With a recent shift in the marketing landscape towards programmatic marketing, social media marketing, and geofencing, to name but a few, many businesses have now turned their resources to these areas.
However, businesses should follow trends cautiously, and stay informed of the overall effectiveness of all marketing strategies. In an ever-shifting environment, the latest fad might not always be best for your company.
Despite current trends, email marketing still promises the highest return on investment of all marketing channels, returning $42 for every dollar spent. If you’re a small business that has cast email aside, it might be time to reconsider.
An effective outreach email has greater potential to drive engagement than even the most innovative of new-fangled marketing strategies. Content that offers your readers genuine value by providing practical and relevant information will draw customers to your website.
Email outreach really is one of the most powerful tools in your business arsenal. Here’s how you can use it more effectively to grow your customer base while increasing revenue.
What Is Email Outreach?
Email outreach is the process of sending targeted email marketing communications to individuals to encourage them to engage with your brand. Typically, cold emails are sent to forge a relationship with a particular influencer, to request a backlink, or to attract clicks on your target pages. The overall goal is to grow your web traffic, reach new consumers, and ramp up your sales.
Before you consider an email outreach campaign, identify your desired outcome, сonfirm your campaign aligns with your customer development plan, and set realistic goals. Whether you’re prospecting or trying to increase brand awareness, your email send-out should have a “hook” to ensure your recipient reads further than the first line.
You’ll improve your site’s search engine rankings by contacting individuals that have a vested interest in linking back to your ecommerce store or promoting your content. You can therefore build credibility with a high-quality email that allows for easy re-promotion.
Why Do You Need Email Outreach?
Taking proactive steps to get users to engage with your online content is essential for business growth. When used correctly, email outreach can be an incredibly effective strategy.
If a reputable person or site backlinks to your website via an email outreach campaign, it lets potential customers know that your company is trustworthy, while at the same time encouraging purchases and building brand awareness. It’s also the best way to inform influencers of a potential opportunity with your brand or offer them free products for promotion.
However, engaging recipients can be a particular struggle when your messages are sent through generic mass email services. These have few customizations that make them unique to their addressee. Customers are generally unresponsive to generic salutations that do not address them on a personal level. Email outreach works best when it is informative, innovative, and conveys its message efficiently and personally. Also, you will need to consider some technical aspects, check the DMARC record for authentication, and avoid appearing in the recipients' spam folder.
Follow the steps below to compose a successful outreach email.
Five Tips for Crafting an Effective Outreach Email
#1 Do your research
Crafting the right email to maximize responses is a challenge for all businesses that rely on cold emailing as part of their marketing strategy. With the sheer volume of emails that arrive in our inboxes each day, it’s crucial that yours stands out to increase email CTR and open rates. The best approach here is to do the appropriate research to understand your recipient better.
Consider these top tips when researching for an effective outreach email:
- Know exactly why you’re reaching out - and tailor your communication accordingly
- Understand your audience - adjust your style and tone to fit your recipient
- Visuals - these should match the aesthetic standards of your target audience
- Research how busy your contacts are - brevity is key when contacting time-sensitive recipients
#2 Identify key prospects
Email marketing has a substantial ROI because it requires a minimal time investment to reach a large volume of customers. With this in mind, efficient outreach should still be attentively personalized.
Try not to waste time on lesser viable prospects. Instead, select influencers and customers who are most likely to engage with your brand. If you’re looking for guest posts, search for writers that already produce content that has considerable overlap with your own.
Alternatively, identify prospects by observing your competition. Target those that are already interested in a similar product to that of your competitors and may contemplate an alternative.
You could also include customer retention and re-engagement emails in your outreach strategy. Existing customers can be key prospects too. Use these emails to pique customer interest by promoting new products or asking for input.
Provide a contact number, personal email address, or voicemail service for them to get in touch. This will show your existing audience that their opinion is valuable and can help you improve your product or services in line with consumer demand.
#3 Personalize it
An email tailored to its recipient is more likely to avoid spam filters, and it demonstrates greater authenticity. Stay away from ready-made email templates that are generic and lack personality. You want to make sure the person receiving your email knows it has been written with them in mind. Use names as opposed to titles and try to reference something you have in common.
For example, when writing to a social media influencer, you could mention a mutual contact or bring up some of their past work that you admired. Indeed, a compliment is always well received! For customers, CRM tools can be an efficient way to track customer histories. You can then use information concerning past purchases to compose tailor-made emails.
A personalized email subject line is a must if you want to increase open rates. A straightforward and attention-grabbing subject works best. For individuals, use it as an opportunity to make brief references to your recipient’s work or ask a question. For potential and existing customers, take a market-orientated approach—a special offer or discount is instantly attention-grabbing.
Conclude your email with a personal sign-off and links to your company’s various social profiles. Outreach emails that include links to socials are 9.8% more likely to receive a response than those without.
#4 Keep it short and specific
A specific and concise email will always be met more favorably than one that is general and long-winded.
Keep it short, but show your reader you’re on top of trends and aware of their tastes and preferences. Cover all of your main points in as few words as possible to make an impression. People are more receptive to brand messages when they’re focused and memorable. If you can create a short but striking email, you’re more likely to engage prospects and increase brand awareness.
#5 Make it easy to reply
If you’re hoping for a quick response, ensure it is as easy as possible for your recipients to reply to your outreach email. When requesting backlinks or collaborations, asking for a simple “yes” or “no” in the first instance will show your recipient you value their time. Similarly, when communicating with customers, you could provide a numbered list of responses rather than requesting a handcrafted reply from each person.
You should make sure you have staff ready to reply to responses quickly and with all the relevant information. Using a virtual private cloud could help connect your employees and ensure they’re all working with the same information so your emails are consistent.
Always Remember to Follow Up
Ultimately, an effective email outreach campaign will be tailored to its recipients. A personalized approach results in better engagement and has more potential to generate revenue for your business.
Your email’s success is proportional to the time and resources you spend crafting it. Make sure it’s sent to the most receptive audience and is easy for your recipient to reply and participate in further correspondence.
Remember, your outreach program doesn’t end with a single email. Always follow up if a response is taking longer than expected. Try to avoid overused templates and find better alternatives to 'just checking in' emails. This will show clients you care and signal to future collaborators that you’re eager to work with them.
Sam O'Brien is the Director of Digital and Growth for EMEA at RingCentral, a Global VoIP, call centre, and video call services. Sam has a passion for innovation and loves exploring ways to collaborate more with dispersed teams. He has written for websites such as Freshworks and G2. Here is his LinkedIn.