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How to Get People to Open Your Email: Increasing Outreach Response Rates

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Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines
How to Get People to Open Your Email: Increasing Outreach Response Rates

Are you getting the response you want from your blogger and media outreach campaigns? If your email open rates and positive replies are not where you want them to be, then it’s time to change your approach. In this post, we’re going to look at some ways you can get more people to open your emails and increase the number of positive replies to your campaigns.

Get on Your Recipient’s Radar

Want to help ensure the success of your outreach campaign before it begins? Start by getting on your target recipients’ radars first. It can be as simple as finding your recipients on Twitter, following them, interacting with them, or sharing their blog post content on Twitter.

You can use tools like Followerwonk to find bloggers in a specific niche who are active on Twitter.

The goal is to make sure when your recipients get that first email, they already know who you are, or at least recognize your name when it lands in their inbox. This will make them more likely to open your email and respond to it.

Use a Unique Subject Line

If you haven’t taken the time to get to know your targeted outreach recipients, then your email subject line is going to make or break their first impression of you and your business. Unless the recipient is into news releases, starting your subject line with release, press release, for immediate release, PR, or similar words is only going to help recipients filter your messages out of their inbox.

Not to mention, phrases like those take up the small amount of space you have to get the recipient’s attention.

Instead of using the traditional labels, make your subject line stand out instead. Create an attention-grabbing subject line by answering these two questions:

  1. What are your recipient’s interests or needs?
  2. How does your pitch align with those interests or needs?

For example, lets say you are sending an email introducing a new nutrition app to a list of bloggers. Those bloggers include busy moms, working professionals, and fitness addicts. Instead of sending a generic subject line that might appeal to everyone, send a personalized subject line, which has a 26% higher open rate. Some examples include:

  • Finally! An app that helps moms choose healthy foods for their family.
  • Is your favorite lunch stop good for you? Find out with our app!
  • Not all power bars are created equal. This app helps you find the best for your fitness goals.

For best results, some studies have shown shorter subject lines work better, simply because you don’t know the size of the screen upon which your recipient will see your email. But, you shouldn’t shorten your subject line to the point that you can’t communicate your unique message.

To fine-tune your email subject lines, consider A/B testing. Send emails to half of your list with one subject line and emails to the other half with a variation of that subject line. Use your analytics to determine which subject line gets the most opens and replies.

Personalize, Personalize, and Personalize

There are two approaches you can take when it comes to outreach campaigns. The first is to send a mass number of emails to as many recipients as possible. The second is to send personalized emails to a smaller number of recipients.

With the first approach, you are just throwing everything against the wall to see what will stick. With the second, you spend more time on your campaign and are likely to get a better response from more recipients.

Just like personalized subject lines, personalized email messages have a 41% higher click rate.

Personalization starts with something extremely simple: addressing the recipient by name. Skip the “Dear Sir”, “Dear Madam”, “Dear Website Owner”, and go for “Dear Mary”.

In addition to personalizing the introduction, make sure the content of the email is specific to your recipient as well. You should also include some flattery for the recipient’s blog upon which you hope to get mentioned.

If this sounds like a lot of work, it doesn’t have to be. There are tools that can help. For example, platforms like Pitchbox can help you personalize, compose, and send outreach emails with the same speed and efficiency typically reserved for outreach to top influencers. You can use it to create templates that include the blogger’s name, blog name, latest post, and additional items that will make the blogger feel like you have done your due diligence before contacting them.

Make Your Pitch All About Them

Bloggers care about one thing when they are considering a topic: how much their audience is going to love the posts they write. Therefore, your pitch should aim towards benefiting the blogger’s audience, not your business. Tell the blogger why they would like your product or service, and why their audience will as well. If you’re pitching a press release, tell the recipient why their audience needs that information.

If you can sell them on the fact that publishing a review or news piece will drive them traffic and engagement, then you’ll get the positive response you want. If your pitch is more about the benefits you will receive or your demands, then it’s time to revise.

Only Send Relevant Pitches

Each time someone sees your name in their inbox, you want them to know they are going to like what is in your email. This is why it is important to only send relevant pitches. The more times someone opens an email from you and feels it is irrelevant, the less likely they are to open your next email.

Segmentation of your outreach lists can help to ensure your pitches go out to the most relevant audiences possible. When you get the right pitches to the right audiences, you won’t just increase your open rates, but you will also increase the positive responses you get from those who open your emails.

In Conclusion

Will the tactics above going to increase the amount of time you spend on your outreach campaigns? Yes. But they will also help you improve the results of your campaigns, especially with the biggest influencers in your industry. Give them a try with your next campaign and share your results in the comments!

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Kristi Hines

Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and copywriter who develops blog content, ebooks, emails, lead magnets, and website copy ... [Read full bio]

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