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A Step-By-Step Guide on Email Outreach

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by Sergey Aliokhin
March 12, 2018


Sergey Aliokhin

Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Manager at Ahrefs. Apart from working at Ahrefs he likes spending his time with family, studying martial arts and plucking fat bass guitar strings.

Sergey Aliokhin has written 1 articles for PromotionWorld.
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Let me guess, have you released a new product?

Or have you launched a brand new service?

Doesn’t matter!

What really matters is that you are eager to see your ‘brainchild’ crashing competitors and ranking well in Google top10.

But how to achieve this goal if you have just stepped on the path of running a business online?

One of the proven methods that allows you skyrocket your business online is email outreach.

The purpose of this guide is to show you how to do email outreach in details to push your business up in Google search.

Shall we start?

1. Basic Preparation

The foundation for your business is the product or service you want to spread all around the globe using the internet. But your brand isn’t recognizable yet. Thus, nobody wants to get in touch with you and consider your proposal. You don’t even know where to find your target audience to reach out potential customers.

What to do then?

Your first step should be  analyzing some of the common mistakes that would make  people ignore your email pitch in the future. You can ask yourself of what moments in the messages make you  “smell fish.” And you’ll get something like:

  • An absence of a signature in your message

  • Lack of links to your social media channels

  • An ugly email template

Yes, if you make some of the mistakes I’ve listed above, your message will be ignored or sent to a trash bin.

Source

So, how to organize everything properly?

If you have a position at some company, you are already an authorized representative. But it’s half of the battle. Afterward, take care of your social media accounts. Pay attention to the most popular ones, like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Remember that the more information you state in your account, the better for you. People will find out more about your persona. Thus, they will trust you.

But what should you do after?

Search for your target audience.

2. How to Find a Target Audience

There is nothing hard when it comes to finding your target audience. You can make a search via social media channels and with the help of Google search + Ahrefs Site Explorer tool.

Let’s see what you could find on social media channels:

  • Facebook. It is an entertainment platform at first glance. However, if you take a more attentive look, you will see lots of business groups where you could find your potential customers. Let’s say you’ve released a brand new service for Email marketing. Well, put a related inquiry into search tab on Facebook and go to “groups” section.

You can see a substantial amount of groups that are in the marketing niche. As you noticed, there are lots of members each group has. It means you can meet your potential customers and offer them your product.

  • Twitter. This platform could help you find people (or competitors’ accounts) related to your niche likewise.

  • LinkedIn. I guess it is a number one business platform on the web. Follow the same steps as I demonstrated above and you will find your targets for outreach.

From my perspective, the best way to search for outreach opportunities is analyzing your main competitors’ customer database.

Go to Google search and type your inquiry “content marketing.” You will get a list of the articles that are in Google Top10 results. As the rule, each of these posts has dozens of backlinks that you will need for your outreach.

I’ve filtered the results by the past year to get the freshest ones. You can see a few competitors’ posts that have lots of backlinks you need for your outreach.

Your next step is getting the backlinks a particular post has. I advise you to use Site Explorer tool.

This post has 949 backlinks that is a pretty good result. However, if you want to get the freshest links, you can filter the results by the date.

The past month gives us 169 backlinks that you could use for your outreach. In other words, these 160+ backlinks are the opportunities to reach out to.

It would be fair to ask “What is the purpose of these backlinks?”

Any backlink leads you to an article that refers to your competitor’s post. Your aim is to find out who is the author of the target piece of content to do outreach then.

Ok, you’ve got a dozen of articles with the authors’ names. But what’s next?

Find the contact information of your outreach targets.

3. How to Find Personal Email Addresses

It is utterly important to use personal email addresses when you run an outreach campaign. I will clarify the point further.

Do you recognize this email?

The notification above warns you that the email address you used is invalid. It might be caused due to different reasons. A targeted person might change a current place of job, so the email address that is tied to the previous working place exists no longer.

If you want to avoid this misconception, I recommend you to verify each email address with the help of LinkedIn Sales Navigator (rebranded Rapportive):

This extension shows you if a particular email address still works. However, it would be great for you to double-check those emails that give rise to doubt with the help of LinkedIn. Pay attention to “experience” section.

Furthermore, people post their email addresses on LinkedIn sometimes.

But what to do if you can’t find the email address of some person using LinkedIn?

I advise you to use a couple of tools for finding email addresses. I use them on daily basis and must say they work brilliantly. The first one is ContactOut - a chrome extension that searches emails on LinkedIn.

If this service can’t help you, use Findthat.email and Voilanorbert tools.

Well, it looks like you already took methods of finding anyone's email address on board. Now it is time to have a look at the process of outreach itself.

4. Email Outreach

Now I’m going to cover the process of email outreach step-by-step. It could be divided into a few stages:

  • Crafting of email templates + email pitch

  • Follow-up

  • Progress tracking

4.1. Crafting of email templates + email pitch

Practice shows that there are still lots of marketers who make common mistakes during the outreach. Let’s discover these mistakes to avoid them in the future.

  • The absence of a recipient’s name

Have you ever got such email? I have.

Don’t forget to mention recipient’s name in every message you send!

  • Inappropriate subject line

The first thing that is caught by the recipient’s eyes is a subject line of your message. If it is too long or  has some extra emojis, it won’t work as needed. The subject line should be short and straight to the point. The aim is to let the recipient know what he or she will get when the message will be opened.  Here is how we craft the subject lines at Ahrefs.

Now let’s talk about how you can make your email template more personal.

Again, everything starts with the subject line. You can brainstorm how to make it personalized combining the main idea of the message you send and recipient’s background information. Let me show you the example of what I am talking about.

I discovered that the recipient from the example above is a straight edge lover and a marketer by profession. I thought it would be a great idea to combine these two components. You can try to invent something more interesting and catchy on your own.

What else could be personalized as well?

An intro part of your template. This part of the message should be personalized in a proper way. Here is the example.

Using email template personalization you will have more chances that your messages will be reviewed and replied.

4.2. Follow-up

FYI, follow-up emails have 30% higher response rate in contrast to your first pitch. Thus, if you see that your first attempt to reach out to people has failed, you should send them follow-up emails.

What should you know about sending follow-ups?

The goal of any follow-up message is to remind the recipient of your first pitch. That’s all. Thus, this kind of message shouldn’t be long and complicated. Just let the recipient know about yourself with some ordinary question or a reminder. Here is the example:

From the example, you can see that I’ve sent a follow-up message and got a reply at once.

I advise you to send follow-up emails in a couple of days after the first pitch.

4.3. Progress tracking

It goes without saying that you must keep an eye on every outreach campaign you run. It is hardly possible to do this manually but it is pretty easy with the help of Buzzstream. Let’s do a quick overview of what this tool can offer you.

  • A convenient system for crafting email templates

  • Check out how each email template performs

  • Check out if the message has been seen or not (and when)

Buzzstream is the proper tool to use for outreach.  

To Summarize

Email outreach is not an easy strategy for your business. It is rather complicated. It requires lots of time, efforts, creativity, and patience.

Nevertheless, this strategy can bring you hundred percent positive results if you do it right.  

I have just illustrated you a step-by-step guide on how to do email outreach correctly. If you found it useful (I know you did), please, feel free to share it on your social media channels.

And don’t forget to comment on it!

         


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