Pitching the Perfect Link Request

Requesting links is partly a science and partly an art particularly when seeking links from authority websites. When thinking about writing a link request, it is important to pay close attention to 2 factors: What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) and Attention, Interest, Desire, Action (AIDA).

If you are able to keep these two factors in mind, the rest is in the semantics of what you should not do as well as customizing the request to the specific vertical or industry that you are targeting.

To help make things a bit easier, you will be provided with a link request you can customize in the way you deem most suitable.

The first thing is to examine the psychology of a link pitch followed up with how to use the same principles to influence the desired action from a person you would like to approach or pitch.

What’s In It For Me?

This is the first question that typically comes to mind if you are approached by a person hoping to get you to do something. It is therefore important to answer the question right from the start. In general, most benefits fit into the categories below:

Resources: Do you offer a resource that can offer values to the subscribers, readers, or website visitors of the link target website?

Association: If the link target links to your website, will it enjoy a stronger association. For example, a dentist can enjoy increased association with fellow dentists if they choose to link to a local directory or association of dentists.

Recognition: Creative link builders perennially feature top 10 and top 100 lists for good reason. Once you tickle people’s ego, they are much easier to convince.

Reciprocity: This does not refer to standard link spam reciprocal links but rather relevant reciprocal links built mostly for traffic as opposed to SEO. Think of the strategic links between content portals such as Yellow Pages and MSN or between other complementary sites.

Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

The A.I.D.A. principle will walk you through the process of engaging the link prospect to closing the interaction with them. If it succeeds, it should lead to them linking to your linkbait. Here is how it works:

Attention: The aim is to distinguish yours from the rest of the subscription requests, link requests, junk mail, and newsletters your prospect receives. Some key steps towards proper engagement with the attention of the prospect include:

  • Being Personal: Use the real name of the contact as opposed to their designation throughout the email
  • Avoid Being A Bore: If yours sounds just like the previous 5 emails the prospect has skimmed over, it will be quickly tossed into the trash can.
  • Distinguish Yourself: Use the opening and closing paragraph as well as subject line to your advantage. Those are important areas to make an impression.

Interest: The aim is always to get the link prospect to read through the most crucial part of the email, all while still rousing their interest to link to your website. Here are a few tips to being interesting:

WIIFM: Use the points discussed in the section above to answer this first.

Focusing on Benefits as opposed to Features: Who really cares if you are the next best thing to happen since sliced bread? Try to appeal to how your resource solves the problems your prospects or the prospects’ readers’ experience.

Appealing to Their Ego: In case your linkbait appeals to the ego of the prospect or even awards them with recognition of some kind, you should explain where exactly they rank in your list.

Desire: Once you have generated interest you should aim to create desire or the prospect won’t act upon the request. Create desire from interest by doing the following:

  • Giving Them Exactly What They Want: Does your link prospect have an RSS feed, newsletter, or e-book they would like people to subscribe to? Make them aware of the fact that you have subscribed to their offering and that you are looking forward to enjoying their material. Since the prospect has gained a new subscriber, they are more likely to reciprocate.
  • Avail Yourself: If you would like for the prospect to feel special, you should make them feel like they have a direct line of communication with you if they would like to contact you. This can be as simple as offering your office phone number or real email address@domain.com as opposed to pr@domain.com
  • Reminding The Prospect Why They Need To Link To You: Quickly summarize how the prospect benefits from linking to you to reinforce your initial benefits proposition.

Action: Avoid making them think. A better approach is to offer them a code that they can copy then paste to make the process of linking easier. If the prospect is code savvy, offer them the option of using your copy and paste code or letting the prospect to ‘announce’ your resource to readers when they are ready.

Using A Link Request Template To Put It All Together

Subject: We have a resource that we feel your readers may enjoy…

Body: Hi,

I am and I’m getting in touch with you concerning your blog/site<Site/Blog Name>. I am currently working with to announce a new resource <Linkbait/Article Name>, and thought that this might interest you and your readers since it offers a simple yet intuitive way of . You can review the article at . If you find that the resource is of value to you and your readers, I would really appreciate it if you could add it to your or announce it to your readers when you are ready. Or, you can use the customized link code or customized bade provided below:

As a person interested in , I have signed up to your <RSS/Newsletter> and looking forward to learning more about your business. Please inform me if the above provides sufficient information for you to review and give consideration to our new section for linking. I am available Mondays through Friday 9am to 5pm and you can contact me via phone at my direct line (905)420-1234 or via my direct email at name@domain.com.

Best Regards,


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