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Content-based and relationship-driven links are apparently the ones that make a huge impact in today’s digital marketing (not just SEO).

Outreach accounts for the majority of these link acquisitions – which I can personally attest to as it is evident on most of the campaigns we’ve handled.

Long gone are the days of solely winning through submission-type link building tactics.

And having great content is no longer enough. The content game has already evolved, and the competition to earn attention has immensely become more demanding.

Outreach is probably the most tedious component of our marketing discipline because the activity primarily intends to build relationships.

And relationships take time to transpire.

But it’s so vital that any online business who wants to compete for better online visibility wouldn’t dare to ignore.

The time we spend to build these bridges through outreach is considered an investment that should ultimately help us get to the next level.

The Outreach Process

There are three major components to a successful outreach campaign:

  • Offer – Create an offer that’s worth promoting. Whether it’s content, free product or access to your software, you need a good reason to touch base with your targets.
  • Prospecting – Identify specific publishers and entities that will find your offer valuable (to their brand or their audience).
  • Outreach – send personalized emails to your prospects that should aim to benefit both parties.

Anatomy of a great pitch:

  1. Subject line that summarizes what your email is about
  2. Your prospect’s name for personalization
  3. Short, but succinct introduction that can demonstrate credibility (and familiarity)
  4. Simple, concise and scannable format for the email body copy
  5. The value they will get (it’s always about them)
  6. Clear call-to-action

Keeping all these in mind should help you get better response rates and build better relationships (plus strong links to your site as well).

Link Building Email Templates

As I’ve mentioned above, outreach involves a lot of tedious tasks, and using canned emails or templates can somehow help scale the entire process.

Below are some of the easy-to-personalize outreach email templates we’ve used in the past. Feel free to test and improve them.

Pro Tip: Personally, I still believe it’s still best to send 100% personalized emails, particularly for high-value prospects.

It will only take you a minute or two to do a quick research about them and write a more persuasive email from scratch based on what you’ve found out about them (given that the goal of your outreach is to “build relationships”).

1. Guest Blogging


1. Find the top blogs in your industry.

2. Search for blogs that already accept guest authors via Google Search using these operators:

  • “write for us” + “industry”
  •  “contribute” + “industry”
  • “guest post by” + “industry”

Outreach Template:

Subject: Writing for

Hey [First Name],

I’m [Your Name], and I write at []. I’m also a regular contributor at [mention a popular blog in your space].

Anyway, I’m writing to you because I have some really interesting content ideas that I strongly feel will be perfect for []’s audience.

Optional: I’ve been following [abbreviation of their blog’s name] for quite some time now, and I have even mentioned your article about [insert topic of their past article] on this piece I’ve written [insert link to your post that links to them] a while back.

I can send you the topics I have in mind if you’re still open to new guest authors.

I appreciate the time, and really looking forward to working together.


[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • Familiarity – mentioning that you’ve already contributed for a blog that they know about (particularly those that have strict editorial guidelines) can increase their interest on what you can offer to them (and can also prove credibility).
  • Another way to make prospects become more familiar with your work is by linking to them in your other content initiatives (through your own content or guest posts on other sites). Do this before contacting them, especially with your high-end prospects; this should help increase your chances of getting a response.
  • It’s sometimes better to send your list of content ideas on your follow up email or as soon as they respond. This will allow you to have more time to do research on their audience and brainstorm on the topics they haven’t covered yet.
  • Send shorter emails for initial contact (they’ll have higher response rates), as you can always send a more thorough email as soon as you get a response from your prospects (in which you can improve your closing rate).

And for a more advanced approach for your guest blogging outreach, especially when you’ve been already accepted and featured as a contributor on other high traffic sites in your space – this outreach copy from Sujan Patel should be able to help land you more high-powered links (h/t Sujan Deswal):

2. Resource Link Building


Find “Resources” and “Useful Links” pages via Google Search using the following queries:

  • “keyword” + inurl:resources/
  • “keyword” + inurl:links/
  • “keyword” + “useful links”
  • “keyword” + “helpful resources”

Outreach Template:

Subject: Question about [Site Name]

Hey [First Name],

My name is [Your Name] and I just came across your resource page for [target audience]:

[insert link to their resources page]

I work with [Company Name], which [brief description of what the company does and can freely offer]:

[insert link to the target page relevant to their resources page]

It might make a good addition to your page and provide a lot of value to your visitors.

Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with. Thanks, [First Name].


[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • Personalization – know who their resources pages are intended for, so you can easily connect why your page will be valuable to their visitors.
  • Solid content to offer as a resource that should be genuinely helpful/useful to their intended visitors.
  • Offer to help – because sometimes, these webmasters will look for exchange link opportunities too.

3. Broken Link Building


Find Resources/Links pages that host broken links (404 errors) using CheckMyLinks (Chrome plugin).

Use Ahrefs to find other pages linking to the broken page (reach out to them too).

Outreach Template:

Subject: Found a broken link on [Site Name]

Hey [First Name],

This link directing to [Site Name with 404 page] doesn’t work anymore:

[insert URL of the broken link]

Found this through your useful links section for [topic of their resource page]:

[insert URL of their resources page]

Also, just thought that this content from [Your Site] will perfectly fit your list of resources [additional comment on why your content deserves to make it on their list]. Your visitors should find that useful:

[insert URL to your page]

Let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with 🙂

Thanks, [First Name]!

[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • Be direct and straight to the point.
  • Make sure that the content you’ll be suggesting to be included on the resources page is highly relevant to its theme and its target audience.
  • If you can create a better version to replace the defunct page they are linking to, that could yield better results. Use the Wayback Machine to check how those broken pages looked like before.

4. Linker Outreach:

What is Linker Outreach?

Basically, it’s reaching out to publishers (and industry linkers) who already have a history of linking or sharing articles related to your content. They are usually receptive, as they have already shown interest about a certain topic in the past.

How to find linkers in your industry:

  • Check the sites/blogs linking to your competitors’ content that’s similar to yours. Use link research tools like Ahrefs or Moz Open Site Explorer.
  • Find out who are sharing and amplifying their content on social media using BuzzSumo.

Outreach Template:

Subject: Hey [First Name]!

Hey [First Name],

Saw your post on [Topic], and noticed that you’ve shared [competitors’ name and topic].

Just thought that this piece on [the topic of your content, and how it differs from your competitor’s] I recently published might be valuable to your readers/followers as well.

[insert link to your content]

Thanks, [First Name]!

[Your Name]

The approach can also work on promoting your content to your own followers who have shared or linked to your other content in the past.

Keys to Success:

  • Your content should be better (10x content) than the ones they are already linking to.
  • No need to give them instructions, since you are reaching out to natural linkers. They usually know what to do next (to share or link – depends on how worthy they think it is).
  • Make the partnership mutual – offer to link to their best content too (link exchange specifically for content assets). Here’s a great sample email I received from SingleGrain:

5. Content Collaboration & Partnerships

Below are some of the ways you can pitch other bloggers and publishers for collaboration and content partnerships.

Update Old Content


Use Google Search to find old and outdated content on topic areas you want to focus on. Set the time (on Tools) to “custom range” to filter the results to only show posts from years ago.

Outreach Template:

Subject: Outdated content on [Site Name]

Hey [First Name],

I came across your post on [Topic] that you’ve published back in [Year]:

[insert link to old post]

The content was well put together, though some of the ideas and information in it are already outdated. Just thought of asking if you have any plans of updating this content?

By the way, my name is [Your Name], and I work with [Your Site], where we’ve written dozens of practical guides about [Industry]

I know you have a lot on your plate, but I was just thinking that perhaps I can write the updated version for you instead.

Let me know if you’ll be interested to collaborate on a [2017 version of the topic]. I would love to help in any way possible.  

