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Email Best Practice for Blogger Outreach

Natasha Jarmick, Sr. Account Strategist

As both a Social Marketing Manager and a blogger, I have an interesting perspective on blogger outreach. As a marketer, I understand the value that an influential blogger can provide for your brand and the importance of building relationships with these key players. However, as a blogger (with a full-time marketing job) I also understand the limited amount of time bloggers have to read and respond to editorial pitches as well as manage the volume of emails we receive weekly from brands and representatives. I’m a second tier fashion blogger, and I receive at least 5 inquiries from brands per week; I usually only respond to about 15% of those. Blogger Outreach Best PracticesOne big mistake many PR and marketing professionals make is trying to take a blanket-approach to blogger outreach. They send mass emails changing nothing but the name at the top of the email and URL within the message. In order to be successful using blogger outreach as a PR or digital marketing tactic, marketers should understand that it is a one-on-one relationship building process. Attempting to have a greatly influential blogger drink and advertise your Kool-Aid is no quick or easy feat. However, if you are able to successfully get a few brand advocates in your network, the benefits are endless and will significantly expand the reach beyond what you and your marketing team could achieve alone. How to Maximize Your Email Pitch Think you are ready to jump into blogger outreach? The first big step is sending your first pitch email. The pitch email is your brand’s first impression with a blogger. You wouldn't show up to an important media dinner in pajamas, would you? You should take the same care and attention to detail as you would for a real life editorial meeting to writing and sending your pitch email. Here are 8 things that matter most to bloggers when receiving a pitch email (from me – a blogger-marketer):
  1. You actually read my blog. Nothing is worse than the feeling that you are mass BCC’d on an email and the person doesn't even know who you are besides being a name on a list of bloggers. Good emails will include a personalized note on what they enjoy about my blog, a recent post they liked, or reference a popular comment thread.
  2. Your brand and/or representative follows me on social channels. This is another small detail that makes a big difference. If I’m interested in engaging with a pitch email, I almost always check the sender or brand out on Twitter, Facebook and other social channels. I will notice if you took the time to follow me or not – and it matters.
  3. The product is relevant to my readers and to me. I'm not going to post about something totally off topic. This means you should target your bloggers well and make sure you state why your product/company is relevant to their readers.
  4. You value my time. It needs to be clear that this isn't a mass email—you at least customized the intro paragraph.
  5. The pitch is formatted, readable, and concise. You'd be surprised at the number of crazy-long-unprofessionally formatted emails I receive. Make it short, simple and easy to digest.
  6. You are offering me and/or my readers something of value. So many times I get emails in which the pitch is for me to give my time and audience to the brand – with nothing in return. There needs to be a value exchange – whether that’s product, compensation, audience sharing, etc.
  7. There's a clear call-to-action at the end that I can directly respond to. Clearly state how you want to work with me – do you want to send me product, do a give-away with me, advertise on my blog, etc? The worst pitch is an email left open or with a closing line saying something like "hopefully we can work together." Figure out your ask before you email a blogger.
  8. You provide clear information on who you are and in what way you are representing the brand. I get so many pitch emails that are signed with a simple name and come from a non-descript email address. In my opinion, those are spam. Clearly state who you are, how you are affiliated with the brand you are emailing me about, and be transparent on all fronts. Also, provide a link to your agency or company website in the signature.
If you need some additional reading on PR and communication best practices, check out:
Natasha Jarmick

About the author: Natasha Jarmick

Natasha is a Senior Social and Digital Marketing Strategist at R2i and manages to represent both the left and right brain in her work; she’s a rare analytical creative person. She’s an Excel enthusiast but also understand how to bring creativity and strategy into social marketing. She also maintains her own fashion blog, The Chic Curve where you can find her covering local Seattle fashion, events and products.

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