How to Build an Outreach Prospect List

Stacey Barton
Dec 04, 2017
SEO

Outreach isn’t as simple as sending a few emails in the hope you will get a do-follow link back to your website. In fact, it can be rather stressful and time-consuming having to perfect the ultimate outreach list and email.

In this post, I am going to share with you what I have found eases the pain of outreach, helping you to increase your success rate.

1. Having something worthwhile to link to 

Now, this gets mentioned all the time, but it is true! You need something unique – something that stands out from all the other content out there. Or even a concept that compliments something else you have seen.

The things I have noticed work well are:

  • Content that mentions a charity, place or person
  • Content that contains awesome statistics, potentially carried out by your own research
  • Content that touches on a topic, which is starting to become more and more popular as time goes on

A great example of this is electric cars. Nowadays, more people are starting to think about switching to electric cars. Content relating to how far an electric car can travel on one charge is quite interesting and topical.

It all starts with originality. Writing about something unique and exciting will help gain the interest of those you are trying to reach out to.

2. Knowing exactly what you can offer in return

Who said outreach was going to be free, quick and easy? No one. When it comes to outreach, it is very unlikely that someone is willing to do something for nothing. And if they are, you’re very lucky!

From conversations I have had with bloggers and site owners, it’s extremely hard to get someone to link to you without anything in return, so having a few things you can offer them is key.

Some ideas on what that could be:

  • Social media exposure: If your article has been referenced in an influencer’s post, share it on across your social media channels. This will give them exposure to a different audience that they wouldn’t ordinarily be able to reach.
  • Free gift or review: Offer them something in return such as a free gift or a product to review. The word ‘free’ is the key to persuasion.
  • Event invitation: Invite them to an event your company is holding. Whether it’s a race or an exhibition, this could give you the coverage you have been looking for. You never know, it could make it on to their blog and social media!
  • Free content: Give them content or some form of asset, like a video or graphic, which they can host on their website for free. Just make sure that you state the condition of referencing your site.

Each of these ideas suggested above will obviously depend on your company. However, it is always worth finding out what your company is willing to offer, as you can use it to help with the process of gaining a successful link.

3. Nail your outreach list at the beginning

Once I have decided what it is I want to outreach, I then begin to create my list. Below is an example of the chosen method I tend to use.

In the example below, I am planning to outreach a Renault Kadjar buyer’s guide.

For this method you will need a license to Scrapebox and URL Profiler.

1. Work out the target keywords you want relevant sites to be talking about.

I want to find the people who are talking about particular keywords: Renault Kadjar, Kadjar, Renault Kadjar Car Review, New Renault Kadjar.

2. Work out the list of sites you do not wish to see in the final list.

Here, I do not wish to see the likes of competitor sites or social media sites. I only want to find influencers through industry blogs or car enthusiasts.

3. Then input this information as a query string into Google and start looking through the results.

Renault Kadjar OR Kadjar OR SUV OR Kadjar Review OR Renault Kadjar Car Review OR New Renault Kadjar –site:renaultretail.co.uk –site:renaultretail.co.uk –site:facebook.com –site:wikipedia.org

4. Add any other sites you hadn’t thought of, which are appearing in the results. Keep doing this step until you are happy with the results you are left with.

5. Enter this string into Scrapebox ensuring you add the keywords underneath.

Scrapebox outreach tips

6. Ensure your proxies are turned on.

7. Select ‘Start Harvesting’, which is located next to where you enter the keywords.

8. Choose your preferred search engine to scrape (in most cases it will be Google). You can choose more than one search engine. Then click start.

How to harvest Scrapebox

9. This won’t take long at all. You will have 2 pop ups that will appear. Close them both.

10. Once back to the original dashboard, click ‘Export URLs’ as a Text file.

Exporting Scrapebox URLs

11. Now use URL Profiler to gain site quality metrics, contact info and social media pages. Select what information you want. In this case, I have selected Majestic SEO, Email details and social media for domain.

How to use URL Profiler

12. Organise your list into however you see fit and start emailing away!

Organising by the quality of the site is always a good way to start. To do this, simply filter by domain Trust Flow and split into 3 sections. I tend to remove sites with a TF less than 10. Split the rest by TF 10-15 (Low quality), TF 16-25 (Medium quality) and TF 25+ (High quality).

Splitting your list into tiers will help your success rate. Testing emails to the lower tier group will give you an understanding of what works and what doesn’t. You don’t want to be testing tactics with your highest quality links, as they are worth more to your site than lots of low quality sites.

Now you have gained the perfect outreach list, you can now go ahead and begin outreaching! Read our other article on how to outreach your way to success to find out more tips.

I hope you have some great prospects in your outreach list. If you have any points on what works well for you then please do share them in the comments, as I’d love to give them a go myself!



This post was compiled by:

Stacey works within the search team as an SEO Account Executive. She has been at iThinkMedia now for 5 years and has worked across a range of industries including fashion, tech, retail, travel and more. On a day-to-day basis she works across many accounts optimising on-page, carrying out local SEO and outreach.

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