Pitching Link Requests – One Size Doesn’t Fit All

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Imagine that you are a salesperson for a shoe store. There are three potential customers in the store – an athletic male, a professionally dressed female, and a rugged outdoorsman.

Approach #1: You tell all three potential customers that you have 100% authentic Australian made Ugg Boots at discounted prices.

Approach #2: You tell the athletic male that Nike running shoes on sale. You tell the professional female that designer pumps are on special this week only. You tell the outdoorsman that hiking boots are on clearance.

Which of the following approaches will get the most sales? And what does this have to do with link requests?

You have seen them. The cookie cutter link requests that are probably sent out to hundreds of people with the same anchor text and description. More often than not, the links themselves have nothing to do with anything on the website. Since they are sent out in mass, they probably do get some results. But are the results high quality and relevant?

The Link Request Sales Pitch

Consider link requests like sales pitches, with the webmaster as the potential customer. How can you customize your pitch to fit each customer?

Analyze the Website

First, take a good look around the website. Is it personal or professional? Is it directly or indirectly related to the link I want to have added to their site? The ultimate goal is determining how the link request will benefit their site and their visitors.

Find a Contact Name

Good salespeople like to address their potential customers by name. So look for the name of the website owner (if possible) or find a directory that lists the name of the person who runs the website. This way, instead of “Dear Webmaster” you can send something more personalized and direct.

Preferred Contact Method

Each website has a preferred method of contact, whether it is by email to a specific department or through a contact form. If the page you would like to have your link added to has contact information for someone who maintains that page or directs you to their contact form, that is the avenue through which you should request the link.

Study the Link Format

When crafting the request, look at how links are formatted on the page your link would be placed upon. Are they using URL’s, company names, or anchor text? Do they have a short or detailed description, or additional information such as address, phone number, etc.? However they link to other sites is how your link details should be formatted. If the link details you send do not fit the mold, and the webmaster has to contact you for additional details, then chances are they are not going to respond at all.

Prove the Link’s Value

The thing that closes the sale is making your product valuable, and this can definitely be said about links. The link you want to place has to be a valuable to the website owner and their visitors. So if you have the option to add a description to your link, make sure the description is something that is enticing to the website’s visitors. Otherwise, be sure to emphasize how the link you are submitting is valuable to the website’s visitors in your link request.

Check for Broken Links

Now, for that little something extra. If there is one thing webmaster’s despise, it’s broken links. There is a Firefox plugin called Check Page Links, and all you have to do is right click on a page and run the plugin to highlight broken links. Typically, there is at least one on the page to which you want to be added. Letting the webmaster or site owner know that one of their resources is no longer available means they are more likely to take the time to edit the page. While they are there, they might as well add on your valuable link, especially if it’s a good replacement to one they just lost.

Is it Worth It?

Does this sound like a lot of extra work? Maybe. But you have to look at it this way. As a link builder, you could spend a lot of time seeking out a large quantity of sites, send a pre-formatted template, and receive positive responses from only a small percentage of those sites. Or, you could take a little extra time with each request you send out to higher quality sites, and receive a larger percentage of positive responses from a smaller amount of requests. Also, if you personalize the request, it will be less likely to be reported as spam than the generic sounding requests.

Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, and blogger who develops high-quality content for businesses.
Kristi Hines
Kristi Hines
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  • Kevin M.

    Very informative post Kristi!

    • Kristi Hines

      Thanks, I'm glad you find it useful!

  • Sharma Infoway

    It's your audition for professional attention, your calculated attempt to be noticed and to matter to others. The skills to develop a strong elevator pitch will serve you well, forever.

    • Kristi Hines

      This is true… once you learn the right strategies to personalize pitches, you can take those methods and apply them to other requests beyond just link building.

  • robertmacdonald

    I found some good suggestions here… to make your request to a specific individual, explain how your link will be valuable to visitors… and the nifty one of checking the potential site for broken links. All presented clearly and concisely! Thanks, Kikolani!

    • Kristi Hines

      You're welcome. Yes, the broken links check has definitely won over some of the webmasters I have sent requests too. It also helps prove you are not some automated program sending spam requests.

  • Suresh Khanal

    This is another avenue on blogging world. Till now I got a few link requests to publish on my educational website and have never requested to anyone. I'm still learning the potentials of link building opportunities.

    • Kristi Hines

      Quality link building will help you get more traffic to your site via direct referrals and boosting your rankings in search results.

  • arnie00717

    Kristi i like the idea of LinkChecker most. This way they might get pleased to insert our link also. Good Work. Kudos to you.

    • Kristi Hines

      Thanks! It certainly never hurts to help out. If nothing else, maybe you get a little good link karma.

  • KS Chen

    Hi Kristi! I'm so happy to see you here. I have tried to request for link to some of the health-related blogs. However, most of the time the request is being ignored. I think is the matter of the writing style. I will try the your recommendation. Thanks!

    • Kristi Hines

      I think it's a matter of distinguishing yourself from a lot of the automated requests that webmasters find in their inbox regularly. Stand above the crowd and you will start to see better responses!

  • Gerald Weber

    Exactly.I ignore those spammy email template link requests 100% of the time. Especially if it's something completely irrelevant like a fitness site asking for me to link out from my SEO site. I'm like is this person retarded or something? I mean seriously!

    • Kristi Hines

      I ignore them too. Although I'm thinking I might start sending them a link to this post as a hint!

  • wchingya

    Fantastic job on the explanation. Someone approached me with link request in a smart way. He gave a brief intro for the link and advantages we could gain for both, and it's the same niche topic. I knew him before the approach maybe that's why I trust him more when it comes to quality linking. I have yet to try any link pitching myself but I agree on maintaining a good ethic when reaching out.

    Social/Blogging Tracker

  • Siobhan

    Hi Kristi

    Thanks for the informative post, I only found it becuase I subscribe to your email newsletter which is always extremely helpful in building my online business. Thanks again.

  • Andrew Thomson

    Great post, thanks a lot for your insights.

  • Siobhan

    Hi Kristi

    Thanks for the informative post, I only found it becuase I subscribe to your email newsletter which is always extremely helpful in building my online business. Thanks again.

  • Andrew Thomson

    Great post, thanks a lot for your insights.