Specific trouble with Article Syndication

by Alast
24 replies
Hi guys,

I have been doing article syndication for roughly 10 months now. That being said: I'm having trouble getting people to respond to my emails. The last 4 days I have sent 30~ emails, and have only received three responses, which is far below average. However, this is not unusual for me at all. I have been talking with Alexa about this, and she also can't understand why my emails aren't getting responses - even she said both my articles being offered and the email itself are of high quality, which means it's not because of that.

I was using Outlook to send emails, and have now switched to FastMail (as of yesterday). I'm still not seeing many changes with this, unfortunately (could be too soon to tell, maybe?).

So, for those who actually know what they're talking about: do you have any advice for this? I believe this is one of the main (if not the only) reason I'm not having any success at all.

I have also had incidents where on the second email, the website owner claimed he/she never received my first email, which initially raised my eyebrows - particularly when it's happened several times after that. It makes me question how many are actually getting my emails?

Here is one of the emails I sent... without giving away too much of my niche.

Hello 'x',

I have only recently came across this website, and skimmed through some of your articles, and was very impressed with some of the tips provided - some I was unfamiliar with myself. Moreover, I would like to make a comment on the design of the 'y' website. I have been able to easily navigate through pages, articles, and other sections which I really appreciate - I understand that it's very difficult at times to get that right, which I believe has been nailed here!

That brings me to the initial reason as to why I'm sending you this message. I am a 'z' enthusiast, and love to write about the subject at hand. I thought this would be an excellent opportunity for me to show my writing and knowledge to your audience, as I feel they will truly benefit from the article I am proposing for 'y'. The article, in essence, talks about <CAN'T DISCLOSE>, which have been elaborated in my article. I do not expect any payment for my article whatsoever - although would appreciate a link to my website at the end of the article. I have attached the article at the end of this email, and would love to hear back from you to hear what you have to say. I genuinely believe your audience could benefit from the article, and would be honored to have it published here!

If you have anything you would like to discuss in regards to this offer, I would be more than happy to converse with you.

Take care,
't'

Thanks!
#article #specific #syndication #trouble
  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    I am not an article marketer. But, the first paragraph of your email is quite similar to a lot of the spam comments I get on my different blogs. If I got that email I would probably delete it before I finished the first paragraph.

    But that is just one mans humble opinion

    al
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      How are you attaching the article?

      If you're attaching a .doc file or other word processor file, I can see why publishers are not getting your emails. Many ISPs block emails with attachments, especially Word files, as they can contain macros with viruses.

      I either include the article right in the email, or put a plain text file in a zip folder. Zip files go through without problem because they must actively be unpacked and the contained file activated.

      BTW, I got your PM but haven't had time to give it a proper response. I should do so in the next couple of days.

      The other thing I'd consider is

      I thought this would be an excellent opportunity for me to show my writing and knowledge to your audience, as I feel they will truly benefit from the article I am proposing for 'y'. The article, in essence, talks about <CAN'T DISCLOSE>, which have been elaborated in my article.
      You may want to rephrase that bit, as some people on a quick read would see "this is an opportunity to grab your audience."

      You might try something like

      Based on my quick visit, I think your audience might benefit from my article about <CAN'T DISCLOSE>. If you agree, please feel free to use this article without charge, although I'd appreciate keeping the link at the bottom.
      Rough, but you get the idea...
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    "I have only recently came across this website..."

    You've got a grammatical error in your very first sentence. If I received this message I would stop reading immediately and click away. It should read I have only recently come across this website.

    I don't know that the advantage of using the word "only" is in this sentence either. I also feel that the overall content of the email is rather wordy and overly patronizing. Trim it down and cut to the chase. Good luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Dump the first paragraph - poorly written.

      Start with the second sentence of the second paragraph and you might get better responses.

      Get to the point - don't waffle around.

      I agree with John - don't send an attachment. I don't open those myself and I doubt I'm alone.
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  • Profile picture of the author borsaronero
    Keep it more simple and straight, try to engage conversation first. Issue the email with more attracting things, I mean, give some value to the person. Be more personal. Things like:
    Hey Name, my name is xxxx, I am a blogger at xxx. I am one of your loyal reader... etc.. I come across your website, and I saw you wrote about xxxx etc...
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
      I agree with other posters - the email is awkwardly phrased and contains grammatical errors.

      The other problem is that it says nothing about the actual site itself - it isn't personal. The compliments are generic and could apply to any website. That would make me believe the email was created for bulk submission.

      I'd be much more inclined to take an approach seriously if the author referenced some of my site's content in the proposal.


