Source: SEOSignalsLab

Pick His Brain!

I’d like to introduce one of our members, Dan Christensen, for our next ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.

Dan wrote a blog titled “The Email Script that Landed a Call with a $350M Company” and it’s catching attention in the SEO community.

If you’ve always wanted to learn how a boutique agency gets clients via cold email, here is your chance to pick Dan’s brain.

Below is the link to his blog. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his humor injection approach. Creative marketing always wins!…/

Here are the rules.

1) I’ll let the thread go on until he asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until the FaceBook stock value goes to zero.

2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s success and strategies.

3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.


Table of Contents

Sounds like a great success story. my concern with these email about link building is the quality and relevance of the links. how did you get past these queries?

That’s the biggest obstacle, but honestly if you have a portfolio of link-building projects (even your own sites.

It brings credibility and then they see the results for themselves after a month of work.

What was the prospecting strategy? Did you use a specific criteria to target this company specifically?

I searched for “Marketing Directors/Managers” on linked in, checked out the different companies, exported them to mailshake, and let ‘r fly.

Prospecting wasn’t too bad because any tech niche would work for general links, then if I needed more I could go into sub categories.

Do you have a premium LinkedIn account to do this or just the standard one? I’ve had a LinkedIn account for ages but only just started using it for prospecting.

Nope, just regular account. I gave my VA access though and he added 100 connections (taught him how to do advanced searches) per day I think.

Did you do any LinkedIn messaging to warm them up or straight cold email?

Just used linkedin to get their email (they usually sign up with a personal account! so open rates are way better).

They may recognize that I added them when they open the email, not sure, but i didnt reach out on linkedin, either way it has helped me a ton.

I’m an UpWork VA in PH and I am involved a lot in link-building projects. Since this is what I am doing, may I know what search operators your VA is doing?…

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Here’s a decent overview that I just found.

Every potential client is different. Do you decide on angles for link assets or do you put that on the client?

Before I called him I took a look at their company blog and they actually had some really good pieces (2,000 words+) so I recommended those.

I had a few of my own ideas too just in case.

How many such hit trials did you do before getting this yellow light bulb. 2. Do you target any specific country or category? 3. I guess all links don’t stick, how do you keep a track and is there a refund too or replacement of links? 4. Are these all mix of gov edu and pbn sites? 5. How many packages do you have anything from $10 to $1000? 6.Are all links indexed or is it a mix of index and non index links? 7.Do you offer dead redirect links from cnn, bbc etc too? 8. Is this primary source of income I ask this to know if a person can survive with this as a full time profession.

1- I’ve tried a lot of different subject lines in the past, but this was the first time I’d used anything like this (subj or email structure)

2- I targeted around my region. I’m from Boise, Idaho, so I targeted anyone here, up to Seattle and down toward Salt Lake City.

That gave me plenty of options. I could’ve targeted anywhere but I wanted to be able to travel there quickly if they wanted to meet.

3- I don’t keep track of links long-term for clients. Links will occasionally fall off but I’m not going to guarantee indexing forever, or even months down the road.

4. Neither. Once in a while I’ll get edu links but the majority are from informational sites, blogs, other company sites, etc.

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5-Starting at $1000 per month, that buys them 200 outreach targets.

For most industries I could get about 20 links for that, but just in case, I always guarantee at least 10.

6- All indexed, unless there’s a specific case that I think would be valuable from a traffic perspective.

7- I’ve never done that, no

8- This could easily be a primary source of income if you hone your skills and put in the time.

But no, I got a few local SEO referrals in the past year that are higher paying so I’ve been focusing more on that lately.

I still have a mix though.

What tool did you use for tracking email open rates?


How do you maximize email deliverability? 1. Do you use clients site for email or create another similar domain just for emails. 2. How do you manage to stay out of spam?

I don’t send thousands of emails, just the ones I’m confident will answer/have an interest.

Since this was my agency reaching out I created a new address just for this so I could have them separated.

But yes, if it were a client I would have them create me one for legitimacy.

Just use text based emails- if you include a picture in the header it will go to spam/promos/etc.

How do you qualify potential clients that you reach out to offering your services? Do you see if they are already spending money on online marketing and is there specific category you target. If you can then please share any flags or pointers you use when filtering potential clients.

The only qualifiers I used in my search (I used LinkedIn Advanced Search) was proximity- within 300 miles.

Title was marketing manager or director, the company had something to do with tech (doesn’t have to be but that’s what I did), and it wasn’t super small.

A quick eyeball test was good enough to see if they had more than 10 employees, for example.