Training a newbie for what I like to call the “SEO outreach game” can be quite the daunting task. (Hey, hate the game, not the playa!) Can you trust that the trainee will actually deliver quality results? Will the newbie understand the overall mission of the campaign? What type of writing style does your trainee have and can you train him/her to fit the persona you need for your outreach? Keep in mind that as the trainer, you need to be able to foresee any mistakes or inconsistencies that might occur that could potentially deter you and your client from getting the actual response rate you need.
So newbies, this blog post is dedicated to you and all of your hard work, countless hours and mind-numbing emailing you’ll spend on blogger outreach. I’ve been in your position, I still am in your position, and I’ve noticed some key mistakes that can easily be fixed. Keep in mind the following tips and tricks below, and you’ll get those positive responses in your inbox in no time!
1) Addressing your blogger: Most bloggers have their name and email address loud and clear on their blog. For those more, anonymous bloggers, make sure to first check their social media accounts (especially Twitter and Facebook) for their names and emails. You’d be surprised by the number of times I found the info I needed in their Twitter bio or Facebook info section, rather than on their blog. Another location to check for a name is in the actual post! Lots of bloggers sign their posts with their names or have it automatically set up to post the author name (aka their name!).
2) Hi...: The search for a blogger’s name and/or email should only last about a minute- any longer and you’re wasting your time because they’re probably anonymous for a reason. What you can do in these rare cases is to address the email with a simple “Good afternoon!” Adding in their blog name such as, “Good Afternoon SEER Blog!” is much more inviting and cheery than a generic “Hello” or “Hi.”
3) Be outrageously enthusiastic: I’m talking about adding those pesky, little exclamation points every 2-3 sentences and including adjectives and adverbs like “great, adorable, extremely, absolutely.” If it helps to think of yourself as Cher from 1995’s cult classic, Clueless, then so be it! Be genuine, but also be eager, cheerful, bouncy, chirpy, perky, etc.! This may take a little out-of-the box thinking when it comes to scanning their site and complimenting a blogger, but it is definitely worth it on the blogger side. Everyone loves a little ego boost, so as an SEO, be confident and sincere and learn the art of schmoozing.
Here’s an example: -- “Hello blogger, we were inspired by your blog on your life.” = NO -- “Hello Melissa, we were really inspired by your awesome blog posts on your adorable kids and great DIY projects!” = YES (Remember, a good compliment is always nice, but a great compliment will be your guiding light to a higher success rate!)
4) Attachments: If you’re using Gmail for your outreach and plan on attaching documents or images with your email, make sure that you don't forget to attach your file! I've seen so many instances where I've forgotten to attach an image, only to waste time replying, apologizing and re-attaching the original image. For newbies, it might be best to start out by creating drafts of all your emails before you send them out. By going to your Settings – Labs – and enabling the “Move Icon Column” lab, you will easily see the paper clip icon to the left of the subject line of your emails before sending them out. This is a quick, easy fix to any potential annoying follow-up emails.
In Summary: Remember that the bloggers you address are still human (well I hope so, at least) and get pitched by advertisers and marketers multiple times a day. Set yourself apart by being honest, straight to the fact and quick to respond to all future lines of communication. Writing an effective outreach message isn’t always easy, but hopefully these few tips above will make your life easier and less prone to mistake! I hope to build more quick little tips as I continue in this "SEO outreach game," so stay tuned for a Part 2 of this blog post!
Tell me all about your own outreach successes and fails via my Twitter at @jogamel88! :)