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Rand Fishkin | Founder & CEO
How to Kick Butt with Your
Email Outreach
Get Everything You’ve Ever Wanted (professionally) by
Sending the Right Message to the Right People
Bit.ly/artofoutreach
Analysis of Rand’s Strengths & Weaknesses
BloggingSEOSales WritingCodePublicSpeaking Email
Top1%
Solid
Mediocre
Dismal
GAH!Run!
DamnGood
BeingGeraldine’s
Husband
So how come you never talk
about your top skills!?
Rand Fishkin | Founder & CEO
How to Be
Married to
Geraldine!
A comprehensive guide on how to be an excellent partner
to my favorite person in the world.
What We’ll Cover in Today’s Talk:
How to plan for inevitable hangriness
Shopping Tips for TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack
Baking ingredient emergencies
Protecting your legs from frozen feet
Emotional support during writer’s block
The subtle art of not bringing up JFK “conspiracy” theories
Analysis of Rand’s Strengths & Weaknesses
BloggingSEOSales WritingCodePublicSpeaking Email
Top1%
Solid
Mediocre
Dismal
GAH!Run!
DamnGood
BeingGeraldine’s
Husband
OK… Fine… We’ll talk
about this one.
First: How Not to Use Marketing Tactics
Awesome new tactic
I learned at
Searchlove
Go back to the office and re-
shuffle marketing efforts to
prioritize it
Think up a way to use
it for your
organization/goals
Instead, Do This:
Awesome new tactic
I learned at
Searchlove
If it doesn’t fit cleanly
right now, don’t force
it!
Align it to current
business & marketing
goals
Experiment on side projects;
have tactics ready when
they’re useful
E.g. Podcasts… SO HOT RIGHT NOW!
ViaChartable
E.g. Influencer Marketing… Everyone else is doing
it; shouldn’t we?
ViaGoogleTrends
E.g. SEO Keyword+Date Hack
ViaMoz
Tactics First Leads to Poor, Long-Term Results
Business Goals
Marketing Channels
Marketing Goals
Individual Tactics
Learning about these at conferences leads
tofeedback of “this wasn’t actionable,” or
“advanced enough.”
So… events & speakers bias
totactical topics
(including this talk!)
Promise to use these tactics only when it fits with
your business and marketing goals?
Let’s talk about how to kick butt
with email outreach.
Cool.
As Part of My Research for SparkToro…
I Spoke to Lots of Outreach-Focused Marketers
The Sobering Reality:
Content, social, &link
agencies have told metheir
outreach response rates are
even lower…
~1 in 200
The 1-minute outreach email:
Found an EmailAddress
Sent a Crappy, Low-Value,
Programatically-Customized
Bulk Email
Google Search
Probably has a <0.1% success
rate
The 5-minute outreach email:
Dug around my site to find
my email
Slightly customized a
mildly clever message
Tried toID reasonable
customer targets
Probably has a <1%
success rate
100 messages at 1%
5 messages at 20%
vs.
Spend 20X as long on these
and get the same results?
Yes, please!
Just a few links or atiny bit of
amplification, and your work’s in
the top 1-5% of all web content
ViaBacklinko
Focus on 1:1 Outreach?Why
Broadcast is HARD
(until you have a loyal, engagement-heavy audience)
ViaRivalIQ2019
ViaRivalIQ2019
Engagement w/ Brands Is Dismal…
But Individuals Can Do Far Better!
~30X the avg onTwitter; ~100X
the avg on Facebook
Many of the Most Powerful Marketing Tactics Are
Impossible without Individual, Human Supporters
ViaSEERInteractive
E.G.
E.G.
E.G.