PS: What’s in it for me? Just want the exposure as a co-author for one of your blog posts 🙂

[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • A good content portfolio that you can showcase as work samples.
  • Attach (or send a follow up email with) a brief outline for the updated version of the content you’ll be creating (including new content sections that the original copy didn’t have).
  • The draft of the content’s new version should also contain internal links pointing to their other useful resources.


Repurpose your prospects’ existing content assets

I wrote a more extensive guide (and case study) on this tactic that you can read here.

Outreach Template:

Subject: Visual Content version of [Site Name’s & Title of Post]

Hey [First Name],

My name is [Your Name], and I work with [Your Site].

I came across your piece on [Topic]: [insert URL to their content]

Just wanted to ask if it’s okay with you if we make a visual content based on your article (we’ll definitely include your logo on the graphic).

We’re planning to use it for an upcoming guide we’re creating (where we’d also link back to you). And we’ll probably distribute the graphic to other publications as well.

We can send you the final draft over so you can check. Would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks, [First Name].

[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • Create a well-designed visual content version of their text-based content (or portion of their article). They will most-likely use it if they find it visually appealing.

  • Give appropriate attribution. Mentioning that you’ll include their logo on the graphic will improve your chances of getting them on board with the idea.
  • Note: You can also explore other content formats, such as turning their content into audio, video, slide deck, graphs/charts, email newsletter, printable PDF, etc…


Getting Featured on Newsletters


Find blogs/sites on a related niche/industry that you can partner up with (that provide newsletters as well).

Preferably sites that aren’t directly competing with yours but cater to the same audience (ex: if you’re running an online store selling cameras, find photography blogs).

Outreach Template:

Subject: We want to feature [Site Name] on our monthly newsletter

Hey [First Name],

My name is [Your Name], and I work with [Your Site].

We have a consistently growing list of subscribers who are really into [Niche/Industry] and currently we have [xxx number of email subscribers].

Anyway, we’re actively seeking for partners we can feature for our monthly newsletter about [Topic Area].

Just wanted to ask if you have any products, service or guides that we can promote to our subscribers, as we believe that your business will also be beneficial to our audience.

Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in. Thanks, [First Name]!

Quick question: how does one get featured on your newsletter or website? I think we may also have something that your followers will find really valuable.

[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • The number of email subscribers – so you can ensure you’ll put more eyeballs on their content.
  • Your site, products, and content are well-branded. No one wants to be associated with crappy websites.


Invite Guest Bloggers


Find active guest bloggers in your space and invite them to write for your site too.

It’s one of the best ways to absorb followers from influencers. And aside from getting them to share their content published on your website on their social networks, they almost always link out to their own past works (including their guest posts).

Outreach Template:

Subject: Hey [First Name] – Write for our readers at [Site Name]

Hey [First Name],

I’ve been seeing you everywhere! I was able to read your post on [Site 1 where they wrote a guest blog] and [Site 2 where they wrote a guest blog]. Fantastic work!

Anyway, I wanted to touch base to see if you’d be interested to write for [Your Site] as well. We have a continuously growing readership and we currently have [xxx number of monthly pageviews].

Our readers will certainly be ecstatic to see you on our blog.

Let me know your thoughts, as we can publish your entry right away. Thanks, [First Name].

[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • Your site must have a substantial traffic, strong readership and social following to attract influential bloggers in your space (which means you need to have high-quality content published on your site as well).

  • A decent DA (domain authority) should also help increase your chances of getting them on board.


Get more link opportunities through your guest authors


This is the second phase for the tactic above.

Follow the sites where the guest bloggers on your site has been published as well. Then contact them to seek for guest blogging opportunities for your brand too.

Outreach Template:

Subject: Writing for [Site Name] – found you through [Guest blogger’s name].

Hey [First Name],

I’ve just read [Guest Blogger’s Name] post on [Site Name].

 [Guest Blogger’s Name] did an amazing job on his guest post for our site too: [insert link to guest blogger’s post on your site].

By the way, I’m [Your Name], and I write at [Your Site]. Optional: I’m also a regular contributor at [mention a popular site in your space].

