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The art of writing a link exchange request that is not spam

Link exchange requests have a very bad reputation. The reason for that is that many people send mass link exchange requests that are nothing more than spam.

However, if you want to get links from authority sites, you have to send link exchange requests. The secret of successful requests is to write link exchange messages that aren't spam.

Get the reader's attention

If you want people to read your link exchange message, it should not sound like the dozens of other emails that the webmaster receives. Use the recipient's real name throughout your message. If your message starts with "Dear webmaster" then it's likely that it will be moved to the trash. Be personal. Write a personal message for each recipient.

Use a real email address with a real name as the sender address. Free email addresses and email addresses with numbers look spammy.

Get the reader's interest

What's in for me? You should answer that question as soon as possible in your email.

Do not list any features. Focus on benefits. First, nobody is really interested in the great features of your website. Tell the recipient how your website solves his problems or the problems of his readers.

Appeal to the ego of the recipient. Tell the recipient that you list only 10 websites in this special category and that he is in that top 10 list. It's easier to convince people if you appeal to their ego.

Create desire

The recipient of your link exchange message won't react to your request if you don't create desire.

To create desire out of interest, you can tell the recipient that you downloaded his ebook, subscribed to his newsletter or RSS feed, etc. The other webmaster is more likely to reciprocate if you have done something in advance.

Give the recipient the feeling that he's special. Include your phone number in your email message. Summarize why the recipient benefits from linking to you.

Make action as easy as possible

Don't make the recipient think. Make the linking process as easy as possible by giving him copy/paste HTML code with your link information. Of course, the code should only be an option and you should not insist on that code. If the webmaster want's to use another code to link to your site, that's okay.

Further information on how to write link exchange messages can be found in our free SEO book. If your website needs more inbound links, take a look at this tool.

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January 2009 search engine articles