How To Crush Link Building Outreach With Cold Email

We all know by now just how important link building is. 

However, the key to climbing the ladder of SEO success is by understanding link building. 

You need to get to grips with it as less of a white hat technique, and as something more akin to relationship-building. This is especially important for b2b lead generation.

One of the best ways to execute a link building strategy, you might be surprised to hear, is cold emailing. And I’m going to show you why. 


Cold Emailing

I know what you’re thinking; the ‘reputation’ of cold emailing precedes itself. 

According to a study, the average email open rate for all industries (that were analysed) is 21.33%. 

In comparison, the average click rate is only 2.62%!

While these numbers may discourage you, there are multiple ways you can turn the tables around. 

These include tactics that will avoid your emails getting marked as spam.

They will also ensure that you boost your lead-generation into something that converts leads into loyal customers. 


Causes Of Low Open Rates 

Open rates are one of the primary ways of judging the effectiveness of your cold emailing strategy. If they’re low, it’s probably because of: 

Irrelevant Or Uninteresting Subject Lines 

Subject lines are like first impressions; you have one chance at them. And if you goof up, it becomes challenging to overcome. 


This can result in unread or ignored emails, or in some cases by people even unsubscribing from your list. 


As an example, let’s consider my interaction with The New York Times’ email campaign.  


Let’s ask the question: have I become too lazy to hit unsubscribe, or are their subject lines just really darn good?


On a typical day, I receive an average of 5 emails from the NYT. These usually focus on business politics and general news updates, and it’s rare that I don’t click and read them.


How come? Well, it’s the headline.


No matter what the news content is, as a ritual, the general news updates read ‘BREAKING NEWS’. 

It might not be as groundbreaking as it claims to be, but it keeps the suspense going and keeps you on edge. 

You never know what the email holds, but there’s a suggestion of urgency and value.  

So what can we learn from this?

? Think as a customer 

While deciding on a subject line, think of something you’d like to read if you received it. Sell it to yourself first. 

? Make an Impact

Don’t be afraid to branch out and. Maybe even get weird or controversial. It might not be liked, but it will be remembered! 

? Don’t Overcomplicate 

The NYT routinely uses the two words, ‘breaking news’ on almost all their emails. And they get me every time

If there’s something that works for you, keep at it. While experimentation is encouraged; consistency is key. 

? Trial And Error

Study your open rates closely, if you are not getting your desired rate experiment on focus groups and measure their reaction. 

? Personalise

Email campaigning tools that have email verification and sender options are an optimum choice for email personalisation. 

The customisable attention to detail allows you to open a dialogue with each of your email subscribers.

Something as simple as using a potential lead’s name, location, or job title can have a substantial positive impact.  


? Emojis

Adding visual pizazz is always recommended. But make sure the software that’s launching your email campaign supports emojis across all devices. 

You wouldn’t want to see on the subject line, would you? 

Think About Your Subscriber Base 

Granted, numerous email sign-ups from your website (for example) may be a good sign. 

But there’s a chance that the potential to convert those subscribers into customers is low. 

This could be because of how diluted your customer base is with respect to each subscribers’ specific interests and occupation

Within your subscribers’ are groups of real people – sales reps, store owners, and consumers.

These same people can become frustrated with content that isn’t relevant to their field or interests. 

The best way to pursue them through email campaigns is by audience segmentation. 


Segmentation makes sure that every email your subscriber receives is relevant to them. 

This holds true, whether it’s by engaging their passions and interests or via something to do with their occupation.    

You can use your subscribers’ location, interests, or activity to ‘strong segment’ campaigns. Then, you can make sure that you’re sending the right content to the right people. 

Try doing this a prospecting tool that searches for groups targeted by:


  • Location
  • Job title
  • Industry
  • Or even company name 


Remember to do these things, and you can leverage your cold emailing campaign to crush link building opportunities. 


Just remember these points:


Build A Narrowly Defined Audience Segment


Segmentation of your audience helps you create more robust campaigns with higher conversion rates. It will also direct your emails to a smaller market with a defined need. 


Set Specific Goals


Ambiguous goals such as ‘more subscriber by the end of the month’ or ‘stronger impressions within a week’ are like hollow promises. There’s just no conviction to them!


Instead, be specific – aim for a number. Seek, for example, 20% more impressions within a month or a 10% higher click-through rate. 


Now you’ve targeted your segment and set your goals and KPIs. So let’s look at what you’re going to be sending in those cold emails.


Great Content


It’s all very well knowing who to email in your niche, how to personalise those emails, and how to catch their eye.


But once you get a prospect to open your cold email outreach, how do you secure that backlink?


This is the stage of this cold email outreach campaign where we can start thinking about your value proposition


You’ve got to ask yourself, why people should link back to your site, or guide, or whatever product it is that you’re pushing?


Guest Posts


One of the most tried and tested tactics to obtain backlinks is to offer to write guest posts in your niche. 


You can improve your SEO and do a bit of authority marketing by posing yourself as an expert in your field.


Let’s have a look at a template for how you might word a cold email for a guest posting opportunity.


Remember to look out for the important features we’ve already mentioned, like personalisation and a catchy subject line.


Cold Email Template

Subject: Your biggest fan! (Some guest post article ideas for your Macy)


Hi Macy, 


I’m {name}, {position} at {company name}. ?

Let me just start with a bit of ‘fangirling’ – I love your content – it actually got me into link-building. So thanks!

A few weeks ago, I read your article on ‘{relevant article name}’. I used your tips and strategies to get my blogs published in sites with great domain authority.

Anyway, I am reaching out because I’d like to pitch an article for your site. 


Article Title: [Add description]

Concept: [Add description] 

Or maybe Article Title 2: [Add description]

Concept 2: [Add description] 

Let me know if you’re interested in my pitch – I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback. 


I look forward to hearing from you! 


In this example, we were looking at some cold email outreach for link-building and about link-building. After all, if you know it, flaunt it!


With a catchy subject line like ‘Your biggest fan’, we managed to address the author/journalist/site moderator and intrigue them. 


Then personalisation continues as we mention them by name in both the subject line and the address of the email.


It’s always a smart idea then to reference some work of the person you’re pitching to. Obviously, this will be less of an issue when sending out a cold email campaign for link-building.


If you can do the two simultaneously, however, think about how much more value you can add in your cold emails. 


Every guest post is another place you can send prospects to see how great your content is, and how valuable your link will be on their site.


Worthwhile and informative content for your niche will encourage more people that a backlink is a mutual exchange of some value. Highlight that your link will send their users somewhere useful.


So think about catching your prospects’ eyes when they’re scrolling through their inbox.


You can do this with:


  • Personalisation
  • Directly addressing the recipient
  • Referencing their work, or some personal information
  • Thinking up a catchy subject line
  • Segmenting your list


Think about what you have to offer for a backlink and where that link is going to take users.


Once you’ve set those goals, track them. If you met them, great, now set new ones and chase them! 


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