Anyway, I just want to ask if you’re still open to new guest authors for [abbreviation of their Site’s Name].

Because I have a few interesting content ideas I want to run by you, if that’s okay?

Let me know. Thanks, [First Name].

[Your Name]

Key to Success:

  • Credibility – you’ll need proof that you can also deliver the same quality of content as the “guest blogger” did. A mutual contact is enough to get your prospects’ attention, but it will still come down to the value you can actually offer to them/their readers.


6. Content Suggestions

A lot of publishers these days have editorial calendars. Which means they already have a bunch of content topics lined up to be created or published for the next few weeks (if not months).

Suggesting content elements (such as data, visual content, research, or interviews you did) relevant to any of their upcoming content could potentially lead them to mentioning/linking to you as a resource (hat tip to Art of Emails for this approach).


Start with the top blogs in your space that publish content regularly (twice or even more per week).

Contact writers/columnists from these publications directly, if possible (since they are the ones who do the research).

Outreach Template:

Subject: Research on [Topic] you can use for [Site Name]

Hey [First Name],

I’ve been an avid reader of [Site Name] for quite some time now – and I really love how detailed and well-researched your guides are.

I can only imagine the time you spent working on those.

Anyway, I noticed that you’ve been writing a lot about [Topic Area] lately and just wondering if you’re planning to write about [Specific Topic] any time soon?

I’ve been gathering some public data and been interviewing some influencers in the [Industry] space about their views on [problem + specific topic]. Just thought that you might be interested on the insights I’d be able to get.

Let me know your thoughts. Thanks, [First Name].

[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • Familiarity – throw in some big names in your industry that could take part in your research/survey/interviews.
  • Highlight key data points you’ve found out from your own research (collected public data) to make your pitch more interesting.
  • Pitch the same idea to other publishers. Since you’re only providing them with research they can build content around on – or support an existing idea that they already plan to work on.


7. Infographic Marketing


Find infographics that cover the same topic(s) as yours. Then look for the sites that use them, and make a list of them. There are two ways to do this:

  • Reverse Image search via Google Image search (upload or enter the URL of the image/infographic).
  • Reverse engineer the landing page/original source of the infographic using link monitoring tools like Ahrefs.

You can also search for text-heavy content related to your infographic’s topic (that could make use of your visual content).

Outreach Template:

Subject: Data Visualization for [Site Name]

Hey [First Name],

I’m [Your Name], and I work with [Your Site].

I’m reaching out to you because I saw your article on [Topic] and I noticed that you’ve included [Competitor Site]’s infographic on your post:

[insert URL of the post with competitor’s infographic]

We’ve recently created an infographic on [summary or key data point that your visual content covers] just thought that you might want to see it as well:

[insert URL to your infographic]

And here are some of the key [stats/ideas] that really stood out from our research:

  • [Stat/Idea 1]
  • [Stat/Idea 2]
  • [Stat/Idea 3]

I would love to know if this is something you’d be interested to include in your article or perhaps feature in one of your next articles (we can definitely send more useful insights if needed).

Let me know your thoughts. Thanks, [First Name].

[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • Design – it’s 50% of the battle.
  • Content of the infographic. Focus on actionable data and insights that people will actually can make use of.
  • Explore more image-based content such as checklists, cheat sheets or kinetic typography.


8. Offering Data to Publishers (and for Media Coverage)


Focus on industry-specific blogs and journalists who actively write about your target industry. Seeing that they are the ones who can easily come up with content topics based on data (even with a small set of data).

Outreach Template:

Subject: Hey [First Name] – Useful data for [Site Name]

Hey [First Name],

I’ve just read your article on [Topic] at [Site Name].

Just thought that this collection of data we’ve gathered on [Topic] might get you and your readers interested as well:

See attached doc. [attach document containing collected data – could also be a data visualization]

The data we’ve collected revealed a few interesting stats:

  1. [Data 1]
  2. [Data 2]
  3. [Data 3]

Let me know if there are any other statistics you’d be interested to look at. And feel free to use [Your Site]’s research on any of your future article. Thanks, [First Name].

