Each enterprise desires to be featured in prime trade listicles. This will get you extra backlinks and visibility from web sites that rank effectively for key phrases like “finest X instruments” or “prime merchandise for X.”

The issue is that listicle outreach is kind of difficult. That you must establish the appropriate listicles, in addition to the appropriate prospects to pitch your corporation to. Your chilly e mail ought to present worth and be persuasive. Additionally, the success of your outreach relies upon loads on the negotiation techniques you use.

After I labored for Hunter, listicle outreach was the hyperlink constructing tactic that introduced us the most effective outcomes. For instance, in our final marketing campaign, we achieved these ends in lower than three months with just one individual concerned within the course of:

  • 96 new hyperlinks from 54 domains
  • 33 new mentions in product listicles
  • 17 upgraded positions in different listicles

On this information, I’ll clarify how you can use this method to get dozens of hyperlinks and mentions to your web site very quickly. I’ll additionally share some recommendations on bettering your probabilities of success.

Step 1. Discover related listicles

Step one within the listicle outreach course of is to outline your targets.

There are three key sorts of listicles that work effectively for this tactic. You’ll be able to choose the one which works the most effective for you or goal many classes on the identical time (there aren’t any strict guidelines):

  1. Greatest choices Lists of merchandise, providers, or companies united by a single matter. It may be an inventory of finest search engine marketing instruments, prime software program for recruiters, and many others.
  2. Different choices – Lists of comparisons targeted on a selected trade, matter, or downside. Aura’s listicle on prime LifeLock opponents is a superb instance.
  3. Guides that embrace lists Individuals usually embrace lists in guides. For instance, Ahrefs’ information to discovering e mail addresses contains recommendations on e mail lookup. One of many suggestions is to make use of e mail lookup providers and the writer, Nick Churick, shares an inventory of the most effective instruments he examined.

When you’ve chosen a class (or many), brainstorm key phrases and matters you should use to seek out listicles the place your services or products will match. Then mix them with so-called modifiers (the phrases generally utilized in listicles).

I seen these modifiers are current within the titles of most listicles: finest, prime, assessment, checklist, instruments, free.

Examples of search modifiers for finding listicles

Listed here are a number of examples of queries that might work:

  • Greatest choices listicles: finest e mail finder, finest search engine optimisation instruments, prime eating places in big apple, and many others.
  • Different choices listicles: finest hunter alternate options, finest ahrefs alternate options, and many others.

Subsequent, seek for these phrases in Google and use Ahrefs’ search engine marketing Toolbar to export the outcomes. Repeat the method for the opposite key phrases out of your checklist after which merge all CSVs into one.

How to export SERPs with Ahrefs' SEO Toolbar

When you like, you’ll be able to pace this course of up utilizing Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer. Simply enter your key phrases, hit “Export,” and select the choice to “Embrace SERPs.”

Exporting SERPs in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Step 2. Clear and section prospects

At this stage, you might have tons of and even hundreds of pages in your primary CSV. So you have to clear the checklist so you’ll be able to concentrate on pitching to essentially the most related and beneficial listicles.

You can begin with primary cleansing: take away duplicates in bulk and delete all of the web sites with low DR. In mine, I all the time take away all of the web sites with DR 30 and decrease. 

Because the export recordsdata from Ahrefs embrace this information, it’s simple sufficient to do in Excel or Google Sheets.

Filtering for DR 30+ prospects in Google Sheets

After that, manually test what’s left: take away pages that aren’t listicles and likewise take away listicles that don’t suit your necessities. Optionally, you’ll be able to delete listicles with low visitors (once more, the exports from Ahrefs embrace this information).

When you clear the checklist, it’s time to do segmentation. I recommend including the next tags to your CSV to section prospects:

  • Listicles the place your services or products isn’t talked about.
  • Your small business is talked about, however with no hyperlink.
  • You’ve bought a point out, nevertheless it’s under your opponents.

Right here’s what my file seems like after the segmentation:

Example of segmented prospects

Editor’s Be aware

If you wish to pace up and automate this course of, take into account segmenting in the course of the prospecting stage with Google search operators. 

For instance, including “product identify” to your search will discover listicles that point out your product already. And including -“product identify” will discover those who don’t point out your product. 

Searching for listicles that don't mention Hunter
Joshua Hardwick

Step 3. Discover contact info

Now it’s time to seek out the decision-makers behind the URLs you collected. It’s important to dedicate sufficient time to this a part of the method because the success of the marketing campaign relies on the folks you contact. The formulation “contact the appropriate folks, with the appropriate supply, on the proper time” nonetheless works. And “folks” play a big position right here.

After sending tons of of listicle outreach emails, I seen I bought the most effective response charges from weblog editors and content material managers. Typically, these have been the writers who created a selected listicle. So make these positions your key goal.

To begin, discover the complete names of your prospects on LinkedIn and add them to your doc.

For instance, if I have been reaching out to Ahrefs, I’d most likely attain out to its head of content material, Joshua Hardwick. 

Searching for prospect's name on LinkedIn

After this, when you use Google Sheets, you should use Hunter for Google Sheets to automate the e-mail lookup course of. All it’s a must to do is feed it the columns with the primary and final names, domains, and firm names of your prospects, and it’ll do the relaxation. 

Using Hunter's Google Sheets add-on to find email addresses

When you don’t use Google Sheets, you should use Bulk E mail Finder for e mail lookup. You’ll have to add a CSV into the app, and then you definitely’ll be capable to export the outcome.


To simplify the method and discover the e-mail addresses of solely the authors of the listicles, you should use Writer Finder in the identical add-on or within the app. All you have to discover the e-mail handle of the listicle writer is the URL of the listicle. 

Step 4. Put together the e-mail copy

Let me guess: You need a point out within the listicle, extra visibility out of your prospect’s viewers and, on prime of that, a backlink.

