Writing backlink outreach emails is hard, but anyone can do it. If you personalize every email and ensure there’s something in it for the recipient, you’ll be able to consistently build new backlinks to help move your website up in the rankings.

To help you kickstart your outreach, we’ve compiled some high-performing backlink outreach templates that you can use as a starting point. 

We’ll show you email templates for a variety of situations and show you the key steps to take before starting your campaign.

Sounds good?

Let’s dive in.

What are Backlinks and Do You Need Them?

Backlinks are links from one website to another.

For example, when Saleshacker recommended cold email automation tools in one of their blog posts, they added a link to our homepage — that’s a backlink.

Source: Saleshacker

Backlinks have always played a part in ranking on Google. Since 1998, Google has been using them to evaluate the importance of web pages. Today, Google isn't completely transparent about the importance of links, but they’ve never said they’re not a ranking factor.

Ahrefs have conducted studies and found direct correlations between backlinks and organic traffic.

Source: Ahrefs

In summary, backlinks still play a key role in SEO success which is why sending backlink request emails still play a key part in many companies’ marketing strategy.

How Do You Pitch a Backlink?

This question could be an in-depth guide by itself. But, here’s a quick breakdown:

1. Identify Your Link Prospects

First, you need to know who you want to reach out to.

Then, you’ll need to source their email address. There are various ways to do this.

  • Use an email finder like Skrapp or FindThatLead.

  • Use search engine operators to find publicly listed email addresses for a company.

  • Check if your prospect has a page on their site with contact details (it’s always best to email a personal email address, rather than a catchall like marketing@company.com).

When you have your list of prospects, you can start preparing your outreach emails.

2. Writing Your Email Templates

Next, you’ll need to write your email templates. With any email you write, it’s key to remember that you’re reaching out to a stranger who doesn’t know you.

Your email needs to be personalized to show you’ve put effort into your outreach. It needs to be short enough to get to the point quickly but long enough to include the key details.

You can use attributes in QuickMail to personalize every email with information about each prospect.

Your email will also need a call-to-action that makes it easy for your prospect to reply to you and start a conversation. 

You’ll see exactly what this looks like in practice when we get to the templates below.

3. Sending Your Emails and Following Up

If you want your link-building efforts to move the needle, it needs to be done at scale. Conversion rates vary, but expect anywhere from 1% - 10% email to link conversion rate depending on the type of campaign you’re running. Of course, the quality of your prospect list will also affect your conversion rate, so don’t cut corners there. 

To send your personalized emails at scale, use QuickMail’s cold email platform.

Upload your list of prospects, use attributes to make sure every email is personalized, and then schedule your campaign. 

You can add as many follow-up emails as you need and your follow-ups will be sent automatically if someone doesn’t reply to your first email.

6 Backlink Outreach Templates You Can Use Today

Before we jump into the templates, it’s important to remember that as soon as any email template is posted online, other people with the same goal as you will also be using them.

Make sure to personalize each template to your unique campaign and prospect. You’ll stand out in your recipient’s inbox, and it’ll boost your response rate.

1. Email Template to Land Guest Post Opportunities

Guest posts are a great way to engage with site owners and content managers. If you can offer a value-packed article that fits their site and will be useful to their own audience, most will be happy to accept — even if it includes a link back to your website.

Before reaching out, make sure to read their guest post guidelines. Most sites have a page for this.

Most content managers and site owners will only publish your guest post if it fits in well with their site, so make sure the guest post you deliver them is as high-quality as you can make it. 

Now, here’s the template:

Subject: Question about guest posting on {{company.name}}’s blog

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Big fan of your blog — particularly enjoyed the recent interview you did with [interviewee name] on [topic].

I noticed you accept guest posts and wanted to see if you’d be interested in having me write one of these posts for {{company.name}}’s blog:

  • {{Article Idea #1}}

  • {{Article Idea #2}}

  • {{Article Idea #3}}

You can check out articles I’ve written for our own blog here [link to your own blog].

Do any of those look like a good fit?

