If you know a thing or two about SEO you would have heard of this concept known as ‘email outreach’.
Email outreach is basically where you send an email to a webmaster in the hope of scoring a backlink or a guest blog.
Plenty of blogs advocate outreach as a way to get backlinks from authoritative websites.
There are a lot of articles that give a general outline of what to do: email other bloggers asking for a guest post or a link.
In this article I am going to tell you exactly how to conduct an email outreach campaign.
If you are going to use the email outreach strategy you will need email addresses– and a lot of them.
I have hired a virtual assistant who I also call my ‘professional email collector’. Because that is his job- to collect emails all day for various different topics.
Basically what he does is he goes on to Google and looks for blogs under a certain topic. Common searches are ‘topic + contribute’ or ‘topic + write for us’. He looks for authoritative blogs that will potentially offer a guest post.
Once on these websites he collects their email addresses. If there is no email address, then he sends them a message by filling out their ‘contact us’ form. If they reply to the message, then we will have their email address.
All these email addresses are saved in an excel document to use later for my mail merge.
I know there are similar services like MailChimp but if you have Microsoft Office then mail merge on Microsoft Word is the way to go.
Next I go into Microsoft Word select ‘Mailings’ then ‘Start Mail Merge’ choose ‘E-Mail Messages’ and then type out my email.
Personally I like to write a really simple email message for outreach. I do not include any links on there because I want them to reply and not to get distracted. This is what mine looks like:
After that I click ‘Select Recipients’ and then ‘Use an Existing List…’:
I continue to open my saved excel document with the list of email addresses:
After that I click on ‘Finish & Merge’ then ‘Send Email Messages…’:
I then fill out the ‘Merge to Email’ form and click ‘OK’:
I like to choose a subject that grabs their attention like ‘What do you think?’
So after that the emails will start being sent. Now you just have to wait for the replies to start coming in.
It is always a bit exciting when replies roll in. You will get a variety of responses. I receive a lot of replies asking for payment for a sponsored post.
Generally, what I look out for are people interested in starting a relationship.
It is fantastic when you get a response from an interested person who wants to read your article.
Through mail merge I have received interest from many different types of organisations from other media agencies to huge newspapers.
When I receive a reply expressing interest I reply back with my article.
Once they have published it I save their details in my file ‘guest blog backlinkers’ so I can guest post with them again.
All in all, mail merge is a very straight forward process that is simple to get the hang of. It is an effective way to get guest posts, backlinks as well as building a network with other webmasters.