      Frank
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        You should keep your query as short and succinct as possible - editors/publishers are quite busy and generally don't have the patience for such long-winded promos. Your approach seems offensively patronizing. Instead, suggest in your query that your article provides a specific insight or benefit to the reading audience.

        A format that I've used with great success with ezine publishers and websites was just a couple of short introductory paragraphs, a link to my niche portfolio of recently published articles, followed by article summary, word count, and full text of the article within the email.

        Publishers rarely accept articles on the first email; it may take several submissions (offering your "latest article") to get published. An excellent tutorial covering article marketing in detail including specifics for this very crucial step can be found in "Turn Words Into Traffic", by Jim and Dallas Edwards (available on Amazon).
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        • Profile picture of the author Alast
          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          You should keep your query as short and succinct as possible - editors/publishers are quite busy and generally don't have the patience for such long-winded promos. Your approach seems offensively patronizing. Instead, suggest in your query that your article provides a specific insight or benefit to the reading audience.
          Would you agree that the most patronizing thing in my article would be this sentence? "I genuinely believe your audience could benefit from the article, and would be honored to have it published here!". I have removed it, after reading it from your (and everyone else's) perspective. I 100% agree.

          A format that I've used with great success with ezine publishers and websites was just a couple of short introductory paragraphs, a link to my niche portfolio of recently published articles, followed by article summary, word count, and full text of the article within the email.
          Do you think I should be uploading all of my articles to EZA right away, or wait until I have finished offering the article for syndication individually? Right now, I only have three articles on my website (I plan to write one every 1-2 weeks) so maybe I'm not up to that right now? In addition, when you say you provide a summary, word count, and full text of the article... I'm unsure if this has a relation to your portfolio.

          Do you mean you include the article you want them to publish, AND you also give them alternate options with your portfolio if they're not interested in the article offered?

          Publishers rarely accept articles on the first email; it may take several submissions (offering your "latest article") to get published. An excellent tutorial covering article marketing in detail including specifics for this very crucial step can be found in "Turn Words Into Traffic", by Jim and Dallas Edwards (available on Amazon).
          I never knew that! I'll be sure to check the book out, thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Alast
    Thanks for the responses! I really do appreciate it.

    I have 'redesigned' my proposal email - taking everything you guys have said into consideration. What do you think?

    Hello 'x',

    -Here I'll go through their website, telling them what I like about it in regards to designs, articles - all exclusive to their website. So essentially I'll take the time to look through their website opposed to having one universal paragraph- For example:

    I recently discovered <website> and was thoroughly engaged with the article written about <blank>. It was entertaining to read, from start to finish. Furthermore, the design of <website> has been done superbly. I really like how the red contrasts with the blue; it makes it easy on the eye for viewers, and I wish I had thought of it myself!

    Moreover, I am a photographer, and love to write about the subject at hand. Based on my quick visit to your website, I think your audience might benefit from my article about <CAN'T DISCLOSE> as it <GIVE REASONS>. If you agree, please feel free to use this article without any charge whatsoever, although I'd appreciate keeping the link at the bottom. I have attached the article at the end of this email, and would love to hear back from you to hear what you have to say. I genuinely believe your audience could benefit from the article, and would be honored to have it published here!

    If you have anything you would like to discuss in regards to this offer, I would be more than happy to converse with you.

    Take care,
    'y'
    Just to clarify: it's being sent in the email, not as an attachment!
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Get their attention first via social media. Engage them first via Twitter so they can trust you then go for the email.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    I'm no expert on every aspect of article syndication but I did have good success with getting my stuff out there. This is what I did.

    A short, personalized email to the Webmaster. I had a template that I could easily personalize. Never did I toss out compliments unless I had something unique in common with the target that warranted some sort of praise or comment. Just a straight, to the point appeal focusing on how my content would compliment theirs. That's it. I'd include an article right there in the email, sometimes two.

    My rationale was when someone takes the time to open an email you've got their attention so having one of your best articles in front of them is smart. From there I'd point them to a portfolio of my best stuff telling them to grab whatever they thought was appropriate.

    I'd get one in three on the first try and then email again in a month or so and pick up a few more. That's it. I got a lot of traffic and was on my way to doing very well with the model. Then I shifted gears and did something I should have done years ago. I began writing fiction (with an occasional nonfiction title) for Kindle and I haven't looked back.

    This part isn't directly related to your question but should be helpful in getting you prospects just the same. Look for the authorities in your market/niche; people that have their own stuff out there getting syndicated. Now you know the sites you're finding this stuff on accepts syndicated content so they're perfect candidates for a pitch. This turned out to be my best approach.
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  • Profile picture of the author Luke Dennison
    Sometimes if you really WANT to connect with a fellow webmaster, you have to stand out from the automated spam, which can be difficult.

