Since clambr’s last blog post went a little viral - 55 SEO Experts Reveal 3 Favourite Link Building Tools, I’ve been on a 1 and 1/2 week backlink building quest to solidify the post’s current position on Google.com for “link building tools”.
After not having much luck with pure text based outreach emails I decided to get a little creative and try using images instead!
Since we live in an image driven world and know that images are vital for creating engaging blog posts I thought outreach emails could benefit from a little image love too.
I know you’re probably thinking I’m crazy for suggesting this, because image heavy emails will likely either go straight to the spam folder, won’t show up or people will get pissed at waiting for the email to load and click delete. Thing is, you never know until you try!
A Personal Touch
Since deciding to give images a shot I went one step further and personalized an image for each person I reached out to in the hope that it might induce the warm fuzzy feeling you get when opening a funny personailzed e-card on your Birthday
In my previous job I used to get my colleague – Sean’s attention on QQ (the Chinese equivalent of MSN messenger) by sending him this:
So in honour of the office banter I used to enjoy with Sean I chose this image to use as the bread and butter of my image outreach campaign.
I’m no Photoshop expert but it only took me a couple of hours to personalize 130 of these images with the blogger’s first name (or website name if I couldn’t find their name):
You may argue that this is not worth the time but as it happens out of the dozens of different emails I’ve sent out so far it was an image rich email that landed me my first link
I’ll post the results of my first email outreach campaign in a future update once I have some measurable data to share!
In the meantime, here’s a copy of the exact email outreach template that landed me my first link:
I was browsing Website Name and I noticed you have a…
…on this page: http://www.websitename.com/page and it’s this link, https://support.google.com/webmasters/topic/8458 that’s broken.
If you’d like to replace the broken link with something Website Name’s audience might like, I recently asked these experts…
…this question: “if you could only use 3 SEO tools for link building which 3 would you choose?”
They answered and the results are here: http://www.clambr.com/link-building-tools/
May be worth adding to your article, maybe not hehe!
Either way I’m happy to get in contact with you and hope you liked the Totoros shouting SEAN!!! If the images didn’t display then you’re probably wondering what on earth I’m talking about hehe
All the best,
A few emails later I finally secured a link on a PR2 page. Yay!
And here’s the link nicely recorded for future tracking on BuzzStream:
Far from P, P, Perfect
Although the email above landed me a link it is far from perfect.
Matt Gratt wrote an excellent post about the importance of the three P’s: email should be personalized, positioned and persuasive.
Here’s how I should utilize the three P’s to give this “broken link” email a better chance for the future:
Personalize: In the first sentence I should talk all about the blogger – e.g. their points of view, a viral post they wrote, or a hilarious quote of theirs.
Position: Explain why the link would fit in well with the page I’m suggesting to put it on and how it will benefit the blogger’s audience
Persuade: Back up my link’s value by dropping the name of an authoritative site it was mentioned on, e.g. “the post got a nice mention on Search Engine Land - http://searchengineland.com/searchcap-the-day-in-search-july-25-2013-167964”
Indeed, it’s difficult to cram all this into one email without making it too long and breaking the golden rule of keeping email as short as possible.
You can try all sorts of techniques to see which works for you. It’s arguably better to not even mention your link in the first email and just compliment the blogger and try to strike up a conversation.
It all depends on who you’re reaching out to. If it’s someone very important, Mike King recommends you never ask for anything in the first email and make your first priority establishing a relationship.
I’ve still got a lot to learn and will try various different techniques until I find a handful that work best.
Other ways to get Creative
Apart from images there are plenty of other ways to get creative with your email outreach. I’ve only just begun experimenting but Mike King, who’s been doing this a lot longer than me, has written some real “out of the box” tips for getting creative with your email outreach, including video! I recommend you check this gem of his out.
I’m pumped for trying video soon, but since this first email outreach session has consumed so much of my time this past week and a half I’m itching to get back to doing what I like doing most – blogging!!!
Email outreach is a long and painful process, but mixing it up and being creative can turn an arduous task into a lot of fun! If you’re struggling to find motivation for link building, this is where I got some of my motivation from and for top tips on how to find influencers who already want to share and link to your content click here.
Remember, even to just land one link a day is awesome! It all adds up!
What creative methods have you experimented with for email outreach?