7 Reasons Your Outreach Emails Aren’t Getting Responses and How to Fix That

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Almost any online marketing campaign these days includes email outreach.

While social media has its place, email is universally the most personal form of contact you can make online.

Well-written outreach emails can get links, joint venture opportunities, clients, and just about any other good result you can think of.

The only problem is that most people can’t write a good outreach email.

If you’ve sent a few thousand and have read some other guides on the subject, you likely have a good grasp of the basics and can write okay emails.

But are you honestly getting the responses you’re looking for?

The fact that you’re here right now probably means that you know you could do better.

And that’s okay.

By the end of this post, you won’t be sending just “okay” emails. You’ll be sending good to great emails that almost always get a response as well as much better conversion rates (for links, sales, etc.).

Not getting enough responses from email outreach? Here is a quick how to guide to fix that.

I’ll go over the 7 most common mistakes I see marketers, even smart ones, make on a regular basis.

Be honest with yourself because otherwise you won’t be able to spot your mistakes and make improvements. 

1. Are you a liar, or do you seem like one?

I get several cold outreach emails a day. By now, I’m pretty good at spotting an outright liar or even someone who is just stretching the truth.

In a large portion of those emails, I see an opening line that sounds like:

I’m a huge fan of Quick Sprout…

Okay, cool.

The only problem is that I don’t recognize your name from comments (on Quick Sprout posts) or from social media.

Surely, a “huge fan” would at least be subscribed to my email list. Surprisingly, a fairly large percentage of these emailers are not.

Right away, I feel lied to and usually delete the email.

A lie like that makes me assume that the emailer just searched for the top marketing blogs to pitch something to—no thanks.

Can you validate your claims? I’m always talking about creating data-driven posts and backing up all your claims with charts and studies.

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Emails are no different.

If you claim you are a fan of someone or you enjoyed their work, prove it.

Here’s one example:

I’m a huge fan of your work on Quick Sprout. Your emails Monday morning always get my week off to a great start.

Assuming you’re actually on the email list, so far I believe you’re not lying.

Another common opener is to tell someone you liked one of their articles. If you really liked it, you would have shared it on social media, left a comment, and, most importantly, applied it.

Don’t just say you liked an article with nothing backing it up; no one believes it.

Instead, try something like:

I loved your post “How to Leverage Q&A Sites to Generate Traffic.”

Since I read it, I created a profile on Quora and have already driven 400 visits to my site.

The hardest thing to fake is sincerity. Don’t say you’re a huge fan or you love a post if you don’t mean it.

2. You’re asking for a lot of work

Chances are you’re emailing fairly well-known bloggers in your niche.

They’re busy people.

Even if they aren’t incredibly popular, assume they’re busy anyway because most people are.

Common sense should tell you that busy people are trying to get through emails quickly so that they can do productive things (emails usually aren’t considered such).

So, if you’re asking them to do a lot of work on their end, they’ll be understandably hesitant.

Let me give you an example of a line that I often see in outreach emails:

Here’s the link to my content: (link)

Please take a look at it, and let me know if you have any thoughts and if you think it’s a good fit for your audience.

Do you see the problem with that?

You’re asking the person to review your work, give feedback on it, and determine if it’s appropriate for their audience.

The first reaction of any blogger will be:

Why on Earth are you sending me this if you’re not positive that it’s a match for my audience?

What could you do instead? Always minimize the time and effort that the person on the receiving end needs to spend if they decide to help you out.

To improve the above example, you could change it to:

Here’s the link to my content: (link)

I’m sure it’s a great fit for your audience because:

  • (reason 1)
  • (reason 2)

Just say the word, and I’ll create an original summary of the results that you can copy and paste in a future article.

Now it’s clear to them that you’ve done your homework and you understand their audience. As long as a quick glance at the content reveals that it’s of a decent quality, you might be onto something.

Finally, offering to write a custom introduction or summary and making linking to your content easier will make the email even more enticing.

To finish off, let me give you a few more examples of what marketers ask in outreach emails that is too much work:

  1. Watch this video and see if you enjoy it
  2. Look at my new tool and see if the features are worth sharing with your audience
  3. I’ll write a guest post for you, but please suggest some article ideas

Before you send an email, always ask yourself: “Am I asking this person to do a significant amount of work?”

If so, find a way to reduce it.

3. This might sting—you’re not special

I didn’t really mean that; I am sure you are special in your own ways.

I’m referring to the fact that most emails do not reveal anything special.

If you ask someone to link to your content, why should they link to it and not to any one of the other hundreds of articles about the same topic?

Most emailers never address this question in their emails.

Let’s look at an excerpt of a bad email:

I’ve just published a guide to making beets. If you’re writing a post in the future that mentions beets, please consider using it as a reference.

What’s special about that? Absolutely nothing.

Now, let’s look at a better email:

I’ve just published a guide to making beets. It is the only beet-making guide that has step-by-step pictures as well as a complete video tutorial. I know I’m biased, but no other beet guide is as useful for a beginner as mine is.

You need to be able to quickly explain why your content or offer is special. Why should this person help you or work with you over all the other people out there (some of whom have already contacted them)?

4. I don’t know you

Take a link building technique like the skyscraper technique. It involves a lot of cold outreach.

The average conversion rate is about 5-10%. That means you’d have to send 1,000 emails to get 50-100 links (pretty good).

It’s a great technique that has its time and place, and I recommend it often, but it can easily be improved by removing the cold outreach.

If I get an email from someone I don’t know, it’s unlikely I’m going to do them a favor right off the bat.

If there’s any indication that they’re just after a link, their email goes in the trash.

That’s why you get about a 5-10% conversion rate even though you’re targeting the right people with the technique.

But when I do know someone? Of course, I’ll read the email, and if it’s a friend or even just a casual acquaintance, I’ll help them if they have a reasonable offer.

Get to know someone before you ask for something: This is the hardest part of being able to create great outreach emails—there are no templates for it.

However, learning to build relationships is also the easiest way to skyrocket your success.

