Bad Template: How Not to Sabotage Your Outreach

Outreach is a key element in your online marketing strategy.

Influencers can help you broaden your reach exponentially with a single tweet or backlink.

Making connections, spreading influence, and maximizing your online visibility through amazing content can boost your brand quickly.

However, bad content will sabotage your hard-earned outreach efforts, eliminating any progress you made.

Here are 10 instances of bad content that will sabotage your outreach efforts and what you should do instead.

#1—Awful first sentences

You have around one-tenth of a second to make an impression. A lame first sentence will cause most to click away.

For example, Hubspot says starting an outreach email with "My name is…" or "I work for…" is not only boring and unoriginal, most people aren’t interested, frankly.

Other phrases like "Did you know…" or "I’ve been thinking…" put a reader off immediately because they don’t really want to know what you’ve been thinking about.

Awful first sentences are like a huge neon sign blinking on and off that reads "I’m trying to get something from you."

Unless, of course, you’re representing a large, internationally-known corporation, which could be a door-opener.

Instead, start your email with "[Person’s name] recommended we get in touch" or "You posted a great article on X in the Y group on LinkedIn yesterday."

The trick is to personalize the first sentence, which means you should begin your sentence with "You" rather than "I."

You’ll have a better chance of catching someone’s attention if you dive right into your message.

#2—Awful endings

Much like first sentences, ending your outreach efforts can make a difference in response rates.

The average person gets over 200 emails a day; you need a way to stand out from the crowd.

An ending can keep you top of mind for a variety of reasons—make it a good one.

Neuromarketing quoted a study that found safe-bet endings are "cheers," "kinds regards," and "best," which range from 14.5%, 13.5%, and a 7.8% increase in response rate, respectively.

But you can do better.

Your email’s closing should give context to your outreach. In particular, thankful closings prompt the best response rates:

  • Thanks in advance—38.3% increase
  • Thanks—32.6% increase
  • Thank you—21.9% increase

Gratitude is always good for boosting positive emotions between you and your recipient, and it sets an expectation of cooperation.

#3—Focus on benefits

Don’t focus on presenting every feature of your product. Going on ad nauseam is the swiftest way to get your email deleted.

Instead, tell them a story about how others have benefitted from using your product.

People respond to stories according to Harvard Business Review, especially stories about others just like themselves who have succeeded or overcome obstacles.

Give your reader an idea or a mental image of how you can help him and make it worth his valuable time.

You want to show how your recipient can benefit from responding to your email.

Always offer something that is equal to or more valuable than their time.

This is a great example of an outreach pitch that made me want to collaborate (even though there is a typo in the first sentence!):

#4—Average ideas or content

Build your outreach efforts on solid, fresh, and original ideas and content.

Asking someone you don’t know to share average ideas or content will never get you the outreach you need.

In fact, the person on the receiving end will likely never look at another email from you.

Take the time to be creative and original.

Put forward your best ideas or content, no matter where or who you’re targeting.

In fact, the more you create targeted content for outreach, the better your response rate.

The Daily Egg has an excellent post on how to make it so good that they can’t say no to your offer and will be inspired to share your link or article.

Perhaps the worst thing you can do is copy and paste your outreach content.

You get in trouble when you forget to remove copy targeting other influencers or target markets from your content, proving that your campaign is staged and impersonal.

You don’t want influencers to think that they’re part of a cookie-cutter outreach operation.

#5—Sloppy communications and content

Nothing makes you look more amateur than poorly-written, error-filled content.

If you can’t be bothered to take the time to edit and proofread your writing, then don’t bother sending it.

They will hit delete before they even reach the end.

You need to use an editing tool to strengthen and polish every piece of writing before you push send.

Even the best writers and editors make technical and stylistic gaffes that take their content from outstanding to mediocre.

An editing tool like ProWritingAid will capture multiple ways to improve your writing that you’re just too close to your work to catch.

#6—Divergent target markets

Let’s say, for example, you are working on an outreach campaign for a company that offers custom-made holidays.

Don’t direct your outreach efforts at a website that specialises in shoes.

While some people might like to have new shoes before leaving on holiday, most will not see a connection.

You need to find the communities that share your target market.

Make it very clear in your outreach emails how and where your communities overlap online.

The best outreach campaigns will have a well-thought-out marketing plan in advance of reaching out to influencers.

If you want a great response, show influencers how everything is laid out in front of them and the interconnections between their audience and your target market.

It will help them make their decision quicker and easier, saving time and helping to deliver awesome results.

#7—Mass emails

Sending out generic mass emails is spam, regardless of your intent.

Good outreach practices do not include the scattergun approach of sending vague emails to a lot of individuals you don’t follow or found at random.

Especially with influencers, give them credit for being able to tell that you have merely replaced the name at the top of a mass email and sent it to them.

If your business or content doesn’t mesh with the content they produce, you won’t connect or get a link back.

This is an example of an email I received this morning (I’ve blocked the names and specific websites):

They haven’t bothered to find out my name or mention anything about our product.

The example content has nothing to do with our area of expertise.

I didn’t even bother to respond.

Instead, carefully target people whose work you know and follow and who have similar interests or expertise.

Any good outreach program relies on a mutually beneficial relationship, so make sure you’re being deliberate and strategic with your outreach efforts.

Let them know what you can offer that will be beneficial to them.

To compare, I receive the email below on the same day. It’s clearly been customized specifically for me:

It’s not perfect but I will definitely reply and see if we can work together.

Personalizing your communication and including relevant links to content on an influencer’s website will help show that you are familiar with their audience and what they like to see.

#8—Too many (or not enough) options

It’s always good to give your readers choices for calls to action.

What can sabotage your efforts is giving one terse call to action or so many that they have analysis paralysis.

Go for somewhere in the middle such as a 2-3 item limit.

This avoids the hard sell of a single call to action (such as "Let me know the date that works best for a phone call").

It also avoids offering them so many alternatives that they put your email aside to think about later.

#9—Clickbait subject lines

Gimmicky subject lines that are nothing more than clickbait will sabotage not only your outreach efforts, but also any future campaigns.

For example, you may get emails with a subject line like:

  • "RE: ____________" where the subject leads you to believe it’s part of an earlier email thread
  • "Your copy is enclosed" with a link to a standard opt-in form in exchange for your personal information
  • An astonishing statement that doesn’t relate to the email’s content

You want to honestly and transparently grab readers’ attention.

If you think your subject lines may sabotage your outreach, send your emails to team members, peers, or colleagues first.

Get their feedback on subject lines and body content before sending out emails.

#10—Making it about social media instead of the relationship

Influencers are not in the position to simply collect a paycheck for helping out on a media campaign.

They want to create relationships with brands and people.

That’s generally how they became influencers in the first place.

So an outreach campaign with any influencer must benefit both your brand and theirs.

The only way to accomplish that is through a relationship.

The beauty of developing a relationship is that an influencer is more likely to talk about your brands in real life, beyond merely posting about it.

A relationship can drive an influencer to go above and beyond, especially if they feel a connection to what your brand stands for.

Get influencers personally invested in your vision and mission, and they’ll feel compelled to live it and promote it.


Remember, outreach—if it’s done thoughtfully— is beneficial to your prospects.

You are offering them something that they can use in their marketing efforts.

Think about what they would make their jobs easier and offer that.

If you follow the tips above, you will be less likely to sabotage your efforts with bad content and more likely to increase your open and conversion rates.

Lisa Lepki is the Editor of the ProWritingAid blog. A word nerd, she loves the technical elements of writing almost as much as the writing itself. Her work can be found on Writer’s Digest,, The Write Life, and DIYAuthor.

The Importance of Visual Communication in Marketing

It’s 2018 — and humans are demanding visual communication. We scour Instagram stories.

We crave videos and short films. We engage with images.

We yearn to see the world through a series of stills or moving screenshots.

According to Forbes, Planet Earth spends a billion hours on Youtube every day, and 91% of buyers have a preference for visual content (as opposed to traditional text-based content).

Clearly, the desire for visuals is engrained in our nature — and that’s only increasing.

Forbes notes that Cisco predicts 80% of consumer internet traffic will be video by 2020.

That’s a staggering percentage, and all signs lead to the idea that the often underestimated form of visual communication will refuse to stand in the shadows of its more traditional text counterpart.


But why is it so important, anyway?

Let’s take a deeper dive into the incredible realm of observable optics and how visuals play a massive (and ever-growing) role in marketing.

1. Visual Communication It saves time

Visual communication saves time. And in a society where we are looking for information that is easily understandable and ready to be absorbed — this is key.

As eztalks states, “It is easier to process a visual signal quickly than to read a sentence of a paragraph full of text.”

They further describe that images are able to pass an immense amount of information in a short span of time.

Our brains, in fact, are said to process images a whopping 60,000 times faster than text.

When you’re using visuals as a form of communication, your message can be conveyed quickly and effectively — saving customers valuable time in the long run.

2. Visual Communication Makes an Impression

Just as nonverbal communication makes a significant impact when you’re meeting someone for the first time — so, too, does visual communication in the realm of marketing’s first impressions.

Consider graphs, photos, and videos –– your facial expressions and body signals.

Potential customers are on the hunt to analyze and assess.

Should I buy this product? Should I make this investment? Should I return to this website? Should I and why should I?

Utilizing visuals grants you the ability to entertain, engage and inform your audience.

It makes an impression through its use of colors, textures, typography, data visualization and more.

3. It Supports Your Message

If you’re looking to share an idea or a message, consider visual communication your very dear (and highly expressive) friend.

Alex Chung, CEO of Giphy — the online database that allows users to search for and share GIFS — stated, “a picture paints a thousand words…by that logic…the average GIF contains sixty frames, then they’re capable of conveying 60,000 words — the same as the average novel.”

You can snap a photo of your daughter holding on to an ice cream cone from the food truck you’ve just launched, for example.

She’s smiling. There’s mint chip spread across her cheeks.

She’s ecstatic.

And in that moment, you’re able to bring your viewers into your world of bliss.

Throw a creative filter on the image that conveys a bright and happy feeling — and you’ve just created a visual representation that conveys your image.

Your food truck is for families.

It will enhance their lives and make all their ice cream eating daydreams come true.

Your message is supported.

Your viewer trusts that message, but is also entertained by it.

Visual Communication in Marketing

Fanta’s primary audience is meant to be youth; so it’s known for colorful advertising

4. Visuals Builds Identity

Visuals help viewers to remember and help you to build a consistent visual identity.

Words are a powerful tool, indeed, though visuals are the elements that get ingrained in your customer’s mind.

Consider a company like BMW, for example, with its iconic logo of blue, black and white that rests in a circle with three letters.

Or McDonald’s, with those golden arches.

Ikea, with its royal blue and mustard yellow.

