Please Use My Name When You Email Me

by Vered DeLeeuw

If you ever tried a blogger outreach program, you know that it can be an incredibly effective marketing tool. Contacting the right bloggers in your space, especially if you contact several of them at once, can generate a big boost in traffic, likes and interest.

The best thing about traffic that gets to your website following a blogger outreach campaign? Bounce rate tends to be very low, since those people are truly curious about your brand and want to engage.

When planning a blogger outreach campaign, the first thing you’ll need is a list of top (or mid-tier) bloggers in your space. Mid-tier can be good if your budget is small – most top bloggers will request a sizable compensation for promoting your brand – and it can work in the aggregate, so when you reach out to 20 bloggers, each with a Twitter following of just 1000, you are in fact potentially reaching out to 20,000 people.

You can find bloggers in your space by searching the web – there are tons of “top bloggers” lists out there; by contacting a social media consultant who has a network of bloggers she regularly works with; or, if your budget allows, by paying for a service that gives you access to media lists, such as Cision.com.

The real challenge is not getting bloggers’ contact info. It’s getting a response from them, even though you are basically cold-emailing them and can be easily viewed as a spammer. I’m sure there are many rules out there for how to approach bloggers and actually get a response, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s really just one rule: use my name.

Through my various blogs, I get tons of inquiries. Some are for social media work, others are for promoting brands or their products. Whether I’m interested or not, it seems professional to at least answer each inquiry – but I only do when the sender has bothered to find out what my name is and address me using my name. So, any email that starts with a generic “hello” or “hi” or “hi there” gets the spam treatment and is automatically deleted.

It seems like basic courtesy, when you cold-email someone, to at least use their name in the greeting. I can’t imagine why anyone would expect me to take the time to respond to their email when they never took the time to find out what’s my name and use it.

So if you want a response from a blogger, there are several things you can do – write an ultra short email with a strong opening paragraph and a compelling title; approach the right bloggers for the task and for your budget; and I’m sure there are more tips you can find online. But the #1 tip: use the blogger’s name. This would not guarantee a response, of course, but I’m pretty sure that for most bloggers, not using their name would guarantee a non-response.

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