Email outreach is clearly more than just sending an email to the right guy. Converting your marketing prospects into marketing opportunities is not something that everybody does right from the first shot.
For once, because it works like a riddle – it’s never the thing that first pops into your mind. That very first thing you’re thinking of including in your outreach pitch was probably used by other hundreds of people hoping to stand out. People receive heaps of emails every day. Lots of them get lost in the pile.
So is there anything you can do to get your email read by your potential clients? There sure is! Check out the following cold email tips backed by awesome digital marketing experts and boost your email open rates like never before.
Since influencers don’t have a lot of free time, you shouldn’t expect indulgence or mercy every time you’ve done something wrong. Most of the times, you don’t get more than a shot, and the better you perform, the more this will work like a snowball.
So let’s take a look at a comprehensive list of wise pieces of advice for cold email outreach from successful people in digital marketing.
29 Cold Email Tips for a Successful Campaign
- Outreach Gone Wrong! Learn How to Deal with Negative Responses
- Video Embedded in Email – Perfect Outreach Prospect
- Focus on What Brings an Advantage to The Influencer
- Be as Natural as Possible in Writing Your Outreach Proposal
- Pitch as a Writer, Not as a Link Builder
- Formulate a Natural Request Without Harassing the Receiver!
- When Doing Outreach Write Less, but Document Your Emails More
- Smart Outreach – Associate Yourself with High-Quality Professionals & Create the Ben Franklin Effect
- Outreach Tip – Even After Sending 1000 Cold Emails – Be Humble!
- Use the 3 Ps that Make the Outreach Go Round: Personalized, Positioned Properly and Persuasive
- Be Unconventional in Writing Your Emails
- Earn Trust by Finding a Common Ground Between You and the Influencer
- Don’t Advertise Your Product too Soon in the Outreach Process!
- Get Higher Response Rates by Pitching Your Ideas Honestly
- Don’t be cheap! Be More Effective Using Dedicated Outreach Tools
- Diversify the Approach Depending on the Outreach Purposes
- Write Memorable Emails!
- When Doing Email Outreach Use Short & Relevant Subject Lines
- Make the Details of Your Email Impressive!
- Don’t Be Superficial and Pushy in Your Outreach Endeavor!
- Respect Three Elements for Outreach Success: Timing, Interest and Personalization!
- Use Creative Incentives that Don’t Sound Selfish for Your Outreach Prospect!
- Mistakes Are Unprofessional. Avoid Them with Every Email!
- Learn How to Find Room In A Busy Influencers’ Schedule
- The 9 Formulas to Increase Outreach Success Rate!
- Be Personal and You May Experience a 333% Increase in Cold Email Response Rates
- Cold Email Principles to Make Your Email Stand Out
- Avoid Requests When First Contacting an Influencer!
- Ask Questions to Empower Your Email and Attract the Recipients
1. Outreach Gone Wrong! Learn How to Deal with Negative Responses
There’s no way you can improve your chance of being promoted by influencers unless you decide to actively deal with rejection like a pro. We often forget that networking’s all about creating relationships, not just links on famous, high authority pages. Piotr Zaniewicz explains, in one of his articles, the entire set of possibilities when all you’ve got is negative answers and threats. If you’re the person in charge, you should listen to what Piotr says to help you close more deals.
|“Now, you can’t defend yourself if you organised outreach based on, for example, a ready-made, untargeted and unsegmented prospect list. What you did was spamming and all you can say is “sorry” and hope for the best. It’s your job to first make sure you’re writing to the right person before you send the email.”|
|CEO & Founder @Righthellocom|
He also offers a great list with some outreach examples that didn’t work out as intended every time. Yet, a lesson about sending cold emails or cold emailing templates was learnt each and every time.
Being Threatened by Influencers May Get You Somewhere
Infuriating People Can Sometimes Point Out Where You’re Wrong
Sometimes You’ll Need to Be Patient
Brutal Honesty Can Be A Valuable Lesson
And Nice “NO”s Will Make Your Day Better
Remember Patience? The Long Road to Success
This is an example of successful cold email example. Patience and ability to adapt to each response to guide the receiver through a positive experience is a desired situation.
