coronavirus outreach strategies

Outreach Strategies During the Coronavirus

COVID-19. This destructive virus has affected many businesses and individuals including SEOs and content marketers.

While we don't know when this will end, what we can do is to adjust our strategies based on the current situation.

coronavirus outreach strategies

At SharpRocket, we launch different link building and content marketing campaigns and have seen the effects of COVID-19 on our link prospecting, outreach, and content creation initiatives.

Not all are major changes, but there are multiple elements that must be considered for links to go live for our clients during COVID-19.


Outreach Strategies During the Coronavirus

1. Be Sensitive

You can't do the same old style of sending spam uncustomized emails to your link prospects.—even having a templated email copy without even checking how your message resonates with your audience.

In this period when people are in doubt, disappointed, and are looking for some relief in their lives, the best email outreach strategy is sensitivity.

outreach sensitivity

Sensitivity requires you to think about the person you're reaching out to. What is he or she going through as he or she opens or reads your email?

Show care to prospects by adding lines to your outreach templates that genuinely empathize about their situation.

Avoid writing an introduction with lines like, "I've read your blog post and I liked it..". This insensitive copy line won't make the cut.

Add some human elements when personalizing your outreach copies. Do you have any content pieces that resonate with the times and situations of your target audience?

By showing more of the benefits of your content to actually help people, you get to receive more positive responses to your outreach emails.

2. Avoid Prospects Hit Hard by COVID-19

There are industries where you will find outreach campaigns to still gain positive rates similar to the usual season.

You'll also find verticals that have been obviously hit hard by COVID-19, which results in lower response and link placement rates for publishers belonging to those industries.

Whether you're reaching out to promote your infographics for bloggers and influencers, it's wise to know if your outreach campaign is getting its optimal results.

It is best to avoid prospects in industries greatly affected by COVID-19. These include bloggers and publishers from weddings, travel, and hotel.

While you may still get responses from them, you won't receive much attention that you deserve compared to before.

Avoid any closed business when considering prospects. Go to their website or social media account and see if there's a note that mentions they're closed or might be closed for business.

3. Leverage Resource Page Opportunities

While there are so many negative things going around, one positive thing to take note is that most webmasters do now have time to work on their pages.

This means they can make any necessary fixes on their webpages as faster and as often as they could.

If you're running a link building campaign, particularly for resource page opportunities, you'll find that a lot of webmasters are more responsive than ever before.

If you're aiming for a couple of links through broken link building, you don't have to hesitate to reach out to webmasters and letting them know of your link requests.

Here are some guides that can help you walk through the process of broken link building:

4. Revisit Content Themes That Resonate With Your Prospects

There are content pieces that will have a breakthrough in today's time.

When you tap content themes related to current people's needs, you get to showcase what your brand is about and at the same time, addressing what your target audience cares at the moment.

Here are some content themes you can consider for your content creation campaign:

  • social distancing
  • cleanliness
  • positivity
  • remote work
  • work and life balance
  • parenting

Revisit your brand's content theme and see if there are any gaps you can fill in right now. You can use Ahrefs' Content Explorer or Buzzsumo to start looking for content topics that are related to your site.

5. Discover Data Stories To Match the Interests of Journalists

Data stories play very well for journalists, as it is based on real-life experiences that resonate well with publishers' audiences.

sleep covid 19 study

If you're in an industry where topics may play off of coronavirus, there are stories from customers you can still leverage as part of your pitch. Fields such as paper manufacturing can think of data stories about social distancing.

Stories aligned to content themes get good replies and coverage. While journalists are picking up ways to discover stories, use what you have from your customers' experiences, and see how you can pitch a value-driven data story to them.


While we don't know when this COVID-19 will end, we have to think of ways to leverage opportunities arising from the situation.

Check out brands in other industries with great content strategy. Understand how they're keeping up with the pace in terms of links. Assess the relationships between their pages and their linking pages. Get insights from their execution.

outreach strategies promote infographics

Outreach Strategies to Promote Infographics

When we think about outreach, we can't start without having a discussion about email templates.

Many content marketers, SEOs, and link builders will disagree with the use of email templates, as it would only appear not personalized to prospects they're reaching out to.

But the greatest link building minds actually use email templates to scale their link building outreach efforts.

In fact, without it, it wouldn't be possible to gain a consistent number of links for link building campaigns — whether that is for enterprise sites, niche blogs, or eCommerce sites.

Outreach templates are critically important to scale link building and to A/B test elements of email copies in order to increase positive results.

outreach strategies promote infographics

In this post, we're going to discuss a targeted outreach campaign — infographic outreach promotion.


What Makes Infographics Valuable For Prospects?

Value proposition is important to identify at the start of an outreach campaign. This will serve as the foundational message of an email outreach copy.

Infographics are highly valuable it if covers a message that no one else in the market has brought yet.

Of course, there is no such as this as an original content piece. Most infographics are derived from freely available data sources.

But If you can come up with an infographic that's worth seeing in terms of content format, information, and messaging, you'll have a unique value proposition your prospects would love to share and link to from their webpages.

Let's cover some best practices to promote infographics to build high quality backlinks and get the deserved attention from the audience.

A. Write custom intros for publishers

One effective content promotion technique for infographics is to offer custom intros to potential publishers. This exact strategy is part of guestographics — guest posts for infographics.

Its advantage is helping out these content creators struggling to write the text part of the content piece — an added value besides giving them the infographic.

When writing custom intros of infographics, it's critically important to write for the audience of the hosted domain. Know and understand their audience.

Your infographics may be the same piece published to all interested sites and blogs. But its well-written custom intros is what's make the visual content more significant.

B. Break infographic into individual images

Infographics are normally long-form type of content.

In fact, there's a myth that the longer the infographics are, the more valuable it is. But this isn't true all the time.

In many cases, infographics that are too long must be cut into several pieces to be able to fit websites and blogs. This gives followers of the website real estate to consume the content effectively.

You can chop your infographic into individual images for each section, point, or takeaway.

how to choose wine instructographics

Instead of giving the entire infographic to your outreach prospect, you give them opportunities to use pieces of the visual. In that way, publishers can pick and choose images they think would be relevant for their future content works.

Once the infographic has been broken down into stand-alone images, you can create a gallery of these images — attaching it to your outreach emails like a little press pack.

Here are some examples of press packs from Distilled.

press pack example

press pack example two

The same analogy of press packs can be applied to outreach in promoting infographics. 

Whether you're reaching out to influencers or niche bloggers, you can attach a custom gallery of images as soon as they respond positively to your initial pitch.

Another method to present those images is to upload it on a third-party site and simply include a URL to your outreach email linking to the gallery of images.

C. Target different types of outreach prospects

Every content marketer promoting infographics wants to get the most number of links possible to its visual page — as to get more visibility and to distribute the messages effectively to its target audiences.

An effective outreach campaign starts actually with how well do you know your outreach prospects.

This involves targeting different types to expand your list and get the most out of the content promotion and link building.

linkable audiences

Identify publishers who will be interested to publish your visual content. Start looking for some local angles of your infographic messages. It could also work well with the national press if you identify any fitting to your data.

Of course, you can't get away with your initial type of outreach prospects - niche bloggers and content publishers in your space.

Are there any news sites that can cover your visual content? Go and find any similar infographics and see who linked to their content piece. Often times, you'll find news sites you can reach out to for additional linking opportunities.

The idea of having different types of outreach prospects is to have your own split test. You can assess which types of sites respond better and double down your efforts for that particular segment group.

When you have many options for outreach prospects, you increase the likelihood of acquiring more links for your visual content piece.

