Kishen
Kishen is a serial Entrepreneur and Author. He wrote multiple books on Marketing and Growth and have helped startups grow their business.

How to Use Email Marketing for Generating Backlinks

Kishen

 

It’s established that getting good quality backlinks to your site is the number #1 SEO strategy that will help your website rank.

 

It’s not only about getting the backlinks but getting the relevant backlinks that are critical to your top line.

 

Getting backlinks from a top quality site + relevant to your target audience = WIN

 

So what is a good way to go about this?

 

In this article, We use four tools to help get us backlinks. The tools we’ll be using today are Ahrefs, Find That Email, Email List Verify and Mautic.

 

TL;DR: The shortened version is, we use Ahrefs to get our competitor’s backlinks, and we find the articles where our competitor has been mentioned.

 

We find out the authors of these articles and find their email address on Find That Email and verify the email addresses on Email List verify, and then we automate the reaching out process by using a tool called mautic.

 

The Idea

 

Top websites in your industry get mentioned a lot. They get mentions from small and big blogs, and that is how they get their valuable backlinks. Startups are obsessed with PR because of two reasons. Credibility and solid link juice from an Authority website.

 

The goal of our exercise is to get high-quality backlinks from blogs that have already mentioned your competitor and can mention you as well. This is a sure shot way, and has been very effective for us at Find That Email.

 

For today’s case let’s assume you are a CRM company and you compete with the likes of Hubspot. So here’s how we would go about getting backlinks for your company.

 

An example of a page that you can get a potential backlink from is this

Execution

 

Using Ahrefs

 

Ahrefs has been a top tool to help you know your competition’s status. We’ll use Ahrefs to find all the pages that Hubspot has got a backlink from.

 

Step 1: Go to Ahrefs.com

Step 2: Enter the URL of the page you want to compare with. In this case, it is Hubspot’s Marketing page.

Step 3: As you can see their domain rank is high at 76 and also the number of backlinks is more than 4500. Wowza!

Step 4: Click on Backlinks on the sidebar to the left.

Step 5: You get a list of all the websites that have recently sent a backlink to Hubspot, and this is what you are after

 

Step 6: Filter the listing based on Dofollow links. The opposite of dofollow is nofollow which means, the website owner has stopped all the bots crawling the site from passing link juice to the site that has been linked. Just for the sake of this exercise, let’s focus on dofollow links. There are 1800 backlinks with a dofollow link that’s been found.

Step 7: Click on the Export button on the top right, and you’ll see a popup appear, like the one below. I choose the Quick Export for the sake of this article, but you can export the whole thing.

Step 8: Open the CSV file and take a look. This is what you’ll see below.

Step 9: Take the CSV file and copy the Referring Page URL column and paste it to a new excel sheet along with two other columns – Author’s name and Domain Name. The links you are looking for are the ones that cover multiple tools that you can be part of. Let me point out a few of them in our current example.

 

  • 44 Social Media Tools
  • Top 25 WordPress Plugins
  • Top 50 Tools

 

All these are perfect places to get a backlink from. The author of the article has already covered so many tools and if you can pitch your tool with it’s USP’s. Being cheaper or there’s a free plan etc. There’s a good chance you’ll get mentioned as well.

Step 10: Move to the new excel sheet you created. Before you start let me warn you that this task can be monotonous, but it is essential :  Visit each link and then find the author’s name and the domain name and enter it in the sheet.

 

Step 11: After you’ve entered the data, you are ready for the next step.

 

Using Find That Email

 

Find That Email is an email finding tool and also a domain search tool. The email finding tool helps you find anyone’s email address with very high accuracy. The domain finding tool is a neat prospecting Chrome extension that lets you find the names, titles and email addresses of all the people in a domain.

 

Step 1: Sign-up to Find That Email – There is a free account that lets you find 15 free email addresses a month.

 

Step 2: Once you’ve signed-up. Go to the Dashboard and mouse over the  Bulk Tab and choose Find.  

 

Step 3: Upload your CSV file and wait for the bulk results

Step 4: When you receive the email: Click on the link

 

Step 5: Download the CSV file from the lists section in Find That Email

 

 

Let’s take a break from the tools and get to the creative part. An email template for the reach out is a crucial component in this situation.

 

Create a Template

 

You’ll need a simple template that you could use to get the authors to mention you. It shouldn’t be too long, and it should be impactful

 

The First Email

 

Subject

 

Introducing myself or Hi, I am <Your Name>, I want to get in touch with you

 

You need to keep your subjects less salesy and also that evokes a bit of curiosity.

 

The Body

 

Hey <Name of the writer>,

 

I am <Your name> from <Your company>. I came across your article, and love it! Our Tool <Name your tool> will be a perfect fit for this article. Here’s how we are different <Two sentence pitch>

 

Would love for you to mention us!

