Okay, now you know how important reciprocal links are and who you should target when looking for links, but when you have found your targets what’s the best way to actually get them to link to you.

What should you say in the e-mail or phone call that will increase your chances of being them linking their site to yours.

Are reciprocal links good or bad?

Well, first things first: always personalize the e-mail you send to any webmaster, this means actually visiting the site and finding the correct e-mail address and name of the webmaster if possible.

This shows you are serious about exchanging links, that you really do value a potential link with them, and separates you from the non-serious people who couldn’t be bothered to personalize and might as well be e-mailing hundreds of sites with link exchange proposals.

Second, Many online e-mail accounts and desktop e-mail programs are set up with advanced spam filters and if an e-mail does not directly address that particular person it will be automatically deleted and will never be read.

Personalizing e-mails by sending them one by one will enable your e-mails to get into the inbox.

Thirdly many webmasters are spammed on a constant basis this is because ‘spammers’ have sent out e-mail extractors to extract e-mail addresses from sites under a particular keyword or keyphrase, so they regularly ignore messages they suspect as spam.

Having their name or website name in the subject will ensure your e-mail is not dismissed as spam.

If you do personalize you will see a much better response than if you didn’t and you are making the webmaster feel special. Look at it this way – if you don’t care enough to find out the name and send a personal e-mail to your prospective linking partner, why should he or she care to link with you?

Many webmasters (particularly on high traffic sites) are wary of others trying to get something for free of them, when you e-mail them your proposal they might think you are one of these people. So what can you do to put them at ease and to show them you are offering a fair deal?

Well I consider this one a bit of a golden rule it is this, always put a link to them first, do this even before contacting them, this seems to them more genuine, and that you do really value their site as you have already linked to it.

Another advantage of this would be the fact that they might already have seen in their logs that you are sending them traffic and want to make sure this continues by linking to you. It is a good idea to give a little one-line bio too with the line which makes the site out to be great, everyone loves flattery and this should increase your chances of getting a link from them.

Now on to the main body of the e-mail, first of, tell the webmaster who you are, give them the address of your website and tell them a little about it.

Tell the webmaster that you liked their site and found it very useful, tell why you thought it was useful. Always include the URL of the website you liked as many webmasters have more than one website.

Next, you want to tell them you liked it so much that you have added a link (and a bio) to it already, this will increase your chances because many webmasters feel obliged to repay a favor to someone who has said lots of good words about their site. Make sure you give them the URL of the page where their link can be found.

With that out of the way you need to suggest to the webmaster that they add your site to their links or resources page, mention once again that you have linked to them as you think your visitors will be interested in and benefit from their site, then ask if they would consider doing the same for you.

Have a couple of lines or two explainings how this will benefit their visitors, maybe directing them to particular articles or areas of your site.

By now they should be interested. Next, you need to give them the ‘ extra push’ by including the exact HTML code needed to add your link to their page, you should include a little biography of your site in this HTML code.

You have to make it as easy as possible for them.

Also, make it clear that you can change the bio of their site if they wish.

Last but not least thank them for taking the time to read your e-mail, and say you hope to hear from them soon.

Include your e-mail address and phone number. Following the above format usually brings a 50%-80% success rate, which is really good, it’s best not to rush in and e-mail 100 or 200 sites at once, you should be seeking to add about 10 good sites to your links every week, this usually requires e-mailing about 30 or 40 sites depending on your site’s properties like contents, traffic, etc.

One thing is for sure though it will take time usually from 1 month to a year to develop really good traffic from reciprocal links, it’s well worth it as you as securing free long-term traffic for your site.