You can use Ahrefs or Buzzsumo to find outreach prospects of site types I've mentioned earlier. And when finding email addresses, you can use VoliaNorbert to semi-automate the email finding process.

voilanorbert chrome extension

Organize your list of outreach prospects in a spreadsheet or in an outreach tool (Buzzstream, Pitchbox or NInjaOutreach)

Include necessary contact details and other pertinent information of link prospects that can help you personalize your email copies. This would make your outreach initiative much easier, as you have inputs in place for email templates.

Consider what type of email address you'll be using as a sender for your outreach emails. You can use your agency email address, or branded email addresses for your clients' outreach.

D. Use copywriting techniques for better engagement

Every outreach email has its own agenda — to get someone to take action. In this case, to publish the visual content piece your brand has created.

In making that happen, your outreach email must engage its target recipient from the start of the email down to your desired action.

This is where copywriting techniques come to play.

Gisele Navarro shared how to turn a boring email into an irresistible link pitch. In her post, she discussed this idea of using grease-slide copies.

You'll see most of these greasy slide statements in most of Brian Dean's articles at Backlinko. You may not be fully aware but you keep reading the entire post until its end.

backlinko bucket brigades

Grease-slide copy is a copywriting technique used to keep your readers glued to your page. So using phrases like:

  • But wait — there's more.
  • Yes, you read that right…
  • We're not through yet.

Of course, not all of these grease-slide lines will work for your pitch. You have to check which ones are applicable to your outreach context. But if you can add these simple words to guest post pitch or any type of outreach campaigns, you can improve your outreach's response and conversion rates.

Make Your Infographic Outreach Pitches Irresistible

There are many outreach advice and email templates out there, but the one that would be effective to you is to write an outreach email from scratch based on your brand's messaging, context, and value proposition of your pitch.

Always improve your outreach copy based on the feedback of your prospects and the added value of your visual content piece. Make it irresistible.

branded email addresses for client outreach

What To Consider When Using Branded Email Addresses For Client Outreach?

The difference between a great outreach campaign and a mediocre one boils to minor details outreach people don't want to discuss. This involves choosing the right email address to use for outreach.

One of the first things your target recipients will see from your pitch is your subject line and your email address.

Choosing an appropriate email address plays a big part in how your response rate and link placement rates will turn out.

branded email addresses for client outreach

In this post, I'll dive into just one specific type of outreach email address — that is, branded email address and some alternatives if this type of email address is not available to use.


What To Consider When Using Branded Email Addresses For Client Outreach?

There are many variables when using branded email addresses that should be taken well into consideration.

1. Brand Recall

Brand recall means how strong your brand name is in your space. If a person mentions your brand, does it ring a bell to their ears?

Imagine receiving an email from AirBnb.

airbnb outreach email

Would you hesitate to open the email? I guess not.

If people in your industry love your brand, using your branded email address should be of the highest consideration. It'll probably help to improve your open rates and/or responses.

In cases, you have clients with strong brand impressions online, use it as a leverage to penetrate link markets that may require authority or association of a strong brand.

There are editorial links from guest blogs and publishers that you can't simply replicate without a proper outreach plan. An outreach campaign with the use of a corporate email address of the client helps build initial trust — others won't.

2. Existing Relationships

Another consideration for branded email addresses is the advantage of building stronger relationships with niche publishers, journalists, and other content creators.

For long-term viability, if you use a branded email address, you incorporate all email connections in just one client.

Imagine if you have 5 email addresses that you use for one specific outreach campaign, that may be good for A/B testing, but you know that it will be a hassle to see emails and reply to individual messages.

Recently, I got a pitch from Sujan Patel, a SaaS marketer, and founder of MailShake and Ramp Ventures.

sujan patel outreach email

He and his team wrote a guest post on how your content strategy can support your sales team.

Before the actual content being written, it's interesting that what made me open the outreach pitch is the brand recall of Sujan Patel. He is widely known in the digital marketing realm, giving mentorship to some of the best SEOs like Ross Hudgens.

In addition, the relationship I've built with Sujan Patel from the back and forth email conversations and sharing each other's blog posts makes it easy for me not to think twice about opening his emails.

Using a branded email address has the advantage of increasing open and response emails from the initial outreach even up to sending them follow-up emails.

Your client's brand has connections with business partners and online publishers that have to be maximized fullest in terms of content promotion and link building.

3. Coordination with Legal and PR Teams

Large enterprise teams have their legal and PR teams in place.

coordination with pr and legal teams

One consideration when choosing a branded email address is your outreach team's awareness and coordination with legal and PR teams.

There have been many backfires to digital and SEO agencies because they weren't aware of certain protocols following usage rights — including the use of corporate email addresses.

Make your PR teams aware of your outreach process end-to-end. So if things go awry, you won't be in a total mess.

Alternatives To Branded Email Addresses (When It Is Not Available)

There are times when branded email addresses are not available to use. Either the client is strict in not giving away branded email addresses for corporate reasons or there's no chance to get in touch with the IT department to get at least one corporate email address.

In that case, what do you do as an outreach person?

In case a client doesn’t want to provide branded email addresses, you may opt to either your agency's email address or to an outreach email persona.

There are, of course, advantages and disadvantages of using either an agency email address or outreach persona.

For the agency's email address, one of the pros is the connections that have been attached to the account for months and years of doing outreach. By having that as an arsenal for outreach, it can give your outreach team an edge over other people pitching the same link prospects.

There is also a disadvantage for SEO agencies using their corporate email address, particularly to brands with "SEO" and "links" attached to brand names.

There are publishers and bloggers who itch when they see the words, "SEO" and "links", it's as if they are thinking they've been pitched for the sole purpose of links — without providing any value to them.

These are things you've got to keep in mind when choosing alternatives to branded email addresses.

Further Reading Resources:

Consider Details of Effectiveness in Outreach

While there are many facets to consider in an outreach campaign, you go over and consider even the tiny details of outreach.

As I've discussed, not knowing the repercussions of choosing a branded email address may give you a blow in your future outreach results. So better start thinking of plans to make it work best for you.

Are you considering using branded email addresses for your client's outreach campaigns? Share any other tips or considerations in the comments below:

outreach campaign

Best Practices in Setting Up An Outreach Campaign

Starting an outreach campaign is easy. Executing it at the finest level is another story.

outreach campaign

Outreach campaign initiatives vary depending on where you're at, what your goals are, and what are your available resources.


On Setting Up An Outreach Campaign

Where you're at

I'm specifically referring to what you're currently working on. Do you handle clients as an agency? If that is so, is your agency focused on link building alone, or are you taking link acquisition as part of your SEO services?

Do you build links to a single website or to multiple properties of your brand?

Of course, you have some knowledge about this one. But knowing this is a must if you want to have a clear picture of your starting point.

What your goals are

Have an end goal in mind. This speaks of what you want to achieve with your outreach campaign. Is it for PR purposes or are you trying to promote a content piece to get links?

An outreach campaign best works if it targets a specific goal/s.

What are your available resources

Look at your current situation. Do you have any content specialists working with you? Any outreach specialists your company recently hired to become part of your team?

Did you subscribe to any premium tools? Buzzstream, Pitchbox, or NinjaOutreach, for example.

Not only should you be looking at your current resources, but you must also have an idea as to what additional resources you are willing to invest in. These include tools, more content and outreach specialists, or work offload from your current team members to be allotted to your outreach campaign.

Know these resources given as this will help fill in the gap between where you are and what your goals are.

