Writing Cold Outreach Emails That Convert
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Writing Cold Outreach Emails That Convert: the 'VCR' Strategy

Updated: Feb 21

How do you write an outreach email?

How do you write an outreach email for a link building?

Does cold email outreach still work today?

The short answer is YES but not as it used to!

VCR Email Outreach Strategy by Simon Zaku
the vcr email reachout by simon taki zaku
The Insider's Guide to Writing Cold Outreach Emails That Convert: the 'VCR' Strategy

Hello and welcome to my blog. Today, I will show you how to reach out to super-busy social media influencers and get them to reply.

As a beginner SEO, I made so many mistakes reaching to clients for my SEO services.

At that point, I knew I needed to change my approach. I knew I needed a better strategy to reach out to influencers and potential clients.

I started trying new cold outreach strategies, and was able to collaborate (and get replies) with some of the most influential people in my space.

Let me explain what a cold email reach-out is.

What is a Cold Email Outreach? (cold call/text)

A cold email reach out in simple terms, is an e-mail, a text, or a call whereby a party is getting in touch with another party that is not necessarily familiar with them to start a connection with which might be beneficial in the long run.

If you're reaching out or emailing a business owner, or any one who does not know you, then that is called a cold email reach out, a cold, DM, or a call.

What is a warm email in business or sales?

A warm outreach e-mail is a reach-out that is sent to someone you've already built a degree of acquaintance, friendship or establishment with. And that is where the secret lies.

It's easier to get replies from people who already know you than people who do not know you, so unlike cool reach out.

Unlike a cold reach-out, this is you sending an e-mail, DM, or text to a lead or influencer who already knows you or is familiar with your brand.

What is my cold reach-out strategy?

It's simple. My cold reach-out strategy involves a couple of tasks on social media like X, Instagram, LinkedIn, etcetera.

Before emailing any lead or influencer, I hit the influencer either on LinkedIn, X, or Instagram.

I also follow their brand on LinkedIn, reply to some of their tweets, repost Instagram posts, and tag them.

Writing Cold Outreach Emails That Convert: the 'VCR' Strategy

5-Step Hack to a Powerful Cold E-Mail Outreach Campaign that Gets Results

Here are the 5 steps to sending powerful cold outreach emails that generate replies quickly:

  • Step 1: Make Your Email Reach-out List.

  • Step 2. Build Pre, Reach out Rapport.

  • Step 3: Create & Find a Perfect Template

  • Step 4: Start Reaching Out Using My Unique Strategy

  • Step 5: Follow-up After 3 to 5 Days.

Let’s go through;

Step 1: Make Your Outreach List (step by step)

Can cold emails get clients?

At some point in my digital marketing and SEO career, I decided to reach out to 1000 businesses to pitch my social media marketing services.

But even after reaching over 1000 businesses, not a single one converted. a client.

For that campaign, I went on Fiverr and paid a freelancer to get me thousands of random leads (never do this) for me to reach out to.

Not a single one converted!

How to Find Lucrative Leads to Reach-out to in 5 Minutes

This is a Quora Strategy. I call it the Quora Hack.

What I do is I head over to Quora.com and find keywords that my target SEO clients are searching for on the Q and A platform.

Quora is a platform that allows people Internet users to ask any questions and get answers from experts on the platform for free now, for instance, since I'm looking for businesses in need of SEO, blog writing and marketing services I search for.

"Should I hire a content freelance writer or a freelance content writer for hire?"

Or "what are the benefits of writing or hiring a content marketer?"

I get to find real Internet users who are looking for my SEO services.

I also get to find my clients ideals pinpoints and I can easily reach out to them through social media platforms.

Next step?

The next thing is I get the names of the users asking these questions on Quora or other community forums and I try to find a little more information about them.

This way I have an organic leads list that is that is most likely going to convert.

Finally, I get freelancers for $5 to find their social media handles, working e-mail addresses, websites, Google profiles, etc.

