Over the past year or so you have probably noticed that link building is getting tougher. Gone are the days (well, nearly) when a list of directories and other low quality tactics are going to get you the traction you need in the SERPs - and rightly so.
No matter whether you are working on your own site, work in house or are part of an agency you need to start stepping up your game. You need to move away from the idea of 'building links' and more towards the idea of 'earning links' by doing #RCS.
The problem with this is it takes time. It takes time to implement. It takes time to come to fruition.
Instead of taking short cuts on the links you build, you need to get smarter on how you go about it.
And that is where Yesware can help you
The good folks at Yesware describe their product this way:
Email for Salespeople.
Track emails, create templates, CRM sync, & more.
- Find out who opens your emails and clicks on your links.
- Email templates help you say the right thing, real fast.
- Sync emails to your CRM with one click.
- Get insights into your email with reports.
A sales tool? A sales tool to assist your link building?
Your new link building mindset has to change if you are going to survive Google's new stance on links and anchor text. The animal apocalypse is well under way and there have been plenty of casualties. Your new mindset needs to think past quick wins, you need to be building relationships, creating partnerships, fostering creativity, thinking long term. You need to be investing in creating the best content in your niche, blogger outreach, real PR and doing what companies did before the Internet came along and convinced us all that everything had to happen right now.
The best link builders have long known that hustle and thinking outside the box are the keys to long term success. Some have even pointed out that link builders should be thinking like salesmen. So dust off that old Robert Cialdini book, learn a thing or two about creating persuasive emails, fire up Yesware and start providing value.
So what is Yesware?
Essentially it is a free Gmail plug-in that helps you track email opens and create templates for quick responses. When building links it can be indispensable for saving your precious time and working out which relationships you should spend more time on.
So show me how it will help me
After activating you will see a little box in your Gmail dashboard. When you first turn it on you are going to need to send a test email to make sure that everything is tracking nicely. After that you can track every email you send to see whether the recipient opens the email, where they open it and using what device.
It looks like this:
This shows the last email that was opened. By clicking the red box with the mail symbol you can expand the box for a more detailed analysis on who has opened your emails (and at a glance which subject lines appear more successful).
If you are more of a visual person you can see your progress as a map or as a chart - nice!
If this was all that Yesware could do you would be pretty happy - its free for a 100 tracks - and very reasonably priced after. It actually has other features that will prove essential in you link building and blogger outreach efforts.
Tell me about the templates
We all know that when building relationships that are going to form part of your link building plan that you shouldn't be sending out form letters. That doesn't mean that you can't have a range of easily customisable templates that will save you time when you are contacting a number of people.
Lets say, for example, that you are approaching a number of sites for potential guest post opportunities. You are likely to need a number of templates to make the whole process quicker:
- A customisable 'approach' email - allowing for personalisation but containing your core message
- A customisable 'heres your post that you wanted to see' email
- A 'thanks for putting my post up - can I do anything else' email
- A 'did you read my post that I sent over' reminder email
In the example below you can see a couple of these templates in action - this box appears when you compose or reply to an email.
There are a couple of things going on in this picture, so allow me to elaborate.
- The prospecting button is clicked which means it is showing me the templates that I have added to this section (you will see the templates are broken down into the sales process).
- There are three templates in this example (2,3 and 4 from my list above - these guys got lovely intro emails!!)
- To the left you can see there are three numbers, these are the open rates (my reminder email has open rate of 100% - reminders are important! The template with the post attached has 84% open rate - which means I have a couple to chase up. My thank you email has a much lower open rate - as expected - but lets me know that these are potentially relationships that I should foster.)
- You will also see that track button is checked.
- The two buttons are Use (for choosing a selected template) and the blue button is Share (for sharing templates with your link building buddies).
Pretty useful, right?
If you are driven by a sales like mentality you can even set yourself goals to make sure that you are consistently reaching targets and creating more valuable relationships.
When you add into the equation that Yesware has some rather nice dashboards that you can log into on their actual site as well - you have a piece of software that is perfect for helping you keep track of the success of your outreach and relationship building.
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