Roman Suslo is the Founder and CEO of WMLinks, a service that specializes in systematic link building for the international market. During the LinkCheker PRO webinar on October 6, he explained what effective outreach automation and personalization should be like, and whether it is always needed. He also talked about the best automation tools with an example of setting up a newsletter, as well as effective and ineffective personalization features.

The video for the presentation:

The following is going on behalf of Roman – the most effective tool for newsletter automation

Based on our experience, can provide your  outreach team with almost everything needed to simplify the work. It’s the email automation and verification that most people don’t even use. also helps with account warm-up: if you start sending newsletters, it’s important not to get spammed or blacklisted. Those who are engaged in systematic mailing should do the same to increase the effectiveness of their campaigns.’s customizable email templates and follow-ups, as well as analytics, are very valuable for outreach processes.

In general, as a tool offers an abundance of features. I will discuss the main categories  of service that our team is using and the ones that will be of benefit for the basic outreach.

Partial email search automation has a very cool automated email finder tool. And it’s free. You simply set up the plugin, then you receive the icon for it and whenever you open any page, you can click on the icon and see which emails are added to the site. You can add the email right away to your contact list and later use it for the newsletter. It’s a very useful tool in case you work with different projects and you are in need of a sorting and saving system for email addresses. It’s much better than creating Excel files and other tables on each project. It’s an especially useful functionality for freelance outreachers who have several clients.

If you were trying to solve the issue of search automation you’ve probably worked with “Hunter”. But we are using because it’s more comfortable and finds more emails in quantity and validity. Additionally, the email finder from doesn’t have limits and is completely free for any user, unlike Hunter. I also want to turn your attention to the fact that is a free resource for Ukrainian businesses: if your company wants to get a full-service plan, write to the support team and confirm your company through LinkedIn.

Finder from is integrated into your system so all found emails are added to the contact lists and you set an effective newsletter without extra steps and side programs. 

Verification of found emails

An important issue with email verification: you need to complete it while working with the automation services, and especially with  manual work. If you’re working through, the system is following the number of unverified contacts you’re reaching, and in case there’s more than 10-15%, the system automatically stops the newsletter and informs you about the statistics. So, you have a chance to additionally optimizet the process for a better result. 

If you do everything independently and collect emails manually, you don’t perform the validity check and send the email later, you will not be informed about a big quantity of unverified emails. What can it lead to? You will get a low bounce rate – it’s a case when you send a large number of emails to inboxes that are not validated for that address. That’s the reason why the probability to get your letter into the “Inbox” folder is very low, and most likely your letter will get into spam. After that the process gets momentum, the reputation of your account is getting lower which can lead to the blocking of your account by the providers (Google or others). 

So I stress once again that it is of high importance to verify your emails if you do your work manually. Automation services control and inform you about the percentage of unverified accounts – it is very convenient. has 3 email statuses. The service marks found emails in three colors:

  • Green – valid address, confirmed, you can send the newsletter;
  • Yellow – the system cannot verify the address, the newsletter is not recommended, because you cannot confirm its status;
  • Red- non-valid address, you do not need to send the newsletter; using it will decrease account reputation and increases the risks of getting into spam with each letter. allows performing verification as a package (when you parsed a big number of emails – 200, 500, or 1000 for example) as well as individually.

To sum up, comparing and we believe that the first service does the better job:

  • More relevant emails;
  • No limits on search;
  • Free for official Ukrainian business.

Warm-up of email accounts

Account is warmed-up to increase the effectiveness of the newsletter, and avoid getting into the spam folder or on the black list of your mail provider. When you send from a non-warmed-up account there is a great possibility of getting into spam, completely or partially – and you have already lost much time on email search, donors, and other contacts, prepared the sample text and sent it. All this work goes to waste if you end up in spam, you will get a low bounce rate, and worsening the reputation of your account for the future. 

So, simply add your account to the warm-up system that is fully automated. How it works:

  • Add your account;
  • Choose the settings following the tips from the system;
  • Opt for the email of 25 newsletters for a day (optimal based on our experienced);
  • Warm up your account for 90 days;
  • We recommend choosing content that is generated by artificial intelligence because it can avoid spam words and phrases;
  • After some time, you warm-up the account again – the system marks the letters from your system with the “star” (important in Gmail) – it highly increases the account reputation and allows the perform more effective newsletters;
  • System automatically starts sending messages from your name to the system of mutual account warm-up.

An illustrative example of setting up automation

You have a percentage of answers that you wish to receive for the newsletter. Under each item, the system helps you to adjust it most effectively. “ says that 30% is the most effective value.

The service recommends at least 30 days for the duration of the campaign. We recommend 90 days.

The schedule is an optional setting. You can use it additionally if you are working for a region that is in a different time zone.

Template of newsletter setting offers email templates for a large number of tasks. There are templates for sales, marketing, follow-ups, link building, and PR outreach. They’ve done a great job and provided successful templates that they’ve used themselves. And you can use them as a “skeleton” for your own projects.

There is also a function to create your own custom templates. And instead of saving them in some Word document, you can create everything in the service and watch how does it.

