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8 steps to keeping your automated email outreach personal

Author's avatar By Expert commentator 14 Aug, 2017
Essential Essential topic

Use these steps to maximize your email outreach

It is difficult to argue against the benefits of automated email outreach when it comes to online marketing, be it for promoting your blog posts, software or conducting general sales pitches. However, the biggest challenge is to make them look personal. Sending emails is the easy part. The challenge is to get responses from the people we send the emails to. With the sheer number of emails that reach a person’s inbox, you really have to find a unique way of standing out in your recipients’ inbox.

To give you an idea how small tweaks can change the way your campaigns perform, here are some stats:

  • Research conducted by MailChimp indicates that adding both, the first and the last name of the recipient in the subject of the email can double the open rate when compared to adding just the first or last name.

Open Rate By Personalisation

  • Research by HubSpot shows that businesses that send 16 - 30 emails a month see double the open rate than those that send 2 or fewer emails. It is worth noting that open rates plummet when the number of emails exceeds 31 per month.

Open Rate By The Number Of Emails

  • Even a slight change in a word count can determine the effectiveness of your email campaign. For instance, research carried out by Retention Science illustrates that emails with subject lines that contain 6-10 words enjoy an open rate of more than 20%.

Open Rate By Word Count

Now that we know that even the smallest aspects can impact the effectiveness of your email campaign dramatically, how do you achieve the ultimate result when it comes to influencer outreach and people who have no idea who you are?

It goes without saying that it is absolutely vital that meaningful relationships are built with as many influencers as possible. Getting responses from those influencers is always a tough task. They are busy people who have a lot on their plate, let alone a large number of individuals knocking on their doors. Thus, your emails have to be as unique as possible in order to capture their attention.

Here are some of the ways you can give your outreach emails a personal touch

1. Use your email account when sending emails

Instead of using third-party email marketing services, use your own corporate email address to send campaigns. When you use third-party marketing services, the email almost always ends up in the Updates or Promotions tab of the recipient’s email account and are very unlikely to be read.

2. Send to the correct address

Although this sounds so obvious, pre-made email lists and databases have become so widely used that people barely take the time to find their target audience’s correct email address. In many cases, the emails obtained using these tools are incorrect or even non-existent. If you have not verified the emails, you may be engaging in a futile effort sending to emails that may not be correct in the first place.

The best advice is always to avoid purchasing pre-made lists.

Make use of tools like Email Hunter or Voila Norbert to find email addresses by simply searching for a person’s name and website address.

3. Make your email unique and valuable

If you are utilizing email outreach to reach influencers, it is highly likely that you are not the only one trying to reach them. If your email tells them something new that they needed to know, they will surely appreciate the heads up. Take time to research your topic before sending the emails to anyone, be it an influencer or your subscriber. After all, what may be outstanding to you may not be very impressive to them. Make sure your email is properly articulated in order to show your real value to the audience.

If you’re conducting blogger outreach, ensure to familiarize yourself with their blog’s content and topics and show that you’re aware of their work.

 4. Create a connection

When trying to connect with someone new, you would want them to care about you and contribute positively to your initiative. In order for them to show interest in you and your work, they need to see that you appreciate, and more importantly, are familiar with their work. Your research should help in the process of finding the talking points that will assist you in your course to build a genuine connection.

5. Use an appropriate tone

In order to capture the mind of your outreach target, you have to use a tone that resonates with them. Although it is quite challenging to determine the ultimate tone without an established relationship, their writings and social platforms should give you some decent pointers as to the best approach to take. Avoid extreme language as this will almost certainly lead to negativity.

6. Keep your email brief and personal

Your email should be brief and only contain the most relevant information. An example of a precise introduction would be to tell the prospect how you found their information and what you have in common. Then go to your reason for reaching out to them. A call-to-action or a simple question is a great way to end the email. This way, the prospect will almost feel compelled to reply to your email or click a link that you may have provided.

7. Express your appreciation

It is important to make sure that your recipients know that you don’t take the fact that they took the time to open your email and read it for granted. Expressing your appreciation for someone’s time can make a huge difference in how they perceive you and subsequently respond to you. Avoid using phrases like “Looking forward to your swift reply”. You don’t want to come across like you are coercing the person to respond.

8. Make sure you get your point across

If you a reaching out to a brand or an influencer, you must be very precise in making sure that they understand exactly what you are asking for. Remember, no one has the time to sit back and try to determine what your email is all about - especially if you haven’t had any prior communication with the person. It is always good to take a “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook” approach when asking someone to do something for you. Try to give first and then ask for something in return.

Reasons why your automated email outreach campaign might fail:

Automated email campaigns can be very tricky. A conservative person would think that automated emails are almost identical to spam and should not be sent. But an individual who likes to test things will look at all the software at their disposal and see a great opportunity to expand their reach.

1. Lack of quality leads

Having a list of high-quality leads will go a long way in determining the success of your campaign. At the same time, you should double-check your list to make sure that the leads are valid and up-to-date. The most profitable leads tend to be the ones collected directly on your website. Hence, invest enough time into researching the audience that you want to reach and avoid buying leads that have no connection to you or your business. This way, you will keep your ‘bounce-back’ rate at a minimum.

2. Copying other people’s emails

The best emails are the ones that are specifically tailored for specific audiences. In other words, they should be written by you. This does not mean that you shouldn’t research some successful examples and explore various templates that work. But these should only be used for inspiration.

3. Using the wrong context or no context

A good email should resonate with its reader in a significant way. The body of your email should be in the proper context. Avoid reaching out to a big number of contacts using the same message as this only makes it sound too generic.

4. Complacency

Even if your campaign is working at any given moment, there is always a way that you can make it even better. Always test your subject lines to see whether there are any tweaks that can make them more effective. An automated email campaign is a continuous process of improvement.

5. Poorly crafted subject lines

The subject line is what determines whether your audience will give you an extra second or discard you in a flash. This is why it is so important to invest enough time into crafting the best subject line. The subject line is just as important as the email itself.


Although email open rates are not as high as they used to be, email outreach remains extremely robust (when done carefully). The best advice is to avoid sending the types of emails that you don’t like receiving yourself.

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