How to Nail Every Type of Outreach
Pitching in the PR, sales and marketing realms is frequently done and there is an art to it.
Outreach is a huge aspect of business. All editors or owners of a company have gotten some form of outreach email. Even though several areas of outreach have been automated, there is still a need for manual outreach.
Here's how you can improve each area of outreach.
Reaching out to the person who makes the decisions is important. An insane amount of time can be wasted pitching a person without decision-making power. There are so many partnerships where a person might want final approval on the large decisions that are made.
Identifying the pain points of a potential customer can be done by email. Closing a sale is far easier when pitching only what a client or customer needs rather than pitching services or products that they do not. Upselling is one thing, but pushing additional spending can backfire.
Sales emails including a questionnaire might seem presumptuous, so keep that email for when you have established contact. The questionnaire can help hone a pitch as this can make a potential customer feel valued. Generic pitches are something that any person can see is happening — which doesn't instill confidence in a sales prospect.
Social media outreach
Facebook pages for businesses are great for sales outreach, but using the platform to message someone on a personal account can be a huge overstep. Use the platform to generate sales through ads and promote content, but not for direct outreach. Asking for contact information is even too much, as most top sales professionals can find the contact information of nearly anyone.
Twitter is a platform to build rapport that can lead to comfort in sending an outreach email or message. Building this rapport here will generate far better results than simply doing a random pitch.
Instagram can also be a way to build rapport with other customers and businesses. Sending out alerts of sales can drive a few sales but can also lead to being unfollowed as some people loathe being spammed.
Avoid automated LinkedIn messages, as this can put a potential client off immediately. These outreach messages are so generic that it is easy to sift through legitimate messages and sales/partnership opportunities.
LinkedIn can be an amazing way to handle and generate many sales. Being able to directly reach out to a person allows you to make sure an email you send is not buried in a spam folder. Finding former colleagues is always a good idea as they might need services that a company provides. People would rather work with those who understand their quality of work than a person/company they have very little knowledge about.
Influencer outreach can be tough depending on the level of influencer you are trying to reach. Most influencers are going to be quite selective about the brands they work with due to their image and other brands or company partnerships. Looking at social media accounts can allow a company to get in touch with the influencer or their representation.
The right influencers are getting outreach emails all the time so standing out matters. Building rapport over email should be done by researching the target so something personable can be included. Medium-sized influencers have been shown to convert more in terms of ROI for companies. Larger influencers might not have the true trust of their followers for a variety of reasons.
Outreach emails that build rapport can even lead to a discounted marketing campaign. Influencers might not have set prices and want to work with cool brands or people they might like. Building this rapport can take time and a flurry of emails but it will be worth it. Note that ego being stroked during this can work wonders especially if the flattering comment required being a fan or extensive research.
Content marketing is a great way to build backlinks for a company. The right outreach techniques for content marketing purposes require a great pitch to stand out. Even something as simple as attaching a picture of your dog can be enough.
A/B testing in outreach is always going to be essential to see what works and what tactics need to be tweaked. Even the gender of a person that is doing outreach can matter. Certain industries reply more to men while others reply more to women.
Publisher outreach is relatively easy if you are pitching an incredibly interesting story. Editors love outside content at most publications as it takes copywriting work off of their hands. Asking an editor what piece of content they'd like to see can lead to an assignment of an article. A backlink to the website will be easy to acquire even if it is just in your author bio. Understanding the difference when doing outreach between black hat and white hat tactics is imperative. The last thing you want is a content marketing campaign to result in a Google website penalty.
Tools that can be used for publisher outreach or author outreach like BuzzStream can be immensely helpful. These tools help gather contact information and allow websites to be browsed by topic. Reaching the right person with a content marketing outreach email is half of the battle along with the other half being the content of the email.
PR outreach can be done on a mass or targeted level. Asking a local news publication to cover a company without some sort of angle will prove nearly impossible. The outreach email will likely go straight to the advertising department as nothing pitched adds value to their publication.
Green initiatives or wellness programs at local companies are frequently highlighted. Not only can this exposure drive sales but seeing a good work-life balance can even increase the quality of applicant that comes in for an interview. Sponsoring an event and sending an email out about this is another PR opportunity. Companies that give back to the local community are those that are frequently covered in local print and online publications. Without an outreach email, what happening locally could be overlooked?
Related: From Link Builder to Email Marketer
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