How We Outreach Built 10,000 High-Quality Backlinks Using Mailshake

Sujan Patel is the founder of Mailshake, a sales engagement software used by 38,000 sales and marketing professionals. He has over 15 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.
  • March 17, 2024

We Outreach started out as a two-person link building company in 2017. Today, it’s a team of 20+ link builders that has built 10,000 high-quality links over the last 5 years. And the fact they’ve used Mailshake to run their business from day one makes us very proud.

But what is it about Mailshake that makes it so addictive for We Outreach? After all, there are at least 20 other email outreach tools they can use. Well, the answer lies in their philosophy: exceptional execution of simple strategies. This is also something we prioritize at Mailshake — getting the basics right.

So in this post, let’s take a look at We Outreach’s journey with Mailshake and two simple (but robust) features they just can’t get over.

We Outreach’s Numbers And The Clever Strategy Behind Them

Before we jump into the two Mailshake features, let’s give credit where it’s due and discuss We Outreach’s unique link building strategy.

We Outreach sends out two types of campaigns. They call these “lightly personalized” and “fully personalized” campaigns.

Now, this is where it gets interesting. That’s because most of this personalization happens at the list level. So, when We Outreach sends a relevant message to a well-segmented list, they call that campaign lightly personalized. An example is sending golf-related emails to golf websites.

Of course, light personalization also involves other simple (but effective) strategies, such as:

  • Addressing the recipient by their name and more importantly, spelling the name correctly
  • Spelling the name of the company correctly

Using these simple principles, We Outreaches manages to achieve an open rate of 30-50% and a reply rate of 7-10% for lightly personalized messages.

But sometimes, the company wants to put in more effort to secure a backlink. These are higher quality backlinks that We Outreach has identified using custom link analysis criteria.

For these prospects, the company sends what they call fully personalized emails. These emails usually contain a specific note about the recipient or a piece of content on the target website.

We Outreach also has a more persistent follow up approach for fully personalized campaigns. If a contact fails to respond, they’ll go after another contact within the company and see if they can start a conversation there.

Now, we want to use this example to highlight two important email outreach principles:

1. Listpruning: For even lightly personalized campaigns, We Outreach ensures they send the right message to the right prospects. They also ensure they’ve got recipient names and spellings correct as well as any other list-specific details that are prone to errors. These minor details have a major impact on the overall success of the campaign, which is why you should never ignore them.

2. Effort Segmentation: We Outreach does an excellent job of separating the best backlinks from the average. This way, they know which links are worth the extra time and effort and add them to fully personalized campaigns.

As you can see, these are basic principles that are easy to execute. The result? An overall 0.5-1% conversion rate (which is excellent in the link building realm).

Two Simple Mailshake Features That We Outreach Loves

So, where does Mailshake come into all of this? Well, apart from being the only email automation platform that We Outreach has been using to exceptionally execute simple strategies, there are two Mailshake features that the company just loves.

Sending Schedule

We Outreach works with 50+ active clients. This means a plethora of email accounts and campaigns, all of which need to be organized and executed in a meaningful way.

This is where Mailshake’s sending schedule comes in, which lets you set sending windows and rates at the account level, as well as rates and auto follow ups at the campaign level.

Jason — We Outreach’s founder — revealed they’ve tried other email tools to set these sending schedules, but none of them could execute them as reliably as Mailshake.

What’s more, Mailshake offers a color-coded calendar visualization to help you understand which emails are scheduled for when.

Again, these are simple features that we pay a lot of attention to at Mailshake. And companies like We Outreach realize their importance once they start scaling their operations.


Jason also revealed how many other tools he tried had underdeveloped APIs. This was a surprise to us, since the API is a crucial SaaS aspect in today’s highly interconnected digital environment.

We Outreach uses our API to import crucial campaign data into Google Sheets to integrate it with data from Asana and their link building CRM. Again, a simple Mailshake feature that’s built robustly.


So what do we learn from We Outreach’s journey? Simple strategies — when executed well — are better than complicated schemes. And simple strategies need simple (but well-built) features, something that Mailshake has been able to consistently offer to clients like We Outreach over the years.

So, whether you’re an email marketer or a link builder looking for an email outreach platform, know that the answer lies in getting the basics right, which is what Mailshake is all about.

You can also check out our Cold Email Academy, where we cover foundational principles like list management, email deliverability, and writing good emails.

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