Starbucks and the symbolic green siren that finds her way from the sea and onto cups everywhere.

At the core, visuals are what we use to associate with brands.

Like newborn twins wearing different colored onesies for the fresh and frightened parents, it’s how we tell one apart from the other.

It builds an identity –– and a strong one at that.

5. It influences emotion.

An image of a Christmas tree with twinkling lights. A video of a family reunion at the airport.

A graph showing the amount of food that gets wasted every year.

What do all these things have in common? They make you feel something.

Visuals elicit emotion, and it comes as no surprise that consumers let emotion influence their buying decisions.

Perhaps the first example of the Christmas tree is used for a boutique shop that sells handmade artisan ornaments.

The second is used to sell airline tickets.

The third is for a grocery store that specializes in food that would have otherwise been thrown away.

Visuals engage your consumers and urge them to become interested in your product, your business, or your services.

It gives you a story, and that story –– is what brings about emotion.

One of the best email campaigns according to Hubspot - from Paperless Post - makes you think and feel

So, if these are the things visual communication does, how do we implement it? In many ways…

1. Visuals in Web design

In web design, you’re given the perfect opportunity to convey information about yourself and your brand through visuals.

A website can be both visually attractive as well as visually engaging.

It’s the well-balanced and excellent execution of these two elements existing in harmony that will encourage your customers and viewers to return again.

Think of what particular web design elements speak to you and move from there.

They can be minimal, feminine, colorful, anything you want them to be.

Whether you’re making an e-commerce site, a personal blog, or a portfolio site, the thematic choice is yours — and if you give that theme and design meaning, it will make an impact on your viewer’s impression.

For example, how Polaroid used their photo templates in website design

2. Visual Content

Once you have a platform, you have the ability to share content. Whether that’s in the form of a running blog on your website, posts to your social media outlets, or mini magazines you print every quarter with news about your businesses latest projects — visual content grants you the ability to share and be heard.

Take photos. Capture videos. Share things from others that spark ideas, and watch your content come alive.

If you feel like you need some content creation inspiration, read this article that covers everything from Twitter lists to Pinterest boards and beyond.

Visual Content

3. Visual Advertisements

So you’re running a sale on your digital strategy services next month?

Excellent! When you make your ad, consider enhancing your message with visuals.

Figure out how to integrate what you’re offering with a visual that represents that.

You can do so subtly or more explicitly — though chances are, doing so will help those visually-inclined customers be more intrigued with what you’re offering.

Take the fictional character Don Draper from Mad Men, for example, whose visually daring “Pass the Heinz” pitch from 50 years ago was accepted in 2017 for billboards in NYC, published on the New York Post and Variety, as well as supported across social media channels. Now that is the powerful (and generational) synergy between ads and images.

Visual advertising

4. Visuals in Emails

Email newsletters are fast and effective, and if they’re created with visuals in mind, their life will be extended (and a trip to the trash, though it may be inevitable, will at least be put off for a while).

As customers meander through their inbox in a fit of deleting, invite them to pause once they click on your message.

Keep their interest with visuals. Perhaps there’s a graph to share, a photo to send, or video to attach. Give your email meaning and make it last.

For extra tips on optimizing your email template for better engagement.

5. Visual Typography

Typography is an incredible design resource and art technique to use in marketing.

Through things like size, typeface, length, line spacing and more — typography impacts how potential customers may perceive your product, brand, or service. If you’re looking to share a message that’s text-based (a slogan, a poem, a brand name), utilizing creative typography is a wildly effective tool.

Think of the red text of Coca-Cola or those famous multi-colored Google letters.

Typographer Olivier Gourvat said, “My approach is to conceive and create each letter as if it were a logo.”

Whether you’re using a computer program or creating handmade fonts — make each sentence (and each letter) count.

So, if these are the ways we implement visual communication, what are some tips for doing so? Here are a few…

1. Enhance the User Experience.

When it comes to marketing, visuals give you the chance to create user experiences for your viewers and potential customers that are entirely your own.

There’s a reason why we sit down and watch feature films or flip through old family photo albums — visuals have the power to pull us into a world, to entertain and engage.

Make the experience interactive with supporting texts, graphs, and a bit of humor.

Don’t ask or demand too much of your viewers.

Remember, they’re already here for you.

Now is your chance to make their experience positive and inspiring — so that they can connect with you and your brand.

2. Go for Quality.

We all know the phrase quality over quantity, and this is especially pertinent when it comes to visual communication.

After all, who wants to look at blurry images or videos that were simply thrown together last minute?

When you’re asking someone to engage with your content on a visual level, do them a favor: put in the effort and make it great.

Give them an end result that shines, and they’ll be more enthusiastic and eager to share your work, your story, and your product.

3. Build a Visual Narrative.

One of the most significant elements of visual communication is storytelling.

Stories unfold in the types of coffee we drink, the shoes we wear, the toys we choose to bring to a birthday party, the websites we create and the businesses we start.

In crafting a story with your visuals, you build a narrative.

Doing so encourages your viewers to connect and return again in the future.

It gives your brand life and purpose.

4. Optimize your Images for Search.

To make the most out of the images you create and share, make sure to optimize them for search purposes.

Image optimization will draw more people to your site and eventually, get your brand out there.

Use original, high-quality images. Watch the copyright.

Add captions and file names. Consider the format (GIF, JPEG, PNG). Make sure the file size doesn’t account for slow loading times on your site (without losing quality), and you’ll be good to go.

For more information, take a look at these

5. Get Creative with Edits.

One of the best ways to easily enhance your images is to get creative with basic edits.

Whether you’re using original images or stock images, edits can reinvent photos. They can give pictures a vintage vibe, a saturated and vibrant feel, or lighten up an otherwise dark scene.

If you’re not confident with Photoshop, try software like Luminar that produces professional-looking end results (regardless of your skill level) or go for free software like GIMP.

Getting creative with your edits is a fun and simple way to jazz up less-than-extraordinary photos and engage your customers with more professional and appealing visuals.

Utilizing visuals in marketing builds a strong identity for you and your brand.

It makes an impression, supports your message, and enhances user experience in everything from emails to web design.

The world as we know it is constantly and consistently becoming more visually-inclined— and being a part of it all is important and exciting, too.

Start integrating visuals today for a creative and compelling way to draw your audience in and keep them interested.

Good luck on all things visual — from photos, to videos, to illustrations and beyond!

Max Therry is an architecture student who is fond of photography and blogging. He recently started his own photography blog about photo editing, modern photo trends, and inspiration.

16 Marketing Experts Share the Metrics They're Emphasizing in 2018

Which marketing metrics should your business monitor for higher ROI? Top marketing experts share all in this roundup post.

We’re living in a data-driven world, and numbers are everything. Your results won’t matter if you can’t prove them.

And you won’t be able to grow your business if you aren’t consistently tracking and working on the most important indicators.

However, a common mistake online business owners and even plenty of digital marketers make is spending too much time and energy on metrics that don’t bring results.

We like to call these vanity metrics.

You might be familiar with some of them and maybe have even fallen into that trap yourself.

Things such as YouTube views, Facebook likes, and Instagram follower counts are all metrics that brands care about these days.

What’s more, they obsess over it and invest more resources and effort into growing these, while leaving the rest behind.

Unfortunately, these can boost your ego and make your competitors jealous, but they won’t help your audience more, won’t take your business to the next level, and won’t increase conversions.

What companies should really be concentrating on are metrics such as user engagement, number of comments and shares on social media, time on page, number of opt-ins, etc.

These are the KPIs that count, that bring value, growth, and exposure.

But you don’t need to take our word for it.

Because we all need to revisit our metrics periodically and align them with our new goals and strategies, as well as current trends and tools, we gathered and asked experts in the field of Digital Marketing to share their best tips.

In this roundup post, you’ll learn about the top marketing metrics experts are using and monitoring consistently that have the best ROI, and which you can use as indicators for your business in 2018.

Andy Crestodina

Chief Marketing Officer, Orbit Media Studios


Click-through rate is going to be my obsession in 2018.

I'm making it my focus because it is the one metric common to all content marketing channels: search, social, and email.

It's also the one number that unites all marketers.

Without it, you'll fail at anything you do.

When it comes to click-through rates, the headline is the biggest factor.

Headlines take different forms in different places.

In search, it's the title tag.

In email, it's the subject line.

In social media, it's the post itself.

In the ongoing war for attention, we need to be more focused than ever on these aspects in any piece of content.

It's a key part of every past and future success and failure.

As a reminder of the importance of a headline, remember this: no one ever shares an article, they only share the headline.

All the advice we've read over the years is good. But in the future, we should use these tactics in combination, instead of using and relying on just one.

  • Add numbers.
  • Ask a question.
  • Use unexpected words.
  • Trigger emotion or curiosity.
  • Indicate a strong, specific benefit.

Also, tailor the headline for the purpose and the channel.

The title (search) doesn't have to be the same as the headline (social) or the subject line (email).

Remember that headlines that answer questions do well in search.

Headlines that trigger emotion do well in social and email.

Adapt your headlines for their placement and intended purpose!


Luke Fitzgerald

Head of SEO, Wolfgang Digital

Search visibility is our primary SEO reporting KPI moving into 2018.

Rather than focussing on the fluctuation of individually tracked keywords in a given location, the key to achieving better organic search results for our clients is in cumulatively moving the dial across a tiered and prioritized set of keywords, which we know will impact conversion.

Of course, visibility is borne of non-branded rank-tracking projects and will be shaped and defined by converting organic traffic metrics.

Our SEO tool metrics will go hand-in-hand with Google Analytics data for reporting purposes.

Competitive search visibility indexes across our tracked keyword sets in Moz, SEMRush, and Sistrix will be the dial for campaign success measurement.

We expect to see the role of voice search rise in prominence in the year ahead, resulting in a need to track some longer-tail queries and devise a course of action for optimising them.

Presently, that involves devising featured snippet strategies for our clients, based on the assumption that they'll remain the primary data source for voice assistants and mobiles to read aloud from the SERPs.

That may well change in 2018 as Google and other search engines up their game around voice search insights—perhaps we'll see a dedicated section in Search Console for them.

We'll be on hand to react and adapt to any changes in this regard.

Search visibility versus your main competitors is a vital metric to prioritize because it's really the only level playing field we have left to keep track of!

For example, should Google decide to move the goalposts at any time and say, introduce a 6th ad atop the SERPs or take over the entire first page, then there's not much that we, as SEOs can do about that!

The beauty of tracking visibility versus competitors as a reliable benchmark of success is that if that does indeed happen, then it affects the competition too and not just your site, making it a truly beneficial metric to track and measure as your website evolves within the ever-changing competitive SERP landscape.

My advice to any aspiring marketers looking to learn more about the search visibility metric is to check out what the various SEO tool providers have to say about it and consider adding it to your reporting arsenal sooner rather than later!


