Trudi Holden
April 20, 2022

How To Get Backlinks With Gmail: 10 Easy (& Free) Ways To Use Email Link Building

You may have already noticed by now that we are obsessed with SEO. We’re damn awesome at it too.

But our digital marketing love doesn’t stop at keywords, meta tags and optimised copywriting. And link building, one of our favourite SEO hacks, is not just for blog posts and website pages.

Building high-quality backlinks includes generating internal links, external links and fixing broken backlinks to improve the path between what you put out into the world and the end goal of conversion.

Link building tactics can be easily applied to get the most out of email marketing, increasing reach, engagement, and conversion in a flash, without costing you a penny!

Sound good? Keeping on reading this backlink creation guide to discover how to get backlinks using the humble email.

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What is Link building?

When most of us think about a link-building strategy, we’re referring to the use of hyperlinks within a page or post that links inward or outward from our website. When building links to improve Google search results, we essentially include internal links to an existing blog post or encourage other websites to add external links back to us.

The aim is to get backlinks between our valuable, engaging information and other equally badass content. Link building creates an online reciprocal partnership that tells search engines like Google we know our stuff.

(41% of SEO experts agree that link building is the most challenging aspect of SEO).

In addition to increasing your traffic on search engines, building your brand, and improving authority, high-quality backlinks associate you with respected peers, producing links and serious brand kudos.

Want to know more about how to build links for SEO success? Take a peek at our guide to SEO link building for the full low down (see, I just linked right there!)

So, what’s email link building?

Just in the same thread that on-page link building is about building trust, increasing engagement and, ultimately, increasing conversion, email link building is about creating strategic quality links that optimise digital tools to keep your audience on your side of town.

Email Backlinking fully utilises all the available free tools and is almost guaranteed to increase your email response rate and direct people to your own website or relevant content.

For this email backlinking guide, I will stick with the most popular and arguably most dynamic email platform: Gmail.

Gmail is top of its email game in many areas, featuring many free, safe, and customisable tools to integrate seamlessly into your digital marketing strategy.

But you know what? We won’t judge you! Many of these backlinking tips will relate to other platforms should you choose.

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How to Get Backlinks with Email

Google photo

Let’s start with the easiest link-building tip of all. Research suggests that putting a face in front of your marketing increases conversion. In a world full of big brands and faceless corporations, we are more likely to trust who we can see. Who are you?

This is even more so when it comes to email marketing. Unsolicited, faceless emails either arrive in the spam or end up there—site owners who are approachable and accessible are more likely to build trust faster.

How do you change your Google profile photo? Simply:

Google Account > Personal Info > Photo

You can use a professional headshot, natural action shot or even your logo. Make sure you’ve seen them in their inbox to increase email conversion instantly.

Email Signature

Another easy email conversion tip that will take less than 5 minutes to implement is including a branded email signature. Again, link-building is all about professionalism and trust. The bigger picture, psychology, makes us instantly engage with a person or brand.

Many websites and apps are out there now that include email signature generators to get a professional signature. We like:

·      Hubspot

·      Wise Stamp

·      Signature Maker

Don’t go overboard with images and logos here. Keep your signature simple, include all the essential contact info, and, if you have a free offering or event coming up, consider promoting timely offerings here.

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Subject line

A little pop quiz for you. An email lands in your inbox at 11 pm just before you drift off from someone called – the subject line simply reads: “SALE!! 50% Great Deals NOW”.

Do you:

a)     Dive straight in and order whatever he’s selling

b)    Slide his email straight into the trash

The subject line is critical when it comes to email marketing. One wrong word or emoji can set you apart or part you for good from your audience.

There is an art to email subject line writing, but there are plenty of tools to help you with your email backlinking success.

External platforms like Mailchimp offer simple, straightforward feedback as you’re writing your eye-catching conversation starter, but honestly, much of it includes common sense and a bit of foresight.

Things to consider include:

·      Length (50 characters or less)

·      Maximum number of punctuation and emojis

·      A minimum number of predictable words like: ‘sale’, ‘limited time’, ‘update’ or ‘newsletter.’

·      Including a nod to what’s included but adding some curiosity

·      Add personalisation

·      Time-sensitive or urgent call to action

·      Don’t be afraid of humour or the odd pun

·      Consider doing an A/B test to compare approaches

·      Know your audience

I could go on for another blog post on email subject line best practice (another blog for another day, my friends), but I hope you get the picture for now. Subject lines and preview text is vital to great email backlinking.

