Link Building Emails: 15+ Experts Share Valuable Outreach Advice

Author's avatar Marketing Dec 16, 2020 13 minutes read

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    Peter Caputa

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    An average person gets about 121 emails daily.  

    Translation: an average person’s inbox is crowded, which means it’s easy for them to lose your link building emails.

    Even if they open your email, odds are they might ignore it, especially if that email is making a direct ‘ask’ without first making an impression or telling the recipient what’s in it for them.

    Overwhelming, isn’t it? It’s actually what makes link building email outreach a tough nut to crack (41% of SEO experts agree that link building is the most challenging aspect of SEO).

    Don’t fret though. With this blog post, you’ll learn lots about sending link building emails that make your outreach game plan a success.

    Altogether, we’ll cover:

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    Ready to learn? Let’s get going:

    How Do You Write a Good Outreach Email?

    David Toby of Pathfinder Alliance has the answer for you. Start with writing a “subject line that summarizes what your email is about.” Make sure you steer clear from penning out a subject line that’s overused or begs for links. Take a unique approach whenever you can.

    Then, add “your prospect’s name for personalization,” suggests Toby. This is essential as it shows your prospect you’ve taken the time to write the email instead of sending them one of your link building email templates that you’ve shared with thousands of others.

    Next up, go for an email copy that has a “short, but succinct introduction that can demonstrate credibility (and familiarity).” Have a common point of interest? Go on and share it here. Just make sure you don’t drag it.

    Then talk about how you can offer your prospect value.

    If you make it about getting links, your prospect is going to end up thinking ‘what’s in it for me?’ This leads the prospect to ignore your email. So, focus on making the email about the prospect, not about link building.

    As for the last component of your outreach email: a “clear call-to-action,” notes Toby. This is where you lay out what you want the addressee to do. For example, you could ask them to add your brand’s link where they’ve mentioned you in their article. Or, share some guest post pitch ideas briefly. You can measure the effectiveness of your email CTA with this email marketing dashboard.

    Just remember to make your email “simple, concise and scannable.” This makes your email easy to read and, therefore, easy to respond to.

    13 Tips for Sending Link Building Emails

    We asked over 15 experts about their tips for planning an effective link building email outreach campaign.

    Some said broken link building works, others stressed the importance of offering value to the prospect and personalizing link building emails. While still others talked about building relationships in your industry and much more.

    All in all, we’ve got our hands on some actionable link building tips that work. And here’s proof confirming our respondents build enough links with the tips they’ve shared:

    how many links does your team generate a month from its email outreach efforts?

    Ready to build links without coming off as spammy? Here you go:

    1. Write an interesting subject line
    2. Personalize your link building email templates
    3. Explain the benefit you offer
    4. Tailor your link building email outreach according to your industry
    5. Avoid using the word ‘link’ in your outreach emails
    6. Mention someone’s name in an article
    7. Take a sniper approach
    8. Identify a common point of interest
    9. Engage with journalists in your niche
    10. Aim for brand mentions for link building
    11. Use the broken link building technique
    12. Build relationships with people
    13. Send follow-up link building emails

    1. Write an interesting subject line

    To begin with, “one simple tip is changing your subject,” says Stefanie Richel U. Siclot of Growth Rocket. “Most link builders put a really boring subject line that won’t grab the attention of the receiver.

    You must capture your sender and add a little urgency to your subject. Putting keywords that have urgency is the key, for example, using words such as do this, now, and what.”

    Alternatively, Siclot suggests, “You can also do subjects that would make your sender be curious. Think of the ending of each episode of the series. They would always have that question on the end scene that would make the viewers watch more. You can apply this on your subject.”

    2. Personalize your link building email templates

    This is another important link building tip.

    Low Offset‘s Cody Crawford shares their experience, “The one thing I’ve learned from testing multiple link building methods is to keep your emails as personalized as possible and your title short and punchy.

    As tempting as it is to send mass emails to your network, it comes across as spammy. Just don’t do it. If you’re really pressed for time and if you absolutely must, create different templates for different buckets of publishers. And switch it up every month.”

    So here’s what you have got to do according to Marin Perez from Kajabi:

    • “Stop spraying and praying by blasting the same template email asking for a backlink. The lack of personalization will turn off the receiver.
    • Use a variety of templates that are personalized for your sender. Track your contacts in a spreadsheet or CRM so you’re not hitting a person multiple times with multiple emails from different people.
    • If someone says no or doesn’t get back to you, mark it in your sheet and move on.
    • Offer something of real value beyond ‘Sharing on social.’ Do you have unique data to share in the article you want the backlink to? Make that clear.”

    Related: 10 Creative Ways to Build Links And Outrank Your Competitors

    3. Explain the benefit you offer

    Speaking of offering value in your link building email outreach, clearly explain the benefit that your prospect will drive.

    Dima Suponau from Number For Live Person notes, “The essential thing when reaching out to people via email is to provide some value for them. You can’t just write an email asking for them to include your content in their blog post for free.”

    Instead, “you need to offer something in return, be it a link from one of your websites, or just try to focus on building the relationship at the beginning,” Suponau goes on.

    For instance, “Tell the blogger that you loved their post and really be sincere about it. Do your research about them. When sending emails in bulk, make them as personal as possible. Don’t just go for the regular – name, company, blog post. Put some effort into creating a message that looks natural and honest.”

    The Blissful Budget‘s Tegan Phelps advises the same, “Always make it appear like they are getting the benefit, not the other way around. For example, it is best to say something like, ‘I will make sure to create a high-value article that your readers will find both helpful and interesting.’”

    And the tactic works too as Phelps highlights, “I generate about 6 links per month with this tactic.”

