The worst feeling is spending hours on your content only to have promotion fall flat. In our experience, your outreach should be equally important. Here are our tips to building a better email template that actually gets responses, versus collecting inbox dust.
In today’s Content & Links, I break down how we use the popular A.I.D.A. writing formula to create better email outreach templates.
Hi, everyone. I’m Caroline, Director of Content Strategy at Siege Media, and today I’m going to talk about how we use the A.I.D.A. content formula to write better outreach emails.
If you’ve ever done outreach, you probably already know that it’s a pretty daunting task. We follow the A.I.D.A. content formula that allows us to write emails at scale, and those scaled emails also allow us to get a 20% open rate or better.
It’s important to know that a lot of times with outreach, you’re emailing a complete stranger with a brand or piece of content that they’ve never heard of.
So it’s important to get your outreach email right on the first shot so that you have a better open rate, but also just an overall better brand awareness and response to you as a person and also your company.
With that formula in place, I’m going to explain how we use all four of those pillars to inform each step in our email outreach process. So let’s dive in.
Step 1: Grab Attention
First step is grabbing attention. Now, the most obvious part of an email is the subject line. It’s the first thing that your recipient is going to read and it’s going to set the tone for the rest of their email if they decide to open it.
So we use the grab attention pillar to really inform this step in our copywriting process. Oftentimes, I find people sway too far to the attention-grabbing side of the spectrum and focus on click-bait subject lines that add little to no value of what the content actually is and just tries way too hard to get that click.
You’ve probably seen them all before in your email inbox. They can be vague, like “Quick question for you” or “Do you have a moment?”, or my absolute least favorite, “Quick follow-up”.
Try to avoid these vague and inactionable attention-grabbing subject lines because in all reality, they’re probably just going to go straight to trash.
Instead, what we like to do is follow a very simple content framework that we’ve shared in past videos. It’s [Content Type] for [Website Name]: [description of content]. This focuses on a perfect balance of personalization and brevity that will actually grab somebody’s attention.
It’s tempting to want to break the mold, add emojis, include exclamation points, but in all reality, remember, you’re emailing a stranger who has never heard from you before. It’s perfect to just get to the point in as few characters as possible and really use a framework that will let your content stand out as opposed to click-bait.
Step 2: Inspire Interest
After you grab attention, we’re onto the next pillar, which is inspire interest. In email outreach, we typically do this by referencing something a blogger has written about or a topic that they’re interested in, in order to show a little personalization and authenticity that perhaps they’re not familiar with receiving or reading about in their typical email outreach.
It’s important to inspire interest by getting excited about your pitch and explaining to them why they should be excited too. In the end, if you’re not excited about your content, then why would they be?
We do this by looking at somebody’s website or blog and tying what they’ve written back to our piece of content. It shows an extra layer of sincerity and authenticity that we’ve actually looked at their blog, read it, and understood what they’re talking about.
For example, let’s say you’re a health food company and you’re trying to promote an infographic on ways to cook with coconut oil. If you find out that a blogger is vegan or particularly passionate about versatile uses of coconut oil, it’s important to tie that back in your email, noting that you’ve read a recent post by them, or that you just understand their outlook on health.
This way, you’re not only creating an email that is authentic and interesting for them to read, but you’re also naturally vetting your process.
In my experience, if you’re not able to generate that interest by looking at their live blog content and tying it back to yours, it’s probably not worth sending that email in the first place. So this is a good method of not only crafting a good email, but also vetting your prospects along the way.
Step 3: Generate Desire
So after we’ve inspired interest, we’re on to the third pillar, which is generate desire. While inspiring interest was all focused on personalizing your sentences to talk about their content and their website, generating desire is putting the focus now on your content and what you’re trying to pitch.
Again, in the end, you’re emailing a stranger about something they’ve never heard of before, so if you can’t make it sound interesting, why would they have any desire to want to see it?
Oftentimes, what we’ll do is explain in max two sentences, and this is really important to remember, max two sentences, what is so special about this piece of content?
It could be original photography that’s super high-end and will look great on that person’s blog. Maybe it’s a cool calculator interactive feature that hasn’t been done before in your industry. Or maybe it’s a big data study with original findings.
Whatever it is, be sure to call out what truly makes that piece of content unique to generate that desire and make them want to click on the link to view more.
Step 4: Call to Action
So you’ve now grabbed someone’s attention, inspired interest, and generated desire. So we’re now at the final step of this copywriting formula, which is call to action. A lot of times what I find in call to action is that people will either be way too vague or way too crowded in what call to action they choose.
On the vague side, a lot of people will respond with something like, “Feel free to respond” or “Welcome any feedback.”
A lot of times, this is putting pressure on the recipient to follow up with you and they’re probably not going to want to because, again, you’re a stranger and they have no idea really what to ask from you.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a call to action that’s too crowded just includes too many methods of what you want the user to do. This could be a sign off like “Please share, respond, or post on your blog”. Including too many call to actions is, again, just going to confuse them and probably not motivate them to want to do any of them.
The perfect call to action is focused on a singular thing that you want that blogger to do. A lot of times, we focus on just asking if they want to share it on their blog post.
Another quick tip is that if you’re writing a call to action and the action you want to take is for them to post on their blog and link back to your content, we don’t like using the phrase “link back”. I find that it too often alludes to spammy SEO link-building and it’s just not a natural way for people to speak in emails.
So that’s how we use the A.I.D.A. copywriting formula to improve our outreach emails and oftentimes get a 20% or better open rate.
Thanks so much for watching. Again, I’m Caroline. Please leave a comment below with any feedback or questions. We’d love to hear if you found this valuable. And don’t forget to like or subscribe to get more alerts in the future on these videos. Have a good one and happy outreach!