How One SaaS Brand Wasted An Outreach Email (And What To Do Instead)

Most outreach emails are terrible.

And there are plenty of reasons for this. For example:

  • Insufficient training
  • Lack of budget/resources
  • Copying and pasting tragic templates found online
  • Laziness

As a marketer, it’s frustrating to see brands abuse people’s time and miss out on good opportunities in the process.

Especially considering the fact that I receive 1,000+ outreach emails each month. 99% of which are terrible.

So, today, I’m kicking off a new series of outreach email tear downs. The objective is simple – to help you send better outreach emails.

The outreach email I’m going to share with you today is one of the more frustrating types of emails.

And you might be able to guess why when you read it: 

The “you gave us a link but we want a different one” outreach email

Email Example Of Bad Outreach

This email was sent by a popular SaaS app that I use in my business. And I have linked out to them in a bunch of articles without them ever needing to ask for a link.

So, what exactly is wrong with this outreach email?

They’re asking people to change an existing link to a page they want more links to.

The email says the other page is more relevant and better for my readers.

They may as well of just said: “Hey, you linked to us but we’re not happy. Give us a different one.”

Does the new page actually benefit readers over the old link? No it doesn’t.

I could have linked to any other page on their site but I chose not to.

And, I’ll be the one to decide what is best for my readers 😉

Note: When writing outreach emails, it’s a good idea to try not to offend someone right away. Coming across like “oh, I know what’s best for your audience” may offend some people. There are far better ways to position your “ask”.

What outreach email should have been sent?

In general, any outreach email you send should offer some sort of win for the recipient. And, it has to be compelling.

If your email can be paraphrased as “Hey, random person. Do stuff for me.” – you should reconsider your entire campaign.

Why? Because you’ll be burning bridges before they’ve been built. (Or, after they’ve been built – in the case of the email I shared above.)

So, what email should have been sent?

When someone is aware of your brand and already linking to you – don’t try to squeeze more good will out of them. Instead, create some good will.

By creating some good will, you can turn a fan into a super fan. You can help to create a great impression that encourages someone to promote your brand instead of causing friction.

Just to clarify. When I say there has to be a “win” for the recipient, I mean that you have to do something that will actually benefit.

Empty, disingenuous, or meaningless phrases like these do not count:

  • Your content will be more complete.
  • Updating your content with our link will help it rank in Google.
  • This link will be better for your readers.

These are not the phrases to use if you want someone to trust you.

The outreach email I would have sent instead

Hey, Adam,

[Name] here from [brand]. Big thanks for including us in your post on [topic/link].

Great work on the post – my team and I loved it! I’ve scheduled a few shares to my social accounts to help get the word out for you.

Feel free to drop me an email if you include us in future posts. I’d love to promote those too and maybe send some paid traffic your way.

Keep in touch!
[Name] @ [Brand]
[Links to social accounts & website]

Notice how I’m not asking the recipient to do anything for me? This is critical if you want to build relationships.

The world is full of people that will squeeze what they can out of people without ever giving anything in return. Don’t be that kind of person.

Instead, I’m helping the recipient and offering to promote more of their content. With an added mention of paid traffic.

The idea is simple:

Give people an incentive to include you in future posts. Sure, not everyone will take you up on the offer but some people will.

And for those that do – it will open a dialogue. Once your relationship has become “more serious” you’ll be able to do things like ask them to change a link or feature your brand in an existing article, etc.

So, until the time is right, you need to nurture these relationships.

Now, you can and should go the extra mile where possible.

For example, I’d consider creating a database of those who already link to you – including their blog’s URL and social accounts, etc.

Then, you or someone else from your team can go through these social accounts every so often and retweet their tweets, link out to their blog posts where relevant, comment on their posts, engage with them, etc.

You can make this process easier by adding RSS feeds to a feed reader like Feedly and creating Twitter lists in your go-to social media tool.

This is how you create good will in the marketplace. And, over time, it will impact growth more than you think.

Wrapping it up

Here’s the deal:

When you focus on building meaningful relationships with other people, you create good will in the marketplace. And you’ll end up with a load of great connections with smart folks who will help you when you need it.

Showing gratitude is quite possibly the most underrated outreach tactic available.

Most link builders have no idea how important this tactic is. You can build far more quality links this way.

Quick wins are nice but long-term relationships are far better.

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