How to Write a Great Link-Building Email & 3 Templates

July 18, 2023

This is a guest post written by Nick Malekos, the Head of SEO at LearnWorlds and the founder of the Marketing Experts Hub.

Link-building, especially for SaaS, is one of the most important pillars of a successful SEO strategy, and when done correctly, can bring incredible results.

As an SEO Manager at LearnWorlds and the blog owner for years, I have sent and received a lot of emails for link-building. 

And, I have an inbox full of terrible pitches I tend to ignore on a daily basis.

In this article, I will show you how to send a great email pitch to a website and offer templates you can easily copy & paste.

Before we go on the actual how-to, let’s see some examples and best practices and what to avoid:

Best Practices for Cold Outreach

Editors and bloggers at any link-worthy site get a LOT of spam emails every day. If you don’t want to be ignored, or even worse get into the spam inbox, you need to do the work and send a decent email.

Which means doing some work, research, or personalizing your message before sending it. 

Follow these best practices for backlink outreach to get a better chance of landing that link for your site or your client:

Personalize: No one likes massive generic emails. Emails should be relatable and personalized as much as possible. A personalized email will get better reply rates. Also, it’s important to find the right person. I ignore 99% of the emails sent to our generic email address, but read the ones addressed to me personally. 

Follow-up: One email is never enough! Send a follow-up email. People tend to notice follow-up emails and your response rate will skyrocket at the second or third follow-up email.

Give value first: Why should anyone respond to you? Find your value proposition and make your “offer” irresistible. Smaller websites might be looking for more content, big publication editors for great articles, and SaaS companies for link exchanges.

Include suggestions of topics: It goes a long way if you have done your research, found relevant topics the site hasn’t covered, and pitch them (saved time as well). When I do outreach, I have a list of 30+ topics I can copy-paste to an email to make this easier, and I choose the most relevant ones to the site I am pitching.

Include links to your best content: The best websites to get a link from care about the quality of their content. Add examples to your best piece of content when pitching, and choose the top 3-5 articles that are most relevant to the target audience of the cold email campaign to include.

Use a custom domain: The first red flag from me is a Gmail or Hotmail address. I expect low-quality, spammy outreach coming from generic domains. Of course, to avoid getting your company’s email flagged, you should use another domain. For example, at LearnWorlds we use to send outreach emails.

Make it easy: Make it effortless to say yes. The first rule of CRO is to reduce friction to increase conversion rates. Help your target say yes by removing any obstacles. That could be by offering a topic, links to your articles, a person/company behind the email, creating trust, or adding value in a way they can’t say no to.

Don’t lie: You don’t need to read the whole article when pitching a broken link, but don’t lie. Saying you have been following our blog for years or reading an article without doing so will get you black-listed immediately. Editors know when you have read an article and when you are lying, be truthful, add value, and you will get the link.

Ask for the right person: It works more often than you think to suggest forwarding this email to the right person inside the company. Add a line like “If you are not the right person, could you forward this email to the right person?”.

A/B testing: Testing is very important in email marketing. Be sure to test at least a few variations of your email outreach, measure results, and always improve as you go.

P.S.: Don’t waste anyone’s time. Your email should explain what you want and the value you are giving in 5 seconds.

P.S.2: Formatting. Your email should have normal-sized fonts, bold important pieces of information, and avoid bright-colored highlights. Make your email readable and skimmable.

Good Examples of Outreach Emails

One of the most difficult tasks was to find a few good examples of cold email outreach I have received.

Here are a few ones that have actually piqued my interest. 

Personalized & Relevant

This email highlights the relevancy and is quite personal to the point that explains why it makes sense to work together. It pitches more than a link, it pitches a partnership and offers something of value.

It was also sent by the real domain of the company, which makes me trust them even more.

This email outlines how being relevant and personal pays off.

Value First

This pitch was about a link exchange, explaining immediately why I will be getting value from them. Also, the title was simple, actionable, and explained the value as well.

Usually, we don’t answer many requests to be an exchange partner, but they came with a branded domain email that was connected to a good domain and seemed to be a link-building agency.

We are still working with Emily 🙂

Outline the value first when writing a collab email.

Examples of Work

While this email outreach was left unanswered in my inbox, it had some nice touches that made me read it before moving forward:

  • Author introduction
  • Examples of work with links
  • It was sent directly to my personal email
Providing examples of your work in your cold email can help you with your open rates as well.

P.S.: There are things to improve, like formatting, bullets, custom domain, and adding a few topics. But, at least this is a passable outreach campaign.

As Easy As Pie

Broken link building campaigns are the bread and butter of any SEO. 

In this case, they show the exact article and broken link, while the call to action comes with a link to replace it. Making it easy to take action will increase your success rate. This email is simple and effective in that respect.

The subject line “broken link” tells me exactly the problem and why I should open it. 

Clear subject line in your email helps out prospects determine what your mail will be about in seconds!

Email Outreach Red Flags

There are so many red flags, I had to choose a shortlist for this article!

Avoid these practices to increase your open rates and earn more backlinks to your website:

Not personalizing: Sending generic emails to the info@ or contact@ addresses is the biggest red flag. If your email reads like it was sent to 1000 people, it will probably be ignored.

