Reaching out to bloggers (without being a dirty rotten spammer)

Subscriber Despina writes:

I want to promote a new educational game app.

In order to do so I will email the press release to the game reviewers (on- line guides, magazines, newspapers, blogs etc).

And now here is my #1 question as you mentioned

Which is the best practise writing this sort of email in order to avoid be considered as spam?

What Despina is looking to do is called “cold email outreach.”

And yes, there’s a thin line between cold outreach and pure spam.

There are a couple of ways you can go with this.

The first option is to just collect a list of blogs, reviewers and mags, hunt down email addresses for them, and blast out a bulk email.

If you go this route, do NOT use an email provider like MailChimp, because there’s a good chance they’ll shut you down and ban your account.

You will also get a veeeery low response rate, almost certainly under 5% and more likely under 1%.

It’s a numbers game — you have to send tons of messages because most people will totally ignore you.

The approach I’d recommend requires more effort, but it’s also a LOT more effective.

Here’s how it works:

1. Pull together a list of media outlets that you want to reach. Focus on quality over quantity, since the following steps are manual and labor intensive.

2. Spend some time skimming through each site. Figure out which bloggers post about topics that are related to your app. Also, bigger sites will have editors whose entire job is finding more content related to what they’re already publishing.

3. Track down the bloggers or editors on social media. Twitter is best, since it’s easy to reach anyone, even if they don’t know you.

4. Follow the person, and leave a nice, RELEVANT comment on something they’ve tweeted or posted. Or retweet something they’ve said that you like. They’ll get a notification. Congratulations, now they know you exist.

The next 2 steps are where you “bait the hook.”

5. Put yourself in their shoes. If I was the editor of a blog that reviewed apps, what would I want?

Well, first of all, I don’t care about your app. What I do care about is readers for my site. I want to publish content my readers will want to read and share.

So scan through their site and look for content they’ve published that is related to what your game does.

6. Now send them a message that goes something like this: “Hey! Loved your post about preschool reading games. I have an idea for a similar article. Would you like to hear more?”

7. When they reply, offer to write the article for them, or send over a fact sheet that’ll make it super easy to whip up a blog post.

When I used this process to reach out to about 50 bloggers, I got yes or no responses from about 40% of them.

If I’d gone with a cold email blast approach, I would have had to send hundreds or thousands of emails to get the same number of responses.

On the contrary, if you’d rather be a dirty rotten spammer, you may find some useful advice in this article. (Clarification: Don’t be a dirty rotten spammer)

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