Best Practices to Maximize Blogger Outreach Response Rate in 2019

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Blogger outreach email:

I bet these three words scare most of you enough to lose your sleep or sleepover nothing but one major question.

“How to get those backlinks that I desperately need for my blog?”

Well:

Worry no more because in this blog post you are going to discover the blogger outreach best practices to boost your blogger outreach program.
I’m going to hold your hand and take you to step by step from blogger outreach’s best practices that you can apply in 2019 and still keep your website or blog from getting Google’s penalty.

Yes:

Google does not love guest posts as much as it did in the past, but there are safer and better ways to get backlinks with or without guest posts.

The tricks of the trade that I’m going to share in this blog post are those that I personally curated from the experts of blog outreach, and I am 100% confident that these will help you get a good number of really high-quality backlinks in 2019.

Here you go:

The Right Way to Write the Email

Let us admit this:

Unless all of us learn this the hard way that writing an email for backlinks or any such favor is not easy, unless one’s target is only to write the email and not to garner some material benefits, we never try to know what is the right way to write the email. Here’s an email template that I first tried and that most of us follow, and let us admit, we mostly fail.

Subject Line: Would You Link Back Some Quality Content?

Hi

I hope this email finds you well. I am the owner of Blog (link) and I noticed that not only your website is on the same niche but you have a high DA PA as well.

I would very much like to get backlinks from you. Here is a blog post that I wrote on the topic that you like to write about.

Kindly give me a backlink to this post. Cheers.

Name

Contact Details

Now:

I do not need to tell you that this did not work. Why?

Well, it is because of two reasons. Firstly, this was a generic email that I sent to roughly 20 recipients and there was no personalization.

People mostly open the emails that directly address them and that have something of mutual interest.

Secondly, this email did not offer the owners of those websites any favor in return. All I did is ask them to give a backlink to my website. Why would they do so? I was not giving them anything in return for this favor.

Now:

Here’s the email that I wrote after reading a guide on HubSpot and this email got me some really authentic backlinks for my blog.

Subject Line: Get High-Quality Free Content for Your Magazine

Hi Ken

I’ve been reading your posts on Medium and that brought me to read your online Magazine on NICHE. I am really impressed by the quality of content on your website.

However, I could not help but notice that you’re not posting content much frequently. You must know that one of Google’s ranking factors is the frequent posting of content. Which means if you post a blog post every week, this is how it has to be.

Well, all I have to offer is help in return for a little help. I started out as a copywriter and I can write for your blog a really good and research-oriented long-copy.

All I would expect in return is a little favor. Just let me add a do-follow backlink to my landing page (on the same niche).
Is this something that interests you?
Name

Contact Details

And guess what I did with this new hook? Well, you’re right, I did not catch all the fish, but definitely enough of them to bring my blog on the 1st page of Google Search.

Major Takeaways

  • Always write emails that are personalized e.g. recipient’s name and something of mutual interest
  • There are bloggers like Neil Patel and a few others who’d give you backlink only for writing awesome content on your blog, but most of the times it is a deal. Give them a big and juicy guest-post, and get the backlink in return.

How to Get Backlink without Giving Anything in Return

Yes:

It is possible, but you need to be so smart about this.

Your problem is not that you’re not getting backlinks (you can easily get them). Your problem is that your outreach response rate is so down.

In simple words:

You are sending emails, to the owners of niche authority sites, like a crazy copywriter, but you’re not getting a response.

Do you know why?

It is because either you’re sending emails to the websites that do not need your blog posts (because they’re generating content 9 to 5), or you’re sending your emails to websites that don’t need anything in return.

The Latter is the websites that would give a backlink to any niche blog or website with good content. You just need to write good content and then convince them that you deserve a backlink from them.

So:

I was just searching for this more organic and “Google friendly” way to get the backlink when I read about Brian Dean’s Skyscraper technique for link building.

And I followed the easy steps.

  • Find content relevant to your niche – that is so good that many niche authority blogs and websites mentioned it. Most probably you will find this on the website of your biggest competitor or simply Google Search the relevant keyword e.g. “linkbuilding strategies”.
  • Write content even bigger and better than that. So, if that post is 3,000 words, you should write minimum 4,000 words long authentic post. Add more pictures, videos, and infographics than your competitor did.
  • And now, go to the industry’s leading blogs that backlinked to your competitor’s post and send them an email. Tell them that you’ve written a better post on the same topic and you deserve a mention. Mostly, they will give you a backlink when they will notice your 2x better post.

Here is how you write the email to get it done.

