Building communications and strong relationships is a huge part of any online business. Relationships are built upon trust, product quality and, of course, mutually beneficial basis. And a good, high quality outreach will help you build such relationships and make your business more visible.
I believe you have already asked yourself these questions:
“How and where I can find people for creating ‘win-win’ relationships?”
“How to find right influencers I need?”
“How to take advantage of the influencers I have already found?”
…and the main one:
“How can I turn my outreach strategy into very powerful and resultative weapon for my business?”
These questions are familiar to me; thus, I want to share some tools that will help you find the answers.
In this article I am going to talk about the best outreach tools I have worked with. I want to share my own experience and preferences in choosing tools you will need during any outreach campaign. You will discover:
- Tools to find influencers in your niche
- Tools for content-based outreach
- Tools for email hunt
- Tools for outreach automation
Let’s get started.
Tools to Find Influencers in Your Niche
You must make sure you reach out to the right people. The ideal candidates will hang out in the same niche with you and must already have strong authority. These are the influencers.
To find influencers I recommend you these tools:
This tool ‘separates the signal from the noise’ – that’s how they describe their tool in work. Traackr helps you find relevant people you need, avoiding any misconceptions during your search. How does it happen? Well, Traackr uses its unique scoring method that includes the following aspects:
- Reach – the size of your audience
- Resonance – ability to engage their community
- Relevance – contribution to your topic
Using Traackr you can find who the influencers are for your brand (product etc). Afterwards, you will be able to engage them and build business relationships.
How does it work? Simply put any keyword in a search box and afterwards the tool will suggest you a list of people who are relevant to your niche:What happens next? You can get the information on person you are interested in right from the list Traackr suggested you. What the person says on your topic; what keywords the influencer uses etc:
The next tool is called Klear. The tool is a perfect platform for marketers, which provides you with solutions for social monitoring, influencer marketing and competitive intelligence. I especially like this tool for its influencer search service. Let me show you how it works:
Here we can either insert ‘skill’ we are interested in or choose the one Klear suggests. Afterwards, the tool shows you the results, filtered according to your inquiry (you can change filters to make the results more relevant to your niche):
Also you can see the additional information on the exact person. You can follow him or her on Twitter, open person’s full profile, find him/her on LinkedIn as well:
I am sure this tool is quite powerful in terms of searching influencers.
With this tool you will find crowds of influencers on Twitter. Let’s see how it works.
Little Bird helps you discover all possible connections you might get in Twitter. The service just compares your followers (and people you follow) with TOP influencers in some particular niche. It shows you existing contacts and those you haven’t contacted yet.
Once the relevant people have been found, you can follow them via Little Bird. Furthermore, you can see missed opportunities (those people you haven’t followed in return), those who are not yet covered, etc:
As you can see, Little Bird is a ‘first aid’ in searching influencers in Twitter. Don’t miss a chance of using this tool.
Well, I believe these three tools are pretty comprehensive for searching and finding relevant influencers.
Tools for Content-Based Outreach
I am sure lots of marketers do content-based outreach on daily basis.
By content-based outreach I mean reaching out to the authors of articles and blog posts who write (or publish) on a relevant topic. This is an outstanding tactics to bring attention to your own content, get some social shares and even build some links to your website.
Here are some tools (apart from Google), that will help you find the authors you need:
As you probably already know, Ahrefs is one of the best (if not the best) backlink analyzer tools. Although backlink tracking is only one the many outstanding features it provides, let me show you how I use it to find awesome outreach opportunities for link building.
Option 1: Find those who link to your competitors
Just go to Google and see what websites and articles rank well for the keywords you’re interested in, and analyse them in Ahrefs Site Explorer:
In the example above you can see 358 backlinks; it means we’ve got 358 potential outreach opportunities. Afterwards, you will have to go through the links Site Explorer suggests and start the process of link building.
Option 2: Track mentions you’re interested in
Another cool tool of Ahrefs is its Content Explorer. You can search for the most popular and engaging content in it and see what topics and types of content perform the best.
But it has another handy feature: content alerts. With Alerts you don’t have to go to Google every day and search for new articles on a relevant topic to drop a line to their authors. You can set up the alerts and the new mentions will land into your inbox.
As you get the new content alerts, you can reach out to the authors of these blog posts with your best messages.
BuzzSumo Content Research is very similar to Ahrefs Content Explorer. And although I’m a fan of the latter, I can’t but mention this powerful tool.
