I used to outreach with lots of exclamation points.
> “Hey Person! I hope you’re doing well! That sky diving photo you posted on your blog was radical! Now I want to skydive!”
Maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the idea. I thought this would create urgency and excitement, leading to a response.
The CTR wasn’t low, but it wasn’t the great either.
So then I tried voicing the message in my head first – as if I was meeting someone new. I realized that nonchalant messages are a much better style and they received a higher response rate.
> “Hey person, hope you’re doing well. Someone in our mutual network shared your recent sky diving album and I thought it was pretty awesome! Anyway, I noticed you had a blog and we write about similar topics so I figured it was worth a shot to see if you would be interested in me contributing an article. Etc.. etc.. etc..”
Granted, I still had to sneak 1 exclamation in but it’s a lot more toned down.
I like how it’s styled friendly but also has an air of professionalism. I like the idea of touching on something they’ve recently done, like skydiving, and using that to anchor them in. When I cold pitch my ghostwriting service I usually highlight pages on their web properties that are lacking or could be improved, so I guess that’s my variation.