Why You Should Think Like a Recipient When Performing Outreach

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If you’re anything like me, you may wonder what the end goal will be for your tedious outreach efforts.

You send a plethora of emails with slight personalization in each one hoping to solicit interest.

You try to avoid the terrible emails you've seen of outreachers trying to play off being your friend that give you stuff you couldn't care less about. You then think to yourself, “How do I truly signal to my recipients that I am a real person with a real asset, but without spending 37 minutes on each email?”

This is where a trip into the headspace of your recipient can help illuminate what the big picture is.

You’re a person with a goal and they are too.

It’s often too easy to get caught up in the grind of things and forget the mission. You’re here to alert people of something that could give both parties value. Something they would find beneficial to their audience or company. It’s not enough to punch a card, slap a sticker and say, “There, I sent it. They have to respond to this one!” Then days pass and your inbox might as well be playing the world’s tiniest violin.

It’s just simple psychology to know that good content may never see the light of day if it’s wrapped in something unappealing and intangible. It’s also the same reason why a fiancé doesn’t buy a ring made with diamonds in the rough. They want something with awesome presentation to grab their attention and get their minds in willful motion, eager to find out how they can benefit from this. The question I often ask myself is, “If I was transported into their life, standing in their shoes, would I really want to click and even respond to this email?” This is where it helps to be your own worst critic and rise to the challenge to outdo yourself, forgetting the bars set by others.

Always remember, you are writing outreach emails because you have something with so much awesome potential that the influencers in the industry just have to see it. The problem is, they are people living in a world where time is money and they haven’t the slightest clue of just how awesome that something is. This is where you must think like the proverbial marketer and get that presentation pitch perfect. Spend the extra 5 minutes researching their blogs, take the time knowing what excites them, scroll through their Twitter feed and see what’s going on. They appreciate that attention to detail. But when you get down to brass tacks and the email is being constructed, learn to be confidently explicit instead of softly implicit. It will save you the trouble of having an ambiguous email that often requires further explanation.  

On the flipside, no one likes the used car salesman, so don’t be the used car salesman of outreaching. Don’t obviously feign interest in your recipient’s niche that can be smelled from a mile away. It doesn’t matter if the article you’re pitching is a Ferrari. If your email is a Fiat, they just won’t go for it.

Note : If you’re reading this article to extract some specific outreach templates or methods, need not worry. I won’t attempt to fix what isn’t broke. Tim Soulo over at Ahrefs wrote an incredible outreaching guide that thoroughly explains everything you need to know to be a rockstar outreacher.

Season your outreaching with automation, but don’t over-do it.

As you may be well aware of, there are a multitude of tools at your disposal to help smooth this delicate thing out. For instance, a great weapon on any outreacher’s hip is Buzzstream. The ability to have a clean and concise CRM loaded with your contacts and your communications with them is very helpful. This breaks up the monotony when the RnD is over and the rubber meets the road. Personalizing every aspect of your emails, linking any social profile or metric to the contacts, and checking the success rate of your campaigns makes life a heck of a lot easier. When it comes to prospecting for the best point of contact, there really is no other database like Cision Communication Cloud. With its whopping 1.6 million contacts and a slew of data on each individual prospect, it really is head and shoulders above what you or I could do with Google alone.

However, these are like the salt on a steak. It’s there to compliment the steak, not be the steak. The meat and potatoes in this equation is what you are offering. It’s your heart behind it, your desire to see this content shouted from the rooftops. I can only think of a quote from Eric Thomas, “When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you’ll be successful!” Do you want to succeed at offsite outreaching? Let the drive inside of you to grab their attention be the motivation behind crafting the perfect email, and let the technology be your servant to do it efficiently.

Your recipient is more intuitive than you may realize. They will be able to pick up signals that the email you just sent them took a grand total of 3 clicks to make it to their inbox. Kind of like when you and I used to be kids and your mom just knew when you halfheartedly did your chores. The same principle applies. Influencers know how software like Buzzstream and NinjaOutreach work. They know that it doesn’t take much effort to haphazardly slap an email together and send away. What they’re looking for is something that will single them out on a personal basis. Show them that you care enough about them to say happy birthday to their daughter, or say congratulations on the new company acquisition. It certainly goes a long way.

What any recipient wants is to be entreated as a friend – to be shown comradery. In order for them to see the value in what you have, you have to stand out amongst the sea of people trying to fight for their attention. They have precious time at stake, and they won’t give that precious time to a robotic email with no heart. Put your mind in their shoes for a moment and think to yourself, “Would I really take action with this?” Perhaps you would just immediately delete it after reading the subject line.

Don’t be the next casualty in the war of the inboxes. Fight to show them that you care about their time, efforts, niche, and personage. Let them know that you have something truly amazing, and appreciate them enough to present it ornately wrapped with a big red bow on it. That’s how you get your recipient to return the favor.

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