Outreach campaigns are a great way to build quality backlinks which contribute to search rankings, and also to generate prospection lists for lead generation purposes. But what's the #1 key for efficient outreach campaigns?
It might sound very simple, almost naive: it's basically to search for the right targets and tell them the right story. Actually it's not that easy to determine how to source the best contacts for your outreach lists.
It all starts with the definition of the persona of your target.
Setting up outreach for lead generation purposes? Ask yourself who's interested in your product / service. Are they working in web development agencies? Search "web development agency" in Google (for a specific market) and start prospecting with BuzzStream. It's a mind blowing tool! Add the Hunter extension to your browser to search for emails when BuzzStream doesn't find any relevant contact.
When possible, avoid sending cold emails to info@ or contact@. Try to find out who would be the best person to connect with. The Hunter extension also enables you to find most of the email addresses of Linkedin users (you'll see a new orange button just under the profile photos). Hunter is free up to 150 results per month.
Planning a PR outreach campaign to get features or mentions? Who will be interested in your story? Do they write in blogs addressing programmatic advertising issues? Search for instance "future of programmatic advertising" in Google (21K+ results) and start prospecting, ideally removing your competitors from the results. You can narrow your search down to a specific country.
Besides Google, you can also use BuzzSumo (the best curation of popular articles on any subject) or leading SEO resources like ahrefs or SEMrush to draw your precious lists. Search for the quality backlinks to your competitors' websites, those with a decent domain authority (to avoid spamming domains), then use BuzzStream / Hunter to source the right contacts and... start hustling. Every week. Relentlessly. You'll see, it pays off.
It's a very manual process but don't delegate it too quickly to a junior virtual PA, at least not without a very detailed brief including blinking warning signs. You don't want anyone to screw your commercial efforts by a careless approach of list building / outreach. It's not that easy to quickly judge whether a contact should or shouldn't be added to a list, you need some industry knowledge to avoid blunders.
Back to basics: the key for efficient outreach is just to be smart, search for the right targets and tell them the story they want to read.