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How To Write A Blogger Outreach Email

Typewriter 300x300How to write a blogger outreach email?

Is there really a science to it?

I actually don’t recommend using ready-to-go scripts. As a blogger, somehow you can always feel when someone’s pitching you cold with a generic copy&paste template.

It’s a lot of work, but I recommend you write individual emails. It’s worth the effort.

However, a little structure is often a good idea:

Blogger Outreach Email Components

I have this simple little checklist for when I write blogger outreach emails. I don’t use it to be sly or in any way to automate my writing, but I use it rather to make sure I don’t miss any essential parts.

These are the components I strive to include:

Honesty — I make sure to express honesty. Saying something nice about another person’s work is the polite thing to do and if I can’t think of anything honest to say, then I really shouldn’t be pitching that particular blogger anyway.

Purpose — I try to state my purpose in one sentence pretty early on. No superlatives here — I try to keep it plain and descriptive.

IncentiveWhat’s in it for the blogger? This is the most crucial part, but strangely also the most often forgotten one. I make sure to be clear about the details here.

Recognition — There’s a reason why I’m contacting the blogger, we both know that. Therefore I think it’s important that I, who initiated the contact, also acknowledges the blogger.

Call-To-Action — Many try to “soft sell”, hoping that the blogger will know what to do without it being stated clearly. As if that would make the pitch less “salesy”? No, I try to be clear about what I’m asking.

Blogger Outreach Email Example

This is a made-up example of how I would pitch a blogger writing about interior design:

Screen Shot 2013 11 28 at 21.57.23

If you include these five elements, and you strive to keep each element to one sentence (or two shorter ones), you should be able the cover the basics.

Some believe in writing even shorter pitch emails, but I think you might running a risk coming off as way too blasé if you take that approach to far.

These elements can come in any order, see for example this follow-up email example:

Blogger Outreach Follow-Up Example

Here’s another made-up example of how I would do a follow-up outreach to the same blogger:

Screen Shot 2013 11 28 at 21.58.27

I try to stay true to my personal tonality and pitching style. I don’t try to imitate certain personas, or write as if I were younger or older than I really am, simply because I think it’s important pitch with integrity.

However, I do mix it up quite a bit on the scale between formal and informal. In some cases I’m simply “all business” and in other cases a lot more personal — depending on the context.

What’s your best secret for getting in contact with an online influencer? Or do you have any questions about how to approach bloggers? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment!
Want to get serious about blogger outreach? You can find lots of tips and tricks in this downloadable presentation (it’s free)!
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9 comments… add one

  • Oh, and I should say before anyone else does, that yes, the CTA in the first example is pretty weak.
    Jerry Silfwer recently posted How I Optimise My Mac For Getting Work Done

  • Thanks for sharing. One question though, what kind of conversion rate do you get on these?
    Magnus Bråth recently posted Googles grundhandbok om sökmotoroptimering på vift

    • Hey Magnus! The conversion rates on these are nearly optimal — 100% isn’t uncommon. But the actual copy in the outreach letter is secondary; the secret lies in a thorough Blogger Mapping and a Honeymoon Outreach (http://doktorspinn.com/2013/09/05/honeymoon-outreach/).

      If emails like these end up in spam filters and stuff, I always make sure to get in contact one way or the other. And mostly when people say no, they’re out traveling or have other conflicting engagements. But if I’ve done my honeymooning, only available and interested bloggers would even get the pitch.

      I should say that a more appropriate term for this is “blogger collaboration” rather than “blogger outreach”, since this approach is so qualitative. To get ROI from these types of activities you need to get some really good content to repurpose and a lasting relationship from it and a healthy dose of street cred, the first wave traffic and the inlinks alone often only gets the ball rolling — but that’s it.
      Jerry Silfwer recently posted 3 Powerful Ways To Improve Your Storytelling (And Business!) In Less Than 15 Minutes

  • Hey Jerry!

    I have been following your blog for nearly a year, and I really like your transparency, way of thinking and non *BS* style of blogging. It’s really a scarce commodity in these marketing circles.

    I am writing to you to let you know that I would like to see the “Blogger Outreach” e-book, packed with interesting examples. I really think your readers would treasure it, and I would be happy to share it with my circles. I don’t think anyone has written this type of book, and I can’t think of a better person than you.

    What do you think? If you want someone to bounce it around with, I am here!

    Elia

  • Thanks again for a great and straight to the point article. There´s always something to learn when I open a link directing to your blog.

    Like Elia I like the “new” tone of voice you found and I think it really suits you and your blog.

    Is the conversion rate ( asked earlier by Magnus) equal for you on the global and swedish market? Is this when you do your honeymoon outreach? If time is short and you need to cut to the chase – is it as high then?

    • Thanks, man. No, I strive to get as much head-start as possible. If you need to cut straight to the chase, it’s of course difficult to land such high success rates. (I call it “success rate”, since I use “conversion rate” more for traffic landing on sites, not as outcomes of individual outreaches.)
      But here’s the deal: You have your incentives, and you have your choice of bloggers. You struggle to make the incentive package as sweet as you possibly can — and then you do your blogger mapping. I wouldn’t choose a super huge blogger if my incentive is weak.
      So the mechanics of the success rate is determined more by strategy than the actual outreach. Meaning: When I start reaching out, the purpose of my pitch copy is to “don’t mess this up” rather than “convince them to take the deal”.
      Simply put, using this method above won’t get you stellar results if you’ve chosen the “wrong” bloggers, you haven’t honeymooned them and your incentives aren’t good enough.
      I should also say that I’ve done my fair share of “spray and pray” campaigns, but I hate them simply because I wouldn’t want to find myself on the recieving end of such outreaches. Sure, they work as well (to some extent), otherwise spammers wouldn’t keep doing them, but I believe in creating relationships for the long-haul. Sooner or later there’s a discussion of ROI and if that discussion hasn’t come up before, then you’ll be glad for the qualitative approach and lots of tastemakers singing the praise of the service or the brand.
      Jerry Silfwer recently posted Why You Should Always Get The Facts First

  • Thanks for share useful tips. Please describe some another email components.

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