Dark side of Outreaching [Quick Test]

21 Comments

We as digital marketers usually reach out to different people for several different purposes. May be it is to journalist to get your products recognized by the main stream media or it is to bloggers to get some guest writing opportunities or several other possible reasons. Whatever you motive is, while reaching out to different people in the community, it is a must to be nice and make them feel personal.

There are experts who have written several different articles that can help you write creative emails that are nice and personal enough to encourage recipient to respond. While back I wrote an article on Moz that talked about how to write an email that gets a better rate of response.

There are several other articles online that can help you with this but today I am here to discuss the dark side of outreaching.

Dark Side of Outreaching:

I am in the SEO industry for quite a few years now and I think I have reached out to hundreds of people for my clients as well as myself. I did outreach with my real name, and (I will be honest here) with the fake name too!

Why fake name?

If you find any expert in the digital marketing industry, he/she will advise you to be original while trying to make alliance with the prospects but when I was in my first year of SEO (this is common in India and Pakistan) my seniors advised me not to use your original name!

My personal advice to anyone would be to follow experts and be as original and personal as possible but at the same time I do not completely disagree with the advice that I got from my seniors in the initial years of my career!

Problem!

When we are reaching out, our ultimate target is to get the highest % of response. Why I think the local advice is not completely wrong is because when you reach out with the name say“Moosa Hemani” or “Rohit Sharma” normally the rate of response is quite low (especially in the industries other than SEO).

Test:

In my opinion the rate of response with non English name is difficult to improve unless you are Neil Patel of the industry. I did a test by sending 15 kick ass emails to bloggers in the tech industry (mediocre level blogs that do accept guest blogs) and requested them to allow me to contribute on their blog as a guest author. I sent more or less the same email with a different name after a few days. Here are quick stats of it!

*I am including the negative responses as well

Test 2:

In phase 2, I created another account (this time with a male’s name) and send the almost similar email to the same list of bloggers again and here are the stats of it!

*Including Negative responses

I am not trying to prove the experts wrong as my personal advice is same as experts but I did a test and came up with the above given conclusions.

*My conclusion is based on a perfect (same) subject line so if your subject line is not encouraging enough then your results might be different.

  • Bloggers and other recipients (especially belonging to industries like fashion, real estate,etc) tend to respond to the emails that are coming from English Names.
  • When it comes to English names, recipients tend to respond to Female names.

Again, I am not trying to prove that using fake names while outreaching is ethical but this test proves that somehow it’s very difficult to use original names if one needs to increase the rate of response of the emails.

Have you ever encountered such a problem, what is your opinion on this?

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21 Comments
  1. Reply

    I can tell you as a publisher it’s a negative when I find out that a guest writer is not being straightforward about who they are. The good publishers will always know or suspect fake blogger profiles because they research thoroughly before deciding to post. What publishers really care about is the quality of the product. Let it speak and convert for you.

  2. Reply

    I can tell you as a publisher it’s a negative when I find out that a guest writer is not being straightforward about who they are. The good publishers will always know or suspect fake blogger profiles because they research thoroughly before deciding to post. What publishers really care about is the quality of the product. Let it speak and convert for you.

  3. Reply

    I can tell you as a publisher it’s a negative when I find out that a guest writer is not being straightforward about who they are. The good publishers will always know or suspect fake blogger profiles because they research thoroughly before deciding to post. What publishers really care about is the quality of the product. Let it speak and convert for you.

    • AvatarGaz Copeland
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Useful study Moosa (or should I call you Thomas??) and I think it’s well known in the industry that female names convert much better than male ones.

    I find it interesting that we preach “white hat” and “ethical” SEO where an algorithm is concerned, but we have no problem lying to other human beings with this sort of outreach. It’s very curious to me the double standards.

    • AvatarGaz Copeland
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Useful study Moosa (or should I call you Thomas??) and I think it’s well known in the industry that female names convert much better than male ones.

    I find it interesting that we preach “white hat” and “ethical” SEO where an algorithm is concerned, but we have no problem lying to other human beings with this sort of outreach. It’s very curious to me the double standards.

    • AvatarGaz Copeland
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Useful study Moosa (or should I call you Thomas??) and I think it’s well known in the industry that female names convert much better than male ones.

    I find it interesting that we preach “white hat” and “ethical” SEO where an algorithm is concerned, but we have no problem lying to other human beings with this sort of outreach. It’s very curious to me the double standards.

    • Avatarjuliejoyce
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Interesting…we did a test once and had a link builder using a male alias and a female alias and the female one converted at a much higher rate.

