Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Link Builder’s Guide to Email Outreach

link building

One of the least sexiest ways to building links is email out reach. It sucks because it’s time consuming and boring… but it works. It actually works really well.

For every 100 emails you send out, at least 5 of them should be linking back to you. If you can’t get 5 of them to link back, it means you are doing one of the following things wrong:

  • You are emailing non-relevant sites.
  • You are emailing your competitors.
  • There is little to no substance to your website.
  • You email copy isn’t compelling enough.

If you’re interested in giving it a shot, I’ve made the whole process easy for you. From finding sites that will potentially link to you, to the templates you should test out… I’ve laid it all out. So here goes…

Finding links

The easiest way to find sites that will potentially link out to you is to do backlink checks on your competition. You can easily do so through Open Site Explorer.

In addition to back link checks, you can do some quick Google searches to find sites that you can reach out to. For example if you are looking to get links from sites that talk about all things “Vegas” related, you may want to run this search command on Google:

intitle:”las vegas” inurl:”links”

Once you run that command, you’ll get a listing page that looks something like this:

las vegas links

And it doesn’t stop there… another way you can find sites to get links from is through broken link checkers. Find sites that tend to link to content similar to yours and find out if they have any broken links on their website. You can do this through tools like Broken Link Check.

Getting names and email address

Now that you have a list of sites that you want to reach out to, you need to get their contact information. You can do this manually, or you can just use Mechanical Turk or oDesk.

For pennies on the dollar you can pay people to give you the name and email address of the webmaster that manages the site. As well as the website name and a few links to popular pages on that website.

Don’t forget about the basics

Before you start your email outreach program, you need to setup your tracking. You don’t need much to do this… I typically use an Excel spread sheet to keep track of everything, Gmail to send out my email, and Yesware to track my email open rates.

Out of all of the tools, the one I find the most useful is Yesware is it tells me which email templates and subject lines are read the most. This helps me fine tune my email outreach templates so I can maximize my open rates.

Now that you got the basics down, it’s time for you to start sending out emails.

Email templates

If you don’t know what to write to webmasters or if you aren’t creative, don’t worry about it. If you use the email templates below, you should be fine.

When using the email templates that I wrote below, you need to keep a few things in mind:

  • Keep the subject lines in lowercase letters – I do this because I want the email to seem casual as if a friend was sending you an email.
  • Be creative – plain boring emails tend to be considered spam in many cases.
  • Personalize – you have to include the persons name, and website name in the email so it doesn’t come off as spammy.

Here are different email templates you can use based on type of outreach you are trying to do.

Broken link email template

You want to send this email out as an independent 3rd party. Not a website owner.

Subject: there’s something wrong with your site :(

[insert their first name], I was browsing your website and I noticed you have a broken link.  :(   You can find it on [insert webpage with broken link] and it’s the [insert anchor text of the broken link] link.

As an avid reader of [insert their site name] I love reading anything you write about, such as [insert article on their website] and anything you link out to. Sadly I couldn’t find the article you were trying to link to, but I did happen to find another good webpage on the same topic… [insert url to webpage that you are building links to]. You should check it out and if you like it, you probably want to switch out the links.

I know you are busy and probably get millions of emails a day, but hopefully this one was helpful. I just wanted to help you out for once as [insert their site name] has changed my life.

[random persons name]

Basic link request template

You want to send this email out as yourself.

Subject: [insert first name of website owner], i think i’m in love with you

Hopefully I didn’t freak you out by my subject line, but I’m really in love with you. Don’t worry, it’s not in a creepy way, mostly I’m in love with your website [insert their website name].

You probably get tons of people everyday whom are in love with [insert website name], so I won’t bore you with my reasons. Instead I thought I could show some appreciate by giving you some feedback on how you can improve your website.

  1. Insert suggestion #1
  2. Insert suggestion #2

And if you are wondering how you can repay your biggest fan, feel free to link to my website [insert URL]. ;-)

Ah… just kidding, you’ve already done enough for me by making [insert their website name] so awesome!

[insert your name]

PS: If you do happen to link to my website, [insert URL], it will seriously make my year! Maybe even decade!

PR pitch

You want to send this email out as yourself.

Subject: don’t you hate it when people pitch you story ideas [insert their first name]

Well, I too have a PR pitch for you, but before you hit the spam button and move onto the next email, just give me 37 seconds or else you’ll regret this for life! ;-)

So here goes…

I’m launching [insert your website URL] on [insert date] and I wanted to see if you want to cover it. Here are 2 reasons you’re readers would love if you covered it:

  1. Insert benefit #1
  2. Insert benefit #2

I could keep on going with reasons on why you should blog about us, but I won’t bore you with the details. If you’re interested, let me know and we can setup a time to chat when you’re free.

[insert your name]

Oh… I think have 7 seconds left, so if you could just hit the reply button and let me know what you thought of my pitch that would be great. Even if it is “F off”… feedback would be great.

Guest posting

You want to send this email out as yourself.

Subject: you should blog about [insert your guest blog post topic]

[insert their first name], as an avid reader of [insert their site name] I would love to read about [insert guest blog post topic]… and I think your other readers would as well.

Your content on [insert existing post from their website #1, insert existing post from their website #2, and insert existing post from their website #3] are great, but I think you can tie it all together by blogging on [insert guest blog post topic].

I know you are probably busy and won’t blog on it so I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse. ;)   How about I write it for you? Don’t worry, I’m a great blogger and have had my posts featured on [insert previous guest post URL #1] and [insert previous guest post URL #2].

Let me know if you are interested, I already know your blogging style, plus I understand what your readers love… as I am one. ;-)

Look forward to hearing from you,
[insert your name]

Funny link request

You want to send this email out as yourself, but be careful with this template. It worked really well for me with the first few hundred emails I sent out, but after a while people started to mark my email as “spam”.

Subject: dude you have to check out this nude pic

You dirty boy, I can’t believe you opened this email. There’s no nude pics here… instead I’m using a software called Yesware to track if you opened my email… and you did!

But don’t worry [insert their first name], I am not going to blackmail you by posting it all over the web. Instead I just want to you to link back to me. ;-)

Or at least consider it.

My website is [insert your URL] and here is why I think your readers would want you to link to me:

  1. Insert reason #1
  2. Insert reason #2

Hopefully you link to me. And don’t worry, even if you don’t, your “dirty” secret is safe with me. ;-)

[insert your first name]


I know many of the email templates above are a bit edgy, but they work. I’ve been using them for years and I can typically get 6 to 7% of the website owners I email, to link back. Which is why I think you should be able to get at least 5% of the people you email, to link back to you.

I want you to go out there and try the process out… trust me it works. And if you really want to boost your response rate, email people from a women’s email handle and make sure you add a semi attractive picture, but not too attractive.

I tested that method out with a relocation company and I had a 11% success rate when emailing coast guard websites, which is a .gov link. ;-)

So, do you know of any other creative email templates that work for link building campaigns?

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Quicksprout/~3/lz8pfdiOxwg/

John C. Martin Jeffrey P. Bezos Margaret C. Whitman Eric E. Schmidt Hugh Grant

1 comment:

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