In general, you can break down the process into the following steps:

  1. Make contact – You have a mutual interest in your niche, so use it to have a brief conversation through email, social media, or comments, preferably about their content.
  2. Provide value – Anything you can do to help them out goes a long way. If you have any special skills, e.g., design, offer to create custom pictures for their content or update some graphics in their sidebar. If you’re a writer, offer to update and upgrade a few outdated posts. Be creative.
  3. Then ask for something – At this point, you’re probably at least 4 weeks into the relationship (yes, it takes time). If you follow the other points in this post, you should be able to write a good email to ask for a link or whatever you’re after. You’ll have a much higher success rate (double or triple at least) than if you did it with a cold email.

All of this takes planning and having a genuine passion for your niche. If you don’t care enough to spend weeks getting to know people in your niche that you could work alongside for years, you’re taking the wrong approach.

5. I hate it when there “aer” typos

This is going to be a short but necessary section.

There is no excuse for typos in a short email.

One might go unnoticed, but two or more will be easy to spot.

It shows a lack of attention to detail and effort. If you’re asking me to work with you or link to your content, having typos is not a good thing. I’ll assume that you produce content of the same poor quality and will delete the email.

Almost every email service has a spell checker these days: use it.

6. No one wants to be “templated”

I’ve hinted at it so far, but let me be crystal clear:

Email needs to be personal.

If your email starts with “Hi”or “Dear Sir,” it’s likely going into the trash.

If there’s nothing about it that shows you know me well, it’s also likely going into the trash.

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Bloggers are rightfully skeptical of emails with little personalization in them. They are often sent out to hundreds of other bloggers to try to get links or something else.

Yes, some bloggers don’t care, but most do these days. If you ever want a great reply rate, don’t dismiss this crucial aspect.

While templates are useful to help you work out the general message you’re trying to capture, take the time to personalize every single email you send.

7. It’s all about you

Think of emails as conversations.

In real life, would you rather talk with someone who never shuts up about themselves or who cares about your wants, needs, and thoughts?

For 99% of people, it’s the second one.

When you write any outreach email, always write it from the perspective of what’s in it for the person I’m emailing?

Always explain how what you’re asking for benefits their business.

If you’re asking for a link, don’t do what everyone else does and say: “I think your audience will love it.”

It’s not horrible, but be honest, that’s not a real benefit for the person you’re emailing.

Asking for a link is typically a one-way street, which is why I recommend giving value well before asking for one (in reason #4 of this post).

Conclusion

Email outreach is one of the most effective ways to grow your business. You can use it to get more links (for SEO), generate more sales, and form partnerships.

However, most people make several mistakes in their email outreach campaigns and rarely get positive replies.

You might never write the “perfect” outreach email, but never stop trying to improve them.

Create a checklist based on the 7 things I went over in this post, and use it to make sure you are not making any of the mistakes before you send out an email.

This is how you spot problems, fix them, and learn from them. Eventually, it will all become second nature.

I’d love to hear about how you’ve used email outreach in the past and what results you’ve achieved. Just leave me a comment below, and I’ll see it for sure.

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Comments

  1. Funny (in the tragic sense)…I JUST sent an email BEFORE reading this post. lol

    Wish I had read this first! Good stuff as always. Thanks!

  2. Louise Dickens :

    Thanks for this BRILLIANT article Neil.

    Outreaching is such an important element of content marketing, but it definitely isn’t easy! I think when you’re constantly writing multiple outreach emails it can be easy to turn a bit autonomous – and that reflects in the replies you get back.

    I’ll be bookmarking this post!

  3. george charalampakis :

    I just shared this article with our sales team. Solid information as always Neil.

    I might not comment here often but I read all of your posts and I get your newsletter as well

    • It was my pleasure putting it all together for you George.

      Let me know if you have any questions I can help with

  4. Brad Costanzo :

    Good stuff Neil, I know I field a ton of cold emails for my podcast, people wanting to be guests or get something from me and you’re spot-on, template emails are the worst and they’re totally transparent especially when there’s no authentic personalization.

    But I’ve had great success “starting” with email templates but adding in personalization, flattery, direct-to-the-point benefits. I’ve used this to book high profile podcast guests as well as getting clients from cold emails for marketing services when I reach out either via LinkedIn or email.

    I just started using this method to reach out to journalists to cover my new coffee company and it’s starting to show similar results.

    It’s a noisy world and a little authenticity goes far.

    • That’s a great idea Brad. I think templates are great for you to get the ball rolling and learn off. As you feel comfortable you can get more bold with what your’e saying

  5. Beth Bridges :

    Neil,
    Wait… you’re talking about NETWORKING!

    LOL, took me about halfway into item #4 before I realized it. But just asking for something out of the blue is basically cold-call selling. What you’re describing is building a relationship, offering value to them first, and EARNING the opportunity to ask.

    But I know that networking still has a negative connotation for some people. I don’t blame you for leaving the word out of the post. Feel free to delete this comment if I’ve let the cat out of the bag. 😀

    Beth

    • It wasn’t my intention to leave it out on purpose, I think that you made a great observation. It is a lot like networking in the real world 🙂

      • Hey Neil and Beth,

        Firstly, great reminders Neil and re networking…absolutely…we tend to want to work with folks we know, like and trust and word of mouth is always the best…still. Example..I received this link from a friend of mine and read it because he sent it and I do send emails to folks. Probably wouldn’t have it had come to me cold AND I would have missed the timely and useful info. It was also a great confirmation article for me as I, for the most part do tend to personalize all my emails. Back to the “networking” aspect…networking-contrary to the “bad press” networking companies (a legitimate business model btw despite “pyramid scheme” mis-perceptions by many) have, is all about the power of a personal referral. A super book I love on that is “The Referral of a Lifetime” by Tim Templeton. (not selling it..grin…its just one of my “keepers” on my bookshelf that I thought you might like if you ever get the chance to read it. Again thanks for a great article Neil!!!

        • I agree, trust is what it comes down to, especially when there are just so many people to choose from now a days. I haven’t read that book before, but I’ll take a look. Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. Theodore Nwangene :

    A very thoughtful post Neil,

    I agreed with all your points here especially the first one. I’ve also seen so many people claiming that they know an influencer just to get a favour from him while they know nothing about him.