    • Avatarjuliejoyce
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Interesting…we did a test once and had a link builder using a male alias and a female alias and the female one converted at a much higher rate.

    • Avatarjuliejoyce
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Interesting…we did a test once and had a link builder using a male alias and a female alias and the female one converted at a much higher rate.

    • AvatarRishadullah Shaikh
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Yeah its kind of a catch 22 situation. Using an English sounding alias does convert better but then, as you rightly mentioned, it is sort of the dark side of outreaching. Thing is, its not just about a fake name as now with author rank etc coming into play its about keeping a full fledge fake identity alive on the web. I’d err towards getting an actual person from the brand/company and using their name as in the end that helps when it comes to building actual human to human connection- the ultimate goal of outreach IMHO.

    • AvatarRishadullah Shaikh
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Yeah its kind of a catch 22 situation. Using an English sounding alias does convert better but then, as you rightly mentioned, it is sort of the dark side of outreaching. Thing is, its not just about a fake name as now with author rank etc coming into play its about keeping a full fledge fake identity alive on the web. I’d err towards getting an actual person from the brand/company and using their name as in the end that helps when it comes to building actual human to human connection- the ultimate goal of outreach IMHO.

    • AvatarRishadullah Shaikh
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Yeah its kind of a catch 22 situation. Using an English sounding alias does convert better but then, as you rightly mentioned, it is sort of the dark side of outreaching. Thing is, its not just about a fake name as now with author rank etc coming into play its about keeping a full fledge fake identity alive on the web. I’d err towards getting an actual person from the brand/company and using their name as in the end that helps when it comes to building actual human to human connection- the ultimate goal of outreach IMHO.

  4. Reply

    You experimented on an industry that is dominated by male fellas. Definitely the feminine factor comes into play a lot of times. If you do an experiment in the fashion or lifestyle industry, the numbers will vary.

    And that also depends upon how experienced the blogger is. Inexperienced bloggers will reply more than the experienced ones.

    When I started guest posting for my blog, I encountered the same phenomenon. But I was fair enough not to use a fake name. I hired a female to this job for me 😀

      • AvatarMoosa Hemani
      • November 12, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks for taking a look at the article and comment 🙂

      Usman I agree that the result might different from industry to industry but if you test in different industries you will see the %age of results will be more or less similar.

      As I said, I am not justifying this act but somehow this is the dilemma and I doing see it going any time sooner!!

  5. Reply

    You experimented on an industry that is dominated by male fellas. Definitely the feminine factor comes into play a lot of times. If you do an experiment in the fashion or lifestyle industry, the numbers will vary.

    And that also depends upon how experienced the blogger is. Inexperienced bloggers will reply more than the experienced ones.

    When I started guest posting for my blog, I encountered the same phenomenon. But I was fair enough not to use a fake name. I hired a female to this job for me 😀

      • AvatarMoosa Hemani
      • November 12, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks for taking a look at the article and comment 🙂

      Usman I agree that the result might different from industry to industry but if you test in different industries you will see the %age of results will be more or less similar.

      As I said, I am not justifying this act but somehow this is the dilemma and I doing see it going any time sooner!!

  6. Reply

    You experimented on an industry that is dominated by male fellas. Definitely the feminine factor comes into play a lot of times. If you do an experiment in the fashion or lifestyle industry, the numbers will vary.

    And that also depends upon how experienced the blogger is. Inexperienced bloggers will reply more than the experienced ones.

    When I started guest posting for my blog, I encountered the same phenomenon. But I was fair enough not to use a fake name. I hired a female to this job for me 😀

      • AvatarMoosa Hemani
      • November 12, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks for taking a look at the article and comment 🙂

      Usman I agree that the result might different from industry to industry but if you test in different industries you will see the %age of results will be more or less similar.

      As I said, I am not justifying this act but somehow this is the dilemma and I doing see it going any time sooner!!

    • AvatarNoman Ali
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Yeah that’s true, out of your own industry where no one know about your name will ignore to reply but as you will use English name with the same email content get replies and for more positive response use Female name rather than male. (This action is horrible but its true)

    • AvatarNoman Ali
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Yeah that’s true, out of your own industry where no one know about your name will ignore to reply but as you will use English name with the same email content get replies and for more positive response use Female name rather than male. (This action is horrible but its true)

    • AvatarNoman Ali
    • November 12, 2013
    Reply

    Yeah that’s true, out of your own industry where no one know about your name will ignore to reply but as you will use English name with the same email content get replies and for more positive response use Female name rather than male. (This action is horrible but its true)

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