"You have a cool site"
"I like your site"
But I think the real problem isn't the subject. I worked for a company once that had a pretty big website in the PC game world, and I sent out largely stock emails to all the 'little guys' asking for links. I had about a 30% response rate! Took us from PR5 to PR6.
Try to show them the value of your link to them as opposed to just the PR value. As a medium-big player in the PC game market we were a good link to have regardless of PR. Find out what your site has to offer, and offer that.
I never make the link request the main purpose of my message and I would not use the phrase "link exchange" or "link request" in the subject line. Messages like that go right into my spam folder because I get hundreds of software-generated link requests every week.
I try to think of a non-link-request reason to contact the other Web site. Maybe I will find an interesting article on their site that I can comment on, or maybe I will suggest an idea for our Web sites to work together in the future, such as sharing a booth at an event, or cross-promoting each other's local events. Or maybe I'll ask them about skating spots in their area, or ask if they would be interested in contributing an article to my site, or maybe I will offer to write an article for their site.
I also try to make my subject lines totally not sound like spam. Maybe I will use a subject like ... "Did you really skate in the snow"? or "Your July 2003 Malibu Marathon article" or "Want to share a booth at ISPO 2004?"
After all that, I will feel comfortable introducing the idea of linking. At the bottom of my message I will tell them on which page of my site I am linking to them, and then I will suggest a few articles on my site that I think might be especially interesting to their readers and appropriate for the focus of their site.
I find that a link request that is personalized almost never gets ignored. Of course that doesn't mean I always get a link! Many sites are afraid of losing traffic if they link off-site, especially to another high quality site they consider to be a rival. So I never take it personally if they don't link, and I never let it damage my relationship with the other site.
- Kathie Fry
jimpoo most of the subjects you suggest sound like spam. thats what i would think if it showed up in my inbox
i would go for something more personal, or simple like "link site" or "linking"
having said that i did get some replies from webmasters but their server had flagged my mail as spam. they responded positively nonetheless
or indeed like a previous poster said, comments on the content of their site and then a PS: linkexchange further down will do good
but can you really incorporate over 1000 external links in your site?!
I always use the name of the site (their site) in the subject line.
Always seems to work for me. I guess most webmasters will at least open a mail that refers to one of their sites.
I will go with TJ advise to have their site name on subject line, together with either one of the following three suggestions of yours:
4. PR5/4 links to your site
5. Your site has been added on my PR5/4 page
7. Your link on my PR5/4 page, Please Confim
BUT YOU HAVE TO ENSURE that your subject line reflects the reality of your link page's PR. In some instances, I encounter similar link request speaking about PR4 link page, but when I click it is something else and make me disappointed, so no link.
With this, you should be able to get some positive responses. If not, I have nothing to say further.. :)
The e-mail itself might have nothing to do with it - people who already have a decent rank don't want to exchange any more links with anyone. One of my sites is a PR8, I get link requests every day and they all get deleted. Like I'm going to lower my rank by linking to a lower site? Come on.
"Like I'm going to lower my rank by linking to a lower site?"
that happens? might explain my low PR then ...
this can be avoided by denying robot access to my links.html right?
When I request link-exchanges, I try to stay out of the "Man, you have PR x, I'd love to have that!" section. I focus more on explaining what they will get from it, and always to make the message unique, so they don't sterio-type the e-mail as being generated from an auto link-submission service/program.
I mostly get a response saying yes, and the only time I think I've gotten a "No" was on my first time when I said to a PR7 website, "what wonderful PR you have! I have a 6, but it may be able to get you an 8". The owner of the website replied saying, "We're not a link-farm for PR and don't expect to get a PR8" -- that's where I learned it better not to include the PR factor when you request link-exchanges.
Thanks for all the good advice!
Digitalv, you may right or may wrong.
IMO, decent rank is not always decent rank, you can not guarantee your rank value is stable.
Like a traditional thing, KFC is good, if you think it is good but not keep promoting and innovate in it, it will be faded-out the market gradually and become the history.
'Good thing always good thing', it is based on some condition and point of view.
Condition and environment changed will cause everything changed, specially in the virtual Internet world.
SEs prefer fresh!
I'm thinking that SEs may gradually fade-out the link value which the other site links to you.