Bad grammar: Especially if you are doing guest post outreach, make sure you pass the text by Grammarly at least. If your email is full of grammar mistakes, I won’t expect much better from your content.

Personalization fails: If you are automating a list and I see a variable in a bracket e.g. [name] or [website], you didn’t even put in the work to correctly edit the template. Don’t expect a reply or a link.

Not including a person or company name: A Gmail without any introduction or enough information is a red flag. To trust a link-builder or writer, I need to feel they are real and not a made-up person. Introduce yourself or add some links in your signature to identify yourself.

Obvious lies: Saying you read an article you clearly didn’t will not help your case. Better give some value and be honest and upfront than trying to win with a lie.

Bad subject lines: Avoid subject lines that read like they are automated, have bad grammar, or begging for links (see example below).

Examples of Terrible Outreach Practices

There were so many bad examples to choose from, it was difficult to choose the best bad examples of terrible link-building outreach.

Just avoid sending a similar email, please!


  • The subject is generic, and the website addition feels automated
  • No signature
  • The user is obviously fake (I wouldn’t expect to get paid)
  • We don’t post about Casino, why are you even asking? (do some research first)
  • There are no other languages, if you bother to look at the website.
  • You can look for RSS Feeds yourself
This outreach emails is just. plain. TERRIBLE!

Begging for a Link

Starting a subject with “please” is not very professional, and adding your website to the subject does not help.

The formatting changes from the first two lines to the rest, it feels like bad copy-pasting.

It is long and does not add value.

At least, it explains the topic of interest well.

Begging for a link is never a good practice in cold outreach.

Do Some Research

While this email has some good characteristics, like suggesting topics, it fails in almost everything else, which tells me they didn’t take a look at the website before emailing:

  • The topics are not relevant to our site.
  • The email address is the company’s generic one.
  • We don’t accept guest posts, they could have easily seen it with a quick scroll of the blog.
  • No examples of articles when asking for a guest post.
Do some research before doing outreach to help land that client you want.

No, You Did Not Read the Article

It started well, but here is where automation fails. If you are going to compliment an article of the writer you should at least read it and address the author.

This outreach mentions an article on the subject and links to a different one in the body 🤦‍♂️.

Read the article before hitting on the outreach, please!

Zero Value

If you are sending from Gmail without mentioning where you want the links to and why I should be adding links, the email goes directly to the trash.

Mentioning that you are paying for the links, doing exchanges, or a broken link is a better way to get a response and possibly a link.

When you do outreach, never provide your prospect with zero value!

Link-Building Email Outreach Templates

Email outreach is one of the essential tactics to get quality backlinks, either by guest posting, broken links, or pitching your article.

Here are 3 link-building email templates to help you improve your search engine rankings.

Guest Post Request Template

Subject: Guest Post Suggestion: {Topic}

Hi {Name},

My name is {Your Name} and I am a writer for {niche} and would like to offer a guest post for your website.

I have gone through your website and see you are writing about {topic niche of website}. Would you be interested in any of these topics?

  • {topic 1}
  • {topic 2}
  • {topic 3}

If you have any other ideas for topics, feel free to suggest them. I would love to work with you to find a good topic for your audience.

Here are some other guest blogs I have written for other publications:

  • {Example 1}
  • {Example 2}
  • {Example 3}

If you are not the right person, can you direct me to the person responsible for the blog or forward my email?

Looking forward to hearing back from you,

{Your Name}

{Your title}

{Your Website / LinkedIn}

Follow-Up Template

Email Subject: Re: Guest Post Suggestion: {Topic}

Hi {name},

I realize you are most probably super busy (who isn’t these days!), so I decided to follow up on my previous email, in case you haven’t had the chance to read it yet.

I can write an in-depth article for your website on these topics, or any other article in the queue:

  • {topic 1}
  • {topic 2}
  • {topic 3}


{Your Name}

{Your title}

{Your Website / LinkedIn}

Broken Link Building Template

Email Subject: Suggestion for your {title} post

Hi {name},

I was browsing your site’s great content and wanted to give you a quick heads up about a page you’re linking to on this post {Website URL}.

It looks like it directs your visitors to a 404 error page: {Broken Page}

If you’re interested in new suggestions for a replacement, we’ve actually written {Your Topic} that presents currently relevant information, here: {Your URL}

I do think it will be a great read for your readers!

Kind Regards,

{Your Name}

{Your title}

{Your Website / LinkedIn}

A Final Word

As backlink prices increase over time, guest posting, link exchanges, and broken link tactics are some of the most cost-effective ways to build authority.

By following a good link-building email template and some of the best practices mentioned above, you will be able to grow your website’s traffic by building authoritative backlinks.

Good luck with your link-building efforts!


Nick Malekos

Nick Malekos is the Head of SEO at LearnWorlds and the founder of the Marketing Experts Hub. With more than 7 years of experience in SEO with a passion for education. His expertise is mainly in the e-Learning and SaaS industries and loves to use tools to increase productivity in digital marketing. You can connect with him on Linkedin.

Written by David Gabric
Using an analytical and data-driven approach I create scaleable strategies to bring more eyes to your company.

David Gabric

Using an analytical and data-driven approach I create scaleable strategies to bring more eyes to your company.

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