Many industries rely heavily on emails for link building. Therefore, although you may see an opportunity to grab a link anywhere, the real works occur in what an email has to say before the write signs off at the bottom. We discuss some essential social skills and sciences that every outreacher should possess if they want to be a winner in the inbox! In this article, we will refer to the person trying to obtain a link as an ‘outreacher’.
Know the linker
Just like content is created based on what you know about the audience, links are gained by knowing the linker. The first task to be completed by the outreacher is to figure out how the linker will benefit from the content you are marketing. ‘Content benefit’ is more or less all that you can offer to linkers in return for links. But if the outreacher is a blogger or is involved in the media, other unique benefits can be offered such as exclusive stories and product reviews.
It is important for the outreacher to create a rapport with the linker. It could be humour, sharp listening skills and a technique for engaging in conversation with strangers. Being social savvy is a great bonus for the entire link building team and if it is absent, several link opportunities may be missed.
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Build trust with the linker
You don’t have to have face-to-face contact with a linker in order to build trust. There are ways in which email conversations can do the job.
Provide social proof
Social sciences teach us that person A will trust person B is person B has been vouched for by other people that person A trusts. You can prove this by advertising the following:
- Big number of social followers
- Links to other articles from the same writer
- Leading corporates that the writer has already worked with
- Count of newsletter subscribers
- Well known partners and clients
Offer your phone number
Giving out your phone number to linkers is a useful tactic for creating personal touch and building trust. It gives a sense of re-assurance that you are human.
Behave like a human
Your link building team should have a feeling-oriented personality and should treat linkers just like they treat other humans: provide answers to questions, familiarize yourself with content they share and understand their situations.
Give importance to experimentation
There is no perfect template for email outreach. You have to constantly keep trying new tactics and designs. Even if you find one that works, you will have to change it quite often to avoid dullness in your approach. Furthermore, rather than copy pasting templates from samples, figure out the best design for your audience and campaign. A/B testing with your own ideas is a great way to know what works best. In your testing, always remember that only one variable should be tested at a time. Examples of some variables include: subject line, order of content, tone, personalisation level and content detail level
Focus on your inbox
Sending emails is not enough. You need to monitor your inbox for responses from linkers. They may have questions, complaints or other relevant information regarding their company. Therefore, inbox monitoring is essential.
This also helps in transforming a ‘maybe’ response into a ‘yes’ or learning from why a linker refuses to linking to you. The outreacher is responsible for responding to linkers with respect and update his/her team members on the overall situation.
Create a unique template checklist
Borrowing templates from another is like outsourcing the task of writing a love letter for your partner. Every email is unique to its recipient and the asset being pitched. Here is a checklist for template creation:
- Clarify the link building tactic being used so that gathering information becomes easier.
- Figure out who will be the outreacher: it could be a member of the link building team or even an outsourced agency. Clear communication is essential to prevent mishaps.
- Test subject lines with the following examples: conveying benefit, convince people to open the email, an overall summary of the email.
- Introduce the topic in an interesting manner.
- Include trust building entities such as social proof and phone numbers.
- Highlight content that will benefit linker.
- Request feedback for your pitch.