Cara Hogan

Content Strategist, Zaius

This year, I'm really focused on increasing referral traffic to our website.

It's a simple metric, but will help us measure a huge shift in our marketing strategy.

I have aggressive goals around guest blogging, PR, partner marketing, and influencer marketing.

All of these programs are focused on expanding awareness of the Zaius brand and reaching new and relevant audiences with our content.

All of these programs that drive referral traffic are not easy to execute.

Each takes time, effort, and a lot of writing to pull off.

But if done well, they can greatly impact the traffic reaching your site and get in front of a lot of new people who could become customers in the future.

Write up an actionable plan for everything, including a target number of guest blog posts, a target audience for influencers, and a focused strategy for partner marketing. Then, stick to it!


Ben Carpel

CEO, Cyfe

This year, I'm paying extra attention to metrics relating to my website's product feature description pages.

—that is, what percentage of new users viewed these pages before converting, which pages draw the most views and longest sessions, and what keywords referred search users to these pages and resulted in them converting.

As part of our recent website relaunch, we published several product feature pages that didn't exist in our earlier design.

We hypothesized that publishing these pages would be the key to attracting high-intent visits.

Tracking the impact of this strategy and optimizing its execution over the next few months is important to us.

The strategy ought to be a big success, on a theoretical level.

We just need to ensure these pages are as impressive as they can be, so they can become top-performing touchpoints in our customers' journeys.

I recommend that marketers turn their product feature description pages into valuable resources to provide readers with useful information—even if these readers never use your product.

If the information is helpful and is presented in a way that has broad appeal, it will naturally draw social shares and backlinks.

Over time, more people will discover your products thanks to this content and will eventually convert after having landed on your site.


Guillaume Decugis

Co-Founder & CEO,

This year, our focus is on two things. Firstly, web share of voice, which is the number of times our brand is mentioned in web content vs. our competitors' brands.

And secondly, content performance vs. competitors, which involves shares over social networks that our content generates in comparison to our competitors.

Several dynamics make us want to focus on this.

  1. We've historically been very focused on what happened with our own website and content as this is more directly within our control.
  2. But as we built relationships with more and more influencers, we also saw a need to measure more broadly the impact of our influencer marketing—hence the need to measure share of voice on web content.
  3. Content marketing is maturing and is becoming more competitive; it's content shock, as Mark Schaefer would say. As more and more marketers embrace this strategy, more content competes for limited attention. We want our content to stay relevant and perform in the top tier, hence the need to create benchmarks against competitors or industry references.
  4. We didn't have a way to really measure these metrics, but now we do. We've just launched a content intelligence platform, Hawkeye, that provides these metrics among other things.

To optimize your marketing strategies, research content before creating it.

Following your inspiration is good, but it's not enough.

To make your content stand out, research your topic, benchmark competitive content, and identify influencers.

This will help you come out with the best possible piece.

If your time researching a new piece of content is less than half the time you spend creating it, you're doing it wrong.

If influencer marketing is or will be an important part of your strategy, start building relationships as early as possible.

Learn to give before you get. Start curating and sharing the content of others without asking anything in return.

You'll learn what their content is about, which will enable you to better understand how to approach them.

You'll also get in their radar, and they'll be much more receptive when you ask them to share your content.


Natalie Lesyk

Digital Marketing Manager, Ning

Content monetization and community engagement are my focus in the year ahead.

Not only is content monetization one of the top trends in 2018, the internet is flooded with low-quality content.

Shifting the paradigm to the creation of deeply researched articles increases the ability to monetize your website or blog and guarantees that your content will stand out.

For sure you can create ebook and sell it on Amazon, but don't you agree that buying an ebook is not an impulse purchase?

Purchasing decisions can be difficult. High-quality content influences purchases.

With that in mind, article monetization is like shelling peas.

To effectively implement this strategy, build a community—your followers are the engine of your blog.

The more your followers like what you are writing, the higher profits will be.

So don't stay mediocre; take a helicopter view of what you have written and ask yourself sincerely, "If I stumbled upon this article, would I skip it or take every bite of it?"

Launch a paid access feature on your blog to monetize posts or articles.

NING could be a good fit for this. And don't forget to add a donate button.

If you are pursuing non-profit goals, it's a must. This button can be useful in many other cases too.

There are always grateful readers who will be happy to express their appreciation.


Chris Nolan

Conversion Optimization and Growth Manager, BigCommerce

In 2018, we see a lot of opportunity in "soft-offer" lead capture.

We frequently see prospects requesting a product demo or starting a free trial for lack of a better choice, but they aren't really ready to experiment with the product.

By prompting those users with a soft offer—such as a content download, webinar invitation, or newsletter subscription—we give ourselves a better chance to nurture the lead to a point where they are more qualified and educated to take action within the product.

As marketers, it's important that we grow trial and demo numbers, but the most significant metric is what percentage converts to paid customers.

We've seen good success with softer offers in 2017 with respect to ultimate paid conversion, so we'll continue to invest in providing prospects for these 'micro' conversion opportunities in 2018.

It’s important that marketers know how to test and track. With the volume of content we are constantly producing, we luckily have a lot of options in terms of what we promote at any given time, and to which audience.

Understanding what works—and inevitably, what doesn't—comes down to identifying which cohorts you are targeting, testing different content, and content presentation (e.g., CTA, placement on the page, messaging, thank you page execution, etc.), and then relaying those insights back into similar campaigns or initiatives.

Also, marketers shouldn't be afraid to track at a very granular level. Do the changes you're making affect bounce rate, time on page, pages/session, and so on?

Are prospects engaging with your CTAs, but not ultimately converting (and if so, could it be the form)?

How does your change affect scroll depth? For every test, you should take time to define the right KPIs so you can answer questions about their effectiveness.


John Rampton

CEO and Founder,

How many people opt in and how many shares will be my focus in 2018.

It's not about how many come to the website and visit.

It's about how many engage and feel compelled to share.

Audience engagement tells me that the content is relevant and valuable.

It also says we have a product and solution the audience is seeking.

The focus on results and conversions are integral to this change, rather than just traffic volume.

It's critical to create the best content possible because that will garner shares and get people to sign up for your newsfeed, blog, and email information.

That means planning out all that you want to share with your audience and also getting them to tell you what they are specifically looking for, so you can craft content around those needs and interests.


Alexandra Tachalova

Founder of Digital Olympus, Digital Olympus

I want to learn more about how users interact with content.

I want to work with Google Tag Manager triggers to see whether it's possible to improve the bounce rate by changing the site's structure, by adding interactive content and videos, and by improving navigation and design.

Nowadays, user behavior is a very influential metric that contributes to a site's Google ranking.

I believe it is crucial to make the most of what you have.

This is especially true when talking about pages that have the potential to rank well with Google but have statistics that show users don't want to stay on them for very long before proceeding to other pages.

Using Google Tag Manager more often can achieve this.

Similar tools to try include Hotjar, which allows you to see how exactly users are interacting with a website.


Aaron Orendorff

Editor in Chief, Shopify Plus

My priorities for 2018 are first, time on page, and second, in-PDF link clicks.

Far from a vanity metric, time on page can tell you not only how engaging your content is, but also what posts resonate the most with your audience.

Instead of waiting for SEO to kick in, time on page can quickly indicate what articles to promote and prioritize for lead generation.

By creating UTMs within gated assets—like PDFs—you get a secret window into a lead's readiness to buy and what topics to lean on, bring up in sales calls, and create additional content around.

To achieve this, I recommend that marketers create a custom Google Analytics dashboard just for time on page (and force yourself to ignore traffic).

For the in-PDF links, either use a UTM builder or—even better—link those links to your CRM (like Hubspot or Salesforce).


Slavcho Panov

SEO expert, Seoslav

The factors I am going to focus on in 2018 are user experience and time spent on the site

The factors I am going to focus on in 2018 are user experience and time spent on the site because most people are struggling to gain organic traffic by ranking for different terms.

I am going to analyze these metrics by using the inbuilt features in Google Analytics and some paid Heatmap tools for A-B testing.

The most important thing after a user has landed on our website is to keep them there.

Of course, we should provide relevant information, products, or services they are interested in.

Once we have the user on our site, we have to analyze the overall user's experience to conclude why he or she has left the page or has continued browsing.

We should treat every single visit to our site(s) as a unique opportunity.

If we can attract the user's attention to visit our site, we should be prepared to keep them there by providing something exclusive.

Furthermore, give them something even better than what they searched for. That way we will get a faithful reader or a loyal client.

To implement this strategy, follow these steps.

  1. Install a heatmap on your website. This will help you visualize the user's experience.
  2. Keep track of your bounce rate's percentage. Combined with the heatmap, this will indicate why users stay or leave.
  3. Analyze the collected data from your heatmap tool.
  4. Make some minor changes to your site's structure, navigation, or design for A-B testing. Track down the result after every change you make.
  5. Rinse and repeat.


Zac Johnson


In 2018, I would like to focus more effort on seeing what websites, blogs, and opportunities actually provide the most ROI based on the time and effort it takes to acquire such postings.

I've always been a big believer in content creation and guest blogging on other sites.

In 2018, I would like to focus more effort on seeing what websites, blogs, and opportunities actually provide the most ROI based on the time and effort it takes to acquire such postings.

Knowing which websites or blogs actually provide the most views, clicks, and engagement would be a huge benefactor, as it would allow me to know where to spend my time and effort wisely.

Contributing quality content definitely takes up a lot of time and resources, so eliminating any lower quality sites from the mix would definitely improve ROI across the board.

Today’s marketers need to focus on quality over quantity.

No matter what you are working on (content creation or SEO), always go for the higher quality method and try not to cut corners.

This will not only help in the long run, but it will also keep you on good terms with Google.


Benji Hyam

Co-Founder, Grow and Convert

In the coming year, we're going to be emphasizing first-click attribution for ourselves and across all of our clients.

First-click attribution helps us understand how a prospect originally found out about us.

It's unlikely that a prospect converts on your site in the same session, and because most companies only measure last-click attribution, they don't have clear visibility into what channels are influencing a sale.

Most prospects don't convert the first time they've heard about your company.

Typically, they'll find out about you from a Facebook ad, a blog article, SEO, or some other channel.

Then, they'll do some research on your site to figure out what you're about and they may interact with you multiple times before ever converting.

If you measure last click attribution only, you're unlikely to see the point of origination where your prospect found out about you.

Thus, when you're making the argument to your executive team about where to focus budgets, you likely don't have the data necessary to argue that you should focus on certain channels.

First-click attribution gives you a more holistic picture of what's working in marketing.

Dig into Google Analytics’s new attribution feature to get started with first-click attribution.

You need to have your goals properly set up in Google, but if you do, check the first interaction analysis report in Google to see how first-clicks are influencing your conversions.


