Reality check: no matter how “good” your content or website might be, links aren’t just going to fall into your lap.
But you already know that, right?
Conducting a link-building outreach campaign might seem tedious or otherwise an uphill battle. That said, such outreach is much more common than you might be led to believe.
In other words, you can win links for valuable sources without having to do anything crazy or underhanded.
The key is setting your campaigns up for success before you get started. To do so, you need to take some specific steps and understand where you stand prior to diving in. Here are seven pieces you should have in place before getting started if you want a strong, scalable link-building campaign that resonates with your recipients.
A Mass-Sending Solution
Mass-senders like GMass are crucial to any outreach campaigns, plain and simple. Although you should certainly personalize your pitches, GMass can help you cut down on communication with automated follow-ups. Likewise, the ability to schedule and track your performance can clue you in on which outreach emails are killing it and which templates might need some work.
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’re not going to win many links if you don’t have something worth linking to.
Whether it’s an ultimate guide, e-book or epic pillar post, you need something in your arsenal that’s really going to compel people to click. You can look at some of the best lead magnet examples for inspiration, noting common threads such as…
- Content that’s topical (“8 Breaking Tips for 2019…”)
- Content that’s easy to digest (mini-checklist, video and so on)
- Content with a compelling title or value proposition (“transform your business forever, etc.)
If your content lives up to the hype, you can score some serious links in the process.
An Active Social Presence
There’s a non-zero chance that someone who receives your pitch is going to look you up, particularly on social media. If your accounts are gathering cobwebs, your prospect is rightfully going to be skeptical.
On the flip side, anyone who’s actively posting, sharing content and commenting on industry news immediately raises their own authority. While the jury’s out on how often you should post on social media, simple updates and retweeting on a daily basis can be enough to signal that you’re alive and well in the eyes of prospects.
And furthermore, you can always use your social presence to “like” and comment on your prospects’ content before reaching out in the first place.
Notable Publication Credits
Again, authority counts to anyone you’re reaching out to cold. Having some sort of industry presence in relevant publications (think: Inc, Entrepreneur and so on) immediately helps set you apart from the crowd who are just fishing for a bite, so to speak. Make sure to highlight your publications as part of your epic “About Me” page or even in your social bios.
As noted earlier, personalization is essential to your first outreach emails and you should not just copy-and-paste generic templates and expect results.
That said, there is a time and place for templates in the case of rejections and follow-ups. By crafting such messages generally, you can point to your original pitch while automating communication that would otherwise be incredibly time-consuming. Personalization tags (think: using your recipient’s name) can still give these emails a sort of personal touch, too.
A Defined Schedule
And on the subject of time, you’re going to benefit big-time from ironing out specific times to conduct outreach or schedule your messages. Come up with some sort of quota (10 emails per week, for example) and hold yourself accountable for reaching those goals. So much of outreach success comes down to consistency.
Timing and Tracking
Metrics matter with any sort of marketing campaign and the same rules apply to link-building outreach. In addition to tracking click-throughs and replies, make a point to monitor variables such as…
When you send your emails (as timing certainly can have an impact)
The length of your subject lines (shorter versus longer)
The tone and style of your emails (straightforward versus humorous, for example)
Based on these metrics, you can fine-tune your approach. Also, keep up a spreadsheet of who you plan to reach out to, who you’ve made contact with and non-responders. This further keeps you organized and reminds you when you send out those crucial follow-ups. Just because someone doesn’t respond the first time doesn’t mean they’re a lost cause, after all.
It might feel like there are a million moving pieces to any given outreach campaign, but some elements are more important than ever. Having these seven must-haves squared away first, you see greater returns for your time as you poise your campaigns for success from the word “go.”