3 Golden Rules to Outreaching your Content
You’ve got your campaign idea and you’ve got a shiny piece of content. So, you're now ready for it to be sent out to the world wide web. Right? If only it were that simple.
Of course, you could just email anyone and everyone in your contact database; maybe you’ve done it before, hey, maybe you’ve even had a handful of results doing so. BUT, what if I told you there was an easy way to ensure a much higher open, click-through and reply rate?
All you need to do, is KIS every stage of the email marketing process…
From building your prospect list, to crafting your outreach email, to what you’re asking your prospects to do, to when you send your emails. Keep It Simple.
Here are three simple rules to ensuring success.
1. Building your prospect list
Your campaign and asset are primed and ready to go. But no campaign is the same, so why should any lists be?
Contact databases are all well and good, but are they going to tell you whether that specific journalist has shared anything in this format, or even on this particular topic before?
By knowing the answer to these two questions, you can be more confident that your content will get the coverage it deserves. Why contact people who aren’t going to be interested in your content?
This, of course, means searching for those answers yourself. It means a lot more legwork.
Search who has shared this format, who has covered this topic, find their contact details and build out your list.
2. Read your content, thoroughly
It may sound obvious, but just reading over your piece may trigger your mind, providing different verticals that could apply to your specific piece. Write these down.
Explore people who cover this format within those verticals, and build out your list even more.
By honing in on contacts who will be interested in your content, your open, click-through and reply rates are sure to improve, as are your results.
3. Craft the perfect email
BCC all of these perfect contacts the same generic pitch and hope for the best, right?
I mean, you’ve done the hard work figuring out who the right people to contact are, so as long as you send them the content, job done?
One thing that’s easy to forget when you’re emailing a large number, is that these are real people. Their time is precious, they don’t like it being wasted, and they will know if you’ve sent the same email en masse.
Why jeopardise all the effort you put into finding these journalists, editors and bloggers by insulting their intelligence with a generic message?
This doesn’t mean, however, that you have to write out every single email you send.
By using templates to personalise emails, you can write out your tailored pitch, only copying in the necessary fields (i.e name, website).
Yes, where possible you should address each recipient with their name.
“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” – Dale Carnegie
I’ve always liked a simple ‘Hi [name]’ - it’s a perfectly friendly, innocuous and safe way of addressing someone, whether you know them or not.
By all means, include a hook for your content. But don’t go on and on about how you loved the piece they wrote for www.domain.com three years ago…
You know what you’re here for, they know what you’re here for, so don’t waste their time; get to the point.
Now, what is it exactly you’re asking your prospects to do? Trying to get them to link back to your site, right?
Sure, that was probably a silly question, but will it be crystal clear to whoever opens this email what you’re asking them to do?
If you received an email with a link and an attachment, which would you be more likely to click on?
Make sure you can link your recipients to your piece on content, live online. Not only are they more likely to click on it, they can then see how that piece will sit online.
Also, make sure the page has an embed code WITH a link back to your site in it, that way they can quickly and easily add your content to their page if they’d prefer. Three birds, one stone.
Also, make sure you have a high-res version of your content to hand, should they prefer it. Oh, and mention that you can provide it in your email.
When should you send your emails?
Take a step back for a second and put yourself in this prospect’s shoes. When would you be most likely to open, read and reply to an email?
When do you most often check your emails and when is your inbox most likely free?
Well, the first thing we all usually do on a Monday morning is catch up on all the emails that have filled up our inbox over the weekend. Though, if you send yourson a Monday morning, it risks being lost in the deluge of weekend emails and being ‘saved for later’ by your recipient, only to be forgotten about.
Afternoons? We’re usually stuck into the day’s tasks and are less likely to be sifting through our inboxes anyway.
Tuesdays, I’ve found, are fair game. In fact, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday mornings are all great times to send your emails. As with Monday, the first thing we usually do when we get into the office is check up on our emails, so fire away.
Friday? Well, again, put yourself in their shoes. You get an email asking you to share something on a Friday. You could be too busy trying to tie up the week’s work before the weekend, there could be a publication queue which would push your content over the weekend, or you could be too excited about the weekend to mess around uploading this piece of content, it can wait until Monday, right?
Best to avoid
Friday too then.
Now with follow-ups, I apply the same rules.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, but I won’t usually email someone on the same day as before again. Who knows, maybe there’s a reason they didn’t get back to you on that day. They could be in meetings all day, they could be out of office, they could be playing golf.
It’s all about giving your piece of content the best chance to succeed.
So, now you’ve got your campaign idea, a shiny piece of content, your prospect list and your pitch.