[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • Exclusivity – offering unpublished data would get many of these publishers/journalists become more interested about the idea of writing about it if they think that access to your data/tip is only limited to a few.So including words such as “exclusively for” within your outreach copy may also help increase your closing rate.Tip: It’s still best not to use templates for your outreach copy if you’re targeting high-end prospects for digital PR and media coverage.
  • Flexibility – let them know that you can also offer other statistics in case they need/want more. It’s also a great way to build long-term relationships with industry bloggers/journalists, wherein you’ll basically become a researcher for them (in exchange for links).


9. Link Reclamation

What is Link Reclamation?

Link reclamation is the process of finding unlinked mentions of your brand assets or broken links pointing to your site coming from other websites, and then contacting them to request for proper link attribution to your website.

1. Google Search:

  • “brand name” – –

2. Using tools with mention tracking features like:

Outreach Template (for unlinked brand mentions):

Subject: Hey [First Name] – Thanks for mentioning [Your Site]

Hey [First Name],

First off, thank you for mentioning [Your Brand] on your article on [Topic]:

[insert URL of the content that mentions your brand]

Anyway, I’m reaching out to you because we’ve recently updated our website. And we’re just wondering if it would be possible for you to include a link to our site as well, in case your readers want to know more about what we do.

[insert link to your website]

Thanks, [First Name],

[Your Name]

Outreach Template (for broken links):

Subject: Hey [First Name] – broken link on [Site Name]

Hey [First Name],

I’m [Your Name], and I work at [Your Site].

First off, thank you for mentioning [Your Brand] on your article on [Topic]:

[insert URL of the content that mentions your brand]

Although, we’ve already moved the page you were originally linking to [insert broken link to your site] here:

[insert new URL]

I just thought of sending you a heads up so you can update the link, if it’s still possible.

Thanks, [First Name].

[Your Name]

Key to Success:

  • They are already aware of your brand, so you’ll have a higher closing rate using this method. Though the tactic works best for brands who have already established themselves as an authority in their space.


10. .Edu Link Outreach

.Edu Resource Link Building


Using Google Search:

  • “keyword/topic” + resources +
  • “keyword/topic” + useful links +

Note: A lot of these academic resources pages usually contain broken links, given that many of them have aged and aren’t updated that much (so the broken link building approach would work well on this aspect).

Outreach Template #1:

Subject: RE: [Topic] Resources

Hi [First Name],

I hope this email finds you well.

I’ve been doing research on [Specific Topic] and some of the resources you’ve listed on your academic resources for [Topic Area] have been very useful to a project I’m working on:

[insert URL of their academic resource page]

Thank you, they have been really valuable for my research.

I also wanted to ask if you are still updating that page. I would like to report a few broken links and also suggest additional resources.

Thanks, [First Name]

[Your Name]  

Outreach Template #2:

Subject: Have a library question

Hi Ms./Mr. [Last Name]

I came across your academic resources page about [Topic][insert URL of .edu resource page] and I really find it helpful!

I was working on a research for our [Subject] 101 class and I’m putting up a list of [Topic] guides and resources that college students can use. Your page was really handy, particularly [mention a specific content section from their resources page].

I also found a lot of good resources; I was wondering if you’d be able to update your list of resources? These are in-depth guides that I’m sure everyone will find useful, too.

Here’s what I found:

  1. [Title of Suggested Content 1] – [insert URL of content 1] – [brief summary and description of content]
  2. [Title of Suggested Content 2] – [insert URL of content 2] – [brief summary and description of content]
  3. [Title of Suggested Content 3] – [insert URL of content 3] – [brief summary and description of content]

I hope it makes a great addition to your resources page.

Either way, keep up the great work!

[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • Only pitch highly educational content from your site/clients. Also, see the pages they’re already linking to – to have an idea of what sorts of content and information they like using as references. Make sure that your content can match up to the resources that these pages are already linking to (improve your content if necessary).
  • Suggest other valuable resources on the topic (other than yours) that will also be useful to their students (particularly those that they haven’t linked out to yet).