    Why lie in the first place? The good thing is that such lies can easily be spotted. If you’re a big fan then, how do you prove it? Lying alone will even make the person to hate you instantly because you’re disgusting.

    I strongly believe that if all the above 7 mistakes mentioned here are avoided, anyone can get a mouth-watering result from his outreach campaigns.

    Thanks for sharing Neil and do have a fabulous weekend.

    BTW: I sent you an email about a broken link i discovered on one of your posts last time while carrying out research for an article. I don’t know if you got it.

    The post is question is here (https://www.quicksprout.com/2015/06/17/guest-posting-on-steroids-how-to-get-real-results-in-2015-and-beyond/)

    I found the broken link on the 9th paragraph where you talked about Danny Iny, and the anchor text is 7 Figures Per Year. You might have to check it out.

    Finally, I’ve finished writing the article i was researching about and i talked about *The Death of Blogging”. I also mentioned you 🙂 ,

    Please, mind if i share it with you? You might find it interesting but if not, that’s still ok. Just thought i should let you know.

    Thanks once again.

  7. Really, really helpful tips. It’s funny how they seem so obvious (sometimes) in retrospect! As a fairly new marketer, I’m accustomed to selling my company’s products but not my content. This is a good reminder to be more confident and direct in my outreach. Thanks!

  8. Neil,

    #1, #2 and #7 are the most crucial ones and play a very important role in closing deals.

    I recently signed a contract with Dan Martell of Clarity using a similar cold outreach strategy. Although I had to follow-up with him several times due to the time limitations he had. But, the persistence finally landed my agency a contract with him and I couldn’t be much happier.

    This is how my email structure looked like:

    1) I didn’t lie. Implemented Dan’s guide first and showed him the original results.
    2) Did all the upfront work for him. He just answered yes or no.
    3) Never talked about myself until recently when I was about to close the deal with him.

    This takes persistence and understanding your customer. And once the prospect is on the hook, the client is all yours.

    I’ve outlined my exact strategy in-detail here for those looking to execute this for their business: http://www.freelancesupremacy.com/pentagon-strategy/

    Great article!

  9. Why is it that a large majority of marketers don’t really do this, Neil?

    On a slightly similar note, this reminded me of some email that I have got last month. It was a guest post pitch and it sounded really templated so I casually just didn’t respond.

    Then the follow-up email came a week later so I took the time to explain why I didn’t respond and what they can do to improve their outreach. Also, since the initial topic they pitched to me wasn’t really what we wanted (we’ve already published similar post on those topics before), I told them that we might go with something along the lines of a different one which, I know for sure, is something they can write.

    As far as I’m aware, it was a good explanation and I detailed everything as much as I can given the short time I had then.

    They responded by asking if there’s a topic on the initial pitch that we wanted to get written. Facepalm – I wasted my time writing that email so to speak.

    Some people just don’t read, some don’t even pay attention to details. Guest post pitches should be easy, it can even be done via cold emailing and you can still get a high response rate but a case like this almost certainly makes me lose my faith in helping people get something published on our blog.

    • Everything comes down to your approach. Essentially you need to just do it a bunch of times and learn from each instance. As you begin to get some yes’s, you’ll get a boost of energy and confidence in knowing what you’re doing is working.

      At the end of the day it’s a numbers game

    • That was very nice of you responding, you took the time to educate them so it is their loss.i see that with millennial a a lot where they are just soaked up in their own world and can’t see past it.

  10. Hi Neil

    This is very timely to read – thank you.

    I am going to say that I really do love your blog and every post is immensely useful – and this time it’s actually a genuine comment as my project is in a completely different industry and you won’t get an outreach email from me 🙂 So thank you so much for genuinely AMAZING content. You are a god-send for a layman (i’ve zero knowledge of online marketing)

    I struggle with understanding outreach mailing to be honest and I want to ask you a couple questions.

    1) About building relationships – consistently engaging with blogger content etc. You can only genuinely engage and love content of 10-20 people. I’m very busy too, right? I can’t sift through content all day, read and watch videos of 100s of people i want to mail an outreach. Not because i wont make an effort but In practice, only 1-5% of anyone’s content will cause me to really engage, ask a question, comment something useful etc. Bar very few exceptions. yet i do need to mail to 100s of people, or im only mailing to 10-20 im a genuine fan of and i only get 2-3 partners. How can we balance this need to build relationship with every person you need to contact, and the practicality that it takes 10 min to read each of their article or video, having relationships can take you 9 hours each day…

    And so im tempted to just send an offer ‘look, this piece is gonna be hugely valuable for your readers because such and such’. Does this really not work as something that’s ‘in it for them’?

    2) Asking them to do too much work.
    Everyone on the web seems to say: they are busy people, so make sure your email is 3 lines. But then 3 lines can tell nothing why it is useful for them, what’s so special about me, why it’s relevant to their readers. So personally I’d rather write 15-20 sentences (succinctly, i know – lean and not 3 pages) that really explain my value and main idea. But then I think – am i asking for too much work to read a longer email? Do i have to send a 3 line email? I wonder what you think about email length from your vast experience (providing no waffle)

    Thank you so much for the amazing stuff you share

    • 1. Balancing this is your goal. It’s not easy, especially at first. But like anything you learn, you’ll become better and better at it, and before you realize, you’ll start having fun as you learn. This is a process though and it takes time.

      2. There is no specific #, you’re learning of your results. Everything can be improved and work more effectively

  11. That was an awesome article! I’ve realized business is a lot about building and maintaining relationships and also can you provide value to the person. ????

    Cheers!
    Louie J O

  12. Hi Neil,
    Thank you for this post. It made me realize why some of my emails are not being replied to. And yes being more “personalized” on your emails will most probably get you a reply.

