How to Build Links via Non-Traditional Email Outreach

  • 756
  • 3.7K
How to Build Links via Non-Traditional Email Outreach

Tim Soulo at Ahrefs deletes most outreach emails he gets and he doesn’t feel sorry.

Months ago, if you emailed me with an opportunity to collaborate, I’d give it a hard pass and assume my spam folder missed you.

Among the emails are those relatable spam encounters we can all appreciate, like guest blog posts, send money to a country I can’t pronounce, and discounts on sex toys (hey, I didn’t email it).

I’ve tried a few before, and saw little advantage and a lot of time wasted.

But sometime since that time, I did a complete 180.

Now, I collaborate almost exclusively with people who email me directly.

So what happened?

Part of this is due to the sheer fact that brands and people are becoming authentic in their outreach and keep popping up just about everywhere, from my Instagram to blog comments.

I also learned that their intentions have seriously improved, so I gave them another whirl and ended up loving it.

In a link-crazed search world, manual outreach still manages to be the epicenter of all things link building.

Seemingly every single charming, personalized email brings another new link filled with highly valuable content. Plus, it adds a bit of authority to the blog and the site linked.

There’s something to be said for an email that can instantly grab my attention in an inbox of 502 emails.

I’m talking about the emails who, despite being caught up in the chaos of building links, make you do a double take before hitting the trash icon.

Rather than taking cues on other outreach email templates, rely on your own keen sense of communication and creativity to guide prospects, partners, and influencers down the path of collaboration.

Link building is now about a long-term relationship, it requires commitment longer than 30 days.

To bring link builders into focus, I tapped into my sent mail to show you examples of non-traditional email outreach. Outfitted in emojis and gifs, each email offers a unique take on the person I’m emailing, the brand, and my client to better forge our own collaboration.

Outreach examples

If you’re interested in my processes, here’s a snapshot of how my process works for an e-commerce client that is engaging in an influencer marketing campaign. You can download the spreadsheet here.

Influencer marketing tracking

This spreadsheet is complete with sample pricing and metrics to give you an idea of how I track ROI.

Depending on your budget, I recommend working with lower level bloggers with a domain authority of between 20 to 30 with a social following between 2,000 to 5,000.

Influencer marketing is just one phase of email outreach, but if you’re on track to launch a campaign, keep it up!

Sixty-eight percent of marketers, according to #SEJSurveySays, say influencer marketing is here to stay.

It’s important to remember that these links are connections to other people, they not only represent your brand but connects your website to their website.


Timeframe: Ongoing

Results detected: 4-12 months

Average emails sent per month: 40


  • Buzzstream
  • Yesware
  • Boomerang for Gmail
  • Muckrack

Benefits of email outreach:

  • Email outreach creates a rare opportunity for you to develop a personal connection with an influencer or brand to sustain and grow a long-term relationship.
  • Email outreach can increase your network not from only a linking perspective, but social media as well.

Anna Crowe

Assistant Editor & Director of Outreach & PR at Jason Hennessey Consulting

Anna is the Assistant Editor for Search Engine Journal and Director of Outreach & PR for Jason Hennessey Consulting. Over ... [Read full bio]

Next Chapter
Read the Next