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5 Reasons Your Outreach Emails Suck

5 December 2012 BY

If there’s one thing worse than getting a rejection email, it’s getting no email at all. At least you know where you stand with a rejection email; the angle you chose wasn’t relevant enough, they’ve already covered that event, they don’t accept guest posts. But when you get no response, that’s agony! How are you supposed to know what you’re doing wrong? Well, here are a few things to consider. Maybe you’ll even learn how to write outreach emails that don’t suck.

1. You Use Generic Praise and Clichés

Web Editors are contacted all day, every day by guest bloggers who reel off the same tired old clichés. “I have been reading your blog for two years now and I especially like your most recent blog post about monkeys taking over the Sahara desert, it really is a strange phenomenon. I’m writing because I would like to contribute a guest post to your site.”

It’s just not believable and makes it hard for the editor to take you seriously.

2. Your Approach Email is Full of Spelling and Grammatical Mistakes

I know, I know, you’ve read it a thousand times. But it’s so incredibly important to get right. If your email is riddled with mistakes then it’s unlikely the blog editor will even contemplate reading your post. Write your approach email, spell-check it, read it again, and then read it one last time. It needs to be perfect.

3. You Don’t Do Your Homework

Most blogs are run by an individual, or a small group of people. Either way, the name of the person you are emailing will almost always be available on the site. You should never have to send an email to “Admin” or “Sir/Madam”. And remember, flattering a blogger is not about telling them how much you love their blog, or that you’ve been “telling all your friends about it”. Flattering a blogger can be as simple as getting their name right.

4. You Always Email at a Bad Time

So, you spent hours writing an amazing post about the Top 10 Monkey Petting Tours in South East Asia. You researched your target and crafted a beautifully tailored email, and they still didn’t respond! It sucks. But try and be a little compassionate here. What if your contact was on the way to work when they read your email about your amazing monkey guest post? What if they loved it, but didn’t get a chance to respond? What if they went to work and forgot all about it?

Leave it a week or so and then get in touch again. Forward them the original email and add a sentence to ask if they received it; more often than not you’ll get a response, and sometimes an apology for the delay. If you still don’t hear back? Well then it wasn’t meant to be.

5. You Don’t Prove Yourself

Most, if not all, bloggers run their blog for the love of it. Yes, they may have long-term goals to make money, but the majority do it because they are passionate about a particular interest. Bear this in mind when you contact them about contributing a guest post. Do they really want content written by an SEO? Or would they prefer a post written by an experienced writer? How can you show that you are experienced? Could you send them some links to previous articles in the same niche? Not only would this give them a chance to see how good you are at writing (remember, they don’t care if you are good at SEO, they only care if you are good at writing) but it also shows them that other bloggers have trusted you enough to allow you a guest post on their site. Flatter them by showing how intelligent and skilled you are and that you (yes YOU) want to guest blog on their site. 

AUTHORED BY:
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Ben Holbrook is Head of Content at Verve Search and has a particular interest in content marketing and developing sustainable link development strategies.
  • Sohaib

    Another great post, Ben! You make some points that may seem obvious but a lot of people tend to skip over the small details when they’re sending out emails. I think the main lesson here is to treat bloggers as if they’re human–the best way to do this is to imagine that you’re the blog owner yourself. Wouldn’t YOU want some writing examples? Wouldn’t YOU want someone to greet your by your name? Wouldn’t YOU rather read a post on Tuesday morning rather than 4.30pm on Friday?

    Look forward to reading more!
    Sohaib

  • Fraser Wood

    Ben this is so true! Particularly point 5, I think the best way to prove yourself is to actually get stuck into the topic and post a few articles for their own sake without links. When prospective bloggers look at your previous articles they’ll see that you’re happy to discuss the issues without always linking, this builds trust and means you’re genuinely contributing to the content-ecosystem.

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