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Email Outreach: A Step-By-Step Guide to Follow in 2021

Nowadays, it is merely possible to run a business online without outreach.

Email outreach is a universal way to build communication with customers, business owners, influencers, and everything in between keeping things simple.

Email outreach handles all the business activities that you run via email correspondence.

Despite the fact, outreach takes lots of time and effort. You can never know if your email outreach campaign will be successful. That’s why you can compare email outreach to art. This art requires specific knowledge, patience, and a stroke of luck.

So, how to do email outreach effectively?

In this guide, you will get familiar with email outreach in detail.

Let’s cut to the chase!

Email Outreach Basics

There is no single correct definition for outreach. However, it is clear that the role of outreach is to build connections and communication with other people.

Outreach can be considered as a “tool” that helps you not just build connections but achieve certain practical goals. For example, email outreach is widely used for link building, guest posting, content promotion, and many more.

Keep in mind that the angle of outreach depends on your marketing objectives.

For instance, you need to explore blogs that accept guest contributors. Your aim is to reach out to these blogs and find out whether your guest post pitch will be accepted.

There is no need in creating a personalized pitch. This type of outreach is like a “cold” outreach.

In contrast to this outreach, if you are willing to promote your content, it is necessary to create a personalized pitch.

As you can see, email outreach differs in terms of your goals. However, the practice proves that the main direction of outreach is to build backlinks and promote content.

You might wonder how personalized outreach differs from spam?

Here are two examples of outreach pitches.



What do you think is spam?

The first example of a pitch is spam outreach. It has zero personalization. And nothing more.

The second example has a catchy subject line. It gives a clear idea of what this pitch is about. You can see personalization and the reasons why you should be interested in this proposition. Plus, the author of the email asks to give more detail for the further partnership.

If you want to make your email outreach pitch more personalized than spammy, you should invest more time in the process of personalization. Therefore, don’t be lazy and add more human vibes in every pitch you send.┬áBesides, don’t forget that it is critically important to carry on a conversation professionally. It has a direct impact on your company’s branding. If people see that the way you talk to them via email is quite self-promotional and you are eager to sell, they won’t be hooked at all.

Now, let’s move on with reviewing email outreach tactics.

Outreach Tactics to Consider

Basically, there are two email outreach tactics – “shotgun” and “sniper” outreach. Let’s review each of the tactics more precisely.

Shotgun outreach

Shotgun outreach has a purpose to reach out to as many outreach targets as you can. It doesn’t require email template personalization. This tactic doesn’t guarantee a high percentage of results. However, this is a good solution for those businesses that don’t have much time to send personalized pitches.

Sniper outreach

This tactic is opposite to shotgun outreach. It requires you to collect email outreach targets carefully. Explore the right people to send your pitch to. Find correct email addresses. Create an email template that is highly personalized and pushes people to build communication. This tactic is good when you have created a small list of outreach opportunities.

It is up to you which outreach tactic to choose. But if you want to achieve positive results, you should better focus on sniper outreach.

What’s more important, shotgun outreach has a few negative aspects to pay your attention to:

  1. Lack of outreach targets

When you send hundreds of messages it becomes less possible to find new prospects to reach out to. Therefore, it makes sense to pick outreach targets carefully in order to save more opportunities for the future.

  1. Low-quality backlinks

The truth is that high-authoritative sites never reply to “shotgun” type outreach. In other words, you won’t get high-quality backlinks doing shotgun outreach.

From now on you will get familiar with the steps on how to do “sniper” outreach from scratch.

How to Do Sniper Email Outreach in a Few Steps

Whatever type of outreach you’re planning to do, you should start with exploring outreach opportunities.

How to find outreach prospects?

The very first place where you can find outreach targets is Google. Let’s assume that you need to build more backlinks for the page that suggests dozens of free presentation templates.

You know that your primary keyword is “presentation templates”. Go to Google and check out top pages that rank for this specific keyword.

As you can see, the top results belong to product pages and blog posts. It goes without saying that it is ridiculous to do outreach using these opportunities. Nobody will link back to your page because you are a competitor.

Likely, it doesn’t mean that those sources that link back to your competitors won’t link back to you as well.

The question is how to find these sources?

For this, you can use the Site Explorer tool from Ahrefs. Everything you will have to do is to analyze competitors’ pages with the tool and review the report called “Referring domains”:



This very page has 1,5K+ referring domains. Your next step is to review these domains and see what backlinks each of them has. Afterwards, collect the opportunities and start your outreach campaign.

How to find correct email addresses?

By having correct email addresses your sniper outreach turns into an effective weapon to achieve your outreach goals. Remember that the core element of any outreach campaign is reaching out to the right prospects.

That’s why it is strictly important to find the email addresses of the prospects.

Let’s say you already have a list of outreach targets. It consists of the full name of the people you’re going to reach out to. First and foremost, go to LinkedIn and verify whether your outreach targets are associated with the companies you’re planning to get in touch with.

You can get the necessary information in the “Experience” section of the user’s profile.



The thing is that there are cases when you’re getting in touch with the person who doesn’t work for the particular company any more. This person wrote a piece of content a few years ago and no longer is associated with the company. While you want to get a backlink from this very post.

That’s why it is important to verify the person’s current employment.

If you’re satisfied with the LinkedIn information about your outreach target, it is time to find the correct email address. Sometimes people tend to point out their email addresses right in their profile. But if there is no email address mentioned, you can use specific email finder tools for this purpose.

For example, or Just put the person’s full name and website domain this person is associated with and get the email.

Find all email addresses moving this way. After, go ahead and start working on creating an email outreach campaign.

How to customize your email outreach campaign?

You can split the email outreach campaign into three stages:

  • Crafting an email template
  • Email personalization
  • Email outreach

It is pretty difficult to run any email outreach campaign manually, without using an email outreach tool. There are a lot of tools to choose from – Buzzstream, Mailshake, NinjaOutreach to name a few. In this case, this tool is called Respona.

To start your outreach, you need to create a new campaign.

After naming your new campaign you need to create your customized campaign schedule. It will help you run outreach campaigns whenever you feel strategically important to you.

To start working with the new campaign you need to upload your list with the prospects. Respona allows you to upload a CSV file you had prepared before.

If you don’t have time to create an email template, you can choose from the ones that Respona offers. However, if you believe you need to create your personal email template, you can do it easily right off the bat.

Thanks to the ability to apply additional elements within the body of your email template, you will be able to customize it as much professionally as you can.

What are the core components of personalization?

The first thing that person can see when receiving your email pitch is the subject line. Thus, you should create a subject line that would give a clear understanding of the message of your pitch. It should be straightforward and to the point. Also, you can analyze your subject line by leveraging an email subject line analyzer tool and can write best subject lines.

Don’t forget to include the person’s first name. Make sure you’re using a friendly manner of the pitch. Keep in mind that your first pitch shouldn’t be based on asking anything from the person you’re getting in touch with. Instead, try to build some cooperation on a win-win basis.

The final step of the process is to launch your outreach campaign.


That being said, email outreach is a go-to tool in your daily marketing activity. It allows you to build new connections, create corporations, acquire backlinks, and achieve other marketing goals.

Even though email outreach is a time-consuming process, it is still actionable and widely used among marketers. You can automate your email outreach to some extent.

You have just got familiar with the basics of email outreach and how to perform it effectively.

If you think this post lacks more tips, feel free to share your ideas in the comments.

Author bio: Sergey Aliokhin is a Marketing Specialist at Visme. When he is out of work, he is fond of spending time with his family, reading, and plucking strings on the bass.