3 Ways to Improve Your Email Outreach Success Rate [Real Examples]

by Peter Attia on April 10, 2012

Doing manual outreach to bloggers can be tough. It’s time consuming and sometimes unfruitful. Here’s a few tactics to get a bigger turn around.

If they turn you down, offer something else

This is step 1 and the most common problem I see. If someone turns you down don’t walk away! You shouldn’t be a pest, but give them something they might prefer instead.

(click to enlarge)

email outreach turned down example

Offer a referral fee

When you’ve gotten a link from someone, you’re not done yet! They’re bloggers – They’re social. Ask them if they have any friends and tell them you’ll cop them $10 if it works out. There’s also a good chance they own other blogs themselves.

email outreach referral fee example

Pay for it

Paid links?!? GASP! Now, I’m not talking about a typical paid link. I mean if someone is on the fence about giving you a link, offering them 20 or 30 bucks can be enough to sway them in the right direction. This isn’t something you should do all the time, as it is still against Googles guidelines. However, if you’re in a pinch, it does work.

paid link outreach example


When you’re approaching someone for a link, convince yourself that they already want to give you one. This will give you more confidence in your correspondence.

It reminds me of a line from Breaking Bad that I will never forget:

Breaking Bad Name one thing in this world that is NOT negotiable

This is true in many ways. If someone won’t put a link in one place, put it in another. If someone only accepts banners, see if they’ll do a button ad with alt text. Figure something out, don’t just give up.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Missy April 10, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Hi, Peter:

I get these sort of requests all the time (like almost weekly) because I own so many blogs, and they’re all ranked and established. What’s funny to me is that I have two blogs in particular which are NOT my money blogs as I call my good affiliate blogs – yet these two are the one’s I get constant ad requests on. Go figure!

p.s. Love your site, am an RSS reader.



Peter Attia April 10, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Hah! That is a little odd. My guess is it has to do with the nature of your blogs or the topic. As an example, I usually look for blogs that don’t look like they make money, because I know I have a better chance of getting a guest post on them :)



Missy April 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Well the one blog is a finance blog and the other is in the iPhone niche. So these two must obviously be categories that advertisers prowl for. Ha!


Kamal April 11, 2012 at 2:16 am

Great post ,Peter. I love the real outreach examples. And, you threw in a Breaking Bad reference. Love that show!


Peter Attia April 11, 2012 at 2:35 am

Yeah, I wanted to give some examples that I didn’t think would fly on SEOmoz. Also, I’ve been watching way too much breaking bad lately, hah!


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