Yesterday, I received yet another unrelated link request, which suddenly made me think about Joe Pulizzi’s post about myFord Magazine I read earlier this week. The link request I received was set up in exactly the same way. The email contained no less than 17 times “we”, “me”, “I” or “us” and only two times “you”. And both of the you’s weren’t even positive you’s.
If I’m not linking to your website, and you think I should, you have to explain why. This sounds stupidly simple, but this principle is the foundation of every link request. If you manage to do this correctly, you might end up with a link. Seriously, in some cases an email can make me think “You’re right, that page is relevant for my visitors.” However, if you’re willing to make me think this, you have to convince me. And convincing doesn’t mean throwing in random arguments that aren’t relevant for me.
Sending out link requests involves empathy. If you want to convince me to link to you, you’ll have to know what arguments might be valid for me. Although it might seem somewhat unbelievable, both ‘helping you to rank better’ and ‘improving my PageRank’ don’t sound very interesting to me. Thinking in terms of relevance for my visitors, increase in sales (and I mean my sales, not yours) or just great content might improve your chances for success.
So, if you’re choosing for push link marketing in stead of pull link marketing (and sometimes you have to), try to push the right buttons. A successful link request email includes at least one solid argument why linking to you is good for me. And, because something that’s good for you does not necessarily mean that it’s good for me as well, coming up with a solid argument might take some research first.