How To Have Your Outreach Emails Ignored… And How Not To
Or… How To Piss Off Blog Editors… And How To Make Them Happy
Maybe nobody should edit a blog for going on 8 years. The longer a blog is around, the larger the volume of contributor outreach emails they receive. Unfortunately, most of these are clueless efforts. And trust me on this, that wears on a person after time.
The more outreach emails that I see, the greater the number of them that appear like wallpaper. I stop seeing them!
There are also more and more emails that I choose to ignore, either because the heading screams “I, the writer, don’t know what I’m doing”, or because of the jaw-dropping presumptuousness or scream-out-loud-worthy inanity!
Writing An Outreach Email? Remember That I Don’t Know You
FIRST IMPRESSIONS REALLY ARE IMPORTANT!
As I just said, I don’t know you. To put it more strongly, if you hadn’t just emailed, I wouldn’t have known of your existence. So why might anyone tell me in their heading that they can make Curatti better? Call me sensitive, but I read that as someone who I’ve never heard of telling me that Curatti isn’t good enough and they know the secret to get it up to scratch.
I know it’s not perfect. I’m happy for it to be imperfect. Kind of like I’m happy to be imperfect myself! But then again, I wouldn’t like it if a stranger came up to me in the street and told me that s/he knew how I could make myself a better person. Let’s say, it wouldn’t come across as being as impressive as the person had intended. Exactly the same as that, shall we say, insensitive email!
You may also want to read: Don’t Do These Things In Your Outreach Emails
Know Who You Are Writing To
There is some common advice out there that simply doesn’t work for outreaches to small blogs.
The advice I’m talking about is where you’re very polite in your first email, and you ask if you can ask a question!
I’ve been assured that some have received positive feedback from this action. I can assure you that didn’t come from a small blog and/or a bootstrapping company. Micro-companies simply don’t have the time to answer two emails when answering one would suffice. For us, the polite email was time we’d rather spend answering a real question. We already don’t have enough hours in the day to begin with!
Also on the subject of knowing who you’re writing to, don’t presume that the author of the article you just read on a multi-authored blog, is the editor of the blog. Actually, s/he is very unlikely to be the editor! I stopped responding to people who address their emails to a named person who isn’t Jan or myself. More pointedly, I stopped reading these emails altogether!
Are You Sure Your Outreach Is Really Different?
“I’m sure you receive many emails. I can assure you that this one is different.”
I don’t know how many times I’ve seen variations of that. But invariably, the writers obviously don’t know about the other emails. Because, opening apart, theirs is actually is the same as most of the others. And most of the others are bad. I mean, really bad!
So, How Can You Make Blog Editors Happy?
First off, to be noticed, try – but not too hard – to make your subject line stand out from the crowd… in a good way, though. Jokes almost always fall flat. Grand promises fall even flatter!
Avoid the word collaboration, as this has been so misused. If a blog editor is ‘playing the percentages’ in deciding which emails to open, this one has low odds.
The best emails exude a quiet, not obnoxious confidence. And they don’t have school essay-like, flowery language.
And always, ALWAYS include these two elements:
- At least 3 working links to existing and relevant published articles.
- At least 3 suggestions for articles that show you have read the blog and/or guidelines, and understand what the editor will be looking for.
I get that you may feel too busy to get these elements right. But you have to understand we’re too busy to bother with people who make no effort to get them right. I’d suggest that fewer, but more targeted outreach emails will yield better results than blanket bullshit, entirely untargeted emails.
Here are the other articles I’ve written on this subject:
How Can You Make This Blog Editor Happy?
We publish articles on various aspects of content marketing for a largely experienced readership. So it should be presumed that we’re looking for articles on our subject matter, written for people who already know a fair bit about the subject. At the very least, click on Blog, then look at the first two pages. Better yet, read our guidelines!
Showing us that you can write for newbies is pretty much akin to showing us that you can’t write for our intended audience. Likewise, sending us expert articles on entirely unrelated subjects demonstrates precisely zero knowledge of what we publish. Certainly, show us you’re flexible though!
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