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Examples of how to write blogger outreach emails that will get influencers interested in your pitch. Anyone can use this simple script.

by JERRY SILVER // Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
Digital PR specialist and CEO at Spin Factory

How to write a blogger outreach email? Is there a science to it?

Well, I don’t recommend using ready-to-go scripts. As a blogger, somehow you can always feel when someone’s pitching you cold with a generic copy&paste template. It’s a lot of work, but I recommend you write individual emails. It’s worth the effort.

However, a little structure is often a good idea.

Here goes:

Blogger Outreach Email Components

I have this basic PR checklist for when I write blogger outreach emails. I don’t use it to be sly or in any way to automate my writing, but I use just to make sure I don’t miss any essential parts.

These are the components I strive to include:

Honesty
I make sure to express honesty. Saying something nice about another person’s work is the polite thing to do, and if I can’t think of anything honest to say, then I really shouldn’t be pitching that particular blogger.

Purpose
I try to state my purpose in one sentence pretty early on. No superlatives here — I try to keep it plain and descriptive.

Incentive
What’s in it for the blogger? The incentive is the most crucial part, but strangely also the most often forgotten one. I make sure to be clear about the details here.

Recognition
There’s a reason I’m contacting the blogger, we both know that. Therefore, I think it’s important that I, who initiated the contact, also acknowledges the blogger.

Call-To-Action
Many try to soft sell, hoping that the blogger will know what to do without it stating it explicitly. As if that would make the pitch less “salesy”? No, I try to be clear about what I’m asking of the blogger.

Blogger Outreach Email Example

This is a made-up example of how I would pitch a blogger writing about interior design:

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 21.57.23

If you include these five elements, and you strive to keep each part down to one or two sentences, you should be able to cover the basics.

Some prefer to write even shorter pitch emails, but I think you might running a risk coming off as way too blasé if you take that approach to far.

These elements can appear in any order, see for example this follow-up email example:

Blogger Outreach Follow-Up Example

Here’s another made-up example of how I would do a follow-up outreach to the same blogger:

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 21.58.27

I try to stay true to my tonality and pitching style. I don’t try to imitate anyone, or write as if I were younger or older than I am because I think it’s important to pitch with integrity.

However, I do mix it up quite a bit on the scale between formal and informal. In some cases I’m simply “all business” and in other a lot more personal — depending on the context.

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Behind the keyboard:

Jerry Silver is the author of Doctor Spin, a PR blog that's been around for 15+ years. His fascination for corporate communication and human psychology runs deep. Via his own agency Spin Factory, every day's spent on coaching people and organizations on how to adapt to a 'digital first' world. In 2016, Cision Scandinavia named him "PR Influencer of the Year". Jerry lives in Stockholm, Sweden with his wife Lisah, journalist and television host, and their two-year-old son, Jack.

Interested in Jerry’s services or speaking engagements? Learn more.

Add your comment:

Jerry Silfwer

Oh, and I should say before anyone else does, that yes, the CTA in the first example is pretty weak.

Reply
Magnus Bråth

Thanks for sharing. One question though, what kind of conversion rate do you get on these?

Reply
Jerry Silfwer

Hey Magnus! The conversion rates on these are nearly optimal — 100% isn’t uncommon. But the actual copy in the outreach letter is secondary; the secret lies in a thorough Blogger Mapping and a Honeymoon Outreach (http://doktorspinn.com/2013/09/05/honeymoon-outreach/).

If emails like these end up in spam filters and stuff, I always make sure to get in contact one way or the other. And mostly when people say no, they’re out traveling or have other conflicting engagements. But if I’ve done my honeymooning, only available and interested bloggers would even get the pitch.

I should say that a more appropriate term for this is “blogger collaboration” rather than “blogger outreach”, since this approach is so qualitative. To get ROI from these types of activities you need to get some really good content to repurpose and a lasting relationship from it and a healthy dose of street cred, the first wave traffic and the inlinks alone often only gets the ball rolling — but that’s it.

Elia Mörling

Hey Jerry!

I have been following your blog for nearly a year, and I really like your transparency, way of thinking and non *BS* style of blogging. It’s really a scarce commodity in these marketing circles.

I am writing to you to let you know that I would like to see the “Blogger Outreach” e-book, packed with interesting examples. I really think your readers would treasure it, and I would be happy to share it with my circles. I don’t think anyone has written this type of book, and I can’t think of a better person than you.

What do you think? If you want someone to bounce it around with, I am here!

Elia

Reply
Jerry Silfwer

Thank you, Elia — especially for your continuous encouragement. And yes, I’m actually mustering up materials to put something together. And your support has earned you a foreword mention, for sure!

Feffe Kaufmann

Thanks again for a great and straight to the point article. There´s always something to learn when I open a link directing to your blog.

Like Elia I like the “new” tone of voice you found and I think it really suits you and your blog.

Is the conversion rate ( asked earlier by Magnus) equal for you on the global and swedish market? Is this when you do your honeymoon outreach? If time is short and you need to cut to the chase – is it as high then?

Reply
Jerry Silfwer

Thanks, man. No, I strive to get as much head-start as possible. If you need to cut straight to the chase, it’s of course difficult to land such high success rates. (I call it “success rate”, since I use “conversion rate” more for traffic landing on sites, not as outcomes of individual outreaches.)
But here’s the deal: You have your incentives, and you have your choice of bloggers. You struggle to make the incentive package as sweet as you possibly can — and then you do your blogger mapping. I wouldn’t choose a super huge blogger if my incentive is weak.
So the mechanics of the success rate is determined more by strategy than the actual outreach. Meaning: When I start reaching out, the purpose of my pitch copy is to “don’t mess this up” rather than “convince them to take the deal”.
Simply put, using this method above won’t get you stellar results if you’ve chosen the “wrong” bloggers, you haven’t honeymooned them and your incentives aren’t good enough.
I should also say that I’ve done my fair share of “spray and pray” campaigns, but I hate them simply because I wouldn’t want to find myself on the recieving end of such outreaches. Sure, they work as well (to some extent), otherwise spammers wouldn’t keep doing them, but I believe in creating relationships for the long-haul. Sooner or later there’s a discussion of ROI and if that discussion hasn’t come up before, then you’ll be glad for the qualitative approach and lots of tastemakers singing the praise of the service or the brand.

lisacoleman

Thanks for share useful tips. Please describe some another email components.

Reply
Jerry Silfwer

Thanks Lisa. Any particular types of emails that comes to mind?

Tiffany

I wouldn’t say incentive is actually that important to me. If a musicians emailing about their music, it’s usually pretty obvious they want you to cover their music. I don’t need to be bribed to do that, so long as I like the band…

Reply
Jerry Silfwer

I think it’s important to use the right words here. I’m not promoting bribing blogger to cover your stuff, but rather to always think about — what’s in it for them? Even the most serious journalists appreciates exclusivity for instance and exclusivity is a very clear incentive. So, it’s not about bribing someone to do something they wouldn’t do otherwise, it’s about understanding what’s valuable to the blogger and her audience.

Amit knaani

wow, great article and very interesting comments… i think at the end its all about the value, and the way to get to the real person behind the writing hand.. similar thought here – http://blog.insiteapp.io/how-to-write-to-blogger-part-2-and-now-with-actual-advices/
I do think – though, that writing and bloggers are not what they used to be…

Reply
Jerry Silfwer

It’s changing a lot, that’s for sure. Especially when it comes to payments and agent representation. The lines between editorial and adverts can be really blurry, imho.

Thanks for sharing, Amit!