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How To Properly Build Rapport Via Email Outreach

Email outreach is a powerful tool when used effectively and quite honestly a waste of time when used improperly. Today we want to discuss how to properly build rapport via email outreach which is something many businesses from an app design company to online toy sellers can benefit from. In marketing you often want and need to connect with various influencers for a number of reasons from backlinks to pushing content or even gaining endorsements so it would be wise to ensure you are going about it the right way.

Understanding Outreach

Outreach in essence is asking for a favor. You want something from someone, often a person you don’t know or have a relationship with. When you state it like that it is obvious this is a very one sided affair.

On top of that, you most likely are not the only person that has reached out to your target. Many of the top influencers or email outreach targets are regularly getting emails which frankly can get rather irritating.

Think of it like any other type of solicitation that you yourself might have to deal with such as door-to-door salesmen, telemarketing cold calls or even people that stand outside the grocery store to pitch to you as you are leaving; it can get very annoying very quickly.

With that in mind we recommend approaching outreach in a much more tactful manner that involves social manners and etiquette that seem to have become lost over the years; building rapport and a connection rather than sending mass asks to everyone on your list.

Building Rapport

The world has become a bit more impersonal over the years. It used to be that you took a lot of time with each contact, exchanging pleasantries, building a relationship and then asking for a favor or discussing business.

That concept still has a lot of value.

Think of it from your own personal perspective; are you going to be more open to a cold email request or a request from someone who has established some sort of connection with you? For most people the answer is the latter option.

Here are some rapport steps to consider:

  • Research relevant parties – Find out who the people you want to connect with are and then research them using all that the internet has to offer such as social media, posts or even shared contacts.
  • Say hello – Find some way to make contact. This could be attending a live event they will be at, sending an email, or an in-network message via social media.
  • Start a conversation – Rather than asking someone for anything, instead look to start a conversation much like you would when you meet someone face to face. For example, you could let them know that you read something they had posted and really enjoyed their insights on the topic or that you feel the same away about that subject. Hopefully this leads to more communication between the two of you.
  • Don’t ask for anything – Your goal is to build rapport with this person so you should never ask for anything in your first contact. Instead you are looking to create some sort of memorable contact.

Actual Email Outreach

Now when you do want to reach out to someone who you have at least had some form of contact with before, it should not be your standard cold-calling template.

  • It is right for them – Ideally when you are creating a network or book of potential contacts for email outreach you have taken the time to learn a bit about each person. Using that knowledge you should then decide if what you are going to ask would be in any way beneficial to them. Does your brand have a good reputation? Is the content you want to share or link to relevant and top quality? If not then don’t waste their time or burn a connection with an offer that has a low chance of being accepted.
  • Don’t use a template – Many people that do email outreach utilize templates. While this makes mass emails easier at the same time lots of other people are doing the exact same thing. What this means is that when a person sees the same template form a dozen times in their in-box they are much more likely to just delete them without reading because it is like spam.
  • Personalize the subject line – This is an absolute must. You have already started to build rapport with someone so why waste it with a generic or spamish looking subject line?
  • Keep it short – Don’t waste the other person’s time with a long drawn out email. In this case less is more and you need to get their attention and then compel action one way or another.
  • Email on the right days – The best days to send emails are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The best times to send emails like this (within your time zone) are a 6 a.m., 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. These days and times align with when people on average are most likely to see and open an email, but of course not everyone adheres to these general rules. If a particular contact is unresponsive in those times make a note in your book and try other days or times.
  • Don’t be annoying – Following up is acceptable but it needs to be reasonable. Remember, the goal is building rapport and creating relationships rather than being annoying.

The bottom line is that email outreach is a great tool in the marketing toolbox. Learning how to properly build rapport via email outreach is a much better way to use that tool, in our opinion, creating a network of contacts rather than just mass emailing a list and hoping for a 1% success rate.

Be sure to check back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for great new Lounge Lizard blog articles.

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