I receive 8-10 emails a week from app and software marketers hoping that I would mention their project on Pushing Social.
I welcome this blogger outreach because I’m a marketer that appreciates the game of getting attention.
The problem though is that 99% of the emails I receive suck…big time.
The PR, social media, and interactive agencies who write these lame solicitations should be replaced or forced to write this post out by hand 10x.
First let’s get the basics out of the way –
What is Blogger Outreach?
Savvy marketers know that a mention from a credible blogger with a large audience can jumpstart traffic and sales for their product. The challenge is getting the attention of popular bloggers. Blogger outreach is the pseudo-discipline of convincing thought and opinion leaders to showcase your stuff on their platform (i.e. Blog, YouTube Video, Podcast).
Blogger Outreach is as close to cold calling as you’ll get in the content marketing world. It is tough and thankless. I’ve done it and I hated every moment until I decided to take a different approach which we’ll talk about in a moment.
I suspect that most blogger outreach efforts fail based on the bad templates, poor homework and false authenticity I see in my inbox every day.
4 Cringe Worthy Blogger Outreach Emails
I’ve removed the name of the person and company when appropriate. I don’t want to be unnecessarily brutal. The good news is that if you see your email below, you can quietly get feedback on why you haven’t heard from me.
Here we go.
- Good job of explaining what they do.
- Big fan? A quick check of my email database shows that the writer hadn’t signed up for a single blog notification, ebook, special report or webinar.
- “see if there is a fit for a story”. You are asking me to do the work of figuring out how your content fits. That’s fine, but if you are wanting me to work for free, you’ll be waiting a long time.
- I’m unable to quickly see how this company’s service is different or why I should mention it to my readers
- The email is short. That means it has a fighting chance of getting read
- The emails is somewhat relevant. I use and write about Twitter often.
- Don’t know the author. They’ve never signed up for anything and they aren’t on my radar.
- Twitter apps are a dime a dozen. I’m not clear why this app is special for me or my users.
- Why would I be interested in a random list of events?
- Misspelling. I’m not a saint in the proofreading category but this email has 2 seconds to make a good impression. These misspellings killed the author’s credibility as a professional.
- This email speaks directly to my need – More Content.
- The author is offering up 3 decent infographics on Facebook. I’m able to quickly evaluate each for my needs
- Requires a bit of work. I’m grateful for the point in the right direction but a recommendation based on my past posts about Facebook would have made this email a no-brainer.
- The lack of Pushing Social specific information gives this template away but the content compensated for its shortcomings.
5 Keys to Effective Blogger Outreach
Key #1: Make it Personal. Kill the blogger outreach templates.
Do yourself a favor and throw out the asinine blogger outreach templates the pundits are pedaling. They don’t work in 2014. Instead, craft a personal one-to-one email that cuts through the noise by being relevant and unique. Yes, this approach doesn’t scale. You can’t blast hundreds of bloggers with a cool new tool. But the upside is that people will read and respond to your emails.
Key #2: Be Unique
Write your note by hand. Send it via snail mail. Dress it up with FedEx. Deliver a gift that catches people’s attention. (I like SendaBall). Sending another email to a blogger that already gets hundreds daily is a fool’s errand unless.
Key #3: Meet In Person
Timothy Ferriss spent time at SXSW meeting with blogger’s in the productivity, entrepreneurism, and blogging niche before publishing his first book – The 4 Hour Workweek. He wanted to meet the most popular bloggers face to face. He wanted them to remember his name, face, and book when he sent an email to follow-up. The trip cost him a few hundred dollars but it forged a personal bond that he turned into free publicity for his New York Times Bestseller.
Find conferences frequented by top bloggers and attend. Bring your business card, charm, and conference agenda. Meet as many as you can and make the personal connection. Social Media Marketing World next month in San Diego (March 26 – 28th) is an excellent place to start.
Key #4: Show Don’t Tell
You gain nothing by saying that you are a fan of Pushing Social. I always check my email list to see if you have signed-up blog updates, special reports, webinars, or left a comment more than once on a post. Limiting your blogger outreach to a few people gives you the time to show genuine interest in their blog and audience. Sign up for their blog updates, read and comment on their blogs. Spend 30 days making an impression so don’t look like a lying idiot when you say you are a “fan”.
Key #5: Do My Job For Me
Top bloggers are content creation machines. They have little to no time to do your homework for you.
This means they most likely will not:
1. Review and choose a topic from a list of 10 bad ideas
2. Review your apps features and decide if it is a match for their audience
3. Sit through a demo
4. Suggest guest post ideas for you to write
I think you get where I’m going with this. Effective blog outreach is a game of anticipation. Anticipate your target’s questions:
1. Is this topic/app relevant to my audience?
2. Have I talked about this topic in the past and was it well received?
3. What is the best way to quickly evaluate this app for my audience?
Next use a combination of Keys #1, #2, #3, and #4 to get on your blogger’s radar.
You might be wondering…
Does Blogger Outreach Still Work?
Yes. Absolutely. Blogger Outreach works when you shift your mindset from blasting an audience to courting (even seducing) an individual. You will win if you make the shift.
What do you think?