Most Outreach Fails.Why
The Outreach Spectrum
AltruisticTransactional
Helpsonlythe
outreacher
Helpsthetarget
and/ora3rd party
Offersvaluetoboth
parties
Self-Seeking
Transactional Usually Yields Evaluation
I want X in exchange for Y.
to meet you
to get your input
to raise money from you
to get a link/share
to get an endorsement
to use your work
money
reciprocation
credit (link or other)
exposure
connections
Altruistic Usually Does, Too
I want X in order to help Y .
to meet you
to get your input
to raise money
to get a link/share
to get an endorsement
to use your work
social cause
political issue
friends/people
charitable org
thing we believe in
Purely Self-Serving… Not So Much
I want X .
This is Why Most Self-Serving Outreach Pretends
to Be Transactional or Altruistic
Of course, these make us all more
suspicious of outreach.
Successful Outreach Needs to Avoid Certain
Characteristics that Correlate with:
Low quality Messages
Spam
Scams
Harassment
Irrelevant Junk
Self-Serving Outreach in Disguise
Unclear, difficult-to-evaluate request
Multiple asks in a single message
Historical Reputation from Gmail/Hotmail/etc (i.e. recipients have
marked your email as spam in the past)
Poor targeting (i.e. request has low relevance to the target)
Source characteristics (name, email address, photo/image, writing
style, etc) align with common spam features
To Break Through, Avoid These Characteristics
Clear Request Unclear Request
Two Requests at the Same Time?!
One Ask per Email. In the Subject Line.
If you’re relevant, well-targeted, and well-timed,
the odds of getting read improve.
Who?
What?
Why?
How?
Even a Few Spam Characteristics, & Your Targets
Will Never See Your Message
Modern Spam Filters Are VERY Aggressive
Email Spam Reputation Can Linger for Years
Ifyou’re an actual spammer, you
probably don’t care. But, if you’re trying
tobuild areal business…
Brand Memory & Associations Also Suffer
Forbes has trained me
(through bad outreach,
sketchy authors, & their
annoying interface) not to
visit their site
Unclear, difficult-to-evaluate request
Multiple asks in a single message
Historical Reputation from Gmail/Hotmail/etc (i.e. recipients have
marked your email as spam in the past)
Poor targeting (i.e. the request is irrelevant to the target)
Source characteristics (name, email address, photo/image, writing
style, etc) align with common spam features
To Break Through, Avoid These Characteristics
Nailed These?
You’re already better than
95% of outreach
Can Outreach Do
For My Marketing?What
Amazing Things Professional, Personal
Messages Can Do For Your Marketing13
Social Amplification
ViaLinkedIn
Inclusion in Curated Newsletters/Resources
ViaTheEvergrey
Press Coverage
ViaNYTimes
Crowdfunding Support
ViaKickStarter
Un-Advertised Sponsorships
ViaTwitter
Speaking Gigs
ViaINBOUND
Guest Spots on Podcasts
ViaIndieHackers
Turn Unlinked Mentions → Links
Grrr…No link 
Interviews & People-Focused Content
ViaGoodLifeProject
Recruiting for Research
ViaSparkToro
Project/Product Advice & Input
(which often turns into amplification support too)
ViaCone&Steiner
Reviews & Testimonials
ViaTypeform
Brand Partnerships
ViaGeekwire
But, Rand…
When I ask directly for this stuff,
I get nowhere 
Direct Works Great Once a RelationshipAlready Exists…
Request for something
comes into my inbox…
Do I KnowThis Person?
Yes!And I
like them.
Never heard of
them.
No, but I know of them or their
company/organization
High
Likelihood of
a Yes
High
Likelihood of
a No
Depends on the ask, their brand, my
history, the relevance, timing, etc.
In Some Cases, Indirect is the Way to Go:
I want these things
Get more people to know, like, and
trust me (and my brand)
Links to my site
Create unique value that stands
out to your audience
Press coverage
SocialAmplification
What can I do that will deliver those?
Focus outreach on these goals first
Tactical Hacks to Improve Your Odds of
Getting a “Yes” from Someone Who
Doesn’t Know You6
#1: Reach Out First When You Have an Interest, Not
an Agenda
ViaTwitter
#2: Grow Your Potential Connections Through
Networking (But Most People Get This Wrong)
I want a bigger,
better network.
