I was working the other day sending out some link requests for one of our publishing clients. I’d taken quite bit of time selecting who to contact so I had my fingers crossed that I’d be pretty successful. What I hadn’t anticipated that a lot of the people I was contacting would reply asking how to subscribe to the magazine in question. It reminded me that with a bit of luck the link building process can actually do quite a good job to help you sell.
Twice the benefits – via flickr
It got me thinking about things to do when link building that might encourage the recipient to buy your product as well as link.
Sell yourself – don’t be scared in your link request to talk about what makes you better than your competitors or why nobody else like you exists. It’ll help your argument when asking for a link and at the same time it might convince them to part with their cash. And if you don’t know what make you unique, all the link building in the world isn’t going to help you!
Encourage Feedback – the best PPC adverts & landing pages feature a call to action with a clear desired outcome. You link requests shouldn’t be any different. One of the most positive things you can ask in your link request is for feedback. It’ll spark a conversation and you might learn about potential customer’s opinions of your website.
Don’t Seem Cookie Cutter – whether you are trying sell in your link request or not, you’ve got to avoid seeming cookie cutter at all costs. At the very least you’ve got show you’ve read the site, ideally if you can mention their name (and get it right), give them some genuine feedback you’ll do well. Sometimes with link requests it can be a war of attrition that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the time to personalise them. It’ll improve your success rate and make a purchase far more likely.
Respond to them – if they’ve taken the time to read your link request, look at your site and then email them back you owe them some of your time. Though they might not want to link to you, a quick note saying no worries and thanking them for their time can leave a good impression. This means the next time they are looking for a product or service like yours, the goodwill will attract them to your site.