2. Video Embedded in Email – Perfect Outreach Prospect
Sales prospecting is difficult. Madelaine Milani, talks about the sales process (and cold sales) more than networking and promotion outreach. The core idea is actually innovative and useful. In case you’re a charismatic writer with innovative ideas, you can record yourself and get the attention of the influencers you’re reaching out to.
|The body should lead the recipient to watch the video, driving more watches and getting your message both seen and heard.|
|Digital marketing at GoMercatus|
Starting from the idea that there are 3 key things to include in your effective cold video emails: the introduction, trigger event and call to action, Madeline comes up with some great examples of sending cold emails with a twist:
3. Focus on What Brings an Advantage to The Influencer
Iris Shoor comes with some great insights on the art of cold email outreach. Every email has to come with a powerful story. And as long as you can outline the essential without getting into boring details, a little context didn’t kill anybody.
|“One of the most basic tips when it comes to blogger outreach is to personalize your email. Not only is there a better chance you’ll hit what they’re looking for but you’re also communicating that you’re interested in their blog and not sending the same email to 50 different bloggers.”|
In this article Iris shows examples of success stories of her own and starts with the basic things – such as the fact that bloggers are most interested in getting more readers and quality content.
4. Be as Natural as Possible in Writing Your Outreach Proposal
Take your approach seriously and imagine you’ve already got a connection with the influencer, even when you don’t. This will give you a better focus and sense of propriety. And maybe people will even respond to your cold email campaigns.
The researching and content writing part are as important and challenging as is promoting your content efficiently. You need to have something to say, to be not only relevant but also interesting and to provide a competitive advantage.
While all these things are oddly familiar, Lena Shaw documents examples of positive and negative value to make a very valid point.
|“There’s no shortage of email tips and tricks. Lists abound all over the internet. Even the narrowly-defined activity of initial email outreach has long lists of advice.”|
|Dir. of Mktg & Growth LeadGenius|
In her article, Lena offers some great cold email examples and cold email tips altogether. An important thing that she outlines is that you have to work for outreach just as much as for every piece of content you write.
5. Pitch as a Writer, Not as a Link Builder
Before even thinking of composing the perfect email, maybe you should, at least, socialize on a basic level – maybe a Tweet, although it would be preferable to shake hands.
However, as we can agree on the fact that Twitter works pretty much like a social binder, it’s a decent start. Monitor targets’ social media activity and learn something – maybe find an idea of how to pitch your blog.
And when it comes to this, Adam Grunwerg gives some great tips and examples, just as you can see bellow.
|“Retweet [the influencers’] articles or compliment their work before tweeting them from your personal (not brand!) account. Provide a teaser for your content, and ask them permission to send them an email. They will appreciate the courtesy.”|
6. Formulate a Natural Request Without Harassing the Receiver!
Stephen Altrogge has done a great job with his outreach technique – some of the most popular influencers answered to him, most in less than 20 minutes. Instead of spending time looking for influencers’ emails, he shot for ‘the stars’ by documenting a personal approach, and the result was impressive.
|“The Internet is full of endless, boring drivel. Of stupid memes and Buzzfeed quizzes. When something has personality and zest, it majorly stands out from the crowd.”|
His article and examples tell the story of honest success and a natural approach.
7. When Doing Outreach Write Less, but Document Your Emails More
As Alicia Glenn talks about tripling the response rate for the business she works for, there are a few elements that never miss from an email: feature, benefit, human factor and value. These are the secret ingredients she advises us all to use while also giving some practical examples to guide us through.
|“I started writing more customized emails, and surprisingly business owners would respond. Whether it was positive or negative, I didn’t care. All I wanted was a response. My main goal when crafting emails was to convey that I’m human and waiting for them to get back to me. Showing that you’re a real person also builds a sense of urgency.”|
Here are also some examples she provides in order to back up her story.
8. Smart Outreach – Associate Yourself with High-Quality Professionals & Create the Ben Franklin Effect
The Ben Franklin Effect is a mindset that can help you achieve bigger results after positive answers for small ones. It does sound like there’s a psychological glitch in there, right?
As Tim Soulo underlines, the perfectionists in our niche are professionals we’d like to associate with. And after we’ve done this, research shows people are more likely to accept a bigger favor after they’ve said ‘yes’ to a smaller one. After this, wait until you’re asked to formulate your requests – it’s not all about yourself.
|“And there’s no way to maintain a relationship with someone if you’re only willing to use him for your benefit and never actually care about him. That’s why I pick my outreach targets very carefully. I only reach out to a person who I would still hang out with, even knowing that he will never tweet my articles.”|
|Head of Marketing ahrefs|
In his article, Tim comes with some outreach examples and hacks to make influential people notice you. Below you can read some of these awesome examples.
