You probably know that feeling when no one is answering your pitches for months and you decide to start your campaign from the scratch. You change everything – way you introduce yourself, things you include in your template, …. and things magically start getting better and better.
Now you want to apply all those things that fixed your outreach but you are not exactly sure what you did well. And that’s why we decided to study factors that affect your blogger outreach camping efficiency one by one.
For our outreach projects, we use Pitchbox and we used information from there to get results of this study. It has already built-in reports and it’s a great way to keep track of your efficiency. For the purposes of this post, we did quite extensive research combing built-in and our reports.
This is what Pitchbox charts look like:
Factors that we are going to analyze are:
- Domain authority
- Sending writing samples
- Sending follow-up emails
- Reasons for rejection
- Reason of the outreach
Factor #1 – Site Authority
Domain authority is considered to be one of the most important metrics that are determining website’s relevance. When it comes to DA everyone has the same goal – to get the highest possible (100 is maximum) for your site.
Although higher DA doesn’t necessary mean more visitors to your site, it’s generally considered that sites with higher DA have higher quality and offer more value to users. For example, some of the sites with the maximum DA are Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, WordPress and a lot more.
The bad news is that this factor is most difficult to change of all that are going to be mentioned. It takes a lot of time, knowledge and money to increase it.
Since everyone wants to have high DA or at least wants to cooperate with someone who has admiring DA, I assumed that results will show how sites with higher DA have bigger chances of getting a backlink elsewhere. I was completely wrong. And for the first time in my life I’m actually glad for that.
We analyzed different campaigns we are performing for our clients. For this analysis, we took sites with the DA from 1-58.
It seems like there is no connection between DA of the site and response or win rate of the outreach campaign as you can see on the following chart.
We came to this conclusion because with the growth of the DA there is no proportional growth of the response or win rate.
This means there are different and much easier ways to increase your outreach efficiency.
Domain authority is not affecting blogger outreach efficiency!
Possible to change this factor: NO.
Factor #2 – Adding writing samples to your pitch
Sending writing samples means you are sending examples of your previous work. You should always send it through URL and not in attached document which no one will bother to download.
Also, don’t send raw URL like this:
Rather than that you can send actual title of the article with the URL like this:
When sending writing samples there is a smaller chance you’ll get the response but it’s the bigger chance your article will be published in the end. That’s probably because they know what to expect.
When you don’t send writing samples they are quite interested in publishing a guest post until they see it. In the end, it’s not actually what they were hoping for.
Sending writing samples is affecting blogger outreach efficiency!
Possible to change this factor: YES.
Factor #3 – Sending Follow-Ups
Follow up is a second e-mail you are sending in order to remind your contact about the first one. We are always sending follow up if there’s no answer after the first mail. This idea is working great for us. We got 60% of all our answers after we send follow up.
Most common reasons there are no answers on first mail are:
- It went to a spam folder
- Recipient thought it was spam
- They forgot about it
- They ignored it on purpose
- They didn’t see it
So this type of kindly reminder is great.
This chart is showing a ratio between answers that are received either after the first attempt or after the follow up, not considering e-mails that we never got a reply on.
We also noticed there’s one more factor that is affecting response rate of the follow-ups. It’s the days between original mail and the second one. We tried to send them in a period of 2, 3, 4 and 6 days.
An optimal number of days to wait before you send your second email is 3.
It seems like Barney Stinson was right about that ‘3 days rule’.
Sending follow-up emails is affecting blogger outreach efficiency!
Possible to change this factor: YES.
Factor #4 – Neutralizing Reasons For Rejections
Rejections are part of each outreach process and, naturally, we have them too. We decided to find out why and change what we can. Unfortunately, there’s no much that we can change.
Reasons for rejection are:
- Don’t accept guest posts – this is something you can’t change. Some site owners just don’t accept guest posts and that is their policy.
- Unrelated niche – this is also one thing that is hard to change but still possible. You can try to modify your topic so it would be more suitable for their readers but this still doesn’t mean they will accept it. The topic should be chosen with respect to both, author’s expertise and target blog’s audience interests (this is so called horizontal guest blogging).
- Sponsored posts – from our experience prices for the sponsored posts vary from $50 to $5000. We did a 220 website study analyzing sponsored offers we got over the years. An average sponsored post fee was $177, with a lot of volatility depending on the niche. Keep in mind that these prices are for publishing only. You would still have to provide content, images and make sure that everything is up to their guidelines and expectations.
- Don’t provide backlinks – some sites are accepting guest posts and other content but they are not providing backlinks to other sites. Although backlinks are not always the goal, in most cases, they play a very important role and are usually one of the main points of doing the blogger outreach.
- Didn’t like the article – in some cases, bloggers simply don’t like the article. If they reject it, the article is used for another round of pitching and sooner or later is published somewhere else.
Reasons for rejection is affecting blogger outreach efficiency!
Possible to change this factor: NO.
Factor #5 – Outreach Type
There are 4 most common reasons of our outreach:
- Guest posting – guest posting is a method of getting high-quality links from authoritative sites in a relevant niche by building a relationship with industry influencers through a blogger outreach process and posting well researched and valuable content on their sites with a backlink to your site.
- Infographics share – infographic is similar to a guest post but the main difference is that content is a bit shorter and it’s represented in a graphic form.
- Broken link – this is one of the link building strategies. Idea is to find broken link on someone’s page, create similar content and offer it to the site owner. There is a big possibility this will work because it’s in the site owner’s interest to get rid of the broken link and get the valid ones. The following chart is showing this is a most effective tactic of all listed.
- Link removal – this is one of the steps of the penalty recovery process. After it’s established what links are bad it’s necessary to remove them. Link removal is actually asking the owner of the site to remove the link to your site. Often it’s much easier to put a link somewhere than remove it. Some of the owners might be rude, saying they won’t do it because it’s your own fault or even asking for the payment.
Blogger outreach is a complex process which includes lots of people and exchanged e-mails. After hundreds and hundreds of e-mails, you’ll get a sense of how to do it and what triggers people to send you a reply. For now, we learned few things that can be of help:
- Don’t be afraid to contact other bloggers that have significantly higher DA than you.
- Include your writing samples in the email.
- Wait tree days for the answer. After that send a follow up.
- Use their weakness as your strength. Find their broken links and use them as your opportunity. This is a win – win situation.
And in the end, don’t get frustrated if there are no answers. After all our efforts we got an average response rate of 37% and win rate of 20%. These metrics are considered quite good and you should be satisfied if you reach them.
To increase your success rate, be sure to follow blogger outreach best practices.