone else is using the exact same template.

I understand why:

It’s less time-consuming, and it makes the process far easier to outsource.

Heck, we’ve all got businesses to run right?!

But the truth is that relying on templates isn’t a sustainable strategy.

There’s a better way. And in this post, you’ll learn a complete framework that will make it easy to stop relying on generic templates.

Why frameworks are better than templates

There are a few issues that occur when using templates:

  • Templates found on the web get used heavily, and conversion rates will diminish the more often they’re used.
  • Most outreach templates are generic and don’t compel the reader to take action – they just come across as “hey you, you don’t know me, but you should give up your free time to help me”.
  • Relying on templates won’t teach you anything about writing outreach emails.

And that’s just the start.

Yes, there are benefits such as being easier to send using popular blogger outreach tools and being easier to outsource. After all, you’re just giving someone a script so they won’t learn anything.

Now, what about frameworks?

On the downside, you’ll send fewer emails, and they’re trickier to outsource.

But your emails will convert better, so you won’t need to send anywhere near as many.

You’ll also have a larger pool of potential opportunities to work with. If you use generic templates that run at a 3% conversion rate, you’ll cycle through far more sites.

And as you do, it becomes harder to identify potential sites that are a good fit to reach out to.

Now, my favorite part of this is the learning element.

Here’s why:

By learning to work with a framework, it forces you to think about which components are required in an email to help you get a positive response.

If you’re outsourcing the outreach process this will mean more time will need to be spent upfront with training, but you’ll spend less time on checking over work in the future.

This quote probably explains it best:

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Maimonides

The 6 point framework for high converting outreach emails

This process is designed to reduce friction, build long-term relationships and unlock opportunities.

Let’s dive in:

#1 – Pre-outreach

This is the most time-consuming step, but it’s by far, the most fruitful.

Before you even think about sending an email, you need to get on the blogger’s radar.

At a basic level, this could include:

  • Commenting on their blog
  • Sharing their content on social media and tagging them
  • Replying to their social media updates
  • Help them out with something – e.g. an error on their site they may have missed

It’s also worth having a Gravatar set up to display your profile picture. This should be the same profile picture on your social networks – it will make you more recognizable when you eventually email them.

The reason why this step is so important is because you’re building connections and forging relationships with the rockstars in your niche.

#2 – Personalization

At a bare minimum, you should be including the name of the person you’re trying to reach.

If you don’t know it – go and find it because people will be far more likely to reply.

If you’re emailing a generic email address, look for a contact who works at that company – a little bit of personalization goes a long way.

Don’t be afraid to go a step further with this because it can often make the difference between getting a reply or your email getting binned.

A good example is an outreach email I received a while back; where the marketer referenced something personal from my Twitter account (my love of Chinese food and watching re-runs of Firefly).

That way, I knew that they were paying attention and not just blasting emails out without any thought.

#3 – Help the recipient

So many outreach emails are just poorly written pitches that mostly ask people to give up their time for free.

And by doing something to help the blogger out, before you’ve even asked them for anything – you’re far more likely to grab their attention.

But, to be clear – you need to do something to help them.

I get a lot of pitches from startups that want me to write reviews of their tools, and they make out they’re giving me a super exclusive free trial. Then I discover that it’s the same free trial that everyone gets.

How you help the blogger depends on the situation and what potential opportunities are available.

You could give them a heads up on a bug on their site, or it could be something as basic as sharing one of their posts with your audience.

#4 – What do you want them to do for you?

Have you ever received an outreach email that meandered and after reading it you were left with a feeling of “er ok, and?”

… Don’t do that.

Be absolutely crystal clear with what you’re asking from the blogger.

The key here is to make the call-to-action sound like it’s beneficial to both of you.

For example, don’t just say “I want to write a guest post for you”.

Instead, tell them how well a few of your other guest posts have performed, and that you’d like to do something similar for their audience.

#5 – What’s in it for them?

By this point, you’ll have already done something to help the blogger you’re trying to connect with.

That’s usually enough, but not always so I recommend going a step further.

The idea here is to tell them what you’ll do if they agree to your call-to-action. I particularly like to focus on the challenges that bloggers face when agreeing to someone else’s request.

Let’s use pitching guest posts as an example.

A lot of bloggers will publish guest posts and then realize that the contributor has no interest in sharing the post with their audience or replying to comments.

Which comes across as those the guest blogger doesn’t value their audience.

So, you can face those potential objections head on by saying something like:

“The post will be proofread and double checked in Grammarly*. I’ll also respond to any comments and share it with my own audience”.

You could take it to the next level by offering extra value such as:

  • Paid traffic (e.g. Facebook Ads/StumbleUpon Ads)
  • Mentioning that guest post in future posts on other sites (they’ll get links = easy win for them)

#6 – Let them know who you are

A lot of outreach emails come from random Gmail accounts with no way of finding out who that person really is.

No links to their website, social profiles or anything.

