How to land great podcast guests (with email templates)

Jessica Malnik
Jessica Malnik
· 8 min read

Are you looking to expand your personal network and grow your podcast audience?

Interviewing guests on your podcast can be an effective strategy to do that. Plus, it can also be a lot of fun!

However, figuring out who you should invite and how to persuade them to be a guest on an upcoming episode can be overwhelming.

In this guide, we’re sharing tips to help you find quality guests, best practices for pitching them, as well as several podcast guest email templates.

Finding great podcast guests

Podcasting is a great way to build and expand your network. However, the best place to start is with your current audience and immediate network.  

Sounds obvious, right? It is easy to forget this point.

Let’s say you are a SaaS founder with a #buildinpublic podcast, and your ideal guests are other SaaS founders who are also building in public.  

The first place to start is to ask yourself, “Are there any other SaaS founders listening to your podcast that fit these criteria?” If you’ve been podcasting for a few months or more, chances are there are at least a few. Then, add them to your potential podcast guest list.

At the same time, research what other podcasts your listeners are listening to. One of my favorite ways to do this is to plug your podcast into an audience research tool like SparkToro to discover the other podcasts, Youtube channels, and social media accounts that your audience engages with.

Pro Tip: Don’t do enough audience research to spring for a paid account? SparkToro has a free plan that lets you run 5 searches.

For instance, I searched for The Art of Product podcast on SparkToro. The overview screen gives some interesting insights into the people who follow this podcast (in this particular instance, their Twitter account), including the top phrases, hashtags, and words used in bios.

Then, I click on the podcasts tab on the lefthand sidebar to view the related podcast that your followers engage with the most.

You can filter this list by the percentage of the audience, number of episodes, and last posted date.

Pro Tip: Exporting this podcast to a Google Sheet or Excel file and then filtering this podcast list by the highest percentage of the audience as well as the fewest number of episodes can be a great way to find up-and-comers in your niche.

If you are a newer podcast or don’t have a large audience, pitching up-and-coming podcasters in your niche can be a great way to expand the reach of both podcasts.

Another tip is to also search for the Youtubers your followers engage with in SparkToro.

In addition, if you use an SEO keyword research tool, like Ahrefs or SEMrush, an underrated tool to find your podcast or other podcasters’ super fans is through the backlinks report.

If you follow this approach above, you should have no problem coming up with a list of 50 - 100 potential podcast guests.

Now, it becomes about prioritizing your guest outreach list. I recommend creating three buckets:

  • Your safeties: These are the guests that are in your niche, and you either know them personally, or you have a direct intro to them through a mutual friend.
  • Your probable “Yeses:” These are the guests that you should be able to get on your podcast. However, it might require a bit more work and convincing.
  • Your dream list: These are the long-shot guests that you’d love to have on your podcast. Typically, these are the celebrities and the biggest names in your industry.

Then, enrich your podcast outreach list with contact info, like email addresses and their social media accounts.

Pro Tip: You can use a tool like Hunter.io or RocketReach to quickly find email addresses.

Podcast guest outreach best practices

The biggest mistake podcasters make is they spend all of their time trying to attract people on their dream list. The reality is that it will take months—potentially years—before you see any results.

A better approach is to start with your safeties. Then, move on to your probable Yeses. Once you have a hundred or more episodes under your belt, it becomes a bit easier to get those bigger-name guests on your podcast either by previous guests’ intros or the sheer quality and quantity of your work up to this point.  

In addition, here are some additional tips for crafting a compelling pitch.

  • Get intros from your network: Whenever possible, ask your network for intros to potential podcast guests. Having a direct referral will increase the likelihood that they’ll say yes.  
  • Engage with them on social media before you pitch them: Cold podcast guest pitches can work. However, the odds increase in your favor if you show that you’re a fan of their work. This might include subscribing to their newsletter, chatting with them on Twitter, liking their Instagram posts, etc.
  • Make the “ask” clear and compelling: In general, the more your pitch focuses on what’s in it for them, and the easier you make it for them to say yes, the more likely they’ll agree to be a guest on your podcast.
  • Keep your pitch short: If your email is more than a few short paragraphs, it is too long. You don’t need to share your entire back catalog of podcast episodes. Instead, focus on sharing what your podcast is about, who your target audience is,  and why you think this guest is the perfect fit to be on the show.
  • Use scheduling software to book podcast prep and recording calls: Create a designated podcast guest calendar link, using a tool like SavvyCal, to make scheduling calls simpler. You can even suggest three proposed times. Plus, SavvyCal integrates with both Squadcast and Zoom.