Hi Ken

I’ve always been reading your tweets and honestly appreciate your contributions to the industry. Loved your last post/speech/podcast/vlog on the WEBSITE.

I was just going through your website when I found this post (link to their post where they provided a backlink to your competitor) and I loved reading this.

I noticed that you mentioned one of my favorite posts on this topic (link to your competitor’s post).

Well, I have read volumes on this topic and out of my reading and personal experience, I’ve written a post on the same topic – but with up to date details, more depth and media examples.

I wonder if my version is worth a mention on your page.

Either way, I’d love to know your honest opinion about my post – and yes, keep inspiring us. Cheers.

Name

Contact Details

So, guess what?

I sent these emails to a group of 100 and unlike Brian’s generic email, this email got a much better response with roughly 40% open rate and 6% success rate. Why 6%? It is because I’m not Brian Dean! My blog is not a niche authority blog like www.backlinko.com.

Major Takeaways

  • A sure shot way to increase the email response rate is to use a good blog email template with a little bit of personalization. You can get them from HubSpot or other websites.
  • Blogger outreach in 2019, would largely depend on backlink acquisition methods other than “guest post”. Why? That is, just like you, authority websites are also afraid of getting penalized by Google. An organic backlink, as I received in this example, does not hurt anyone.
  • Content will remain the major hook. In both examples, it is not the email style or approach, but the content that hooked the quality backlinks.

Influencer Approach

There is this approach in writing cold emails.

We call it the Influencer Approach. What is it?

All you do is find out a person who can influence the blog owner whom you want to connect with to ask for a backlink.

Since that influencer has been already some authority associated with the blog or website, the person receiving the email regards the influence and gives you a backlink.

However:

In most of the cases, the influencer is a niche authority person. You will convince them to let you use the influence and get the backlink.

There are two or more different ways of doing it.

If you’ve been working on a relationship with that influencer, you can politely request them to email to the target control person or you can ask for the permission to mention their name.

Here is how you do this:

Hey Ben

Just read/watched (blogpost/video) on your blog and I really enjoyed reading/watching it. Just a few days ago, I was talking to INFLUENCER and I told him that I have a better blogpost on the topic (TOPIC) that you’ve covered recently.

I have a blog post even bigger, better and more up to date. I just wanted to know if I could get a mention on your blog.

Let me know what you think about it.

Name

Contact Details

Now:

You must want to know how to convince the Influential person to either write an email to people take care of his blog or a blog whose owners really look up to them?

Well:

This starts with learning about that person on social media. Facebook profile and page, LinkedIn (most definitely) their personal blog on Medium or some other website and their own website.

Then, with all the data to back your blogger outreach campaigns and the very notion that not only you know them, but you love to read their work, you reach out to them.

It’s all a reference game. If you have a reference to reach out to the influencer, do it and email influencer with the reference to that person.

If you do not have a reference, find one just like you found the influencer who would get you a backlink from some niche authority blog.

Remember, link outreach is all about emails. People like to have this sort of discussion on email or perhaps you can use the old school method of cold calling.

However:

The last place for a serious discussion is target person’s social media handles; we often miss and do not even open Instagram or Facebook messages, but we all know that an email is a tool for professional content outreach strategy.

And tell you what?

An email with influencer name in subject line always ensures a big response rate.

Add Some Evidence + Demo to Your Email

If you’re not clear about what it is, let me break this to you. We’re talking about cold emails because if you ask me, “What is blogger outreach?”, I would only utter one word: “cold email”.

However:

You need a robust and all-inclusive influencer outreach strategy.

Here is how it goes. You need two influencer outreach tools: evidence and demo.

Evidence, to prove that you are worthy of attention and business, and the demo to show what you can do for them.

For example, take this email that Dmitry Dragilev added to his list of 26 best blogger outreach examples :

  1. He establishes a personal relationship with the target person’s blog and tells them he’s a customer. People think empathetically of you when they know that you’re a fan of their work.
  2. He lets them know that he has been working for big names in the industry.
  3. He gives evidence of the work that he has done for the big names – in this case, KISSmetrics.
  4. He makes a demo – customized demo only for one recipient of his email. It is tailored to their unique case and requirements. How much time do you think he invested in doing so?
  5. He ends the email with a question. Psychologically, all of us are tuned to reply when someone asks a question.

This, my friends, is the sort of cold email that actually gets a backlink for you. Let them know that your blog post is worth their website and they will open the doors.

And mark my words cold email is one of the best influencer outreach tools.

