‘Hello [Name]. Can I Have A Link Please?’ – How To Improve Your Outreach
So, you’ve written a great blog. It’s phenomenal, in fact. But no one seems to be seeing it. You wait and you wait, but the traffic never comes and you’re left wondering what you’ve done wrong. After all, isn’t the key tenet of creative content marketing that quality content itself builds great results and traffic? Well, the chances are that you’re in need of some outreach and some decent links pointing people (and Google) towards your smashing new piece of content.
But this isn’t always easy. Content writers often shy away from following up with the necessary promotion and outreach because it’s time-consuming and often frustrating. After all, isn’t writing the content meant to be the hard part? The thought of sending emails out to people you don’t know and asking for links leaves a lot of people cold. But the fact is that if you want people to read and link to your post, you’re going to need to spend a bit of time on outreach and promotion.
It’s difficult to do, which is why a lot of people end up simply defaulting to finding a half-decent outreach email template, filling it and sending it out en masse. Unsurprisingly, this tactic often meets with poor engagement and success rates, which just leads to further demotivation if anything. Here at Manchester-based digital agency Embryo Digital, we think that there are a few easy ways in which you can improve your link building and email outreach.
You’re Reaching Out To A Real Person – Talk To Them That Way
Ever had an email that reads like: ‘Hello [name], I’d like to write a guest post for your website, [link]. You can find samples of my writing here: [link]’?
That’s because a lot of people just find a template and send it out to as many people as possible without taking the time to personalise their messages or engage in a real conversation. The result? You get an email that sounds like it’s been constructed by a robotic algorithm. At best, it just comes across as a low-effort, easily-ignored email that only a handful of recipients will engage with. At worst, it comes across as spam and goes straight into the junk folder – you might even have your email blocked.
It’s important to remember that the website you’re contacting isn’t run by a machine, and that there’s a real person who might be on the receiving end of a lot of outreach emails. With that in mind, try to give them the time and attention they deserve. Nobody opens their emails eager to see who they might get to link to today. It’s your job to convince them that you are worth their time. While there are some more interesting and useful link building email templates to be found, one of the best ways you convince someone to care about your email is to send one that actually sounds like a real person trying to have a conversation.
There’s no doubt that reaching out to someone you don’t know to essentially boast about your content is not something that comes easy to everyone. It means putting yourself out there, but if you feel confident that your content is good and shareable, there’s no reason not to give it a go.
Just ask yourself how you’d talk to this person if you met them face to face. And then speak like that when you email them. Links aside, outreach is an opportunity to open up new relationships and business opportunities. It can lead to big things – and you’re more likely to make more and better connections if you decide to do away with the template you’ve been using for something a bit more personalised.
Constructing Your Email
If you’re contacting popular bloggers and busy websites, the chances are that they’re going to be very busy and it might also be that they receive a lot of outreach emails every week. That’s why you need to quickly and concisely explain why they should care about you and your blog. It’s about striking a balance between detail and brevity.
You can essentially boil what you need to communicate down to:
- Why they should care
- What you want them to do
- That you are genuine and not a mere spam bot
Firstly, why should they care about you and the piece of content you’ve written? Well, it’s your job to convince them why you are worth their time and their link. This is largely going to be dependent on the content itself and the value that it might offer this person and their website. But you probably already thought about the value of your content while you were writing, whether you wanted it to be funny, informative, newsworthy, long form and in-depth, insightful, or anything else. What is that you think makes your content worth sharing? Whatever that is, that’s what you need to get across in your email.
Next, tell them what exactly it is that you’re after. A lot of outreach emails lack confidence and avoid simply telling the recipient what is wanted. Directly asking for links can make your email sound more spammy, that’s certainly true. But at the same time, you need to be direct and confident. Whether you want a link, the chance to write a guest post, a piece of content embedding in someone else’s web page, a social media share, or anything else, your recipient can’t possibly help if it’s unclear what you want. If you’re expecting people to engage, reply to you and ask for clarification, then you’re just adding another roadblock into the process.
The other thing that you need to communicate clearly in your email is that you are a genuinely interested and interesting human being – not simply a spammer or a bot. How do you do this? Well, personalising your email as much as possible is a good way to start. Comment on something the recipient has said or done recently, use real names, use a creative subject line, use a decent email signature, and perhaps mention your location. By extending genuine interest in the person you’re writing to, you’re much more likely to engage them in a real conversation and win a new relationship and connection in the meantime.
Get In Touch
Link building is an important part of the impactful and effective SEO campaigns we run here at Embryo Digital. Manchester-based, we help clients from Manchester and across the nation to improve their visibility, win conversions, generate traffic, and boost their brand. Interested in finding out more about what we do? Get in touch with the team here to discover how our link building and SEO efforts can make a difference to you.