9. Even After Sending 1000 Cold Emails, Be Humble!
You’d think that eventually experience catches up – only eventually is far too many ‘no’s’ from now. Luckily, people like Shane Snow share their experiences.
|“Notably, the one thing we didn’t (couldn’t) do with a study this size is research each recipient and personalize the message to them. In our personal experience, reply rates for mentor advice outreach are higher than a typical sales email—and certainly higher than the 1.7% a generic ask generates.”|
His article shares this challenge as an experiment at the end of which lessons were learned.
10. Use the 3 Ps that Make the Outreach Go Round: Personalized, Positioned Properly and Persuasive
Matt Gratt talks about outreach emails that aren’t personalized, positioned properly and persuasive. Lacking any of these characteristics will make your outreach challenge futile – and you’ll only serve as a bad example for a case study.
“Good outreach emails are personalized. And I don’t just mean ‘successfully got the name and website right’ – those are table stakes to get taken seriously. When I say pitches should be personalized, I mean they should be read by the recipient, and the words ‘form letter’ should never cross their mind.”
And talking about not-so-good outreach examples, you can see an example below and more of these in Matt’s article.
11. Be Unconventional in Writing Your Emails
We’re in this carousel of accomplishing as much success as possible very fast – it seems like nobody has the time, or the patience for that matter, to build a business properly. We’re always in the urge of automating every process we’re using to save more time to automate even more processes. It makes no sense, and the lack of results show its pointlessness.
So Brian Zeng advises us to look at what people are doing wrong in this process.
|“Personalization doesn’t mean addressing bloggers by their name or getting their website right. This just sets the stage for a personalized email.”|
|Digital marketer @brianzengdotme|
In his article you can find some good template examples that can help you out.
12. Earn Trust by Finding a Common Ground Between You and the Influencer
There’s nothing more impersonal than trying to start a relationship from nothing – even online. Networking is about the things we have in common and, the less common they are, the stronger our liaison, as Elise Musumano points out.
|“The quickest way to win someone over is to show how much you have in common.”|
|Content Marketer Yesware|
In her article, Elise gives some great examples to back up exactly that: the importance of common ground.
13. Don’t Advertise Your Product too Soon in the Outreach Process!
The most important in 7 ways of engaging cold prospects is this – be careful what you’re pitching.
While nothing in business is a simple 3-step recipe, some pillars of online communication should be observed with religiosity. Including humor. And Michael Simone says things as they are:
|“Assuming that you’ve spent some time building rapport with your prospect, send them something based on their interests outside of work. Everyone loves a break from the day-to-day grind!”|
|Sr. Account Exec Uberflip|
While Michael Simone doesn’t stop here, his article revolves around this basic principle, enriched with cold email examples that might make you change your perspective on cold sales, cold calling or social media.
14. Get Higher Response Rates by Pitching Your Ideas Honestly
Craig Rosenberg gives us four examples of genuinely transparent outreach approaches. He makes it clear that regardless of the purpose, it’s the human touch that spins the wheel of business networking.
|“Combine touches within seconds of each other – Leaving a voicemail within seconds of your email will increase the likelihood of your prospect opening and responding to your email.”|
Although he talks about sales in his article, the principles he’s enunciating make perfect sense when it comes to a promotional approach.
15. Don’t be cheap! Be More Effective Using Dedicated Outreach Tools
Dave Schneider suggests, in his post, that business isn’t quite the light atmosphere with people who have enough spare time to compose outreach emails all day long – this is why he’s proposing an app to help you keep in touch easily with your prospects. Sounds fun, right?
|Inbox mode is an in-app inbox specifically for conversations with your prospects. It is not a place to do outreach at scale from, but a view in which you can more efficiently handle active conversations, new messages, and replies.|
|Co-Founder @ninjaoutreach (Update – Dave no longer runs this website, but can be found at lesschurn.io and daveschneider.me)|
And here is some example of such an inbox:
16. Diversify the Approach Depending on the Outreach Purposes
In another article, Dave Schneider presents a more extensive list with cold email templates examples he found worth sharing. With no further introduction, here there are:
Asking For Opinions
17. Write Memorable Emails!
Sasha Galkin shares 10 practices that every person doing outreach should check off the list before pressing ‘send’. No influencer is going to bother answering to your networking attempt unless you make a good impression.
|“Dish out a whopper incentive. Give them a reason to pay attention to the rest of your email.”|
|iAcquire’s very own copywriter @galkinator|
This works pretty much like real life – make a good impression, don’t be creepy, show similar interests and qualifications, make it clear that you’re meant to collaborate without sounding like a horoscope. You’ve probably received tons of emails like the one below, right?
