How to send link building emails (that actually work)

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Link building is an SEO technique that involves getting links from other websites to boost your own website’s authority in Google’s eyes.

Links from other websites tell Google that you’re a reputable source of information and that other businesses trust you. A high authority can significantly improve your search rankings. You can get an estimated measurement of your website’s authority using tools like the MOZ DA Checker.

When link building, you make a list of the websites that your target audience is likely to be looking at (that also have some relevance to your business) and ask the owners for links to something you’ve shared on your own website.

This sounds simple enough – but it is a really time-heavy research task which means that by the time you’ve identified which websites you want to get links from, you’re quite likely to send the same generic outreach email to all the people on your list just to be able to finish.

“Hi [Name]

I was reading your page on [topic] and I thought I’d share a link from my own website that you might find interesting [link].

It would be great if you could link to it from your own content as I think your audience would love what I have to say on [topic].

Let me know what you think!

Thanks,
[Your Name]”

Let’s be honest. We’ve all sent something like this. We’ve either been too tired or too busy to put more effort into making our emails stand out.
But standing out is key.

With countless marketers reaching out to these website owners (who also have actual businesses to run), you need to make sure your email gets read, liked and actioned.

So how can you do this?

Should you persist and email the same business again and again? Should you choose more “achievable” targets who may have less of a reputation but more time on their hands to help you?

Or should you put the effort into crafting an attention-grabbing, likeable and memorable email that can make all that time researching worth it?

Creating a great outreach email for link building

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Step 1: Create an attention-grabbing subject line

Think of your inbox. What stands out to you? How many emails do you have that are sitting unread because they didn’t seem exciting enough to open straight-away?

You can’t ask anyone for links to your site if they don’t open your email so take some time to create a subject line that grabs their attention and makes them want to read it immediately.

We usually start ours with an apology – because, let’s be honest, we’ve rudely interrupted their busy day to ask for something!
“Sorry to do this to your inbox…” produces a high open-rate because a) you can bet not many other people are emailing apologies so it stands out and b) the recipient wants to know WHAT we’ve done to their inbox.

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Step 2: Write a likeable email

The chances of someone helping you are much higher if they like you. It can be hard to convey how wonderful you are through email but there are a few things you can do to make it easier.

Be honest and straight-forward. This wasn’t an email the reader was expecting so they don’t really have time to read pleasantries or long explanations about who you are. Be upfront by saying “you don’t know me” and then get straight to the point of why you’re reaching out to them.

Make sure the link you’re sharing is actually helpful. If your link doesn’t have a clear value to their business and audience, you’re just wasting their time which isn’t going to make you very likeable. When making your link building list, don’t include businesses just for the sake of it – put yourself in their shoes and consider if you would help someone who emailed that same link to you.

Acknowledge how busy your recipient is. Thank them for reading the email and/or mention that you don’t necessarily expect an immediate response given how busy they are. Not only does this make your email appear less pushy, but it also emphasises that you know the reader has more important tasks to do to keep their business running.

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Step 3: Be memorable

Very rarely is an email going to be followed up immediately which means that your outreach needs to be memorable enough for someone to come back to later.

People don’t remember words. People remember people. Be memorable by letting your personality show in your email.

Include a fun fact about you, a joke or a cute animal picture (we use alpacas) that the reader will remember at the end of the day when they still haven’t replied to you. Sometimes you’ll even get an alpaca picture back!

alpaca-example-email

To successfully build links to your website you need to invest a decent amount of time into research – don’t let it go to waste by sending lazy outreach emails. Use these tips to write an attention-grabbing, likeable and memorable outreach email and see how much the response to your efforts improves.

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