Guest blog post outreach, if done right, is hands down one of the most powerful link building techniques you will ever come across. Not only are most guest blog post links highly contextual, they also come from real websites with actual traffic which is something Google has added more and more value to in the last few years.
I have discovered a few things that will help you increase your reply rates and yield more success through your outreach campaigns. Personally I have gone from a 6-7% reply rate, all the way up to 28%, literally one in four emails I actually get a useful reply.
This is a 400% increase in success through making a few small changes, and in this article I am going to let you in on some of these things I have discovered through my own extensive outreach campaigns.
Guest blog post outreach tips
Now the first tip is that you should always use a branded email over a generic email. Yes, those old gmail, outlook and Yahoo emails and now something to avoid. I tried an experiment by sending 500 emails out from a Gmail address, and another 400 emails from a branded email (literally a domain I registered for the experiment) and the results were pretty clear.
The reply rate increased by more than 100% when I was using the branded email address. Obviously, the issue with using generic emails is that they are often associated with personal emailing and even spam. So, if we’re going to talk to a business obviously we want to meet them in the eyes of another business, therefore it is far better to use a business email address. This also shows that you’re serious about your proposal and that more effort went into it.
Second tip for your outreach is you want to use a well-crafted email signature. So, in the same study I just mentioned, I did another test where I sent out yet another 400 emails from a branded email using an email signature, and once again the results improved. The reply rate went up significantly when I used an email signature.
It really helps the receiver identify who’s contacting them and ultimately it just invites a connection.To be honest, it is very nice to get a face on the person who is talking to you. This adds credibility and the fact that you include your website address and other information really helps you see who you’re actually talking to.
Now I’ve just compiled a few things that a signature should definitely contain. Firstly, you need to have your full name, then we have your job title and then we have contact information. The more you can provide here, the better. This could be your phone number, maybe even your postal address and then you ideally want to show a picture, either of you or a company logo.
I would highly recommend you use a picture of yourself, just to get your face out there. It’s nice to become familiar with people’s faces. Finally, one of the most important points… you want to add your social media. LinkedIn is crucial here, since it’s a b2b platform, however also feel free to add your Twitter and Facebook or whatever you deem relevant.
It seems this next point is something that a lot of people neglect when doing guest blog post outreach, however you want to get personal by using the recipients name. You really want to use their first name, for example, Hello Sarah etc etc.
It is built into our DNA to focus our attention on our own name, so when we hear our own name or we read it, we instantly focus on it. It also goes to show that you’ve done your homework and you actually know who you’re contacting, rather than just some generic salutation, like hello sir/madam. This is something you get all the time and you instantly just see it as spam, because the sender obviously doesn’t know who we are talking to.
So it is very important to always use their name if possible. In some cases, you won’t be able to uncover the person’s name and then you’ll just have to settle for the business name. However the priority must always be the person’s name and second priority can be the business name.
Now my next point is that you want to keep your outreach email short and sweet. I have had far more success with sharp and to-the-point emails, rather than some of these almost novel length emails that some people might send out.
Think about it this way. The webmaster you are contacting if she has a nice website, and a Write for Us page, most likely gets dozens of guest blog post outreach emails every week, and they’re all just like yours. No doubt, this isn’t the most important thing she has to do, replying to outreach emails, so you’ll only have her attention for so long. You better make your 5 seconds of fame count.
A good rule of thumb is that you should propose your offer by the second or third sentence, and you want to keep the total length of your email at 7 sentences or less. This is almost an art. The more information you can convey in a few short, precise sentences, the better.
You’ll probably have to tweak things and try a few things out until you get it right, however once you do you’re going to see a whole lot of improvement in the success percentage of your guest blog post outreach.
Now this next step is really, really important. You want to let them know what’s in it for them. When you get down to the core of it all, it’s all business, so you have to offer something in return. You have to bring value to the table. You can’t expect that they will just give you a free guest blog post without you giving them anything in return.
There’s a wide variety of things you could offer, you can use something simple like money, it’s pretty much the pure product of business success. This is something that a lot of people will be interested in and something that will yield to a lot of success, however obviously some link building campaigns are intended to be free and I understand that.
That’s completely fine and you can easily do that with guest blog post outreach as well, however then you just have to find something else that you can offer. It all comes down to what you are good. Here are a few things that could spike your thought process.
The first thing would be fantastic content, let’s say you are an incredible writer and you’ve had articles published on some of the major magazines and so on. You can use those as evidence to back your claim that you are a fantastic writer because I can assure you that 80% of the guys coming with these outreach emails will say I will write some great content for you, however at the end of the day you have to back it up by some examples that will really blow away the recipient.
Let’s say you could link to a business insider article that you’ve written. This would be something that’s going to spike the interests of the recipient, and clearly shows you have value. Another thing could be SEO services or site optimisation. Say you are contacting some website, you do a page speed check and you see that actually their loading speed is pretty slow.
You could offer to optimise the website for them or do an on-page audit of the things they should optimise on the website. This is another type of value that would probably be very useful for a guy who isn’t too much into this stuff.
Another offer could be a reciprocal link, like a link exchange. You link to me and I will link to you. It is really crucial that you make it plain obvious what you’re offering here. Your value to offer should be super clear in your guest blog post outreach, so there’s no questions about what they are getting from you.