What is Outreach, what are Outreach emails?
Outreach has been around a long time, and it means different things to different people. Today, in the world of social media, it means getting other sites to mention, promote or even sell your products and services. To do this, you need to make online contact and e-mail remains one of the best ways to do this.
Marketing has always been obsessed with generating leads and making a sale, but since social media is here to stay, the whole world is having a business conversation and marketers are learning to do it differently. It is no longer enough to bombard our way into our target market; we have to become part of it.
Building a genuine relationship with your audience – whether that is a customer or a partner – means creating something which will resonate in just a few sentences, and this can be a difficult art to perfect. Here are the key points when writing your outreach emails:
1. Remember that your email is valuable
Remember that you are offering something of value, not spamming your audience. Establish what they really want; then let them know why they should pay attention to your message, without suggesting you are doing them a favour.
2. Expect some wastage
People find emails annoying. You will inevitably reach people who are not interested, who will ignore you. Don’t be discouraged. One thing you don’t want to do is find your carefully crafted message routed to your partner’s Spam box; don’t dispatch outreach from the same outbox as your mass-market mailings.
3. Create a Simple Subject Line
This is the initial eye contact of your pitch, where you lay your foundations. It needs to be honest, direct, and relevant. Use the 4U-test to get your email read:
- Useful – It needs to demonstrate value to your reader
- Ultra-Specific – Like a headline, you need to be concise and precise
- Unique – It needs to stand out from similar offerings. As far as possible, personalize your message to suit the needs and expectations of your client.
- Urgent – Compel them to read it now, compressing key points into the most powerful sentence possible. You should also make it as easy as possible for the recipient to respond, express an interest or get more information.
Most readers delete messages without opening them, because the subject line screams ‘waffle’. Remember that E-mails read on a hand-held device may have truncated subject lines due to screen size – a real challenge for any copywriter.
4. Establish Your Purpose Clearly
What kind of conversion do you want to achieve? Do you want your target audience to provide details? To share a link to your website? To display an interest in your services or recommend your product?
Bear in mind that if this is your first outreach to this recipient, you do not want to overwhelm them with a giant block of text. This is a relationship you are trying to build, and the initial outreach is a proverbial first date. Be brief – but be memorable.
5. Add the Human Touch – Michael King, former CEO at Razorfish, proved that although outreach emails do work, personalization is key. Analyzing 300,000 emails he found that addressing someone personally got the best response rate and the best close rate.
This means more than personal salutations. Tailor different templates to suit different audience needs, and try to add something positive, no matter how small, about them. We all enjoy flattery – just don’t overdo it.
The long-predicted decline of email marketing has been greatly exaggerated; in fact email and social media can work very well together. The right outreach email can always get you the attention you need, as long as your message is clear, strong and relevant. Don’t fear rejection, and be prepared to follow up if you don’t get any reply.
Provide a strong subject line, a compelling introduction, and take the time to understand and relate to your target audience, and you will be heading towards success within a notoriously tricky area of marketing.