Best Practices In Setting Up An Outreach Campaign

There are certain outreach best practices to ensure an outreach campaign provides the most value to its end users (email recipients — i.e. potential linkers) and gets the most value in terms of content engagement.

Internal Content and Link Research Analysis

Start by knowing which of your current content assets you'll be using as bait for your outreach campaign.

Look at your existing blog assets. Which content piece has gotten relevant high-quality backlinks in the past? Once you've identified, check if there is still a market you can reach out with your evergreen content.

ahrefs top pages top linking pages

Outreach is tied to a specific content piece you are offering to the market. Start by knowing which makes the best offer.

Direct Extension of Prospecting to Outreach

If you think about scalability, you want to get the most out of your time for all of your outreach campaigns.

If you're handling multiple campaigns or even just for one website, one way to get more things done in less time is to extend your link prospecting initiative to outreach.

Instead of executing link prospecting and outreach separately, you can make them integrated by pulling some data from a third-party tool for gathered link prospects. Bring the targets directly to an outreach tool or platform for pitching.

You can use Ahrefs to pull some huge data of backlinks from competitors' sites (or other relevant sites to your brand).

On Ahrefs, you can qualify links through filtering by Platform (e.g. Blogs) and to One Link Per Domain. You can also use the inclusion search to get only relevant pages. By including topical words, you exclude ones not related to your target campaign.

backlinks data ahrefs

Once you've exported the links, you can strip the URLs to root domains using any URL trimmer tools: 

You may quality the links further for relevance by manually checking them one by one.

Input your list to email finder tools like Hunter and VoilaNorbert. Through any email outreach platforms or Gmail plus extension tools, you start sending outreach emails.

Outreach Segmentation

There are many link prospecting methodologies from different agencies and specialists on outreach. Those that have the most value include segmenting the list to different groups. This leads you to do some outreach for influencers or just for resource curators or blogger outreach.

Outreach segmentation helps you prioritize link targets based on your current link strategy, audience type, and potential link value the target page can provide.

Basically, metrics like Ahrefs' DR/UR, Moz' DA/PA, or Majestic's CF/TF can assist you in knowing which link targets are valuable.

But don't stop there. Look at possible link types. Are those websites more driven as PR or contextually driven for link building?

Segmenting your outreach lists also includes knowing which backlink prospects you've had connections in the past. Given that you'll get higher chances of recurring links from people who've known or have interacted with any of your content, than someone you'll be reaching out for the first time.

Organization of Prospecting and Outreach Lists

The simplest way to organize your prospecting list is to use a free tool like Google Sheets. If you're not really fancy with organization, you may start with spreadsheets and labeled columns for outreach details.

For bigger outreach lists, outreach platforms like Buzzstream, or Pitchbox will give you better organization for your outreach lists.

Here are some guides to help you with organizing your prospecting lists using spreadsheets and extensions:

Quality audit on outreach templates

Scalability requires outreach templates.

While that gives you the leverage to speed up sending emails to hundreds and thousands of potential linkers, you care more of value than a mere personalization.

Get some feedback on your outreach templates from frontliners of your outreach team (ones who're in conversations with linkers).

Do some quality audits of your past outreach campaigns either for the same content piece or for a specific client outreach project (guest posts or resource page campaign you did) 

Check conversations that gotten you links and ones that don't. You'll have a better understanding of what makes your email resonates with the linker.

Follow up email process

What separates a successful outreach campaign from a mediocre one is a meticulous system for follow-ups. Most outreach teams take follow-up email structure for granted.

You miss a lot of opportunities for link targets you didn't send some follow-ups.

Have a follow-up system for people who are out for vacations, who'll get back to you when they can but never replied, and people who've seen your content, but are asking for some more requirements (either in content format, messaging, or contact information).

Outreach is an ongoing process

As much as you consider the results of your outreach campaign, identify how to make your process better than before.

With systems and the right strategies and resources like tools and people, you'll penetrate an interested market for links with your outreach emails.

how to send a follow up email after no response

How to Send a Follow-Up Email After No Response (Increase Links by 30%)

You send an initial pitch. You open your inbox the next day. No new email.

For that reason, you want to send a follow-up email after no response.

It’s either you are hesitant to do it or you lack the knowledge to write one.

Sending follow-up emails is extremely important — we can attest that our campaign's success rate increase by 30% just by following up once per link prospect. 

If you don't how to write and send an initial or second follow-up email, this post is for you.

how to send a follow up email after no response

How to Send a Follow-Up Email After No Response

1. Check if your initial pitch was opened.

You can manually check every email you send for open rates.

It's easy to identify which emails were unopened if you have a tool at hand. Better use an email tracking platform or outreach tools like Mailtrack, Buzzstream, Boomerang, or Right Inbox.

mailtrack tracking check lines

Some tools will give you insights as to the number of opens per email. Was it opened once or multiple times?

The reason behind knowing that is to understand the behavior of your link prospect.

If the email is opened multiple times after several days it was sent, it may mean that the potential linker is likely to be interested in what you're offering (guest post, product review, link request, etc..).

If the email isn't opened yet, then maybe you have to modify your email subject lines to entice an open.

The next step is to:

2. Write a follow-up email based on open rates.

Because you now have an idea of how many opens an email receives, you write your initial follow-up based on the open rate.

It's a good metric to consider in the outreach campaign as it gives you the appropriate context for each email.

You don't simply blast your link prospects with generic follow-ups. You ensure that what you send corresponds to their behavior and what they're actually looking for.

If emails have no opens, your step is:

3. Modify subject lines if there are no opens.

Your subject line is critical to opens.

If emails have no opens, you have to modify subject lines.

Your revision will be based on your original subject line.

Ask honestly this question to yourself, if you will open an email, will you open yours if that's your subject line?

Here are some more tips when sending follow-ups for emails with no opens:

  • Use the template [Asset] for [Website] as your followup's subject line. It gives the right context both for the type of content you're offering and for addressing properly your link prospect.
  • Include the original email in your initial follow-up. You can insert the copyright below your follow-up message. The reason is this: your link prospect doesn't have to bother finding your original follow-up — gives more chances for your follow-up email to elicit a response.
  • Another subject line you can use is this one: "Just in case you missed this.." or any lines with "Haven't heard..".

4. Use FWD as your subject lines for emails with one or multiple opens

Fortunately, when your email is opened once or multiple times, there is a clear indication of interest from the end of the link prospect.

With that, here are some tips you can apply for follow up emails with one or multiple opens:

  • Use Fwd as your followup's subject line. Very short, yet specifies an email has been forwarded and demands an open. It is also the subject line best for emails for forwarded emails (email address given to you for the proper addressee).
  • Include original emails. Like emails with no open, it is best to give them a short preview or message of what your original email looks like.
  • Make variations or use them straight to your follow up emails: "Just in case you missed this", "Is there anything you need", or "Re:followed by your original subject line".

How Often Should You Send Follow-up Emails?

Another question is, "How long you should wait before following up?."

As a link building agency that sends hundreds of follow up emails every week, here are three of our recommendations when it comes to sending follow-up emails.

First follow up within 2-4 days (excluding weekends).

It is best to give an allowance to your link prospects to respond within a few days after your initial pitch. Also, it's a good idea to choose the best date and time for your follow up email sequence. 

There are a lot of reasons why people don't respond within 24 hours, especially busy link curators and publishers in your industry. Take off 2 to 4 days for that specific outreach campaign and send that time resource elsewhere.

Second follow-up 5-7 days after the first email

One follow-up email might not make the cut for receiving a response.

That's when you send another follow-up.

Send 1 to 2 follow up emails per pitch. Don't overdo.

