One Simple Technique that Increases Blogger Outreach Rates to 98% YES!


There’s something, super super simple you can do that will have an instant impact on the number and quality of responses to your blogger outreach pitch.  It’s true!

BMB has a 98% response rate when emailing bloggers, and I am convinced that this one tweak is why. (In fact, my response rate is ultimately closer to 100% but I am allowing a 2% difference because no one is perfect!)

98%+ sound good?

Would you like to know my secret to ‘pitch perfection”?

Personalisation

The simplest way to immediately improve your response rate when pitching bloggers is to personalise your email. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, it can be a simple as using the bloggers name, using a clear subject line and starting your email by being friendly (rather than by launching into your pitch).

When sending your emails (and I know you have a lot to send), it’s worth giving them the extra 5-10 minutes to make sure they are personalised remembering that the quality of a pitch can determine whether a blogger becomes your advocate, or your competitors.

how to pitch bloggers

This week’s pitching case study was sent in from one of the bloggers in our network. It read as follows:

To: REDACTED
Sent: Sun, 5 Jul 2015 14:43:22 +0800
Subject: Invite to do a story

Lots of things are happening at the REDACTED – and you’re more than welcome to have a chat to us about it or even come and visit and we’ll show you around to highlight what we have to offer.

REDACTED is the current owner of the newly-renovated hotel, drawing REDACTED has turned it into an effective family-run business.

More than a hotel, more than a restaurant and more than a function venue, it delivers a food experience like nowhere else in the district – we are about bringing quality service with fresh local produce with a wine bar that focuses on only selling local wines.

We’d love for you to find out more about what’s been going on lately.

MEDIA CONTACT
For more information, interviews and photo requests, please call REDACTED

 

What is good about this blogger outreach pitch

1. The pitch includes an invitation to “have a chat or come and visit.”

2. They included images to give the bloggers an idea of the venue, space and offering.

What could have been improved

1. Used the bloggers name.

Lesson: 8/10* if you send an email to a blogger without using their name it will be deleted. In 2015, the technology exists to easily personalise an email so you need to do it. It’s such a basic thing to do and it has an immediate impact on the effectiveness of your pitch.

(*that is not an exact stat! It’s just based on my extensive, anecdotal conversations with bloggers and my own experience)

2. Been clearer about the opportunity

Most of the time when bloggers email me their “bad pitch” emails, they say something along the lines of “I don’t even know what I am meant to do with this!” In the case of this pitch, it’s not clear whether the blogger(s) are being invited to come and stay at the hotel and experience it, or just being invited for a tour. (As an aside, if it were the latter then running a bespoke blogger event would be a much better way to approach this). The opportunity is too vague to grab the bloggers attention and for many established bloggers, too weak to be an effective call to action.

Lesson: The clearer you can be about what you are asking of the blogger, and offering them in return the more likely they are to make a clear a quick decision.If you are not entirely clear then you decrease the likelihood of getting a favourable reply no matter how great the opportunity is.

A note to bloggers

While you might not like the approach, and wish that this email had been personalised; this email is actually an invitation to collaborate. This is one of the biggest unknown truths about press releases. There is an offer for you to explore – “come and visit”. In my own experience, the very best and most exciting brand collaborations I participated in (ie. going to New York) didn’t start out with an awesome invitation – they just started with an invitation to collaborate and I pitched back with my (awesome) idea and how it would (awesomely) benefit the brand in question. If the brand/product/subject of the email sparks your interest, then take a few moments to personalise your response back to the brand and start a conversation.

Advice to marketers

Bloggers aren’t journalists so your communication needs to be tweaked accordingly. The main thing to remember is that most of the time, bloggers don’t need your content. They don’t need to showcase your brand to your readers unless they really want to. When pitching bloggers, your job is to think about how you can make them really want to talk about you.

Still not convinced? Think about the last time you received an email that launched in with a generic “hello” or even just straight into the “ask”. It probably didn’t inspire you to take generous action.  A generic, quick approach will ultimately cost you more time, and money than the extra few minutes spent at the start of the campaign personalising your pitch and getting a good response from the start.

Overall Score: This pitch gets a 4/10 from me (it would have been higher if I knew what was on offer – a stay or a tour). While this offer might suit some bloggers, they have left too many questions unanswered in the pitch and this is an email that is most likely to get deleted not replied to.

If you are a blogger, what do you like to see in a pitch? How would you have responded to this email? Marketers, what do you want bloggers to know about the pitching process from your side? Let me know in the comments….

8 Comments

  1. I think ultimately when I am approached by a brand I want to see some personality from the person writing me. I’ve had some really funny pitches that immediately caught my attention and made me want to work with the brand even though they weren’t offering anything that fabulous. The line I probably hate the most is, “we think that your blog is a perfect fit for our brand”. Really? ‘Cause I’m willing to bet you haven’t even looked at my site and couldn’t tell me a single thing about it. Oh, it felt good to say that.

    xo
    Caroline
    styleontheside.com

    Post a Reply
    • Haha, yes I love it! It’s such a terrible line because anyone who has actually taken the time to figure that out would have something much more insightful to say in their email. Agree, when emailing someone cold it’s good to add in as much personality as possible!

      Post a Reply
  2. Hi Louisa, thank you for the great educational post. I will surely share it!

    Can I share a dilemma with you?

    My work at Boost the News is, in fact, two-folded: on the one hand, I help bloggers monetize their content through contact with brands (sort of a supplementary service to the one you offer here), and on the other hand I need the help of bloggers to spread the word about the service.

    When I pitch to bloggers, I don’t know which strategy to choose: I offer them a free service and at the same time ask them for a favor in return (tell your friends). How should I present it? Am I doing them a favor, or am I asking them for a favor?

    The rule says to always tell the pitched person what he/she can gain from your offer. But if I sound too much like I’m offering them something, I’m afraid of sounding arrogant.

    Thanks a lot for the help 🙂

    Post a Reply
    • Great question Daniel and I’m going to give you my honest take!

      It doesn’t work for you to build your pitch around the benefits for the bloggers because ultimately, you benefit more than they do, and they will smell that a mile off. The chances are that any bloggers who take you up on your offer will be new(ish) and less established and deliver less value for you.

      I have just been having a look at your site, and it’s a really interesting concept (and unlike similar offers, you have built-in tracking and ROI metrics which make it compelling). What I would be doing is reaching out to bloggers to let them know what you do and invite them to a free trial of it. During the trial period, I’d build a relationship with the bloggers so that at the end you could ask them to share the service with their blogging friends.

      The main effort you’ll have to put in is in identifying the influencers (but that’s almost always the most time-consuming part). The time spent nurturing the relationships should be fairly minimal in relation to the uptake you can expect at the end. This is vs sending emails to as many bloggers as possible, crossing your fingers and then hoping for the best.

      Post a Reply
      • Thank you so much for the well-developed answer, Louisa! I will make sure to implement your tips 🙂

        I’m following you on Twitter, and look forward to read more such useful articles.

        Best,
        Daniel

        Post a Reply
        • Happy to help Daniel, and yes great to have connected on Twitter with you and some of your team today!

          Post a Reply
  3. I love reading your blog posts… even ones pitched at marketers etc… I always learn and can take something from a blogging point of view. I am hoping to get my blog to a point soon where I can start working with brands and enter the world of marketing. Thanks for the info!

    Post a Reply
    • Oh that’s so lovely of you Kirsten, I’m thrilled it’s helpful for you!!

      Post a Reply

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