Startup Growth Hacks: How To Send Cold Emails That Get Responses
Startups and small businesses wishing to reach new partnerships, PR outlets and new sources of organic traffic without the help of an agency need to master the essential steps of cold outreach.
In this guide, we’ll detail what a successful cold email entails and how you can avoid spamming the most respected publications in your industry and instead go on to create lasting partnerships with your ideal targets.
The single strongest tactic that I can recommend for seeing a positive result from cold outreach is to conduct thorough research prior to writing your copy. I've easily gained the most traction from using highly personalized copy in my outreach for recruiting new affiliates, building links, and getting my latest content shared. To do this successfully you’ll need to reference their previous content, social media posts, or their expert insights in a way that justifies why you are reaching out.
Understand fully why they publish posts on topics that compliment your industry, is it their passion and they are looking for interesting content to share with an audience? Or are they offering 4k dollar per annum advertising sponsorship links to anyone with the budget? You should be able to find this out quickly as you analyze their site instead of bumbling into their inbox with a templated email.
(Using search operators can help you find sites that welcome cold emails, content & press releases)
Everyone hates receiving emails that aren’t tailored to their industry, company vision or the services that they provide, so in order to avoid annoying your prospect, we’ll need to make sure they are prequalified to respond positively to your outreach.
My strongest prospects for cold emails are normally found through a competitive research tool for SEO (such as Ahrefs or SEMrush). If you know your target is well versed in affiliate or influencer marketing, are actively looking for a contributing author, or welcomes the relevant promotion of subjects close to their site's target audience then it will be far less of a barrier to getting the ball rolling on your commercial or editorial partnership.
(By observing the anchor text of a high ranking site you can tell often that the owner of referring page would be open for collaboration and you can reference who they previously worked within your opening message)
If you have a dream PR prospect in mind and see no way to legitimately contact them (think Forbes, Entrepreneur, or the Financial Times), then keep your cool and take a longer burn approach.
You may already have heard of the tool 'Help A Reporter Out' as this is a long-standing & well-recognized platform for assisting small businesses to promote themselves by responding to call-outs from the press, but you may not know that there are many new platforms sprouting up that provide a modern interface and access to even higher levels of press and national media.
PressPlugs, Response Source, and Source Bottle are all showing real potential for startups that wish to contribute insights to some of the world’s leading publications (with the first two platforms notably being very new on the PR scene).