Best,

{{inbox.friendly_name}}

As you can see, this template makes it simple for your prospect. You’ve given three highly relevant content ideas that they can choose from, as well as linking to your own blog so they can judge what kind of quality to expect.

2. Email Template for Broken Link Building

Broken link building is when you notice a link in someone’s blog post or website is broken. Then, you reach out to them to let them know and offer your resource as a replacement.

It’s fundamentally simple but because you’re pointing out a problem most site owners will want to fix as soon as possible, it can have high conversion rates.

Broken link building is time-consuming, but it can have excellent results due to the fact you’re actively helping the people you’re reaching out to. After all, they want to make a good impression for their own audience, and broken links in their content aren’t a good look.

Subject: Broken link in your article

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

When I was reading your blog post on {{prospect.custom.Blog_Topic}} I noticed that a link to {{prospect.custom.Broken_Link}} goes to a 404 (it’s just before the conclusion).

We have a similar post touching on the same key points as the post you were linking to, which could be a good replacement. Here’s the post: [your blog post URL]

Either way, thanks for writing the post — I learned a lot and am looking forward to testing out your ideas!

Best,

{{inbox.name}}

The key is to keep it friendly and helpful. 

Some people prefer to avoid mentioning the exact spot the broken link is in, but in most cases, transparency is better. After all, you’re there to provide value, not try to trick your prospect into providing you with a backlink. Even if they don’t add your link, being helpful will leave a good impression on them and may open doors in the future.

3. Skyscraper Link Building Email Template

The skyscraper technique was coined by Brian Dean from Backlinko. The idea is that you create the best resource on a topic, then, reach out to site owners linking to similar articles and recommend linking to yours instead.

The first thing you’ll need is an awesome piece of content. Then, once you’ve your backlink targets, it’s time to reach out. 

Here’s a template you can use: 

Subject: Your blog post on {{prospect.custom.Blog_Topic}}

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Just read your article on {{prospect.custom.Blog_Topic}}. Wow, the level of detail was impressive, appreciate how you explained [specific topic] so clearly.

Noticed that you sourced several data points mentioned from this article (it’s a great resource, but has been out for a few years): [link URL that you want to replace] 

I just published a similar article, but the key difference is that our data comes from a larger sample size and has just been fully updated for this year.

If you’re planning any updates on your post, it might be a good fit!

Best,

{{inbox.name}}

This tactic has varying success rates because it’s been around for a while. But, it does still work if your content is good, and you’re confident the resource you’re trying to replace is outdated.

The ask is much bigger than guest posting or broken link building, so you’ll need to make sure your template is personalized and the content you’re pitching is excellent.

4. Pitching a Useful Resource to Improve Their Content

One interesting link-building tactic is to help marketers improve their existing content by sending them a new asset to use in their content.

When talking about ‘assets’, we’re talking: infographics, videos, custom images, graphs, and anything that adds new value to a blog post.

Every content writer and marketer wants their content to be the best out there, so if you can provide something they think will improve their content, it’s an easy decision to include it. 

Here’s the template:

Subject: Custom data visualization for your blog post?

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

One of my team shared your article in our company Slack — appreciated how you shared your Google Ads setup so transparently, we’ve still got a lot to learn!

I compiled your data on search trends and seasonality into a graph to help me understand it better. 

Would you be interested in taking a look? 

Best,

{{inbox.name}}

The key part of this template is that your content asset needs to be interesting enough for your link prospect to want to see it. Take a look at their blog, and see if they regularly share infographics or graphs in their posts. If they do but they haven’t included any in the post you’re emailing them about, chances are, they’re going to be interested.

Once you’ve started a conversation, you can let them know they’re free to include it in their blog post (and politely ask for a backlink).

5. Partner Up To Create New Content

One of the most powerful ways to acquire backlinks is by offering value to your prospect. No surprise there.

If you have the budget and team size to handle it, you can pitch companies to partner with them to create new, interesting.
For example, if you run a software company and are an expert on a particular topic, look for companies with complementary expertise and ask if they want to collaborate.

