Links or backlinks are the basis of the Internet. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your point of view), they are still a differentiating factor in SEO, even in 2021.
There are many ways to create links, some better than others.
Today we will see in Blogger3cero one that works very well, provided you know how to apply it and that is not usually talked about too much: if you are a consultant or nichero it interests you.
Table of contents of the articles
- 1 Email marketing to strengthen relationship building
- 2 Tools used for the study
- 2.1 1. Google Sheets
- 2.2 2. SEO Surfer
- 2.3 3. Hunter.io
- 2.4 4. Snov.io
- 2.5 5. Gmail
- 2.6 6. Open multiple URLs (Chrome extension)
- 3 Methodology for the implementation of the campaign
- 3.1 1. Strategy
- 3.2 2. CSV assembly
- 4 Models used
- 5 Email automation
- 6 Results of the campaign
- 6.1 Campaign 1 and Campaign 2
- 6.2 Campaign 3 and following
- 6.3 Does this strategy also work for contacting companies in English?
- 6.4 What is the authority of the links obtained?
- 6.5 Are follow-up emails helpful or is one enough?
- 7 Findings from the linkage study
Hey, what's up, reader!
We are back to talking about link building on the blog. Entire libraries have been written about this positioning factor.
However, this is one of the parts where people fail the most.
Why is that? Because there is not always a strategy behind it and we tend to reproduce what everyone else is doing.
A phrase I like to say sometimes is "the best link you can get is the one your competition doesn't have". I've made my views on this subject clear in this post.
One way to get these links is to conduct e-mail awareness campaigns and that's what Sebastián Cardozo, an SEO consultant who has been making a living from SEO for several years (and a guy I always find in the SERPS 😅), came to talk to you about today.
I think that once again we bring a very high level content to Blogger3cero, because Sebastián, besides sharing his strategy to get links, talks about the tools he uses and even examples of email templates.
So, I'll leave you with it. Here is the first link building study in Spanish about how many backlinks you can get by sending emails.
Hello Blogger3Cero readers! I'm happy to be able to share this content with you after Dean reached out to me on Twitter (a social network where I'm very active with tweets about SEO and digital marketing).
I'll tell you a little more about me, in case you don't know me. My name is Sebastián, I'm 28 years old, I live in Uruguay and I discovered digital marketing 6 years ago.
At the time, I was studying to be an economist and it wasn't a career I was passionate about, but hey, I didn't see any other option. Plus, I was working at an accounting firm that was pretty far from home, so on my way to work I came across some digital marketing podcasts. This piqued my interest and after many projects, I managed to find my place in the world.
You may ask yourself: what is my place in the world? 🤔
In 2018, with my partner, we founded Noventaynueve, a digital marketing agency in Uruguay and today, fortunately, I live from marketing and SEO, and I'm also very happy 💞
I am also the creator of NichoSEOa blog about SEO where I try to share the best guides that my hands, my mind and my experience are able to create.
I hope this content, half email marketing, half SEO, helps you build powerful link building campaigns 💪
I have always considered the link building as a tool to be used when you really think your website has value to bring, it's all about choosing the right moment.
That's why, and after several months of content creation, I decided to generate links for two of my most important projects, and what better idea than to document the whole thing and make it a study of
link building 😉 .
I've always been curious about how many links you can get from email outreach campaigns or also called "cold emailing campaigns".
I've seen some studies, for example the one from Ahrefsbut none that are purely in Spanish and related to our market.
So it's time to find out the truth!
How many links or backlinks can be generated per email? 🤔
Tools used for the study
I think it's important to start by talking about the tools that are part of this study.
In order to send mass emails and speed up the email link building process, I used some tools that helped me automate the whole process.
I will tell you what they are below.
1. Google Sheets
Basic and fundamental. Need to document all information and be able to synchronize the template in CSV format to upload it to the sending platform.
Fortunately, it is a completely free tool.
