Those of you who follow my tweets will probably know that I’ve recently launched a book called Get Noticed, which is a guide that explores the processes and techniques that successful networkers use to get noticed.
In the course of writing the book I carried out a lot of research around how people meet and what it takes to develop a strong relationship, which has had a tremendous impact on my understanding of successful blogger outreach. On Wednesday morning I sent out 100 e-mails to YouTube video bloggers and so far I’ve received 77 replies (not bad when most sources suggest anywhere from 3% to 25% is a good response rate for an outreach campaign).
In this post I want to share a few tips and tricks I’ve learnt about outreach from researching, writing and marketing Get Noticed to help you improve the success of your outreach campaigns.
Image Credit: ekai
I’m going to assume that you’ve already done some blogger outreach and know the basics like finding the right bloggers to target, personalising your e-mails, sending them at the right time and including obvious call-to-actions. This one’s for the pros
A 5 second meeting in person is worth 100s of e-mails
When contacting high-profile bloggers, a five second in-person introduction has an incredible impact on increasing the likelihood of that blogger helping you out. Busy people tend to use ‘filters’ to manage their time efficiently, and one of the major filters that busy people use is ‘have I met this person in real life?’
I cannot emphasise enough how beneficial it is to attend blogger conferences as a means for improving your outreach campaigns. Second to this, a simple tweet telling the person that you dropped them an e-mail seems to significantly improve response rates as it suddenly presents you as a real person in their world. Being ‘real’ to someone outside of their inbox is effective for outreach.
Scalability is awesome IF combined with quality & selectiveness
It’s common sense that sending 100 e-mails is more effective than sending 10 e-mails, but there are two other parts to this equation: quality + selectiveness.
E-mailing 100 bloggers is pointless if your product or offering isn’t good enough. The key to getting a good response rate in an outreach campaign is to give the blogger an irresistible offering. I personally like to sit down with a pen and paper before writing an e-mail campaign and list every possible benefit that I can offer to the blogger, so that my e-mail naturally becomes focused around them and not what I want.
Also, being selective can be very beneficial. Rather than e-mailing 100 Average Joe blogs, could you use the time spent contacting them to get featured on five or six major blogs that would then influence 500 bloggers to write about your product? If your product or offering is awesome, you should be able to get featured by high-profile bloggers.
Picking up the phone is the most effective way to get what you want
A pretty simple concept that I’ve talked about before; a phone call can sometimes take a little bit longer than an e-mail, but it gives you the ability to adapt to the blogger’s immediate response, which is not something you are able to do over e-mail.
If a blogger doesn’t have a phone number listed, I’d recommend dropping them a tweet asking if it’s okay to get in touch by phone with them.
Busy people are better at time management
I remember reading an interesting concept in the book Predictably Irrational, which suggests that busier people tend to be better at responding to e-mails. The theory behind this is that busy people tend to be better at time management and actioning opportunities.
When contacting people for pre-publication reviews of Get Noticed I was shocked to see the first replies come in from CEOs of major corporations and various New York Times Best-Selling Authors.
Don’t be afraid to contact the A-list bloggers just because they’re ‘out of reach’, you’d be surprised at how accessible they are.
Be in the right place at the right time, all the time
One of my favourite chapters in Get Noticed is ‘How to Be in the Right Place at the Right Time, All The Time’. Most of us assume that when we we’re supposedly in the right place at the right time, it was a stroke of luck. There is in fact more science and probability at work than we might immediately recognise. Lets break it down:
The first step to being in the right place at the right time, is knowing exactly what that place is. Who are the people you are trying to meet and where do they spend their time? If the answer is tech bloggers, then analyse where tech bloggers spend their time and be there. Attend technology conferences and meet-ups, write for the blogs they read, spend time in the cities notorious for tech blogging.
Being in that place ‘all the time’ requires you to analyse how your time is spent and replacing the ‘unsociable’ hours with sociable hours. I met a lot of great people by being ‘in the right place at the right time’ whilst writing Get Noticed by writing the book in cafés and restaurants (a sociable venue) rather than in a home study or office (an unsociable venue).
Broadly speaking, there are three main categories for how we spend our time: at work, at home, at hobbies. Working out how you distribute your time in each category and finding ways to make each aspect more ‘sociable’ can increase your odds of meeting more of the people who will help you.
Understand and be sensitive to a blogger’s accessibility
Just like celebrities, bloggers are both accessible and inaccessible in different places. Understand where it is that bloggers are most accessible and use that channel to cut through the competition and get their attention.
My experience has shown me that e-mail is relatively ineffective when contacting high-profile bloggers, when compared to Twitter and attending conferences, which are both channels where bloggers tend to be far more receptive.
Some bloggers will openly state on their blogs how they like to be contacted, some will consciously or subconsciously design their site in a way that pushes you towards their preferred channel of communication (i.e. if they have their Twitter link or phone number at the bottom of every post and only a fairly hidden link to their e-mail on one page, you’re probably best contacting them via Twitter or telephone!)
Utilise your existing network
When you do things for altruistic reasons it makes you feel genuinely good about yourself, especially if you’ve helped out a friend. Utilising your existing network is a powerful way to reach bloggers if your current network is likely to know the sort of people you need to meet. Those of you who follow me on Twitter will know that I ask for a lot of virtual introductions to new people who are relevant to what I’m doing. This works amazingly well, as I always link to those who help me out as well as those who I virtually meet in the blog posts that I write.
If you need to meet sport bloggers, send a few e-mails to your friends or send out a tweet to see if anyone can help you out – don’t feel like you’re burdening your network, you’re not, in fact you’re helping them, too.
Be likeable, genuine, and understand a blogger’s motivations
I receive a fair number of outreach e-mails to my personal website e-mail accounts, and the #1 reason why I don’t reply to some of them is because they’ve forgotten to mention or outline what the benefit is to me.
Why should I waste half an hour helping someone I’ve never met increase their rankings and profile by blogging about them? There are plenty of reasons, such as: it gives me extra content, I could receive affiliate commissions, a free product to test, promotion from their company’s social media accounts or an invite to an exclusive webinar, but they rarely mention my motivations.
Also, remember that only 7% of communication between humans is ‘what you say’, 93% of what you say is non-verbal communication, which means that if you’re e-mailing someone, 93% of your communication is lost in translation as the recipient cannot see your body language, facial expression, and to some extent, tone.
This means that you need to make ‘what you say’ compensate for the lack of non-verbal communication by ensuring that your tone is likeable and that the core message to your e-mail is genuine and honest.
As a special offer, SEOptimise readers receive a 15% discount when purchasing an eCopy of Get Noticed before November 1st. To get your copy visit WeGetNoticed.com and use the discount code ‘R3T1634N’ when checking out.
I also recommend checking out James Carson’s 12-step hustle process here and also giving this Dale Carnegie approach to blogger outreach a read.