Major Takeaways

  • People do not open an email with “salesy headline”.
  • People do not like to respond to an email in which there is nothing about them. If you just ask for something without giving something in return, you won’t get what you want.
  • People prefer emails that come with some reference to a person mutually respectable or some evidence of what you can do for them.
  • People prefer to see the demo of what you can do for them before they give you a chance.

Choose a Website with Medium DA (Domain Authority)

What is Domain Authority? It is a search engine ranking factor determined by Moz. A domain’s DA can be from 1 to 100, based on how much effort the website owners have put in it.

For example:

Facebook’s DA is 100.

Google loves when you get backlinks from high DA websites. However, when it comes to the response rate it is hard to say whether you get a better response with low DA websites, medium or high.

So what is the best trick to boost your guest post outreach?

Should you target and send cold emails to High DA websites or sending emails to medium DA websites would give better results?

Well:

People at PointVisible did some research and their results are really eye-opening.

Take a look at this graph that shows that DA of a website has no connection with response rate and actually you can get better results with low or Medium DA websites as well.

As you can see a website with DA less than 30 gives you a better response than websites with DA 30 to 48.

As a matter of fact:

Win rate (when you get the backlink) is even stranger. The win rate of a website with DA 21 is much bigger than the win rate of a website with DA 29 to 48.

Mine data, find gold! Right! Well, this is the data and data does not lie. So, if you want to increase open rate and win rate of your email outreach campaign, you better start with low and medium DA websites.

However:

Getting backlinks from websites with DA any lower than 30 is a tricky game. You would be investing your time and possibly money too in this game and you do not want the links that Google does not consider worthy of any attention.

Backlinks establish a reference and let Google know that you’ve been recommended by all these websites – you do not want your website to be associated with websites with very little repute.

Major Takeaways

  • Low and Medium DA websites are the ones which are highly likely to give you backlinks.
  • There is no evidence to prove that you will get a better response and win rate from high DA websites.
  • Low DA websites give you highest response and win rate, you should be careful because those are not the ones that are respected the most by Google.

Follow-Ups are Crucial

Get this:

The best blogger outreach platform is email. However, sending first cold email is not enough. If you really want to make the most out of this platform, you need to write follow-up emails.

Why?

Because let us admit it, people do not like to read and respond to cold emails. They are busy. When was the last time you did a solid to someone on one cold email?

I bet it never happened.

Well:

You need to follow up emails for two big reasons:

  1. You need to write them because you want to show it to the recipients that you’re not going to leave and you are there to remind them that your website deserves a backlink.
  2. Apart from keep knocking the door, the other purpose of cold email follow-ups is to introduce new offers, reasons why you deserve a backlink from that website and perhaps show them your deep understanding of the niche.

Sometimes, follow-up emails come without a catch and sender just want to make you think good of them. And what comes out of good? Definitely nothing, but good!

Here is how you write a follow-up email. There can be a 100 different ways and you can employ psychological triggers as well.

Subject Line: Your competitor just posted a blog post 10x better than yours.

Hi Ben

This is NAME and you must remember me. Ah, yes, I asked you for a backlink in return for a detailed and media-rich blog post on the topic that interests both of us.

And in case you’re worried, no! Your competitor has not yet got that blog post because that is the only 10x better post that I talked about.

However:

I am in correspondence with RECIPIENT’S COMPETITOR and they might decide to buy the blog post in return for a do-follow backlink.

So, please let me know before DATE if you’re interested in getting this post before your competitor gets it (URGENCY).

I’d rather have it published on your website because I like your website for high-quality content and being the industry’s leader (the charm offensive).

Let me know either ways.

Name

Contact Details

This is how you should actually try writing follow-up emails; remember, follow-up templates would only help you a little bit. A/B testing is where you will understand whether one template is better or another one.

Here’s how important are the follow-up emails as compared to your first cold email:

Major Takeaways

  • Follow-up emails are so important to keep reminding the recipients that your website is worth a backlink and to introduce new offers.
  • Instead of putting all your eggs in one basket (first cold email) and then wondering as to what to say in follow-ups, it is always better to make a strategy and ensure that each follow-up email gives them a new reason to give you a do-follow backlink.

A/B Testing & Strategy Thereafter

So, what is A/B testing?

A and B are two different approaches and methods to get the same goal. Take them like 2 different Facebook ads that you tried for the same purpose: lead generation.

Now:

Once you get data from each ad, you analyze the data and hey, do you remember what I said about data? Mine data, find gold!

So you analyze the data and you find out as to which of the ads (A vs B) worked better and which did not work better, and what are reasons why one rocked and other just shocked you.

This data helps you to find out your next strategy and optimize it for best results. Do the same in case of blog outreach emails.