2. SEO surfer
Surfing SEO has a very interesting feature that allows you to know for a given search in the SERP's all the links that have the domains that are on the first page and that you do not have.
Instead of having to go to a competitor to check their link profile, you can do it based on a Google query, which increases your chances of getting those links because you'll find content where your link will be a perfect fit.
To better understand, let's take the example of the query "SEO tools", where my blog is in position 5:
If we click on "Audit", to the right of my domain nichoseo.comWe see how the tool gives us a list of domains that have links to other domains besides our own:
With this list, we can do wonders for sending out email outreach campaigns, because it's a list of all those links that point back to our competitors for that particular query that we can "steal" 😍
In addition to knowing which domains we are going to send an email to, we of course need to have the email addresses of these domains.
Hunter is one of the most effective and simple tools for finding available emails on a particular website.
There is a free version and a paid version. So use your free credits with caution.
Note: Its Chrome extension is a must-have.
My favorite email outreach tool (so far). Like Hunter, it also allows me to get the emails that are assigned to websites, but the power of the tool lies in its ability to build customized campaigns and regulate each of its partsas if it were an automation.
Later on, you will see all its power 😉
In order to respond to the emails we send and to be able to interact with other webmasters or editors, we will need a Gmail account. I'm sure you already have one.
6. Open multiple URLs (Chrome extension)
Thanks to this Chrome extensionWith this tool, we will be able to copy and paste several domains and open them with a single click in our browser. This tool is not mandatory to apply the strategy, but it saves time, and in the creation of links, time is the most valuable resource.
Methodology for the implementation of the campaign
Let's move on to the strategic part of the link building campaign.
How will we develop the strategy, what will we offer and what text will we use in the emails, will they be personalized emails, how do we create such a campaign?
All this and more to follow!
In my case, to carry out this link building study, I used resources that I already had.
What are these resources? Well, my own websites.
With these sites, I will link to domains that accept my "link exchange".
However, I won't be asking for links to sites I own, but I will be asking for links to promote two new projects I have, so I'm giving away links on sites I don't currently want to promote and I'm starting to build authority for my new projects.
It's a win-win for both parties.
In a nutshell:
- I'll give links to areas of projects that have authority but that I'm not currently promoting ✅
- I will receive links on project areas that I currently want to promote with link building ✅
The process would look like this.
2. Setting up the CSV
It is important to build and customize our CSV file as much as possible. This way, we make sure that the person receiving it sees the value they bring to these emails and that they trust that on the other side (i.e. us), we are people who have looked at their website and think it would be ideal for this link exchange.
The customized items that we will include in our email are the following:
- Company or person: We will identify the name of the person or the company name in case we cannot find a person to contact.
- Customization: we will quickly scan the company's or person's website to find eye-catching elements for which to praise the person or company. This personalization is equivalent to a paragraph, nothing too elaborate. Example: "I saw your website [Name] and the truth is that I was fascinated by the strategic approach you took to the content.
You're certainly curious about the content of these emails and the topics I used, right? 😜
Well, I'm giving them to you so that you can run your own email awareness campaignsThe only thing I ask is that you use them wisely and with caution, without spam.
The key is to provide value.
Here are the emails:
The structure of the campaign will be very simple. We will send an initial email to our potential links during business hours.
If the potential lead replies to the email ➡ the automation is stopped.
If the potential lead opens the email and does not respond ➡ we will send them a follow-up email after 6 days with some content.
If the potential lead does not open the email and therefore does not respond ➡ we will send another follow-up email with a different type of content.
Results of the campaign
In order to contact over 400 companies in the Hispanic market and exchange links and study metrics, I had to split the link building study into different campaigns. This allowed me to find improvements as I sent out each campaign, which led to the final model I shared above.
Snov has a feature to connect your email account via SMTP or you can also connect directly to your G Suite.
In my experience, connecting directly to G Suite gives very good results because Snov sends emails via Google's servers and not (as in the case of SMTP) via your hosting.