Venkatesh C.R.

Managing Director and CEO, Dot Com Infoway

GAP analysis is one factor marketers and business owners should consider in the year ahead.

With the substantial amount of data available within the Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tool dashboard, one can easily evaluate the current traffic the website drives against the potential traffic the website could attract from search engines.

For SEO campaigns shifting the focus to content-driven strategy, GAP analysis is a must as it is the most effective analysis segment to ensure campaigns give the expected result.

Additionally, from GWT you can create a report that shows queries and landing page combinations that receive a high number of impressions but have a low CTR.

You can also pull in each page’s current title tag, meta description, and character counts, so you can quickly analyze which search snippets can be improved to boost your CTR.

Heat map analysis helps you spy on your visitors and make arrangements within your website or page to change your visitors into customers.

In a nutshell, you can use this for various purposes. A couple of my favorite elements are:

  • Improving internal links
  • Optimizing call to action and image placements

When heat maps are evaluated properly, this will be a pathway to increased conversions.

When it comes to GAP analysis, keyword ranking alone does not determine SEO success.

Even when a page ranks well for a website, the CTR determines the success of the efforts that helped bring the page to the top.

Users typically select a site in less than five seconds and click the first promising link they see.

Improving CTR using GAP analysis should be an ideal metric for success.

Additionally, when one spends a substantial amount of time and money in generating quality content, the GAP analysis is a must to reap the full benefits.

Heat map analysis gives us a hard reality check within our website.

Users scan the website before they make quick decisions.

If they're forced to scroll down pages full of content to find what they're looking for, they usually choose to go back to Google and look for information elsewhere.

Do not hesitate to spy on competitors to fix your GAP in content elements.

Tools like SEMRush have features like "Content GAP Analysis,” which is easy to use and collects sufficient data to optimize your content.

In heat map analysis, use short sentences. Pay attention to image placements and quick loading images.

Avoid lengthy scrolls. And remember to KISS—Keep It Short and Sweet.


Srish Agrawal

Founder, Logo Design Team

Facebook remarketing is something we have been playing around with for a while now, but also something we can get much better at.

We will be tracking the many different ways to use Facebook remarketing, and also the individual post and sales pages being used.

We will be creating unique landing pages for these campaigns as well.

Remarketing is great for getting ads in front of visitors who may have left and didn't take action the first time around, but if you aren't split testing different options, who's to say visitors aren't going to just leave again anyway?

Look at as many different advertising options as you can for remarketing to your audience and getting them to come back to your site again.

Facebook Ads is a great option, but there are many other platforms and third party advertising solutions as well.


Christopher Weaver

Director of Strategy, MWI

In 2018, my focus will be on revenue from Apple/iOS 11 and micro-conversions.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention is one of the major recent changes to the industry.

Due to its effects, the gathering of data regarding consumer web use is highly time sensitive.

Likewise, improvements to attribution tracking have started to confirm what we already know: a lot of things go into a purchase before it's made.

Now we can show this decision-making process easier through Google Analytics.

My advice to other marketers who find themselves in a similar situation is to tie Google Analytics to Adwords or add third party code to ensure you’ve covered your bases – and don’t forget to update your attribution in your Analytics tool beyond just last click attribution.



These big names in the marketing industry are constantly revisiting their goals, updating their approach, giving new tools a try, and staying up to date with the latest trends.

As a result, they are now focusing on metrics such as brand mentions instead of just likes or follows.

It’s more important to know how many people share and comment on your content and updates than to just wait for new visitors to come to your website, thinking you’re doing it right.

Engagement shows that your content and products are relevant and provide value and that this is what you need to do more of to improve or even double your results.

In 2018, make sure you track the interaction between a prospect and all your platforms and online presence.

Hearing about you somewhere else, going to your website, and clicking a link isn’t enough anymore.

The relationship is built after a few more actions.

You only have someone’s trust and attention when they sign up for your newsletter, connect with you personally, download a file to learn more about your offer, and engage with your content instead of just skimming an article or liking a video.

With the beginning of the new year, take the initiative to rethink your marketing metrics and make sure they are relevant.

It’s okay to stop tracking many things and replace these indicators with new ones.

Innovation is a constant process.

After all, we’re here to serve people online, and that includes continuously adapting to user behavior and technology trends.

Georgi Todorov is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing DigitalNovas . His passion is to help beginners to start and grow a successful online business. Hit him up on Linkedin or Twitter @GeorgiTodorovBG anytime.

How to Write an Apology Email After a Newsletter Disaster

Imagine the following: Your life is great. You announced a new sale to your mailing list just now, anticipating a nice little bump in sales.

But within minutes your phone starts buzzing with incoming emails: People are writing you back in anger because you messed up the sales link!

They are seriously pissed.

And you are scrambling to correct your mistake as fast as possible, already dreading the prospect of writing another email to apologize.

Look: No one loves writing apology emails.

But someone has to - and done right, they can dramatically lower the negative impact of your marketing snafu.

So let's get this show on the road and talk about the dos and don'ts when it comes to apology emails.

When NOT to send an apology email

First, before we discuss when and how to send an apology via email, let us first talk about when you're NOT required/supposed to write one.

For starters, you shouldn't send an apology email each time you hide a tyypo in your emails or yo grammer ain't up to snuff.

Seriously, those mistakes can and do happen.

Take it in stride and make sure to proofread your emails the next time.

When you accidentally send the same email twice

Secondly, if you, by accident, send the same email twice, I wouldn't necessarily send another apology email right away.

Rather, include the apology at the start of the next regular email.

However, if you flood your reader's inboxes, that's a totally different topic.

For example, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago had a hiccup at their ESP resulting in 131,000 contacts getting the same email between 11 and 16 times within a 30-minute time frame.

Such an accident clearly warrants an apology - don't you think so?

When you accidentally send the wrong coupon or promo code

If you made the mistake of sending a misspelled coupon code, don't stress.

Add the misspelled variant with the same discount/offer into your backend.

This will enable you to continue to capture those sales.

When you include a broken link

Next, if you include a broken link and are able to fix it within minutes of sending the email, you likely don't need to apologize to your whole list with another email.

Instead, you can either apologize in the next email or send an apology email right away - but only to the part of your mailing list that opened and clicked the broken link.

How to fix a broken link in an email

You're probably wondering how you are going to fix a broken link in an email that is already out the door.

It's quite easy, when you think about it.

Chances are that the link is pointing to the wrong URL on your own website.

Say you wanted to link to,

but you have a typo and instead it's in your email.

Bummer 🙁

The way you fix this is to add a redirect from /monthly-contset/ to /monthly-contest/.

How you do this depends on your webserver, but here's a page on Wikipedia about server-side redirect.

My friend Justin Mason is running an ecommerce site for custom bottled water and he told me about a use case:

For those if you without access to your server (ie. Shopify/SquareSpace/Wix/Hosted WordPress etc.), there is another option. Clone your target page and set a custom url (or url slug as its sometimes called) with the "broken url" ie. /monthly-conset/. This second page would enable you to rapidly capture what would otherwise amount to lost sales, conversions, and unhappy customers.


If you're staging the whole thing to increase your numbers

Now this is something that I'll never quite understand, but some people make "mistakes" purposefully in their emails - just so they can send an apology email.

The logic behind this is that a sales/marketing email doesn't get much attention from readers - but an apology email does.

So they deliver their real pitch in the apology email to increase their conversion rate.

If you're doing this, stop now!

Is the short-term increase in sales really worth the long-term damage to your brand? Didn't think so.

When to send an apology email

With the bad ideas out of the way, let's focus on when it's wise to send an apology email.

When you can't fix the broken link (in time)

Re-imagine the scenario of you sending an email with a broken link. Now imagine you're hitting "Send" and then you head out to grab lunch with your colleagues on the other side of town - because where else do they make such a fantastic seafood risotto?

So two hours and a tall Double Chocolaty Chip Creme Frappucino later, you sit back down at your computer to an inbox of 2,837 unread emails.

This time, there's no way around sending an apology email.

If you accidentally charged customers

Let me tell you about the worst snafu I had with my own SaaS app - - (so far):

Basically, I had messed up the cancellation code and users were cancelling without their subscription being deleted.

Took me a while to realize what had happened, too.

As it turned out, I had charged 4-5 customers for up to two months after they had cancelled. Oopsie...

You bet I did write each and every one an email.

Here's one of them:

When you said something rude and/or offensive

Another good reason to send an apology email is when you went full Trump on your mailing list.

Something like what happened to AppSumo a while ago:

I'm not going to point fingers at anyone here. Sure, making jokes about people's diseases is offensive.

But personally, I think that kind of misjudgment just happens sometimes.

Sometimes, when you try to be funny, you overstep boundaries.

As long as you apologize - and believe me, AppSumo aced their apology email - everything's okay (at least in my book).

We will analyze their apology email in a moment.

How to write this apology email

Let's get to the meat and potatoes: How does one write a good "Oopsie" email?

Calm down

First order of business: Keep calm and apologize. Sure, you effed up.

But chances are that you didn't eff up royally.

Or at least not as bad as those guys who used a hashtag against domestic abuse to promote pizza:

BTW, here are some more social media screwups by big brands to make you feel better.

Be personal

I guess it's obvious, but I'd rather spell it out just in case:

You can NOT send an apology email from an unattended mailbox - ever.

Don't you dare send an apology email from "[email protected]".

If you do, well, I'll let Liam Neeson take it from here:

Think about it: How would you feel if the apology came from a no-reply email address?

So what can you do better? Ideally, send the email from a personal inbox.

At the very least, send it from your team inbox, but sign it with a real person.

Apologize (d'oh!)

Listen: When you write the email, cut back on that commercialese.

Forget about "leveraging" "minor setbacks" to improve "customer satisfaction."

Tell your readers that you goofed up.

Apologize, like, you know... use the damn word: "We apologize for..."

A more light-hearted "Oopsie" is also fine, if it's consistent with your brand and it was just a minor mistake.

Provide updated information

Beyond apologizing, provide updated information if applicable.

So if you sent the wrong link or discount code, send the correct link/code along.

If you mentioned a wrong date or location for an event, provide the correct one now.

Be empathetic

Basically, don't go all Trump (I swear that guy is a gold mine for anecdotes) and tell the pregnant widow of a fallen soldier that he "knew what he was signing up for."

Use some empathy: What words would you expect to hear if you were in your reader's position?

If you hurt someone with your words or actions, consider a way you can go beyond just saying sorry. Maybe you can donate to a worthy cause?

Explain the steps you're taking to prevent future mistakes

Lastly, make sure to let your readers know about the steps you are taking to ensure the same (and similar) mistakes won't happen again.

In many cases, email readers are scanning the message.