 

————————————————–

 

Follow-up Email (If they don’t reply)

 

Hey <Name of the writer>,

 

Just checking-in to make sure you got my last message, and in case you’re still not convinced that there’s a real value in mentioning <Your company>

 

<Add a GIF>

The GIF above shows how our product works and it indeed adds value to your readers.

 

Looking forward to hearing back from you,

<Your Name>

 

————————————————–

 

2nd Follow-up Email

 

Hi <Name of the writer>,

I’m writing to follow up on my email. I didn’t hear back you just yet.

 

Thanks for your help,

<Your Name>

 

————————————————–

 

3rd Follow-up Email

 

Hi <Name of the writer>,

 

I don’t want to bother you, so this will be my last email. I’ve sent you a few email messages with the subject “Your Subject” a few weeks ago and never got a response from you.

 

I would be grateful if you could give it a look and help us grow. I’d be more than happy to offer you a premium account, guest post or a link back.

 

Thanks in advance,

<Your Name>

 

————————————————–

 

Although this might seem like hounding, it isn’t. People ignore the first emails they receive, or they completely miss it. And this is why following up works.

 

Using Mautic or Any other Tool

 

Before we begin with the next tool, let’s pause for a status update. We have the email addresses and names of the bloggers and the article URL’s of the pages where we want a mention.

Individually mailing them would be extremely daunting. Also, not personalizing the emails will make the blogger feel that it’s a mass email. We need to meet somewhere in the middle. This is where Mautic will help.

 

Mautic is an open source marketing automation tool that works really well.

 

Step 1: You’ll need to upload your excel sheet with your contact details and also the article.

 

To prepare your contacts uploading process for Mautic, you need your excel in the following format. Make sure you create a third excel sheet with the following information, copy pasting from the other two excel sheets.

 

The column headings are in bold.

 

  1. First_name is the first name
  2. Last_name is the last name
  3. Domain is the domain of the URL
  4. The Unique_id is the article where you need to be covered in
  5. After it’s in the format, make it a CSV file.

 

Segmenting your Contacts

 

In the Mautic interface, choose ‘Segments’ in the left sidebar. Click on ‘New’ and give a name to your new list.

Importing your Contacts

 

Step 2: Click on Contacts in the left sidebar and in the Contacts interface click on ‘New.’

Step 3: Click on Import

Step 4:

 

In the Limit Field, enter a number more than the number of contacts you have in your CSV and then click on Upload.

Step 5: Enter the following details

 

  1. Contact Segment – Choose the Segment you just created.
  2. Article_url – Choose unique_id in the dropdown. This is the URL of the article that you want to be mentioned in
  3. First Name – Choose first_name from the drop down
  4. Last Name – Choose last_name from the drop down

Step 6: Wait for the contacts to get created and you are good to go

Step 7: Create the Campaign

Now that you have the contacts uploaded and everything set-up, you are ready to create the campaign.

 

Step 1: Go to Campaigns  and Click on New

Step 2: Enter the name of your campaign and click on Launch Campaign Builder

Step 3: You will see a ‘Contact Sources’ box open. Choose ‘Contact Segments’

Step 4: The contact segment you will choose is the one you created. In our case, it is ‘Backlinks from Blogs – First 100 Contacts

Step 5: Now you are ready to create your emails. Click on the gray semicircle just below ‘Backlinks from Blogs’ and select ‘Action.’

Step 6: In the Choose One field, type ‘Send Email’ and select that.

Step 7: Enter ‘First Email’ in the Name field and choose a time and come to the Email to Send Field

 

Step 8: And click on ‘Create New’

Step 9: Now you can create your individual emails. Choose a Blank template, if you aren’t sure of what theme to choose.

  • Enter the Subject
  • Give your email an Internal Name
  • Click on ‘Builder.’

Step 10: Here you have to keep in mind that because you are automating, you need to enter the name section and the article you are referencing carefully.

 

  • For the Name – {contactfield = firstname}
  • For the Article – {contactfield = article_url}

 

Look at the image below

The first email is where you need the modifiers. After that, the second, third and the fourth emails are pretty straight forward, and you can create your own looking at the process above.

 

In the end, this is how your campaign will look, make sure to close the builder and save your campaign.

After this, publish your campaign and wait for the emails that you will receive from the bloggers.

 

Three tips on handling the emails from the bloggers

 

  1. Reply as quickly as possible before the blogger forgets who you are because of the number of emails they get.
  2. Even if they don’t agree for a mention, ask them if they are willing to let you guest post.
  3. If you want a good review of your tool, you should give a premium account for free to let them test it out.

 

The best part about this strategy is it’s scalability. Even if the manual collection of author names holds you back, always remember that you can outsource that work to a virtual assistant.

 

The underlying lesson that you need to pick up from this article to stay competitive is Automation. If your competitors are automating and you aren’t, you’re already lagging behind.