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Content Marketing 17 min read July 17, 2019

7 Outreach Marketing Tactics That Work Well

7 Outreach Marketing Tactics That Work Well
Hugh Beaulac
Hugh Beaulac
Content manager at MC2 Bid4Papers
No matter what your niche is, you must want to improve your Google rankings to beat the competition. You know on-page SEO matters, but you also know that 75% of SEO is actually off-page, so you want to build a strong backlink profile, and getting more backlinks from trustworthy websites is a must.
When done right, outreach marketing is one of the most effective link building techniques for most SEO specialists. Not only can spread the word about your company and get more high-quality links, but you can also build solid business relationships with blog owners.

Case in point:

In 2018, Lorna Jane, an Australian women's activewear company, ran a blogger outreach campaign to establish long-term connections with bloggers. The company decided to lay a bet on email personalization, so it did research before reaching out to influential bloggers. As a result, the campaign got a 90% response rate.

Wouldn't it be great if you could achieve the same results? The solution seems to be quite simple: research, write your email, send it, and get link juice.

But easier said than done. Why? According to one report by the Radicati Group, an average business user sends and receives 126 emails per day in 2019. This means it takes time, practice, and knowledge to cut through the noise and get your email opened.

Thus, you need to create successful outreach campaigns that get results, and here are seven effective outreach marketing tactics that work well.

Create intriguing subject lines

Since modern people receive many emails daily, it's easy to get buried in a crowded inbox. Just imagine: the average open rate is 17.92%. When it comes to outreach marketing, this means you should be ready to work on your subject line. Why? Your subject line is your visit card as it hints at what recipients can get with your email.

And if you email someone you don't know for some particular reason, it's even harder to get a reply. Thus, perfect cold email subject lines should be personalized to avoid spam filters: without spam trigger words, false promises, and exclamation points. The main aim of your subject line is to encourage the recipient to open your email.

It's simple. Just make up a creative, compelling, and informative subject line that piques the recipient's curiosity. Check how I did it when reaching out with a guest post submission:
What can you learn?
  • Put your reader first: When writing a subject line, make sure it can solve your recipient's problems, not yours.
  • Keep the optimal subject line length: According to one research by Marketo, seven-word subject lines (41 characters) get the higher open rate.
  • Include an emoji: 56% of brands that use emoji in their email subject lines report a higher open rate.

Provide value

It's in our nature to stay focused on our needs and wants. And when it comes to running a website, every owner wants to provide visitors with excellent user experience as it can lead to better revenue. Thus, nobody wants dead links, typos, or mistakes on their website.

Once you help someone solve problems first, they feel obliged to return the favor. If you've mentioned a problem on the website, it's a great chance to inform the blog owner about it, and therefore and provide value. Moreover, you can get a backlink in return.

For example, it's a great idea to find broken links and share your replacement link suggestion. Shaurya Jain, the founder of Attention Always Linkbuilding, claims that he gets great results with this tactic:
To build links, find resource pages with a lot of external links as it's your chance to find a broken link and offer your source as an alternative option. In most cases, people want to return the favor, so they are more likely to link back to your site when you help the site owner. To add another level of personalization, you can include a screenshot of this broken link so that the recipient knows that this is not a mass email. Plus, incentivize the site owner further to link to you by adding a statement in the PS saying that you will share their article with your solid following once they update the article.
And here's how it works for Shaurya:
The more value you can provide your recipients in your email campaigns, the more they will open the email and reply to it.
What can you learn?
  • Understand how you can help the site owner: Whether you check a website on your own, use broken link checkers or grammar checker tools, it's necessary to find the ways how the site owner can improve various web pages.
  • Include a screenshot: It doesn't take much time to take a screenshot, but it helps to personalize your email and draw the recipient's attention.
  • Use the P.S. to highlight the benefit: Since people remember words at the end best (the recency effect), including the postscript, is a great way to enhance your email marketing efforts as it serves as a helpful addition to your email copy.

Research to personalize

The days when Dear Sir/Madam emails could work are long gone. Today, it's difficult to get huge results with impersonal emails as these letters turn people off.

It's the era of email personalization: One Evergage study shows that personalization helps 61% of marketers achieve a superior customer experience and 96% of companies customize emails to advance customer relationships and improve email marketing performance.

Pete McAllister, the founder of Outreachpete, proves that this tactic works:
The best tactic for success when link building is to remember you're dealing with humans. Remember that behind every email there is a real person. Thus, it's crucial to know how to satisfy this person's need. For example, one site admin promised to update a page with a link to our client's resource. When most other SEOs would give up after several follow-ups, we tried something different: we checked her Instagram, found out she was a huge dog lover and so sent one last follow up with a 'bonus' picture of a puppy in the email body to brighten up her day. She responded, and the link was live within a day!
With a short message and a cute image, Pete absolutely nails his follow-up email:
What can you learn?
  • Research: To establish an emotional bond with a person, you need to show a sincere interest in things that are important to your recipient. Thus, doing research is essential. Moreover, 80% of social media posts are about ourselves, so it's easier to find out more about the recipient even if you have never met before.
  • Keep your message short: If you haven't received a reply from a person, chances are that this person is too busy to write long emails. Send short and clear messages (1-2 sentences) to save your time.
  • Add a visual: People are visual creatures, so it's easier to hook their attention with images. Whether you choose to insert an animated GIF, create custom images, or embed a video in an email, make sure it has chances to interest the reader and get the attention.