Put yourself in the link prospect's shoes. If you were in that situation, you also don't want to receive three or more follow-ups with the same angles of the pitch.

After previous follow up emails, if you wish to send another follow-up email after 2 or 3 times, it is best to send another angle of pitch or find any pain point.

If a pitch to become a guest contributor for prospect's blog doesn't work, try pitching your resource guide or an interesting infographic you've recently published on your blog.

Lastly, do not send any follow-up cold email to link prospects you've never pitched in the first place. Follow-ups are only given to email campaigns with initial pitches - sounds very basic, yet mostly overlooked.

Follow Up Email Template

Here's our sample follow up email template for a broken link building pitch.

Re: found a problem on your {{Resources}} page

Hi {{Name}},

I'm a 3rd-year student from WGU Missouri and I am currently researching for my new project about people with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Just checking to see if you received my email regarding errors on one of your pages. If you have, my apologies!

I'm not sure if you're the one who handles the page. If not, would you be kind to let me know of the person in charge of that webpage? 


[ Name ]


Don't Lose The Link Prospect Without A Follow-up

You've made an effort to discover your link prospects. Be sure to invest more efforts in the outreach process, particularly in following them up after no response.

A good link prospect deserves a non-aggressive, value-adding follow up email. With a proper call to action in place, the follow-up campaign itself can increase your overall response rate (law of average). 

influencer outreach

Why and How Influencer Outreach Works

influencer outreach



Influencer outreach is a marketing discipline of identifying influencers in an industry, qualifying them based on relevance, clout, and engagement, and pursuing them by adding value to what they do.

It is a common practice in different outreach campaigns. The only difference is that you are reaching out to an influencer.

An influencer is an entity or a person with a massive reach (social, web or offline), who also serves your potential customers with content in their preferred platform.

When influencers endorse an offering from your site or a content asset you recently produce, you gain the reach from their existing fanbase. You also have the chance of absorbing their followers if they've found your content useful to them - which is the primary win for any brand that engages in influencer outreach.

Besides that, there are many other benefits a brand can get aside from the absorption of their current following.

Value of Association

Trust is a glue and attractive force that makes people want to buy from you. It's common sense that when a trusted person or entity endorses what you offer to the market, it's possible that potential customers trust you more.

When you do influencer outreach, you actually take the risk of associating yourself with the influencer you're targeting. That's the reason why it's critically important to qualify influencers whom you would consider in a partnership.

The moment they introduce any of your page or content piece, you're letting them associate with yourself.

If the influencer has a good reputation and doesn't simply endorse any site/content, you're putting yourself in a respected position.

Though the influencer has limits as to when and how they would co-promote your offering/content, the value of association is priceless as it gives more authority and trust to your brand.

Content Marketing Opportunities

You never know how far your content will be able to reach once it's been part of the influencers' circle of content.

You might have a chance to get opportunities not only from the direct exposure of the influencer, but potential ones its (influencer's) followers might provide for you.

Future collaboration can take place when that happens.

While many marketers discuss virality as a guaranteed mark of a successful campaign, there still isn't a perfect formula to make content go viral.

With influencer outreach, you're increasing the probability of your content being more visible, rather than just guaranteeing its virality (though that might happen as well). The truth is virality comes from higher visibility of your content in different places.

Influencer outreach does that for you. It helps you increase your content's visibility in your target audience.


There are many techniques you can find in several articles on this topic, but there are common initiatives you must be able to learn and execute well to effectively get results from this type of campaign.


This is common sense, but I find marketers jump into outreach very quick without even knowing why they are reaching out to influencers in the first place

What is your goal? What are you trying to achieve in your partnership with the influencer? Is it to get a mention in one of his blogs with a contextual link to your site/page? Do you want exposure in his non-text content (podcast or Youtube vlog)? Do you want to collaborate for a solid content piece that can dominate a keyphrase with high search volume?

Go deeper into asking the purpose of your campaign. Get a piece of paper and write it down.


This initiative is the first activity among all influencer outreach campaigns.

Next to knowing your goals, you discover who you are reaching out to. And this is the part where campaigns will vary.

There are tools to help you semi-automate the process of discovering influencers in your industry. Let's discuss a few of them.

A. Google Search

The basic methodology of discovering potential influencers for collaboration is by doing Google search.

Use any of these queries to find influencers in your space:

  • "top bloggers" INDUSTRY
  • "author" site:TOPINDUSTRYBLOG
  • "top influencers" INDUSTRY

You can also discover influencers who are contributors to a blog in your industry. See the search query I used below.

B. Ahrefs Content Explorer

Not only that you'll be able to find the most popular articles in your niche using Ahrefs' Content Explorer. You can also locate influencers who have tweeted those top content pieces.

ahrefs content explorer search

After searching for the topic of your choice, you will see a list of the top pages for that topic. For each content piece, there is an available Details button which you can click on to see more information about the article.

Click on "Who Tweeted" and there you'll have a list of influencers who have tweeted the article.

who tweeted ahrefs content explorer

You can filter the list based on the recency of their tweets, the language they speak of, and the number of following/followers. Export it into a file for later use.

C. Buzzsumo

One of the most useful web-based products for influencer discovery is Buzzsumo. Its Influencers feature allows proper filtering.

You can filter the list by the type of influencers that you want to engage with: bloggers, influencers, companies, journalists, or regular people. This refining keeps your campaign more targeted to a specific group of influencers.

buzzsumo influencers type

For local influencer outreach campaigns, you can filter influencers based on location.

Buzzsumo gives you options to sort the list of influencers from highest to lowest following klout, retweet or reply ratio and average tweets.

Maximize the use of those three tools: Google search, Ahrefs' Content Explorer, and Buzzsumo in order to make a solid list of influencers for your content marketing campaign.

After setting goals for your influencer outreach campaign and discovering suitable influencers, your next activity is to think of a strategy that makes the content more valuable for both parties - I call this valued partnership.


You will not send emails to your target influencers without thinking of the value that you'll provide for them. With several priorities they have, they only respond to emails that are worth their time.

One value you can provide to them is content that both of you will benefit from.

Here are some examples of effective content partnerships you can consider to your campaign:

A. Twitter Chats

Twitter isn't only a place for ranting complaints, but a good platform for learning conversations.

For example, there are brands in the digital marketing industry that regularly hosts Twitter chats where they invite special guests (agency owners and consultants) to join their discussions for topics they specialize in.

If you have a substantial number of followers in your Twitter account, you can use Twitter chats as a value proposition in your influencer outreach pitches.

Invite influencers to join your weekly discussions.


It's important to have a solid strategy for Twitter chats, and not just make it as an ordinary discussion. One way to maximize it is to prepare questions related to the influencer's expertise. This would allow a more fruitful discussion with the community.

B. Video and Blog Interviews

Creating more useful content than what others have previously produced is now a challenge for content publishers. With much data and information published every day, a content piece must have a non-generic message people would actually consume at their best capacity.

This problem leads to content fatigue. It happens where there are excessive production and data of content that makes people become less and less receptive to the message that the brand is trying to send to its audience.

The solution to this problem is to collaborate with influencers for a solid content piece both parties will benefit from.

By doing influencer outreach campaigns, you can hit two birds with one stone-- engage an influencer while at the same time provide unique content to your target audience.

Produce an interview-type of content where both parties are able to discuss different yet thematically-relevant subjects.

video content engagement

By doing so, both parties may absorb followers (subscribers) from each other.

