Posted by moosahemani
This post was originally in YouMoz, and was promoted to the main blog because it provides great value and interest to our community. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of SEOmoz, Inc.
A successful SEO campaign is the perfect combination of all strategies. Whether you're working with on-page optimization, content development, social media, or link building, all of these factors contain equal value. When it comes to picking the most difficult SEO strategy, I will always give my vote to link building as this part is one of the most difficult, boring ,and time consuming strategies you can implement.
A few days back, I shared a picture of the perfect bedroom for a link builder on Facebook:
Almost perfect, despite the coffee pot missing
Yes, link building can be boring, tough, and time consuming. However, one person on the team can dive into link building and get their hands dirty to get the job done in order to produce effective and action-driven results for the business.
Many people use different tactics when it comes to link building. One of the famous and most effective techniques that almost every ethical SEO uses is to manually outreach to other webmasters and ask for a link. Although the rate of response can be low, implementing a few smart email writing tactics can actually increase the response rate.
In this post, I will discuss a few tactics that I have used in recent campaigns where I had to write good amount of manual email to a variety of influencers and bloggers to ask them for a link favor. I tried out a few different ideas and finally created a format that allowed me to write every email as personalized as possible, while saving a lot of my time.
Here I go!
Use catchy subject titles
The first section of an email everyone reads is the title. It is important to have a catchy title or else your email will soon be sent directly to the trash bin. Do not try to manipulate the reader by creating false title, but instead create a title that is interesting and captivating to act as a perfect lead-in for the valuable content of the email.
Some good examples of titles are:
Length of the email
This is an extremely important factor. Do not write a one-line email that clarifies nothing. You want to make sure your email's content delivers the intended actions and requests in a concise, yet inclusive, manner. Similarly, do not stuff the email with tons of unnecessary information. In either case, the recipient is likely to delete your message right away without even reading it (yeah, I can see you having a déjà-vu here).
A perfect email should have, more or less, two paragraphs that describe the solid reason for writing that email.
Not rocket science, but always a good reminder! Use the intended recipient's name while asking them for a favor, or do not expect them to reply back. The people you are writing to are busy just like you, and their to-do lists are already filled with tasks to accomplish. You better make your request sounds important, and that starts with using their name. How many times have you ignored emails addressed to ‘Hello Webmaster,’ or similar? Plenty.
Take a little step forward, do your research, search for their names, and use them! After all, it is all in the name!
<Move on with the rest of the email!>
The first paragraph
If you are writing an email of 100 words or more, it is important that your first paragraph should be appealing, smart, and engaging enough to encourage your reader to happily continue their journey through the end of the message. I've tried different formats and ideas for emails, but what stuck best with my campaign was to dedicate the entire first paragraph to the receiver.
This may sound like a lot of work, but checking the social profiles and doing some background on your recipient can tell you an enormous amount about a person. Ultimately, this will let you to talk to him or her more comfortably.
It was great to see your interview and find out more about you on ‘Alessio Madeyski’s’ post. After reading your advice on SEO, I believe you are the right person to ask for an opinion on my research.
I am your continuous reader of your different blogs that include Daily SEO tips, my blog guest, and other platforms where you write. I think you are one of the best bloggers who has a great style of writing, and your ability to put down complex problems on paper make them easy to read and comprehend.
The second paragraph
Don’t drag, just say it!
Now that you've hit the second paragraph, you've made it to the ground floor of your email. If you are going to drag your point out a little longer, then you will probably lose the interest of the recipient. Try to be direct in the second paragraph and let the reader know what you want from him or her. Try to explain your objective in few lines and move towards the end of your note.
I actually took a step forward to help a specific niche outside of SEO (as much is already happening in the SEO bubble). In order to do that, I researched and compiled a list of 3K+ link prospects which any travel website/blog can use to get authority links.
Although I'm advanced in SEO knowledge, I am planning to start writing and sharing my views to the blogging world and collect feedback that will help me grow as a better professional.
The ending note
Now that you have done your job in describing your objective behind the email, it is time to sum it up nicely in a courteous way.
I would love if you could take two minutes to look over the data and pass along your feedback.
I would appreciate if you could allow me to write a guest post on your blog.
Please let me know if it is possible.
Why I prefer this format
I've been working on improving my emails for quite some time now, and this pitch and format has worked for me almost every time. Here are a few reasons why I think this email format is sure to get you a better rate of response:
- You are pushing the limit of personalization, so you are leaving less space for the recipient to think about ignoring the email.
- This format is not short enough to look lousy, but not lengthy enough to bore or overwhelm the reader.
- Emails that contain a personal touch from the start of the title through the end of the note are set up for a reply.
- The email contains no dragging content, so there is less of a chance that the reader will get frustrated while reading.
- The first paragraph is powerful and dedicated to receiver, which makes them happy and encourages them to read the email through the end.
Obviously the rate of response is not likely to be 100 percent, but I have found that using this format increases the rate of response for different niches.
If you have any other formatting ideas or suggestions, I would love to hear them! Please share your views in the comment section.
About the Author:
Moosa Hemani is a SEO strategist and writes about SEO and related stuff on different blogs. He recently started an SEO Blog where he shares his opinions about SEO, search engines, social, and inbound.
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