A few bold words or bullet-list points can help drive eyes towards the most important part of the message.

I've dedicated a separate section to things you can do to prevent future mistakes, so y'all have to be patient a little more. 😉

I'm in a hurry. Give me some good apology emails I can copy!

Okay, I get it: You've just goofed up and need some fresh help - pronto!

Here are some inspirations:

Dissecting AppSumo's apology email

First, Let's look at how AppSumo styled their apology email:

As you can see from my comments on that picture, this apology email is stunningly written.

I mean, look at that: They apologize twice, they don't try to play it down, they take responsibility, they try to right their wrongdoing, etc.

This email has everything.

Apologizing after you DoS'd your reader's inboxes

Earlier, I was telling you about that one time when the School of the Art Institute of Chicago bombarded their subscriber's inboxes with 11-16 emails in 30 minutes.

Want to read their apology? Of course you do!

Here it goes:

Again, I think that was a pretty solid apology email. Or when was the last time someone wrote a haiku for you to apologize? Never? Sounds about right.

Even more good examples

Here's a great compilation of 6 cleverly written emails that you can use to craft your own apology email.

Avoiding apology emails in the future

Here's the thing: Writing apology emails isn't all too complicated.

You just have to actually mean it, follow the steps laid out above, and take liberal inspiration from the examples provided here.

But the important part is how you handle things after you hit “Send” on that apology email.

How do you prevent it from happening again in a month?

How do you prevent someone else on the team from making the same mistake?

Do a post-mortem analysis to find the root cause

First, you need to find the reason why your marketing went off the rails - you need to find the root cause.

A fantastic way to find the root cause is a method termed the "5 Whys." Here's a video explaining the process:

Okay, just kidding.

But it's a great video, nonetheless.

Well, here's an article explaining the process.

Here's an example to find the root cause for an apology email.

Why did we send out an apology email?

Because Chris put a broken link in the winter sale email.

Why did Chris put a broken link in the email?

Because Chris is an idiot. Because Chris added a link with a merge field in the URL, made a small typo in the merge field, and no one reviewed the email before it went out.

Why was there no review for outgoing marketing emails?

Because it's a one-person shop and there simply isn't a co-worker to review things.

Chris also didn't use any software to catch errors as there was no formal review process or checklist.

See, it doesn't always have to be exactly 5 whys. If you find the root cause after 3 whys, that's okay. If you need to ask 7 whys, that's good, too.

Have a formal review process or a checklist

Now, with the root cause established, it's easy for Chris to write a checklist outlining the review process.

It doesn't have to be fancy. Something like this will suffice as a starting point:

  1. Use a tool like Grammarly or Hemingway to correct typos and grammar mistakes or improve readability
  2. Send a test email to your Send Check It address and fix any reported bugs
  3. Send yourself a test email
  4. Click every link in the test email
  5. Double-check the subscriber segment
  6. Check the plain text view for errors
  7. Are all images working?

A few words on the tools mentioned here:

For starters, Grammarly helps you fix your grammar and spelling with a super cool user interface.

Secondly, Hemingway rates the readability of your text and tells you which sentences to split up, which adverbs to avoid, etc.

I usually aim for a readability score of between 7 and 10. (This text has a 7 – check!)

Lastly, Send Check It gives you a custom email address where you can test send your marketing emails.

It then checks your emails for messed-up merge tags (e.g. |F_NAME| instead of |FNAME|) or broken links.

They also have an email subject line checker for your marketing emails.

You can add more points to this list - e.g. "Has one clear call-to-action?" or "Test on mobile devices" - but this is okay for now.


Writing a solid apology email isn't that hard and with this handy guide, you'll get it done in 30 minutes or less.

Christoph is the author of the SaaS Email Marketing Handbook and the founder of In his spare time, he loves hiking and astro phototography

How to Do Guest Posting | High Value Traffic and Authority

A lot of Ninja Outreach subscribers ask: how can you use Ninja Outreach for content marketing?

One of our favorite answers to that? Guest posting.

You see, guest posting is one of the fastest, most low-cost methods of content marketing.

Neil Patel has called it the best inbound marketing strategy.

Brian Harris from VideoFruit received over 1.7k visits and over 200 subscribers (a 12% overall conversion rate) from a single guest post on OKdork.

And even in the case of our CEO, Dave Schneider, a single guest post he published on a high-ranking website brought Ninja Outreach more than two dozen app signups, hundreds of visitors, and a conversion rate twice as high as our norm.

Below is a screenshot of all referral traffic our guest posts have sent us so far.

As you can see, with over 6k visits, guest blogging is our third highest source of referral traffic to date.

And all that came from only around 10 guest posts.

Imagine if you could scale that up even further?

That’s where Ninja Outreach shines.

It helps you scale up your guest posting campaigns by streamlining the process of researching for prospects, managing prospect lists, and tracking all your email outreach.

Now let’s show you how that’s done in the tool with an in-depth walkthrough.

Prospecting for Guest Post Opportunity

The NinjaOutreach Promotions tab is the best place to start looking for prospects to promote your business to.

Say you’re selling an anti-aging eye cream product and are looking to get more traffic to your site via guest posts.

Go to Prospecting > Promotions and use the keyword, “skin care blogs.”


Skin care blogs with an audience of skin care aficionados are the best type of traffic to attract since they would also be the most likely to be interested in an anti-aging eye cream product.

Another tip:

To find more prospects, use broader, niche-based keywords such as “beauty blogs” or “skin care bloggersinstead of something so specific like “anti-aging cream.”

Using tags and filters to narrow your search

When prospecting, you need to filter out certain items so you can refine your search results.

Enter Ninja Outreach and tags and advanced filters.

Underneath the search menu are several filters to help produce more relevant results.

If you click “Blogger,” for example, Ninja Outreach will include results that specifically have the word “blogger,” “blog,” or “blogging” on the site’s bio page.

Since you’re targeting beauty bloggers, click “Include.”

On the other hand, if you click “Exclude” Company, Ninja Outreach will not include any pages that have “company,” “companies,” or “agency” on their bio page.

There are also Advanced Filters to narrow results by location, page and domain type, SEO, and social media metrics.

For your guest posting campaign, you’ll want to connect with bloggers who’ve been in the space for some time and have decent social media engagement.

So, set the domain authority (DA) to a minimum of 25, and social media shares per post to a minimum of 1k.

Note - all filters should be considered in the context of how many results you’re getting i.e if you aren’t getting a lot of results for a particular keyword you might want to loosen up the filters.

To make sure you can reach out to your prospects faster, narrow your results to display only the prospects with available contact info.

And, in case you’re wondering—yes, you can use advanced search operators in NinjaOutreach.

For example, you can try these to look for guest post opportunities:

  • [Your-Topic] inurl:/guest-post/
  • [Your-Topic] inurl:category/guest-post/
  • [Your-Topic] intitle:guest post

Then, replace the keywords in bold above with these variations below:

  • guest post
  • guest-post
  • guest posts
  • guest-posts
  • write-for-us
  • write for us
  • guest post guidelines
  • guest-post-guidelines
  • guest contributor
  • guest-contributor

Social Influencers

Our Social Influencers prospecting engine crawls Twitter and Instagram data. So, it’s best used for finding social media influencer profiles on social media.

Just go to Prospecting > Social Influencers, type your keyword, use the necessary tags and filters, then hit Search.

Note that you can also sort results according to name, location, and number of followers.

You can play around with your keywords and filters until you’ve identified the influencer bloggers you want to reach out to.

Adding Prospects

Once you’re done searching, you need to save your prospects into an outreach list.

To do that, just click the plus sign close to your target prospect’s card.

To instantly save all results into your list, click Save All. And if you want to bulk save multiple (but not all) prospects, tick the checkbox in the far left corner of each prospect card.

You’ll then be prompted to save your chosen prospect/s into a list.

If you’re creating the list for the first time, just create a new list name and hit Save.

If you’re adding prospects to an existing list, just choose which one from the dropdown menu and hit Save.

If you’re going to create a new list, just enter the name for your new list in the input field beside the dropdown.

Below, I chose my test list of beauty bloggers “Anti Aging Cream Prospects.”

Just hit Save, and you’re done adding prospects to your list.

Crafting Your Guest Post Pitch

Ninja Outreach has a ready-made template for most scenarios, guest posting included.

For starters go to Outreach > Templates to see our preliminary list of template examples.

Here’s one example of our basic Interview/Podcast Request templates.

For even more pre-written templates, go to Create Template.

Once you see the popup, click Load a Pre-Written Template and choose which template fits your purpose from the dropdown.

Of course, you can also choose to forego the pre-written templates and just type up your own from scratch.

Tutorial on creating custom templates

After that, just fill up the rest of the required information.

Finally, at the bottom of the Create New Template popup, you can choose to track certain analytics of your email, such as open and click rate.

If you click Make CAN-SPAM Compliant, you’ll get a pop-up that will require you to input unsubscribe information.

When you’re done preparing your template, just click Save!

To start setting up your campaigns, integrate your email with NinjaOutreach, then read the rest of these quick tutorials on:

Viewing Your Campaign Summary

So, you’ve launched your first guest posting campaign.

What next?

You’d probably want to monitor this campaign, of course.

To view a summary of data about your ongoing campaign, click Outreach Mode.

Active Campaigns displays all your currently active campaigns. This gives you an overview of where you’re at with each campaign, such as:

  • How many emails you’ve sent per day
  • How many prospects you’ve reached in your overall list so far
  • How you’re progressing; if you’re in the main, first follow-up, or second follow-up stage
  • Etc

The pause button lets you pause any active campaign, while the play button enables you to resume.

Once your campaign is done, it will go under the Archived Campaigns section.

Viewing Campaign Results

Finally, your guest posting campaign is done, and you want to see the results.

Maybe you’re interested in seeing your success rate; perhaps you want to make a case study about it.

Whatever the case, you can go to Outreach > Inbox Mode, then choose the prospect list you want to review.

Alternatively, you can go to the upper left corner of the app and click Notifications.

Here, you’ll see drop-down alerts of all the activities in your campaign.

You’ll get notifications on things such as:

  • Emails sent
  • Replies found
  • Followups
  • Dues
  • Etc

Managing Blogger Relationship Labels

When managing your prospects, you need to have some way to quickly identify them with once they reply and start a conversation with you.

That’s where NinjaOutreach’s Relationship labels come in.

You can choose from preset Relationship labels, such as if a prospect has agreed to your guest post request or has left a comment on your blog.

Alternatively, you can manually add your own relationship label if you can’t find what you need in the presets.

For example, once you go through notifications of your campaign results, you may see one of the beauty bloggers you contacted has replied with a message like this:

You can now add a custom label like: “Blogger agreed to set up a call for further discussion.”

As your conversation progresses, you can update these labels to reflect the development in your relationship.