    Just a quick question though, if lets say you are a niche blog website and you have reached someone who is an authority and got you introduced to a well known organization for your niche
    1. How do you handle the “not being a liar part? I mean this is really a great opportunity and I dont want to blow it out. But you have been doing this only a couple of months. Do you get to say what you really are (a niche website)? Or like your content marketing guide, present them a scheduled publication list of articles to entice them that you really are into this niche?

    Thanks in advance your articles are really actionable.ü

    • Be honest, I would never recommend lying. If you have energy and enthusiasm, people can feel that. If you haven’t been in business for a long time, be the guy who hustles harder than anyone else

  13. Neil,

    The timing on this is interesting, as I received several emails from you yesterday regarding the webinar… all were addressed to “Dear Friend”. I remember thinking at the time that this was very un-Neil-like, especially since you have our names in your email list and from the webinar registration.

    I know it’s a little different doing broadcast emails vs outreach, but as I said the timing of the post was funny.

    Cheers!

  14. Dana Detrick-Clark from Serious Vanity :

    Thank you for once again, Neil, creating a bookmark-worthy resource.

    Cold emails have always been my least favorite form of contact, because I know how I feel when I get them! If it’s not a connection I can immediately see a purpose in, there’s little reason for me to get invested. Most are just email blasts that I didn’t sign up for (made worse when they attach files I will never open!). It makes me that much more aware when I make efforts to connect, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

    But having said that, there are times when it’s refreshing to get something that just says, “I saw you do ‘that’, I do ‘this’, can you use it?”. It sounds real, it’s succinct, and there’s a call to action that really does nudge me to respond with a yes or no. So in context, what sometimes appears as the “wrong” kind of email is really effective, at least in my experience.

    I think as writers/marketers/developers of any kind, we have to find our voice when reaching out to prospects in the same way we do with our audience on blogs and social. Sometimes there’s a bit of a template we start with (shout out to Brad Costanzo up there), but like with everything else we see what works and what clearly doesn’t and can start to lean into the more natural flow of the things that are getting response.

    The more you do it, the better you get (if you’re paying attention to results and acting on them). Plus developing a bit of intuition for what to use in which situations, and of course, being yourself – all things that are the same mindset you carry forward if and when these people are actually collaborators or clients.

    • Yah I think it just comes down to developing that personality and voice that you feel comfortable with and converts. It’s a process and something that gets learned over time.

      You’re welcome Dana, I’m glad this was helpful.

  15. Outreach is a grind.

    Have you ever played World of Warcraft? Do you know how long it takes to reach level 70? Well, to get there, you have to do a lot of repetitive stuff, and it can get quite boring. BUT those who duke it out, often get the prize.

    Link building is no different. Sending out 100 emails to get 4 links isn’t fun, but if you want to b the best and rank for 100 of search terms, you better believe links are the cream of the crop. They will be great today, tomorrow and as long as search engines include our URLs.

    There are no shortcuts.

    The grind DOES pay off — trust me.

    /end of rant

  16. This is the first of your several emails that I could actually get a full grasp of. Don’t get me wrong, your posts are fantastic, but I usually either skim or get too overwhelemed because of the absolute minute details you go into, which also is the reason why you’re the top authority on the subject.
    Todays post was extremely helpful, will apply those pointers in my work now on.
    Thanks,

    ps. I’ve subscribed to few business & marketing newsletters but the ones that get opened everytime are Ramit Sethis’, Mary Fs’, Psychoanalytics’ and yours.
    Keep up the good work!

  17. Great article, Neil. I love the skyscraper technique. Any particular tips/strategies for managing outreach emails follow-ups? I know there are some custom tools for Gmail but just wondering what you’ve seen and recommend.

    • What I listed should help you get started and going and from there you’ll begin to notice creative ways to approach people that converts better and better

  18. I am doing email outreach for last 6 months and definitely, any suggestions, comments and sharings from you always have a different value. Thank you so much for this thoughtful post.

    Just a curiosity, what do you think about email subject?

  19. Michael Lyons :

    Hey Neil, great post! I’ve actually used this technique with the last company I worked with and increased cold email signup rates from 2% to 10% (10% reply rate to 61%). I think the key was showing them data relevant to THEIR customers and how to help them, then adding social proof with additional data relevant to their company. Keep up the great work! “I’m a huge fan” 😉

    • Wow, that’s a huge gain, congrats and great observation on what changes to test.

      It’s always a game of relevancy 😉

  20. Pavankamar Karnati :

    Hey Neil,

    Few questions, but before that..

    Lie: I read every post of yours.

    Truth: I only read those posts which I am in need of.

    ( You got me, I did read this post )

    Questions:

    1.) what would you say if someone is commenting about your post via email, instead of comments section, you would call him another guy trying to connect for his own work?

    2.) what would you say if someone is commenting to the same post via email as well as comments section?

    Actually I do comment mostly via mail, and rarely via comment.

    But sometimes it happens that we can’t express our message in short way to save others time.

    I did waste your time in last mail but Dont have an option to make it short ( yup maybe I had an option )

    This was the best outreach article I have ever read ( truth ), also Brian Dean’s skyscraper technique was awesome.

    keep up the great work.

    • You’re welcome Pavankamar, glad this was helpful

      1. If you’re looking to connect with the blogger you can
      2. I would say just courteous and clear with your intentions

  21. Jonathan Seet :

    Another great article Neil.

    Especially point 4 and 7. I guess everyone is always in a hurry to get immediate results, they forget marketing is an ongoing process. More so with SEO and blogging.

    It’s always about your audience first. And in the case of an email outreach… your audience is the influencer. Sounds simple and logical yet it is so easy to miss this point.

    Thanks for the timely reminder. (Time to review my outreach emails again)

    • It’s always a process, like many things in life. Nothing is ever really done, so it’s important to enjoy that part of it.

      You’re welcome glad this was helpful!

  22. Luana Spinetti :

    Such a beautiful article, Neil!

    Very human and considerate, too. It’s easy to forget that there’s a real person behind that email client who will read us, someone with feelings and a dignity, but that’s precisely what we should all keep in mind to make email outreach a way to build human relationships before marketing benefits.

