Getting a guest post on a popular site can make or break a company’s authority and presence online. That’s why it’s so mind-boggling to see outreach emails asking for guest posts fail so consistently. While there are many contributing factors to this abysmal situation, the most glaring one is how little the writers consider the people they’re emailing. Most of the emails trying to get a guest post on your site aren’t very professional and it’s clear that they’re playing a numbers game where they think at least one person will look at their email and write back to them. The reason why these guys and girls fail most of the time is simply because they don’t see their audience as actual people. Moz claims that the average response rate for outreach emails is between 5% and 15%. For the level of engagement to rise to a respectable level, guest post pitchers need to keep in mind a few glaring (but as it seems, not quite so obvious) issues with their email campaign.
1) Ensure the Email is Focused
I’m not sure if one of the things internet marketers learn at the start is to cast a wide net, but it certainly seems that way. Some of the emails you get seem to be all over the place – as though they’re trying to cover many bases and build a rapport with many different kinds of people. When you start doing that as a marketer, you lose the thread of your discussion and lose your reader as well. Try to avoid writing walls of text and bludgeoning your reader with a lot of useless information. Propeller contends that replies come from short, punchy statements as opposed to long, drawn-out paragraphs. Get to the point quickly because site owners are busy people and the more time they spend trying to decipher your email is the more pissed off they get with the sender. Target a specific audience of people and your detail will make you memorable. Your aim is to build a rapport and you can only do this by being properly focused with your email.
2) Use your Words
If you’re intending to use a medium for communication like writing, you need to let the person reading your email know that you’re serious about this communication and the likelihood of it evolving into a long-term relationship with them. Eloquence is much more likely to get you a response than simply sticking to a script, especially if that script isn’t very engaging. It helps the reader feel appreciated, and more likely to consider guesting you on their blog if you come off as intellectual and erudite. Nothing is more appalling than seeing bad grammar and spelling in the body of an email, especially from one that purports to come from a professional. There is absolutely no excuse for sloppy content.
3) Build a Connection and Avoid the Generic
What you want to do above everything else is to forge a connection with your reader. Woodpecker states that a personalized subject line could double reply rates. The best writers of copy forge a connection through a shared experience or through interesting information. If you’re suing email marketing as your preferred means of getting leads, then a generic “Hello Sir/Madam” just won’t do. It shows that you’re putting in the minimum of effort to get this email out the door and the person reading it feels as though they will be just another bean in your abacus and so won’t even bother to respond to your email. Building a connection is important and no serious association can be formed using generic salutations.
4) Don’t Become Human Spam
When you send off an email to someone, you obviously would like a reply, because if that’s not the case, then why would you fire off an email to them in the first place? While that may be true, you should also be aware that you’re dealing with a human being on the other end and continually pushing them for a reply (one you’re not likely to get if your initial contact was horrible) just turns you into the human version of spam. Don’t be that guy.
5) Leave the Competition out of It
Why would you mention the competition in your request letter for a guest post? It seems counterproductive to do something like that, yet it happens alarmingly often. As a rule of thumb, it’s much better to simply engage the person you’re asking for a blog post directly instead of trying to use scare tactics to coerce the owner into giving you an opinion spot. The end result is that you come off looking really bad bringing up the competition in a discussion.
6) You’re not Entitled to a Response
Just because you sent an email doesn’t mean your email is worth responding to. Site owners and operators are busy people and spend a lot of time working on aspects of their site or their content management and production schedule. If you need to take five minutes out of their time for an email response, you’d better be worth the five minutes. This comes back to writing proper requests and making the reader interested. Keep in mind that if you don’t get a response, it might be because of poor professionalism in your email approach. In such a case, don’t message us, we’ll message you.
7) Don’t Become Annoying
This is two-fold in nature. Firstly, if you’re sending generic invites (already a bad sign) you might want to make sure you don’t send them multiple times to the same person. Sure, we know it’s generic, but confirming it just makes you look even worse in our eyes. Secondly, when you compose your email, save your emphasis for things that actually need emphasis. Overuse of emphasis in an email will immediately turn a reader off because it looks gaudy and unprofessional. Nobody wants to see entire paragraphs in bold and italics.
8) What’s the Added Value of your Pitch?
What do you bring to the table? A little research will help you see whether the site you’re pitching does this sort of content. If not, then why waste your time sending an email? Tell me how your pitch is going to be relevant to my website and I might be more inclined to engage in a conversation with you. Try to beat me over the head with some generic email that tosses content I don’t even post on my site and I’ll simply consign it to the trash bin without a response.
9) Clarity is the Fuel of Good Business Relationships
I think many people who get emails asking for guest posts can agree that a couple of them come off as terribly shady. For a professional, standards of the content we publish is the reason why we are such a high-value site for our clients. The value of this content is important to them and that means we are important to them. That’s why in order to maintain professional standards, we usually don’t post just anything that pops into our inboxes. Even sponsored content is frowned upon these days in professional circles because it’s seen as underhanded.
Final Thoughts – Be Professional
The biggest hurdle for the senders of these guest post outreach emails to overcome is the fact that they are just not professional in how they handle their pitches. They offer no value to including them on the site, yet demand and get angry when a site owner doesn’t. Sometimes their spelling and grammar is atrocious and they’d still expect someone to give them an ear, especially if their written content is likely to come out as bad or worse than the email. If you are intending to use email outreach for securing guest posting opportunities, you’re going to need to up your game and become a professional, because in this business, the professionals only deal with professionals.