BuzzSumo helps you to search for TOP content on the Internet that is relevant to your niche. The list of content you get is a chance to meet some new contacts for your outreach:
Afterwards, BuzzSumo provides you with the information about every person you might be interested in according to the following positions:
- Page Authority
- Domain Authority
- Followers (on Twitter)
- Retweet Ratio
- Reply Ratio
- Average Retweets
You can easily sort the search results by applying filters, e.g a number of Twitter followers, let’s have a look: as you can see ‘sonyasparks’ heads the list according to the request:
Now you have the information that this influencer could be a key player in sharing your own content, thus thanks to BuzzSumo’s function ‘Save Influencer’ you can add him in a private list of your target audience and start to build cooperation with him. This mutual interplay will bring you the traffic you need because the influencers are going to share your content with their own subscribers. It is a kind of chain reaction that will bring you the intended effect. It depends on you of how many influencers you want to add in your list. The more you have – the more traffic you will get.
SEMrush is a tool that does overview of keywords, links and domains for you. It is pretty similar to Ahrefs, but I want to mention it as one of the alternatives.
With SEMrush you can check backlinks to your competitors and to their content and find people who might also willingly link to you or may enjoy your own content or services.
Tools for Email Hunt
Talking about “email hunt” I mean finding an email address of the person we want to reach out to. Yes, you might think:
“There is nothing special in the process: enter the website, find contact form and voila”
Right! But if the website has no direct connection with the person you need (let’s say the person just works for this company), you will see the following email address in ‘contact’ section: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can use these contacts for sending them emails but I am sure you won’t get the result you need. That’s why it is strictly important to find a PERSONAL email addresses.
How can you find these personal emails?
Let me show you the most actionable tools to find almost any email address:
This service shows you the whole information on a specific website you are interested in. I don’t say it provides you with 100% of data you need; however, in the case when you deal with one’s private resource, it points out the owner of the website and his/her email address:
Website Informer is definitely not a topmost tool to find an email address, but quite often it really helps a lot.
I like this one a lot. It works very easy and quickly. Everything you need is person’s full name and his or her website (or a website of a company he’s working for)
When the tool finished with data handling, it provides you with one’s personal email + links to his/her social media accounts (Twitter, Google+). An average tool’s success rate for me was 75%.
I believe this tool is a leader in searching for email addresses. It is convenient to use: you have to know the person’s full name, website he is associated with and that’s all:
Afterwards, you’ll get what you need:
Another one awesome feature of this tool is an opportunity of verifying email addresses:
Moreover, Find That Email’s Chrome extension is pretty good at work with scanning LinkedIn users’ profiles to find email addresses.
Therefore, this tool is the best for searching personal email addresses and my colleagues from Ahrefs share this opinion as well. By the way, the average percentage of successfully found emails is 95% for me!
Tools for Outreach Automation
When you’ve got all contacts of influencers it is time to start an outreach.
For me BuzzStream is the number ONE service for email outreach. This tool is focused on making your email outreach more convenient and it helps you with creating/implementing templates you need for work. Let’s see how easy it is to collect data with the help of BuzzStream Chrome extension:
Creating email templates for the further outreach is also very simple:
I must say sending messages via BuzzStream also provides you with additional information about ‘message status’. You can see whether your message has been opened or not (marked with a green eye icon):
BuzzStream copes with its task very well.
Yesware is an application for you Gmail account that does email tracking. A single purpose of this tool is to show you when your messages have been opened/clicked; it is pretty cool to know whether the recipient ignored you or not 🙂
It will also help you automate your email outreach. With Yesware Mail Merge you can set up email drip campaigns with to keep prospects engaged and never miss a follow-up.
Another one tool for automating your email shot. Here you can create templates, track emails (see opens, clicks and replies) and see email statistics (to learn which template works the best):
Ninja Outreach is a solid tool for those who wants to makes his outreach organized and effective.
Do you have some doubts in necessity of using these tools? Do you think the services I introduced you are ineffective? Thus, I am going to convince you otherwise.
These tools helped me to collect the list with 358 potential contacts, found personal email addresses and completed my email outreach. With the help of them I’ve got 130 positive results. That is quite impressive!
Summarizing I can say – there is no single best tool for outreach! Every tool has its pros and cons. If you want to save your time during the outreach, check out the tools I’ve mentioned in my post. Don’t be afraid of trying some new techniques and tools!
What are your favorite outreach tools? I’d be happy to see what you’d recommend in comments:)
Oh, and don’t forget to share this post:)
Author: Sergey Aliokhin is an Outreach manager at Ahrefs. He spends most of the time discovering and learning SEO and Internet Marketing tendencies. His primal goal is to study and practise new aspects of outreach strategy. In his spare time he likes to spend his time with family, visit specialized sports club, study martial arts. If he has nothing to do at all, he prefers reading books on science-fiction and playing the bass-guitar.