How To Get Good At Link Outreach – Even If You Don’t Know Jack To Start With

After you have finished your competitor link analysis with the link intersect process described in my last post you have a TON of highly-relevant websites to reach out to – and probably no idea how to go about that.

Today I'll tell you how I do that, showing you step by step what I do to help one of my beta testers to get new juicy links. Let's get started!

The Data We Use For Our Outreach Campaign

Anders (one of my beta testers) used LinksSpy with a set of eight competitors and got amazing results back. We use that data to go on the hunt for some great links.

Here's a screenshot of the data we got out of LinksSpy:

Link Opportunities Generated By LinksSpy
 

LinksSpy gives you a truck load of suggestions. All suggestions are 3rd-party websites that link to your competitors, but don't currently link to you.
Those sites have shown interest in your niche, so they are more likely to react to your outreach campaigns. Which means you'll get more links more easily!

Let's talk about the strategy we are using to get in touch with the authors.

When you break it down our outreach strategy has the following steps:

  1. find the contact information (email, twitter, Google+) of the author
  2. read some more content from the same author
  3. craft an individual outreach email
  4. Follow up if neccessary

Finding the right contact information

First of all, you really have to go for the author's information. Not the site owner mind you! You need the actual author, especially on bigger websites.
You can't just write to support@ or info@, because the support team won't get your link published.

Hint: Use Rapportive and test the author's first name with the domain. More often than not, this email address will exist. For example Joel Gascoigne uses the email address joel@bufferapp.com.
E voila, you now have direct access to the CEO of Buffer.

Using Rapportive For Link Outreach

Read More Of The Author's Content Before Reaching Out

After you've found the private email address, go on and read some more articles. You got to know the person you're reaching out to. Understanding their interests gives you a better idea of what to offer them in exchange for a link.

Writing The First Outreach Email

Once you know enough about the author you write your first outreach email. Keep that email short and make it really individual. You can base it off of a template – just add a little personal touch.

The Email Template We Use

For our outreach email we took a lot of inspiration from an article called "How To Write a Blogger Outreach Email" by Jerry Silfwer and "The Link Builder’s Guide to Email Outreach" by Neil Patel. Both are excellent sources and you should definitely read them.

Without further ado, here's our email template: (slightly edited for light-heartedness)

subject: Your amazing post about sleepy bear syndrome

Hey Joel,

I just read your excellent article about the Sleepy Bear Syndrome.

I am writing you since I've just started working with a brand I think you'd be interested in collaborating with. They are an unknown manufacturer of prescription sleeping pills for people traumatized by endless christmas shopping.

I've got a direct link to Anders, the CEO of Sleeping Beauty Pills, and he would love to be interviewed on your blog. I am sure we can drive a whole lot of new readers to your blog with such an interview.

I have presented your blog to Anders. He really loved the design and the tonality and gave me the go-ahead to discuss a potential collaboration with you.
Interested? If so, hit me up and we can discuss details.

Merry Christmas,
Christoph

 

Following Up On The Outreach Email

We are seeing a pretty decent response rate with this approach, mainly because the leads we have are highly-relevant. Still, we don't give up if we don't hear back from the author. We send at least two follow-up emails.
To remind ourselves to follow up we use Boomerang, but if you don't use GMail FollowUp.cc works just as well.
We send our first follow-up email after 7 days and set Boomerang accordingly.

Using Boomerang For Link Outreach follow up

Our template for the first follow up email is PRETTY straight-forward:

Hi Joel,

Did you received my email a week ago?

Cheers,
Christoph

For the second follow-up we go back to the board and craft a completely new email. If we don't get a response after the third email, we'll just stop nagging.

Conclusion

I know that there are hundreds of more creative ideas to do link outreach. But as the saying goes "Done is better than perfect" and most people don't even start. So get out there, try this process out… and trust me it works.

PS: Allegedly you get a higher response rate when sending your emails from a female email handle (anna@linksspy.com) with an attractive profile picture. But that seems dodgy to me so we don't do that.

PPS: If you want to learn more about linkbuilding and link outreach, sign up for our mailing list:

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