The best part of this tactic is that you build real relationships with your prospects as well as building your authority on a topic (not to mention the backlinks).

Here’s an example of how to pitch this with a cold email:

Subject: Collaborate on a webinar with {{company.name}}?

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Enjoyed your workshop at {{prospect.custom.Event_Name}} back in June - thanks for sharing your knowledge. I found your points on [topic they mentioned] particularly interesting.

I’m reaching out because I’m planning our content pipeline at [our company] for the next quarter. As we have a similar audience to {{company.name}}, I wanted to see what you thought of hosting a webinar together. Our email list has 10,000+ subscribers, so we can definitely drive some traffic your way too.

Is that something worth exploring?

Best,

{{inbox.name}}

Because you’re planning to collaborate with your prospect, you don’t want to be too salesy early on. Personalize your email as much as possible — as you can see in the template above, we’ve used a completely custom opening line to show that it’s an email not being sent to anyone else.

Keeping your CTA open-ended is also a best practice here because your prospect might have ideas they want to share back with you. At this stage, nothing is set in stone.

The key is that you’re focused on starting a conversation.

6. Claiming Unlinked Brand Mentions

As your company grows, you’ll start to notice other websites mentioning you. 

You can easily track new brand mentions with Google Alerts, Mention, or Brandwatch. Whenever someone mentions your company name, you’ll get notified. You can visit the site in question, and if they haven’t linked to your site where they mentioned you, you can reach out to the site owner and ask if they’d be open to adding a link.

 Subject: Thanks for mentioning [company] in your article

Hi {{prospect.first_name}},

Saw that you mentioned [your company] in your blog post here: [blog post url]. Firstly, thanks for the mention — we’re glad you found our product useful!

Would you be open to adding a link where you mentioned our company name? We’d be grateful as it would help people find us.

Best,

{{inbox.name}}

This template is straightforward. If someone has already mentioned your company in a positive light, they will generally be willing to update their article to add a link. 

Unlinked brand building is best if you do it on a regular basis via brand name monitoring. As soon as you see an article go live that mentions your brand name without linking back, send a friendly email and ask for one. Most of the time, the site owner or content manager will be happy to add one.

Case Study: Using QuickMail to Start 437 Conversations

Reading a blog post is one thing, but putting your new backlink templates and learnings to work is another.

Sometimes, it helps to see exactly how other people are using cold outreach to successfully build backlinks to their sites and their client sites.

Here’s how Joe Troyer of Digital Triggers & InvisiblePPC did it:

First, he built a prospect list by searching for bloggers that fit his client’s audience. He added the list to a spreadsheet, with information on their:

  • Name

  • Website URL and name

  • The niche they write about

He built a list of 1,405 prospects (and did his research on each one) so he could be confident he’d get enough replies to move the needle for his client. 

Then, he defined his core KPI. In this case, reply rate was what mattered most. If Joe received a reply from his prospect, he knew there was a chance they could work together.

Next, it was time to prepare his email templates. Joe’s email sequence contained three short and sweet templates designed to start a conversation. 

He also used QuickMail’s A/B testing feature to compare how different subject lines performed.

His campaign received 437 responses, which is a 31% reply rate.

When his prospects replied with interest, all Joe had to do was let his client know and prepare the guest post, ready to publish.
Want to read the entire case study? Click here to check it out.

In Summary

Backlink building takes time and energy, but with the help of personalized and targeted cold emails, you can easily get in touch with your link prospects and easily strike up a conversation.

The key is that every email you send needs to be personalized and offer real value to your prospect. If all you do is beg for a link, you’re not getting one.

Find ways to add value, either through writing a guest post, collaborating with them, or highlighting a broken link on their site that needs fixing.

If you stay consistent, you’ll have no problem consistently building backlinks to your site.

When you’re ready to start sending your backlink emails out, make sure to sign up for your free trial of QuickMail, our cold email platform to help you get more replies to your outreach campaigns.