    I wrote an article on email outreach for WebHostingSecretRevealed.net a few months ago. I collected successful email templates from other bloggers and marketers, which help and provide necessary guidance especially for beginners, but you are right — templates should be used with care to avoid offending the recipient. I hope I gave some useful advice there in this sense (it would be awful if readers misunderstood my intentions!).

    Thank you for a great guide and a very important reminder. 🙂

    ~ Luana

    • You’re welcome Luana. Yes, I hear you on that, many people forget they’re talking to ACTUAL human beings, not visitors on a screen

      • Luana Spinetti :

        I swear that was the first thing I learned from an old email marketing book I borrowed from the library last year. Big eye opener. 🙂 (Personal experience teaches, too: I know where some kind of outreach emails I receive regularly end up… *smiles at email Trash folder*)

        ~ Luana

  23. Larry from Canada Loans :

    Hi Neil,

    I wonder if you check any e-mails in your spam folder?

    Sometimes I get a feeling that after some amount of outreach e-mails sent the rest gets market as spam because the reply rate suddenly drops (and no, I’m not sending the same e-mail to hundreds of addresses). Really hard to validate this assumption though.

    Larry

  24. Thank you for this post. I am getting ready to start doing some Outreach and have been researching the subject.

    I was happy to see your email today with a link to this post.

  25. You know,

    The BIGGEST reason I delete outreach emails from businesses is the lack of a personalised domain name.

    The “ihasarealbusinesshonest”@gmail.com type email addresses just don’t give me confidence in the fact that they are a genuine and established business.

    Something as small as a custom email address may not add a huge level of trust or credibility but it’s certainly a red flag if a business doesn’t have one.

    • Larry from Canada Loans :

      Funny thing is that popular email domains like gmail/yahoo are more reliable than hosting one yourself, that’s why even companies use them.

      On the other hand you can host it on gmail and link to your domain name which also adds credibility.

    • Thanks for pointing that out. It’s important to optimize every aspect of your process

  26. Neil,
    As usual good post. Some of them are reminders from your past post ( yeay! I know you 🙂 )
    Is it okay to reach out to the same person multiple times for link building opportunities ?

    • It depends on your relationship with. Remember that relationships are give and take, so be sure to provide value.

  27. Hi Neil

    Real truth: I read most of your blog posts, though I wish I could implement as much as I read. I find this post helpful and not only easy to implement with e-mail outreach but it’s more a standard I would like to use for my cold calls when selling as well.

    • It’s definitely not “easy”, but it is a simple process. Most people aren’t doing this, that’s why there’s so much opportunity for the people are hungry enough

  28. Hello Neil,

    It is like you are reading my mind. Im into link building on my newly site now and outreach is my favorite. I am already practicing some things you said here but thanks for this article because I did not know I can improve my emails more.

    The problem I am encountering sometimes is that sometimes these websites I am contacting don’t even reply to the my email (even they added my link to their site).

    Also, there are others who replies but they never say if they will add the link to their site or not.

    So I cant really assess my outreach conversions. Lol! Any opinions Neil?

    Cheers,
    Rob

    • I would measure the number emails it takes for you to get a link. Whether they reply to you or not, but still provide you a link still works.

  29. Hi Neil,

    This is great, I am always looking for ways to improve my outreach skills, I love to chat more than anything else, so, keeping the fluff out is one thing I will make sure I try and sort.

    I think the best advice is to be yourself, let your good points shine through, use humor, get to the point, and don’t be a liar!

    I’ll definitely be working more at the proving I have been following.

    Thanks for your post Neil.

    Joe Elliott

  30. Catherine Dix :

    Hi Neil,

    Awesome to wake up this am and find this in my inbox. I manage an agency SEO team and outreach is a big part of what we do to amplify content for clients. This resource is so timely as I ran a session yesterday for 16 of us on this topic and how we can improve our tactics. We’ve read all of your resources and Brian Dean as well.

    Our biggest challenge ongoing is building genuine relationships and whether it’s done by us as an agency or just specifically for one client. Overall we’re getting better and better, and getting a 10% conversion but finding best way as an agency remains challenging.

    Thanks as always for your insights, this is the perfect round up and reminder of key objectives with outreach. Sharing with my team now!

    • Yah I know what you mean. Agencies can be tough because of the churn and burn. Have you gotten into creating digital products or any kind of subscription revenue service?

      • Catherine Dix :

        It’s on the cards and certainly a valuable tactic. Currently we’re focusing on building custom strategies for clients that cover all digital tactics and link outreach as part of SEO and content marketing is just one part of it. Email outreach remains a challenge but a really good one 🙂

        Thank you for setting the bar with digital content and strategies surrounding it. You always deliver 🙂

  31. It is ironical that I have been sending outreach emails to tons of bloggers and influencers for last 2 weeks and now this super guide came up. Really needed this. I didn’t even know that the emails I have been sending are considered as ‘cold emails’. Lol.
    I even reached out to you Neil :p no reply.
    Yeah I also included that ‘I’m a great fan of quicksprout’. Infact when I read this here, I was like,”shit! is he talking about me?” 😀

  32. Hi Neil,
    I know. I know. This is my first post on Quicksprout but have been reading your newsletter for the last six months or so. I also saw you recently on PBI (Steve and Alex). You are one of the very online folks, that I think, provides real value. I have no favors to ask, just really appreciative of knowing what kinds of emails I receive all day long and learning how not to bother folks I would like to connect with in the digital world. Wishing you continued success.
    Best,
    devin

    • Thanks Devin, appreciate your comments. If you have any questions or need help with anything you’re learning, don’t hesitate to ask

      • Hi Neil,
        The offer is appreciated. I actually do have a question that may fall outside of what you discuss but I will throw it out there anyway. I am a wordpress user with a site that uses reader content. This means I frequently have to edit, rewrite, find pictures, post and promote. It is time consuming. I recently saw a WP plugin that allows the user post directly to the site. A setting will allow me to delete spam, etc before publication. To me, it seems like a good solution. Do you have any opinion why I should look into this more or why it is a bad idea to allow readers (potentially spammers) to not access my site in this way?

