Guest post outreach – if done right – is hands down one of the most powerful link building techniques you’ll come across.
Not only are most guest post links highly contextual, but they also come from real websites with actual traffic.
Let’s look at this through the eyes of Google for a second: What seems more authentic than a real website linking to a relevant site “organically” through an engaging and well-crafted piece of content?
– Certainly not a PBN link.
At Outreachers Club, pretty much all we do is reaching out to webmasters. We do this to help our clients get incredible guest post links that move the needle in the SERPs. After sending tens of thousands of emails out, we’ve established lots of know-how. We’re gonna let you guys in on what we discovered in this post.
We’ve split tested dozens of pitches and email structures while finetuning things ever so slightly to reach the highest reply rate possible.
The Definitive Guest Post Outreach Checklist
To keep things simple, we’ve crafted a checklist that should yield you great results if followed properly.
The points in this list are based on cold hard data from our own outreach campaigns.
1. Use a business email
When you’re reaching out to already established blogs, we’re often talking about a B2B relationship. For that reason, you wanna meet them in the eyes of a business. Show them that you mean business by using a branded email.
Initially, a lot of people opt for the easy Gmail or Outlook email addresses. They’re easy to register and their interfaces are rock solid. However, our findings were that the reply rates increased significantly when we utilized a business email.
There are several phycological factors that cause this difference. We’ll get into those shortly, but let’s take a look at the data real quick. It speaks for itself.
First, we reached out of 400 different webmasters using two different types of generic emails. The first batch was done from a Gmail account and the other from an Outlook account.
As you can see, we’re seeing reply rates of 7% on average. Out of the 800 emails we sent we got 56 replies. Based on our previous results, this is what one could expect from doing guest post outreach with generic emails.
Now to the fun part. We did another batch of 400 emails – this time using a branded email. The difference was clear.
The response rate more than doubled. We were able to get a total of 72 replies to our 400 emails. With a response rate of 18%, we were able to significantly increase our link building opportunities.
A very interesting trend we noticed was the replier’s intent.
A clear pattern was painted. The replies we got on the branded account meant business!
The phycological factor in play
I mentioned several phycological factors played an important role in this difference.
Why did we have so much more success when contacting them through a branded email address?
– Because we met them Business2Business!
In a Business2Customer relationship, the business often has the upper hand. In B2B however, we’re like-minded.
Generic emails are often associated with spam. We’ve all been promised millions of dollars from randoms using generic emails.
Due to this, we’ve built a natural spam filter. We know what to focus on and what to pass on. We’re selective with everything – even the emails we choose (not) to read.
2. Use a well-crafted email signature
Another finding is that the use of a solid email signature block will increase response rates as well.
Now, most webmasters with a great site get dozens of inquiries about guest posting and advertising daily.
To stand out from the rest, it’s important to establish credibility in any way we can.
One of the key ways of doing that is to use an email signature block at the end of all your guest post outreach emails.
There are lots of free tools out there that lets you create beautiful email signatures in minutes. For this example, we used the one from Exclaimer.
This is the result of a few minutes work.
So, what should an email signature contain?
- Your full name
- Your job title
- Contact information (the more the merrier)
- A picture – either your company logo or a picture of yourself
- Links to social media – LinkedIn is crucial here (as we’re building B2B relationships)!
Some of you might ask the question: “Doesn’t adding links and images to an email increase the risk of it going to the spam folder?”
Well, according to our findings it didn’t lower inbox rates at all. Just keep your signature clean and you’ll be good to go.
To stay true to our experiment, we sent another batch of 400 emails out using the same branded email as before and an email signature.
Once again, we see a huge improvement in the reply rates of our guest post outreach campaign.
With this setup, we’re getting replies on more than one in four emails!
These results are great. Actually, they’re even better than we expected ourselves.
Why an email signature block is crucial
There are many reasons as to why this improves the reply rate.
First off, people like to know who they’re talking to. A name doesn’t tell you very much about a person.
By adding a job title, contact information, social media links, and even a picture you give plenty of sources for people to find out who they’re dealing with.
They can check you out on social media or connect with you on LinkedIn. They can even give you a call or find out more on your website.
In many ways, this is an invitation for other to get to know you. A signature greatly adds to your trust so it’s well worth a few minutes of setup.
3: Get personal by using their name
“Dear sir/madam…”, “Hello Mr/Mrs…”
We’ve probably all gotten those in an email. Most of us immediately see them as spam.
It’s clearly a part of a mass email campaign. It just shows that the sender doesn’t have any idea who they’re talking to.
The webmasters you reach out to like to see that you’ve taken your time on your request.
Therefore, I highly recommend using the first name of the person you’re reaching out to. Do your research. In most cases, you can find it.
If you can’t seem to uncover the first name, the second best is to use the business name. Like so: “Hello Outreachers Club”.
Although we didn’t run tests on this specific technique, it’s something that should be considered a best practice. It isn’t exactly quantum physics why this works. When a person sees their own name, obviously their attention is caught.
This is something we do on all of our outreach campaigns – and with great success. When I’ve previously run email campaigns with generic introductions I’ve seen lower reply rates.
The Full Guest Post Outreach Checklist (+7 Additional Tips)
Now we’ve introduced you to the tip of the iceberg and backed it up with cold data.
If you’d like to get the full checklist (with 7 additional tips) including an easy step-by-step overview, please enter your email below. We’ll email you the neat PDF checklist in minutes!
The ebook contains:
- 10 pages of detailed insight into our guest post outreach campaigns
- 10 actionable steps to maximize the results of outreach campaigns
- An easy-to-use checklist that’ll help you maintain an overview
- Detailed elaboration of all the crucial checklist points
Based on our findings through extensive tests, we’re able to conclude that using a business email along with a well-crafted signature block increases the response rate immensely.
There’s a very logical aspect to it. These results didn’t actually surprise us.
Email outreach often happens in a B2B environment. Therefore you should utilize a branded email to initiate a B2B relationship.
The signature block is a great way of inviting a connection. It’s a great introduction to who you are. Based on pure logic, we highly recommend including links to your social media to build on your credibility even further. LinkedIn should be priority #1 as it is a business social network.