#228 – 9 Advanced Link Building Tactics To Skyrocket your rankings

What You Will Learn

  • Advanced Link Building tips
  • The systems and processes we use on a daily basis at Authority Hacker
  • Tips you can implement RIGHT NOW!

Outreach is one of the most efficient ways to build backlinks.

But the reality is that it is now much harder than it was even just a few years ago.

Because Google has cracked down on many other link building tactics, there have never been as many people doing outreach link building as there is today.

Some are more successful than others.

No kidding, this was in my inbox the other day:

Sure, thanks for thinking of me…

In all seriousness, though, you have to find ways to squeeze every drop of value you can from your outreach campaigns.

And using people’s first names in emails is a proven way to boost your results.

Analyzing The Data

It’s all well and good to make claims about getting way better results…

but do I have any data to back it up?


First, we sent 600,000 outreach emails and analyzed all the data.

For the first time in the history of these kinds of studies, we tied in the link acquisition rate, not just vanity metrics like open rate or reply rate.

A guy that replies to tell you to f*ck off should not count as success.

This is what we found when we compared emails that used the first name vs. those that didn’t:

  • Open rates went up by 7%
  • Reply rates increased by 2%
  • There was a 50% increase in acquired links.

And the main difference between these emails is that we used the prospect’s first names.

Seems deceptively simple, right?

It is – but the best hacks always are.

Now, let’s take a look at how we did it.

Finding the basic data

If you’ve ever listened to our podcast or read our blog posts, you’ll know that Hunter.io is one of our favorite tools.

It does an excellent job finding email addresses, along with first names, 60% of the time.

For some people, 60% is great already…

But not for us.

So we wanted to find a way around this problem and without doing the work manually. 

And that’s when we came up with the idea of using census data to fill in the blanks.

We found a list of the most popular first names globally and then ran a Vlookup query against our existing data.

This compared the Census data with anything that came before the “@” symbol in the email address field.

The query then filled in the blank fields where it found a valid name based on our common names list.

Some clever Excel/Sheets tricks and a few minutes of my time gave us up to 40% more first names to add to my outreach campaign.

And as demonstrated above, this resulted in our link acquisition rate rising from 3% to 4.5%.

Or 50% more links for almost no extra effort.

Tiny improvements.

Maximum return.

That’s just how I like it.

If you enjoyed this tactic and want more of them, you’re in luck!

In this week’s show, we share 8 more tips. You’ll have to watch the full episode to get your hands on these ones though!


[Finding Additional Names]
US Names TXT list
Formula –
Replace A1 with the cell your email address is in

[Merging Ahrefs Outputs]
Command Prompt: *.csv all.txt
Free Merge Tool
Authority Hacker Members Only:
Authority Hacker CSV Merge Tool

SPF Record (1 Record only)

Link building outreach data study