One of the best ways to achieve your inbound marketing goals is to use inbound links.
However, they’re not easy to come by; you need strategy and diligence to pull this off.
Whether you’re just starting your inbound link building or you’re tired from the many emails you’ve sent out and responses aren’t forthcoming, broken link building offers another way out.
Broken link building is a tactic that’s used to get backlinks to your recreated content where a broken or dead link exists in a particular website or blog you’ve identified.
The practice helps you find the dead link, recreate the content, and then ask anyone who links to that broken or dead resource to link back to your recreated content instead.
This strategy works because no one wants the poor user experience that broken links come with. Consequently, replacing links to 404 pages and building backlinks in the process through working links to the target blog or site is a much better alternative.
Why Broken Link Building Works
Broken link building, also known as dead link building, is a better way of adding value to another site or blog and your own as it offers something in return.
Most outreach emails are known to be requests for shares or links but there’s no value added to the site on which the link is placed.
When you use broken link building, you’re ideally flipping the script such that you offer help before asking for something in return.
Specifically, broken link building means you’ve discovered a host of broken links on a blog or site, and then reach out to the site owner to offer your recreated content in exchange for a backlink.
How to Build High-Quality Backlinks Using Broken Link Building
In order to build quality backlinks to your site using broken link building, there are several steps you need to take including:
- Identifying the site or blog from which you want to get the backlink
- Finding external links that point to broken pages or 404 errors using a tool or software
- Creating a resource or recreating content that will replace the broken link on the other blog or site
- Reaching out to the owner of the other blog or site and letting them know about the broken link
- Mentioning how you have the perfect content/resource that will replace the broken link
While all these steps (especially the first three) look simple to do, there’s more work you’d need to do when reaching out to the site’s owner and mentioning your own resource and how it can add value.
When sending a broken link outreach email, there are two major things you need to give:
A reason why the other site or blog should link to you, which can be user experience impacted by links to 404 pages, which in turn hurts your SEO.
A value add (the resource or content) that will replace the broken link instead of them looking for it on their own.
You could publish your own guide though, but to get the backlink, it’s easier to reach out to the site or blog owner and suggest that they may want to change it to one that works, which is your own resource.
However, not all broken link building outreach emails get a response or action even if the owner reads your email.
Some may be too busy to reply back or they may just not think it’s necessary for them, so it’s important to note that sending such outreach emails won’t work every time.
In fact, broken link building is more like selling a product or service.
It’s a numbers game; the more people you contact, the more backlinks you’ll get in return.
Fortunately, you can also try a different hack by checking which other links point to the broken resource and reaching out to those link prospects with a similar suggestion.
You can always let them know that your resource can replace their broken link and you’re sure of landing a few links.
But how do you write a good broken link building outreach email? We share some broken link email outreach templates you can use today.
Broken Link Email Outreach Templates
You can perform broken link building outreach by using your own email outreach templates, or using other templates and tweaking them to your brand.
When using your own templates for broken link email outreach, you’ll have to start from the ground up.
However, it’s important to note that sending cold outreach emails using a template doesn’t mean sending spam messages to multiple individuals at a go.
Templates help you scale email outreach, but you need to personalize them to the recipient.
To do this, you can look for inspiration from other people’s templates without sending the exact same one they have written.
Get a template and make it your own by adding your personality and humor to it, keeping it short, and ensuring the subject line is punchy and appealing to the recipient.
If you can, do a split test to check which email has higher chances of being opened than the other so you’ll have two different versions.
Below are some broken link email outreach templates you can use today.
Subject: Re: Blog post title
Hey (name of site owner or blogger),
I was looking for a few resources on (topic/keyword) and I came across your very instructive guide: (title of the post).
I noticed that one of the resources you mentioned on (topic/keyword) no longer exists. I recently created a comprehensively researched guide on (related topic) for you: (insert link).
It might make a good addition to your post.
Either way, keep up your informative articles.
Subject: About your resource
Hey (name of site owner or blogger),
I was doing some research on (topic/keyword) and I came across your page.
I noticed that you mention one of my favorite resources on the keyword/topic: (insert link).
I tried out the steps mentioned in the guide myself and found great success with other forums as well. Especially when you use (mention the tactic used).
I just published an extensively researched, in-depth 10,000-word tome laying out all the detailed steps on how to (mention the topic): (insert link to your resource).
It may be worth a mention.
Either way, keep up the great work teaching people what they need to do to get (mention the related things).
It goes through everything detail by detail – I’d love to know what you think!
Subject: Dead link on your site
I’m a certified (mention your area of specialty) and a (topic) writer – I recently came across your site/blog while researching for an article I’m putting together.
This is a polite note for your webmaster, as I stumbled upon a broken link on your site/blog that visitors like me would miss.
It’s on this page: (link)
I got an error message back when I tried to access the link on this site: (link)
It seems as though they made a change to the page but haven’t updated it. Anyhow, the correct link is here: (insert link)
And while you’re updating your page, I was wondering if you’re open to including some further resources that could be useful to other readers struggling with a similar issue.
Recreated content title 1: (insert link)
Recreated content title 2: (insert link)
Thank you for your assistance and for offering great resources.
