Link Prospecting – Preparing for Outreach

Every marketer has at one or the other time used or thought about using email outreach as their link prospecting strategy. Quite a traditional method of link building, email outreach is very tricky. If not done in the right manner, you will find it difficult to get the desired results successfully.

There are different aspects of this process. If performed correctly, you can provide valuable information to your audience. Not just a strong base of customers, but you also need a proper structure to move forward with this process successfully.

If this is your first time trying out email outreach, you need to understand the basics of this method. In this module, I will focus on the preparation of your email outreach. By the end of the module, you will be able to know how to use the outreach strategy for your benefit correctly.

Importance of a Structured Email Outreach Process


Why do we need a structured email outreach process?

The concept of email outreach is not new, but most of us are not aware of it. If you check your spam folder now, you will find hundreds of unnecessary emails filling up the folder. They are the bad attempts of email outreach and have been directed without following a proper structure.

If you do the same, you will also end up in someone’s spam folder, which is a failure in terms of this method. You need to build emails that people will reply to. For this, you have to grab their attention by following specific rules.

People only notice emails if they want to, which means you have to ensure that you are sending the right message to the right people.  Even if you are doing this for your own website or a client, you need to be aware of the target audience.

What is the right way to structure an email outreach?

Make sure that you do not portray yourself as a spammer, which can reflect badly on you or your client’s brand. Let’s say that you want to go on with email outreach as a part of your link building process. The first thing that you need to do is to define the target audience and then start sending emails to them.

With the right email, you will be able to form new business relations that can be profitable for your business. If you can connect to the right people, you can get new links, which will be beneficial for your website as well.

If you have sent hundreds of emails in the last few months and have received nearly one or two replies, then you are doing something wrong. Even with the right outreach process, you may not get a hundred percent replies, the numbers will considerably grow with time.

Create a Niche Gmail

Why do you need a niche?

When you start your email outreach process, the first step that you do is to define your company’s niche. You cannot have fingers in every bowl, especially if you are a new business. It would be best if you had a niche so that you can focus on the needs of your customers. For example, if you are an agency that provides professional digital marketing services, then your niche is digital marketing.

Finding your niche is very important for determining your target audience. Without identifying your target audience, you will not be able to carry out your email outreach process. Remember that, if you want to land an editorial or guest post on a particular link, you need to have a niche and a topic. You cannot be unclear; else, the site would never consider your offer.

What has to be done to create a niche?

Hence, the first thing that you prepare is your Gmail account. The account that you create should be following your niche. Following the example, as mentioned earlier, being a digital marketing agency or an individual digital marketer, you can create a Gmail account like or anything on the same line.

When you send an email, people will notice the mail id and immediately understand what service you are providing. This takes you one step closer to your required prospect. Creating personal email accounts that contain your name or agency’s name will not have the same effect as a niche Gmail account.

Connecting With the Prospect

One of the best things that will happen by creating the niche Gmail account is that you will get noticed. Most emails that you send as a part of this process will be sent to someone’s spam. To avoid this, you need to create an email id that will not be considered spam by Gmail.

Your aim should be to send an email that reaches the inbox of the target audience and get noticed. Once you mention your niche, your prospect will be able to connect with you better. Whether you get a reply or not, your main aim should be to make sure that your prospect opens the mail.

If you have a different niche, then you need to create separate email accounts for them. For each target prospect, you need to have a different email id, which includes the keyword of your niche.

Through this, the prospect will understand you are not a robot sending automated emails but a real person who wants to add some value to their site.

Prepping Up the Gmail Account for Outreach

Once you are done creating your Gmail account, you need to warm up the email id before you start your outreach. There are a few settings that you need to check so that the account becomes personalized. For people to understand that you are a value-adding person, you need to have a personal touch in your email account as well.

You have to add your credentials that prove you are a human. Here I have mentioned four of the most important settings that you need to follow. You can make further changes according to your wish to make the account more personalized.

Change Profile Picture

The first thing that you need to do is to change your profile picture. Go to profile and then click on Google+ to change your profile picture. Add a picture that has your face and not your company logo. Even if your email id represents your company, make sure that you include your picture so that people can connect better to it.

They will be able to know who you are and also confirm that it is not an automated email. Company logo as your profile picture will not have the same effect that your face on the profile picture will have. Make sure that you include a professional picture since this is a professional relationship build-up.

Create a Signature

After you have uploaded your profile picture, you need to create your signature. For this, you will have to click on setting, general, and signature. It would be helpful if you put your name, professional title, and company name. This information is necessary for people to know more about you.

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For enhancing your credibility, you can also add links to your social media accounts such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Instagram. Make sure that you add links to your professional account where people can know about your work rather than your personal life.

You also need to make sure that you do not include unnecessary information in your signature. The signature needs to be short and clear, with just the right information. You can include your phone number, office address, or email address to the signature if you want.