        Again, I completely understand why this might not be your specialty. Thanks in advance.
        devin

  33. Oyekunle Damola :

    When I first saw the title of the post (Email subscriber) I first figured, oh well, a lot of people have already written on this. But then, I remembered how you always find a new angle to your posts so I decided to check it out. Was a very smart decision after-all.

    Thanks for taking the time to write this Neil. At least I am now very sure of the things I would definitely not be doing in my next Email outreach campaign 🙂

    • Glad you found this helpful Oyekunle! I hope you learned some techniques you can implement in your business. Keep me posted

  34. Christina Sponias :

    Hi Neil,

    Just to give you an idea of what kind of problems different bloggers have, I believe that your suggestions are useful only for internet marketers. I don’t feel that this method has practical value for those who are not in the internet marketing business.

    I used it when I was a newbie many years ago and it helped me somehow, but it is too time consuming and the results are too disappointing.

    Internet marketers accept cooperation and they don’t defend their brand, but the same doesn’t happen in other fields. Could you write blog posts about techniques that could be applied in difficult fields where cooperation is practically impossible? Thank you in advance!

    • I think these tactics work even more effectively with people who aren’t in the internet marketing business. But at the end of the day, if you have a website, your an internet marketer

  35. Evangelist Usman Raza :

    Perfect Neil! I was looking for long time to read this type of post. Many thanks! God bless you!

  36. It took me a bit to understand it was about pitching emails and just not email marketing and what to email your list. I have not had my coffee yet and drove six hours last night from the periconlive conference so I’m super slow, my favorite part was no one likes to be templatesd which is so true and this will serve as a checklist for me in future when doing outreach emails. One interesting thing you bring up is about not seeing person who claims they are fan of the blog and I don’t comment often. I have s custom filter set up for your emails Neil cause I think you are a genius and I tell lots of my business bestirs about you but I don’t comment often so will be changing that. Thanks for all you do

    • I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment Feuza 🙂

      If you ever have questions or get stuck on anything you’re learning, please don’t hesitate to ask

  37. Great article on how to reach influencers using email, Neil.

    I am doing it now for my food blogger client, although its templated but we customized it with the influencer’s social media and manual email.

    Will use what you shared in my future outreach email.

    Thanks!!!!

  38. John Matthew :

    Thanks Neil! I was making all these mistakes while out reaching. Can you write how to get approval for huffingtonpost.com or forbes.com? i would love to read.

  39. Nora McDougall-Collins :

    I had to laugh at “Please take a look at it, and let me know if you have any thoughts …”. At any given meeting: Chamber of Commerce, school functions, etc. when someone finds out I’m a web developer, I’m sure to get a card with them asking me to “tell me what you think about my website.”

    Let’s see, that means I need to
    1. Remember I have the card
    2. Remember which card I’m supposed to check out the website for
    3. Go to the website and do a free review
    4. Email that person a review of their site
    5. Possibly get into a long email discussion about it

    So, if I were looking for work, that would be really cool. I could do all that at my leisure. But most of us in this area are scrambling, working evenings and weekends to keep up!

    So, Neil, I would like you to do a free review of all my social media – devil grin!!!

  40. Charles Emmanuel :

    Wow! I feel like shouting.

    Neil, you just tourched me.

    This is one article I would never forget because it laid bare the basic principles for reaching out to influencers.

    Especially the 4th point on making sure the blogger knows you.

    Its interesting and true because I’d help a friend quickly to a total stranger.

    Thanks man.

    I’ll definately share this.

    Keep on the good work.

    • You’re welcome Charles, I’m glad I could help. Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with

  41. Somehow email marketing has become even more challenging now

  42. Great article. I have been on both sides of the coin – sender and receiver. I totally agree that it is annoying to see generic/template emails I receive. I immediately delete them.

    I have also started an outreach campaign for my blog recently. I have had a pretty decent response rate (30-40%) reply to my email.
    However, I know there is always rooms for improvement.

    I will go back to the drawing board to revise my emails, and use them effectively for my next outreach campaign.

    Thanks Neil Patel!!

    • Exactly, since you’ve seen it on both ends, you know how you’ll need to change what you send depending on the situation

  43. Love this post, Neil.

    Going off #4, one objection a lot of people have goes like this…

    “But, but but…what do I have that’s valuable to them? I mean, they probably got all the money and help they need in the world. It’s ME who needs help, not them.”

    That’s never the case.

    When you do your homework by really understanding their business, what their next projects are, and even listening closely to subtle comments from them, you’ll discover there are plenty of ways to help.

    Be ultra-specific about what you want to help them with. And if you do a good job help them, they’re going to have plenty of things to do for you.

  44. David Russell :

    Great reminders, and insights, as usual Neil. Thanks for all the tips you send out!

    David

  45. Uthman saheed :

    Thanks for this post… I just learnt how to get people’s attention with mail.

    Though personally, I’ve received a lot of spam messages saying something like ‘I just want to tell you that am enjoying your work and it’s on this note that… Bla Bla.

    Though most of those mails belongs to no where other than trash. Henceforth, I don’t open such messages again.

    Thanks for the post. I really love it.

  46. I have been trying to reach out around 30 authority sites last month with the aim of broken link building and ended up getting only 2 responses. Don’t know whether it is good or bad, but I expected a little more. However, thanks Neil, for your tips, would implement them next time.

  47. Great post Neil. Points 3, 4 and 6 are key takeaways that were missing from my approach. Looking forward to future insights. Cheers

  48. Great points indeed. I will definitely take advantage of this before sending my e-mails.

    Thanks,

    Mike.

  49. Hi Neil!

    I’m a big fan of your blog. I gotta link on cold email conversions thru reddit – aer you interested? I think it would be…

    Couldn’t resist. Love your work as always. One of your shared lessons (pomodoro) has literally saved me from carpal tunnel. Thanks for teaching us every week.

  50. Sunil Kashyap :

    Hello Neil

    I don,t need to say that you are genius ..
    and thanks …sir just because of you today i could create my website…thanks for your ideas.

