12 Ways to Maximize Your Link Acquisition Efforts
Customer acquisition costs more than maintaining and growing business with customers you've already won. The same goes for your link acquisition efforts and expenses.
It's helpful - and ultimately more profitable - to see any new link acquisitions as the beginning of a relationship rather than the end. Remember - by linking to you they have acknowledged that your site is valuable to their visitors. Exactly how you grow the initial link relationship will depend on how you bring value to the community.
1) Send A "Thank You for Linking" Email
Always send a "thank you for linking" email. Avoid smothering your new linker - a few lines are plenty. Do ask if they can think of any ways that your two sites could benefit each other. Also, consider asking this linker to connect with you on Twitter, LinkedIn, FaceBook, etc if you operate profiles on these social media sites.
2) Request an Interview That Highlights Their Expertise
If you have writing resources and a publishing platform on your site consider asking for an interview with one of their experts. This quickly puts them in your debt and is likely to secure a link back when they publicize how they contributed to your site.
3) Design Widgets that Target Your Current Linkers
Target your existing linkers with a creative widget (personality quiz, survey, test, etc) that resonates with their passions. When possible, ask them for input on the widget you're creating. When it's done send it to your current linkers first.
4) Extend the Offer of Expert Advice
If your company employs people with expert industry insight, consider making the offer of their input on future articles or research efforts. Demonstrate their expertise by sharing snippets of their resume along with any articles they've written, conferences they've spoken at or any other expert industry contributions they've made.
5) Request Product or Service Reviews
If you have products you can send or a service you can provide consider requesting a review by someone at the linking site.
6) Provide a Guest Post or Guest Article
It's possible that your link partners may have need of fresh content. Review their site by hand and come up with a topic and outline for content that seems like it would suit their audience. Pitch them and ask for feedback in developing a concept that they will be willing to publish.
7) Offer Your Content for Their Print Pubs or Email Newsletters
If they have their own publications provide them with content suitable for their audiences. Print publication, though not immediately useful from a link perspective, can still increase your overall brand distribution.
8) Pitch Your Affiliate Program
If your new linker is not familiar with affiliate programs or was not aware you had one then mention it and let them know how you can help them make more money.
9) Co-Newsletter Sign Ups
If you have a newsletter and some of your linkers don't, consider offering to provide them with a newsletter sign up form that subscribes their visitors to your list. In exchange you find an appropriate, engaging way to mention their site in each issue of your newsletter.
10) Test an Ad Buy
If they sell ads, see how well ads convert on your linkers' sites. Alternately, look at where your banner ads perform well - is there a way to develop links from these sites?
11) Develop Co-branded Collaborations
These types of collaborations can be surveys, research projects, widgets and more. Build your joint projects around each collaborators strengths. These types of collaborations are suitable only for well branded partners.
12) Ping Linkers With New Content and News
If and when you add new content and news to your site, send a quick note to all of your existing linkers. Manage this list carefully so that you're not blasting emails to people who consider your messages intrusive.
By thinking beyond the value of a single link you extend the value of your link acquisitions. Consider your linkers' motivations for linking to you and use these motivations to increase your company's distribution both online and off.