The following is a guest post written by Ronke Aderonmu. Her bio is at the end of the article.
The days of cold emailing are long gone.
In an age where 144.8 billion emails are sent everyday, the average person can offer only 5 minutes of undivided attention at a time. And, despite its claim to make life simpler and calmer, technology has actually made us busier and more easily distracted. To be honest, your cold emailing probably doesn’t stand a chance.
As marketers, this is an incredible obstacle in our work. We’re trying to make connections every day to engage with people who otherwise would have looked right over us. How do you catch their attention and get them to open and read your emails?
The solution is something I like to call “Twitter flirting”. It’s based on simple psychology: people are more willing to respond to a greater favor after they’ve first responded to a smaller one. When you’ve gotten someone to respond to you with a small amount of effort on their part, they’ll be more likely to respond to a lengthier email you send later down the road — partly because they recognize you from before, and partly because the grooves of relating to one another have already been set.
So how exactly does one go about “Twitter flirting”, you ask? These are the 5 steps you need to follow:
1. Learn how to use Twitter
It sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s so worth saying! There’s nothing more awkward than sending a failed hashtag or cut-off, over-140-character Tweet to a prospect. If you’re going to gain their attention on Twitter, then you need to know the space like the back of your hand. Take time to master the ins and out of the Twittersphere. You want to leave an impression that’s positive, not annoying or clueless, so be sure to do your homework.
2. Start researching
In other words: start stalking the heck out of the prospects you’re interested in: what’s their blog like? What do they post on social media? What kinds of content are they fans of? Who else are they connected to in the space? This will help you craft a pitch that genuinely benefits your prospect. This might feel like a ton of effort upfront, but it will pay off when you start to see skyrocketing email open rates, I promise!
3. Find your bait
Once you understand your prospect, find something of theirs you think is worth sharing with your audience. It could be a blog post, a tweet, an opinion–anything, really. But make sure that whatever you choose to promote is something you stand by and that reflects your company’s values and goals. Because in the end, your genuine care and appreciation for the prospect’s content needs to come through, and that’s only possible if you truly care about the content–no faking allowed.
4. Just do it!
Now that you’ve found content that’s worthwhile, Tweet it to your audience and add a shout-out to your prospect. Let them know that you think highly of something they wrote, and let them know why. Make it memorable by personalizing it. It’s a lot to ask for in 140 characters or less, I know, but no one’s going to respond to a Tweet that seems offhanded or spammy — so put some back into this step!
5. Rinse and repeat!
Learn from each iteration and take note of what worked and what didn’t. Revise your strategy, then try again. Twitter flirt with the same prospect a few times to show them that you are a true fan. And when you get responses, keep track of it. You can go back to these later on for a refresher on your Twitter history with each prospect.
And that’s about it! After you’ve gone through these 5 steps, you’re ready to take the flirting to a whole new level. Once you’ve put some effort into building that online rapport, prospects will be ready to receive, read, and (gasp!) respond to your email requests.
That’s the day and age we live in now, folks! You can’t send an email and expect it to be read, without doing some background work to begin with. At least that’s been my experience with outreach.
What tools / resources / strategies have you been using to get your emails read? Please comment below and share the love with marketers at large!
Ronke Aderonmu is the Outreach Manager at Magoosh, a test-prep company in the Bay Area. When she’s not outreaching and writing, you can find her eating with friends, eating with family, eating with strangers, or any such activity involving good food!