Special shout out to our team at Xight Interactive and GoBiggr for doing massive tests for our .edu outreach templates over the past couple of years – allowing us to send solid monthly link reports to our clients.



Use the following queries and search operators via Google Search:

  • “” + “scholarships”
  • “” + “outside scholarships”
  • “” + “external scholarships”
  • “” + “keyword” + “scholarships”
  • “” + “scholarship list”
  • “” + “additional scholarships”
  • “” + “scholarships links”
  • “” + “private scholarships”

They normally leave out submission forms or the contact details of their university/college’s financial aid department on these pages.

You’d also need to setup a scholarship page on your website that thoroughly explains how your private scholarship program works. This will usually include details such as:

  • Scholarship Information (ex: essay topic, reward/prize, deadline, etc…)
  • Application Process
  • Criteria & Eligibility
  • Official Rules
  • About your Company
  • Past Winners

Outreach Template:

Subject: Undergraduate Scholarship for [University] students

Hi [First Name],

I noticed that you provide a list of private scholarships for students.

I’m just sending you a message to let you know that our organization is offering [number of student + amount] scholarships to [University/College Name] students that major in [Industry/Department] courses.

You can see more information about the scholarship here:

[insert URL to your scholarship page]

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Kind regards,
[Your Name]

Key to Success:

  • Showcase a list of past winners who have been awarded by your scholarship program.

Other useful resources on using scholarships to build links from .edu sites:


Student Discounts & Coupon Codes


  1. Find Universities and Colleges that have student discount pages through Google Search (linking to shops that offer student discounts exclusively to their students):

    They usually leave their contact details on those pages as well:

  1. You can also check other sites and businesses that offer student discounts and see the sites linking to them (use queries like: “keyword” + student discount”).

Outreach Template:

Subject: Student Discount for [University Name] Students

Hey [First Name],

I noticed that you have a list of businesses offering student discounts:

[insert URL to their student discount page]

I just want to let you know that we are offering a [discount%] on all our Content products exclusively for [University] students.

They can also use this promo code [insert promo code] when they purchase on our online store.

Let me know if there’s any other information you would need from us.

Thanks, [First Name].

[Your Name]

Key to Success:

  • Offer lifetime discounts on products that are relevant to students (no adult stuff).


11. Influencer Marketing


Find curated lists of the top experts and influential bloggers in your industry via Google search:

  • “top” + “industry” + experts
  • “top” + “industry” + blogs

Outreach Template for Initial contact:

Here’s a good template that Aaron Agius and his team at LouderOnline use when reaching out to influencers:

Subject: Hey [name] – I want to pick your brain for a project

Hi [name],

My name is [your name] from [company]. I’ve been following your blog since 2013.

Your recent post [blog topic] really resonated with me. I thought it was something my audience would appreciate, so I shared it with my social media and email subscribers.

I wanted to get in touch with you to discuss [topic] further, and see if we can work on something similar together.

If you’re interested we can set up a phone call this week to discuss starting a collaboration that would bring value to both our audiences.


[your name]

Outreach Template for Curation, Expert Round Ups, and Interviews:

Subject: Interview request for [Full Name]

Hey [First Name],

I’m [Your Name] from [Your Company].

I’m working on an article about [Topic] that’s scheduled to go live in a couple of weeks, and I just thought that you’re one of the best people in the industry to get some insights from.

Just wanted to know your personal take on this question:

[Interview Question(s)]

Thanks for your time, [First Name]. It would really be great if you can share your expertise on this – I’m sure it will be valuable to a lot of [target audience].

All the best,

[Your Name]

Outreach Template for Influencer Mention:

Subject: We’ve featured [Site Name] on our article

Hey [First Name],

I just wanted to let you know that I’ve mentioned your article about [Topic] in my recent post:

[insert link to your post]

Your work was really worth sharing to my audience. I would also love to know what you think about it, if ever you have time.