C. Free Accounts

SaaS companies provide free accounts of their web-based products to publishers and influencers. While this should be an easy strategy for some, I've seen SaAs brands fail to get buy-ins from influencers to use and promote their products to their followers. One of the reasons why it happens is because they don't emphasize the value of their products.

The key in crafting your email pitches to influencers is to understand what makes your SaAs tool different from its contemporaries. There may be just 1 or 2 features that you need to highlight and to focus on your pitch.

D. Facebook ReShares 

Facebook is a great platform to absorb followers from different asset pages. If it's done well, you can gain a massive following in a short period of time.

One of the effective techniques I absorbed in the past years that worked really well in increasing the visibility of a brand page is collaborating with other pages that target your audience.

facebook reshares

By developing partnerships through content supported by both entities, you'll be benefiting from each other’s additional organic visibility and increase of influence and authority in your niche.


Content is definitely a valuable asset that you can offer to influencers. However, getting your pitches into their hands will require some more additional techniques.

These influencers are getting several emails every day, so you have to make sure you do the necessary methods to get in front of their inbox.

A. Start with small-scale interaction

The ideal scenario is to pursue A-list personalities, but reality-wise, if your brand isn't well known and isn't that authoritative, the best recommendation is to start with a small-scale set of influencers.

As you develop relationships with low-tier to mid-tier personalities, you'll realize they would open more doors of opportunities for you - connections with other levels of influencers or a higher tier network of friends they know.

That process allows you to step by step build your own networks of influencers. It surely takes time, but the methodology of small scale interaction gives you leverage over a wide variety of connections.

B. Do pre-outreach engagement

Learn to know more about your influencers. It's not enough to quickly pitch them with your products or content piece.

If they haven't seen you in their circles, they're likely to ignore your outreach email.

It's every basic, but one of the best ways to increase the effectiveness of your campaign is to engage with them before pitching.

Share what they've posted on Twitter - a retweet with a comment that actually reads the article they wrote.

A sign up to their webinar or email newsletter to get to know what they're up to - their interests and value they're looking for.

Craft your emails in a way that it attends to your prospect's interests and needs. If you can write emails from scratch without any template, this will help hone your influencer outreach skills.


You can't personalize your email pitches without identifying interests and needs you have to provide to your prospect influencers. Do due diligence to profile them intently so you can write emails that best gives value and not just wanting to get something from them.

how to promote your website

How to Promote Your Website Through Link Building

Website promotion is not rocket-science. You can learn it in little steps. By understanding how it works and training yourself to apply the process, it won't take you longer to see results from your activity.

Today's post will not cover all the methodologies and practices in website promotion — there are so many and it’s impossible to cover in one post.

I'll focus mainly on website promotion through link building.

how to promote your website

Link building, or link acquisition, can drive an immense exposure to your website, given that links bridge websites where visitors can pass through. It helps drive visitors from pages to pages.

When a website is seen on a page, it gains an initial traction, especially if the anchor text used was branded. It adds interest and provokes curiosity to the reader to visit the linking website.

Even in a linkless mention (that requires link reclamation), a visitor may be curious enough to do a quick Google search to know what that mentioned product or brand is.

In addition, link building does help in other forms of marketing initiatives such as:

  • Introducing new brand ambassadors to the online space who are not just representatives, but are also evangelists of brand's message, and of what the company contributes to the community.
  • Increasing online visibility through enhanced off-page SEO factors of the website, which can help disseminate more awareness about the brand.
  • Expanding new connections with web enthusiasts, influencers, and industry publishers
  • Building authority and expertise through well-crafted content externally published on other websites

These, among other benefits, are exposure initiatives being affected by link building.

To execute a better website promotion campaign, you must first understand concepts in order to customize your approach.

Every website has these three components of website promotion campaign: web assets/resources, means/channel and authority & branding.

Let's discuss each one of them in detail.



It's critically important to know your website's inventory. It is basically a collection of all assets you currently have as an entity. These include the following things:

  • Visual assets
  • Brand personalities
  • Internal data reports and industry surveys
  • Lists of past contacts with industry publishers
  • Ebooks and whitepapers
  • Blog articles and other internal informational content pieces

By knowing your existing resources, you can craft a strategy that utilizes most of them. In fact, you don't have to think of producing new content all the time, all you have to do is to look at your brand's inventory and see which asset is best suitable to use in a specific website promotion campaign.


This basically means a specific place wherein you'll utilize your brand assets for promotion. It could be a website, a network, an entity or a subset of digital marketing field you'd want to focus your efforts on.

In SEO, your approach for promoting your website involves technicalities (on-page SEO) and link building.

When you properly optimize your website in its on-page totality, the links you'll be building will benefit your website tremendously.

With regard to link building, your means of website promotion could either be any of the following:

  • Industry micro community website (fora)
  • Q&A website with a niche section
  • Social networks
  • Email or outreach platform (Gmail or Buzzstream)

You align your channel to your resources. If you have infographics, for example, you may choose Sub-reddit for images and outreach platform (for reaching out to publishers) as means of website promotion.


The popularity of a website makes a difference in the results of a site promotion campaign. In blogger outreach, for example, if a brand is well-established in the industry, conversion rate (links to be built from publications) is expected to increase as publishers are already familiar with the brand.

Branding (how an entity is differentiated from its competitors) provides a cutting edge in link acquisition. When submit a guest post to another blog and propose a topic with your own unique twist, you're more likely to get a good link placement than when sending a guest blogging pitch with a generic topic proposal.

How to Promote Your Website through Link Building


One of the easiest ways to get contextual links and receive initial exposure for your website is to start linking out to other valuable resources. By adding external links to your content to pages your audience will find informative, you are adding value to the web community.

Aside from including resources that will serve as references of your content, consider looking for recent blog posts and publications in your industry that have high likelihood of reciprocating links to your page.

Check out bloggers who regularly publish content assets who are linking out to topical content. Link out to them once in a while, as you find their pages fit to cite on your own content works.


It's easy to go straight to website promotion without having a check and balance on what your content is available on your website that adds value to the community. Given that without strong content that matches an audience, it's difficult to get backlinks.

Here are some actionable tips to get started with content creation:


When you do keyword research, you normally assess competition based on the keyword difficulty score a specific tool has calculated for you.

Whether you're using Ahrefs, Moz or SEMRush, every keyword has its own difficulty score .This shows that if you want to target a keyword with difficulty level of let's say 70 or above, it will require a higher domain authority website to compete for the top spots of search results.

Another way to assess competition is to use the intitle: advanced search operator along with the desired topic of your content. Search results will show you how many websites are targeting the same keyphrase with their indexed pages.

By using intitle search operator, you'll be too restrictive with your search results, leaving out articles that have other variations of your keyphrase. For instance, you have searched for intitle:"how to promote your website through seo", you won't see articles with titles, such as "Using SEO to Promote Your Website".

google search how to promote your website

In addition to intitle search operator in order to quickly assess competition, you can make variations to check articles that fit to the category. You may use search queries like "website promotion" "seo", or "seo website promotion".

The reason you want to assess competition is not to bloat your blog with another similar article, but rather to ensure that there would be either a unique angle to the topic, haven't published yet topic so you may be the first to create or to target the exact keyphrase through long-tail form approach.


If you're into local SEO, this technique can be a huge advantage for you.

Supposed that you want to produce more local sales pages, instead of going through the normal approach of using keyword research tools for keyphrases like "pet care", why not reverse engineer a popular review website's organic keywords and see if they populate keywords you could target or haven't targeted yet for sales pages.

yelp homepage

Start by entering into an SEO tool of choice (I'm using Ahrefs for this example). Select their organic keywords section and filter results based on your industry topics.

ahrefs yelp organic keywords

See for yourself which keyword is relevant to target for your local website's sales page.


