Acquiring links through email outreach is nothing new. It’s been going on for years, and it can be effective once you learn how to properly communicate and break through all of the noise. You see, the best websites to acquire links from get spammed to death on a daily basis.

They see the same copy and paste pitch multiple times a day. It has made them absolutely despise SEO and the people that are after links. This makes a unique email outreach approach a must if you truly want to achieve any results. If not you are simply wasting your time.

This is why buying links is such a popular practice. Most businesses simply don’t know how to perform effective outreach. They end up wasting time and money and see no results, so they would rather just pay and let those that have figured it out handle their link acquisition.

My own SEO agency blog gets pitched daily and 99% of the requests all look and sound the same. They go something like this:


“Hi admin of {site name}. Wow I really liked reading {insert title of article}. It was very well written and my favorite. I created a great piece of content that you should link to in your article. Here it is: {their shitty article}. Please link to it and make the link a do-follow. Thank you. PS – your blog is the best!”


Cringe worthy, right?

Who in their right mind would respond to that horrible email? Not me, I can promise you that. I delete them all. It’s so obvious that they are using software to spam the living shit out of every blog they can find.

It’s clowns like that who are making it harder by the day to secure links via email outreach. You know what they say — only the strong survive.

My agency has an entire team of outreach specialists, as it’s one of the most popular link building services we offer. We’ve been praised on multiple industry leading sites for our quality, even outshining the top guys we compete against. But enough about us..

If you have been trying to score links via email outreach and have had no luck then this blog post might help you find ways to penetrate through and secure some nice authority niche relevant links. It’s not easy and you will fail much more than you succeed, but if you are willing to put in the work you can score some sweet acquisitions.

Scoring solid links via email outreach – it’s about working smart.


1. Identify targets that actually make sense — hand select them instead of using software.

When you use software to scrape targets it will pull a bunch of options. Some will make sense and some will not be relevant at all, but the user will still hit the “start” button on a campaign. It’s a complete waste of time and makes your company look foolish.

Imagine what a beauty blog thinks when a pet store emails them asking them to link to their blog post about the best natural dog food brands? It’s just a bad look all around. Not only will you not get a link, but you make your business look incompetent and foolish.

You should only be going after top placements, so software isn’t needed. Remember, links is all about quality now and not quantity. When you take the time to identify potential targets yourself it allows you to become familiar with the blog, the type of content it publishes, its staff and writers and whether or not they are going to be open to your pitch.

A lot of blogs make it perfectly clear they DO NOT accept any pitches of any kind. You will see more and more placing disclaimers on their contact pages in an attempt to reduce the number of unsolicited pitches they receive.

Even deleting pitches sucks up their time. So, if software pitches these blogs that specifically say not to pitch them it just makes you look like an even bigger clown. By hand selecting your targets you ensure that you are not wasting their time as well as your own.

This approach also gives you the final approval on what sites you go after. The spammy “spray and pray” approach might get your linked to by low quality crappy blogs. Take pride in your outreach, going after only link targets that you want your website to be associated with.

Organization is key, so create a spreadsheet that has the target name, how and when you communicated with them, the current status as well as the contact information and name of anyone you are in communication with.



2. Stop using the same pitch template every other clown is using.

Above I gave you an example of a very cringe worthy pitch that I have personally received several dozen times. All of the outreach software comes pre-loaded with templates that look very similar to that example.

Imagine that. Most people that are using these tools are so lazy that they don’t even attempt to change the templates. It’s a combination of pure laziness and being totally clueless about how outreach works.

A lot of people genuinely think they can just take this software and use it ‘as-is’ and magically secure juicy link placements. If only SEO and link acquisition was that easy — everyone would be ranking number one for the best keywords.

I’m not entirely knocking outreach software and tools. They can be helpful, but ONLY if you use them as they are intended — as a tool. You still need to use common sense when identifying targets and you need a very custom approach that makes you stand out and not blend in with the copy/paste crowd that is all spewing the same bullshit and weak pitch attempt.

Here is that example again:


“Hi admin of {site name}. Wow I really liked reading {insert title of article}. It was very well written and my favorite. I created a great piece of content that you should link to in your article. Here it is: {their shitty article}. Please link to it and make the link a do-follow. Thank you. PS – your blog is the best!”


When I get this, I think to myself, “Do they think I’m stupid? Are they really trying to test my intelligence with this horrible attempt?”

I can’t stress this point enough. If you use the same generic sounding pitch you are wasting your time. Your email will be deleted every single time and probably flagged as spam, which causes another problem, but that’s a discussion for another time.