This way I can build rapport with leads even before I reach-out. This leads us to the second step in the VCR Outreach Strategy.

Step 2. Build Rapport with Leads (Pre-Reach-out).

Building rapport is crucial because this will increase the chances of getting a reply from your cold email campaigns.

You can almost always guarantee that you will get a reply.

This may not convert, may not convert to clients or sales all the times, but will most likely get a positive reply.

With social media platforms like X, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc, you can easily build connection with anyone on your pre-reach-out list.

How exactly do you do this? How exactly do I do this?

Here is my cold reach-out strategy:

Step 1: Follow the lead on Instagram and comment on their recent IG post or IG reel.

Step 2: Follow their feed on LinkedIn and send a personal connection request (never pitch here).

Step 3: If a connection request is accepted, send a warm introductory message letting them know who you are. And don't forget, do not sell to them yet.

Step 4: Ask for their permission to email them your idea.

The next step is to create a perfect template for your reach-out.

Step 3: Create or Design 2 to 5 Email Templates that Work

This is where it gets tricky. Getting the perfect template you can use can be a bit challenging but if you understand the concept of reaching out.

I mean, if you can keep your template short, concise, and straight to the point, you're definitely on the right track.

Influencers barely have the time to check and read long emails.

This is why long emails do not work. I do not advise anyone to use long emails. I mean they get dozens and dozens of emails every day.

Yours has to stand out from the pool of emails.

You see, the first thing to understand is the concept of titles, headlines, and subject lines.

Keeping your emails short, concise, and straight to the point will increase your conversion rates.

Step 4: Sending Video Outreach Emails - the Video Cold Reach-out Formula (VCR)

What is the VCR technique for writing cold outreach emails?

VCR in outreach marketing means the 'Video Cold Reach-out' hack.

This strategy I coined involves creating unique and personal videos for each lead to watch.

Why not record short selfie videos or short audio audio, upload on cloud and email them links?

the cold email outreach that simon zaku sent corrie and was so effective and now called the vcr outreach

This way, they would trust you faster.

If you get this, it means you would create videos rather than write long emails that may end up in the spam folder.

vcr technique by simon zaku

I got this strategy from Brian Harris of VideoFruit and this turned out to be one of the best email outreach strategies I have used over the years.

Example of VCR Outreach Strategy in action:

Let's say, I want to reach out to Brian Harris for my SEO and blog writing services.

What I'll do is shoot a 20 to 60-second video on how I can help his company or startup leverage content marketing to generate more traffic leads and hopefully convert them into customers.

simon zaku's vcr outreach technique in action

Do you get the idea?

vcr reachout

Rather than sending random texts in the form of e-mail, you show yourself and explain what you can do.

This way people will easily trust you and reply to you.

Even though it may not immediately turn to sales, you will most likely get replies which is very powerful because:

  • You show yourself,

  • You physically explain your work,

  • You avoid long emails

  • Get more opens.

Step 5: The Final Step, the Follow-up Stage.

I've made a good return on investment just by following up on potential leads that I have reached out to who may have not opened my emails or haven't replied.

I use a free email tracking tool that tracks e-mail opens and e-mail clicks to find out who has opened my emails, who hasn't clicked my links, and all of that.

What I do is I find a great title resend a great subject line and resend a follow-up e-mail after three to seven days per lead.

And to make this even more effective, I do this with another video.

If you're not comfortable making videos, you can make audio recordings as well.

I also use audio recordings and they work well.

You just need Google Drive and make a recording or even your iPhone and make a recording and send a link to the influencer to see how you can help them.

I do this with another video saying something like;

"Hey, I noticed you haven't opened my last e-mail. I know things can be overwhelming sometimes and you might be caught up with work and busy but I'd deeply appreciate it if you spared 30 to 60 seconds to check this video that I made for you. Thank you so much and I hope to hear back from"

Don't forget to always keep your emails brief.

Have a productive day, my friend!

Simon T. Zaku

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