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The Best Link Request Email Yet

Posted by Michael D Jensen on June 15th, 2007

Best Link Request Email Yet

Anyone who has ever done link building knows there is a lot that goes into link building. One of the most challenging parts is getting your request noticed from the site owner that you want a link from. We’ve all received the standard, run of the mill request that we just delete instantly. But today I got a good one, and it almost made me give out a link (almost).

(name withheld) Here,

We recently started our blog here (site address hyperlink) and linked to your website hoping you would notice us and maybe link back. To be honest we don’t know what the (expletive) we are doing and are desperate (profanity) help us we arn’t even ranking for anything in msn , yahoo or google and need your help. And link would be of great help thanks again, (name withheld).

Sincerely,

(name withheld) CEO
(company name withheld)
(company address withheld)

The email is short and to the point and it has a very personable tone (felt hand written). The subject line was “HI”, which gives it zero points, but it’s better than “Link to our site!” which would automatically make me hit delete without reading it. The email definitely caught my attention and captured me for just enough time to pay attention to what he was saying. I don’t swear (nor do I like hearing or reading it) so the expletive and profanity was a turn off. His spelling and grammar could use some help, but in some ways that helped the tone be more personable. He ends with asking for a link and gives some confidence that he is a real person by giving the company name and address. Obviously if you had something to give (like $ or a decent link) in return you would end with that.

So now to summarize the elements to a good link request email:

1) Short and direct
2) Personable
3) Subject line to not scare away
4) Capture attention by being different
5) Don’t swear (ever, really :) )
6) Ask for what you want (and offer something in return if you can)
7) Be somewhat specific, such as with a URL and a keyword, for the link
7) Give some confidence you’re real (name, address)

Some other great posts on the topic of link requests and link building:

Link Building and Emails – Humans do it Better. also by Jim Boykin (link expert)
131 (Legitimate) Link Building Strategies (SearchEngineWatch.com)
How Not to Build Links by Neil Patel
Link Building Guide by Jim Westergren

7 comments Visited 10977 times June 15th, 2007 Michael D Jensen

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  • Entry Filed under: SEO

    7 Comments Add your own

    • 1. Cornwall SEO  |  June 15th, 2007 at 1:15 am

      I got the same email this morning, I clicked through. What made was the swearing, as it makes it sound more real.

      A quick look at the site confirmed my fears. It was kinda funny, an seo company using frames.

      I bet they have had success, it will be interesting to monitor who links to them.

    • 2. Tejvan - net writing  |  June 15th, 2007 at 1:24 am

      Be careful of people offering a recipricol link from an non indexed page. If you can’t find it via the home page, be a little suspicious.

    • 3. WeaselyOne  |  June 15th, 2007 at 10:38 am

      I agree with Cornwall SEO that there are people who would be more likely to link to them because of the profanity. I wouldn’t ever send a requiest like that for my own site/company but I bet it offers them some fascinating data on how that type of link request compares to a more traditional approach.

    • 4. Patrick Schaber  |  June 15th, 2007 at 12:02 pm

      Michael,
      I’m always amazed at some of the emails I get regarding links. It’s usually the people that open up a nice email conversation with me and never ask for a link that I consider linking to.

      -Pat

    • 5. Billy  |  June 17th, 2007 at 8:31 pm

      thats one funny email request. haven’t encounter one of these emails yet, but will keep it in mind to simply hit the delete button when it comes up.

    • 6. Thomas Skinner  |  October 31st, 2007 at 5:50 pm

      Thank you for the information. I find link building to be the most difficult part of SEO. It is both difficult to get people to respond to email requests for links, and I’m also skeptical about linking to sites that send requests to me.

      Two questions:

      1. Does anyone have any suggestions for tools that can help to quickly and accurately evaluate a requesting site? I don’t want to have my clients link to sites that could hurt them later.

      2. Does anyone have any experience with calling site owners by phone (when the phone number is available) to request links? This sounds unorthodox, but I’m wondering if this will help establish credibility with the site you are requesting the link from and show them you are serious, a real person, etc..

    • 7. amelia  |  February 14th, 2008 at 10:34 pm

      this is a great source of making email request more appropriate :)

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