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I am not talking about mass mailing, but sending 10 or 20 emails with my "pitch" as to why they should place my link...
These are just short personal emails like:
" Hi **** I found your "URL" interesting and thought perhaps I could convince you to place my link on it.
I have a small resource site about blah blah blah loaded with great content
Here are my ideas blah blah blah
Please let me know if these ideas interest you and thanks for your time...
Does anyone see anything wrong with this? Is this spam and can it get me in trouble in anyway?
Thanks for the help!
If I really want the link badly, I will go ahead and link to the target site before asking for a link back. Many times if I link first I will get the reciprocal link back.
Keep your email sincere, short, highly relevant and personalize it a touch. Yes this takes a touch more time but it works. Also if a site publishes a link request form, always use it since an email such as email@example.com might go to the wrong person or department.
and thought perhaps I could convince you to place my link on it.
Please let me know if these ideas interest you and thanks for your time...
Do not convince them. Ask them. Specifically. *would you link to my site www.mysite.com from your page www.yoursite.com/yourpage*.
Don't ask if the ideas interest them. Who cares? You want a link, not a conversation. That line in your email is way to distracting. The only thing they should see in the email is a request for a link - not a request if they found your content interesting.
Two more things, both important, one you touched on one you didn't. First, the email has to be addressed to someone by name. First name if possible. "Dr." or "Professor" if that's what they are. I've been corrected in the past by the recipient, but never in a negative way - always something like 'oh, please just call me Jim'.
But what you're really missing is WHY. Why is someone going to give you a link? And don't even begin to answer anything about search engines, or ranking, or even why it's good for YOU (which is about all I'm getting out of your original email). You need to specifically and clearly specify what the benefit is to THEM. Why are they going to link to you? Answer that in one sentence. I think without that, you're unlikely to get many links. Why would they link to you?
I've got data your visitors may find interesting.
Your visitors can download this tool from my site for free.
You've got a busted link on that page. But good news! My site does the same thing and isn't dead, so while you're fixing it, you can just replace it with my site.
Your visitors will find this site interesting.
Here's a unique coupon code, your visitors can use it and get free shipping.
So you feel doing this is safe and not spammy and should not get a site in any trouble?
It's a good point though. I've never had anyone complain about doing it this way. But all of the emails have to be very personalized and it's obvious exactly who it's for, who it's from, and why. In fact, whenever I can I will sometimes drop in a sentence or two about their site - something unique that shows I know the subject matter and that I read their site. So it's an email from me personally, to them personally, helping them out, and not a commercial email at all really.
e.g. Hi Tshirtdeal. I read your article on the importance of high quality material in tshirts at www.yoursite.com/highquality.html. It's bang on - I'm in the cotton industry myself and couldn't agree more (and as a consumer I also agree, since I wear a lot of T's and like the heavier cotton :) ).
I have an article on my site about how cotton plants are turned into that high quality fabric that I think your readers would find interesting. It also acts as background reading and confirmation of your article. Would you consider giving me a link from your article, to my page at www.some-othersite.com/myarticle?
Thanks for your time - and good luck with the Tshirts!
See? I don't think that's really spam. If you approach this as "I can haz links? -LOLlinkscat" then you are going to have more problems I think.
My name is ...... and I/we have a business that does (something related to the topic of my site).
I/we have a a website at: (url)
I'd like to ask you to give the website a look and link to it from your site.
Their real name
[*Note: Link requests that come from Gmail, Hotmail, etc addresses are spam as far as I'm concerned.
If you want a link to example.com and your email address is ANYTHING other than firstname.lastname@example.org, it's spam in my book]
I am not so quick to click delete. I look at the domain first and if I see potential I will first get the link and then explain to the webmaster how to go about making his link request look less spammy.
Remember everyone is new at this when they first begin.
I have been linking for years, just trying to refine my approace since my skills came from the early linking days....
Like others said, if the message is not real and very personalized, I mark it spam. 95% of the requests I get are obviously sent in bulk as there is not even any relevance to my site.
Those that take the time to give a good reason will often at least get my interest enough to visit their site for evaluation.
This may just be me, but my sites do not really support a section for adding links to random sites like most webmasters are requesting. If I don't have a links section, don't ask me for a link. It is that simple. I'm not going to build a link section just for your request.
Now if I run a blog, and you have some article of interest you just wrote, I may reference it if I find it is useful to my visitors. But don't ask for a link. Simply offer me some unique useful information that I may want to share.
I do however receive numerous emails for link exchange. I consider them spam, and just delete them, whatever the domain. Though the frequency of these emails are dropping year by year - with the peak in 2005-06.
I feel link exchange days are gone. Now I don't waste my time looking for potential "link exchange" sites. I spend that time on building my sites with quality content, other stuff etc.
Moreover the success rate was bad too - 5% of the webmasters I sent an email actually gave a link.
It was frustrating as well as time wasting.
.... so bye bye link exchange!
And despite not offering a link exchange, my initial success rate was probably 1 in 10 or so. then it went to 1 in 5. Nowadays, depending on what I'm doing I'll get at least one in 5, and in some of the link building I do it's pretty much 100%. The more you target the end website the better your chances.
I find my success rate gets closer to 100% when I do things like pick the site I want a link from first - then decide what I need to do to get a link. for example, I had a list of 10 blogs that I wanted a link from. I visited all 10 and determined a way I could approach them for a link. I eventually contacted 3 of them with my link request and one of them gave me a link. Volume goes way down, but quality and success rate goes way up.
Besides, what's wrong with 5% success rate? If you want 20 links, contact 400 people. it's work, but now you've got 20 links more than the next site. Over time this adds up.
People now understand the importance of links it is a no brainer and will be happy to help promote your site if their site is as well promoted first on a quality site with no tricks.
I WILL link to sites that I think provide resources of interest to my visitors and not available elsewhere--but very few link requests make a case for their site in those terms....
Boilerplate text is always a dead giveaway: "I think you have a great site, and I'd like to propose a link exchange with my PR3 site about hotel bookings in Vietnam." (Never mind that the recipient of the link request is operating a Web site about bakeries in New York or Bible schools in Widgetville.)
Occasionally I'll get a legitimate e-mail from a site that really might be of interest to my readers, and I'll link to that site. The legitimate requests stand out from the boilerplate garbage because they're hand-typed e-mails from real human beings who actually thought about my site (and its relevance to theirs) before suggesting that I might want to consider linking to them.
The first site was an entertainment site which I had been visiting for years, and linking to from my own site. I finally emailed the site owner (this is a relatively major film site), and asked him for a link. It was a short and simple email. Next thing I know he emails back to let me know that he has linked to my site. Now my link is next to sites of big studios and such. Not to bad.
The second site was when I simply linked to someone else, not even for a link-back. The site I linked to has much lower traffic than mine, but had one particular page that I really liked. Once I had linked to her site I simply emailed her with the following subject line "You Are Famous!". The email was just letting her know that I had linked to her blog page. Soon after that I received a link-back, which I wasn't even expecting.
I know this doesn't help much, but I thought it would add another dimension to this thread.