posted on December 24th, 2012

How to Request Links (And Increase the Chance That They’ll Say Yes)

BY Jason Howard in Blog ,

Sometimes, the only way to get high-quality links is by asking people for them, but if you’re not careful, your link requests will end up in people’s spam folders. Link requests have gotten somewhat of a bad reputation over the years, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t effective.

The reason why so many link request emails fail is because they’re automated. Automation is a bad thing because people are more receptive to messages that sound like they come from a human. You have a far better chance of landing links if you make your link requests extremely personal. Most high-authority websites get dozens of automated link requests every single day. If you send them yet another automated link request, they’ll just ignore it.

Ask for Something Besides a Link

Rather than asking website owners for links, perhaps you could ask for their feedback about a project, offer to write a guest article for their website, or ask if they are willing to be interviewed for your website. Sometimes, if you just strike up a conversation with somebody, they will mention you. That, in turn, attracts the attention of other people and may get them to mention your name and link to you, as well.

Interviews tend to get a lot of attention. For example, if you interview somebody influential, even if that person doesn’t mention the interview, several other people will likely link to it. Writing guest articles for high-authority websites is another great way to get exposure because it puts you in front of thousands of people who are passionate about a topic. Additional ways to build rapport with people who could potentially link to your site include attending conferences, commenting on blogs, and participating in forums.

Be Personal

Don’t fill out the general contact form on a website to ask for a link. Try to obtain the email address of the person who runs the website and send them a friendly, personal message. Tell them where they can put your link in their website and how your link would improve their website’s user experience. You should also try to incorporate a little humor or personality into your message to reveal your human side and make your message resonate more. It’s OK to go off-topic for a moment. For example, if you find out that a website owner loves NASCAR, you could nonchalantly mention something about NASCAR in your email.

Position Your Link Request as a Suggestion

Make your link request seem more like a suggestion than a request. Your email headline could be something like, “Website suggestion – Cynexis”. People are generally receptive to suggestions and feedback because they are eager to improve their websites and businesses.

Offer Free Stuff

If you offer people discounts, coupons, or free products or services, they are more likely to link to you. For example, you could send bloggers free product samples and encourage them to write reviews of your product on their blogs. Or if you find out that a particular blogger likes hot chocolate, sending her a box of hot chocolate before you send her a link request probably wouldn’t hurt.

Pick up the Phone

Emails are easy to ignore and forget about. If you really want to connect with people, pick up the phone and give them a call. Phone calls may help you close deals faster because people will know you’re legit and not a bot or spammer. When requesting that people link to you, tell them what’s in it for them – don’t expect them to link to you just to be nice.

Use an Email Address with the Same Domain Name as Your Website

Avoid using an email address from Hotmail, Gmail, and similar services. Build trust and achieve higher close rates by using an email address with the same domain name as your website. Spammers often use generic email addresses, and you want to avoid doing anything that could make you seem like you’re of the same breed. 

Try Not to Be Obvious

Rather than blatantly requesting a link to your website, suggest a few resources besides your own that they could link to and put your URL under your name as part of your email signature. People may link to your website without you having to ask them to do it.

Sample Link Request Email

If you can find a webmaster’s personal email address, send your link request there. Here’s an example of the kind of email message you can send when requesting links:  

Hello <person’s first name>,

I am a regular reader of your blog, and wanted to congratulate you because your articles are always extremely enlightening and fun to read. (Flattery always helps.)

I especially enjoyed the article about bla, bla, bla. It really resonated with me because bla, bla, bla. (This shows that you actually looked at their website.)

It’s funny because I recently wrote a really similar article. You can find it here: <link to a related article>. (This shows that you share things in common.)

I linked to your website in my resources page because I thought my readers would really benefit from your in-depth content. (If you link to their website, they might link to yours in return.)

Please check out my website and tell me what you think. I would love to get your feedback about the direction I’m taking. (Show them that you value their opinions and not just their website’s link popularity.)

I think your readers would also really benefit from reading my articles and resources because bla, bla, bla. If you like my website, please consider linking to it somehow. (Don’t be pushy – just suggest that they link to your site and highlight the benefits of doing so.)

Either way, thanks for taking the time to read my email and keep up the amazing work! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or just to chat. I’d love to discuss bla bla bla with you sometime.

<Your name>

<Your URL>

<Your phone number>

If the thought of sending link request emails seems intimidating or far too time-consuming, get in touch with Cynexis talented team of SEO consultants. Cynexis is a leading SEO company that offers link-building services designed to take your search engine rankings to new heights. Contact us now to learn more about our how website marketers can help you get the links that matter.


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