Want to get better at backlink outreach? Emails are a very effective way to get in touch with other website owners and generate new backlinks. But unfortunately, outreach success is often low if you don’t know how to do it. We show you what to look out for!
Email outreach: definition and goals
Outreach is the art of contacting other people and getting them excited about a particular project or cause. This form of communication focuses on establishing a connection and creating a dialogue in order to achieve a predefined goal.
Outreach campaigns can have many goals in this regard, such as
- Build a network
- Disseminate information
- Gain support for a cause
- Attract new customers
- Get links for its content
To be successful, an outreach campaign must be strategically planned. Be sure to accurately identify your target audience and then target them in their language. In doing so, the message must be clear and concise about what you want to achieve, as email is a fast-paced medium and therefore only skimmed by most in their day-to-day lives.
Tip: It’s best to include a call-to-action so people know what you want them to do.
5 tips for more successful outreach
To make your backlink outreach emails more successful from now on, here are a few tips.
Tip 1: Find the right domains for your target
If you want to be successful, you need to find the right prospects first. As mentioned earlier, to do this, you need to know who your target audience is and where they are located. This depends on your goal. For example, if you want to gain affiliate partners who will promote for you in your topic area on a commission basis, then it makes sense to look at Amazon’s backlinks and research the sites that publish in your topic area.
But if you want to expand your blogger network, it’s better to search on Google for other blogs in that topic area. For example, to sell your product to workshops in Germany, look on Google Maps and find all domains related to the keyword “Werkstatt STADT”.
If you are looking for websites for a guest post, your target pages should be in the same niche.
Tip 2: Write to the right contacts
But identifying the right domain to write to is usually not enough. Of course, it’s just as important that you write your email to the right person within the company or on the website
For example, you want to do outreach and sell your product. If you have the choice to write your email to the email@example.com or to the firstname.lastname@example.org, which one do you take? Of course, the sales@ because we would rather not offer our products to the HR department.
If you have already found your contact person on the website, but you don’t know the e-mail address yet, then by all means google. One or the other will have published their email address on LinkedIn and Co. If you don’t find a contact person, always write your e-mail to a generic e-mail address such as info@ or kontakt@… There is the highest chance that the e-mail will be forwarded to the appropriate person.
Tip 3: Research and personalize your emails
Emails work best when they are written in a way that is as personalized as possible to the appropriate person. The best way to take advantage of this is to take the time to do your research.
The best way to do this is to write down all the answers to the following questions:
- What does the company/website do?
- In which subject area does the company/website work?
- Has your contact published anything recently?
- If so, on what topic did they publish something recently?
- How did you find their website?
- Why are you writing to the company/your contact?
- What connects you and the company/website?
- What offer do you have for them?
Once you’ve answered all the questions for yourself, then it’s time to start writing the email. It’s best to start with a personal salutation, this already sets you apart from the many 1,000 mass emails out there and your contact person is not immediately bored and closes the email again.
Then mention how you came to the website and what connects you. For example, you can also mention the last published article and tell why you liked it. It’s also best to write that you have already forwarded the article to three of your colleagues. We all like to hear praise and are happy when our work is appreciated. However, be sure to remain authentic and honest. If your opener is exposed as unrealistic flattery, the emails will also be closed immediately.
Tip: It’s important to be polite and respectful when interacting with people. Especially when you don’t know each other yet. Therefore, a humble and appreciative tone always goes down well.
After all, the point is that you want something from your contact and are taking up his or her time. If you now come with “I am the greatest and I order you …”, then your contact will probably not even take the time to answer you.
In the next paragraph there are 2-3 words to build trust: Maybe you found out something about the person during your research that you think is worth mentioning. Is the person an expert in your field that you’ve been interested in for a long time? Did the person recently win an award that you greatly admire them for? The possibilities are endless for bridging the gap to your cause
Finally, you can elaborate on the reason for your email. Why did you write to the person? What can you offer her? How can you get together? It is best to briefly and concisely outline concrete thoughts about your intention/wish. If you want to write a guest article, for example, it’s best to mention the topic and 2-3 thoughts on the content. This helps your counterpart to get an idea and to like the idea.
Round off your email with a specific request or a call to action so that your message is crystal clear. It might be a good idea to mention at the end of the email that it’s okay if you don’t cooperate. This makes you sympathetic and you don’t put pressure on your contact person
Tip 4: Pay attention to the KPIs of your campaign and test them
Like anywhere in sales or marketing, they are fundamentally important in outreach. Keep the following KPIs in mind:
- Number of contacts: How many contacts do you have in the pipeline?
- Number of emails: How many emails did you send?
- Number of responses: How many responses did you receive?
- Number of acceptances: How many people responded positively?
- Number of collaborations: How many collaborations/sales have come about?
The old principle applies: “What you measure is what you get”.
If you know what’s going well and what’s not going so well, then you can tweak it in the right places. For example, if you notice that you’re not getting enough responses, you might want to check your email and include a call to action asking for a short response. Then you can test to see if you are getting more responses
If you are still not getting many replies to your outreach emails, you may want to check your delivery rate by checking the spam score of your email. It’s possible that your emails are not being delivered properly.
So you need to find the eye of the needle in your outreach project and optimize in the right place to eliminate the problem. If you derive and test the right measures in the right places, your campaign will inevitably become a success over time.
