One of the most important aspects of link building campaigns is adopting a non-spammy approach to email outreach.
While many people believe that link building is just a numbers game, focusing on quantity over quality will more likely get your emails marked as spam rather than lead to a link.
Sending out mass emails with no personalisation can compromise your relationships with link prospects and damage your brand’s reputation.
However, there’s a way to strike the perfect balance with an email outreach strategy that enables you to send personalised emails at a scale.
This outreach method is called the hybrid approach and in this blog post, we delve into why it’s the most effective way to build links.
Different link outreach approaches
Traditionally, there are two different link outreach approaches, also known as the shotgun and sniper approaches.
The shotgun approach includes sending out mass emails to all link prospects with minimal personalisation. The main benefit of this approach is that it’s fast - you only need to create one email template and send it out to everyone on the list. This can provide you with some quick wins, however, there are potential drawbacks to consider before adopting this outreach method in your link building campaign.
Generally speaking, this approach can be seen as spamming people, and the receivers of these emails are probably not going to be too happy about it. This can lead to burning bridges with valuable contacts and harming your company’s reputation. It can also result in getting links on undesirable sites which can negatively impact your SEO.
Another common outreach strategy is the sniper approach. This approach involves carefully selecting prospects who you want to get a link from and sending out personalised emails. It’s a great way to get quality links and foster relationships. You can also expect higher link acquisition rates. While effective, it's not scalable and can be very time-consuming.
Adopting a hybrid approach
The most optimal strategy for link building is combining the shotgun and sniper approaches. This hybrid approach offers the ability to balance speed and personalisation, achieving decent link acquisition rates while maintaining relationships with prospects.
Similarly to the shotgun approach, you can send out emails to a large volume of recipients and the main context of the email remains the same. However, to prevent being spammy, you’ll need to add a degree of personalisation. The personalisation is usually based on a commonality among a segment, also known as the linkable point or the reason for contact.
Finding the linkable point helps you initiate the conversation with your link prospects. It shows to them that you’ve got a good reason for why you’ve contacted them and it makes it more likely they’ll read and respond to your email.
You’ll also need to provide a value proposition to the prospects that will impact them and their audiences. Strong value propositions tied to the linkable point simplify the outreach email writing process. Clearly illustrating how linking to your content benefits prospects and their audiences enhances conversion rates for link acquisition. Fresh data, updates, and relevant content can be compelling value propositions.
For example, if you find a number of pages that are using outdated stats in their content, you could email them and share new data. The value for prospects in this case is that they can keep their website’s content up to date, and hopefully in turn they’ll link to you.
Crafting authentic outreach emails
One common pitfall in outreach is relying too heavily on templates, resulting in emails that sound robotic and disingenuous. Instead of focusing on creating the perfect template, start with writing a personalised email to one of your prospects.
The second step is to edit the email and remove any empty statements and unnecessary flattery. It’s also best to avoid industry-specific jargon unless you know for a fact that the recipients will understand it.
When you’ve crafted your first email, extract personalisation fields to see what can be templated without sacrificing the authentic feel.