  51. Most of the times Emails from a specific person or company is always full of affiliate links. So that may be the reason why Emails are neglected. I think one should provide a value first before offering his affiliate links.

    • Trying to get people to use/add affiliate links just comes off as spammy. Focus on creating quality links from authority sites.

  52. I will consider these points often do not answer me emails sy now I’m understanding a little that happens.

    • This should help you get an idea on how to better optimize your emails so you can begin to see better response (or responses in general ;))

  53. Great advice Neil, as always! I have been cold emailing influencers for the past 1-2 weeks for a round up post I’m working on, and have found some pretty great success using a mix of the strategies you provided as well as a few others.

    So far I have heard from 45+ awesome people, such as this one dude named Neil Patel (lol), Noah Kagan, Ryan Holiday, Guy Kawasaki, Chris Ducker, Dave Asprey, Lewis Howes and many more.

    So, I am living proof that your strategies above work!

    Here are a few of the major points:

    1) Not being a liar… mentioning a piece of their work I enjoyed, and how I applied it. Proving it by adding attachments Example 1: I wrote to a fitness blogger and attached before/after pics from following one of his diet methods Example 2: I applied Instagram strategies suggested by one influencer and linked to my account, showing him how I grew from 0-1K followers in 2 weeks

    2) Not asking for a lot… These people are f*cking busy, but most of them are more than willing to help you as long as you’re respectful of their time. Don’t expect them to spend any more than 1 minute on your email. I’ve made sure that every email includes a call-to-action that is as simple as possible. My call to action was simply, “What is one piece of advice you’d offer to your 20-something self?”

    3) Using social proof. I have been fortunate enough to receive contributions from some very successful individuals (such as yourself!) and with each email I include 2-3 contacts that the influencer is directly connected with (this requires research such as looking through blog posts to see if influencer has referenced another individual’s work, featured podcast guests, etc.). The individual is much more likely to respond if they see that their close friends have already been involved in your post.

    Thanks again Neil!

    • I love this, thanks for sharing Matt. These are 3 really amazing points to reaching out. Maybe you should turn your experiences with this into a post?

      Sounds like you’re a hustle, great job 🙂

      Good luck and let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with.

  54. Michael Pozdnev :

    These are wonderful pieces of advice for those who works with outreach!

    For me this topic is quite new, so far I’ve only sent 400 emails, but the results are just overwhelming.

    Average open rate: 80%, clicks: 50%, replies: 35%.

    People become my new friends whom I help and who ask me to help them. Once I had an interesting idea to search for my target audience among commenters, but not among those who share the information on social media.

    I believe that if I use my BFF Commenter technique and send an email to everyone who comments this article, I can get some amazing results 🙂

    • Those are fantastic numbers, enough to play and optimize the sh*t out of.
      What is your BFF commenter technique?

  55. Hey Neil! I wrote an email for the an expert roundup and get the response from you within a day. I get the response it’s all about your niche and I make it personally. Thanks for sharing your great post I could make better my email conversion rate.

  56. Great article and I’ll try to apply it. Most of the time we receive cold emails which you can see straight from the first line that they are lying.

  57. Tiffany Simpson :

    This post is very timely for me. Most people do not analyze there email messages and they do not understand how it will be perceived. There aim is geared towards their results. Very helpful guidelines!

  58. Great article Neil! I totally agree with your thoughts on starting an email with “I love what you guys are doing” or “I love {company}”. I’m a BDR and I spend hours every week learning how to communicate through cold emails – and it’s not easy. Nowadays I just start my emails, after the intro of course, with

    “I’m just sending you this quick message so you can have a point of reference.

    At some point your company will need video marketing. We’re making world-class video for about 12 companies at a time this year, so if people aren’t engaging with [whatever their product or platform is] the way you’d like, let’s talk and find out if Explainify can help.”

    I always research them and decide if I truly think we can help ahead of time, and I have to say – this email has gotten more positive responses than any of the salesy and gross templates I tried when I first started this position.

    Great article and great wisdom. Thanks man! Cheers.

    • Nice, it sounds like you’re having lots of fun learning, and that is key!

      Working in the email environment so much, you’ve probably gotten a lot of practice with what works and what doesn’t.

      • David Miller :

        Yeah absolutely! And honestly, it’s not about finding the right templates or strategies.

        What I’ve come to learn is that if you’ve actually done your research and you know you can help, and you’re forthcoming and honest about why you’re reaching out, people actually don’t hate you for it. Turns out, sales is a relationship business not a set of equations. Who’da thunk it

  59. Sherman Smith :

    Hey Neil,

    My most successful outreach email was about a year ago. It went along the lines of point #4.

    It wanted to create an expert roundup post so I emailed a lot of the bloggers I’ve connected and stayed in contact with within a 2 years span.

    I was kind of reluctant to ask them to participate at first but I’m glad I did. I had built decent rapport with them for them to accept my offer.

    The only thing that could’ve been better is if I had shortened the offer. But besides that 31 bloggers accepted the offer and it went quite well. It was a win/win/win for everyone.

    I will definitely keep the other tips you mentioned in mind for the next roundup I do.

    Thanks for sharing and you have a great week ahead!

    • Nice, that’s a great strategy, see how it worked out for you? It can be a little intimidating at first, but once you get some momentum, it begins to feel like second nature

  60. Fantastic post — for me the most valuable parts are where you show us how you think about (and react to) different kinds of emails.

    One question: how do you handle the constant PMing on Facebook? I’d imagine you get a ton of those, now I tend to ignore them (as I don’t like random people pitching me stuff to my private accounts), but that’s maybe not the most polite and efficient way 🙂

  61. Camilo Atkinson :

    Asking for a lot of work – I think that’s the number one reason why a lot of out reach emails get dismissed. Sure you can put together a hard-to-ignore subject line and be very clean and clear on your copy, but if you’re asking too much, there are higher chances of people saying no to your email.

    What you suggest to say instead is simply amazing. I’m sure well get more results out of our out reach initiatives if we always keep this advice in mind.