Every outreach email should start from scratch, specifically written for your target. Not only the blog, but the writer. You need to research targets to find a unique angle. Look at their social profiles. Do they like a particular sports team? Do they have a hobby or interest? This is information you can use to really stand out and avoid the trash can.


3. Pitch people that already know you or your company.

There is where niche-relevancy comes into play.

Everyone wants links from the big boy sites like Forbes, Inc. and Entrepreneur. Sure, they are great, but let’s be honest – they have not heard of most businesses that pitch them. Now, if Uber reaches out and says, “Hey we have something interesting for you” they are going to listen.

If “Joe’s Computer Repair” in Dallas, Texas reaches out they are going to delete and not think twice. Why? They have no idea who that company is — and they are fairly confident their readers aren’t going to care about what some local computer repair shop has going on. It’s the truth and the reality of the situation.

Rather than wasting time pitching those sites, target the heavy hitters within your niche, especially blogs and websites that are going to know who you are. When they have at least heard of you it can help you avoid hitting the “Trash” before your email is even read.

They don’t even have to have personally spoken to you or communicated with your business. It just helps if they have seen you before — and here is a tip that can help take care of this.

When you do proper research you will have a list of all your targets. So, create a Facebook ad promoting your company and run it against the employees and staff of the websites and blogs you are going to target, and do this for 3 to 5 day prior to sending the first email.

Most blogs have a Facebook page — target their followers. If the outlet is large you can go after their employees, but if it’s smaller you can go after their page followers as there is a good chance the people that work there follow the page.

The beauty of this little hack is that the competition will be super low, and you will be able to score impression at a low CPM. Spending $10 or $20 this way can make the difference between having your pitch being sent right to the trash of someone saying, “Wait I think I have heard of this company before,” and at least take a look at your pitch. It’s an easy way to have a foot in the door prior to sending your initial email.


4. Be mindful of when (time and day) you are contacting them.

The person on the receiving end of your email has a million things they would rather be doing (and need to be doing) than responding to your outreach. Remember, they have a job to do and linking to your website falls nowhere in their job description.

When you understand that they owe you nothing and that in order to actually grant you what you are asking from them actually takes time away from what they have to do daily. An editor has a boss to answer to. If they are questioned as to why something wasn’t done and they say, “Oh sorry I was busy linking to Joe’s blog post” what is going to happen? They would be questioned heavily as it relates nothing to their job description.

If you send them an email on 9am on a Monday do you think they have time for you? No way. They have other responsibilities. What about 4:55pm on a Friday? Do you think they want to give you a second of attention? No chance.

Mid-week and mid-day is always best. Put yourself in their shoes. If you don’t want to be bothered at a certain time or day, there is a good chance they don’t want to be either. Be respectful — it goes a long way.



5. Have a damn good reason to be bothering them.

It’s important that you give them reason to actually give your request the time of day. Their time is valuable. Something as simple as, “Hey! I know you are busy so to thank you for taking the time to read this email here is a $5 Starbucks gift card…next coffee is on me!” can go a long way.

That $5 investment can be what grants you the link request. Now, rather than send an e-card to their email, go buy the physical Starbucks gift cards and scratch off the back to reveal the code that you input into the app to give your account credits.

Then you just simply include that code in the email. If they don’t open the email, guess what? You can use that card on someone else. This helps to eliminate wasted cards. Sure, some people might use the code and not give you a link, but there will be more people that will accept the code and feel almost obligated to link to you simply because you gave them something.

Even a 25% close ration using cards is a huge win. Wouldn’t you gladly pay $20 for a strong niche relevant link? Of course you would. That is a steal! You can’t buy them that cheap, I promise you that.

If someone has 50 pitches and yours is offering something to them, even if it’s just a $5 Starbucks code, don’t you think you will get what you want before the others that are asking for something without giving anything in return? The answer is “YES!”


Final Thoughts

I hope your biggest take away from this is how common sense comes into play and why the automated spam approach that most use is a total waste of time.

Everyone wants links. It’s the backbone of any SEO campaign, and as more websites launch, more competition enters the party. There are only a few top spots and every day there are new players in every niche that want a piece of the action.

The top blogs and writers in every niche are receiving more and more pitches each day, making it even more important to find ways that make you stand out. If you do the same thing as everyone else you will find your email in the trash can, not even read, just like the rest.

What are some of your tips and hacks that have worked recently in your email outreach effort? Have any stories to share? I’d love to hear them, so drop them in the comments below.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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