Let’s face it:
We all want to make friends and grow our network. In the internet marketing industry, building relationships isn’t easy.
There are many email outreach methods out there to build relationships with influencers and to grow our network. But the brutal truth is:
They don’t usually work. Even if they do, there’s a lot of pre-friendship work you need to do.
Also, directly reaching out to someone with a cold email will not help you and most of the people will put your email in their spam folder.
This is bad for you and your brand because you will not be able to connect with those people again or build a relationship.
Before you try any outreach technique, you need to ask yourself:
What’s the end goal?
It can be getting someone to read your article, get them share your content or just connect with them. No matter what the end goal is, you can’t just send someone an email like this:
I am John from www.example.com. I read your blog and enjoyed it.
I have written an article on blogging topic and want you to share it. Please do share it.
This is an example of the worst outreach email. Not all outreach emails are like this, but you get an idea of such bad emails. There are many articles about writing a good outreach email. Ahrefs got a really awesome article about email outreach. But you know what?
I’ve tried many email outreach methods, sent both good and bad emails. Many of them can get you traffic and shares. But those emails can’t really build a long-lasting relationship.
Because you reached out to them just to get your content shared. Even if you did follow them, share their content or even comment on their blog, most of you will stop it once your goal is reached. That's why I talked about the end-goal in the beginning.
Gary Vaynerchuk said it right when talking about building a relationship:
So, you will not engage with them in future because you just wanted to get your content shared. But if you really want to build a relationship and grow your network, you would want to connect with people and interact with them frequently.
And that’s why you are here. 🙂
Few months back, I gave a shot to Michael Pozdnev’s BFF Commenter technique. It’s a method to make friends. This technique will be discussed briefly but first I want to show you what Michael achieved from this technique.
These results tempted me to try it out. My results were not the same but they helped me connect with new people and make friends in the internet marketing world.
Here are the results of my implementation of this outreach method.
So that’s enough talking. Let me show you how I implemented this technique. I will share the exact method I used. In the end, I'll show you some mistakes you should avoid.
Introduction to BFF Commenter technique
This outreach hack was introduced by Michael Pozdnev from I Wanna Be a Blogger. This method works by reaching out to people. In blogger outreach, we normally reach out to influencers and top bloggers with good social media authority.
But instead of reaching out to influencers and A-list bloggers, you will have to reach out to the people who comment on the websites of these top bloggers.
Think about this:
Is it easy for you become good friends with Neil Patel or become good friends with someone who comments on his blog?
It's very easy to connect with someone who comments on Neil's blog instead of connecting with Neil Patel.
So basically, you need to find top bloggers and influencers you follow, find the people who comment on their websites and reach out to them.
I’ve shown you a few snapshots of the replies I got after reaching out to some of these people.
Now let me show you how I found these people. I am going to show you what I did to find people and reach out to them.
1. Write Content On A Topic And Mention An Influencer
This is no-brainer. You can’t just write an article about “best seo tips” and reach out to the commenters of different blogs.
But you can write something like:
“Best SEO tips from experts” and reach out to the blog commenters of the people whom you have mentioned in your content.
In my case, it was a bit different. When I first read Michael’s article, I already had an article published on my blog that mentioned some experts.
Not long ago, I picked 10 internet marketing experts and found the keywords they target to get ranked. It was an in-depth article with lots of images and data about these top experts.
Since the article was already performing well, I knew this outreach will help me.
I mentioned experts like Neil Patel, Brian Dean, Matthew Woodward, Ana Hoffman and others in my article. So I didn't had to write a new article.
But if you don't have something like this published on your blog, don't worry. You just need to create content that mentions an influencer.
2. Find Out The Information Of The People Who Comment On These Blogs
The next step is to make a list of the people who comment on these blogs. Pick out the latest articles of these bloggers and scrape the information of the people who have commented.
Don’t pick old articles of the websites because people will not remember when they commented on the website and as a result your email will not be responded. Just pick 3-5 latest articles of the website and scrape the comments.
Michael mentioned a great chrome extension in his article, called Scrape Similar. With this tool, you can scrape the information of the people who have commented on the website.
Unfortunately, this extension does not work for Disqus comments. So you will have to scrape that information manually. And don’t skip the blogs with Disqus comments because that’s where you will find real people with real profiles. In the default commenting systems you will find many people with fake names, no email address and people with names of their website. But this is not the case for Disqus.
Once you scrape the information, it's time to save this information in a spreadsheet. Google Spreadsheets helped me organize this information. Since ScrapeSimilar offers the copy to Google Spreadsheets features, you don't have to spend extra time on copying and pasting details of each and every person.