18. When Doing Email Outreach Use Short & Relevant Subject Lines
The article written by John Corcoran is, in fact, a real-life story he’s decided to share publicly. It’s as simple as I suggested in the title – he created a personal bond with an influencer, started giving valuable inputs and got his reward.
|“Noah is busy running AppSumo, training new entrepreneurs and riding bikes around Austin sampling tacos. Until recently, he had no idea who I was. And yet here I was, opening my mail to find a box of chocolate chip cookies, with a thank you note from Noah Kagan.”|
And here is the cool email he was so kind sharing with us:
19. Make the Details of Your Email Impressive!
When in comes to email outreach there’s no middle way, as we’re going to find it underlined in Portent’s article. From being brief and personal to having a decent signature and a bold, but a relevant subject line, every detail matters.
|“There is a lot of discussion about which link prospecting strategies work, but the outreach email is where the link is won or lost. Even with all the research and personalization in the world, you’ll never convert if you don’t get the communication right.”|
|Portent Blog Team|
20. Don’t Be Superficial and Pushy in Your Outreach Endeavor!
It’s not professional to write a thousand superficial emails, poorly documented and not at all convincing. Try to do your homework – and don’t think that just because you get to someone’s inbox you’re automatically going to be read and answered to.
There are influencers out there who don’t even get to read newsletters that captivate them because there’s no time to waste. You’ve got serious competition here, too. Mike Essex has a nice point of view on this matter:
|“Sticking together two keywords in the hope of some traffic and a quick link just isn’t worth it anymore. It’s no longer an excuse to say you wrote something just for SEO, especially as blog owners have to put their name alongside the content you provide. Rubbish content may fly on generic article sites, but it’s not what blog owners want.”|
|Marketing Manager blagman.co.uk|
Mike gives us a few rushed, unfortunate examples in his post, explaining why it’s not worth messing with influencers’ patience.
21. Respect Three Elements for Outreach Success: Timing, Interest and Personalization!
It’s not success in general, it would be futile. It’s not easy to come with a recipe and we’ve always underlined this. However, when it comes to professional common sense – timing, interest and personalization – we couldn’t agree more. Researching the outreach process before trying to contact influencers on your own is crucial if what you’re looking for is a good response rate.
Put simply, what you’ll think of writing if you don’t have any experience in the area is simply what will cross everybody’s minds. Venchito Tampon gives us a nice insight on this one:
|“Though there are other variables that would affect your response rate, scheduling your emails at the peak hours of your recipients would help increase your outreach’s conversion rate.”|
|CEO/Co-Founder of sharprocketph|
To make his statement clearer, Venchito gives us an example of his own.
22. Use Creative Incentives that Don’t Sound Selfish for Your Outreach Prospect!
You wouldn’t like to live the impression that you’re going to pay for someone’s effort to respond to your outreach attempt. However, it’s only fair that you propose them some bargain that seem so genuinely altruist and professional, they won’t refuse.
|Once you get a response from a blogger, your acceptance rate sky rockets; making it an important part of your outreach.”|
|Head of Marketing at MeetEdgar|
Petter Attia puts together a great list of ideas on how to do this better, starting from his personal experience.
Adapting Your Speech To Your Audience
Looking Professional and Genuinely Interested in the Matter
23. Mistakes Are Unprofessional. Avoid Them with Every Email!
It’s impossible to deal with clients as a digital marketer and not get annoyed at some point at their mistakes that seem to be the same over and over. Not knowing how to do outreach isn’t fun for anybody: for the influencer it’s time-consuming and inefficient, for you it’s frustrating because you don’t get the results you expected and as a digital marketer it’s like violating some sacred terms.
24. Learn How to Find Room In A Busy Influencers’ Schedule
Thinking you’re worth being answered to is a mindset that may cause you outreach failures according to this article by Gregory Ciotti.
Twitter has become less and less personal and it’s not always appropriate to call an influencer, especially if you don’t already have a personal relationship with them. So email is where you can leverage your best qualities into a promotion pitch.
|“Email is where keystrokes go to die. If you want to get in touch with busy people , you must know how to avoid wasting their time.”|
Here are some of Gregory’s examples:
25. The 9 Formulas to Increase Outreach Success Rate!
Bernie Reeder made a list of 9 formulas for email outreach that have always brought her good results in the outreach endeavors. The bottom line of is that there are indisputable facts of persuasion and content marketing, and while recipes aren’t 100% sure, it’s always worth to take science into consideration.
|“Each line of a cold email must persuade the reader to read the next one.”|
Depending on different factors such as the type of person she wrote to, the type of purpose she had, or simply the structure of the email, here go 9 ideas.:
26. Be Personal and You May Experience a 333% Increase in Cold Email Response Rates
Getting into a prospect flow isn’t an easy job, especially because you have to operate different mindsets, according to Eric Siu in this article. Among the number of issues that may contribute to an outreach campaign’s failure, poor templates and no enough follow-up make the top. Learn from Eric how to write an effective cold email.
|“Separate your prospectors from your sales closer. Don’t combine the two. I did that and failed massively. Here’s an example of how you might structure your team using the Predictable Revenue model.”|
The example below is living proof of how you can miraculously recover.