I should go to “networking
events” and… “network.”
I want a bigger,
better network.
I should go to “networking
events” and… “network.”
#2: Grow Your Potential Connections Through
Networking (But Most People Get This Wrong)
Instead… Create Catalysts for Organic Network Growth
You
Good
Connection
Bubble of ComfortThat _______ You’ve Been Thinking About
Good
Connection
Good
Connection
class
conference
club
adventure
activity
podcast
video series
Good
Connection
How to Kick Butt with Your Email Outreach
The Networking Spectrum
Worse Opportunities
Smaller Events Larger Events
Better Opportunities
In-Person Remote
Relatively Specific inAppeal Appeals to aWide Group
Shared Personal &Professional Values Dissimilar Values
NotActually Focused on “Networking” Specifically Focused on “Networking”
More Unusual More Common
#3: Align Your Outreach with Your Target’s Personal
Beliefs, Causes, and/or Values
#4: Get High Quality Introductions
Opt-In-First Yields the Best Results
#5: Create Your Own Amplification Email Group
#6: Find Authentic Affinities that Intersect
If You’re Struggling for Ideas…
Should I Reach Out?
To
Whom
Meh.
The Most
Followed
Influencers
The Most-
Trafficked
Publications
Those Who’ve
Amplified Similar
Work
People & Publications
YourAudience Engages
With Most
OK. Better. Suh-weet.
The “Most Followed” Influencers in Target Field?
The Big Publications?
Those Who’ve Amplified Similar Stories?
ViaBuzzsumo
People & Publications
My Audience Engages With Most
Sneak peek atSparkToro’sAlpha
Version (still a few months from launch)
People & Publications Your Audience Engages
With… That Already Know & Like You!
Huzzah!
Ready to Rock?!
Don’t Forget… Like This:
Bunch of outreach
tactics I learned at
Searchlove
If it doesn’t fit cleanly
right now, don’t force it!
Align them to current
business & marketing
goals
Experiment w outreach for small/side projects
so you’re ready when your biz needs it!
Rand Fishkin | Founder & CEO
Thank You!
Bit.ly/artofoutreach

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How to Kick Butt with Your Email Outreach

  • 1. Rand Fishkin | Founder & CEO How to Kick Butt with Your Email Outreach Get Everything You’ve Ever Wanted (professionally) by Sending the Right Message to the Right People
  • 3. Analysis of Rand’s Strengths & Weaknesses BloggingSEOSales WritingCodePublicSpeaking Email Top1% Solid Mediocre Dismal GAH!Run! DamnGood BeingGeraldine’s Husband So how come you never talk about your top skills!?
  • 4. Rand Fishkin | Founder & CEO How to Be Married to Geraldine! A comprehensive guide on how to be an excellent partner to my favorite person in the world.
  • 5. What We’ll Cover in Today’s Talk: How to plan for inevitable hangriness Shopping Tips for TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack Baking ingredient emergencies Protecting your legs from frozen feet Emotional support during writer’s block The subtle art of not bringing up JFK “conspiracy” theories
  • 6. Analysis of Rand’s Strengths & Weaknesses BloggingSEOSales WritingCodePublicSpeaking Email Top1% Solid Mediocre Dismal GAH!Run! DamnGood BeingGeraldine’s Husband OK… Fine… We’ll talk about this one.