There are a lot of image link building strategies in the search space today, but one that's not really maximized to its full extent is reverse engineering top visual submission websites.

Slideshare, for example, dominates most of the reports, data, and visual-driven keywords.


If you want to produce an infographic or create a visual-oriented content, you can plug in Slideshare or other top visual websites and see what keywords they're currently ranking.

ahrefs slideshare organic keywords

Filter these keywords based on your industry topics and assess which one you can target for your brand's visual content.


There is one powerful tactic that will help you consistently earn authority links over time and even get competitors backlinks, that is producing statistics content.

You can produce it internally if you have same data in place, or curate exclusive and premium reports from trusted statistic websites like Statistica.


Moreover, if you see a statistics reports brought up year over year, you can provide an entire archive of statistics on your website. Given that many people are searching it every year, there's a definite value community is giving to such kind of report. In that sense, it's a huge advantage you can get if you have produced an entire archive of statistics.

google statistics report

archive of statistics


Reddit is a good place to develop your audience. It has only been misunderstood these days by some marketers banned because of their manipulative tactics to get more visibility in their subreddit of choice. But if you do things properly, you can get repetitive traffic from the website by submitting or putting out content.

One way to reverse engineer success in Reddit is to use Buzzsumo. Buzzsumo has an incredible feature of giving you Reddit engagements similar to the usual number of social shares (Facebook, Twitter) you see in every URL.

reddit engagements buzzsumo

By looking at Reddit engagements, you can assess if the topic of your choice has a potential to get massive traction in its specified Reddit.

It's a lazy behavior to make an assessment of the traction a topic based on the overall total score from social shares and other websites' engagements. Given that each network or site has its own set of audience (with its own culture of engagement, interest and style), it would be reasonable to stick on looking at one engagement score, in this case, Reddit engagements alone.

If you can find a topic with good potential engagement on Reddit, you can craft a content that is suitable only for a sub-reddit.

One way to get the most out of your Reddit initiative is to submit content's URL to a sub-reddit during optimal times. You can use a tool like Later for Reddit to schedule your post at your desired day and time.


One way to promote your website is to make use of your professional organizations your company or entity has been a partner of.

There are Chambers of Commerce, industry professional organizations,and other similar sites you  can contact to for further promotion of your brand.

There are entities that will require recurring payment, some would love just a donation in exchange for a feature on a page or on a magazine or exhibit event.

Whatever it is, make sure you find them first and reach out to them whenever you see them fit to your brand.

Start your link prospecting process by using any of these search queries:

  • “KEYWORD” Business Association
  • “KEYWORD” Directory or Business Association “CITY”
  • “KEYWORD” Chamber of Commerce
  • “POSTAL CODE/ZIP CODE” Chamber of Commerce
  • “POSTAL CODE/ZIP CODE” Directory
  • “INDUSTRY” association “STATE/PROVINCE”
  • national “INDUSTRY” association

You can check out this guide for more search queries targeting professional organizations.


Without any cost, every person can spend their time engaging the community. When I started my first blog, Digital Philippines (now redirected to SharpRocket link building blog), one of the things that I regularly did is to look for specific channels, networks and websites I could provide value by asking and answering questions.

quora stats

Most of the time, people think that you have to be an expert before you start going outside of your blog and looking for places for engagement. It's not the way industry practitioners work today. In fact, you'll find most of them just asking questions to one another, creating an Ask Me Anything section and then roll over conversations.

Here are some places where you can start promoting your website through engagement:

  • Industry twitter chats
  • Webinars
  • Quora
  • Community Blogs

It is important to monitor your performance in engaging the community and check which inputs will you give the maximum outputs in return.

One good approach is to choose specific questions on Quora that got traction already in the past and still getting more views given they're currently ranking for some informational keywords. If more people are searching for the question and has landed on Quora question page, your answer may potentially get more exposure (adding up if your answer is marked as top answer).

quora ahrefs


There are hundreds of ways to promote your website that I haven't covered here. But if you would like to take little steps in website promotion, start implementing tactics above and see if they worked for you.

Discover more approaches to get traction for your website by reading SEO and link building blogs, guides, and ebooks. Practice them as soon as ponder them to be of useful to you. There's no way you can say it works if you haven't executed it properly.

gmail extensions

10 Gmail Extensions for Email Outreach and Link Building

Gmail has been widely used as a common outreach platform for marketers reaching out to webmasters, publishers, and other link partners. In hopes for any action from the end-user (i.e. a link or social share), marketers send initial pitches and engages respondents until the desired action is made.

gmail extensions

Today, we'll cover 10 Gmail extensions that will allow you to speed up some email outreach processes for link acquisition and other content promotion initiatives.


1. Mailtrack. io

Cost: From Free to $4.99 per month subscription ($2.49 per year - a huge discount if you subscribed annually)

Useful for: Email tracking

mailtrack io email tracking tool allows you to check if your emails were sent and opened by recipients. You can even see how many times and in what particular hours your emails were opened by clicking the Mailtrack. io section of the email.

mailtrack tracking check lines

Knowing how your emails were treated will help you then, take appropriate actions.

For example, if your email hasn't been opened for days and weeks, it is unwise to send a follow-up email when the original one was not read yet. You may, in this particular instance, try to look for another contact person and his or her email address from the same page or website. Reach out and ask if he or she can direct your message to your desired contact. also notifies you in real-time when you are logged into your Gmail account.

If you are subscribing as a Pro user, you will have access to its additional features such as click tracking (knowing when your recipients click on the links in your emails), and reminders (receiving email notifications if your emails have not been read after 24 hours). Both of these features help you better monitor your outreach accounts.

2. Grammarly

Cost: From Free to Premium Accounts ($29.95/month or $11.66/month for annual subscription)

Useful for: Email grammar check


Every email needs to be checked for any grammatical errors, tone, style, messaging and any other factors that makes them successfully opened, read and responded to.

By integrating Grammarly to your Gmail account, you will quickly notice if the content of your email needs grammar improvement. You can correct any errors as quickly as possible and send a beautifully touched pitch to your potential link partner.

You will avoid the painful mistakes of not receiving a positive response just because one word or phrase confuses the entire message of your email.

Of course, there are words or phrases in certain lingos that should be added to make your email relevant to its end user. In that case, simply ignore red underlines of Grammarly.

3. Unroll. me

Cost: Free

Useful for: Email inbox cleaning

There are websites wherein the only way to contact them is through their contact forms. If you're in a hurry filling out those forms, you may have overlooked the default check box option for email subscription updates (normally located at the bottom of the contact form).

Several unnecessary (promotional) email updates like that, from different sites will now clutter your Gmail inbox (in which the inbox is supposedly created for linker outreach purposes only).

unroll me unsubscription gmail extension tool helps you easily clean your inbox by unsubscribing from emails you don't want to see - these primarily include email updates from websites you reach out via their contact forms. Unless you are really interested in their updates, it is best to delete them to focus you more of outreach emails you have to reply to.

4. Gorgias Templates

Cost: Free

Useful for: Initial pitch, Email conversations

If you ever wonder how you can scale your outreach with ease, then you probably need Gorgias Templates.

By integrating this extension to your Gmail account, it allows you to quickly add an email template (or semi-outreach template) straight to your email. It is quite similar to Gmail's Canned Response but offers lesser friction by choosing and using any of these two methods.

First, you can click on the G button and the appropriate template for your email. The email template will be generated automatically.gorgias templates

Second, you can type in the shortcut text and click TAB in your keyboard to insert templates quickly.

