- Fair to Ask “What Is Outreach?”
- Basic Preparations
- How to Find Outreach Opportunities in a Flash
- Work with Data You Have
- Over to You
Fair to Ask “What Is Outreach?”I would like to give you a few definitions of what outreach is according to the sources I could find on the internet. Afterwards, I will share my thoughts about it. Here is what I found at searchenginepeople:
“Outreach is a way to increase exposure beyond traditional search engine optimization and social media engagement. It is an active form of marketing that takes both time and effort…”Neil Patel once said:
“Outreach is what you do when you reach out to people via email, social media or even in person to ask them to share, promote or simply look at your blog posts.”From my perspective, outreach is the process of reaching out other people related to your niche to introduce them to your content or brand. One of the main priorities of outreach is getting a backlink. Nothing more, nothing less. Now let’s dive into the outreach.
Basic PreparationsOutreach is not the thing you can do in a rough-and-ready manner. It needs some preparations first. Let me ask you a couple of questions.
- Do you reply to the messages you get from people you know nothing about?
- Do you read the messages that you get from the people who are relevant to your niche?
– Move within your nicheYou know that outreach is a perfect way to grow a business. It is suitable to use this strategy within any niche you work in. However, there are still some differences in the approach for outreach that are based on the niche you refer to. You might think “What is the most notable difference in the outreach strategy if it could be used whatever niche I work in?” The main difference is in the way of crafting email templates for a particular outreach. You can’t use the same template scheme everywhere. It requires an in-depth analyses of the niche you run your business. Let’s say you are an owner of an agency that is specialized in Digital Marketing. On the one hand, the niche is identified as Digital Marketing; on the other hand, Digital Marketing is a generic concept. It involves sub-directions. If you ask Google something like “types of digital marketing”, you’ll see this:
Digital Marketing includes such directions as SEO, PPC, Content Marketing, etc. I strongly recommend you to to decide in which direction would you like to move your outreach campaign. It will help you identify a target audience to reach out to.
– Find your target audienceOnce you’ve chosen the niche you want to operate in, it will be easier to find your target audience. I want to suggest you start a search using social media channels first. Now, let me show you how to do it. Let’s start with Twitter. For example, put a query “content marketing” and go to “people” tab: Here you can see the relevant people (influencers) and communities (companies) where you will be able to find outreach opportunities. LinkedIn works excellently. Do the same steps as I described above and get the results: Obviously, social media channels can help you a lot with finding outreach opportunities. However, this way of search doesn’t promise you that you will get the exact people you need. How do you know for sure that they would be interested in the service you are going to offer them? Right you are! You can’t do outreach randomly. You must be sure that you’re reaching out the right and relevant people. The best way to avoid ‘wrong contacts’ is to search them with the help of your primary competitors. No, it doesn’t mean that you should ask your competitors to borrow you a bunch of their customers. It says you should do your personal research taking this into consideration. Well, let’s get to the meat.
How to Find Outreach Opportunities in a FlashSearching outreach opportunities using your competitors is easy to manage. Here you will need Google and a few additional tools.
– Google researchThe first step is to go to Google and put a query you are interested in the most. As a rule, the best way to describe the process is via a visual example. Now let’s do this research together. For instance, you’ve just published a comprehensive guide on a keyword research, and you want to push it up to top10 Google results. The task seems hard to accomplish. Likely, with the right outreach campaign, you can do this. So, go to Google and put a query that is related to the topic of your piece of content. As you guessed, the query will be “keyword research”: Google suggests a few pretty good competitors’ posts. Believe it or not but these two posts will help you do a successful outreach. But how to get those opportunities? With the help of checking backlinks using Ahrefs.
The only step you will have to do is put a competitor’s link right into Ahrefs Site Explorer tool and go to a backlink report: (Ahrefs puts the link right to a Site Explorer tool automatically) You can see that this competitor’s post has 5.91K backlinks for the whole period of time. There is no need in discovering all of them. The significant part of them is outdated and has no potential value for you. I recommend you to filter down the results by setting the date of publication you are interested in, and language (I choose English.) Here I decided to get the results for the past year. You can see that now we have 1,456 backlinks. The next step is to review each link manually to find potential prospects.
