How to Improve Your Response Rates From Bloggers

While here at GroupHigh, we’re working really hard at creating an “easy button” for your blogger outreach campaigns, for now a successful campaign is full of manual creativity, pitch emails and awesome post tactics.

One of the biggest difficulties that brands and agencies face when running blogger outreach campaigns is getting their target bloggers to respond to their pitches.

There are a variety of reasons why your pitch may return less than desirable response rates. There are plenty of rookie mistakes that new blogger outreach players make and some non rookie pros just leave out key components that make a good blogger outreach pitch.

Take in to consideration these tactics and your next outreach campaign should yield much better results.

You have to make your pitch appealing—that means offer them something

Bloggers spend too much time curating an audience, keeping their attention and coming up with awesome content. So don’t pitch them your brand and expect a mention for nothing.

It’s like if you were a painter and someone knocked on your door and said “hey come over and paint my living room. It’s a really neat living room…” Kinda rude right?

Declare your affinity and stick to it

One of the biggest mistakes made in blogger outreach is that PR pros or marketers reach out to bloggers who just aren’t a great fit.

Bloggers write about very specific topics. For example if I was promoting a vegan baking ingredient, I wouldn’t just reach out to all bloggers who write about vegan. I would narrow down to bloggers who write about vegan and offer actual recipes. This would eliminate the bloggers who write about vegan fashion and vegan restaurant reviews because my baking ingredient would be a poor fit with them.

Get rid of abrasive tactics

Don’t make someone to commit to posting before they even get to try out your product, restaurant, service, etc. Offer to let them try the product or service before committing to work with you. I’m a fan of the no strings attached approach. If they like your brand, they’ll write about. This will also create more sincere posts.

Personalize those pitches

Bloggers want to be assured that they are not part of some mail merge and that you’ve actually read their blog and handpicked them for your campaign.

That means addressing the blogger by first name and referencing a post or a topic they actively write about.

Be short, sweet and concise

Bloggers have limited time so even though your pitch may be awesome and kind and personalized but it’s super long, it may get deleted without a second glance.

Get to the point while explaining your campaign and the blogger’s potential role should they choose to accept.

If you don’t have a budget, it’s okay! You can offer product or service from your company or even exclusive information or a guest post that would genuinely appeal to their readers.

Qualify your bloggers. Have a blogger outline and stick to it

Qualify your bloggers before you reach out to them so you’re only reaching out to bloggers who are a good fit. I’ve seen a few pros run campaigns where they email a ton of bloggers and then make bloggers apply for the outreach program.

This may work for some but I’ve seen a lot of annoyed bloggers who were victims of this tactic.

Set a reach, whether it’s MozRank, unique monthly visitors, Twitter followers or something of the like and stick to it.

Interact across channels

Don’t let your emailed pitch be the first time a blogger hears of you. Share their content across your own channels, comment on their blog posts. Engage!

Don’t make them do extra work

A very common mistake is to not hyperlink to your brand or other necessary info. A blogger shouldn’t read your post and then have to google around for details.

Look at blogger outreach and response rates as courting someone for a first date. Don’t be pushy, selfish or needy. Picture yourself at a cocktail party when you type up your blogger pitch emails. Read each line as if you’re saying it out loud to a pretty stranger that you want to take to dinner. If any of the lines would offend or come across as rude, delete them!

Do you have any tactics or strategies to add to improve response rates from bloggers? Would love your input!

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