martinibuster - 9:59 pm on Jul 15, 2011 (gmt 0)
people telling me that they abandoned their site.. "thanks for reminding me I need to take that site down anyway."
Offer to buy it.
their webmaster died and they don't know how to update their site themselves.
Some email responses can be treated as an opportunity. You can still obtain the link. Offer to buy it. One site I approached, learned was abandoned, purchased, rehabilitated and added content to has earned me a substantial amount of money. It's not uncommon. I've heard the same story from others who have initially approached a site for a link and ended up purchasing the site and earning significant amounts of money from it.
...there were a couple of "your site really isn't good enough for me to link to."
The opportunity to obtain the link is still there. If someone thinks your site is not good enough, then craft a polite email thanking them for the feedback, then tell them that your site has been featured on bla, bla, bla, won bla, bla awards, is recognized as a leader in the space by .edu,.gov, etc. and any other verifiable third party signals you can produce to demonstrate that your site is over qualified for a link.