For these reasons, I also had to split all possible links into different campaigns (six in total); this way, we make sure (in theory) that we don't get spam or have general problems with our mailings.
Campaign 1 and Campaign 2
The first two campaigns had these conditions:
- Proposed to exchange 2 links for 2 other links.
- There was no personalization paragraph, it was a more generic email.
I wasn't satisfied with only getting 3 links after sending 91 personalized emails, so from there I set out to make changes.
I wanted the offer to be more appealing and for the company or person who is going to receive the email to see that it was written by someone who is really interested in what the company or niche has to offer.
Campaign 3 and following
From the third campaign on, things started to improve.
After sending 374 emails, I got a better response rate due to the personalization and also included an additional link. This way, I offered 3 links on projects that are currently stagnant in exchange for 2 good links on projects I'm interested in positioning in the SERPs.
17 links from high authority sites in only 1 month and without spending a single dollar.
Does this strategy also work for contacting companies in English?
Since the links I was getting for the project could also come from websites with English content, I wondered if this same model and strategy would work with the change in language and audience.
In order to test this, I sent the following 3 campaigns with the following results:
This proves that this strategy with these templates can get good quality links simply for any language.
What is the authority of the links obtained?
You may be wondering: what was the authority of the links I got?
I don't usually rely on metrics like DA (from Moz) or DR (from Ahrefs), but in this case I use them to filter websites.
Why is that?
Because like it or not, as long as it's not a PBN, you'll know that if it has a good AD or DR, it's probably a link that will work for you.
How to filter this data? Easy, with Ahrefs.
You start by getting a list of relevant links, and usually you start with your competitors. We go to a competitor, click on their link profile and export the information so we can work in Google Sheets.
After that, all that is left to do is filter according to their DR. In this case, I took all the links whose DR is higher than 35 to send my campaigns.
The authority of the links I got is very good and all the backlinks were placed on content relevant to the projects' sector.
Obviously, there were more links between 35 and 55 Domain Rating, but these are still good links on sites that are in the niche. These are just the links that can give the most momentum to these projects and all of them were done without spending a single dollar.
Are follow-up emails helpful or is one enough?
Studies show that it is extremely important to follow up on the first email sent, as this leads to a higher response rate.
Fortunately, I was able to verify this... and it is indeed the case.
In fact, 32% of the 36 links generated were from the second email I sent, a beastly percentage!
Why does this happen? In my opinion, it happens because of two main factors:
1. The email I sent has the subject line "RE: ....", which means it is a continuation of the previous email. Many mailing programs send you another separate email that is unrelated to the previous one. This makes the recipient think that it is a manual email and not part of a link building strategy, or at least it helps make it look completely legitimate.
2. Not everyone responds well to the first attempt, and sometimes even the timing of the email is awkward, so we postpone it; the second email serves as a reminder and reaffirmation of our interest in the link exchange.
What conclusion can we draw from getting 36 free authority links in 1 month of work? A resounding success! 🤟
I've sent dozens of these campaigns in the past and have learned a lot about the right way to send emails that really hit the mark.
I hope that everything I have told you will help you not to make my mistakes.
Tip, I recommend you to be patient when sending these campaignsIf you don't like the idea, you'll get a lot of messages rejecting your proposal and others will want to charge you to insert backlinks on their pages, so it's up to you if it's worth paying.
After these campaigns, I continued to send these types of emails, I even paid for some of the links, and I also created guest articles with our writer to vary the strategy and the links we put on these sites are not all placed in old content.
You will also need to make numerous trips back and forth with the administrators of these domains to agree on the anchor text to be used, the URL in which your link will be placed and how it will be placed.
Some will ask you to pass on the content yourself, some will delay inserting the links and some will want more links in exchange for the ones they give you. It can be a tedious process, but it has given me great results and I don't think I'll stop doing it anytime soon.
If you are even more interested in this strategy, I leave you a guide that I always follow to the letter, it is a manual on how to send cold emails made by Mailshake, another of the most famous software in this type of link building strategies.