If you feel you are stable by getting that decent link, you are wrong.
Have you guys read the book 'Who moves my cheese?'
Did you ever see that Mad Magazine cover: "Buy this magazine or we'll shoot this dog!" (or something to that effect).
Guess that wouldn't really work here though. Nevermind.
PS, Maybe it was National Lampoon...
I would consider avoiding any overly-specific subject lines if they show up in this thread. Hundreds of link hunters would be plugging new subjects into their automated link exchange software within minutes.
Anyway, if you are 0 for 100, I'm almost positive there is more to it than the subject line. Unless you are using a tracking image and are talking about a 0 for 100 open rate. But if the majority of the webmasters open the email, if your copy is personalized and avoids fatal flaws (i.e. mentioning PR), if your domain name is credible and non-spammy looking, if your site is authoritative and does not offend the eye, if their link is not on a low-value artificial links page, then at least a few links should be inevitable.
Two comments on using the term "PR(x)" in the subject...
1. When I receive a message mentioning PR in the subject, I never read it. If you know what PR is, then you're in it for yourself and any benefit to me is secondary. PR is like a drug - when you get some, you only want more. Sure, you may give me a taste of the product, but you're really hoping I'll help support your habit.
2. "Your site has been added on my PR5/4 page" - "Uh, what is PR5/4?!" Not every webmaster is ubergeek enough to know what PR is. Using technical jargon that is known only by a limited audience isn't such a good idea, especially since this is your "first impression" email to a stranger. Also, considering the techniques of spammers nowadays - substituting '@' for 'a', etc. ("V1@gr4" = "Viagra") - PR5/4, to use an example on-hand, can come across as "Prsia." (Ok, so that could use another vowel, but...)
The general public - many webmasters included - do not understand the inner workings of Google, but we're all getting better at understanding "1337 speak."
My 5 cents... I'm so opinionated.
|I never make the link request the main purpose of my message |
Hey - just wanted to thank KathieFry for that post. Good stuff all around. I like and agree with the idea of opening up a conversation as opposed to sending a drive-by link exchange request.
Have picked up over 1,000 links for various sites in the last couple of months. The stats show no difference at all on mentioning PR, rather the reverse, in that a considerable number of those to whom I did not mention it, did so in their reply.
Statistically irrelevant of course, as is my guesswork or that of any 100 of us, out of how many 100's of 1000's of people looking after websites.
May all your search terms be No.1
This is great guys
The one that works for me is this
"Your Text Link Has Been Added" (subject line)
(beginning of message)
On july 18 2004, your store site text link was added to our directory.
You may view your new listing here:
Should you choose to add our link to your site, you may find all of our linking info here:
A copy of our recent traffic stats are available upon request
Have a great day (end of message)
You see, people are curious, they are going to want to know where their link is, and just who is this that presumed upon them in this way. A full 75% of our linking partners were notified this way, thus resulting in reciprocation
Pretty cool huh?
[edited by: martinibuster at 4:17 pm (utc) on July 24, 2004]
[edit reason] typo [/edit]
Right now I'm using "Link Exchange Request", and contrary to what others have said about this wording, I'm getting a 19% response so far. Perhaps, I'm losing 81% to the bulk email folder, but I can live with that on the first mailing.
My message is direct and to the point. Bare bones. I don't say much in person, why should I be different in my emails? I don't comment on their site. I just tell them I have linked to their site and 19% return the favor.
The link pages I have been placed on have an average PR4 rank. My site is new and is still PR0.
I'm not saying you should use my approach, just to demonstrate how people can have different opinions and many ways of getting the job done.
I do not reply to any email asking for a link for the simple reason that if someone wants to link with my site I expect them at least to have a look at it.
They will then find that they can add their site there and then. If their site content is a plus for my visitors and they respect the reciprocal of things, that's it. No need for email exchanges. ;o)
|They will then find that they can add their site there and then. |
There are sites that offer link exchanges but only provide an email address. Perhaps these sites don't know how to set up a form, don't want to or can't.
I think users of forms in general have had server error messages thrown at them once too many times, so they just go the email route.
It's probably frustrating for the new reciprocal link gatherer having just typed into the required input boxes, determining if you have the right word or character count and then have to do it over again because the cgi form script was not properly maintained.