Keep in mind, asking for lots with out giving something in return decreases your probabilities of getting something.

Earlier than writing one thing like “Hey! I’ve an ideal software so as to add to your listicle. Are you able to give me a point out with a backlink?” take into consideration what’s in it for them.

It is best to carry worth. No worth = no pitch. These are the foundations of the listicle outreach recreation.

Let me present you two pitch examples and what I imply by offering worth.

Instance #1

Example outreach email

This is among the templates that helped me generate dozens of mentions. What’s the key?

As a substitute of specializing in how unbelievable my software was and describing all of the options intimately, I targeted on the worth. In easy phrases—what the weblog editor would get after that includes my product.

I included three important advantages in my pitch:

  1. If the editor accepted my supply, they might robotically grow to be a part of our associates program and get recurring income from this point out.
  2. I provided bloggers a beneficiant pack of Hunter’s free requests that they might use for his or her chilly outreach campaigns.
  3. I provided to assist present info for the listicle. (It’s a incontrovertible fact that many bloggers are busy and sometimes have established content material replace schedules. When you don’t need to wait a yr for the subsequent replace, supply to assist.)

Instance #2

Example outreach email

I despatched this template to the weblog editor, whose web site printed an in-depth information on e mail lookup. They talked about our software with no backlink. Additionally, the data in that article was a bit outdated.

On this pitch, my key message was targeted on serving to to replace the information, because the natural visitors had dropped these days. I confirmed my level with a screenshot from Ahrefs.

The worth of the supply was to assist them get higher rankings.

I like to recommend spending numerous time personalizing your emails on a excessive stage as an alternative of doing generic outreach. The extra effort you spend money on the e-mail copy, the higher outcomes you’ll be able to obtain.

For this marketing campaign, we used two completely different approaches:

  • Absolutely guide and personalised – Typically, it took as much as half-hour to jot down an e mail. Sure, it’s time consuming, however I discovered the response price to be extremely excessive (greater than 50%).
  • Automated with a private contact We automated a number of the e mail batches with Hunter Campaigns, a free software for chilly outreach automation. When segmenting prospects, you’ll discover many similarities between listicles. You’ll be able to personalize copy at scale with customized attributes and icebreakers for such campaigns.

Additionally, don’t neglect to ship follow-ups. They assist to extend the response price. 

Preserve your follow-ups brief and straight to the purpose. Don’t ship greater than two follow-ups to at least one prospect. This may stop you from wanting determined and annoying.

You’ll be able to schedule reminders to ship follow-ups in X days immediately in your Gmail or arrange automated follow-ups with a software for outreach automation.

Step 5. Negotiate proactively

In an ideal world, you ship your chilly pitch and instantly obtain, “Sounds nice, I simply up to date my article!” 

In the actual world, issues work in a different way. When chilly emailing for hyperlink constructing, visitor posts, or listicle placements, do not forget that you usually can be requested to offer an equal worth or much more in return.

Some web site editors might even ask for fee:

Example outreach response asking for a fee

I don’t advocate paying for listicle placements for a number of causes:

  1. If the editor accepts submission just for the fee, they don’t care in regards to the high quality of the merchandise listed. All they care about is fast cash.
  2. In case your product is already listed and also you need to add a backlink, it might be dangerous. Google explicitly warns that it considers shopping for hyperlinks a hyperlink scheme. When you’re going to stay to Google’s tips 100%, you shouldn’t purchase hyperlinks.
  3. Typically, web sites ask for the fee repeatedly. Because of this they will characteristic your services or products in a listicle for a restricted time. If you wish to prolong the position, you have to proceed paying.

Negotiations are some of the complicated components of listicle outreach. You invested tons of time into analysis, prospecting, and sequence preparation. However one improper phrase or an absence of flexibility in negotiations can value you a prospect. 

Listed here are a number of suggestions that helped me shut essentially the most troublesome negotiations (for instance HubSpot, which has fairly excessive editorial requirements):

  • Be versatile – Don’t say no instantly; all the time attempt to discover a center floor.
  • Present quick responses – You may have a excessive probability of getting featured within the listicles when you reply to your prospects instantly or not less than on the identical day. Don’t wait too lengthy.
  • Do one thing for them Assist unfold the phrase in regards to the up to date article, share recommendation in your space of experience, present a backlink out of your upcoming visitor put up, and many others.
  • All the time comply with up Individuals are busy, they usually can neglect about you—it’s OK. In the event that they confirmed curiosity in your supply, don’t hesitate to remind them about your self.

Ultimate ideas

Listicle outreach isn’t laborious. 

Given the variety of suggestions within the article, it might appear to be it. However when you get the dangle of issues, all the pieces often suits into place.

I’m not saying you are able to do it with no effort. You continue to should do loads of work to gather high-quality prospects, discover decision-makers, put together a beneficial outreach sequence, and many others. Nevertheless it’s not the inconceivable activity that many suppose it is.

In case your marketing campaign goes effectively, you may make it evergreen by monitoring for brand spanking new listicles with Ahrefs Alerts. Right here’s an instance alert that screens for brand spanking new listicles with “finest e mail finder” of their titles on DR 30+ web sites with 1,000+ month-to-month search visits:

Using Ahrefs Alerts to stay in the loop about newly published listicles

Acquired questions? Ping me on LinkedIn.

(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)

About us

SEO Agency with 20 years of experience. That's right, we have Gaming site colleagues on the team here who have been working with SEO since 2002. Our Agency has already helped thousands of people on the internet with SEO, Linking Building and much more. You know how difficult it is to get organic traffic to your website and how valuable it is. So, save your energy and let Ana SEO Agency do this hard work. We have all the experience you need to help you improve your ranking and other factors on your site.