How to Write Winning Outreach Emails for Link Building (with templates)

When it comes to link building for SEO, one factor that can be easily overlooked but does have a great influence on the success of your strategy is the quality of your outreach emails.

Given that almost all of the link building activities are done through email outreaching, it is crucial that your emails tick all the right boxes to receive a response that you are looking for from high DA websites.

In this blog, we’ll go through everything you need to know about email outreaching. We’ll cover why it is important and also go through the best practices to keep in mind when crafting emails. To top it all off, we’ll share some awesome templates and see what makes them so effective.

So let’s get started with understanding what is email outreaching and why is it important that your emails stand-out.

What is Email Outreaching?

Email outreaching is the process of reaching out to prospective website owners and influencers having high domain authority in a niche. This is done to introduce a piece of content on a website to a new set of audience through backlinks.

Ever since the focus has shifted from earning high quality instead of high quantity links, the importance of outreaching has grown a lot.

This is because almost all of the backlink strategies start from an email pitch. Whether it is guest blogging, distributing infographics, leveraging broken links, resource page linking, and so on; every single one of these initiatives starts from an email that you write to prospective websites. So it is imperative that you spend some time writing your emails to increase your chances of getting a response.

Apart from link building, email outreaching is also a great source of forging partnerships that can translate into bigger longer-term business relationships and collaborations.

How to make your outreach emails stand-out
Out of all the cold outreach emails sent out, only 8.5% generate the desired results.

 

So the main question that you need to ask yourself is: “how can I differentiate my emails from countless other emails that are rolled out every day to my targets?”

For starters, here are two examples that generate great responses and will give you an idea about which type of emails catch the most attention.

Example 1: Reaching Out to Share an Infographic:

Subject Line: An infographic on (topic) you might be interested in!

Hey {name}

I was searching the webs this morning for some information on {topic} and came across {target URL}.

I loved the way you went in great depth talking about {the contents of their post}.

Actually, I created an infographic myself on {topic}.

And since I know how much you like writing on {topic}, I thought you may find this super useful.

If this is something which interests you, do let me know and I’ll be happy to share more details.

Best-
{your name}

 

There you go! Short and crisp. The reason why this kind of outreach email works is because it has the right balance of providing relevant information to get a response and not being too text-heavy. It also acknowledges the work of the recipient and subtly states the objective of the email at the end.

Need more inspiration? Here’s another email with a slightly different situation.

Example 2: Reaching Out for Guest Blogging Opportunities:

Subject Line: A great guest post idea for (their blog name)

Hey, {name}!

I am an avid reader of your blog {link} and really admire your work. More specifically, I got a kick out of your post on {blog name} and even went on to {increase my traffic/improve domain authority, etc.} all thanks to you.

I’m reaching out because I had some guest blog post ideas I believe your audience would really love. Here they are below:

{Idea 1}
{Idea 2}
{Idea 3}

I have been regularly publishing on my blog as well and here are two links that will give you an idea about my writing style:

{Link 1}
{Link 2}

If you’d like to know more, please reach out to me via this email and I’d love to know your thoughts.

Cheers,
{Your name}

Again, this is a classic example of an email that covers all bases. It’s personalized, friendly, talks about the works of the reader briefly, and clearly states what the email is about. It just makes it so much easier for the person to make up a decision.

Top Tips to Write Outreach Emails That Get Awesome Responses

Alright, now that we know the importance of writing an effective outreach email and have a couple of templates for inspiration, let’s discuss some of the top tips that differentiate a well-written email from a spammy one.

Think About Why You Are Pitching

First and foremost, you need to know what it is that you’re after. This is so crucial because most of the time, emails are so long and so focused on wooing the recipient that they miss out on the real point.

Like in the two examples shown above, we clearly understand the reason why we are pitching (sharing infographics in the first and guest blogging in the second). Depending on your objective, your writing style and the amount of detail will vary too.

