Hey there, Shane here!
Let’s get straight into my biggest tips.
As you may have found out by now, I’m really big on video, mainly because I think it helps me articulate points in a way that text just can’t do.
If you’re on a train or on some quietly secluded hideaway, I’ve also broken it down through text… enjoy!
Tactic #1 – Humor… use it.
First and foremost, if you’re not using humor in your outreach, you’re doing it wrong, ESPECIALLY if you’re a solopreneur or a smaller shop (i.e., you don’t have a whole team to help facilitate the process).
I can see if you’re a larger enterprise that wants to portray some kind of professional brand messaging, but at the end of the day when you’re doing cold email outreach and you’re emailing other people, you NEED to find ways to stick out.
And by stick out, I mean do something that adds value.
You have to understand that there are thousands upon thousands of emails being sent trying to vie for the attention of bloggers and website owners. You NEED to stick out if you have any shot at conversion.
Here’s a great example of what NOT to do.
When I am writing scripts there’s a fine line between a script that is CLEARLY used for bulk mail and a script that has been tailored to a specific target. Think of it as a spectrum. On one side, bulk mail, on the other side, 100% tailored outreach.
Bulk mail is obviously the preferred method, but you risk exhausting your niche contacts (i.e., reaching out to all of the influencers in your niche with blanket messaging).
On the other hand, you have 100% tailored messages, which take ages to write and are not scalable AT ALL, especially with smaller teams with limited resources.
I recommend skirting the line and testing scripts with some customization in key areas of the message. For example, grabbing the first name of the contact is low hanging fruit and DOES help with conversion. But taking it one step further, organizing your outreach by topic can also get you close to a happy medium.
But remember, just because you’ve customized the message doesn’t mean it’s good, it could still be shit.
And at the end of the day, the only reason people (especially strangers online) do anything for anyone else, is in exchange for something.
You need to have something of value to exchange in order to get something in return.
This is why when building links & mentions to your site you’ll often get asked for a reciprocal link.
It’s human nature.
If you don’t want to give a reciprocal link, then it will probably default to money, the most basic form of value.
If you have the budget, then great, build a campaign around building paid backlinks and shares.
if you’re like most people, you probably don’t want to pay for backlinks… which brings me back to humor.
Entertainment IS a form of value.
Why do you pay to go see a comedy show?
Because you get good emotions from the comedian’s jokes. That’s why.
If you’re able to make someone laugh by reading an email… I can guarantee you’ll stick out in their inbox and in their mind.
I specifically bake in humor into my 2nd and 3rd follow-up emails (I do 4 all together but more on that in a minute).
Here are a couple responses as a result of my “humor”
I put them in my follow-up sequences to lighten the tone and overall “vibe” of the message.
I don’t want to come across pushy, but I DO want to follow-up.
Tactic #2 – Follow-up… a lot.
This brings me to tip #2.
Before I even get into this one, take a look at some of the stats of one of my latest outreach campaigns.
My second message here garnered 10 replies!
For reference, there were 26 total replies for this campaign!
That’s 38% of the replies came on the second message. For this campaign, the response rate dropped to 3 replies (11%) on the 3rd email and 1 reply (4%) on the 4th.
Following-up is absolutely critical to a successful outreach campaign.
From a mindset perspective, most people don’t follow-up because they think the other person must have hated their email or declined the offer, etc.
When in reality, the other person just got busy and could never get around to it.
By follow-up, you bring it back to top of mind and provide a nice easy way for them to respond.
This again circles back to the humor aspect.
If you follow-up in an aggressive, accusatory (e.g., “Why haven’t your responded?!”) kind of way, THAT will send you to the junk folder as fast as anything else.
You NEED to be soft in your tone and communicate empathy for their situation.
A good example of a follow-up to an initial email could look something like this:
Haven’t heard from you, I’m just going to assume you’re feverishly completing your work because you’re headed to Hawaii this weekend!
Ugh… I miss warm sand… 🙁
I actually have my wisdom teeth coming out next week so I’m trying to get my crap together on my end too.
Anyway, just wanted to send you a quick ping to see if you had a quick second to check out our guide?
No worries if you’re still getting ready for your trip 😉
As you can see, this script does a couple of things…
- It communicates empathy and an understanding that she’s probably busy, which is why she hasn’t responded yet
- It comes across lighthearted and relatable (most people get their wisdom teeth removed and love going to warm beaches)
- I remind her of the original ask and use only 1 question mark keeping it focused to the one ask
- The email closes with a touch of indifference. Like GREAT if she responds, but no worries if she doesn’t either. Indifference meaning you’re not tied to the outcome of her response.
- The total email is 5 lines, which is probably the absolute max for a follow-up. In general, you want your follow-ups to be short and punchy.
This is of course just one example of MANY, that can be used to conduct effective follow-up.
What’s great is that everything in that email can be templated but it still FEELS custom, which is the aim of any good outreach email.
Tactic #3 – Mention/Social Listening Tools
The last bit turns away from scripts and puts the focus more on the prospecting phase of outreach.
Conducting an effective prospecting campaign can make following steps 10x easier.
What makes up an effective prospecting campaign? One word…
Finding relevant contacts results in 2 major things:
- Increased conversion: Your contacts are more likely to respond to a message within their interests
- Decreased processing costs: You won’t be wasting money paying someone someone to review bad or irrelevant websites
One of my favorite tools to help increase relevancy is to use a social listening tool.
There are a bunch out there but a popular free one you’ve probably heard of is Google alerts.
Essentially, you set an alert for a keyword that you want to listen for. For example, “weight loss tips”. Whenever Google finds this phrase on the internet it will add it to a report.
You can view that report and click through all of the URLs.
Those URLs can then be passed onto someone else on your team to review for relevancy and collect contact information.
The idea here is that if these websites mention a topic you’ve written an article about, you could get a link to your website and/or a mention on social media depending on your campaign objectives.
Another benefit of this approach is the websites that appear on your Google alert reports have JUST published this content very recently, which make them prime targets because they are more likely to change their freshly posted content than go back and edit an ancient piece you may have found ranking in the search results.
You see, what most people do is google their target keyword or phase, “weight loss tips” and start researching the websites that are listed at the top.
They’ll collect a giant list, start researching contact information, and then conduct outreach.
This is bad.
Everyone does this. Don’t be like everyone, use tools like Google alerts and gain an advantage on your competition 😉
The only downside is that you WILL NEED someone to go through each website and manually filter out junk.
Anyway, that’s it.
I hope these tips were helpful and insightful.
If you have any questions on these, feel free to let me know in the comments down below!