You don't have to copy and paste your email templates when you use Gorgias Templates. With a few clicks and shortcut tabs, you'll be able to send hundreds of emails within hours. So if you are ever looking for high efficiency in outreach, then this Gmail extension should be your first choice.

5. Discoverly

Cost: Free

Useful for: Customizing email pitches

Knowing about your recipient's interests, needs and/or wants is vital in customizing your email pitch. The simplest way to do it is to use Google to research and to collect these details, but doing so for hundreds of your contacts will definitely consume a huge chunk of your time.

Discoverly, a Gmail extension, can be your alternative tool to quickly view your potential link partner's details and go quickly to their social profiles - if you want to.

You don't have to switch your tabs to and from your Gmail platform, all you have to do is to click on your contact's email address and a Discoverly section will pop-up in a second.

6. Right Inbox

Cost: From Free to monthly subscription of $7.95/month ($5.95/month for an annual subscription)

Useful for: Customizing email pitches

Gmail adds another feature in their platform that tells you if an email hasn't received a response from your end (or needs a follow-up).

That's an interesting Gmail feature now, if you ask me. But still, I am yet to come across a feature on their tool that allows you to schedule emails at a specific day and time.

recurring right inbox

RightInbox, a freemium tool offers you the ability to schedule your emails at your preferred day and time. Not only that, if you want to get reminders from recurring emails (not necessarily the ones that need follow-up), but emails you should respond to within the day, that in itself helps you organize your email communications. 

7. Inbox When Ready

Cost: From Free (14 days trial) to $4/month (Pro) and $30/month (Team)

Useful for: Focus on email conversations

Distractions may come your way when you're doing outreach. These distractions include promotional newsletters from websites you've subscribed to unintentionally, i.e. default check on boxes on websites' contact forms, alert notifications of read emails from another Gmail extension or even, failed messages.

If you're not prepared for this, you may lose your focus instantly and could totally affect your deep work activities (discussion with your content development team, brainstorming on new linkable ideas, and so on).

Inbox When Ready solves that problem of losing your focus by hiding your inbox by default.

inbox when ready

You can even define a schedule when will your inbox be locked out so you can batch processing of your emails at optimal times. Aside from scheduling inbox lockout, Inbox When Ready also shows you how much total time you want to spend on organizing your email communications.

In addition to features, you can hide category tab notifications that may distract you when replying to potential link targets. Instead of you opening or even reading promotional emails, you can disable them so you can focus on your Gmail's primary inbox.

8. Checker Plus for Gmail

Cost: Free

Useful for: Initial pitching, Email conversations

checker plus for gmail

Ever had a difficult time switching to different Gmail accounts which serve different purposes or are used for different outreach personas?

The hassle of signing out in current Gmail account and signing in to another one could be solved by installing Checker Plus for Gmail.

This Gmail extension allows you to easily manage multiple accounts. You can even set which account you want to pop-up notifications on your browser, and even read or delete emails without opening Gmail.

Checker Plus for Gmail is a very effective tool in ensuring your Gmail outreach accounts are properly managed. It's definitely a must-try if you have several outreach personal accounts.

9. Streak

Cost: From Free to $49/month (Professional) and $99/month (Enterprise)

Useful for: Initial pitching, Email conversations

One differentiator of Streak from other similar Gmail inbox management extensions is its ability to organize communication flow. Meaning, you can create different categories of your outreach flow by labeling which emails aren't interested with your email pitch, emails that are likely to give you a link or emails that need follow-up sooner.

Streak also makes easy to share emails across team without the need to forward or even your cc team members.

If you prefer customer relationship management or CRM-like structure Gmail extension, Streak fits your choice.

10. KeyRocket

Cost: Free

Useful for: Initial pitching, Email conversations

keyrocket gmail shortcuts

Shortcuts in any form or area makes you more efficient than ever.

But the only reason why we don't maximize them to some extent is we don't really know them.

There's a Gmail extension tool that will keep you and me semi-memorized keyboard shortcuts specifically on Gmail — that is, KeyRocket.

KeyRocket's shortcuts come just at the right time when you need it. For example, if I need to go to my inbox, what I need to press on my keyboard is G then I.

KeyRocket tracks your movements and suggest appropriate shortcuts to help you get things done faster. It's like an assistant working beside with you that provides quick and helpful tips and tricks.

There you go, these are 10 Gmail Extensions that I've found to be incredibly valuable in managing your Gmail outreach accounts. Try one, two, or five of these tools and let me know in the comments section how they've helped you in your outreach efforts.

For Further Reading:

Need help with your outreach campaigns? Check out our link building services here.


Strategy for Follow-Up Emails to Link Prospects

In this blog, I've covered a lot of topics pertaining to outreach, from pitching bloggers, finding contacts' email addresses to making tweaks to certain outreach facets to increase response rates.

But one that I haven't discussed yet is on the subject of follow-ups.


There are four realities that I can base from my experiences about the importance of sending follow-up emails.

First, follow-up emails may remind non-respondent contacts about what they've missed in the initial pitches you've sent them. They may read the entire message, but have forgotten to respond, unless they've had follow-up tools like and Boomerang to remind them to reply.

In reality, not all links you'll be building every month will be generated from your initial pitches. At most and you should base it from your own testing, you'll find that a huge percentage of your links may come from your follow-up emails. This speaks of the second important reason of such activity.

Failure to follow-up initial non-respondents is a missed opportunity to get the desired links.

Lastly, follow-up emails may speak of your persistence of sending value-driven messages to your contacts. However, doing so aggressively may affect how your site/brand may be perceived to be offering value whether in a form of content submission, collaboration or any potential brand equity.

There are a few points I have to make in this post and may spark some ideas to you to A/B test and see which option may work for you.


1. New email with the original message or email sent as a reply to the initial pitch

There isn't any better email practice between these two options. One has more advantages than the other, and vice versa.

When you send new emails with the original message, you may recoup what has been an error in the first email. Strictly check why it hasn't been sent in the first place - it may be an erroneous input from your end - such that, a wrong email address. Receiving a bounced email for the second time is a clue of that.

mail delivery failed message

Sending new emails can also give you the luxury of trying another email subject line that may at this time, capture the eye of the recipient and can get your email be opened.

Follow-up emails sent as a reply to the initial pitch can best work if the original message has been opened and read, given that it'll also have a chance to be opened and read as well.

One drawback from that is that the recipient might have to click on … to see the previous message, which may add friction to the conversation.

continue dots email

Both of the options: new email with the original message and email sent as a reply to the initial pitch may work in different circumstances. There are many variables that may come into play for follow-ups, but can be an interesting item to A/B test against to see which option is significantly more effective than the other.

2. Channel non-respondents with social accounts

In general, there are three ways on how to approach outreach with social accounts like Twitter.

First, ask for the contact's personal/direct email address. It'd be easy to engage in conversations when email is valid and is directly accessible by your contact. This will help avoid back-and-forth emails as to who you should reach out to for a certain matter - inclusion of a link request on one of their pages, for example.

Twitter-outreachI've covered this outreach technique in my post about building contextual links - you may want to check that out.

Second is to directly pitch your contact using Twitter after several outreach attempts with no replies. Unlike the first approach where you'll get the contact's email address and channel it back to your email conversations for engagement, what you'll need here is basically identifying the Twitter profile and pitching your message straight.

initial pitch through Twitter

The third approach requires a considerable amount of time to get some returns. If you have sourced your contact from Twitter, either you've seen him being recommended as a top contributor in your niche or have siphoned him from a public Twitter list of bloggers or influencers.

