Email outreach is one of the strategies that help people run their business online. Its main purpose is building strong business relationships between sellers and buyers.
However, it is not as easy as it seems.
You can offer an impressive service or a product, but nobody wants to consider it.
Why does it happen?
It happens due to one reason – your outreach skills leave much to be desired.
At first glance, outreach strategy does not require too much. Nevertheless, lots of businessmen do it wrong. It leads to a total fail of your outreach efforts.
Thus, a purpose of this post is to show you how to perform all steps correctly and always hit your outreach targets.
Let’s move on.
1. Tell the World About Yourself
Email outreach means direct communication between people via email.
Thus, you and the other businessmen get a massive amount of messages per day. And here is a dilemma – which message should be read and which one should be not?
You automatically take into account the personality of a sender. You look at:
- The signature
- Links to social media channels
- An email pitch
These positions show you if the person is worth your time or not.
The same rules work for you. If your name doesn’t seem trustworthy, your outreach fails.
A fair question is how to earn your trust?
Apparently, if you are a part of some company or a well-known brand, your name will seem credible. As an addition to this, you must create accounts on social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.
I advise you to give detailed information about your persona. Let people know more about you.
Well, it looks like your name deserves the attention of your future outreach targets.
The next step is to find your target audience.
2. Target Audience – Where Are You?
Frankly speaking, it is not hard to find a target audience you need. Here follow two ways of doing that:
- Searching via social media channels
- Searching via competitor’s database
The first place where I start my search is social media. Let’s do a quick run on how to search for a target audience. I would like to give you an example with the help of “content marketing” niche:
- LinkedIn is a social media platform that is used for business purposes only. Thus, it is a perfect opportunity to find people who belong to the same niche as you do.
- Twitter is another awesome opportunity to stumble upon representatives of your niche. Put a query that you need and see what you’ll get.
- Facebook has more entertaining approach as a social media platform. In other words, people share some life events that are far away from business. Nevertheless, there are lots of different groups and communities that cover various business niches. Let’s see.
A method number two that can help you find your target audience is via competitor’s database search. Here you will have to work with Google and backlink checker. Let’s have a look how to do this.
Put a query on Google that is related to your niche. Afterwards, pay attention to Top10 results that Google reveals you. As a rule, these articles contain a vast amount of backlinks. These backlinks are the keys to getting outreach targets.
Now, when you have a list of powerful articles, it is time to get the backlinks.
Use Ahrefs to make the process of exploring backlinks easier and faster.
This article has 857 backlinks that could be your outreach targets potentially. It takes lots of time to check all links out. Thus, I suggest you narrow down the results by filtering the date.
Once you find the backlinks that look promising, you will have to get additional information as well.
3. Additional Information You Will Need
Backlinks give general information about the content like its topic, the main idea, and a name of the author. That’s all. Unfortunately, it is not enough for running an outreach campaign. You will need more data. I am talking about private email addresses and some background information regarding each person you’re willing to reach out to.
If you don’t have a correct email address of your outreach target, you won’t hit him/her. Yes, it sounds logical. Apart from this, have you ever got a notification like this one?
Mail delivery subsystem sends you this notification if the email address is no longer valid. It happens due to different reasons, but the result isn’t what you’ve been expecting for.
Likely, you can prevent this misconception with the help of Chrome extension called Rapportive. It identifies if the email address is valid.
Furthermore, I advise you to double-check a person’s current place of work on LinkedIn. Check out “experience” section.
Sometimes you can find a direct email address of a particular person on LinkedIn as well.
I want to warn you that people don’t always display their email addresses on LinkedIn. Thus, you will have to find other ways to get the contacts.
First of all, install a Chrome extension called ContactOut. This extension extracts email addresses from LinkedIn. Just go to person’s profile and push the search button.
4. Outreach Stage
Now let’s see how to do outreach itself. It consists of three stages:
- Crafting email templates + email blast
- Follow-up emails
- Tracking the progress
Before I start my explanation of how to craft email templates, I would like to draw your attention to the mistakes you can make.
You’ve heard about a cold email outreach but what would you say if you found that your name is absent in the message you’ve got?
I, personally, don’t even bother myself with reading these emails.
Sometimes people try to create an outstanding subject line to catch a recipient’s eye. Practice shows that it gives nothing but sending your email pitch to a trash bin. Don’t write too long and complicated subject lines. Remember, any subject line aims to help a recipient understand the main idea of your message.
Here is how straightforward we are at Ahrefs.
Nevertheless, you can play with your creativity a bit. Try to make a subject line personalized. Here is an example of my variation of a subject line.
It looks like I’ve mentioned all horrible mistakes you should keep away from. So, I want to discuss what else you should personalize.
The other thing you must personalize is an introduction part of a template. You should take into consideration background information about a particular person you want to get in touch with. Your primary focus is to combine a purpose of the message with some “out of topic” elements like person’s hobbies, interests, and achievements. Don’t show any criticism and be polite.
Here is an example of a personalized email template I have created before.
And the result was not long in coming. I’ve got the reply.
Email template personalization works for sure. So, don’t hesitate to do it.
Please note that there are lots of cases when your even a perfectly personalized message could stay unread. You might think that all your efforts were in vain. But don’t hurry up with this conclusion!
If you see that your email pitch hasn’t brought any positive results, you should just remind the recipients of yourself. Here I advise you to send follow-up emails.
A purpose of any follow-up email is to remind your outreach target to get back to your first pitch. Use general questions and never go into detail.
Here is what I mean.
A standard question, isn’t it?
I recommend you to do a follow-up email outreach in a few days after your first pitch.
The third crucial aspect of the entire outreach process is progress tracking. If you don’t control your activity – you are out of bounds.
We, at Ahrefs, use Buzzstream to keep all our outreach projects under control. Let’s see what it can offer.
- Comfy system for creating email templatesThe possibility to view each email template performance with the help of a few impressive features (open/reply rates)
- You can see if messages have been reviewed or not
I guess you won’t argue that Buzzstream is an excellent weapon when it comes to outreach!
Over To You
I’ve just demonstrated you a step-by-step process of how to do email outreach from scratch. Needless to say that outreach involves different crucial steps that can’t be missed at all. Each level is a must element, missing the one you won’t be able to run your outreach successfully.
I hope that this guide gave you a general idea of what email outreach strategy is. Furthermore, you can stop wasting your time and stick to doing outreach right now!
If you found a heap of useful and actionable pieces in my article, don’t shy away from sharing it on your social media channels.
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.
This post was written by Eby Mathew