    If you see a real opportunity with a certain website, see if they have a cheap product for sale. if it's like $20, and you think it's worth it, then you can buy the product, and use the customer email adress to contact.

    You can garuntee at least that way your email hs been seen, plus they may be more inclined to listen to you, as you've already put money in there pocket.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Here's a little trick that can work very well.

      Become a familiar name.

      Rather than simply find a specific article to mention in your email, leave a good comment on the article. Link to your home page, not your opt-in lander. The objective here isn't traffic or backlinks, it's getting noticed by the webmaster/publisher.

      If they have social buttons, and the article warrants it, like it (with a comment as to why), tweet it and mention the website's handle so it comes up in their mentions rather than their main timeline.

      Then hit them with the proposal. They may or may not remember you specifically, but you should be a familiar name.

      If the site is really worth it, continue doing this with new articles you have for them.
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      • Profile picture of the author myob
        Originally Posted by Alast View Post

        Would you agree that the most patronizing thing in my article would be this sentence? "I genuinely believe your audience could benefit from the article, and would be honored to have it published here!". I have removed it, after reading it from your (and everyone else's) perspective. I 100% agree.
        Actually, I would ditch all that rambling prattle entirely, because most likely editors/publishers will not even get to the point of reading your article. Focus on your article, credentials, and emphasise 2-3 benefits the article provides to readers. Publishers tend to have little patience for gratuitous compliments, and it is generally considered to be the signature of amateurs and spammers. For wider acceptance, it's best to use the KISS method (Keep It Short and Simple. This post on article syndication may be helpful: Article Syndication

        Originally Posted by Alast View Post

        Do you think I should be uploading all of my articles to EZA right away, or wait until I have finished offering the article for syndication individually? Right now, I only have three articles on my website (I plan to write one every 1-2 weeks) so maybe I'm not up to that right now?
        For those starting out as article marketers, I do recommend submitting articles to EZA right away, and getting recognized as soon as possible as an "Expert" or greater. This is a highly recognized article directory and well regarded by publishers for sourcing content in a wide array of niches. This post shows a technique that I used regularly for using EZA as a marketing tool for article syndication: Do Ezinearticles have any value anymore?

        Originally Posted by Alast View Post

        In addition, when you say you provide a summary, word count, and full text of the article... I'm unsure if this has a relation to your portfolio.

        Do you mean you include the article you want them to publish, AND you also give them alternate options with your portfolio if they're not interested in the article offered?
        It is considered standard practice to provide a short summary, word count, and full text of the article when prospecting publishers. Sometimes the publication will have specific guidelines for article submission.

        Originally Posted by Alast View Post

        I never knew that! I'll be sure to check the book out, thanks.
        The article syndication marketing model as detailed in "Turn Words Into Traffic", is more relevant today than ever before, especially with the ongoing algorithm changes with Google and the increasing demands of publishers for quality content.
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        • Profile picture of the author Alast
          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          Actually, I would ditch all that rambling prattle entirely, because most likely editors/publishers will not even get to the point of reading your article. Focus on your article, credentials, and emphasise 2-3 benefits the article provides to readers. Publishers tend to have little patience for gratuitous compliments, and it is generally considered to be the signature of amateurs and spammers. For wider acceptance, it's best to use the KISS method (Keep It Short and Simple. This post on article syndication may be helpful: Article Syndication
          Do you mean to remove any form of compliment I am giving the website? Or keep that part short and succinct? Providing it is unique to their website.

          I have always referred the KISS method as: "Keep It Simple Stupid."

          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          For those starting out as article marketers, I do recommend submitting articles to EZA right away, and getting recognized as soon as possible as an "Expert" or greater. This is a highly recognized article directory and well regarded by publishers for sourcing content in a wide array of niches. This post shows a technique that I used regularly for using EZA as a marketing tool for article syndication: Do Ezinearticles have any value anymore?
          I'll definitely take this advice on board! I just need to find the motivation to write more articles.

          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          It is considered standard practice to provide a short summary, word count, and full text of the article when prospecting publishers. Sometimes the publication will have specific guidelines for article submission.
          Yes - I see. Time to restructure my proposal (in some aspects), I think.

          Originally Posted by myob View Post

          The article syndication marketing model as detailed in "Turn Words Into Traffic", is more relevant today than ever before, especially with the ongoing algorithm changes with Google and the increasing demands of publishers for quality content.
          I think I purchased a book by Paul Myers on this subject - but I think I forgot the name of it! I need to keep my books straight.

