I have probably built just as many links as a result of following up with people as I have with my first email. People are busy; popular bloggers will get lots of emails, and in a world where we can check email on the move, your email may get buried pretty quickly and forgotten.For this reason alone, it is worth making sure that you follow up on all outreach if you don’t get a reply first time. The added benefit here is that you also reinforce the fact that you’re a genuine person and not some automated piece of software that is hitting lots of websites at once.In order to follow up properly, you need to keep your outreach as organized as possible and record the replies that you get. The last thing you want is to follow up with someone who has already linked to you!There are a few ways to stay organized with your outreach ranging from very simple Excel spreadsheets to fully integrated customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Let’s look at some of these options.An Excel SpreadsheetWhen you’re first starting out with link building, a simple spreadsheet will work just fine. Even at the intermediate level, it can still do the job, but it can become a bit big and cumbersome if you’re working on multiple campaigns at the same time.
Specialist Tools for Outreach Management At this point, you may need to invest in a more robust, focused system for managing your outreach. There are a few options here such as BuzzStream and Raven which are probably the most popular for this kind of task.BoomerangBoomerang is a free plug-in for Gmail with a nice little feature that we can use for following up with outreach targets. When sending an email, you can tell Boomerang to send the email back to you if you don’t get a reply within a set period of time.
In this case, if the person I’m emailing doesn’t reply within two days, Boomerang will send the email back to me. At this point I can quickly follow up with them and the great thing is that I can be sure that I’m not emailing the wrong people who may have already replied.Combine this with canned responses (outlined below) and you have a quick and effective way of following up with all your link targets.How to Follow UpIn terms of exactly how to follow up with people, my advice is to keep the email short and to the point. You’ve already emailed them once and outlined all the details they need, so you don’t need to repeat it all over again. If you reply to the same email you sent, then most email programs will actually include the original email, anyway, so the person can scroll down and find it very easily if they want to.In Terms of What to Say, Something As Simple As This Can Do the Job:Hey John,I just wanted to follow up on the email I sent a few days ago (pasted below) regarding the ultimate guide to backpacking that I’ve put together. It would be great to get your feedback, if possible, and see if this is something you’d be interested in sharing with the readers of your blog.I look forward to hearing from you.Thanks!Paddy
(Here you can include the original email so they can refer to it if they can’t remember it.)It’s nice and short, says what you need it to, and is polite. I usually tend to follow up with someone once. If I still do not get a reply, I’ll probably move on and not contact them any more for this particular campaign. If you follow up any more, you’re running the risk of annoying them and actually damaging your chances of building a relationship with them.