27. Cold Email Principles to Make Your Email Stand Out
Whenever you’ve thought of a template as a universal formula that works regardless of the influencer you’re contacting, you were wrong. A template refers more to the persona of your prospect combined with the intention of the outreach, as we’ve read from this article by Sujan Patel, a well-known name in the lead generation area.
|“You can have multiple paragraphs, but if people see a big block of text, they’re going to be scared off, and possibly miss important details. So keep your message as short and controlled as possible.”|
|growing companies Mailshakeapp Linktexting Pick_Hq|
For instance, being naturally personal, using email signature and remembering value-add are some principles to live by when you start an outreach campaign.
Another article by the same author underlines the secret power of content marketing through networking in the niche with influencers.
Matthew Murray recommends that we should stick to the basics and keep our message short and concrete:
|Keeping your messaging short and focused is the best way to encourage action. The first sentence tells them why they should pay attention. And the second sentence tells them what to do about their interest (ie reply or visit a resource).|
|Managing Director at Sales Higher|
28. Avoid Requests When First Contacting an Influencer!
And when I say anatomy, it’s almost religiously precise. And according to Pawel Grabowski in this article, nothing shows better what you’ve been doing wrong than a bad example.
|“Outreach emails are rarely written to guarantee a reply. Sure, they are long. They contain a plethora of information, a lot of which isn’t necessary but that’s another thing. Yet they don’t inspire the recipient to reply.”|
|Founder and Chief Content Strategist – usermagnet.io|
And here are some great examples from Pawel:
29. Ask Questions to Empower Your Email and Attract the Recipient
Just as, Scott McQuin, founder of Roojet says it, you need to make an effective research for an outreach email, especially if it for sales. And the subject email is significant in an emailing strategy. 47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone.
The prospect first looks at the subject line before deciding whether to open the email or not.
|If you convince the prospect here that they will gain valuable insights, resources, or market intelligence, they are almost guaranteed to open your email.|
|Founder at Roojet/ @AbacusMetrics|
Using questions in your subject line is a valuable trigger to entice curiosity. Everyone enjoys a little bit of mystery from time to time, isn’t that right? Ask questions and afterward offer help and solutions as an answer.
Here are are some examples of great sales email subject lines that you can use:
Questions enter an instant dialogue with users, making them more likely to be opened. Litmus says that people respond well when you ask them to do something. It is important to use this tip in your CTA, also. Sephora asks an emotionally-engaging question (really? you care?) with just two words, creating a truly great subject line.
Make sure you don’t make your subject line look spammy, the recipient will definitely delete your email. Be specific and consistent, don’t use words such as discounts, offer, specials, donation or free.
Sometimes it may seem as if you’re only sending an email and it’s not a big deal. On the contrary, in digital marketing every detail matters. The more you behave like a professional the more you’ll be taken seriously. Writing the best cold email template isn’t an easy job for anybody, and clearly documenting is a crucial step -that may change your mind on what works and what doesn’t in your niche.
As, Justin McGill mentioned on one of his articles, cold email outreach isn’t spam. If made wisely, we might add.
We know, is not easy to create the sales emails that will increase your chances of getting responses back just by following a pro tip. But we do believe that the tips tackled above will help you craft an effective cold email campaign. There is no 100% reply rate guide to cold email. And if there are such business books, you might want to read something else as well.
There are a lot of complete guides with cold email marketing tips or even companies (like Criminally Prolific for instance) that try to deliver the best cold email templates. Whatever key elements or automation tool you might be using to boost our response rate, do not forget the “human touch” in everything you do.
Yes, cold email subject lines are important, as well as social proof or the demand to introduce yourself or your company name. But whenever you conduct cold email outreach don’t forget that there are real humans you are sending your cold mailing, not robots.
Prospects that can boost your image on the web (and, why not, in social media) are usually attacked by hundreds. The bad news is that you can’t just not be annoying, but you’ll have to stand out. Good luck!
Are there any special practices you’ve used that are worth sharing?