Here is how you do so:

  • Send two different versions of emails to two different recipients. Then send three to four follow-up emails to each of them. Follow-ups should also be different from each other. For better data mining, make sure that recipients should be similar to each other, while cold email and follow-up strategies should be entirely different in each case.
  • Wait for a response from each list.
  • Once you get a response to all cold emails and follow up emails, you sort out the data and reasons for acceptance or refusal.
  • For example, make an excel file and give a heading: Reasons for Acceptance.
  • Under that header, write out the reasons like – personalization, demo, work example, influencer’s reference etc.
  • Do the same for reasons for rejections and under that header, jot down the reasons like – generic email, sent to 50+ so no recipient was addressed by name, no reference of mutual interest, no evidence of previous work, no demo, etc.
  • Now what you’ve got is not a pile of crap like you put in an email and sent to the busy owners of big blogs (no offense), but you have solid data to back your campaign.

Without wasting time, make a new list. Send them emails while you make sure that:

  • Your new emails should include all the reasons why past emails were opened and accepted (backlink wish granted).
  • Your new emails should be strictly a no-go area for all the wrong reasons that got your previous emails rejected. No generic crap, no nonsense like mere desire with zero evidence why you deserve it, etc.

Do likewise gents and ladies! This is one of the most next levels link outreach practices. I’m telling you!

Major Takeaways

  • Always make sure that you send different style of emails. Why? Because to A/B test the best strategy we need to create A and B, not A1 and A2.
  • Always note down data that you gather from responses of the recipients. Find out the reasons why you got a better response rate.
  • Always employ those right reasons in your email and you will get a better response.

Be Different

Look at the marrow of the offer.

Most of the times you’re offering them something in return for a high-quality backlink. Most of the times it is a guest post, sometimes it is money as well, although Google will penalize if it becomes known that you get backlinks for money.

However:

It can be something else as well. Content or money? Do you want to give them content? Fine! Why not offer something different.

Put yourself in the shoes of the owner, editor or project manager of a big website with very high DA PA.

You get to receive 10+ backlink requests every day and almost all of them offer a guest post in return for a backlink.

But you just accepted one request last week and you do not need another guest post for good 21 days.

All of a sudden, you wake up one morning to an email with a strange offer in return for a backlink.

The sender wants to give you a beautiful and research-oriented infographic on a topic that is of mutual interest – or a video – or a slideshow to share on slideshare and other websites.

Whose backlinking request would you honor? Those who offer another guest post while you do not need any? Or that one person who wants to make some high-quality unique content and give it to you in return for a backlink?

Yes, the latter would get a juicy backlink.

So:

In a gold rush do not sell gold. Sell something that is unique and not so common, and it will sell like hotcakes.

Major Takeaways

  • Thinking different has always been key to success. Facebook won and Orkut lost because Facebook had a better and unique style of socializing.
  • You hook should not always be a guest post; try something unique and new to beat competitors and win the attention of the target persons.

Take Help from Social Media

If there was this one thing that Social signals refer to, what’s that?

That someone is so socially active. Believe it or not, but people who are extroverts, who talk a lot, who share a lot and who are social, always get to make more money than those who are introverts.

Social media signals show how busy some website is and how big is a community behind it. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn etc., all of them with pages with a huge audience will establish your authority.

Use that authority to win high DA PA backlinks.

No!

No one would give away a high DA backlink only because your community is so big on Facebook and 1mil+ follow you on Twitter.

There has to be some catch like a positive review of their services or an infographic etc., but social signals may replace the evidence and reputation that you need to impress them.

So:

Instead of letting them know that you’ve worked for KissMetrics, just let them know that you’re so interested in your niche and website that your social media group has reached a million members, etc.

This would be just as good as telling them that you’ve served KissMertics.

Major Takeaways

  • Social media’s power is still largely untapped. That is, people always talk highly of Google rankings, but social media signals are just as important as Google traffic.
  • You can leverage your page or group with hundreds of thousands of likes/members to let the response people know that you aren’t just another hustler, but that you’ve accomplished a big success on Social Media.

Conclusion

Link outreach techniques are not rocket science. They based on common sense and two most important human traits: courtesy and reasons.

Be courteous, don’t waste your time and let them know what is the reference e.g. influencer or something of mutual interest.

Then immediately go about creating a reason for them to give you a backlink. Remember, you need to show them past good work and a demo of what you can do for them.

The sad thing about emails is the poor open rate (especially cold emails) and even poorer success rate. So don’t fret about that. With reason and courtesy in your email, you will definitely get a better response rate than many others.

There is truly nothing else about link building techniques.

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