For example, once beauty blogger finally agrees to let you guest post...

You can now update your relationship label with the Ninja Outreach preset, “Blogger agreed to publish guest post.”

Then, once published, update your relationship label with “Blogger published guest post.”

To bulk edit the data on your prospects, go to Lists > Lists of Prospects and choose your target list.

This will load all your prospects in that list. Just choose which ones you’d like to build edit, then check the boxes at the far left side of each prospect card.

For example, if you want to change the relationship label of several prospects from nothing to
Contact with Blogger - Emailed,” just click the side boxes on each of the prospects’ cards, click the edit button.

You’ll see a popup and from this, you’ll see the things you can edit in bulk.

Choose relationships and the right label from the dropdown.

Tutorial on managing your prospect relationships and history.

The relationship labeling feature is handy because it lets you view a summary of all your prospect interactions as you go along.

From there you can see the dates, frequency, and nature of the interactions you’ve had.

Knowing all this makes for better analytics, more personalized conversations and, frankly, helps avoid embarrassing miscommunication.

Imagine if you mistakenly send the same outreach email to the same blogger who already published your guest post.

You could get lucky and they may be cool about it, but some might take offense.

You may even get a reply like this:

Embarrassing fail, right?

An interaction like that could probably cost you some goodwill points with your prospect.

But with Ninja Outreach relationship labeling, you can keep things like this on track.

So the next time you reach out to this prospect, you can refer to your history, such as the guest post of yours that they published.

As you can see, this time, you’re not reaching out to your prospect as a complete stranger (or dunce).

You’re someone that they’ve already had a productive collaboration with before!

As they say in the marketing world, warm leads always convert better.

Finally, there are several terms you will encounter as you use the tool.

Below are their definitions, which you should remember when analyzing Ninja Outreach metrics:

  • Replies - prospects who replied to your email
  • Follow-up due - prospects who have not replied after 3,7,14 days of receiving your first outreach email
  • Clicked a link - prospects who clicked any link in your email
  • Never Opened - prospects who haven’t opened your email
  • Never Replied - prospects who haven’t replied to any of your emails
  • Not Contacted - prospects you haven’t contacted yet
  • Opened an email - prospects who opened an email
  • Sent Messages - prospects who were sent an email

Any questions?

So, there you have it! Hope this helped you understand how you can use our tool for your next guest posting campaign.

If there’s anything else you still need help with, feel free to reach out to us.

Our Customer Support Ninjas are always ready to assist you!

Hazel Mae Pan is Content Manager for NinjaOutreach. She is in charge of content writing, co-editing, and developing the strategy for the NinjaOutreach blog.

Effectively Manage Your Outreach Campaigns for Multiple Clients & Teammates

Having to manage multiple clients, outreach campaigns, and teams can be stressful. But it is also usually a good sign.

It means business is doing great.

Luckily, Ninja Outreach helps alleviate the burden of managing multiple team members and projects so you can enjoy the benefit of growth without the hassle.

From prospecting, to outreach, relationship building, and campaign management - we’ve got you covered.

So with that in mind, read on as we walk you through the different methods you can use within the app to help you manage multifaceted campaigns.

How to Organize Different Campaigns Into Lists

Before anything else, you should have already integrated your email with NinjaOutreach.

Also, make sure you’ve already invited your team members to collaborate with you on certain projects.


Let’s start.

First, always group your prospects into lists.

That way, you won’t mix up prospects for Client A with prospects you’ve gathered for Client B, or prospects for a tech survey and prospects for a fashion roundup.

Also, when it comes to creating your lists, you should have a designated pattern of file naming to keep everyone in your team on the same page..

It’s obvious enough, but in the midst of a ton of work, this simple fact is something most busy organizations tend to forget.

You can’t have Team Member A naming one list according to the date of a deadline while Team Member B names lists according to client name, can you?

It’s simple, actually.

When you’re doing prospecting for Client A, save your prospects into a list and name that list accordingly.

If you’re prospecting for a particular campaign with a particular deadline, then give it an easily identifiable name.

You can always view the status of your various campaign projects by going to Lists > Lists of Prospects

To edit prospects in a particular list, go to Prospects > Lists of Prospects, then click the prospect list you’d like to review.

Clicking the name of the list will take you to the Your Prospects section, where you will be able to review the prospects or modify other data in that list.

Clicking the trash button of a prospect card will remove that prospect from your list.

Clicking the edit button will let you modify any other data related to that prospect such as tags, notes, contact info, URLs, etc., while clicking the person icon will let you update your relationship status with the prospect.

If you click on More properties, you can modify more of you prospect’s data in this expanded section below:

Clicking on either of the tabs in the prospect card will expand the card to display the data related to each of those tabs.

Clicking the Profile tab will show SEO and social media metrics.

Clicking the Relationships tab will show the relationship history with the prospect. (More on this later.)

Clicking notes will show other instructions related to the prospect that can’t be condensed into tags or relationship labels.

If you have a website URL saved in your prospect’s card, clicking RSS will show the RSS feed of this website, or its latest posts.

You can also select multiple lists at once, for example, all the lists belonging to one client.

Next, let’s take a look at how you can keep multiple teammates on the same page for projects you handle together.

How to Effectively Collaborate with Teammates

According to a principle coined in the ‘70s, adding too many people to a project could ultimately end up slowing it down.

This principle is called Brooks’ Law, and it was originally applied to software project management.

Evidently, this also applies to most collaborative projects.

But if you need to accomplish bigger things for more clients, you can’t subsist on only one team—let alone one person.

So if you’re to hire more people, how do you work around these aforementioned project management setbacks?

Our answer: Try to leave as many points of reference for each other as you can.

To alleviate that, we allow notes, tags, and relationship statuses in the tool.

Tags are labels attached to a prospect for the purpose of easier identification.

You can use these tags to help you get more accurate and filtered search for prospects such as tags for niche, location, or prices ($50-$100, $100-$200) that the influencer charges.

Ex. Blogger, Influencer, Executive, etc.

Relationship Status shows a relationship between you and a prospect. It can depict your relationship history with a prospect, but should ideally be used more to indicate where the prospect sits in relation to the campaign itself.

Ex. Emailed, Replied, Followup due (3, 7, 14 Days), Clicked a link, Blogger agreed to guest post, Left a comment on their blog, Shared post on Twitter, Contact with blogger - Skype/phone, etc.

Notes are things that can't really be explained in a few words and therefore don't make good tags or relationships.

So, there is an area reserved for these custom descriptions in each prospect card that you or a teammate can type in.

Do not contact this prospect in the next two expert roundup campaigns. He is asking for a high
sponsored fee. He prefers to contribute on guest posts.

Do not contact this prospect in the next product review campaign. She is not interested in this kind of campaign because she thinks that is a complete waste of time.

Tips on using Tags, Relationship Statuses, and Notes

Tip 1. Define tags and relationship status nomenclature across all team members so everyone is using the same keywords/terms otherwise to avoid confusion.

Tip 2. Create a general document for reference where all the different 'types' of tags and relationship statuses are defined.

Tip 3. When starting a new campaign, clear the previous relationship status so that the outreach coordinator starts fresh.

Tip 4. Do not clear any global definition tags that apply to the influencer in any case, such as tags like Blogger, Influencer, Tech Journalist, and the like. Delete things that change like prices, location, or response deadlines.

Now, imagine this scenario:

You’ve just finished an outreach campaign and you’ve already gotten some replies.

One of the prospects has agreed to publish a guest post from you, and wants you to send some topic ideas and outlines by a certain date.

Another team member is in charge of content, so you have to leave her this information.

So, go to the Lists > Lists of Prospects tab, and choose the list that this prospect belongs to.

Hover over the prospect’s card and click Notes. This enlarges the card and lets you type your notes into the input field.

For example, you can address your teammate (let’s call her Hannah) and say something like: “Hey Hannah, this blogger has agreed to let us guest post in his blog.

He wants us to send him some topic with outline ideas by [date].

If you click enter, NinjaOutreach will save the notes and even record the date the note was made and who made it.

So now, you’ve successfully left instructions for your teammate, Hannah.

As soon as Hannah becomes available, she can access it on her own time without you having to wait for her or get pulled out of a new task you’re working on just to brief her.

But before you leave this task, there’s something else you should know, and that’s how to update Relationship labels.

How to manage Relationship statuses with prospects

NinjaOutreach has a few ways of filtering prospects.

Let’s start with two: The Relationship label, and tags.

The Relationship label lets you add a tag to define the progress of your relationship with a prospect.

Have you already sent an email to this and this prospect?

Has this and this prospect already replied, declined, agreed to your proposal? Is this prospect completely fresh?

For some things we automatically handle it, such as contacting the prospect by email.

But other things like agreements / negotiations need to be manually added.

We offer many built in options, and you can also create custom Relationship statuses.

Tagging is used mostly to assign a category to your prospects.

Is the prospect an influencer, a blogger, a journalist, an agency?

When is the deadline to submit an article to this prospect? What niche are they in?

These are just some of the attributes you can tag using the Relationship label and tags, which of course are fully filterable.

To know more about how our filters work, follow this link.

Now, let’s look at a scenario where you can apply Relationship labels and tagging filters.

Let’s say you’ve submitted your guest post and your prospect has since published it.

Once a development like this happens with any prospect, you should update your Relationship label to reflect the progress.

To do that, go to your prospect’s card, click the down-facing arrow at the upper right hand corner of the prospect card, and choose the right Relationship label.

In this case, choose “Blogger published guest post” from the dropdown.

You can also do this in bulk for for multiple prospects. So if, say, two (or more) prospects agreed to accept your guest post, just click the boxes at the upper left corner of each prospect’s card.

Once you’re done ticking the boxes off all prospects you need to include, click the edit button at the top (not the edit button in the prospect cards).

Go to the Relationships section, open the dropdown, and choose the correct Relationship label. Click save.

How to manage Relationship labels of your prospects.

Let’s move on to another scenario.

The time is right, and you’re ready to send your second batch of outreach messages to your newly added prospects.

How do you do that without including the ones you’ve already contacted before?

A quick way to do that is to use the quick alerts button (lightning bolt when setting up an auto campaign).

Click Outreach Mode > Autosending > Schedule a Campaign

Choose the correct prospect list you want to send your outreach emails to, the email address you will use to send your emails, and your preferred email template.

As you go through the campaign setup process, you’ll see a lighting bolt icon below Step 4.

Toggle the bar to the left if you don’t want to include prospects you’ve previously contacted, and to the right (the bar will turn green) if otherwise.

How to manage your ongoing campaigns, how to use filtering in inbox, and how to manage contact history with prospects.

Final words

So now you know how to use the features we specifically built to help you get through common scenarios you may come across while using NinjaOutreach.