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Spelling and grammar

A simple one that ALL your digital marketing should adhere to is good old-fashioned spelling and grammar. It doesn’t matter how kick ass an engagement or conversion email is if you failed to differentiate your weather from your weather.

Whatever few seconds you have captured someone with a short and charming email subject line is instantly lost when your punctuation is everywhere.

There is no excuse for using Gmail for your marketing as it comes with an inbuilt automatic spell checker AND an advanced spell-checking mode.

Key things this extra tool will pick up on include:

·      Capitalisation

·      Complex misspellings

We are also big fans of Grammarly, which works as a stand-alone app and is embedded into Microsoft Word and as a browser spelling plugin so it can check your email as you are writing it.

Grammarly will identify the following:

  • Duplicate words
  • “Waffle” words
  • Run-on sentences
  • Incorrect punctuation
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Branded email addresses

Even worse for your rep, an uncapitalised London is sending an email from the address – I mean, are you even legit?

If you want your business and your proposal to be taken seriously, make sure you have a professional, branded and logically named email address.

Research suggests that 75% of people believe an email that matches your website builds trust.

Adding your domain’s email address to Gmail is easy, free and comes with additional benefits.

Once you have created your domain, you can connect it to Google Apps for Business, where you can manage the following:

  • Gmail
  • Google Docs
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Drive

That way, not only do you have a professional email address, but you can effortlessly manage all areas of your business in one place.

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Plan and schedule emails

Do you want all the best bits from an email campaign builder safety nestled in your everyday Gmail account? If left unchecked, your Gmail inbox can become a dark hole of unread emails, messages waiting for responses, or worse, no reply from that message you sent last week.

When looking for backlinking hacks for Gmail, you can’t get much better than a free tool that can not only plan and schedule your emails but also manage the way you receive responses.

Boomerang is a pretty neat scheduling app for Gmail that

·      Read receipts

·      No reply to reminders

·      Click tracking

·      Respondable tool

Sounds good? I’ll be digging more into using these email hacks for backlinking in a moment, so keep reading!

Find the right lead.

So far, we have been talking about improving backlinking through email from your Gmail and account and the beautifully crafted email you’re about to send. But who are you sending your email to?

Before you have even put your finger to the keyboard, a meaningful way you can improve the response rate is to make sure you’re emailing the right person, to begin with.

Taking a targeted approach will prevent a blanket email to many people and mean you are homing into precisely the right person for you.

Either taking time to research your contacts on a platform like LinkedIn can help, but we also like the sound of FindThatLead, which leads you to a webmaster’s contact details.

In no time, you could find out:

  • Their email contact
  • The estimated response rate
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Test your template

If you’re not sure it works, there is no use in widening your net and sending the same email to more people.

Though creating a link-building email template can speed up the process, it’s wise to test and refine it regularly.

Crafting a concise, engaging, and essentially conversion-driving email takes time. Testing links, subline lines, and even font are worth the time.

Use a CRM or spreadsheet system to track who got what and click-tracking intel to analyse how they each performed.

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Identify the common thread.

I mentioned earlier that a crucial part of link building for SEO is building reciprocal trust? A great way to follow this approach with your emails is to include any common ground you share with your recipient.

Consider mentioning:

·      Industry links

·      Common contacts

·      Relevant offerings

·      Why did you choose them

It seems simple, but adding a short, personalised paragraph to your template approach could increase engagement and response rate.

Mentioning reputable brands you are affiliated with also gives you a much-needed trust factor, a stranger to them.

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Read Receipts & Click Tracking.

Remember earlier. We mentioned the Boomerang extras that helped you power up your backlinking? Let’s look at the pros of using email apps to increase productivity. How does scheduling emails improve backlinking?

Well, one of the flashy things worth exploring is click tracking.

Nothing is more disheartening than sending an email out and then watching tumbleweeds slowly drift across your inbox. Did they read it? Are they parking it for later or for the end of the world?

Click tracking shows you exactly how a recipient responded to your email campaign. It will highlight what links they clicked, how many times, and when.

You can also set up read receipts to be notified the moment they open your email. That way, you can implement your timely, thoughtful and grammatically correct follow-up email once they have had a day or two to brew on it.

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Trudi Holden

Head of Digital Engagement and the face behind our social media. Trudi leads our social media strategy and content development, with a particular passion for increasing intuitive engagement.