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How to Write Successful Subject Titles for Link Requests

Online marketing information can change quickly This article is 15 years and 34 days old, and the facts and opinions contained in it may be out of date.

Unfortunately, not everyone on the web wants to hear from you. As people’s personal filtering systems get better, the odds that your message is received declines. Subject lines are a big part of how I do my personal e-mail filtering. When I say “personal e-mail filtering”, I mean the skimming of e-mail I do every morning to determine which mails are most likely legit, and which are DEFINITELY spam.

Every once and a while I do get fooled by a good subject line only to open the mail and be told about one of my body parts that could use improvement, a pill that will make me feel better, or a way I can get rich and retire in a week. As much as I hate spam, I do try to pay attention to what it was that made me open that mail, so that when I REALLY want to get a mail read by someone I’ve never contacted before they will at least give my message body a couple second glance.

High Success Rate Subject Titles

Hey [site owner’s name] it’s Todd from
Question about [website name goes here]
Do you sell advertising on [website name goes here]
Can You Tell Me More About [website subject goes here]

Low Success Rate Subject Titles

Hi, wanna trade links?
Free free pr0n links have been placed
H3y Br0, Y0u w4n7 b1663r p3n15? **
Give me your googlejuice
I’ll trade you a crappy link for your high PageRank
Do you know what nofollow is?

Additional Tips

  • Subject line capitalization *Thanks Justilien
  • Find something personal from the site
  • If you’ve met them or one of their friends, use something personal
  • Don’t be deceptive about what is in the mail, or your open rate may be high, but conversion terrible
  • Study how to improve open rates

My apologies for keeping it brief, but if I gave you ALL the good tips, we’d all have 10 mails in our inbox tomorrow with those subject lines, and they wouldn’t work well for very much longer. The best tip is to study some of the “old school” open rate ideas from direct marketers, and e-mail newsletter open rate studies for improving your link request open rates.
**Inspired by Dave Chappelle’s If the internet was real


More information about Todd Malicoat aka stuntdubl.

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  • Michael Bluejay

    I’m not sure whether your examples work on the masses, but they definitely don’t work on me:

    >>Hey [site owner’s name] it’s Todd from

    The word “Hey” automatically turns me off, since messages that use that are almost always spam or otherwise annoying.

    >>Question about [website name goes here]

    I’m not a free helpdesk, although people want to treat me as such, even though my Contact pages say not to. I’m prepared to delete this as soon as I open to verify that it’s not important, and I doubt it will be.

    >>Do you sell advertising on [website name goes here]

    Yawn. I frequently get such come-ons where the would-be advertiser either wants to pay substantially below market rates, or they want me to join their useless affiliate program.

    >>Can You Tell Me More About [website subject goes here]

    The fact that Every Word Of The Sentence is Capitalized Makes It Look Like Spam. Normal people don’t write like that. I wouldn’t even open this one.

  • Marc P

    Michael, I think it would help if you had some examples of subjects which grab the attention of even the more “independent” webmasters out there.

    I have never used these exact subject lines, but Todd has the right idea from a sheer numbers standpoint.

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  • Ashish K Arora

    I have been trying request mail method for the last one year. I have experimented lots of subjects but your method realy works.

    Thanks much…

  • Ashish K Arora

    I have a small doubt, as there are lots of paid tool available for sending bulk request mails. are they helpfull or we shall rely on manuall methods only.

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