6 link building emails that still work in 2020

Quality backlinks are still a major ranking factor but the majority of link building approaches simply don't work anymore. Here are a few ways you can frame your ask and provide enough value upfront to earn a spot on their page.

Create a content upgrade for the site owner → ask for a link credit

Subject line: [Infographic] Created an infographic of key NLP techniques for your article

Provide one meaningful comment about their website.

Mention you created an infographic related to a topic they wrote an article about and briefly summarize what the infographic shows or teaches.

Mention a key benefit or learning their audience would get out of your infographic.

Ask if they'd be willing to include your infographic in their article.

Download 5 link building templates

Edit template Reset Copy

This is how Luke from Pest Pro App earned a link from Life Hacker

He offered them an informative infographic on insect identification. Having an unsexy topic is no longer an excuse. :)

How Luke from Pest Pro App pitched his infographic to a Life Hacker writer
Luke  <luke@email.com>
to Patrick
Hey Patrick,

I really liked your article on Identifying Dangerous Spiders. Great stuff!

You actually inspired me to take this a step farther and create something even deeper in the subject of insects & spiders.

I thought I'd reach out to you because I just published an infographic on Insect Identification and I thought it might interest you. It covers 28 of the top insects & spiders that bite. All based on research and I have the sources to back it up.

Would it be OK to pass it along? I'd love to get your opinion on it.

Either way, keep up the good work with Lifehacker.


Here's how Luke followed up when he didn't get a response to his first email

How Luke from Pest Pro App followed up to get his infographic featured
Luke  <luke@email.com>
to Patrick
Hey Patrick,

Was you interested in that infographic I mentioned? I forgot to post the link within it.

You can find that here:


How to pitch a popular website your infographic idea before even creating it

Here's how Kaloyan from WooGuru pitched Kissmetrics his idea for a co-branded infographic and only created it after Kissmetrics' content manager agreed to feature it in their blog.

A Killer Exclusive Infographic for Kissmetrics Blog
Kaloyan  <kaloyan@email.com>
to Kissmetrics
Hi guys,

Sean Work referred me this email in regards to the blog of Kissmetrics.

I just wrote a post on eCommerce Sales with some ingenious social media tactics and growth hacks. We're currently working on turning this post into a professional killer infographic that will have the core information from the post.

I'd like to offer this infographic to Kissmetrics blog so you can publish it exclusively. The infographic will contain the Kissmetrics logo, too of course.

Is this something you might be interested in? Please let me know so I can show you the infographic.

Kalo WooGuru.net Founder

Here are some tips from Kalo about how to get your infographic featured:

・If it's a influential website, give them first dibs on your infographic as an exclusive
・Offer to write a few paragraphs to accompany the infographic
・Offer to mention their product in the infographic if it's relevant to its topic

Implement an influencer's advice → ask for a share

Subject line: Loved your article about radical honesty - here are my results after a month

Implement an influencer's advice for a period of time and let them know the results you achieved by following it.

Create an article sharing what you achieved following this influencer's advice and share it with them.

Ask them if they would be interested in sharing your story in their article, which boosts the credibility of their advice.

Download 5 link building templates

Edit template Reset Copy

Ask site owners who used your content on their website without credit for one

For this approach, enter the URLs of your popular articles into Copyscape so see pages on other websites that may be using its content. Go through each page and where they haven't credited you, reach out to the owner or author.

Subject line: This Verve article uses one of my case studies - can you add a credit?

Simply mention the section of their page where they used your content and link to your page this content is from.

Ask them for a credit.

Download 5 link building templates

Edit template Reset Copy

Ask influencers for reaction quotes to your article to get your article shared with their audience

This is how Kyle from GrowthBadger earned social shares from online influencers including Tim Soulo from Ahrefs and Brian Dean from Backlinko. Kyle asked them for reaction quotes to the results of a survey he conducted and after the article went live, these influencers shared it with their large audiences. Kyle calls this the 'Double Survey Technique'.

Kyle also discovered that you get a lot more replies by asking busy influencers to react to one single key point or survey finding instead of asking them to react to your entire article.

In his first email to each influencer, he asked them "Mind if I send you the chart?" (a survey result for them to react to), instead of sending the chart upfront. This was a much easier ask to say 'yes' to and once the influencer does agree, they are much more likely to follow through. Most people don't want to be someone who reneges on their words. :)

Can I quote you in an article?
Kyle from GrowthBadger's link building emailKyle  <kyle@email.com>
to Brian
Hi Brian,

Thanks for responding to my comment on yesterdays post. That was an awesome article.

I'd love to quote you in an upcoming article I think you'd be interested in.

It's about the results of a new study in which I asked 1,117 bloggers what's working for them right now: article types, monetization methods, etc.

Specifically I'd love to get a reaction quote from you on how bloggers say they view the importance of a good domain name.

Even just a sentence or two would be awesome.

Mind if I send you the chart?



Brian Dean provided Kyle a reaction quote and after the article went up, Kyle let Brian know and he shared the article on Twitter.

How Kyle let Brian know the article went live
Kyle from GrowthBadger's link building emailKyle  <kyle@email.com>
to Brian
Hi Brian,

Your quote and the full results post from my blogging study just went live:


It turned out great -- lots of interesting new stats.

If you have a minute to share it, that would be awesome.

Either way, thanks again for your excellent contribution! And if I can ever help you with anything, please let me know any time.

How to pitch a guest blog article to an authoritative website and earn a backlink

Subject line: Article idea: how to create visual memory aids for complex concepts

Provide a meaningful comment about one of their recent articles and share your thoughts about it to show you really read it.

Pitch a story idea relevant to their audience. Break down the key points it'll cover and provide a few details to elaborate each point.

List a few articles you've written in the past to show them your writing quality. If you don't have any published articles yet, you can link to your blog articles or skip this part.

Ask them for their thoughts about your article idea to open the conversation.

Download 5 link building templates

Edit template Reset Copy

Feature another website's content or article → ask for a share

Subject line: Featured your article about the email habits of super busy people

Provide a meaningful comment about the article you featured.

Mention that you shared their article with a relevant audience.

Briefly describe the rest of your article and its key takeaways.

Gently ask them if they'd be open to sharing your article without sounding like you expect them to do it.

Download 5 link building templates

Edit template Reset Copy

How to ask people who shared your content in the past to share your new article

To see who shared you content, simply search your site on Facebook and Twitter. For example, here's what came up when I searched for 'artofemails.com':

Subject line: Thank you for sharing my article!

Thank them for sharing your previous article.

Mention that you recently published another related article and briefly summarize what it's about.

Gently ask for a share without sounding like you expect them to and reiterate your gratitude for their support.

Download 5 link building templates

Edit template Reset Copy
Last updated:
"How do I get new clients?" No you don't have to create content, get active on social media or complete on job boards. Yes all of these help, but you're forced to play the waiting game. While your bills stack up... Instead you can proactively reach out to clients you want to work with. Here's how (and no, talking about your benefits is not enough). Yes, let's get proactive
More proven templates