A positive side effect of paying attention to the KPIs of your campaign: Your success becomes calculable.
You were able to win 5 cooperation partners out of 100 contacts? Excellent!
Statistically speaking, you will win about 5 cooperation partners again if you contact the next 100 contacts by e-mail. Especially in areas where the workload has to be calculated, it helps extremely if you have a certain planning reliability.
Tip 5: Use automation in the right places
It’s no secret: In times of technology and especially AI, more and more steps are being automated. This primarily applies to tasks that are particularly mindless and always run in the same way. Data research is one such topic. With the right, intelligent approaches, data research can be fantastically automated.
The best way to do this is to ask yourself the following questions:
- Which target group do I want to address?
- Where can I find sites/contacts in this area?
- What do my potential partner sites have in common that I can use to find them?
I have already mentioned an example above: If you want to attract new affiliate partners, then it makes sense to approach sites that are already affiliate partners (= target group from question 1). I find affiliate partners for example on Google by checking if they already have affiliate offers, e.g. from Amazon on the page (=answer to question 2). What these sites have in common is that they all link to Amazon.com by linking Amazon’s products and offers on the site (=answer to question 3).
With that, I’ve answered all three of my questions and we can use Amazon’s backlink profile to do automated research on our outreach domains without any effort
Automations have their biggest benefit in allowing you to put your focus completely on strategy and analyzing the campaign instead of having to bluntly acquire data. This factor will also make you compellingly successful in the long run.
The perfect email for backlink outreach
A successful outreach campaign is made up of many different components. One of the most important elements is, of course, the email. I’ll now show you what to look for when formulating your email:
1. Be short and concise
Outreach emails shouldn’t be too long – keep them short and to the point. The person you’re writing to is probably very busy and doesn’t have time for a long email. Tell him/her clearly what your email is about and why it’s relevant to them.
Still, don’t forget the human part: you’re not writing with an emotionless machine, but with a human being. Show empathy, give praise, and be appreciative.
2. Be polite and respectful
Please make sure your tone is polite and respectful. If you word sassy or brash, no one will help you. And basically, your email is always a request for help, no matter what it’s about. So don’t be pushy or demanding – instead, ask nicely for help, for support, or for a favor.
3. Stay positive
Outreach emails should always be positive – avoid appearing negative or pressuring. The person you are writing to should feel that he/she can genuinely help you and that it is worthwhile to comply with your request. If you sound negative or threatening, you probably won’t get a positive response.
4. Offer something
When you write outreach emails, always remember: You’re not the only one asking for help! Many other people are also trying to make contacts and get backlinks, for example, or sign up the prospect as an affiliate partner.
To stand out from the crowd and get the best results, you should always try to offer something – be it a guest post for the person’s website or a product or service that he/she can promote. Make sure your offer is relevant and could really be of use – otherwise it will pretty much be ignored or rejected.
5. Do a follow-up
Write a follow-up email. Follow-up is critical in outreach – unfortunately, many people ignore this tip. If you send out an outreach email and haven’t heard back after 5 days, you definitely shouldn’t give up!
Instead, just write another email – either a reminder or a new proposal. Often it’s just a matter of timing – the person may have missed your email or been particularly busy lately. Again, though, be sure to remain professional, respectful and polite.
6. Example: The perfect outreach email
Want an example of a backlink outreach? If you take all the points to heart, your result will look something like this.
I’m [your-name] from [company]. I’m writing to you today because I found your article online: [URL]. Great post!
Coincidentally, we recently published a [study|guide|contribution] which also deals with [topic]. [Maybe a quick sentence about the content].
I can well imagine that our information would be a great addition to your contribution. Would it be possible if you link ours there [study|guide|contribution]?
PS. As a thank you for the mention, I can well imagine that we [offer].
Important: At this point, use the example as inspiration only. If a template is used often, it will lose its effect and all your effort will have been in vain.
Link building support through Semrush
The Semrush SEO tool has a whole suite of tools to help you with link marketing and outreach for guest posts.
First, create a link building project for your website. First of all, you should connect the Google Search Console, so that Semrush really gets all the required data for the candidate search. Now you enter the keywords you want to rank for and your competitors.
Based on this data, the tool determines a list of suitable candidates for your link outreach. For me, this is usually around 2000 websites, which is already enormous.
Here I would still advise you to sort out manually. With very big brands you will hardly get a backlink. On the other hand, you want to avoid having backlinks from sites from other niches and inappropriate content. Link building is more about quality than quantity.
You send suitable prospects to be processed, where the tool does the outreach for you. You should definitely customize the email templates, though.
In the last step, the backlinks are monitored. In case of missing links, you can then see where the problem lies or ask the exchange partner.
Ahrefs is also well suited for pure link research.
Conclusion: This way, the next outreach campaign will be a complete success.
Outreach continues to be a powerful tool in online marketing and sales. If you’re unhappy with your current outreach strategy or simply want more success, it’s worth taking the tips from above to heart.
By taking the right approach and using email as a contact method, you can ensure that you’ll have more success in the future. The first thing to do is to find the appropriate domains and the right contacts. Then, research information worth mentioning to write a personalized email. If you now pay attention to the right KPIs and use e.g. automations for research, your project is guaranteed to be a complete success, thanks to the many new backlinks.
Good luck with your backlink outreach!