Readers — like you! — wrote in with enthusiastic comments about yesterday’s letter: “avoiding a numbers-based outreach approach (and what to do instead).” So, I have some more thoughts to share on this approach to ‘small batch outreach’ — and a strong encouragement that you try it out.
First off, I love this small-batch approach to outreach.
It’s simple, easy to understand, and easy to get started with:
- You don’t need any special software, just an email account.
- Instead of emailing a sprawling list with dozens/hundreds/thousands of folks, you’re emailing a few hyper-targeted people — maybe just one person at a time.
- You’re focusing on adding value through your interaction and a personally written email.
Small batch outreach works really well.
I have one clarification, though.
Yesterday I said:
- Build a small, highly vetted list of qualified decision-makers and ideal customers (~25-50 people).
But that person range at the end is off; it should be 1-50.
You can do small batch outreach to just one person at a time (or two, five, or ten).
You don’t need 10, 25, or 50+ people to do outreach. Even just one at a time works. (Some efficiencies make slightly larger outreach lists more efficient, but that’s a detail for down the road.)
Small batch outreach is incredibly powerful.
When you make a list of just a few people you want to connect with (one, two, or three, let’s say) and then apply a polite, persistent outreach + follow-up campaign, it’s straightforward to make contact, ask a question, stimulate a conversation, and or build a relationship.
This form of outreach is how I’ve made contact with numerous people over the years who became friends, colleagues, or collaborators. This approach works very well if done correctly (i.e., politely, adding value, not being pushy – what I talk about in The Outreach Blueprint: kaidavis.com/products/outreach-blueprint/).
How can you get started with this type of small-batch outreach? No tools or supplements are required. You can just:
- Pick someone you want to connect with (say, a micro-influencer with an audience in a space you’re a fan of, like a writer, podcast host, YouTuber, person on Twitter, or business owner in a related niche)
- Research them and find something to talk to them about (read their Twitter + blog, subscribe to their newsletter, and or listen to a podcast — the more research you do, the better, but you hit a ‘minimum effective dose’ of research after a bit of time.)
- Find their email address (I use hunter.io for this)
- Send them an email that focuses on them, adds value in a non-spammy way, and has a clear call to action (like a single, simple, small question – small asks first)
- If you don’t get a response, follow up 1-3 times over a few weeks.
You can use that process to contact people, start a conversation, or even stimulate a conversation that leads to them buying something down the line.
Myself? I’ve come to believe that email outreach is most potent when you use it for non-sales activities.
Or, instead, outreach is the most powerful when your goal isn’t getting an immediate sale but stimulating a relationship where a sale might come about in the future—more on that concept in an upcoming letter.
In the meantime, I encourage you to try your hand at small-batch outreach.
- Pick someone
- Find their email address
- Research them (doing just enough research)
- Send them an email and ask them a small question
- If you don’t hear back from them, follow up ~2-3 times over ~2-3 weeks.
Remember to start small.
Emailing and connecting with just one person can result in an incredibly effective email outreach campaign. (Some day, I’ll tell the whole story of how I got my client’s book a front cover testimonial from Seth Godin through this type of small-batch email outreach.)
If you decide to try your hand at small-batch outreach, I’d love to hear how it goes. Feel free to report back.
By the way, if you’d like to get better at your email outreach, I encourage you to pick up The Outreach Blueprint (kaidavis.com/products/outreach-blueprint/). You’ll learn how to email anyone and what to do to get a reply.