If you encounter anything new that this tutorial may have failed to cover (although we doubt it), our Customer Support Ninjas are always available to help.

Hazel Mae Pan is Content Manager for NinjaOutreach. She is in charge of content writing, co-editing, and developing the strategy for the NinjaOutreach blog.

How To Write A Professional Business Email

Emails are important. They can notify us about the things and the deals we don’t want to miss.

They allow us to communicate without staying glued to our screens all the time.

We are free to reply whenever we want.

There’s only one problem: Most people receive too many of them.

Sure, you can unsubscribe from most of your mailings, but there’s still a chance you’ll get more emails than you can handle.

This is why writing email professionally is so important. If your goal is not to craft an OK email that recipients will send to the Trash folder immediately, you’ll find it harder to to work hard.

Most of us write emails because we want to achieve something - get a job, offer a deal, make an impression, network or solve business problems.

In order to achieve this, make sure that your email follows proper email format, is well-written and polished.

How do you do such a thing? By following this simple guide I want to offer you.

So if you want to know how to write a professional email, here’s what you should do.

1. Write Email to The Point, Do not Deviate

Even if you’re writing a follow-up email, you have a goal in mind - to thank the recipient for something, to remind them of something, and so on.

Just like I’ve said above, your email always has a purpose, though you might not have a clear definition of this purpose at the moment.

That’s why before you even start writing, ask yourself, “Why do you I to write this letter?

What do I expect from the recipient?

If you don’t know the answer, this could mean you probably shouldn’t be sending an email.

After all, not all emails actually need to be written.

But if you do know the answer, think about it a bit.

The purpose of an email generally affects its structure.

For example, if you’re cold emailing an influencer about the possibility of a collaboration, you might want to go straight to the point.

But if you’re trying to convince a prospect of the superiority of your product over the competition, you might need to provide some additional data first.

2. Start With a Greeting

An email obviously should start with a greeting, but how should this greeting look like?

That’s one of the trickiest things in business email writing.

You always need to be polite even if sometimes you also need to be less or more formal.

So let’s see how informal and formal email greetings could differ.

Informal ones usually start with «Hi» or «Hello», followed by the recipient’s name.

They are appropriate in cases when you meet the recipient regularly and call them by their first name.

Formal greetings look similar, but there’s one significant difference: You have to use last names and titles.

If you don’t know the recipient well and you don’t call them by their first name in real life, it’s always safer and wiser to start with a formal greeting.

If you don’t know their name, you can refer to them as «Sir/Madam» or use the name of their department (like «Dear Design Department»). «To Whom It May Concern» also works.

Remember that every word in the greeting should start with a capital letter.

A greeting also has to be followed by a comma.

It’s pretty much similar when it comes to addressing groups of people.

Your relationship with them dictates the style a lot: If you know the group well enough, even «Hi Everyone» or «Hi Team» will do. If the group is small (five people or less), you should address them by their first names in that case («Dear Anna, Brad, and Mark»).

If you don’t know the group well enough, an informal greeting should look like «Dear Colleagues», «Dear Design Department», and so on.

3. Tell the Recipient About Yourself

In some cases, the recipient knows who you are and remembers you well.

An example is when you’re writing to a colleague.

In such a case, you can skip this part.

However, if the recipient doesn’t know you at all or there’s even just a slim chance that they might not remember who you are, you should tell them about yourself.

Sometimes, you need to introduce yourself even with the people who know you.

Examples are if you changed your email address or aren’t sure the recipient would recognize it.

When telling recipients about yourself, state your name and provide additional data that would help the recipient to either recognize you or understand who you are.

The company you’re working for, your position, the place where you’ve met, the person who initiated the contact between the two of you - all these can be used as supporting data.

The important thing here is to keep it simple.

No need to write too much - a sentence or two will do.

4. Explain the Purpose of Your Email

In most cases, the recipient doesn’t have much time to read your email.

This may sound harsh, but that’s true.

That’s why after you tell them about yourself (or skip this part when emailing people who know you well), move right to the point of your writing, letting them know the purpose of your letter.

Maybe you’re writing to ask for a favor, thank them, or apologize for something.

Maybe your goal is to ask for clarifying information or to provide some.

No matter what it is, explain the letter’s purpose as clearly and briefly as you can - using only a sentence or two, if possible.

Remember that a business email should always be as precise as possible.

By writing a short, very specific email, you show the recipient that you value their time, which is very important in business.

5. Be empathetic

Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes.

It might seem unnecessary or at least not important enough in the business world, yet it is important if you want to make an impact through your emails.

Moreover, empathy can instantly make your emails better.

To achieve this result, analyze your writing from the recipient’s point of view.

Ask yourself how another person would interpret your overall message, or even just a certain sentence.

If you receive a similar email, how would it make you feel?

Of course, you cannot predict the exact reaction.

But keeping the recipient in mind when crafting your emails will help you improve your writing.

Moreover, being empathetic isn’t exactly hard.

Just try to remember that most businesspeople are very busy (which means no long emails unless absolutely necessary), appreciate compliments (so include some in your email, just don’t overdo it), and like to be thanked for their work and efforts (that’s why writing a follow-up is often a good idea).

6. Always Include Your Email Signature

Sometimes, you’re not sure whether to include an introduction or not.

Sometimes, you know that you should include one but worry that it would take too much of the email’s space, distracting the recipient from the main point.

In this case, it’s better to work on your signature, adding all the necessary data to it.

This way, the email signature keeps the main body of an email as short as possible.

It will also help you avoid misunderstandings (in case you’re writing to someone who remembers you very well).

A professional email signature should contain your name, your job title, and a link to your website (link to your social profile is also recomended).

You can also add links to your social media and a short line about your job.

Here are some email signature examples:

Pro Tip: If you are using NinjaOutreach then adding custom email signature is very easy.

7. Ensure That Your Email Is Polished

The details matter as much as the content of an email.

Before you hit «Send», ensure that everything is okay: that a signature is included, your email has a subject line, and so on.

Ideally, you should proofread your email manually.

But if you’re pressed for time, at least consider running it through one of the many online spellcheckers.

Remember that if you want your email to look professional, check it for mistakes and typos.

It’s also a good idea to send a copy of an email to yourself if your email client doesn’t do that by default.

This way, you’ll always have a record of when you sent the email, who the recipient is, and so on.

While it does seem dreary and challenging, email writing is easy to handle. Sure, you need to pay a lot of attention to the details and stick to the business writing rules and etiquette.

However, the more often you do so, the easier it will become.

That’s why I hope that these tips make the process easier for you and help you craft stunning emails.

Christina Battons is a creative writer and content strategist who helps people and students succeed at self-education, writing, motivation, professional development and more by sharing with them her knowledge. Nowadays writing blog posts at essaywritersite.comand she is also an active guest writer on many websites. In her spare time, she prefers to read novels and crime thriller stories. Feel free to follow her on Twitter.

How To Generate Leads And Make Sales

Want to generate more leads and marketing sales?

Read on as we show you various techniques using NinjaOutreach to help you meet your goals.

First, integrate your email with NinjaOutreach.

Next, learn

Don’t get intimidated. These are all quick, sweet, and simple walkthroughs.



Now, time to get those leads.

Generating Leads & Making Sales Through Outreach

Although NinjaOutreach is typically seen as a blogger outreach tool, it works quite well for lead generation too, specifically in the B2B space.

There are a few methods you can try:

  • Using the email finder
  • Targeting leads based on topic
  • Targeting executives by niche
  • Targeting companies

Using the email finder

This first method is simple.

Just go to Prospecting > Email Finder.

Now, company email addresses usually follow any of these formats:

[email protected]
Ex. [email protected]

[email protected]
Ex. [email protected]

So if you’ve got a target company in mind, put that company’s domain name in the domain form field and hit Search.

If you already have a specific person in mind, you can also add that person’s first and last name beside the domain input section.

Targeting leads based on topic

Let’s say you’re an SEO service provider and you’re looking for professionals in the SEO space to open a relationship with and eventually, market your product to.

Click Prospecting > Find Leads.

Next, enter your topic keyword, “SEO,” check the box for Exact Match, then in the tags filter below the search bar, check the box for Bloggers.

This will look for the word “blogger,” “blog,” or “blogging” in the bios of the search results.

Click the search icon.

To get even more refined results, use the Advanced Filters.

In this example, filter for Has Name and Has Email Address so you’ll get only the results with a name you can use and an available email address, which will make it faster for you to contact them.

You can also search for leads via the Social Influencers tab.

Just click Prospecting > Social Influencers.

This time, use the topic keyword “SEO.” As before, click Exact Match then search.

If you want to find influencers with followers of at least 3k, go to the tags filter and check the box for Influencer.

Note that the Social Prospecting tab does not have a filter to show contacts with emails only, nor does it show emails in the search, BUT it will show contact information AFTER results are saved to a list.

Targeting executives by niche

Executives are the decisionmakers for any company, and if you’re looking to land B2B clients, you should reach out to and build a relationship with these decisionmakers.

In this scenario, you’re looking for executives in the SEO space to open a dialogue with and possibly market your product to in the future.

The first few steps are similar.

Just click Prospecting > Social Influencers, enter the niche keyword “SEO,” and check Exact Match.

But before you hit search, go to the filter checkboxes and tick the box for Executive.

This will look for people with keywords in their bio such as Owner, Founder, CEO, Director, VP, etc. This can also be done for journalists and companies.

Targeting companies

In this other scenario, let’s say you’re looking to outsource your services to SEO agencies.

Click Prospecting tab > Find Leads.

Enter your keyword “SEO agency,” then tick the checkbox for Exact Match.

Before you click the search icon, tick the checkbox for Company. This will search for prospects with the words Company, Companies, or Agency in their bio.

Prospecting with Google and Advanced Search Operators

If you’re more at home using Google and its advanced search operators, then you can also do that.

Just export your search results to NinjaOutreach and manage the rest of your campaign from there.

Read these tutorials on how to:

  • Use NinjaOutreach to collect contact information from Google results
  • Import and export lists

Once you’re satisfied with your list of prospects, it’s time to prepare the right outreach approach.

But before you go any further, read these tutorials on:

  • How to integrate your email and set up outreach campaigns
  • How to send outreach through contact forms
  • How to manage your prospect relationships
  • How to manage your outreach campaigns, filtering, and inbox mode

Making Sales Through Outreach

When an average business user has to contend with at least a hundred emails per day, you have to make sure yours must stand out.

And one of the ways of immediately turning off a prospect is to send a cold pitch outright.

So what should you do?

This guide on how to do your outreach right by Ahref’s Tim Suolo, who receives his fair share of cold outreach, is a good resource.

In a nutshell: don’t ask them for anything yet.

Give them value, have social proof for this value you’re offering, and don’t use generic templates.

Show them that you actually thought about how to best grab this particular prospect’s interest.

