Press enter to see results or esc to cancel.

Three Link Building Outreach Trends to Keep in Mind in 2020 and Beyond

Link building outreach is being influenced by the ever-changing digital marketing industry.

Is your link building outreach campaign taking into account these changes?

The overall trend is obvious: Links are still crucial for online visibility, yet they are getting harder to get. Hence link building outreach is becoming more sophisticated and follow-up tactics are getting more advanced and intricate.

Beyond that, how is link building outreach changing and what new tactics should you experiment with in 2020 and beyond?

1. Linking Leads Are Increasingly Tougher to Engage

Email outreach response rate is staggering. According to a collaborative study by Brian Dean and Pitchbox, the average email outreach response rate is 8.5%.

In other words, more than 90% of your email remain unanswered.

These days bloggers and journalists are bombarded with link requests. They can recognize mass campaigns and fake link-baity tactics. Engaging your contacts and getting them to reply is becoming harder and harder.

There’s only one solution to this problem: Authenticity

This is about providing authentic value and focusing on authentic relationship building.

Email outreach is an exchange of value.

You need to give something in order to get links. Examples include:

  • Create original research based on your customer data or survey. For example, based on our clients’ data, we put together the Google organic click-through study.
  • Visualize existing research to bring up less discussed trends. Statista is a great example of repurposing someone else’s content to create linkable assets. There are multiple tools and plugins to visualize data to create linkable assets.

Creating value should be re-enforced by effective relationship building. Each of your email outreach campaigns is going to be much more successful if you maintain active relationships with your linking leads in-between.

Nurturing your relationships with your link building leads is no different from nurturing your relationships with your clients. Engage with them regularly on social media, send out emails to congratulate them on their birthday, invite them to be featured on your site or social media channels.

On average, a person needs about 8 touchpoints to remember you (and this number goes back to 2015. I am pretty sure it’s more now that we are well into the information overload era). That’s how actively you need to bring your brand in front of niche bloggers and journalists to increase your chances they will remember you by the time you email:

It is also a good idea to personalize their experience when they finally get to your site. Using content engagement tools like Alter is always a good idea to bring your content asset in front of your site users, including your link building leads:

2. Privacy Concerns Are Getting Stronger

Ever since the European Union has launched online privacy regulations called The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), privacy concerns have become widely recognized. Around 100,000 complaints have been issued with EU national data protection authorities showing that more and more people become aware of their privacy rights.

Your linking leads recognize their right to privacy too, and if you get too pushy, you can end up annoying them. This could blow up. Your contact may bring the issue public discussing your practices on social media.

To minimize the reputation management risks:

  • Cancel (automated) follow-ups if you feel your contact is already annoyed. Remember the basic privacy law: “The right to privacy includes the right to be left alone”
  • Avoid adding your contacts to your email lists (and mass emailing them)
  • Finally and obviously, tweak your privacy policy and settings for GDPR compliance. If you don’t have the page yet, create a detailed on-site privacy policy (here’s a nice GDPR-compliant privacy policy generator)
  • Personalize your outreach as much as you can to rule out any suspicions you may be automating your emails.
  • Again, focus on relationship building. The better your relationships with your linking leads are, the less likely they will be to complain when hearing from you.

3. Linkable Content Creation Should Become More Integrated

Just a few years ago it was much easier: Original and useful content would bring links organically. It was hard to build links to product pages and commercial landing pages but content-based link building was basically a breeze.

These days creating content that would bring links on its own, without you asking for those, is next to impossible. Content consumption is quickly exceeding content demand, so standing out is tough.

The key is in creating integrated content creation strategy that would include many of the below areas:

  • Customer support: Creating user-centered content addressing real customers’ questions is a great way to get them help promote it. It also helps to uncover content topics that would potentially resonate with your audience. Interview your customer support team on a regular basis to get their input on your customers’ struggles. Using a centralized CRM dashboard for cross-team collaboration is a great idea.
  • Influencer marketing: Including influencers in your content creation is a great way to give it the initial push and make it more trustworthy. Content collaboration also helps build your brand association with authoritative names making your outreach more effective. Buzzsumo is a great way to discover influencers to work with.
  • Social media marketing: Social media listening helps spot important trends. In turn, newsworthy content attracts organic links and make outreach more effective. Therefore integrating your linkable content creation with social media listening can boost your results. Agorapulse will help you set up a cross-channel social media listening and task management routine.
  • SEO: Creating content that ranks is the ultimate goal of any link building campaign. Google is a powerful research engine that is able to bring linking leads to your site organically. Thus, optimizing your linkable content for searchable keywords is such an important step in creating linkable assets. To optimize your linkable content for search, use Text Optimizer which is a semantic analysis that suggests related concepts and terms your content will benefit from:

[Apart from optimizing content for organic visibility, Text Optimizer pushes you to expand your content making it more indepth]


In order to accommodate new marketing trends, marketers need to build a cohesive email outreach technology stack.

  • Link building outreach is an exchange of value: You need to build something truly original to get links.
  • Growing privacy awareness may result in public reputation management scandal. To minimize your risks, avoid mass-emailing, personalize well and create detailed privacy policy for your site.
  • Link building outreach should rely on powerful content asset. To create an effective asset, include your customer support and social media teams, collaborate with niche influencers and get your SEO team optimize it for organic visibility.

Which link building tactics are you going to try in 2020? Please share!