Why Your Email Outreach Fail

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Almost all link building activities today start with outreach. You name it, guest posting, broken link building, resources page linking and so on, you know the rest. All of these tactics need to get in touch with the webmaster of your target website as the starting point. 

In most cases, outreach specialists have a list of websites in excel sheet with contact names and emails of presuming the right person to contact. These outreach specialists will then send emails to people in the list, hope to hear from them for further conversation and hopefully a successful link conversion.

While there is nothing wrong about sending out emails to connect with webmasters. It is inevitable to send someone an email for link acquisition, there is something that outreach specialists don’t seem to noticed at all. After sending out emails day by day of their working hours, they always come with a wrong introduction or template that ruins the whole campaign.

You want to know why? 

In fact, I have received a lot of emails and I will share some of the emails I received from these outreach specialists. But to summarize them in bullet points, I will make it shorter for all of you.

  • They lie.
  • They don’t use their real name and use a dummy account.
  • They offer only one time content contribution.
  • They are highly irrelevant to my blog.

Over the years, email outreach has been widely used for link building or content contribution purposes. If you are a blogger or webmaster you have probably received an email from someone reaching out to you either or a link inclusion or content pitch. As you read these emails, you often delete them or don’t even read the whole context for whatever reasons. But here are the common issues.

The use a funny template

The reason why I said funny is because they always claim to be a fan or regular reader of your blog. In fact, they have never even commented or shared any of my articles from the very first day I published one. Also, the blog is run by me and I don’t have an editorial team at all. But this long time reader guy assumed I had a team. 

The email body is obviously templated and not very convincing. While it appears to be personalized, I did not think It was. The article title they claimed shared was just copied and pasted in the email with apostrophes “6 Types of Links That Work and How You Can Get Them” 

If the email was personalized, I would not have seen a copied and pasted title in the email they sent me. Also, there is a hyperlinked to my blog. If this was personalized, the long-time-reader-guy would know that I only managed one blog and would not have linked put a hyperlinked to rankingelite.com.

How to get this right:
  • If you don’t know the right person to contact of the blog you’re trying to contact, ask in your email who might be the best person you should connect with.
  • Do not use apostrophes or parenthesis to highlight how you noticed a blog in your email
  • Do not bold any words in your email body to emphasize the purpose of your email
  • Do not share any links of your previous work unless it was requested.
  • Do not hyperlink the blog you are contacting in your email.

They are not relevant to my blog

Another email I received was from someone working for a fashion blog (olwomen.com). A self-proclaimed long time reader of my blog has sent me an email about guest blogging inquiry. While I do accept guest contributors to my blog, I don’t always publish all articles contributed by external writers just because of quality and relevancy issues.

As you can see in the email screenshot below, they are asking for 2 do-follow links back to their website. I don’t mind giving do-follow links, but asking for it in email, this guy got some confidence. If it was me, there is no way I would ask for it in email outreach.

Also, there was no emphasized expertise shared in the article and the choice is all mine to think of the topic. Since my blog is about search engine optimization, I highly doubt that someone from fashion industry could write content with value and quality information. 

How to get this right:
  • Do not ask for links in return.
  • Do not bother sending email to irrelevant blogs because you will waste your time.
  • Give topic suggestions to the blog owner in your initial pitch.
  • Avoid using irrelevant sentences in your email body. Make it short and be direct to the point.

They post only for links

Another email I received was from someone looking to drop their article on my blog. The email says they have an article ready to be published that is related to web design suits their website. Since they have it prepared even before contacting me, I did not have any option to choose topics. It was only to benefit themselves, which is not how it works on my blog.

I don't understand why they don't invest in time writing sensible email. It is important that whenever you write email to bloggers, make your email worth reading. Always remember that you are the one in need, not the bloggers you are contacting. Their blog can and will run without your content contribution so always keep in mind that you are the one in need.

How to get this right:
  • Do not tell the bloggers you already have an article ready.
  • Always express your interest in the email that you are highly interested to contribute articles.
  • Give a room for a quick introduction of yourself or where you are writing from.

They always get the timing wrong

Time is crucial in every initial email. You need to find out the perfect timing before you send out your outreach campaign. If your target bloggers are in your area, then you should be fine. However, if your target blogs are outside in your area where the timezone is different, you can't just send out emails anytime you want to.

You need to consider their leisure time, you don't want to send emails to bloggers during their dinner time or sleeping time. Bloggers receive a lot of emails everyday and if you send at the time they are not reading their emails, then don't expect an immediate response.

To make things right, here's what you should do:
  • You need to send your emails at the time they are in front of their computers. Figure out their timezone and schedule your emails.
  • Make sure to send a reminder to those who did not respond. If your email was sent in their morning, send it in the afternoon when you follow.
If you can't send emails at the time that your prospect bloggers are checking their emails or at front of their computers, you can use tools. There are email scheduler tools available you can use to maximize your email campaign such as:

  • Rightinbox
  • Boomerang
  • Canned Response
Since outreach is vital in link building activities nowadays, you can't afford to mess this up. You can't use one template for your outreach campaign, you can't even use an obvious templated email at all. You need to get to know who you are contacting before you actually send an email like nationality or location. 

Also, don't forget about their language. If your prospect is in AU, the tone of your email and your spelling should be australian. Same goes to US, CA or even UK bloggers. Although this might have a low impact, you can't ignore the possibility of using generic email template might cause you low responses.