Now, we do have our pre-written templates in the NinjaOutreach app, but these are more for reference than to be actually used as is.

Of course, for especially higher-level prospects, you will have to modify. (To know more about how to create custom templates and custom fields, read this.)

The outreach script you’re sending is going to vary widely based on the product and the audience.

For example, here is an outreach script we’ve actually used.

This is part of our promotion campaign for our app, but as you can see, we’re not selling anything outright.

This email is not a sales pitch, but a qualifier email.

We’re reaching out to a prospect for a conversation.

We want to evaluate if this prospect is experiencing the problem that we want to provide a solution for, and we want to find out if the prospect is open to the solution.

If the prospect replies, we can now qualify the prospect as a warm lead.

He/she is interested, and could potentially be open to checking out our tool.

You can now go to your Lists of Prospects, update the relationship label, and add notes.

To remind you, here is a guide on how to manage your relationships

If you receive no reply, simply label it as such. You can set up at least two follow-up emails but after that, you need to back off.

Do this for the rest of your prospects.

Qualify the interested ones, update their relationship labels and notes on your prospect cards, and eliminate the uninterested ones from your list.

The worst thing you can do is to keep emailing someone who’s already said no.

As someone once said, “A small list that wants exactly what you’re offering is better than a bigger list that isn’t committed.”


Hazel Mae Pan is Content Manager for NinjaOutreach. She is in charge of content writing, co-editing, and developing the strategy for the NinjaOutreach blog.

Stop the Presses - How to get Journalists Talking About YOU

In Hollywood, they say any publicity is good publicity.

Tesla did publicity right when they launched their product at an event specially hosted for Hollywood stars.

Tesla was by no means the only electric car manufacturer in the US. In fact, it wasn’t even the first.

But if Arnold Schwarzenegger and a bunch of other A-listers publicly thought Tesla’s product was great and they actually wrote checks to preorder it—then it’s about to get some major press time.

From Automobile magazines to Wired, CNET, Fortune Magazine, the New York Times, you name it—the press was glowing.

These days, if you think electric cars, you think—Tesla.

Now we're not saying you should go TMZ on your business just to get some attention, but we do believe a little press goes a long way.

Love 'em or hate 'em, journalists are still the keyholders of the press. So if you want to get featured, it always pays to get journalists to talk about YOU.

And that, dear subscriber, is why we came up with these strategies on how to use Ninja Outreach to help you connect with journalists.

Using the Prospecting Tab to Find Journalists

Most journalists maintain their own social media profiles, so that’s one good place to start looking for them.

Say you’re a SaaS company and want to find tech journalists to write about your business.

Just go to the Prospecting > Social Influencers tab and type a keyword like “tech,” or “tech journalist,” for example.

Through this tab, you can quickly comb through millions of Twitter and Instagram profiles.

You can also use filters and tags to find the most relevant journalists to cover your brand or business.

Next, check the filter tag for Journalist. Checking “Include” means the engine will specifically search for the words “Journalist, PR, Writer, Author, Editor, and Press in each prospect’s bio.

Hit enter and add the relevant results to your list. Add as many relevant journalists as you can. The bigger your prospect pool, the better.

Once you’ve exhausted all possible prospects from this search, start another one.

How about searching for prospects using the keywords “Forbes contributor”?

Some alternatives you can also use are:

  • Forbes author
  • Forbes writer
  • Forbes columnist

You can even use these keywords for other publications such as Inc., Business Insider, and Entrepreneur magazine, among others.

You can do this search in the Prospecting > Social Influencers tab.

Alternatively, you can also make this search in the Prospecting > Find Leads tab.

Every time you see a good fit, just click the Add button at the top right section of the prospect card to save them to your list.

Once you’ve exhausted all the prospects you can find using Ninja Outreach social search, it’s time to switch to other Prospecting tabs.

How to Find Publications

Go to Prospecting > Promotion opportunities and search for relevant publications. Use a keyword like “tech magazine” for starters.

Next, sort the results by Alexa Rank, Domain Authority, or Social Shares—whichever metric fits your goals best.

As before, you can review each prospect one by one and add them to your prospect list individually, or you can click save all, which saves all results into your list instantly.

Again, try to collect as many prospects as you can.

Once your search runs dry, try other keywords. “Tech blogs,” “tech publications,” “tech news,” “tech press,” etc.

Importing Results from Google Search

It’s no secret that Google has one of the most advanced search engines out there, so why not make use of it?

You can run your search on Google as well. For example, here’s a search you can do using Advanced Operators.

[Topic+Target-keyword] site:[URL of your target publication]


Tech contributor

If you’re mostly satisfied with what you see, simply import your Google search results into your prospects list using Ninja Outreach chrome extension.

Here’s how to install and use the Chrome extension.

And here’s how to import Google search results into your NinjaOutreach web app list.

Building Relationships with Journalists

Once you’ve added enough contacts to your list, it’s time to jumpstart your relationship.

First, you have to remember—the early rapport-building stage is NOT the right time to send a pitch.


Forbes contributor Josh Steimle, who covers marketing and entrepreneurship for the online magazine, had this to say:

From a journalist who, by his admission, receives tons of pitches a day, this advice is golden.

So with this in mind, you can start with an intro outreach, follow them on social media, subscribe to their newsletter, comment on their posts—anything to help put your name on their radar.

For example, once you’ve checked out a prospect’s blog or articles, you can send them an intro outreach.

Here’s one example from our pre-written templates.

Another example using our original pre-written template version:

The next one below is an edited version modified to fit your specific needs.

It’s a good intro outreach because it shows you read your prospect’s content, you’ve shared this interest with your audience, and you want to know more.


For more examples of pre-written templates that you can use (or modify), just go to Outreach > Templates > Create Template

Click Load Pre-Written Templates and choose the most relevant one from the selection. Modify this to suit your particular campaign.

If all else fails, you can always create a fully personalized outreach email from scratch.

As you do this, update your prospects’ relationship labels.

Relationship labels identify what stage of the relationship you are on with your prospect.

Here’s more on how to manage your Relationship labels with prospects.

All changes to your relationship labels are recorded in NinjaOutreach, so you can track when you first sent your email, first retweeted a post of theirs on Twitter and other actions.

This lets you gauge when the time is right for you to finally send your pitch.

It also provides you personalized points of reference for when you’re crafting your outreach email.

For example, instead of yet another generic intro, you can see in your Relationship label history that you shared an article of theirs on a particular date.

With this data on hand, you can then say something like this in your message: “Loved your recent post! I actually shared it all over my social circles last week and I got a lot of comments about how [something about a point prospect made in the article]…”

Making an effort to build a relationship with a journalist may take a bit more time, but pitching to someone you’ve already built some rapport with will definitely up your chances of success, compared to a blind outreach to journalists who’ve never heard of you before.

So, connect with them first, be patient, and see how far this will take you.

As Forbes’s Josh concluded:

Outreach to Journalists

Once you’ve built enough rapport, it’s time to prepare the perfect pitch.

Take note:

Journalists receive as many as 20 to 50 pitches per day on average. Some even get at least 100 or more.

Out of these journalists, the majority write only two or fewer stories per day. And, on top of all this, only a few often write a story based on pitches.

As you can see, the margin of acceptance is pretty small. So if you must pitch something, make sure it’s something relevant and worthwhile—not what’s interesting to you, but to your target audience.

If you did your prospecting well, then the audience that you’re targeting should be the same audience that your journalist prospects would also want to please.

Take for example the case of Klooff, a social media app for pets.

Klooff, based in Chile, wanted to enter the American market.

But, instead of doing a traditional press release barrage, the PR firm they hired suggested three story ideas that Klooff could pitch to US media.

Now, if you look at these headlines below, you won’t immediately see anything directly promoting the Klooff app.

What you see, instead, is an understanding of the interests of Klooff’s potential readers and by default, target users.

  • 3 Ways Pets Teach Your Kids Important Life Lessons
  • How to Take Better Care of Your Pets and Save Money
  • Which dog breed is most likely to score you a date?

But, they didn’t keep the ideas to their internal drawing board. Klooff also asked their target audience what interested them most.

After surveying 1k people, they finally got the results—the third headline, under the dating and relationships angle.

With a data-backed decision, they then pitched this to the media.

The result? They loved it.

Klooff’s story was featured in major publications across 21 countries, and their app went from zero to 20k users.

So what should you do?

Do research on the things your target audiences are interested in, what’s trending in their community, find out who the talking heads are, and what story angles do journalists in that niche typically cover.

What you absolutely shouldn’t do? Mass send a generic pitch to all your journalist prospects.

But what if you have a thousand (or more) prospects?

The answer is, no, you don’t have to write 3,557 outreach emails for each of your 3,557 prospects. (That’s a random number, by the way.)

You can change some details to fit each different prospect at least—just don’t send the exact same outreach message to everyone.

For example, below is our pre-made outreach templates pitching a blogger to feature you in an interview or podcast.

Obviously, you can’t send that as is, but it’s a good place to start crafting some ideas.

Some personalizations you can do are:

  • Use Custom Fields so you can tailor for each prospect's first name, blog title, website URL, etc. For a more detailed guide on how to create custom fields and templates,
  • Edit the templates from within the email text section

  • Click Create new template to craft a specific message for each group of prospects.

Of course, bloggers understand outreach, and are more likely to respond to outreach templates such as the one we shared above.

But journalists for bigger publications are tougher nuts to crack. So you have to step up and actually do a bit more work with your pitch.

For reference, below is an example of our own non-generic pitch sent to TC:

As you can see, we put a little more effort into that one.

How to Set up an Automated Outreach Campaign

When we say automated campaign, we don’t mean you simply click a button and all your work is done.

What we mean by an automated campaign is you get automated sends and follow-ups.

You still personalize your messages, but you don’t need to sit in front of your computer all day, sending each of those outreach messages and follow-ups to each of your thousands of prospects one by one.

To know more about integrating your email and setting up an automated outreach campaign, read our helpdesk article here.

Once you start getting replies, NinjaOutreach will track all these and you can view analytics such as the number of Clicks, Replies, and Opens, for each template you used.

As your campaign goes along, update the relationship labels of your prospects. That way, you won’t mistakenly send a follow-up to prospects who have already replied to you.

Last Words

As your outreach campaign machine chugs along, stay patient.

Most importantly, stay firm. Keep sending worthwhile pitches to as many journalists as you can. It may sound cliche, but don’t give up.

Why? It might seem daunting to think of pitching to, say, 5,000 tech journalists.

But think of it this way, if you manage to get through to at least 1% of these leads, that means you get covered by 50 publications—which is not bad at all.

Hazel Mae Pan is Content Manager for NinjaOutreach. She is in charge of content writing, co-editing, and developing the strategy for the NinjaOutreach blog.