wheel - 8:11 pm on Nov 8, 2010 (gmt 0)
I've tried this so far with one site for a household name in the industry and I had no better response from my 'while you're fixing these how about adding mine?' emails than I did to my 'gimme a link because its X's site' emails. I will do it again but the vast majority of emails weren't acknowledged even.
I've had people ask me how I managed to get 3 .edu backlinks. Answer? I emailed 60 people and got 3 people to say yes.
You need to look at the success numbers, not the failure rate. Link requests are always a funnel, where you ask a large volume of people and get a dribble of positive responses out the bottom end. I perceive this as simply a matter of hard work, I keep putting large numbers in the top end and letting the numbers dribble out the bottom. People get discouraged when they look at the top of the funnel and see large numbers of not responding, and think that means it's a failure. It's not - it's they way it works. The way to large numbers of quality backlinks is one at a time.
I've had two responses so far. One was a thank you, he removed the broken link and didn't give me a link, and the second was bizarre - a response from what I thought was a large international company that responded saying they'd add my link to what looks like a low end spammy blog. But I'm getting some stuff shaking, I keep at it and maybe I get 2 or 3 more top quality links on really old sites. Then people say, wheel, how did you get all those nice links? :)