  • 7. First: How Not to Use Marketing Tactics Awesome new tactic I learned at Searchlove Go back to the office and re- shuffle marketing efforts to prioritize it Think up a way to use it for your organization/goals
  • 8. Instead, Do This: Awesome new tactic I learned at Searchlove If it doesn’t fit cleanly right now, don’t force it! Align it to current business & marketing goals Experiment on side projects; have tactics ready when they’re useful
  • 9. E.g. Podcasts… SO HOT RIGHT NOW! ViaChartable
  • 10. E.g. Influencer Marketing… Everyone else is doing it; shouldn’t we? ViaGoogleTrends
  • 11. E.g. SEO Keyword+Date Hack ViaMoz
  • 12. Tactics First Leads to Poor, Long-Term Results Business Goals Marketing Channels Marketing Goals Individual Tactics Learning about these at conferences leads tofeedback of “this wasn’t actionable,” or “advanced enough.” So… events & speakers bias totactical topics (including this talk!)
  • 13. Promise to use these tactics only when it fits with your business and marketing goals? Let’s talk about how to kick butt with email outreach. Cool.
  • 14. As Part of My Research for SparkToro… I Spoke to Lots of Outreach-Focused Marketers
  • 15. The Sobering Reality: Content, social, &link agencies have told metheir outreach response rates are even lower… ~1 in 200
  • 16. The 1-minute outreach email: Found an EmailAddress Sent a Crappy, Low-Value, Programatically-Customized Bulk Email Google Search Probably has a <0.1% success rate
  • 17. The 5-minute outreach email: Dug around my site to find my email Slightly customized a mildly clever message Tried toID reasonable customer targets Probably has a <1% success rate
  • 18. 100 messages at 1% 5 messages at 20% vs. Spend 20X as long on these and get the same results? Yes, please!
  • 19. Just a few links or atiny bit of amplification, and your work’s in the top 1-5% of all web content ViaBacklinko
  • 20. Focus on 1:1 Outreach?Why
  • 21. Broadcast is HARD (until you have a loyal, engagement-heavy audience) ViaRivalIQ2019
  • 23. But Individuals Can Do Far Better! ~30X the avg onTwitter; ~100X the avg on Facebook
  • 24. Many of the Most Powerful Marketing Tactics Are Impossible without Individual, Human Supporters ViaSEERInteractive
  • 25. E.G.
  • 26. E.G.
  • 27. E.G.
  • 30. Transactional Usually Yields Evaluation I want X in exchange for Y. to meet you to get your input to raise money from you to get a link/share to get an endorsement to use your work money reciprocation credit (link or other) exposure connections
  • 31. Altruistic Usually Does, Too I want X in order to help Y . to meet you to get your input to raise money to get a link/share to get an endorsement to use your work social cause political issue friends/people charitable org thing we believe in
  • 32. Purely Self-Serving… Not So Much I want X .
  • 33. This is Why Most Self-Serving Outreach Pretends to Be Transactional or Altruistic Of course, these make us all more suspicious of outreach.
  • 34. Successful Outreach Needs to Avoid Certain Characteristics that Correlate with: Low quality Messages Spam Scams Harassment Irrelevant Junk Self-Serving Outreach in Disguise
  • 35. Unclear, difficult-to-evaluate request Multiple asks in a single message Historical Reputation from Gmail/Hotmail/etc (i.e. recipients have marked your email as spam in the past) Poor targeting (i.e. request has low relevance to the target) Source characteristics (name, email address, photo/image, writing style, etc) align with common spam features To Break Through, Avoid These Characteristics
  • 37. Two Requests at the Same Time?!
  • 38. One Ask per Email. In the Subject Line.
  • 39. If you’re relevant, well-targeted, and well-timed, the odds of getting read improve. Who? What? Why? How?