          But yes - I will check it out, for sure.
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          • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Alast View Post

            I think I purchased a book by Paul Myers on this subject - but I think I forgot the name of it!
            It's called "The Content Cash System".

            I think you've been offered some really good advice in this thread, and you did well to start it.

            (For the record, I don't quite agree, from my own perspective, with the suggestion that "shorter is better than longer" when asking publishers to use your article(s). I'm not trying to call anyone "wrong" for offering that thought, needless to say; I simply offer the observation that my own personal experience and overall impression are different from that ).

            .
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            • Profile picture of the author Alast
              It's called "The Content Cash System".
              Ah, yes. I remember now. Unfortunately it's on my 'broken' computer I haven't touched in a few months now.

              I think you've been offered some really good advice in this thread
              Me too - and it definitely is appreciated!
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          • Profile picture of the author myob
            Originally Posted by Alast View Post

            Do you mean to remove any form of compliment I am giving the website? Or keep that part short and succinct? Providing it is unique to their website.

            I have always referred the KISS method as: "Keep It Simple Stupid."
            Indeed, removing any form of compliment at this point would be my recommendation. When it comes to articles and sales copy, I totally agree with Alexa that longer is better. However, when it comes to marketing your articles, I have found it best to quickly cut to the chase. Editors are driven by deadlines and are often harried.

            Your objective should be to get the editor to focus on your article, not your compliments and praises. Trust me, publishers with loyal audiences already know they're good, and they don't have much patience for flattery from unknown twerps with an obvious agenda. Unless you have relevant credentials or are well-known within the niche, I would recommend staying away from offering compliments in an initial query.

            Back in the day, I was submitting articles to as many as 100 new online/offline publishers every day (in addition to automated followups), so it was not practical to write up "compliments" or even "personalize" prospecting emails. So, I must confess, my emails were from self-hosted autoresponders loaded up with messages pulling custom (ie personalized) content from databases. Here is my KISS template (note that it's not simple and stupid ) which I used extensively for prospecting syndication partners:
            Subject: [Editor/publisher's name] - New Article for Your Consideration

            Hello [Editor/publisher's name],

            Here is a new article for your consideration. I'm respectfully submitting my latest article in the hope that readers of your [ezine/website/blog] will find the unique information from [title of article] extremely useful. It provides insight about [major benefit], [major benefit], and also [major benefit].

            Allow me a quick introduction. My name is [your name/pen name], and my articles have recently appeared in [publications] {or include background and experience within niche}

            All of my articles come from front-line experience, so please let me know your specific article needs. I can produce feature-quality articles on a weekly basis, which will be sent to you immediately with your permission.

            Please feel free to publish the current article below with my Resource box. Also, I'd greatly appreciate a courtesy copy of your publication when it goes out.

            Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to your publication.
            [Name/pen name]
            [email]
            [website link to portfolio of articles, or EZA]
            [phone]

            P.S. If you want to see a few of my previous articles - check out: [link to portfolio of articles, or relevant author account on EZA]

            Article [title of article]
            Summary: [summary]
            Article size: [xxx] words (body)

            ================================================== ==============
            Article begins here (in body of email)
            ================================================== ==============
            [article]

            If you do not wish to receive further article release updates, simply click the link below:
            [unsubscribe link]
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            • Profile picture of the author Alast
              Originally Posted by myob View Post

              Indeed, removing any form of compliment at this point would be my recommendation. When it comes to articles and sales copy, I totally agree with Alexa that longer is better. However, when it comes to marketing your articles, I have found it best to quickly cut to the chase. Editors are driven by deadlines and are often harried.
              I will try this for a while - see if it makes much of a difference. Nothing worse can go wrong, right?

              Back in the day, I was submitting articles to as many as 100 new online/offline publishers every day (in addition to automated followups), so it was not practical to write up "compliments" or even "personalize" prospecting emails. So, I must confess, my emails were from self-hosted autoresponders loaded up with messages pulling custom (ie personalized) content from databases. Here is my KISS template (note that it's not simple and stupid ) which I used extensively for prospecting syndication partners:
              Would you still recommend this method? I will probably manually send the messages, just to look less "spammy."
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              • Profile picture of the author myob
                Originally Posted by Alast View Post

                Would you still recommend this method? I will probably manually send the messages, just to look less "spammy."
                The marketing system now referred to as article syndication marketing was perfected centuries ago, and you still want to do it manually? LOL!

                Remember that although publishers are hungry for quality content, even one inept message, babbling prattle, an untargeted prospect, etc may be considered a nuisance or appear to be "spammy".

                And besides, getting publishers into your network for syndication is only the beginning of the article marketing process.

