Like Me? Follow Me.
Those of you who thought emailing an organisation such as a charity or university for a link was easy, think again. There's a big difference between a successful email and spam. Heres some tips to stay away from the Junk Mail box
1. Contact a Person (Where Possible)
When searching around a website for contact details try, where possible, to find an actual person usually in charge of press/media/website content or an administrator. These individuals will not only be able to change the website content but also have more time to reply than, say, the Director or Chairman of an organisation.
2. Keep it Personal & Tailored
Add as many references to both the individual reader and the organisation you are emailing to keep things personalized and relevant. Make reference to a blog or interesting page on the site, including the link to the page, to confirm you have actually spent some time navigating their site. By adding the organisation name as an email header and addressing the email with "Dear Name" you reduce the risk of being considered a spammer and increase the possibility of a reply. Add the initials or name of the organisation in the email subject along with your client name and "Client's Support", "Useful Link" or "Site Sponsorship" to reduce any spammy connotations.
3. Keep it Brief
By keeping your email neat and concise, you put across an organised image and show that you realise the reader may be rushed or have restricted time.
4. Show Value
Whether this is financial, experience, content or sponsorship, show the reader the value in linking to your client's site as much as possible. This may include mentioning that you can also add a site link on your client's website (a reciprocal link). Use words like 'perhaps' or 'possibly' to give an open offer and not a guarantee or promise before you have the client's approval.
5. Keep it Structured
Create a structure that can replicated for other link building emails. Start with an introduction of who you are and what you are responsible for. This gives the reader a person to relate to and lets them know why you are contacting them or their organisation in particular.
Next, lead on to a bit of information about your company or the client you are link building for, keeping it short and to the point with information that shows how successful the client is and the types of work they do. It's a good idea to take the information from the clients Homepage/About Us and condense it. Give a link URL at the end of this to the homepage.
Then, explain why linking to your client would be useful/beneficial for their site's visitors such as offering a related service or product. Including a link to the most relevant page on your client's site helps them relate to your client.
Now is the asking/begging part where you let them know what you would like to offer them in return for a link on their site. Paste in the page URL where you would like your link placed as it shows them you really have searched around their site and makes the whole process a little smoother.
Be helpful by enclosing the html code for your link as it gives the reader the opportunity to simply paste the link into the page source code and reduces hassle. Remember to make your anchor text a targeted, relevant keyword.
Lastly, give your contact details to not only confirm you area real person making a legitimate request, but also in case they would like to call you or require more information to review the proposal.
6. Always Reply
Whenever you get an email back whether positive or negative you should ALWAYS reply. If they say no and give reasoning then reply saying "thank you for taking the time to get back to me". If they reply back quickly then thank them for "replying swiftly to my email". If you don't have the power to say yes or no to an offer then respond stating "I will contact the relevant person at "Client Name" and get back to you as soon as possible". This way you are not keeping them waiting and can forward the email on to the relevant person.
7. Keep Track
Remember to keep track of every email sent on behalf of a client. By filling a spreadsheet with the address, contact name, website links and dates you emailed/spoke to them on top. This allows you to quickly note down any replies received and not be confused when someone replies by phone and leaves you lost for words. It also means that if a client asks for a report on progress of the link building or wants to see where you are up to, you have a full spreadsheet of who has/hasn't replied, etc.
8. Be PatientRemember that people are busy and take time to pass things on to the relevant person or discuss with a team or committee. You may get a few replies quickly then nothing for weeks, but be patient throughout and if you are really desperate for a reply then consider calling the person directly and making reference to your sent email.
Happy Link Emailing.
If anyone has any further tips feel free to comment. Alternatively, if you'd like to know more about link building or SEo in general, contact us about SEO training.