Over the past 8 years that I’ve worked in SEO, a large part of my role has been executing successful outreach campaigns. Working in teams to develop the perfect pitch for bloggers became normal, and A/B testing the way we wrote emails was the norm.
Starting my own blog and beginning to receive outreach emails from other SEO agencies is where I really learnt blogger outreach, though. Seeing hundreds of outreach campaigns every week from my competitors taught me valuable lessons and accelerated my learning.
The below points are what stands out the most when I’m clearing my inbox:
Generic emails are so common, and they’re damaging your campaign!
You only need to go along to a digital marketing conference or read some blogs online, to know that each and every outreach email you send should be tailored. For some reason though, everybody is still sending templated emails.
Tailor messages are so rare nowadays, which gives away that you’re working on a large scale link building campaign, and my blog hasn’t been handpicked for a special opportunity. It’s so obvious when you say you loved a previous blog post from 3 years ago, don’t bother wasting your time doing this. Instead, focus on building a relationship with bloggers.
If I receive a templated outreach email, I’ll reply with the same amount of effort and enthusiasm as I received. If you want me to get excited about your campaign, engage with me. Always tailor your outreach campaigns and build a connection.
Avoid getting instantly archived, keep your messages short and sweet
Between managing a blog and running an SEO & PPC agency, I receive upwards of 100 emails a day. Just like everybody else, I’m time-poor. If your email looks like it’s been copied and pasted (see above), and it’s going to take me longer than 5 minutes to read, you might get a canned response before I archive it.
Get to the point and make your email clear and easy to respond to. Hundreds of companies ask me to write about their brand, but what should make me write about YOUR company and not theirs?
Keep your emails under 100 words and don’t miss any important details. If you have questions, be sure to ask them straight away, and not 10 emails down the chain. It saves everybody time, which is so important.
Check your email for typos, mistakes and most importantly, relevancy
You wouldn’t believe how many emails I receive that are addressed to [First name] or quite simply, the wrong name. We’re all human, mistakes happen, I get it. This instantly turns me off working with a brand, however.
Before you add a blogger to your prospecting list, consider if it’s going to be relevant to the writer. It doesn’t take long to swipe over their categories and get a feel for likes and dislikes. I have a sobriety category which is accessible from my homepage drop-down menu, yet you wouldn’t believe how many alcohol brands contact me for a review.
When you’re taking the time to write a tailored email to each blogger, it’s worth the effort to spend 5 minutes clicking around the website before you decide if they’re a good fit for your brand. Always check your emails before you hit send, and ensure it’s a mutually beneficial opportunity.
Is link building still essential to achieve results, or is good content enough?
We hear it year after year – is link building dead? Mueller isn’t saying that links are dead. In fact, far from it. Securing authoritative links from credible domains to validate your status still remains a priority in SEO.
It’s worth noting that links alone aren’t enough to increase your visibility in search engines. Strategic keyphrase research, coupled with good technical SEO is crucial for success.
Too long, didn’t read? Here’s my top 3 takeaways for link building success:
- Dedicate time to writing tailored outreach email. It’ll take longer, but the results you’ll achieve will be worth it in the long-run. Trust us, you’ll stand out from every other SEO agency emailing them.
- Avoid writing an essay when you’re emailing bloggers. It’s a waste of your time because I can assure you, we don’t read it word-for-word. Moreover, your email is more likely to end up being archived if it’s too long.
- Double, triple, quadruple-check your emails before you hit send. It’ll save you embarrassment and you’ll be starting on the right foot when building relationships with bloggers.