After weeks of planning and creating your stunning website, you are ready to strut your stuff on the Internet. Having an online presence is a great start, but this won’t ensure that calls or inquiry emails about your small biz will start rolling in. What you need is a bit of promotion in order to boost your reputation. The good news is that more exposure doesn’t necessarily mean hiring a top PR agency, creating a viral video for Facebook, or buying online banners. The publicity we’re talking about here is called: outreach marketing – and it’s totally free. All you need is some time, effort, and the help of our top tips.
So what does this involve? Outreach in basic terms means connecting with bloggers and people in your industry, in order to increase exposure for your website and promote your products or services. Nowadays, influential bloggers, magazines, and brands can seriously amplify any type of content with just a tweet or a mention on their site. Moreover, outreach work can have major SEO benefits. In simple terms, SEO means improving your website’s position in search engines’ results. And one thing that can seriously help you rank higher is obtaining links from high-quality referral websites. Google & Co see this as a super strong signal of the quality and credibility of your own site.
To sum things up: the more mentions or links you’re able to get from relevant sites, the higher your website will rank in search results. And the higher your website ranks, the more your online presence will grow. Capisce? Now that you know why you need outreach in your life, let’s focus on the ‘how’. Doing outreach at a large public company like Wix is no small feat since we work in over 200 countries and in 16 different languages. As you can imagine, we’ve gathered a ton of experience and developed some best practices along the way. We’re happy to share the most practical tips that will help you promote your website.
First things first, in order to start approaching relevant Internet people, you need to find them. Let’s say for example that you have a small business that sells baby accessories, your goal is to find websites and blogs that you think would be interested in your products, perhaps a parenting or maternity blog. You might say that one of the hardest parts of outreach is finding large numbers of sites to contact, as it involves lots of research. You need to make sure that the websites that you’re contacting are relevant to your business, and produce high-quality content. When working on promoting the Wix brand, we’ve come up with several strategies to help identify potential targets in an organized and efficient way. Here are our favorite three techniques from the easy, to the more advanced.
Heading to Google for research seems quite obvious, but it’s the most straightforward way of finding relevant blogs and sites to contact. Just enter the type of blog or magazine (e.g. parenting news, or parenting blog) in the Google search box and click to check out the results that come up. Do these provide quality and relevant content? If so, start by copying the names of the websites into an Excel sheet. Organize them by type, and add a column for email addresses. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to keep track of your work.
So technique two provided you with some great websites to approach already, but you’re hungry for more. Cue: the related search operator. The whole idea here is to find other websites that would attract the same crowd of visitors or similar ones. This will allow you to search more accurately for websites that are similar in topic, content and quality. How does it work? Simply enter related: www.examplewebsite.com into the Google search box. This will generate a search engine results page (SERP) full of websites that are very much like the one you found.
To be even more precise, there are several other advanced operators to search Google for relevant sites. These searches allow you to identify websites that have a specific search phrase in the URL, in the text, in the SEO title or as anchor text within the website. Here are a few of the advanced operators you can use to find more specific websites:
allinurl: search phrase – the URL contains the search term, for example allinurl: best baby accessories.
allintext: search phrase – the text on the page contains the search term.
allintitle: search phrase – the SEO title contains the search term.
allinanchor: search phrase – an anchor text (text that links to a URL) on the page contains the search term.
Once you’ve identified the right targets, the next step is to contact them by email. Bloggers and website owners receive tons of emails per day. So how do you make sure your email doesn’t end up in the trash bin? Don’t worry, we’ve deciphered the magic formula for you. The three most important factors that influence whether or not an email gets read are: 1. Message length; 2. Subject length and 3. Whether or not you include questions.
Here are some email approach insights we’ve gathered:
In your message, you want to make the connection between your business and the target website clear, and why exactly you think your product or service is relevant to their readers. Making the connection explicit will help you dramatically improve your success rate. And then you’re going to make them an offer they can’t refuse, meaning that you will pitch them your plan for collaboration. This can be anything from offering to provide them with a blog post (with a link of course), or you could send them one of your products to test out for themselves and write a review.
Did you know that personalized emails have 41% more click-through rates? Well, now you do. And this is exactly why it’s crucial to tailor your message to the blogger you’re approaching. Our advice is to do some research by looking at previous posts. Take a look to see what they’ve written and how you can tie in your offering to their past content. The ‘About section’ of a website is also a great place to find some valuable or personal info.
Working to promote Wix in over 200 countries, we’ve learned something about cultural nuances: one template does not fit all. Outreach works differently in France than it does in Japan, Russia or Brazil. While each relationship with a blogger or webmaster is unique, here are some general insights we have gained from working in various international markets.
Pro Tip: Always use the name of the person you are writing to. Double and triple check that the name is correct before you hit send. If you have any doubt, use a generic greeting. Making a mistake with a name is a senseless way to lose a potential partner before they even read your email. And here’s a heads up for many more email mistakes you should avoid at all costs.
Follow-up emails are essential in outreach. While not every approach gets a response, it’s a good idea to send a second or third email. However, you don’t want people to think you’re a creepy stalker, right? So as a rule keep this up to three emails to every target site, waiting a week between each email. Bloggers tend to get a lot of emails and it may happen that a first approach email can easily be overlooked, deleted or accidentally marked as spam. Set yourself a reminder when to follow up on each email. It’s important to stay extremely organized as you don’t want to end up sending the same email five times to one person.
Pro tip: Change the subject line with each new approach. That way, the second and third emails will not be seen as part of the same thread in the recipient’s Inbox. This also helps to prevent an email from being erroneously marked as spam twice in a row.
Outreach marketing requires managing an enormous amount of data. You have to track websites that you’ve reached out to, when you have contacted them and what you’ve offered them (be it, to write a blog post or a product review). A regular Excel sheet can do wonders, but there are a plethora of other tools you can take advantage of:
The great thing about online outreach, paradoxical as it may sound, is that you get to communicate with real people in your realm or industry. Only once you make a real connection with someone, will they continuously have a positive impression of your business and will be more open to promoting your products or services. That’s why it’s a great idea to keep your blogger friends updated with the latest news about your products and services so they can share with their readers. There are several ways that you can invest in these relationships and make sure that your partners know how much you appreciate them.
Here are a just a few examples:
Ready to reach out to the world? Create a website today!
Get The Wix Blog
Get the latest and freshest content on creating
& marketing your Wix website.