“Outreach” is not “Broadcasting”
-Tim Soulo from Ahrefs
All online marketing campaigns are going to include email outreach to influencers, bloggers, or editors within publications.
A well written outreach email can produce backlinks, new clients, exposure to a new audience, turn a dissatisfied customer into a super fan, and more!
Unfortunately, most people are terrible at writing a good outreach email.
That’s why we’ve scraped the internet for some of the best outreach emails out there (including some of our own ;c>) from entrepreneurs like Alex Turnbull of GrooveHQ to The Customer Service Team of Zappos (writing one of the best emails to a disgruntled customer, we’ve ever read).
But before we check out those emails, let’s do a walk through of a pretty damn good outreach email and go over the elements of each section and why it works.
So let’s dissect – “The Outreach Email to Get Featured – with Gifs”.
Subj: My pitch…with gifs
Hey there Alicia & Maria,
My name is Gigi (yup, this is me).
I’m a marketing manager over at Strikingly, and I dig your site.
Ever since Brittany Moore name dropped you in a YouTube video, I’ve been reading over your articles (especially yours Maria) and like that you’re dropping nuggets of knowledge on us.
I wanted to reach out because we’ve been writing a few how-to pieces that are jam packed with information your audience will find, immediately, actionable (because that’s how we roll).
We can repurpose this one particular article for you, to be shorter (we dig long form here) and hyper focus on ONE specific point from the article.
Here’s the gist:
How a SaaS company almost Killed It on Instagram
In this article we give the layout and strategy of how a SaaS company (us) tried to utilize the Instagram platform to build brand engagement and increase signups. We went from 400 to 1700+ Instagram followers in 2-3 weeks.
YAY! – if this was about vanity metrics.
But alas, it worked – but it also, didn’t work (no signups, no new traffic or engagement to our site, etc). We will be covering old Instagram tactics (that we’ve all seen) as well as new ones that aren’t spoken of often (e.g., forming a squad).
This blog post comes with gifs, screenshots, IG post samples, and a step-by-step of how we accomplished this feat. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to hearing from you ladies in the near future.
That Doritos and confetti based life-form at Strikingly,
Okay people, let’s break this email down:
#1) COME UP WITH A GOOD SUBJECT LINE
How many of us will decide if we will open up an email, by JUST reading the headline?…
If the subject is cut off or too lengthy? Delete.
If it doesn’t come across as relevant to you? Delete.
Does it look like spam? You mark it as spam.
See you sucker.
So imagine how an editorial manager feels when they open up their inbox, to see this:
Can you just FEEL the motivation draining right out of you?
And then without hesitation, nor regret – “DELETE ALL”.
With these kinds of lessons learned, the subject line we used for this email:
It raises the questions – What are the gifs?…What kind of pitch has gifs?…
Aaaaand, “click” to open and have those questions answered.
Taking a note from Tim Soulo from Ahrefs, “Keep the subject line short and not too obvious”.
#2) SAY THEIR NAME, SAY THEIR NAME
There is no “Dear Madam”, “Dear Sir”, or “To Whom It May Concern”.
Come on guys. That’s just lazy.
Do a quick search, either on that company’s website, or on Linkedin, to find the decision maker’s name. Their title could be an Editorial Manager, Content Manager, or it could be the owner.
If there are multiple editorial managers, go to their blog and find the person(s) that write about the subject your article is about.
Note: It’s good practice to build a relationship with these bloggers, influencers, and editors BEFORE sending them an email. Retweet their work, leave THOUGHTFUL comments on their podcast, reply to their emails answering their questions, etc.
They’re far more likely to – at least – open an email from someone familiar, than from someone coming in cold.
#3) INTRODUCE YOURSELF (optional, with a gif)
Let’s make something clear, so pay close attention.
This gif introduction is NOT for everybody or every industry.
If you are a doctor, lawyer, or a figure that wears a “suit and tie” daily – you will want to come across as a SERIOUS professional.
So sorry (not sorry), these gifs are most likely not for you. You can skip to #4.