                You will also need a way for processing the resulting traffic, prospects, conversions, buyers, repeat customers, cross sales, upsales, referrals, continuity ... etc.

                Seriously, once your funnel system is in place and fully tested with acceptable conversion rates, I heartily recommend automation as much as possible.
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                • Profile picture of the author Alast
                  Originally Posted by myob View Post

                  The marketing system now referred to as article syndication marketing was perfected centuries ago, and you still want to do it manually? LOL!

                  Remember that although publishers are hungry for quality content, even one inept message, babbling prattle, an untargeted prospect, etc may be considered a nuisance or appear to be "spammy".

                  And besides, getting publishers into your network for syndication is only the beginning of the article marketing process.

                  You will also need a way for processing the resulting traffic, prospects, conversions, buyers, repeat customers, cross sales, upsales, referrals, continuity ... etc.

                  Seriously, once your funnel system is in place and fully tested with acceptable conversion rates, I heartily recommend automation as much as possible.
                  Hmm... I think we may be on separate pages?

                  Do you recommend I make a syndication list with GetResponse, and do it automatically from there?
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                  • Profile picture of the author myob
                    Originally Posted by Alast View Post

                    Do you recommend I make a syndication list with GetResponse, and do it automatically from there?
                    I don't think any third party autoresponder service, including GetResponse, could be used effectively for automating list-building of publishers for syndication. The double opt-in (or confirmation) required by commercial providers is a deal-breaker, because there is not enough space provided in the solicitation message for an adequate presentation. Generally, if you can't get their attention quickly using accepted query methods and format, you are wasting your time.

                    Most editors/publishers are always looking for fresh quality content, and the direct email query method is widely accepted. Some publishers may provide specific submission requirements or an article submission form on their site. You can use desktop email software with some ISPs, but most providers have low daily broadcast limits. What I have always used is self-hosted autoresponders on dedicated servers, running 24/7. See the database-driven message format in post #19.
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                    • Profile picture of the author Ravikanth
                      Originally Posted by myob View Post

                      I don't think any third party autoresponder service, including GetResponse, could be used effectively for automating list-building of publishers for syndication. The double opt-in (or confirmation) required by commercial providers is a deal-breaker, because there is not enough space provided in the solicitation message for an adequate presentation. Generally, if you can't get their attention quickly using accepted query methods and format, you are wasting your time.

                      Most editors/publishers are always looking for fresh quality content, and the direct email query method is widely accepted. Some publishers may provide specific submission requirements or an article submission form on their site. You can use desktop email software with some ISPs, but most providers have low daily broadcast limits. What I have always used is self-hosted autoresponders on dedicated servers, running 24/7. See the database-driven message format in post #19.
                      Here is some information which can help people like me who are not yet running dedicated servers.

                      Google spreadsheets work with a script called "yet another mail merge". You can send up to 100 mails customizing different fields in an email template per day.

                      You can list down all the variables in different columns and create a template using a Google labs plugin in Gmail settings called "canned response".

                      Once all the details are filled in the spreadsheet you just have to hit send from the "yet another mail merge" add on . You are done.

                      There is a new add on which lets you send 1000 customized emails in one shot(limit is 6000/month). This was introduced by mail chimp. This also works with google spreadsheet but it sends the mails though mail chimp servers.

                      This information is not complete but you will be able to figure out the details with a simple search. Let me know if you are stuck.
                      Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author Benjamin Ehinger
    Originally Posted by Alast View Post

    Hi guys,

    I have been doing article syndication for roughly 10 months now. That being said: I'm having trouble getting people to respond to my emails. The last 4 days I have sent 30~ emails, and have only received three responses, which is far below average. However, this is not unusual for me at all. I have been talking with Alexa about this, and she also can't understand why my emails aren't getting responses - even she said both my articles being offered and the email itself are of high quality, which means it's not because of that.

    I was using Outlook to send emails, and have now switched to FastMail (as of yesterday). I'm still not seeing many changes with this, unfortunately (could be too soon to tell, maybe?).

    So, for those who actually know what they're talking about: do you have any advice for this? I believe this is one of the main (if not the only) reason I'm not having any success at all.

    I have also had incidents where on the second email, the website owner claimed he/she never received my first email, which initially raised my eyebrows - particularly when it's happened several times after that. It makes me question how many are actually getting my emails?

    Here is one of the emails I sent... without giving away too much of my niche.


    Thanks!
    I would create 3-5 versions of your email and use each one for 50-100 emails. Then, figure out which one has the highest response rate. You can repeat it again with more versions, if necessary.

    Benjamin Ehinger
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