You have no idea how this person got your email address and the email is not relevant to you or your business.
There are five elements to the perfect outreach email and I am going to share all of them with you.
I even wrote a sample email for you so you never have to be that person!
Do your homework
Before you reach out to anyone, make sure you familiarize yourself with that person’s career and current job. Here’s an example of someone who did not do their homework.
Please do your research
He wants me to email him back ASAP about something I don’t write about. I politely declined.
If you don’t have at least 10-15 minutes to include at least a couple of the following, don’t even bother sending the email.
Look at their LinkedIn profile and see if you have any common connections.
Check out their Twitter feed (my favorite).
Check out their personal blog if they have one (one of the best sources).
Use Google to find recent news about them or their company.
The 10-15 minutes you spend on the above will pay huge dividends. Focus on putting in the time to get better results.
Tell the person how you found them
You can put this in the subject line of the email so it stands out. Here are some examples:
A mutual friend, Adam Jones, said we should talk about possible partnership opportunities
Mark, I loved the blog post you wrote about how to use Twitter Cards
Amanda, Congratulations on being named one of the top 10 Twitter accounts to follow
If you got an email with one of the subject lines above, you would open it based on curiosity. You want to include the recipient’s name in the subject line and reference how you found their work.
What Is The Point Of the Email?
Don’t make the other person work to figure out what you’re asking. Write the email with the other person’s best interest and your end goal in mind.
Are you trying to meet this person for coffee?
Are you wanting to set up a phone call?
Do you need career advice?
Do you want to learn more about what they do for a living?
Do you want to congratulate them for winning an award?
Maybe you just want to provide feedback about something they wrote or results you got from implementing their advice. Whatever it is, make the point of your email very clear.
There is nothing worse than getting an email that says, “I was looking at your website and I know my company can help you XYZ. Here are testimonials from clients who have used our services. Looking forward to speaking.”
You laugh, but I get emails like this all the time. Here is one I received recently:
Bad Outreach Email Eric
A great example of NOT offering value
The case study highlights how a Ski resort ran a contest for a free ski weekend. The resort used this company’s software to send out a press release. Why would I find that valuable?
If Eric spent ONE minute on my website he probably wouldn’t have emailed me.
Remember that the person you are reaching out to is most likely very busy.
Be willing to work around their schedule and their communication preference. Some people would rather give you advice via email than talk on the phone or Skype.
Those are the five elements. As promised here is an example of an outreach email with all the elements working together.
Subject Line: Dan, I Loved Your Article: 15 Ways To Build A Successful Blog”
(Name of Website) is my go-to resource for blogging and copy advice. I can’t tell you how much of an impact you have had on my blog already. One of my favorite articles is, “15 Ways To Build A Successful Blog.” I have a copy of the infographic printed out on my desk and shared the article with tons of other bloggers.
I recently started a blog and would love to get advice about mistakes to avoid in the first year from an expert in the space. Would you be willing to answer 2-3 questions via Skype? It will probably only take 15-20 minutes. Are you free this Thursday at 2:00 PM? If not, I am also free all day Friday.
Have a wonderful day,
P.S. If you prefer, I would be happy to send my questions via email.”
Here Are The Elements In Action
Homework: I’m very familiar with the blog and what the topics it covers
How I found him: His blog
Point of the email: Can I ask 2-3 questions about starting a blog via Skype?
Offer Value: I shared with him which of his articles was my favorite. This is very valuable to a blogger. It allows them to create similar content that they know will help readers in the future.
Flexible: I suggested two times to talk on Skype and offer to send my questions via email if it’s more convenient.
Now that you have everything you need to write a powerful outreach email, it’s time to take action. Email someone you have wanted to email and include the elements above.
Please leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you think about the five elements. Which element do you think is most important? Or share the results you got from sending your outreach email.