All my best,
Subject line: (link to domain) dead/broken link
Hi (name of site/blog owner),
My name is (insert your name) and I work for (company) (or I have a blog/site) called (insert name of company or blog/site).
I’d love to have my/our site/blog (insert link to site/blog) added to your great list of resources/links (insert link to the page or resource).
Also, I found a few dead links on your blog/site. Would this be the right place to report them?
I look forward to hearing back from you.
(Your first name)
Subject line: Site/Blog broken link
Hey (name of site/blog owner),
My name is (your name) and I wanted to let you know I really liked your post about (topic).
The part I particularly loved was where you mention that (quote from the post). However, when I checked out your post/page, I noticed that there’s a/some broken link/links (insert the link/links).
When fixing your page/post, I think you should also consider including the following resources:
Title and link to the first resource
Title and link to the second resource
I hope this mail is helpful to you.
I look forward to your positive response.
(insert your name)
Subject line: Site/blog owner’s first name, (blog/site) broken link
Hey (name of blog or site owner),
My name is (your name) and I work for (company/site/blog). After being in the (insert name of niche/industry) for a few years, I’ve become passionate about the field and I’m happy to have come across your blog/site.
I wanted to let you know that I came across your post/page (topic) and I really liked your content.
When I was looking at your (page/post) I noticed a link labeled (anchor text/broken link) had a dead/broken link and currently isn’t working.
Also, I hope you’d consider adding my blog/site (insert link to blog/site) as an additional resource to your great post/page (insert title). I’d be honored to be included on your blog/site and I think the link would be of great value to my visitors due to our (insert unique selling point).
Have a great day/evening.
(Your blog/site or company name)
Subject: There’s something wrong with your blog/site
Hey (insert site/blog owner’s first name),
I was browsing your blog/site and noticed that you have a dead link :(. You can find it on (link to the post or page with the dead link), and it’s the (insert the anchor text of the dead link) link.
As a regular reader of your blog/site (insert the link to the blog/site), I love reading what you write about, such as (insert the post you like reading on the blog/site), and what you link out to.
Sadly, I couldn’t find the article you meant to link to, but I happened to come across another good post on the same keyword/topic (insert the link to the post or web page you want to link build for).
You should check it out, and if you find it useful/helpful, you probably want to switch links.
I know you’re probably very busy and get many emails every single day, but I hope this was one of the helpful ones. I just wanted to help you out as (the blog/site) has transformed my life.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Handy Tips For Successful Broken Link Email Outreach
By now, you probably already have a long list of possible broken link building opportunities. However, you still have some work to do in terms of reaching out and building those links through email outreach.
Thankfully, broken link building isn’t too difficult to do. All you need is to find the contact details of the blog or site you want to reach out to, and then send them an email informing them about the broken link on their blog/site while suggesting your own link or recreated content as a better replacement or alternative.
While all this looks simple, you still have to be careful how to word or organize your outreach email as you conduct broken link outreach. Here are some useful tips to help you get started.
Identify and reach out to the right person
Not everyone whose contact you find on the blog or site you want to get a backlink from is the right person to reach out to.
Most people make the mistake of uploading the prospects’ list to a tool, let the tool scrape email addresses for all the blogs or sites, and then wait for the results.
This process leads to failed broken link building and email outreach because you may not reach the right person.
For instance, you may get two email addresses for a blog or site, but it’s not sensible to reach out to either of them about dead links on their site.
It’s probably more sensible to reach out to the site owner or CEO, if you can find their email, though it’s not always advisable to reach out to the company’s founder.
If you really must, it should be because they’re either individual bloggers or they actively manage the blog themselves.
Identify who is responsible for the blog or site as that would be the person who would most likely be ready to listen or care about any broken/dead links you find on their blog or site.
Keep it punchy, not pushy
Ideally, the broken link email outreach should address the recipient by their name, mention the dead link and its position in the page or post, suggest an alternative/replacement, and explain why it’s suitable as a replacement to their own page/post.
All the broken link email outreach templates we’ve mentioned above have this format as it’s sure to deliver better conversion rates.
However, as with any other template, you need to be careful not to use them exactly as they are because the results may not be similar in all cases, especially where more people use the templates.
Try to add your own personality and flair while customizing the message with other things you may find on the web.
This keeps the message punchy and not pushy because you’re telling the person to replace the broken link with another link or replace it because there’s a better link that their readers or website visitors will like more.
Send follow-up emails
Your broken link outreach emails may not always get responses.
When this happens, it’s best to send one or two follow-ups that remind the recipient about your previous message without being pushy.
Follow-ups are effective and often responsible for more links than the original outreach email, but make sure you keep it to at most two times otherwise your message will be reported as spam or blacklisted altogether.
Pointing out dead or broken links in outreach emails may be great, especially because you’re adding some value.
However, you’ll need to take your outreach to the next level by adding a replacement resource that would ensure both you and the other blog/site owner benefit.
You get the backlink, they get the valuable resource.
The process may be time-consuming but you can streamline it and make it easier to do.
Be sure to give a great replacement resource link for the dead link on the other blog/site if you want to dramatically increase your success rate.
Vibhav is the Co-founder of Outreach Crayon and CBO at Ebizon. He plays a key role in empowering retail clients to catalyze Digital Marketing, Mobile Commerce & other Futuristic technologies as their #1 competitive advantage.