What do you do when you wake up one day after a super restless night of sleep and realize your target market resides in the C-suite? Or maybe you decide once and for all that you’re going to get media exposure by reaching out to top journalists and bloggers.
Your next thought goes something like this, “How on Earth am I ever going to reach these people?”
Before you give up, you only need to learn how to do one thing: write emails that super busy and important people want to respond to. For tips on how to do this, I turned to one of my favorite bloggers, Derek Halpern, who has an ebook (and video) on the subject.
Derek’s trick is to answer this one question: What can you do to help the person you’re emailing?
Then, you need to prove you can help them. His advice is awesome and straightforward, so I took what I learned in his ebook and created four rules on how to reach influencers – and get a response:
Rule 1: Don’t talk about yourself at all
This is actually a content marketing rule that is always good to follow: make it all about the reader, not about you. Derek suggests sharing a tidbit of information that will help the person, like a statistic or study that was conducted by a credible institution (you’ll gain credibility by association).
Rule 2: Flatter ‘em
Everyone loves to be complimented, noticed, heard, and appreciated – it’s a basic human need. Start out your email with a compliment about the person – especially a specific one to prove you are familiar with the person’s work.
Rule 3: Make your ask about them
Again, keep your focus on the reader. Tell him or her what they’ll get. Will it be exposure to potential new clients? More product sales? Only cite numbers here if they’re big. If they’re small, focus on the quality of your audience and connect the person’s knowledge to your audience’s interests.
Rule 4: Give people the opportunity to reach out to you
Don’t give away the farm in your initial email. If you have information to share, offer to send it in a followup email. If you are trying to arrange a meeting or interview, ask they are available. Leave your ask open-ended to force the person to email you back and to weed out people who have zero interest.
2 Auxiliary Rules
Two auxiliary rules to all of the above were not mentioned by Derek, but they are very, very important to mention: Keep your emails SUPER short, and keep them personal. I hate getting email pitches that were obviously cut and pasted from a (very long) Word doc and sent to a zillion people. In fact, I’ve stopped responding to them.
How will you apply these rules to your next email pitch? Do you have any additional rules around how to reach influencers you’d add to this list?
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