Canned Response

We will focus on building canned responses gradually. What you need to do in this process is to enable canned responses. For this, you need to click on labs and then select enable canned responses. Once you do this, you can start setting up your canned responses.

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Remember that canned responses are important for email outreach. If you do not know what canned responses are, then they are responses that are predetermined and can be used while sending the same email to numerous recipients.

In the email outreach process, it will be tiresome and impossible to write the same email again and again to different recipients. If you need to send an email now that you may have sent a few weeks ago, you will need to check your sent emails and find out the one that you need.

It becomes a time-consuming process that can be avoided by using canned responses. You will have to save your email as a canned response, and use it whenever you like.

Giving Account Access to Your Team

If you are a widespread agency, then you most probably have a link prospecting team. Even if you are an individual, you will need help since carrying out the complete link prospecting process alone will be not only time-consuming but also tiresome. Hiring a team requires some level of resource management when it comes to staffing.

To carry out the email outreach process, the ones working on it will have to get access to your Gmail account. Though the general idea would be to provide them with your Gmail id and password, the simplest thing would be to grant them access to your Gmail account.

You can do this by going to Accounts and Imports and selecting Grant access to your account. Here you can add the email addresses of the people whom you want to give access. They will be able to operate your full account and send, edit or delete any email.

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You can add or remove people from this section if you want later. This is an important step since you need more than one person to take care of the email outreach process. This way, the whole structure will operate smoothly.

Why Do You Need To Set Up Canned Responses?

As mentioned, email outreach is a hectic process that takes a lot of time and hard work. Not only do you need to think of the proper email content, but you also need to build up new strategies to connect to your audience. In such a hectic process, you need methods to reduce time and effort.

Canned responses not just have one but multiple benefits in the email outreach process. It is a necessary part of email outreach, which will help you carry on the activity with ease. Below are some of the reasons why you should use a canned response.

 Save Time

Imagine you have a list of thousand recipients to whom you need to send emails. You have divided these recipients into three groups depending on their needs. You have to type out three different sets of emails for them, keeping your target audience in mind.

If you had set your response earlier, you could have saved a lot of time. Even if you need to send the same emails at a later date, you need not have to waste time searching for them and then copy and paste the content. You can choose the required email from the canned response, add the recipients, and send them.

Creates Less Stress

Writing an email can be stressful, especially if you have to do it in a very short time. If you have a deadline in which you need to send a certain email to numerous recipients, you may be stressed out finding the right words. You may sometimes miss out on important points, which could change the whole success rate of the email as well.

To avoid these unwanted situations, we use canned responses. Since it is easier to save more than one canned response, you can structure emails earlier and use them according to your requirement.

Eradicate Mistakes

The most important benefit that you will receive from canned responses is ‘no typing errors’ This happens to everyone and is something that cannot be avoided. When you type your email, you may have at least one typo in the content. You need to proofread your email before you send it, but there are chances that you may miss out on a few errors.

Typos can create a bad impression on the recipient, and they can perceive that you are not professional about this association. Hence, you can only eradicate the problem through canned responses.

When you compose the canned response, you will have to check the content not once but multiple times for any errors. After this is saved, you can choose your desired canned response and not bother about proofreading it until and unless you have made any changes to the email.

Setting Up Canned Responses on Gmail

Now that you have understood the importance of canned responses in your email outreach process, you will now learn how to set up the canned responses. Setting up and using canned responses are very easy and require just a couple of steps. I will elaborately explain each step so that you have a clear idea, even if this is your first time.

You already know how to enable canned responses from the settings tab. Now you will need to compose the email.

Compose the Email

The first thing you have to do is click on compose in your inbox’s upper left-hand corner. The new email box will open, and here you have to write down your email. Now you can go about this in two ways. You can either write your message or even use a template for the same.

The email here can be personalized and written in a conversational tone so that people can find the urge to reply to them. You have to mention what you want from the prospect since they already know. However, it would help if you never used informal or plain language to send across your message.

If you are confident that you will be able to write in the right tone and format, then you can form the email message yourself. Otherwise, you can use templates, which might be a much easier path for you.

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Before you compose the email or paste templates, make sure that you delete the signature. If you save the canned response with your signature, then you will have double signatures when you use the message later. Also, include a subject line that is catchy and describes the rest of the email in a few words.

Save Responses

Once you have written down your response, you will now have to save it. You will have to select more options, then on a canned response, and select a new canned response. The message that you have written will be saved in your canned response. Even if you do not need to use it now, you can check whether it is saved or not.

To do this, delete the message that you have been composing and open a new compose window. Do not delete your signature here and select more options, then canned response. You will be able to view your saved canned response, which you can select and send to the desired recipient.

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Always remember to read the message properly if you are using a template. If you need to make changes to the template based on your target audiences, then do so. Do not just blindly send a template filled with irrelevant information, or the whole effort will go waste.

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