Let your contacts know where you've found them by using lines such as, "I saw you as a recommended blogger follow on Twitter and wanted to follow" instead of "I'd like to make a follow-up" - which is useless to say.

3. Following up on engaged link prospects

There's a natural tendency to follow-up link prospects when they haven't responded yet, or just awaiting for a confirmation of a link acquired or a content being submitted for review.

If you're reaching out to people who've previously linked to similar content pieces (e.g. resource page curators), the basic recommendation is to not give them any instructions, since they're natural linkers. In the first place, they usually know what to do next - either to link or share your content, which really depends on how useful your content is to them or to their audience.

So, in what scenarios would you send a follow-up email to an engaged link prospect?

For guest contribution, a follow-up email to an editor who've been reviewing your content for a while but haven't respond yet is worth considering, for reason that they may have almost forgotten to review your content or they made it into final draft, but haven't notified you.

Just make sure to keep your follow-up email short and to-the-point. No need to overload them with information you've already  given them; just give them a reminder and get the conversation going again.

There is no particular set of rules here, but as you go through conversations, you'll be able to find the right timing to follow-up link prospects and to identify which contact person needs follow-up or not.

Need help with your outreach campaigns? Check out our link building services here.

email outreach

Six Small Differences You Can Make to Your Email Outreach

Outreach is an effective way to form relationships with people who haven't known/seen your brand, and are likely be interested to get more eyeballs to your content - either through contextual linking or social sharing.

It's easy to look up to successful case studies in acquiring links and getting more traffic through email outreach. The step-by-step process are mostly indicated, but those little changes one can make to turn a mediocre outreach email into a solid placement of link are sometimes ignored.

email outreach

So, let's take a look at some details that will improve the probability of getting the links you desire.


Whether you've done large-scale campaigns or a one-time off outreach campaign, you always come across bounced emails.

These are email addresses that are either non-existent or maybe the receiving email server is temporarily unavailable, overloaded, or it couldn't be found.

In general, you don't have the control over these bounced emails - but you can avoid receiving them by doing either of these two things:

  • Check the validity of the email upfront.
  • Find another email address that can be your second contact in case the first one bounces.

For the first solution, there are web-based tools that can aid you with validating emails -, and

Doing so to each of your hundreds or thousands of emails can consume much of your time.

Instead, you can use Email Verification Tool to scale validation of email addresses. This Google Sheet add-on below is easy to setup and automatically checks the email deliverability of emails.

email verification tool

deliverability email validation tool

When emails are undeliverable, there are two options you can choose from:

  • Find other ways to connect to your outreach prospect either through Twitter or Linkedin.
  • Look for the next available contact person (editor, librarian, webmaster, etc..)

By scaling emails' validity upfront, it'll help you go for the next methods to connect to your link prospect. Not doing so is a waste of link opportunity you've developed for one specific website.


When you're sending outreach emails, chances are the people you're reaching out to aren't the first-hand persons who handles the desired page you're trying to acquire a link from.

For those who know which person or department handles that single page and have been kind to send you the right contact person and his/her email address, you compose a new email, forward your original message, and send it to the new contact person.

That may not be always the case. Sometimes the thread of conversation gets longer until you found out he is not the right person to connect with for your link request pitch.

That said, one tip for you to add changes to your initial email is to ask who is the right person to contact to.

email who to contact person

You'll be surprised because they can helpfully give you the exact name along with his/her email address.

No back and forth emails. Less waste of time you can instead spend talking to the right outreach person.


It's easy to copy and paste email outreach templates. But when you get replies like, "which one?" or "what are you referring to?,” it's another lazy approach to send another canned response to get the link immediately (and hopefully proceed to another email conversation).

Without your contact person getting the right understanding of your outreach email, it'll be difficult for him to take any actions on your part.

One principle to consider is to always give the right context in your emails.

For example, if you've had the exact target page, it'll be better to include the Page Title of the resource page in your first email - providing your outreach prospect with the right context of your pitch.

context in emails

Relevance is crucially important in outreach. But when context is misunderstood and/or not shown in pitches, it'd likely reduce your outreach placement rate.


Not all outreach campaigns succeed. For certain reasons, the link placements for target sites are not achieved - which lowers the conversion rate of the overall campaign.

Link building, in reality, is a hit or miss activity. Those misses particularly in outreach should be identified in order to make necessary steps, either to turn those rejections into link placements or better off use those rejections to make adjustments in one area of a link development campaign.

I'm a big fan of Stephen Covey's principle of "Circle of Concern" and "Circle of Control".

Basically, it shows two circles of choices that covers all the things in our life over which can just be concerned about or we can control of. These circles are called, "circle of concern" and "circle of control".

circle of concern circle of control

Applying that to outreach, we'll be able to identify which rejections in emails we have control over (make adjustments if we can) or simply a concern (have to move on quickly). 

Here are some examples of rejections in outreach and guess which ones you have control over —make adjustments with your content/outreach/prospecting) or a concern that can be considered as a loss or reality of the campaign.

  1. The webmaster you're contacting is planning a website redesign (and may temporarily not be able to add any new external links).
  2. The daily schedule of the webmaster/link curator is tight and couldn't do you a favor of adding the link.
  3. The content being pitched to is topically irrelevant to the target page/website.
  4. The page where content is hosted can't be accessed or is displayed as error.

There are a lot more examples I haven't included here, but the point of bringing this up is to track rejections that are only significant for changes or improvements in your content - through developing its format, user experience and other factors that can affect users' trust. There may possibly be some necessary adjustments in your email's subject line and email copy used overall, which can hugely impact how your message will be perceived by the webmaster.


Giving descriptions that your content is "amazing," "comprehensive," "ultimate," or "complete" (even if it's not) while not showing why it can be described as such takes more seconds of reading your email than it actually should've provided value to your contact person.

Here are some tips to intelligently describe your content in email pitches:

  • Let them know of the format of your content piece. While this can be added straight to the subject line, it'll be more emphasized if it's repeated on the email body.
  • Give a one or two-liner points of the utility and comprehensiveness of your content, particularly if you're targeting links pages where they've linked to similar pieces.
  • Show actual social proof of the content - whose influencers and/or major local/niche media sites the contact person may be familiar with that have linked to or mentioned your content asset.

Value the time your contact person will spend in reading your email. By giving him enough reason to check out your content, you'll have more chances of acquiring editorial links from his publication.


Sending follow-up emails to non-respondent prospects is one fundamental activity in outreach. There are other reasons why it is a must-do besides getting a response from someone who haven't read it.

  1. Taking another chance with a non-respondent contact person who've read and seen the value of your pitch but haven't taken any action yet (the follow-up email can re-confirm the decision and push the action further).
  2. Knowing the best times and seasons to connect again for people saying "can you get back to me during summer or start of the school year?". A follow-up email gives you a clue of their best moments to reach out to (make sure you take a note of this in your spreadsheet).
  3. Organize fairly your email contacts by changing relationship stages from In Communication to Not Interested those who are not really interested in your pitch - which saves a lot of your time sending them another email either from the same website/project or of another one.

There are two ways to approach follow-ups: sweet and short follow-up email or a follow-up that tells three options that they can choose from.

three options follow up email

Don't be lazy in sending follow-ups given there may be missed link opportunities you should've probably get if you skip on them.

One recommended practice is to create your own email experiments for your initial and follow-up email templates: A/B testing subject lines, email body, email sender and any email fragments that are worth testing.

It is best to both have a bandwidth to do what already works (email outreach best practices) and have enough left for trial and errors in email experiments.

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