Pro Tip: Want to further automate the podcast scheduling process? Check out our advanced automations podcast guide.

5 email templates to invite guests on your podcast

Now, it is time to craft your podcast guest invites. Here are some email templates you can use to make this process simpler

1. An invite for someone who is a friend or colleague to be on your podcast

This is a great template to use for someone who you earmarked on your safeties list.

Hi <<first name>>,

Our chat the other day about <<topic or problem>> got me thinking. My podcast audience needs to hear your thoughts and insights on <<topic>>. Your viewpoint can really help them <<share benefit>>.

My podcast, <<name of podcast>>, focuses on helping <<brief description of your audience>> with <<topic your podcast is about>>.

What do you think?
<<your email signature>>

2. A general email invite asking someone to be on your podcast

Here is a generic podcast template you can modify and use.  

Hi <<first name>>,

Your <<podcast interview, article, webinar, whatever you saw/read that makes them a good fit for your podcast>> about <<a specific detail from what you referenced above>> is exactly the kind of information I’d love to chat about on <insert your podcast name>>.

I’d love to invite you on my podcast. My podcast, <<name of podcast>>, focuses on helping <<brief description of your audience>> with <<topic your podcast is about>>.

For example, here are a few of our past guests.

  • <<Guest Name 1 - Episode Link>>
  • <<Guest Name 2  - Episode Link>>
  • <<Guest Name 3 - Episode Link>>

What do you think?

I look forward to hearing from you!
<<your email signature>>

3. An invite to an up-and-coming expert

Interviewing up-and-coming experts is one of the best ways to grow both of your audiences. Not to mention, it is often easier to stand out and get these guests on your podcast.

Hi <<first name>>,

I heard your <<podcast interview / webinar / talk>> on <<topic>> and was impressed by how well you <<break down complex topics / engage your listeners / other compliment>>. In fact, I was so inspired I spent over an hour browsing your <<website / blog / social media / other>>.  I particularly enjoyed <<something you read>>.

I think your insights on <<topic>> would be the perfect fit for my podcast audience.

My podcast, <<name of podcast>>, focuses on helping <<brief description of your audience>> with <<topic your podcast is about>>.

What do you think?

I look forward to hearing from you!
<<your email signature>>

4. A podcast swap / co-promotion where you each appear on each others’ podcast

An alternative approach with up-and-coming podcasters in your niche is to pitch a podcast swap. This allows you both to appear on each others’ podcasts.

Hi <<first name>>,

I have to confess. As a fellow podcaster in <<insert your niche>>, I never miss an episode of your podcast <<name of podcast>>.

I learned so much from your recent episode, <<title of the episode>> about <<what you learned or took away from the episode>>.

This got me thinking. What if we did a podcast swap? My podcast, <<name of podcast>>, focuses on helping <<brief description of your audience>> with <<topic your podcast is about>>.

I’d love to set up a swap that works for both our audiences.

What do you think?

I look forward to hearing from you!
<<your email signature>>

5. A cold invite for someone who is an expert with a big following

If you are looking to reach out to a big personality on your dream list, here is a template you can modify and use.

Hi <<first name>>,

Your <<article / interview / talk / webinar>> on <<topic>> truly spoke to me, and I know would have a huge impact on my podcast audience. In fact, <<name of the person, ideally someone they’d recognize or in their industry>> recently spoke about <<a related topic>>, and your views on <<topic>> would be a fantastic complement to that talk and help my audience <<benefit or outcome your audience would experience>>.

My podcast, <<name of podcast>>, focuses on helping <<brief description of your audience>> with <<topic your podcast is about>>.

For example, here are a few of our past guests.

  • <<Guest Name 1 - Episode Link>>
  • <<Guest Name 2  - Episode Link>>
  • <<Guest Name 3 - Episode Link>>

What do you think?
<<your email signature>>

Ready to start inviting more guests on your podcast?

Start by building your outreach list of safeties, probable yeses, and dream guests. Then, you can leverage the best practices and email templates in this post to help you craft compelling guest invites.

When you are ready to schedule podcast recordings, using scheduling software live SavvyCal can provide a better experience for both you and your guest. Start your free 7-day trial here.

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