I got a terrible email this morning asking for a link. So I thought it might be fun to share what I think is a really bad poker link request, and then I’ll post an example of what I think is a good poker link request. I’ve changed some of the details on both to protect the “innocent”.

A Bad Poker Link Request

Hi Webmaster

We have learnt that you are interested in 3 way link building for your domain poker-tomorrow.com. If you are still interested we can go ahead and have a 3 way link exchange between you and our websites. Kindly send us your website link information, URL & other details for us to link back. Your link will be placed on Google Indexed website and from a relevant web-page. I will have all ethics to form a good link back to your website. We will send you a confirmation email along with the details of our link if you are interested in linking. Thanks for your interest and time.

Lead webmaster Team

What’s wrong with this link request?

Here’s a list of the factor that make this one of the worst link requests I’ve ever received:

  1. The salutation reads “Hi Webmaster”. Come on. If you’ve seen my website, which you included in the body of the email, you’ve seen my name. It’s pretty prominent there on the site.
  2. Who uses the word “learnt” in a professional correspondence these days anyway? Geez.
  3. I’m not interested in 3 way link building, and anyone who knows me understands this. I think it’s a link scheme, and I’ve even written about it as such on my site in the section on poker link building. I don’t expect you to read every page on my site in order to get a link, but here’s a hint. If a webmaster has a section specifically about linking on his site, then it’s a good idea to read it before contacting him.
  4. They want me to send my website information and URL to them. Well, didn’t they just contact me about poker-tomorrow.com? And why didn’t they send me the information about what site they operate?
  5. “I will have all ethics to form a good link back to your site” – what in the hell does ethics have to do with it? And isn’t it customary to link to someone else’s site BEFORE asking them to link to yours? Or am I just hopelessly old-fashioned?
  6. The letter was signed “Lead webmaster Team”. Not only does the person who sent this link request not bother to find my name, which is easily found, he doesn’t even include his name. (Which is presumably even easier for him to find.)

I mean seriously. Come on.

It’s inept, thoughtless, careless, foolish, incompetent link requests like this that make it hard for real webmasters who run real businesses to get links.

A Good Poker Link Request

Okay, I’ll be honest. I didn’t receive this poker link request. But if I did receive a request like this, I’d definitely link to their site, no problem.

Hi Randy – my name is Elmer Linkbuilder.Â

I’m writing to you about your website, http://www.poker-tomorrow.com/.

I’m helping New Made Up Poker Site announce their new poker website. The site features 100+ pages of original, unique content about various aspects of the online poker business, including Texas holdem strategies, online poker news, and home poker games. We have plans to add 10+ pages of new, original content to the site every week too.

I’ve included more details about the website below my signature. Please link to this content in any way you think is appropriate.

I noticed you have a page on Poker Tomorrow for poker news, at http://www.poker-tomorrow.com/poker/news/, and also a page where you recommend other sites, at http://www.poker-tomorrow.com/websites/. Do you think a link to New Made Up Poker Site might be a good fit on either or both of those pages?Â

Please contact me with any questions you might have, or if I can help you in any way. My name is Elmer Linkbuilder, and you can email me at elmerlinkbuilder at new made up poker site dot com, or you can call me at (555) 555 – 5555.

By the way, a real person wrote this email, by hand. I hate automated link requests as much as most webmasters. :) Â

Warmest regards,
Elmer Linkbuilder
for New Made Up Poker Site

New Made Up Poker Site is a newly launched poker information portal feature best-of-breed content about Texas holdem strategy, poker news, and home poker games. Their Texas holdem strategy is written by Bugs Contentwriter, whose had 5 years experience playing online Texas holdem professionally. They have a team of poker news writers, and their home poker games directory is constantly being updated. The newly launched forum on New Made Up Poker Site is already very active, with 50 active members contributing 100 posts per day on average. New Made Up Poker Site is a “real poker site for real poker players”.

Now why would that poker link request be effective?

  1. The person requesting the link obviously knows my name.
  2. I know his name right away.
  3. It’s clear that he knows what website mine is.
  4. He suggested two places I could link to him from that would be a good fit, so I don’t have to think about where to place his link.
  5. He included detailed contact information.
  6. His site description makes it clear that he knows exactly what his website is about, and it’s clearly (based on the description he included) a good quality site.

Everything about this second email is written explicitly to gain trust and confidence.

People worry about conversion rates on their websites, but how many of them take this kind of effort to get high conversion rates from their email link requests?