Influencers outreach: lessons learned from three emails with Rand Fishkin

Updated: Feb 21

I don't think we can even calculate how many emails to influencers are sent per day. But for sure we can imagine many many emails.

And let's be clear on this: I am not going to predict anything. I am going to show what worked for me and what I have learnt.

Twitter research on 1,308 participants revealed that influencers respond to less than 2% of the email pitches they receive.

Influencer marketing seems to be the new big thing, his researches on Google are exploding and there is a reason for it.

Everything these influencers touch becomes gold.

Do you want to meet one for a coffee? do you want a Tweet from them? Are you looking for advice? Or want to show a product demo and get a testimonial?

I can confirm you that for my experience with Rand Fishkin (founder of Moz, SparkToro) specifically from his 1 Tweet and 1 Linkedin post, I have received more traffic and exposure than all my traffic sources combined.

google analytics influencers traffic -luca tagliaferro

Between November and December 2019, Rand shared my piece.

In March 2020, a different SEO influencer with fewer followers also shared another of my blog posts on how to build FAQ schema using GTM.

I have picked Rand Fishkin because we were invited as speakers at SMX in Milan and this was the first time I made contact with him. Obviously, I knew he was one of the most influential and followed leaders in SEO globally.

The outreaching strategy

I am going to share with you how I have reached out to Fishkin about my guest blogging ROI post:

On Twitter:

On LinkedIn:

Rand Fishkin sharing luca's research

Email #1: How my approach with Rand started

When I first reached out to Rand I was a random guy, but with a hook.

In 2018 I was invited to speak at SMX in Milan where also Rand was speaking. I thought about connecting with some other speakers, including Rand.

So here is what I wrote to him:

Luca's email to Rand

And it worked!

I didn't expect him to reply at all, it was just a request of an opinion on a conference where it happened to be invited and I was an SEO speaker.

But he replied:

Rand's reply

I was very excited to hear from him and to get such an amazing opinion. It also increased my level of confidence as it made me think about next outreaching opportunities with him.

Email #2: how to increase your level of authority

To be honest, Rand was the last person I was thinking about when trying to solve a specific SEO challenge: the (not provided) report in Google Analytics.

There is this SEO software called that claims to uncover the "not provided" keywords on Google Analytics.

GA not provided report- luca tagliaferro

My job as an SEO is driving organic traffic to the website, but most importantly, making sure this traffic contributes to a strong ROI for the company. For this reason, it's vital to understand not only landing pages performance but also keywords performance.

I have researched a lot on this topic and I have seen many bloggers writing about how to uncover the keywords that Google doesn't show anymore since 2013.

Some of them, like Neil Patel, suggest reversing engineer the problem. When you have performance data on landing pages, you also can guess which keywords are bringing traffic to those pages, hence you can estimate keywords performance.

Others like the Search Engine Journal, suggest using Google AdWords data or historical data if your website has been live since before 2013.

So I decided to find out more about this.

I thought about asking someone else who might be familiar with the topic.

In my case, I wanted to outreach because I needed a professional, unbiased and authoritative opinion on a new (at least to me) SEO software.

Rand has over 400,000 followers on Twitter and almost 100,000 followers on LinkedIn. It's really hard to get noticed when he would probably receive 100 pitches a day (my guess).

But, at the same time, who is better clued than Rand Fishkin when it comes to SEO? I can't think of anybody else.

Luckily, I have been following him for a few years so I knew exactly that I couldn't ask for anything rather than a simple, clear, interesting opinion on an SEO related thing.

I was prepared to pitch the right way.

So here is what I wrote to him:

It worked like a charm!

As you can see the title was simple, clear and straight to the point in the subject line:

"Google keyword not set".

Here is the reply I got from him:

I was surprised that he offered to share my question with his huge audience.

Here is the post on LinkedIn:

Now let's see why this approach worked very well and what we can learn from it.

Email #3: The big hit

So what I have learnt from email #2 was that Rand is very much available to share posts that interest their audience.

That made me think again: how about this time we share my piece of a blog?

To make this happen I needed a blog idea that was: