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

The issue is that listicle outreach is kind of sophisticated. It is advisable to establish the suitable listicles, in addition to the suitable prospects to pitch your online business to. Your chilly e mail ought to present worth and be persuasive. Additionally, the success of your outreach relies upon so much on the negotiation techniques you use.

Once I labored for Hunter, listicle outreach was the hyperlink constructing tactic that introduced us the very best outcomes. For instance, in our final marketing campaign, we achieved these ends in lower than three months with just one particular person 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 one can use this method to get dozens of hyperlinks and mentions in your web site very quickly. I’ll additionally share some tips about 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 nicely for this tactic. You possibly can choose the one which works the very best for you or goal many classes on the similar time (there aren’t any strict guidelines):

  1. Finest choices Lists of merchandise, providers, or companies united by a single subject. It may be an inventory of greatest search engine optimisation instruments, high software program for recruiters, and many others.
  2. Various choices – Lists of comparisons targeted on a selected trade, subject, or downside. Aura’s listicle on top LifeLock competitors is a superb instance.
  3. Guides that embrace lists Individuals typically embrace lists in guides. For instance, Ahrefs’ information to discovering e mail addresses contains tips about e mail lookup. One of many ideas is to make use of e mail lookup providers and the writer, Nick Churick, shares an inventory of the very best instruments he examined.

When you’ve chosen a class (or many), brainstorm key phrases and matters you should utilize to search 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: greatest, high, evaluate, checklist, instruments, free.

Examples of search modifiers for finding listicles

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

  • Finest choices listicles: greatest e mail finder, greatest search engine marketing instruments, high eating places in big apple, and many others.
  • Various choices listicles: greatest hunter options, greatest ahrefs options, and many others.

Subsequent, seek for these phrases in Google and use Ahrefs’ search engine optimisation 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

In the event 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 a whole bunch and even hundreds of pages in your principal CSV. So that you must clear the checklist so you’ll be able to deal with pitching to essentially the most related and useful 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 at all times take away all of the web sites with DR 30 and decrease. 

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

Filtering for DR 30+ prospects in Google Sheets

After that, manually verify 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 knowledge).

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

  • Listicles the place your services or products isn’t talked about.
  • Your enterprise is talked about, however with out a hyperlink.
  • You’ve acquired a point out, nevertheless it’s beneath your rivals.

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

Example of segmented prospects

Editor’s Word

If you wish to pace up and automate this course of, contemplate 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 search 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 will depend on the individuals you contact. The components “contact the suitable individuals, with the suitable provide, on the proper time” nonetheless works. And “individuals” play a major position right here.

After sending a whole bunch of listicle outreach emails, I seen I acquired the very best response charges from weblog editors and content material managers. Typically, these had 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 had been reaching out to Ahrefs, I’d in all probability 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 utilize 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

In the event you don’t use Google Sheets, you should utilize Bulk Email Finder for e mail lookup. You’ll have to add a CSV into the app, and then you definately’ll be capable of export the end result.


To simplify the method and discover the e-mail addresses of solely the authors of the listicles, you should utilize Author Finder in the identical add-on or within the app. All that you must 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 desire a point out within the listicle, extra visibility out of your prospect’s viewers and, on high 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 a fantastic device 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’s best to carry worth. No worth = no pitch. These are the foundations of the listicle outreach sport.

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

Instance #1

Example outreach email

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

As a substitute of specializing in how implausible my device 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 provide, they might mechanically change into a part of our associates program and get recurring income from this point out.
  2. I supplied bloggers a beneficiant pack of Hunter’s free requests that they might use for his or her chilly outreach campaigns.
  3. I supplied to assist present info for the listicle. (It’s a undeniable fact that many bloggers are busy and sometimes have established content material replace schedules. In the event you don’t wish to wait a 12 months for the subsequent replace, provide 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 device with out a 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 currently. I confirmed my level with a screenshot from Ahrefs.

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

I like to recommend spending various 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 totally different approaches:

  • Absolutely guide and customized – Generally, it took as much as half-hour to write 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 device for chilly outreach automation. When segmenting prospects, you’ll discover many similarities between listicles. You possibly can 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. 

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

You possibly can schedule reminders to ship follow-ups in X days instantly in your Gmail or arrange automated follow-ups with a device 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 true world, issues work in another way. When chilly emailing for hyperlink constructing, visitor posts, or listicle placements, do not forget that you typically will likely be requested to offer an equal worth or much more in return.

Some web site editors could 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 concerning 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 wish to add a backlink, it could be dangerous. Google explicitly warns that it considers shopping for hyperlinks a hyperlink scheme. In the event you’re going to stay to Google’s tips 100%, you shouldn’t purchase hyperlinks.
  3. Typically, web sites ask for the fee repeatedly. Which means they will characteristic your services or products in a listicle for a restricted time. If you wish to prolong the location, that you must proceed paying.

Negotiations are one of the vital advanced elements of listicle outreach. You invested tons of time into analysis, prospecting, and sequence preparation. However one flawed phrase or a scarcity of flexibility in negotiations can price you a prospect. 

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

  • Be versatile – Don’t say no immediately; at all times attempt to discover a center floor.
  • Present quick responses – You might have a excessive likelihood of getting featured within the listicles when you reply to your prospects immediately or a minimum of on the identical day. Don’t wait too lengthy.
  • Do one thing for them Assist unfold the phrase concerning 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 observe up Persons are busy, and so they can neglect about you—it’s OK. In the event that they confirmed curiosity in your provide, don’t hesitate to remind them about your self.

Remaining ideas

Listicle outreach isn’t exhausting. 

Given the variety of ideas within the article, it could appear to be it. However when you get the hold of issues, all the things often suits into place.

I’m not saying you are able to do it with no effort. You continue to need to do a number of work to gather high-quality prospects, discover decision-makers, put together a useful outreach sequence, and many others. But it surely’s not the not possible job that many assume it is.

In case your marketing campaign goes nicely, you may make it evergreen by monitoring for brand spanking new listicles with Ahrefs Alerts. Right here’s an instance alert that displays for brand spanking new listicles with “greatest 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

Obtained questions? Ping me on LinkedIn.

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