How can anyone assume that just because someone didn't use the form and sent an email instead, that it means they haven't looked at the site? Maybe, upon reading some of those emails, you might discover a site with PR5 wanting to trade links, or that within that automated looking subject line, that there was evidence that the person did took time to study your site.
[edited by: akogo at 10:56 pm (utc) on July 24, 2004]
The last group of personalized messages we sent requesting links used the subject "Reciprocal Link Exchange" or "Resource Suggestion"
I sent 20 messages requesting reciprocal and one way links on the 18th and have had 16 positive responses so far.
Spending some time reviewing the site before suggesting a link exchange can increase your chance of a favorable response.
Once you've found a site that you'd like to have linking to you, check the server headers. Why? To see how recent the "last modified date" is. If the site hasn't been updated since some time in 2001, don't waste your time composing a link request.
The Contact Us or About Us page may yield the site/business owners name and email address which is different than the typical sales@ or info@ addresses. Try it.
Authority sites (.gov .edu) usually list the person responsible for maintaining the resource, the date the page was last updated and a contact email address at the bottom of the page.
Interested in a reciprocal link? Go ahead and post their link. Everyone keeps saying they won't post a link before the other site commits to posting a reciprocal link. Just do it. Then, click on it a few times and show up in their logs before sending the link exchange request.
If there's no response after a week or two, delete the link and move on. Too many potential partners out there to obsess with one site. Multiple requests and those silly messages warning that the link is "scheduled for deletion" do little to encourage someone to reciprocate. A single follow up message should be sufficient, don't you think?
Post the link using a title and description that could be improved. Mention that if they decide to reciprocate to let you know if there are any changes you can make to their title or description.
Help them out by mentioning where you'd like your link posted and suggest a title and description for your link.
There are a number of excellent threads in the Link Development Library [webmasterworld.com] that are worthy of a read.
What an interesting world we live in!
As always I gave your idea a try, copying it to the letter.
Not a single reply or link.
Back to the old system.
I always use "Link exchange proposal". It's clear and concise. Webmasters who are interested in exchanging links will open it. Those who aren't will trash it. That way no one's time is wasted. I keep it short too without trying to "educate" the recipent.
This works very well for me. My acceptance rate is around 60% (having a large Directory with PR6 category pages helps).
|My acceptance rate is around 60% |
What's the PR for these link pages you're now on?
One site went from 44 backlinks yesterday to 1250 today.
After all that work since the last update.
So not all webmasters are too picky.
Do these sites have active reciprocal links pages?
Are they related to the topic of your site?
|from 44 backlinks yesterday to 1250 today |
Did you get this count using the Google Toolbar under "Backward Links"? If so, I've notice that the count some times includes the pages of the same site itself.
Well here are a few things not to do ;)
1. excluding site
2. yes - and definitely absolutely the same theme
Then are your sure your email actually is getting delivered?
|What's the PR for these link pages you're now on? |
If you mean the pages on the other sites that link to me, typically PR4-PR6 article pages, with a healthy dose of PR7's thrown in. I have relevent links from all types of sites since my main site deals with a broad spectrum of topics.
Half the battle in gaining quality link partners is knowing how and when to ask for links on specific relevent pages, and when to offer the same in return. If your site is large and covers several topics you can be very selective and still request a bunch of reciprocal links on a regular basis.
The good thing is I receive more requests than I send now so the good links are piling up fast.
Back in the "earlier days" I sent an email to a Physician organisation webmaster, asking for placement on his links page. My site was relevant, professional, and from a non-profit organization they knew had a long respectable history.
The reply I got included "...your request is not entirely without merit..." and that their board of directors would consider it in 6 months when they meet.
Geeesh... they didn't even have a very good site.
Anyway, the point is it is all about *perspective*. Even back then, before many people were asking for links for strategic purposes, these guys were overly cautious/conservative. I did eventually get the backlink, and it ewas worthwhile, and a few weeks latere they moved their links page to an internal members-only page (they actually thought their comp[ilation was a privileged resource). Lucky for me they left it spiderable, and it stayed in Google for all to see (as did their members directory, BTW).
Mass mailings should be expected to have low returns.. if you want the link learn their perspective and FWIS, call on the phone.
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