  62. First time posting here but I have learnt a lot from you Neil over quite sometime. Maybe I fall in the ‘I don’t know you’ 🙂 category but your stats may say differently about my going through your blog content. Just wanted to add that the length of the outreach email may cause problems. And the ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ opener, I find it appropriate if you are targeting educational institutions and academics (to which our product is geared towards) as I have found they are quite conservative when it comes to how they are being addressed. Bringing in Mr/Mrs/Dr./Prof. will come later once you have become acquainted. And template emails are the worst; I sent several of them last year to prospect and only one converted but personalised emails have converted at a higher rate for our business. I will try to contribute more here so as to get out of the ‘I don’t know you’ category 😉

    • Yeah, use this as a template to work off from, then personalize it to your style. Some things may work others may not, you’ll need to make adjustments as you track, optimize and refine

  63. Sandeep Kumar :

    Ohh.. That’s why I was getting fail.
    Thank you Neil for such a post.
    Your posts are really very helpful.

  64. harmeet @ Web Desing Company Gurgaon :

    Neil i have one question i have very small scale business with few of clients in India (my website http://www.viralwebtech.com). Is email marketing works same as for very small industries like mine.

  65. Just compared it to my email outreach and got few of the errors you mentioned here. Thanks Neil…

  66. This website is very informative to read. I am a huge follower of the things you talk about. I also love reading the comments, but it seems like a great deal of readers need to stay on topic to try and add new things in the original topic.

    • Yah, I think some people can be all over the place, but it’s okay, we’re all here to learn about and getting better at internet marketing

  67. Hi Neil,

    This is a very informative post as always. Frankly speaking, I needed this kind of help from someone because me and my cousin have started our own venture 2 months ago and we are still in search of a client for our business. We have been sending outreach emails everyday but, the conversion rate is nil till now. Definitely we look into this article and make corrections to our content or pitch of the email to get our new venture going 🙂

    Thank you soooo much Neil 🙂

  68. Transport George :

    This is really helpful Neil. I agree that you should make your email more legit to gain the trust of your prospects.

  69. Omg, I’m a huge fan of Quick Sprout, lol, that point is funny.

  70. Great article on how to reach influencers using email, Neil.

  71. Federico Sanson :

    Hi Neil,

    I discovered recently your work and content, and I love it!
    Where is that I can subscribe to your email list? Is the one on http://neilpatel.com/blog/ ?
    Or should I leave my email in one of the lead magnets in this website?

    Best,
    Fede

  72. Great one Neil!

    I love #4, its the hardest in my opinion and most people skip it (I know at least one dude who is trying to avoid it, I try reminding him that connections is what counts in life, but he replies that I should stop lecturing myself 😉 ).

    Btw, one of the challenges is to make people even open your cold emails (e.g., to have a great subject line). I use Mixmax (not connected to them in any way, unfortunately… ; ) . to see who opened my email and who won’t – it helps me to discover how shitty my subject lines are.

    Have you written a post about cold emails subject line or open rate?

  73. Sue J. Maselli :

    Nice Post

  74. Abbas Haroon :

    Well it was a great post I never did email marketing but now I am dipping my feet in these waters. I usually come here from links shared by Social Media Examiner. I was impressed by your 100K challenge lol. I will be soon Launching my SAAS app and I think your blog will help me out a lot. Because the problems are explained in very simple manner and the solutions get stick to mind.

    • Hope you enjoyed the challenge Abbas. Let me know if you have any questions I can help you with

  75. great post . Very informatic.different knowledge provided by you regarding mail .thanks for sharing this.

  76. Your Post is Very informatic and very knowledge provided by you I am fan you.

  77. Mohammad Tahir Ahmed :

    This post is very interesting and good.

  78. Elizabeth Berk :

    Very informative article and it is really a big help for us.Thank you so much.

  79. milon khan :

    thanks for all the posts!

  80. Nice one!

    It read like you were talking out of your heart – not like some general advice (which I was expecting) but just your own opinion. That’s cool, cheers!

    – Arian

  81. milon khan :

    Hi
    I love this.
    I made my own dashboard,
    with all the info I need quickly.
    So awesome!
    thanks you

  82. Great one again, Neil!
    I am just about to be sending my first outreach emails and SM messages ever, so I thought I could use some of your wisdom 🙂
    I can see 7 valid points for better outreach and I’ll try to use them since the very beginning.
    Thanks much once again!

    • You’re welcome Val, I’m glad this was helpful. Let me know if you have any questions or get stuck with anything

  83. Great article, Neil. I love the skyscraper technique. Any particular tips/strategies for managing outreach emails follow-ups? I know there are some custom tools for Gmail but just wondering what you’ve seen and recommend.

  84. John O' Brien :

    Hi Neil,
    I think it’s definitely true and is a great point that you need to be personal in emails, rather than appearing like a template, that’s a really important factor to keep in mind.
    A point that you didn’t cover was grammar and spelling mistakes. I think they’re also an important aspect of emails because otherwise, with poor grammar, you would come off unprofessional. Agent have an article about it and some of the most common mistakes: http://www.agent.media/lead/11-errors-to-delete-from-your-emails-right-now/

  85. Lubka Henry :

    The first point totally nailed it, Neil! The amount of generic emails I receive daily and I delete immadiately is beyond funny 😉

  86. Neil,

    Your articles/Quick Sprout guides have been incredibly helpful for starting my blog. As I am building my site my research on how to grow an audience always comes back to your site. Keep the helpful article coming!!

  87. It read like you were talking out of your heart – not like some general advice (which I was expecting) but just your own opinion. That’s cool, cheers!

  88. Thank you for once again, Neil, creating a bookmark-worthy resource.

  89. hi bro thanq for saring this article

  90. it’s time focus on email marketing

  91. Hassan del Campo :

    These are good reminders. I would also add “Having a generic subject line” to the list. Another thing that I struggle with is length. I’m in the minority of people that enjoy long emails and have a hard time being brief in emails (and other situations as well). It’s a big challenge for me. What is the recommended length and format? I was looking back at some old emails I sent out and they were like novels…

    • I would focus more on hitting the right points with the user than it being long or short. Try your best to earn the trust and then it can be short or long.

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