Earned Media, Media Relations

If you’re a blogger or marketing specialist, you’re sending dozens of outreach emails every single week. Sometimes you’ll invite influencers to take part in an interview, but mostly you’ll be pitching guest post ideas. If you don’t write these outreach letters well, the result is silence. You continue sending the same pitch to other webmasters, and you still don’t get a response.

Before we go any further, forget about the “Dear *first name*” approach. That doesn’t make the recipient feel special or close to you. It only makes you look silly in the eyes of an established blogger or journalist. Here’s a tweet: “If you send me PR pitches addressed to “Dear Rafter” chances are about 100% I’ll never respond.” If you check the PRFail hashtag on Twitter, you’ll see that most tweets start with dear. That’s PR people being sarcastic.

It’s easy to understand where we’re failing in modern web communication. We’re slaves to clichés and we keep following patterns. It’s time to make a difference.

How Outreach Letters Work

To explain why outreach emails are important, we need to focus on the importance of guest blogging. This strategy gives you a chance to expose your message to a completely new audience. You’re also getting an opportunity to establish yourself as a thought leader and build relationships with influential bloggers from your niche.

Guest blogging can’t happen without sending outreach letters. You can’t expect popular websites to send you messages, begging you to write a piece for them. That’s why you need to come up with a no-fail strategy that works.

The Secret Tactics

1. Don’t Follow a Pattern

So you don’t start with dear and you can’t open the letter with a simple hi. How do you start?

A simple Hey Robert is enough. You get the difference, right? It doesn’t seem fake, like dear Robert does, and it isn’t vogue like hi is. It’s focused, simple, and friendly — all at the same time. To make this happen, you need to find the target’s name. Who makes the selection of content published at the website? If you’re sending a pitch to a website with a large staff of editors, the least you could do is put the name of the site in the greeting part.

Wait, isn’t Hey Robert a pattern? Well, it might be, but it’s better than the other two examples we mentioned. You have to find a way to start the message, after all.

2. Be Relevant!

You don’t ask an editor how they are doing. You don’t write “hey Robert, hope you’re doing well.” Such an approach demands an answer, which the editor of a website is not willing to give. They aren’t going to tell you about their day.

Hey Robert,

I’m reaching out to suggest a guest post named ‘4 Risks that Block Your Personal Growth’. As a fan of such topics, I just thought you’d be interested.

I’m sending a brief outline in the attachment.


Anna from x.com

Do you see the difference? A blogger or website editor can’t spend more than a couple of minutes on each outreach letter. The last thing they want to see is huge text in the body of the message. Be brief and stay relevant.

3. Throw a Line that Shows You Know What Their Site Is About

As a fan of such topics, I just thought you’d be interested.

Remember that part from the example above? It shows that Anna follows the activity of this particular blogger. It’s important to make a relevant pitch with a headline that would fit right into that site.

You need to find a topic that’s not already covered, and you have to think of something the blogger or editor would like. Then, briefly mention that you know what their site is about and you believe you have something that would fit in. Anna managed to do that with a single sentence.

4. Imitate the Author… Just a Bit

When you’re sending a pitch, it’s all about fitting in. It’s clear that the Guardian is all about news, so that’s the style you need to adopt. Even if you’re sending a pitch to a blogger who says they appreciate your individuality, you still need to check out their content and realize how you can slightly adjust your style to fit into the website’s vibe.

Does that mean you need to imitate the author? Not really. But, here’s the secret strategy: recognize the pattern of their posts and follow it. Then, preserve your own voice but make sure it meets the standards of this blogger.

Why is this important for outreach letters? Well, you’ll keep that tone in the messages, too. If you’re dealing with someone who’s witty and funny, you won’t write a rigid email message. If you’re dealing with a serious website that censors the content of its writers, you’ll censor your own message when reaching out.

5. One Last Word: Grammar!

As a fan of such topics, I believe you’re interested.

As a reader, you notice all that’s wrong with this sentence. The person who makes such mistakes, however, doesn’t realize how seriously they affect the success of the outreach letter. We all make habitual mistakes when writing and we’re not aware of them.

Check and double check the message before clicking that send button. If necessary, hire editing services to help with really important messages. That’s the coolest secret tip we have. Many bloggers are using online editing services not only for the posts they publish, but for outlines and outreach emails as well.

Writing great outreach letters is not easy. You’ll be ignored many times before you realize what you’re doing wrong. However, remember that it’s possible to impress bloggers and editors with the outreach message. You just need to stay away from patterns and add something special in your message. Hopefully, you’ll do that if you follow the tips you just went through.


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