For example, if you have conducted a research on a topic, you can go on and share major highlights of the research in your pitch. This will pique the interest of the recipient because everyone likes to get their hands on a good research. So always start with understanding what sort of link building opportunity you’d want to capture.

Figure Out Who is Your Audience (Make a list)

It is also a smart move to figure exactly who will be your outreach targets. Ideally, you want to reach out to people with a big following. But newsflash; the bigger they are, the harder it is to get a response out of them. For example, people like Barry Schwartz, Danny Sullivan, Bruce Clay are big names in the SEO industry. So anyone hoping to get a response from them should have a personal connection on some level with them.

However, it is not a bad idea to target these big fish if you have 100% awesome content that you are confident is worthy of a glance.

Voila Norbert, a tool that lets you search for and validate email addresses
Voila Norbert is a tool that lets you search for the email addresses of specific people.

 

And again, if you know why you are pitching, you’d also probably know who it is that you want to reach out to. For example, if you want press coverage, your list should include journalists. Or if you have a fashion blog, you’d want to reach to the relevant influencers. And be sure to have the correct email addresses. A tool like Voila Norbert can be handy for that.

Write a Killer Subject Line

Subject lines have a big impact on the open rate of your emails. They provide a preview to the recipient about what’s in the email. And because the inboxes of your targets are most likely inundated with countless emails every day, it’s pretty fair for them to skip ahead if the subject line doesn’t seem relevant.

Emails marked as spam due to Uninteresting Subject Line
47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line and 69% report email as spam based only on the subject line.

 

So it’s super important to make them as enticing and creative as possible. Don’t go on and write full sentences in the subject line but do provide just enough information so that the reader would know what it is about. A little mystery wouldn’t do any harm. As a general rule of thumb, the subject line can be 7 to 8 words long.

Go For a Short and Sweet Intro About Yourself

One of the most common pitfalls to avoid when writing an outreach email is giving too much information about yourself. While introducing yourself and your blog is important, it is equally important not to over-do it right off the bat.

You want to quickly get to the point and share your value proposition because oftentimes, influencers, or big websites have dedicated people to read emails before they reach the right person. So you need to also think about getting past the gatekeeper who is tasked with marking emails as spam if they don’t seem relevant. Like in the second example above, our introduction was subtly wrapped around sharing our “writing style” through the blog links, but ultimately, the objective was to make them visit the website.

Give it a Personal Touch

Personalized emails get more responses stat
Source: Backlinko

It should go without saying that a simple “Hi” or “Dear Sir/Madam” greeting is the fastest way to get your emails ignored. So that’s a big no-no. Always use the name of the recipient since such emails get 1/3rd more replies than generic ones. Also, refer to some of their stuff and share your credentials in the particular topic subtly so that they know you’ve done your homework and know what you are talking about. These may seem little things, but they are very effective in leaving a lasting impression.

Follow Up Sparingly

Haven’t received a response to your email that you so passionately wrote? Welcome to the club. There could be a range of reasons for that but there is no telling which one is it. So following up may not be a bad idea. In fact, there is a 21% chance that you get a reply to your second email if the first one goes unanswered. That’s a pretty decent probability. But there are a few things to consider here.

First, go back to your first email and then double down on the value proposition for the target. Get rid of the stuff that’s about you and focus more on what’s in it for them. Second, change the timing of the emails. If you sent the first one out during a weekday, try this one on a weekend. And keep a gap of about two to three days between the emails. Lastly, limit the number of follow-ups. Ideally, go for two follow-ups at max.

In conclusion:

It’s important to understand that the quality of your outreach emails has a strong correlation with the success of your link building activities. Avoid the cookie-cutter approach to outreaching and focus on highlighting the unique value your content will bring to the table. Of course, if you are not confident that the content you’re outreaching for deserves recognition, then it just might not.

So while each backlink opportunity requires you to approach your outreach emails differently, the techniques discussed in this blog have worked well for a lot of link builders in general and they can certainly work for you too.