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Link building is a critical factor for websites desiring to improve ranking organically. An analysis by Backlinko involving 1.8 million Google search results pages found that the top-ranking page used 3.8x more backlinks than pages in positions 2-10. That’s not all — the top-ranking page had backlinks from a diverse source of sites.

Despite the apparent benefit of link building, it’s a challenging process. How you pitch to prospective marketers can make or break your link-building strategy. You don’t want to feel entitled, too formal, or too casual. We’ve prepared a few tips to guide you when writing a link-building pitch.

What Is Link Building

It is the process of acquiring inbound links from other websites to yours. Search engines use these links to crawl the links between individual web pages and those used on the whole website.

While high-quality content and a link-worthy website are effective growth marketing strategies, they don’t always attract many inbound links from other sites. Applying a more aggressive approach like sending link-building pitches speeds up the process.

It’s also an opportunity to interact with the specific professionals (in this case, the SEO manager or marketer) in the industry — which is an essential public relations strategy. As such, a good pitch plays a critical role in getting a response.

The truth is the vast majority of outreach emails are ignored. Statistics show people open less than 24% of outreach emails, and only 8.5% get a response. The following tips should help you write a better link-building pitch.

1. Write Personalized Emails To Specific Publishers

Personalization is the most effective way of separating spammers from pros. An analysis of thousands of outreach emails showed that personalized ones got more replies than generic emails.

Most link-building pitches are ignored because recipients find them ingenuine. While search engines provide thousands of templates for sending pitches, it’s important to adapt them to specific publishers.

If you don’t know how to do it, research publications and particular people interested in your content to get ideas on how to ask for inbound links. Personalizing a pitch also means:

  • Using Their Name: Avoid salutations like, ‘Dear Sir/Madam.’ Instead, address them by their names, e.g., ‘Hi Lewis’
  • Reference To Something You Saw On Their Website: It shows you know a little about who you’re sending the email to
  • Compliment Them: The idea is to make the email feel and sound natural
  • Be Transparent: The recipient already knows what you want, so avoid beating about the bush
  • Be Relevant: Avoid spamming all your email list contacts and look for appropriate niches and websites
  • Reciprocate: Inform your recipient about your willingness to help them out as well

2. Be Specific

Your recipients are a busy lot — hence, the more specific your email is, the more likely they’ll respond. Get to the point fast and avoid long and repetitive paragraphs as they can be off-putting to the recipient.

It would help if you highlighted the most pressing issue at the beginning of the email and follow it up with other details. Your email shouldn’t be too short either — one-sentence emails asking for a call or urgent reply can create the wrong first impression about you.

It’s best to summarize the main idea at the beginning to get the recipient hooked. Be sure to follow it up at least once and include new information. Overdoing it can reduce your chances of getting a response.

3. Pitch Before Publishing New Data

This approach is ideal for content creators who have new data or research with intriguing results. If sending a cold email to a top-ranking publication in the industry, such an exclusive offer can generate lots of traffic to your website with a single link. When pitching to such professionals, it’s important to keep the subject lines detailed and emails short.

Pitch Before Publishing New Data


  • Exclusive content: New stats about Google ads
  • Predictions about changes in Google’s SEO algorithm

4. Send A Preview Of The Actual Email

If you haven’t interacted with the recipient, sending a preview is an effective way of sharing content. The premise is to ask the recipient if they would like to see the piece of content you want them to link to. Be sure to personalize the email and entice the reader as much as possible to increase the reply rate.

5. Provide Value

Your recipient is probably busy, so you shouldn’t seem to add more work. Entice them by offering to do the work for them. For example, you can pitch a great idea alongside an offer to write a guest post.

The recipient is bound to agree and reply to your email promptly. Be sure to research their content, too, to identify new titles that would suit their readers.

These tools can save you time and help you get in touch with more people on your email list. Here are the most common tools:

Moz: It’s a robust link-building SEO tool as it researches backlinks, and identifies link-building opportunities, and potentially damaging links.
SEMRush: This tool allows you to compare your link profile with those of your competitors to identify untapped link-building opportunities.
Respona: It’s one of the best email outreach tools for small teams and sole proprietors using cold outreach as part of their SEO campaigns.

7. Provide Social Proof

Social proof is an excellent content promotion strategy as it gives your recipient confidence that you’re providing value to your target audience. For example, your blog may show that 100,000 subscribers receive your weekly newsletter. The engagement on your blogs is also great social proof. Mention it in the email when pitching.

8. Add Some Humor

A bit of humor can lighten up the mood, but you should be careful when doing it. Scouting your recipient’s social media pages should give you an idea of the kind of person you’re dealing with.

Would they appreciate a goof? Or are they the serious lot, always straight to the point? Avoid making jokes about religion, politics, or vulgar language as it comes off as unprofessional.

Pitch Before Publishing New Data

Additional Tips

  • Use Contact Forms As The Last Resort: If you can’t find the recipient’s email, the contact form is your best bet. You need to be very straightforward when using this approach to increase the probability of getting a response.
  • Including Your Social Media Accounts: LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook links in the email can increase the reply rate.
  • The Subject Lines Should Belong: You want to hook the recipient from the beginning. As such, a long subject line is a great way to tease or provide a brief overview of what the email is about
  • Avoid Sending Bulk Emails: If you’re new to link building, it’s best to send the emails one by one before using the tools. The premise is to get a sense of what is working and what doesn’t.

Link building is an effective growth marketing strategy if done properly. However, it’s time-consuming. With these tips, you can increase your recipient’s response rate and reduce the amount required significantly. Even if you don’t get the links, you develop new relationships that can lead to future opportunities.

Author’s Bio:

Managing brand partnerships at Respona, Vlad Orlov is a passionate writer and link builder. Having started writing articles at the age of 13, their once past-time hobby developed into a central piece of their professional life.

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Categories:  Digital Marketing / St. Louis SEO

About the Author

James McMinn

Senior Digital Strategist

James is a savvy digital marketing specialist with a Masters of Science in Internet Marketing. For the past fourteen years, he has been specializing in SEO, PPC & Marketing Strategy. He has a super sharp analytical mind and a finely tuned creative eye for marketing initiatives that optimize brands.

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