  • 40. Even a Few Spam Characteristics, & Your Targets Will Never See Your Message
  • 41. Modern Spam Filters Are VERY Aggressive
  • 42. Email Spam Reputation Can Linger for Years Ifyou’re an actual spammer, you probably don’t care. But, if you’re trying tobuild areal business…
  • 43. Brand Memory & Associations Also Suffer Forbes has trained me (through bad outreach, sketchy authors, & their annoying interface) not to visit their site
  • 44. Unclear, difficult-to-evaluate request Multiple asks in a single message Historical Reputation from Gmail/Hotmail/etc (i.e. recipients have marked your email as spam in the past) Poor targeting (i.e. the request is irrelevant to the target) Source characteristics (name, email address, photo/image, writing style, etc) align with common spam features To Break Through, Avoid These Characteristics Nailed These? You’re already better than 95% of outreach
  • 45. Can Outreach Do For My Marketing?What
  • 46. Amazing Things Professional, Personal Messages Can Do For Your Marketing13
  • 48. Inclusion in Curated Newsletters/Resources ViaTheEvergrey
  • 53. Guest Spots on Podcasts ViaIndieHackers
  • 54. Turn Unlinked Mentions → Links Grrr…No link 
  • 55. Interviews & People-Focused Content ViaGoodLifeProject
  • 57. Project/Product Advice & Input (which often turns into amplification support too) ViaCone&Steiner
  • 60. But, Rand… When I ask directly for this stuff, I get nowhere 
  • 61. Direct Works Great Once a RelationshipAlready Exists… Request for something comes into my inbox… Do I KnowThis Person? Yes!And I like them. Never heard of them. No, but I know of them or their company/organization High Likelihood of a Yes High Likelihood of a No Depends on the ask, their brand, my history, the relevance, timing, etc.
  • 62. In Some Cases, Indirect is the Way to Go: I want these things Get more people to know, like, and trust me (and my brand) Links to my site Create unique value that stands out to your audience Press coverage SocialAmplification What can I do that will deliver those? Focus outreach on these goals first
  • 63. Tactical Hacks to Improve Your Odds of Getting a “Yes” from Someone Who Doesn’t Know You6
  • 64. #1: Reach Out First When You Have an Interest, Not an Agenda ViaTwitter
  • 65. #2: Grow Your Potential Connections Through Networking (But Most People Get This Wrong) I want a bigger, better network. I should go to “networking events” and… “network.”
  • 66. I want a bigger, better network. I should go to “networking events” and… “network.” #2: Grow Your Potential Connections Through Networking (But Most People Get This Wrong)
  • 67. Instead… Create Catalysts for Organic Network Growth You Good Connection Bubble of ComfortThat _______ You’ve Been Thinking About Good Connection Good Connection class conference club adventure activity podcast video series Good Connection
  • 69. The Networking Spectrum Worse Opportunities Smaller Events Larger Events Better Opportunities In-Person Remote Relatively Specific inAppeal Appeals to aWide Group Shared Personal &Professional Values Dissimilar Values NotActually Focused on “Networking” Specifically Focused on “Networking” More Unusual More Common
  • 70. #3: Align Your Outreach with Your Target’s Personal Beliefs, Causes, and/or Values
  • 71. #4: Get High Quality Introductions
  • 72. Opt-In-First Yields the Best Results
  • 73. #5: Create Your Own Amplification Email Group
  • 74. #6: Find Authentic Affinities that Intersect
  • 75. If You’re Struggling for Ideas…
  • 76. Should I Reach Out? To Whom
  • 77. Meh. The Most Followed Influencers The Most- Trafficked Publications Those Who’ve Amplified Similar Work People & Publications YourAudience Engages With Most OK. Better. Suh-weet.
  • 78. The “Most Followed” Influencers in Target Field?
  • 80. Those Who’ve Amplified Similar Stories? ViaBuzzsumo
  • 81. People & Publications My Audience Engages With Most Sneak peek atSparkToro’sAlpha Version (still a few months from launch)
  • 82. People & Publications Your Audience Engages With… That Already Know & Like You! Huzzah!
  • 84. Don’t Forget… Like This: Bunch of outreach tactics I learned at Searchlove If it doesn’t fit cleanly right now, don’t force it! Align them to current business & marketing goals Experiment w outreach for small/side projects so you’re ready when your biz needs it!
  • 85. Rand Fishkin | Founder & CEO Thank You! Bit.ly/artofoutreach