Manual link building is a delicate art, even though many no longer treat it that way. With more outreach tools at our disposal than ever before, it’s true that there’s a temptation to take the easy route: scrape for contact addresses, write a template email, and then sit back while keeping an eye on your open and response rates. But if you’ve done this, you’ve probably noticed that a lot of the time, your emails aren’t even getting opened.
There might be a lot of reasons for this. In fact, there are a lot of ways to mess up your link requests in general. But here we’re going to go over some of the reasons that your link request emails might not even be getting opened. This is the first hurdle, after all, and you don’t want to trip over it – your SEO campaign’s success might depend on it.
Always remember: treat your recipients like the human beings they are. This is something that we say all the time here at Embryo Digital, and it bears repeating. A lot of these mistakes can easily be avoided by simply putting the time and effort into making your outreach more personal and less robotic. Let’s get into it.
1. Take a moment to think about which email address you choose to contact
We’re starting with this one because it can be difficult for people to understand. Honestly, it’s a bit nuanced. Here and just about everywhere else that matters, it’s constantly being drilled that you need to send personal outreach. So a lot of people think this means finding personal email addresses, usually via LinkedIn or some other social media.
But if you’re contacting a website with a link request, and the person receiving it gets the email from an address that is nowhere to be found on the site itself, it’s a bit of a link building red flag. The recipient might find it invasive, or they might think it’s a product of spammy tactics and scraping for emails.
Again, it’s a delicate subject. If you can find personal emails on the site, that is a far better option for a link request than a general contact address. But using an email address found elsewhere than the website that you’re trying to get a link for, you risk not having your email opened in the first place.
2. Add in a bit of effort when writing your subject line
Now we’re getting into the nitty-gritty of it. Subject lines. Ah, infamous subject lines. We’ve all been there: receiving a spammy, obnoxious, over exaggerated subject line that immediately turns you off. This usually comes down to a couple of different elements:
- Using cliche and predictable language
- Using exclamation marks and hyperbole
Whatever else you do, avoid using the same tired old phrases – the kinds of phrases that your link request recipient will have received. Think of it is this way: you might not be spammy, but there are thousands of spammy link requests out there – do everything you can to stand apart from them. Some of the worst offenders to have in your subject line include:
- Link request
- Press release
- Guest post
- Check out my website
- Link swap
- Link fee?
- Best new website
These are all low effort options for your subject line that immediately signal to the receiver that they’re just one of many recipients of the same link request. There’s really nothing easier to just disregard and ignore. And the last entry, ‘best new website’ leads us on to the next point.
Don’t over exaggerate, and don’t use exclamation points. This just signals insincerity and spam. Is your new website really the best health blog on the internet? Probably not. Be realistic, and treat the recipient like they’ve got a brain. A link request with ‘amazing new site!!!!’ in the subject line isn’t going to be opened. You don’t need to overstate things, you just need to open up a conversation with another human being.
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Here at Embryo Digital, we believe in quality over quantity when it comes to link building – it’s one of the keys to our greatly successful SEO campaigns. Want to find out more? Just get in touch with us today to discover how we can help your online performance through digital marketing that really makes a difference.