Extra! Extra! Keys to Outreach!


You’re sending emails--are they reading all about it?

Young businesses are all about growth, and the best way to promote growth is to draw attention to your company. Getting exposure for your business is easier than it has ever been, as is self-generating exposure.

Of all of the new methods for drawing attention, an old, time-tested method is email outreach. Similar to a telemarketer cold calling potential customers, email outreach is about sending messages with a few simple goals: building collaborative links between businesses, more exposure, more traffic, more people with the name of your business bouncing around in their head.

Not all email outreach is equal. Differences in subject lines, the amount of follow-up, and the personalization of the emails all have an impact on the effectiveness of the outreach.

The vast majority of email outreach is ignored. So, what makes effective email outreach? What can we learn from patterns in email outreach? A study of emails tells us what works, what doesn’t, and what the trends of response are.

Obstacles To Getting Responses

There are a few barriers that can stop an outreach email from having its intended effects and generating the desired responses, but there are a few elements that make up every effective outreach email.

Knowing your target is an important first step before sending any email. Knowing the target audience of the client you’re reaching out to, and whether that client would be willing and able to share your content can help determine whether that client is an appropriate fit for outreach from you.

As far as the actual content of the email, the important facets can essentially be separated into three broad parts: using your subject line to catch the eye of a recipient, sparking the interest of the recipient, and finally, making sure your message motivates them to get the response you want.

This all seems very straightforward and simple, but it is more difficult than it sounds. So, how does one assure their email is not just ignored?

Personalization Matters

Emails with a personal touch are much more likely to get a response.

Whether it be in the subject line or in the body content of the message, when an email is tailored to the person its sent to, it is more likely to be noticed and acknowledged by the recipient.

But why?

Well, personalized subject lines have a better chance of being noticed by the recipient, and sticking out in crowded inboxes. The goal of email outreach is to be noticed, and to generate a reaction from the people you email. For that to happen, the email has to be opened first.

In terms of body content, most people nowadays have seen enough generic, mass emails that they can spot and filter them out with ease. From ditching generic greetings like “Hi” or “Hello” to adding the customers name, small details can make a difference in whether or not your email is read and responded to.

Ultimately, the best way for an outreach email to be noticed is to personalize as much as possible. While it takes more time than using a generic email template, or even to include the name of each individual when sending out a message en masse, personalization leads to a higher rate of response that may very well make it worth your time.

Quantity Matters

When it comes to email outreach, quantity matters in a few different ways.

First, sending an email to multiple contacts significantly increases the chances of response. With each new recipient, the chances of response went up...until five people are on the receiving end.

Second, sending follow-up emails increases the chances of response.

Follow-ups can be dangerous. On one hand, repeated contact with a client can be necessary to stick out amongst the numerous emails people receive every day. But on the other, an excess of emails to the same person could drive them away, making them perceive your emails more as spam than as an attempt at genuine, productive outreach. One of the keys to good follow up emails that don’t alienate recipients is the provision of additional context to previous messages. Providing new information makes a message feel intentional and purposeful.

Luckily, even a single follow-up email leads to a higher rate of response.

When both of these are combined, the result is better than a single recipient message, or a message without follow-ups, or either one of those used individually.. Multiple messages sent to multiple contacts is the method to generate the highest response rate.

People receive hundreds of emails every day

People receive numerous emails every day--but quantity key to a high response rate

There Is A “Best Day” To Send Emails

According to a study of email outreach response rates, the best day to send an email and get a response is Wednesday. The worst day for responses is Saturday. However, the differences between these days on the surface is relatively small, almost insignificant.

When this “best day” concept matters most is for those that send emails on a large scale, when the almost insignificant difference in response rates actually translate to something more impactful.

Therefore, small scale outreach campaigns can essentially send emails any day of the week (besides the weekend) and get a similar response rate. For large scale campaigns, coordinating days of the week to try to get responses can actually impact response rate.

Generally speaking, it’s also helpful to keep in mind the schedule of the client when considering when to send an email, if that is possible.

Social Networks Can Improve Response Rates

Linking to the profile of a person’s social network in the signature of an email can lead to more responses. This result is partially dependent on the social network that is linked to. When Facebook profiles were linked to, it was not found to make a significant difference in response rate. However, links to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram profiles were found to have a positive effect on response rates.

It’s difficult to say what the exact link between social media profiles and increased response rate is, and it’s possible that the correlation is purely coincidental. However, the presence of social media accounts, like a customized subject line or name-specific greeting, adds a personal touch. It can serve as a reminder to the recipient that there is a person behind what could possibly feel like a generic email.

Also, promoting your social media can be another way to show off your business.


The topic of an email can affect response rate.

Different outreach emails will be sent for different reasons, although still with the base goal of looking for an opportunity to expand the brand.

Emails regarding link building, roundups, and sponsorships generated above average response rates, while messages regarding mentions had fewer responses.

Another topic that generates high response rates is an offer to guest post. Guest posting is writing an article to post on somebody else’s website or blog. It allows the guest the exposure of the blog to connect with readers and gain exposure for themselves, and also provides an opportunity for bloggers to make connections. Guest posts can be requests to post on someone else’s blog or requesting someone else to write on your blog.

However, there doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus on the topic of guest blogging. Some SEO experts consider guest posting to be “dead” as a method for growing small business. According to the study, site and blog owners do not feel the same way--many people still consider guest posting a good way to collaborate with other people in a mutually beneficial way.

A woman types away at a desk

Guest blogging can be an effective way to build professional networks and gain exposure for your name or your brand

Conclusion: Givers and Takers

The purpose of email outreach is to promote your business, and usually, to gain a service from someone you believe can help your business. In this collaborative world, when someone receives your email they will likely perceive you rather quickly as a Giver, or a Taker. Givers are people who have something to offer that can help someone else’s business, while Takers seem to be largely out for themselves and their own interests.

In a world of building bridges between businesses, bloggers, and others that can influence on behalf of businesses, the best way to make a connection is by being a Giver. By following the steps outlined above, you can at least make sure that you generate a relationship with a client that is mutually beneficial.