Offer an opportunity to get a benefit from you

For most marketers, putting the blog owner first isn't the most obvious way to establish a connection. However, reserve blogger outreach is a little-known link building technique that brings good results. When you offer an opportunity to get a benefit from you, it's more likely you can build long-lasting collaborations.

Here's how it works:

One day I got a guest post invitation from a good website (DR 71). As a guest author, I was honored to write for this blog, so I offered the blog owner to build backlinks to his site to return the favor. As a result, it was mutual collaboration:
What can you learn?
  • Write a promising subject line: Your subject line should sum up the email and make the reader want to click on it. Once you promise something interesting, you're more likely to hook your recipient.
  • Send real examples: People love when other people are interested in them, so show that you know facts about the recipient to attract attention.
  • Create a clear message: If you want to get something in return, don't ask for it in your first email. Keep a focus on your recipient and offer beneficial collaboration to get a reply.

Ask for feedback about your work

It's psychologically proven that people want to share their opinions and thoughts. It's also our need to feel heard as we love the feeling of 'being valued.' Thus, most people are happy to share their feedback with you, and people behind emails are the same. If you want to establish a connection, ask for feedback about your work. Not only can it improve your work, but it can also become a reason to start a conversation.

To get results, it's important to approach blog owners for feedback the right way. You need to collect and implement feedback properly, especially if you reach out to busy people. The more popular people are, the harder it is to get a reply from them. They are too busy to respond to every email that arrives in their inboxes.

Finding common ground is a proven way to interest a person in having a meaningful conversation even if you want to contact Neil Patel. Just look at the example below:
Although Neil Patel sent just one word, the conversation started even though the email was sent via the contact form.
What can you learn?
  • Express gratitude: Start your email with appreciation phrases that can help to establish business relationships.
  • Keep your email short: Most influencers don't have much time to read emails, but if you keep your message short and sweet, it's more likely you can get a reply.
  • Ask a clear question: It takes time to write a lengthy response, so you should ask a simple question that can interest your recipient to get a reply.

Become a guest author

The concept of guest posting isn't new. It's beneficial for everyone: while most websites seek out experts to feature their in-depth articles, it's an opportunity to get your word out, gain authority, and build backlinks. Thus, it's no wonder more and more bloggers jump on the bandwagon and get published on websites.

Let's take Olga Mykhoparkina, the CMO at Chanty, for example. Publishing content on top tier websites like Entrepreneur and Hubspot, it's no wonder she also believes in the power of guest posting.
The outreach marketing strategy that has worked really well for us is the staircase guest blogging strategy. When we launched Chanty, we had no online presence at all, so we started doing guest blogging on smaller and less popular websites. Once we had a decent portfolio of articles on lower-tier publications, we started pitching in the big leagues. Eventually, we got published on popular websites. I would say we had three major reasons for our success: highly personalized emails, catchy headlines, and follow-ups (even if it took 3-4 follow-ups to get a response.)
Here's the example of an outreach email that has helped to get published on Entrepreneur:
Getting your guest post pitch accepted on A+ websites takes time, skills, and knowledge. However, it's a proven way to beat your competitors and get a high-quality backlink without spending a dime, so the payoff is huge.
What can you learn?
  • Pitch your unique idea: if you want to get your pitch accepted, you need to make up a relevant in-depth idea that hasn't been covered on the blog. What is more, include the outline to categorize the main points.
  • Emphasize a point: use the bold, italics, or underline styling to draw the recipient's attention to specific phrases while scanning the email.
  • Tell the recipient how you can promote the article: it's no secret that all website owners want to get more views and traffic. Thus, it's important to inform the recipient what channels of distribution you can use to share the content on in return for having your work published.
  • Include your writing samples: since blog owners receive many submissions daily, it's no wonder they want to collaborate with data-driven experts only. Sending the links to your writing samples helps the blog owner take a look at your writing style and understand whether it can be a good fit. And if you have been published on other websites, it's a great proof of your experience.
  • Send follow-ups: with a great number of received emails, your pitch can get buried in the inbox. Thus, sending 2-3 follow-ups is a great way to increase your chances to get a reply. Any proof needed? Sending at least one follow-up in a campaign increases the reply rate from 16% to 27%.

Collaborate with influencers to get an intro

Here comes the ugly truth: most bloggers get a large number of submission requests daily. With a large number of emails in the inbox, what makes you any different from other marketers hoping for the attention? Obviously, you should stay creative to find out alternative ways to stand out from the crowd.

The solution? Get an intro. As specified in the Digital Intelligence Today report, 92% are more likely to trust recommendations from people they know, so asking a partner for an intro is a great way to avoid getting buried in the inbox.

Let's take a look at the example below:
The above-mentioned email proves that bloggers are more likely to reply to letters if you have been introduced to each other by another person.
What can you learn?
  • Collaborate with reliable bloggers: If you want to ask for an introduction, make sure this person is connected to the blogger and feels comfortable sending an introduction email. Thus, it's better to collaborate with bloggers who have good relationships with you.
  • Write a brief and concise email: Reaching out to people with the help of email introduction, respect the time and circumstance of all parties – keep your message short and sweet.
For every SEO marketer, outreach has become an actionable way to establish business connections, spread the word about your company, and build links. With a significant number of emails, it's getting harder to cut through the noise with your letter. While there's no one-size-fits-all approach to outreach marketing, there are some tactics that work well for most marketers. Thus, pay attention to the seven outreach marketing tactics above and test what can bring you great results.

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