Technology expert and successful entrepreneur Hammad Akbar discusses the best ways to perfect email outreach.
If you’re into blogging, social media and marketing, you’ll know how important it is to build great and compelling content.
But, bringing readers to a new website can be very hard – so sometimes we need more than just great content.
One of the best ways to attract new readers and to increase the presence of your online content is through proper promotion – through outreach, networking and advertisement.
And one of the ways we can do this is through email outreach.
Now, before you fly off the handle and declare “email is dead” in the comments below, remember that email outreach varies from person to person, from company to company. It’s time consuming, yeah, but the rewards than can be gained from successful promotion can be more than worth it.
So, if you’re interested in email outreach and what to see what progress you can make, be sure to see my suggestions below.
Do your research
So, you’re writing a blog. It might be for your company, yourself for a client. It’s good stuff, but no one’s reading it. You want to promote the blog, boost your traffic figures, tie in some SEO and build a name for yourself. Maybe email can help?
When it comes to getting in touch with thought-leaders, other businesses, blogs, websites and more via email, first thing’s first. Do your research.
A lot of my blogs include information and advice about research and planning, and that’s because it’s an incredibly important step and one I don’t think you can afford to skip.
When contacting people you might not know, or know much about, you want to appeal to them as much as possible and find out if they are likely to help you.
Doing research and reading up on these people or companies you’re going to contact will avoid a large number of problems.
Find the right email address, the person’s first name, titles, jobs, preferences. Find out if they are ok with unsolicited emails and be sure to show your research.
The more research the more chance you will appeal to your recipient. If you go in blind, without doing your research, you could expect an angry email in return.
Email outreach and marketing sound very business-y. Work email in general is plagued with formality and dead-pan communication. And whilst there is a time and place for it, it’s always a good idea to make things a bit more personal with your outreach.
You should always look to make a connection with whoever you are emailing, so remember to include your personality.
Make each email personal if you can, write the way you write and try and build a relationship with the recipient. It will not only help in the short term, but it will be great for the long term.
Take note of who you speak to, and what you spoke about. If you ever need anything in the future, be sure to reference it.
If you’re going to blanket email…
Now, shocker! I’m going completely against my last point.
But, if you really have your heart set on reaching out to a large number of people via email, and don’t have enough time to personalise 300 emails, you might need to create a blanket email.
I don’t normally advise blanket emails, and I always try to steer clear of CC or BCC messages, but if you’re going to send the same email to a lot of people. Do it right, or don’t do it at all.
First up, if the people you’re sending your email to don’t know each other, never CC them – BCC-ing is the preferable option. If you CC 200 people in email, and they don’t know each other, don’t be surprised if you receive 200 emails of negativity in return.
Secondly, I would suggest as a better option, writing a template email which can be edited and personalised. You’ll still need to email each person separately, but it’ll cut down your work time considerably and your email will still have that personal touch.
Include blank spaces in the emails so you can insert names, titles, companies and more.
Keep things short
There’s a huge temptation in emails to go overboard.
It’s a natural thing. We want to be polite, introduce ourselves, give our backstory and all that. But, the thing is, do people really want to read a 400 word essay? Probably not.
So, when you’re crafting your outreach, remember to be strict with yourself. Keep things nice and short. You want to write an email which the reader will get to the bottom of. You don’t want them to give up after the first paragraph.
If the recipient replies, then you can give them more in-depth info.
Don’t be afraid to follow up
Warning. When it comes to email outreach, a lot of people won’t get back to you. It’s a natural part of email unfortunately. So don’t get down if you’re inbox isn’t teeming with enthusiastic replies an hour after you send an email.
Try not to get down heartened, and be sure to send reminders and follow ups to your sent list. Remember, people don’t check their emails all the time!
People are off sick, on holiday, out of office and a lot of people don’t like replying on their phones.
After 3-4 days, if someone hasn’t replied, and you really want to get in touch, be sure to send them a friendly reminder. Reference your original email and keep things really short. You never know, they might give you an email back.
Also, look at your timings. If you send all your emails in the afternoon, try sending a follow up early doors in the morning – you might catch them at a better time.
I hope you found my email outreach tips useful. If you have advice of your own, be sure to let me know in the comments below.