Morning Dough
To: Dough Readers


Case Study: What I Learned from Sending 110 Cold Emails

If you’ve done any guest posting before, you know the pain.

Guest posting is a massive time-suck. Unless you’re a big name who gets a ton of inbound requests to do guest posts, it requires a consistent, concerted effort to find and secure guest blogging opportunities.

For new websites, the solution to secure guest posting opportunities consistently is cold outreach. But how do you scale that effectively?

I’ll share the answer as I break down the cold email outreach experiment I did to secure guest post opportunities.

  1. A Word on Cold Outreach
  2. Overview of the Cold Outreach Experiment
  3. How to Do Guest Post Outreach
  4. The Results
  5. Thoughts on Lemlist

A Word On Cold Outreach
Cold outreach works. I know it works because I’ve used it to close clients, secure guest posting opportunities, build links, and, most importantly, build relationships.

Here’s an example of a content marketing project I recently closed from my outreach:

And here are the results from various cold outreach campaigns I ran on Lemlist in June:

Results from various cold outreach campaigns that ran on Lemlist

Ignoring the emails that bounced back due to incorrect email addresses, the campaigns’ results are pretty healthy.

Overall, I had a 70% open rate and a 20% response rate. From the 334 prospects I sent emails to, I got 40 responses, which translates to about 20 calls. That’s more than enough to fill my small pipeline with prospects. Even if my close rate is a meager 10%, I’m bringing on two new clients every month through cold outreach alone.

Still not convinced? Shane Snow (co-founder of Contently) sent 1000 cold emails to C- and VP-level executives from the Fortune 500 (some of the busiest people on the planet).[*]

Here are the results:

707 emails delivered successfully
45.5% open rate
1.7% response rate (still notable considering the position of prospects)

Now that it’s clear that cold outreach can be effective, let’s get into the experiment I ran for securing guest posting opportunities.

Overview Of The Cold Outreach Experiment
At the start of this year, I began testing different approaches to cold outreach.

I was doing quite a bit of guest posting, so I decided to get in the trenches and put my guest post outreach game to the test with an experiment.

The cold outreach experiment ran for a month in April 2020. I didn’t test if outreach itself was effective, but instead tested whether manual or semiautomated campaigns were more effective.

I wanted to see what method worked best to create reliable, scalable guest posting opportunity campaigns.

For the manual campaign, I built a list of 10 prospects and crafted a personalized pitch for each of them.

Read more here.