In your spreadsheet, add a column for email address and Twitter. In the end, this is how your spreadsheet should look like:
You can find the Twitter profiles from the website of the commenter. To find email addresses, use Email Hunter. This chrome extension helped me find email addresses without any troubles. Once you install this extension, open any website and click on Email Hunter. It will search for email addresses on that website and will give you results.
Once you have the information of all the people you are going to contact, it’s time for you to reach out to them.
3. Reach Out To Your Future Friends
Before I reached out to all the people in my list, I followed them on Twitter and retweeted them. And if they had any website, I shared their content on Twitter.
That’s enough pre-outreach work for you. But if there is an influencer in your list, you will have to do a lot more than this.
Here are some helpful tips to start interacting with people before reaching out to them:
1. Read their articles and leave relevant and helpful comments.
2. Interact with them on social media
3. Follow them everywhere
4. Find and fix problems on their website
Once you do this, you’ll get on their radar and they will remember who you are. This is how Michael made relationships with influencers like Brian Dean and many others.
But once again I am telling you, I didn’t do any of this because my list didn’t had any influencer. Since I was reaching out to normal people, I just followed them, shared their content and left comments on their blog.
I then reached out to these people. I used the same email template Michael used. Here is the email I sent to most of the people:
As you can see, this email is simple and straightforward. The first line itself tells the reader that we both share a common interest. This makes the person continue reading the email till the end.
Then I offered him my friendship and gave a reason for the friendship. After this, I shared my content with him and mentioned about the common interest we had.
At last mention them that you followed them and helped them by sharing their content or commenting on their blog.
But you need to remember this:
Don’t use the exact email template because chances are that people have already received this email. Try to make your email different. But whatever changes you make in your email, there are two things you need to remember:
1. Offer value
2. Don’t ask for anything
These two are important because if you don’t offer value, there is no reason to read your email. And if you ask for a share or link, they will not help you because you’re not helping them.
Let me just put this quote by Gary Vaynerchuk here again:
And if you do everything right, you’ll start getting replies like this one:
And this one:
This one too:
Last one, I promise:
That’s all about this outreach method. Here are some stats of my outreach campaign:
These results still surprise me and I can say that this is the best outreach campaigns I’ve ever run. The open rate was shocking despite using the common “quick question [Influencer Name]” subject line.
There are some more subject lines that you can use to increase the open rate and the reply rate as well. You can get these subject lines below:
The BFF Commenter technique helped me connect with people, get to know them and make new friends. Yes, it didn’t make a huge impact on my traffic and shares but it helped me a lot in knowing different people and making them friends.
And every online marketer and blogger needs more friends to grow their network. After all, our network is our net worth.
Some Mistakes You Need To Avoid While Implementing This Technique
This technique is simple and easy to execute. Yet, some people make some small mistakes that messes up the whole outreach. So here are some mistakes you need to keep in mind before you send an email.
1. Do not make any spelling or grammar mistakes in your email.
2. Always spell the name of the recipient correctly.
3. Avoid being too casual.
4. Don’t write too long emails.
5. Don’t be pushy.
As far as you avoid these mistakes, you’re good. Right now you might be thinking:
“I know these mistakes and I am smart enough to write a good outreach email.”
That’s what I thought when I reached out to Chris Brogan and made a terrible first impression. It’s not hidden from anyone and you can read it here.
Once you read what mistakes I made there, you will realize the importance of doing some research before reaching out to anyone.
Tools I Used For My Outreach
These are the tools that helped me a lot during the outreach process:
1. Scrape Similar: As mentioned above, it’s a chrome extension that will help you scrape the name and website name of the commenters.
2. Streak: It’s a great tool to track whether someone opened your email or not. With this tool, I tracked the open rate of my emails.
3. Bananatag: Similar to Streak, but I used this chrome extension to create an email template. It saved me from copying and pasting the same email again and again.
4. Google Spreadsheets: Helped me in organizing my list.
5. Gmail: The best free tool to send emails with ease.
6. Email Hunter: Finding emails of people would have been impossible for me without this beautiful tool. It's a chrome extension which will search and give you the email addresses found on any website.
Time To Find Some BFF’s
Now it’s your turn. But before you try this technique, I request you to not try this method to get some traffic or shares. It will surely bring some traffic but the most importantly, it helps in connecting with people and making new friends.
And if you’re having trouble writing an email subject for your outreach, you can find some great subject lines you can use for your BFF Commenter Technique.
If you have any questions regarding this technique, leave a comment here and I'll help you out. 🙂