For the rest of you, outside of a “suit and tie” profession – keep reading.
This gif serves two purposes:
- Everyone loves a gif. It stops the reader in their tracks and pulls them in. And the chances of them reading your WHOLE email, goes up dramatically.
- It shows off your personality, and it’s an introduction that is more likely to stick in their memory.
So again, use a gif with caution. Be sure it fits the subject, and person, you’re pitching to.
#4) SHOW THEM HOW YOU KNOW THEM & THAT YOU’VE BEEN PAYING ATTENTION
- “Ever since Brittany More named dropped you in a YouTube video”…
[this shows where, or how, you know them]
- “I’ve been reading over your articles (especially yours Maria) and like that you’re dropping nuggets of knowledge on us…(Especially the negotiations article. And yes, I am guilty of non-stop talking when the uncomfortable silence bomb drops. Sigh…)”…
[this shows you’re on the blog actually READING, and ENGAGING, with their work. And it never hurts to share a small personal detail with them in regards to how their article/podcast interview/advice has – helped you, has shaped you to take X action, etc.]
The gif, emphasizes the compliment to Maria and personalizes the email.
See? We’re not just throwing around gifs in this email all willy nilly (that’s a scientific term).
It’s an “exclamation mark” to the point being made.
#5) GO IN FOR THE ASK
Notice that we didn’t say “…that your audience will like” or “Please take a look at our article, and let me know if you have any thoughts and if you think it’s a good fit for your audience”.
Using these terms are a direct MISS.
You want to show the person that you’ve researched their audience and you already have a good idea of what they will find of value.
Also, go with what BENEFIT their audience can get immediately after reading one of your articles. For this article, it is a plan to take action on growing your Instagram account (as long as you’re not a SaaS company).
Because you’ve spent time on their blog (ahem!), you may notice that A LOT of their articles are between 500-700 words – where your articles are clearly over 3000 words.
Your long form may be a bit hefty for their audience. Offer to break down the article and focus on one specific aspect.
Make it EASY for them, and leave next to NO work on their part for reformatting, editing, etc.
#6) WHAT’S THE POINT?
Pick out the main points of the article. This can be done in sentence form, as we did above, or in bullet form.
Do your best to summarize why your article is “special” in 5 sentences or less.
Ours was 6. We were close…
In this section – we noted that our piece was “special” because we touched on “new tactics…that aren’t spoken of often”.
Oooh, a look into something new. We likey.
And as always, note what their audience will get out of your article. Sell the benefits, not the features.
#7) END IT WELL
This is where personal preference comes into play.
Obviously Gigi is a character till the end.
Her ending certainly has an interesting twist compared to the “Sincerely”, “Warmly”, “Best Regards”, endings we see in the industry.
She added another personal touch before signing off.
Also, she ended it with a link to her company’s website and her name. She could’ve also ended it with her phone number.
Going back to #3, you DO NOT have to do this.
Feel free to end it saying something, a little more low key, like: “Stay cool”, “Thx”, “Cheers”, etc.
#8) SPELL CHECK
One of our team members rmembers seeing an email from Noah Kagan stating how he dissmissed a GOOD CHUNK of job applicats, for a position he was hiring for, because they didnn’t spell check there proposals before sending it in.
If an editor sees that you don’t have the discipline to spell check your pitch before pressing ‘Send’, then why would they think that your article is of any quality. For all they’ll assume, they’ll have to go through your piece and check it for grammar mistakes.
Take notice of those words underlined, people.
And last, put in the effort to catch words that Spell Check would miss. Did you catch that “there” is supposed to be “their”?
Of course you did. So let’s move on.
HERE’S WHAT TO DO NOW
You can see now, depending on your industry, your outreach letter to influencers and publications does NOT have to be stiff and, honestly, come across spammy.
Now the title of this post is “Email Templates for Almost Every Business Situation”.
So we scraped parts of the web to find you a few awesome email samples from influencers who REALLY know their stuff.
In this list are emails, sent out to real customers/clients, dealing with everything from Negative Customer Reviews to Outreach Emails to Find New Clients.