This makes it difficult to put any trust in that person’s ability to write a decent post for your audience.

So, use your email signature here – include your name, links to your personal social profiles and include a link back to your site.

Wrapping it up

There we have it – a straightforward framework that you can apply to your blogger outreach process.

In an ideal world, every step in this framework should be followed. But, this isn’t an ideal world, and when you’re running a business and trying to do a lot with a small budget, sometimes corners have to be cut.

At the very least, try not to rely on templates that have been shared on the web. These get rinsed.

Create your own emails based on the framework I shared above, and you’ll notice your conversion rates jump up.

Here’s the bottom line:

By going the extra mile to make it worth the bloggers time, you make it difficult to say no, and you open the doors to a potentially fruitful relationship. A long-term relationship.

But, that means there has to be give and take. So you will need to put time and effort into maintaining these relationships.

This means that when you need something, these people will be there for you. Because you were there for them.

Now, do you have any questions or tips to share? Leave a comment below this post.

 

* Denotes an affiliate link – if you click and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Adam Connell

Adam used to manage the content marketing efforts for brands earning well over 8 figures in annual revenue. Now he teaches entrepreneurs how to create a blog that thrives in a noisy online world over at BloggingWizard.com and here on his personal blog. Interesting fact: Adam can 'split the atom' on a yo-yo.

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  • Hi Adam sir,
    With all the emails that come into our inboxes, I agree the ones with the qualities you mentioned stand out.
    Generic and downloaded templates seldom have the effects that personalized and relationship building emails have.
    Loved your tips, as always.
    -Swadhin

    • Hi Swadhin,

      Glad you enjoyed these tips.

      That’s it exactly – personlization and relationship building is always the way to go.

      – Adam

  • Hi Adam,

    Pre-outreach is everything! I nabbed guest posting rights – publishing whenever I want to – on Blogging Tips after posting a few comments on blog posts. Zac asked me if I wanted to guest post, I gratefully accepted and now I publish twice weekly on that awesome blog.

    Ditto for my Huffington Post guest posts. I built a bond with a fellow blogger, posted a few comments on their blog and received an invite to become a Huff Post Contributor.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan

    • Hey Ryan,

      Thanks for stopping by!

      You’ve landed two great opportunities there – great examples of how powerful pre-outreach can be.

      Keep up the awesome work!

      – Adam

  • Hey Adam,

    Just this morning I was going through me inbox and I found a few outreach emails using exactly the same templates.

    I get a few of those each week, and one thing I notice is the part they say “they’ve been following my blog for some time, and how they loved a particular post”, yet I’ve never seen them in the comment section or even on my email list.

    You see these templates everywhere these days, they’re part of incentives and freebies on so many websites and blogs. I much prefer to construct my own personally, and add my own personal touches as well.

    Some great tips here mate and I’ve gotten some great ideas for the future. Cheers for that 🙂

    Have a great rest of the week.

    – Fabrizio

    • Hey Fabrizio,

      Thanks for checking out this post mate!

      I know exactly what you mean. And it ends up becoming brand damaging for those that do use them.

      Great that you create your own and add personal touches – this is definitely the way to go!

      Thanks buddy – let me know how you get on 🙂

      You too!

      – Adam

  • Nice article Adam. I completely agree with you when it comes to pre-outreach. You can never invest enough time in it. How do you determine which social network is best for a particular niche?

    • Thanks Nikolay. Indeed – in the short term it may seem like things are moving slowly, but those are the relationships that pay off big in the future.

      Good question. I don’t have a specific process for it, since it depends on the niche. Most of them are pretty straight forward.

      For example:

      Something related to business – LinkedIn
      A big focus on imagery – Pinterest/Instagram
      A younger age group such as teens – Snapchat/Instagram
      Catch all networks – Facebook/YouTube/Twitter

      There are niche networks to consider too. For example, if it’s about video games – N4G.com is an option.

      Ultimately, it comes down to where your ideal audience hang out online.

      – Adam

      • Hey Adam, thanks for the tips! I mostly use LinkedIn and Twitter, but will consider checking the other platforms too. Maybe I’m missing some great opportunities.

        Btw I was wondering if you can share an opinion about an article on blogger outreach I published a while ago: http://niksto.com/blogger-outreach/

        Would be great if you share your thoughts 🙂 Cheers!

        • Hey Nikolay, sure thing. Hope they prove useful.

          Thanks for the link. I’ll try and check it out but can’t make any promises – my list of posts to check out is huge already.

  • Thanks for sharing Adam! Adding a personal touch to email pitches really makes a big difference on the approach. But I want to know, what is your take with using casual tone when writing emails?

    • Sure thing, Emmerey.

      Difficult question – there is no right answer here.

      Most people I get outreach from use a professional tone with little personality. I’d find it refreshing to get emails written in a casual tone.
      But everyone is different and I’m sure that some people would respond better to a more professional tone.

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