Work with Data You HaveNow when you have a full range of backlinks to work with, it is time to process data. Please, note that a backlink can give you just a small piece of the information about a person you want to reach out to. You will get only the name and a current position this person holds. Unfortunately, it is not enough for contacting the person. Your aim number one is to get a full, detailed information about the recipient you need to contact. This information includes some background aspects of work, hobbies, and a personal email address. My experience has proven me that the process of finding one’s private email address is the toughest part at the outreach “pre-phase”. I want to start with highlighting this stage first.
– Hunt for correct email addressesFinding one and only email address for any recipient is essential. And here is why. When you don’t do proper research for finding a correct email address, you get the following notification from Mail Delivery Subsystem: You can ask me “what is the main issue with the email address I found?” The reason for this issue is simple – the person might change his or her place of work and the email address is no longer available. To avoid a wrong email address, check the information about a current place of work on LinkedIn: Furthermore, you can find a correct email address here as well: Despite the fact of the usefulness of the search via social media channels, it is not always resultative in terms of finding email addresses. Not everyone shows off email info on LinkedIn. Likely, there are different tools for the email hunt that you can utilize. Hence, I would like to share my favorite tools with you. ContactOut is a convenient tool with a Chrome extension that helps you get email address right from LinkedIn in a single click. Findthat.email and Voilanorbert are the tools that I use if I have a huge problem in finding email addresses. And the last one helper that I use is Rapportive – a Chrome extension that shows email’s validity.
Create personalized email templatesEntrepreneurs get hundreds of messages every day. Literally, it is one hell of a thing to make your recipients open, read, and reply the message. You can nothing about it except of crafting an outstanding and personalized email template. Before I explain you how to create good email templates, let’s review the bad ones first.
Absence of a recipient’s name
The weird or complicated subject lineA catchy subject line shouldn’t be something like this: Don’t create a subject line with capital letters. Don’t overuse the emojis. It sucks.
Now, let me show you what you should do when crafting email templates.First of all, make sure that a subject line is personalized or simplified. Here is what I am talking about: To make it interesting for the other person, you would need to grab their attention. And the best way to do that is by reading their article where you want your backlink to be added, and by suggesting a relevant section. I studied what the recipient prefers to do in his free time and combined it with his primal activity. Such an unconventional approach. And simplified subject lines that have nothing special but a direct idea of the message: Then I wrote exactly where they should add my link. In short, that’s the main characteristic of a truly great email template. That’s all. Follow this strategy, and you will see that your subject lines work! The body of the email template should be personalized likewise. I know that it is hard to do for each email you send. However, I don’t say that you must customize the whole body of the message. No. This tactic regards a personalization of an introduction section: You can see that I created a personalized subject line together with an introduction section. It doesn’t take too much time to handle this. Just add a few thoughts about the particular piece of content the person you’re reaching out has written before. Don’t be too critical. Make your message friendly.
– Don’t shy away from sending follow-up emailsI know that you can spend hours crafting and sending nice looking emails. And I know that you can get a low percentage of replies. It is not your fault. Business people get lots of emails every day. And if you didn’t get any reply, it doesn’t mean your email pitch sucks. Your message might be lost among hundreds of others. What to do then? Send a follow-up email. For the record, follow-up messages have 30% higher response rate than your first pitch! A couple of things you should remember before sending a follow-up email. First of all, wait a few days or a few weeks. Secondly, don’t write a long-form message. I had different situations in my practice. Let me give you an example. This example illustrates that I sent a follow-up message the following day: Likely, the recipient replied me, and I got a conversation I expected. However, sometimes there is a need to wait a bit longer. Anyway, do send follow-up messages and you will reach your targets out.
– Track the progressIt is critical to keep an eye on the progress of each outreach campaign you run. And here are a few questions you should ask yourself after a small recap of the outreach you did:
- How do your email templates perform?
- What does a reply rate each template have?
Over to YouI’ve just shown you how to do a step-by-step outreach with all aspects included. I don’t say it is simple to accomplish and I don’t mean it is impossible either. You will reach success doing the outreach regularly. Keep on practicing this fantastic method for growing your business. If you found my piece of content useful, please, leave comments and share it on social media channels. And if by any chance you need a guide on how to get your first 100 subscribers, read this article.
Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Manager at andcards (SaaS company developing coworking software solutions). Apart from exploring different marketing and SEO things he likes reading, playing the bass, and studying martial arts.