    It works for Adomas Bukauskas of UpMove  as well who says, “We have tested hundreds of different email campaign tactics and the only way we found to break through 60% open rates and achieve 30% success rate of our outbound efforts was via fairly long stories on emails that caught reader’s eye, clearly stated the value and proposal.”

    Related: How to Get Double-Digit Response Rates to Your Prospecting Emails

    4. Tailor your link building email outreach according to your industry

    “My best tip would be to tailor your link building to the site you’re marketing,” adds Imaginaire’s Charlie Worrall to this list of tips for sending link building emails.

    “For example, if your industry offers a lot of opportunity for digital PR rather than guest posts, don’t waste your time on guest posts. You can get some massive links through digital PR and so if you have something PR worthy use it! If you are using digital PR to build links, you’ll start to build relationships with journalists which can be beneficial for you both.”

    5. Avoid using the word ‘link’ in your outreach emails

    This is another pointer that you need to be careful about when it comes to link building email templates. Here, Gregory Golinski from YourParkingSpace outlines, “You shouldn’t mention the word ‘link’ in your link building emails. This word sounds very spammy and rings alarm bells for many people. Use the word web address or URL instead. You’ll get much better results.”

    6. Mention someone’s name in an article

    “Everyone likes to see their name printed,” notes Oliver Andrews of OA Design Services.

    Keeping this in mind, “A smart way to find a backlink is to mention a product or person in a published article, then go back and share it with them. Ask them for their comments to read the post, and they can link or share it on social media on their own.”

    7. Take a sniper approach

    Francois Mommens of Founder at Linkody points out, “Try to identify the most promising prospects. Don’t just go for emailing anyone and everyone. Go for the sniper approach. Fish out the bloggers that fit your niche the most and ones that have the best content. Then, do your research about them.”

    For instance, “if you want to guest post on their website, link to another one of your guest posts on a blog they know,” shares Mommens. “This way, you’ll create interest in your posts. It seems that posting on websites with stringent editorial guidelines and showing them that works best as an incentive to cooperate.”

    Related: 30 Free Link Building Tips for Building Links On Little-to-No Budget

    8. Identify a common point of interest

    “You’ll need to find a good reason for you to contact them,” highlights Upperkey‘s Johan Hajji. To this end, “It’s best if you identify a common point of interest. You may find out that you belong to the same group on Facebook or frequent the same forum. It’s a good icebreaker for an email convo, and won’t make you look like the average email link building Joe.

    However, for this approach to be effective, “You’ll need lots of research done on your part to find out such information, but, believe me, it pays out,” says Hajji. “If you start off with really being interested in the other person and seem to have genuine intentions, they’re much more likely to respond positively. Building relationships in link building is key here.”

    9. Engage with journalists in your niche

    “We specialize in ‘high end’ link building, mainly going after government links and news links, shares Alfie Usher of Forces Money.

    “We engage with journalists in our niche continuously, sharing their content on social media etc. We then e-mail them opinions on recently released online stories and ask them to attribute the quote. This has seen us gain links on – Foxnews, NYpost, CNN, ITV, BBC, The Sun.”

    10. Aim for brand mentions for link building

    “We notice the traditional link building outreach like (The moving man) doesn’t work anymore,” observes Abdulaziz Ali from Digital Growth Boost. “Because the method became overused to the extend it is viewed as a nuisance. Also, you haven’t earned enough merits for that person to comply and give you a link.

    Instead, we look for link exchange partnerships, brand mention links, and image/product links. If that site is using one of our images, we ask for a brand mention, and most of the time it works.”

    11. Use the broken link building technique

    “One of the most effective, yet most overlooked strategies for acquiring links via email is broken link building,” opines Talk Central‘s Jeff Dundas.

    “It is a technique that has been around for many years and will never become outdated or fizzle away because the internet will always be littered with broken links.

    The process of utilizing broken links to improve your link building via email is actually quite simple. You begin by conducting a backlink analysis on a relevant site, then you find a broken link, and then you proceed by contacting the owner via email and informing them about the broken link on their website.

    Because you are going out of your way to help the site owner locate broken links, there is a possibility that they will return the favor by replacing the broken link with a link of your own. Like most things, broken link building is somewhat of a numbers game. Ironically, the less you ask and beg for a link, the more likely you are to get one.”

    12. Build relationships with people

    “Don’t be spammy,” recommends Elizabeth Smith from CodeWizardsHQ. “Spam makes everyone cringe and I don’t want to have anything to do with it, so I especially don’t want to send it. I look to build relationships with real people.”

    So, take a page from Smith’s link building book and do what Smith does: “When I send out an email, it’s going to be because I genuinely believe that the recipient wants to see what we have to offer, and I make that evident in my email, each one customized for the addressee.”

    13. Send follow-up link building emails

    Lastly, don’t forget to send follow-up emails. In fact, Jon Torres insists, “The best tip for building email via email is to send follow-ups.” Why? Because “often people get busy, or they forget to respond. 60% of the links we land come from follow up emails.”

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    Wrap Up

    So you now know what makes link building emails effective, right? Start with writing a unique, attention-grabbing subject line then dive into email copy that focuses on sharing the value that the addressee will get.

    Don’t forget to personalize your email and include a CTA explaining your request. That said, here’s just one more thing you need to do to make link building email outreach a success: be consistent.

    This one’s a hat tip to Rick Patterson from Poolonomics who points out, “It doesn’t matter if you jam out 1,000s of emails in one day and don’t touch outreach for a month, because the prospects will always change day-to-day. Consistently throwing your name out is always going to win out over quick bursts.”

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    Masooma Memon

    Masooma is a freelance writer for SaaS and a lover to-do lists. When she's not writing, she usually has her head buried in a business book or fantasy novel.

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