Thanks, [First Name]

[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • Familiarity with your brand. Engaging them on social media or within their own community before actually reaching out to them directly should help get your email noticed.
  • The content where you have featured them has a unique angle/story (different from what they are usually mentioned in) and genuinely provides value in your community.
  • Being clear on the actual value they’ll get in working with you.


12. Blogger Outreach for Product Reviews


Find blogs and publishers that did reviews of your competitors’ products or related products within your industry.

  • “competitor’s product” + “review”
  • “competitor” vs.

Outreach Template:

Subject: Free giveaway for [Site Name] readers

Hey [First Name],

I’m [Your Name], from [Site Name].

I just saw your review of [Competitor’s Product].

Just wanted to reach out because I have a product that I think will interest your audience as well. Would you be willing to test and review [Product Name]?

I can send you a [free access/product sample] for you to review, and three extra ones that you can give away to your audience.

Let me know if this works for you.

Thanks, [First Name].

[Your Name]

Keys to Success:

  • A well-designed website and landing page of your product – with visually appealing product photos.
  • Generally interesting product. If it’s a software/subscription-based service, offering a 6-month or a year of free access should attract more influencers to write about you.


Email Outreach Tips:

1. Personalize

  • Always use your prospects’ name and their website’s name when contacting them.
  • Stalk you’re A-list prospects’ twitter feed, personal site or any social media accounts to help you come up with something more personal that you can mention on your email.
  • Include memes within your outreach copy that are related to their personal hobbies and interests (if necessary).
  • Show your personality on your outreach emails (and customize your templates to reflect your personality – great tip from Sujan Deswal)

2. Write better copies

  • Mention their name or their website’s name on the subject line to improve open rates.
  • Subject should also be able to summarize what your email is about. Get the message across from the get go.
  • Write the email body in a scannable format. Clean and concise.
  • Write shorter emails for initial contact, because they tend to get better response rates (as you can always send a more thorough email once you get a response from them).
  • Always double check your copy before sending – be specifically attentive with your copies’ grammar. As Julia Ogden points out, “if you can’t spell in your email, you can’t spell in your guest posts”.

 Recommended Reading: 10 ways to write better emails.

3. Build Familiarity

  • Build rapport with your prospects (especially people on your priority list) through other channels (social media, community sites where they are active or leaving comments on their blogs), before reaching out through email.
  • Mention mutual connections, sites you’ve been published that they know of or how you’ve found them in your email.

4. Timing

  • Best times/days to send outreach emails: Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday mornings.
  • Know your prospects’ time zones.
  • If your offer/pitch is time-sensitive, let them know that it’s urgent (from the subject line).
  • Send a follow up email after 2-3 days if you haven’t received any response.
  • Use Boomerang for Gmail to schedule your outreach emails.

5. Offer Value

  • Always have a section where you can highlight the value they’ll get from your pitch.
  • Be genuinely generous. Give them ideas that they can pursue even without your help (even if that means not getting a link). Also, don’t just compliment their work, share it or link to them.
  • Tell them how your credibility (as an expert), followers/readers/email subscribers, and social influence will matter to them.

6. Build Connections and Relationships

  • Create a “write for us” page on your site, and optimize it for search – so you can attract active guest bloggers in your space. Negotiate linking opportunities for your brand as well through these incoming contacts (particularly those who write for other authority sites – ask to be introduced to sites they have been published).
  • Connect with people in your space through HARO. Ask advice from industry experts within the platform and use it on your content initiatives (since most of the people you’ll get connected with are either marketing or PR specialists in your space). Build relationships with them, as you can eventually get linking opportunities from these people as well.

7. Track and Improve

  • Use YesWare to track your emails open rates.
  • Maintain relationships. Follow them on social networks or send them occasional emails (like random inspirational quotes while checking on them, sharing social trends or current events in your industry, etc…)
  • Continuously test and improve your outreach copies.

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

Also, read our guide to Enterprise Link Building.

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