There’s an interesting thing about templates: outreachers watch webinars and start looking for a universal email formula that everyone will like, that they can save once and send to everyone. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way: you have to constantly change your own template, test hypotheses, and redo it many times. That’s why I recommend not using the templates to the full extent, because the platform is large and many people use them as a basis. When you start making your own personalized newsletter, you need to stand out. You can look at individual phrases, email structure, word count, etc. You shouldn’t be lazy and use the template without any changes.

However, you should always start with specific tasks and decide whether to personalize them or not. Let’s talk about this in more detail below.

Follow-up templates

Log in to, select Templates, then Templates and Follow-ups. There is a huge number of follow-ups, we are interested in outreach, but you can study all the offers. team specializes in mass emails for various purposes. They have a lot of expertise, and their practical experience is very valuable. The ready-made templates give you tips on how to structure your emails, and then you have a lot of room for experimentation.

Useful function: when completing personalized newsletter subject line “First name”, you can fill in the contact which you collected and saved with the help of Email Finder by

Analytics for email campaigns

If you’re sending emails via Gmail, for example, it’s hard to track and collect statistics for each individual project or campaign. With, you can analyze each email campaign: how successful it was, and what can be fixed.

  • If you have a large number of emails sent but no views, this may indicate that you’ve hit spam or that the recipient refused to open the email because the subject line was uninteresting. You need to look into the technical reasons – verify your emails or simply change the subject line. It may also indicate that your email is spammy – you need to check the quality of the text.
  • The email template may have a link embedded in it, and analytics will show you the number of clicks.
  • Analytics allows you to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of your emails based on statistics, not subjective impressions.  
  • If you have a large number of views but a small number of responses, you’ve done a great job of building your database and finding valid email addresses, you’ve chosen a good topic, but you’ve probably created a weak template or your offer is not interesting to the recipients (webmasters who are targeted by your newsletter). You can choose a different email template and offer, and send another campaign to the same list, correcting mistakes and revising the personalization.

So, if you’ve sent out 500 emails and received few responses, it’s obvious that your email campaign is ineffective. But with the help of statistics, you’ll understand exactly where you need to improve: avoid spam, change the content of your email, etc. analytics allows you to compare a large number of emails with each other and over time: whether the metrics are getting worse or better.

Statistics can be exported to your own account, and this will be of most interest to companies that are used to analyzing emails in bulk. But it’s also a useful tool for freelancers – you can upload the data to your own CRM or send it to a customer.

You can also customize the schedule. This is convenient if you work in different time zones. It is better for a person to receive emails when they are at work than at night.

So, analytics makes it possible to compare all projects and how statistics change within one project. All in order to find and quickly correct errors. Less time and energy are spent, and the results and money come faster.

So, what can give you?

  1. Partial automation of email search
  2. Verification of found emails
  3. Warm-up of email accounts
  4. Automation of newsletters
  5. Newsletter template
  6. Follow-up template
  7. Newsletter analytics

What cannot give to you?

  • It’s impossible to take away the element of creativity from the profession – one template doesn’t work for everyone and needs to be constantly changed. greatly simplifies the outreacher’s work, but it’s not a panacea. It’s not enough to set up once and wait for webmasters to respond. Outreach requires work and creativity, testing hypotheses: what is the best way to communicate – via email or LinkedIn, or maybe Twitter will work? Soft skills in communicating with clients are also important. “ is a great tool for automating workflows, but you always need to do something new in this area.
  • Large mailings are not always effective. If you send 500, 1000, 2000 emails, you may experience a failure. It happened that emails ended up in spam, even though manual sending to the same database via email resulted in views and replies – the emails reached the inbox. Sometimes, with large volumes, the campaign doesn’t always stop after receiving a response. It is not a very convenient situation when the webmaster has replied and you are already agreeing on the placement, and he receives the first or second follow-up again.
  • It’s not possible to get rid of the routine completely. You have to search for contacts, test hypotheses, personalize email campaigns, and draw conclusions based on data, although automation can help you improve routine processes.

According to our team, the ideal combination in terms of efficiency is to use the power of and work with your own mind and hands. For example, searching for emails and verifying them through the service, and then completing the template and sending them out manually. Or you can store templates in the service and send them manually.

If you send an email campaign through and don’t get any results, you can repeat it after a while to the same list, but manually.

Sample of newsletter setting

Any email campaign consists of an email, a trigger, and a goal. The ultimate goal is to get a response. We start the automation by building the first email, and assembling it like a construction set with tips. We use a subject line and a template. We create a list of recipients using the Email Finder and start sending emails.

Set up follow-up – a chain of emails in response to triggers.

There are 3 triggers in, meaning actions performed by the webmaster:

  • When he opens the letter;
  • When he follows the link in the letter;
  • When he replies.

Let’s take a look at the first trigger – the contact opened the email. You can customize how long you’re willing to wait. For example, we send the first follow-up in 3 days. We tested relatively “spammy” emails, when follow-ups came regardless of whether the person opened or not. The hypothesis was based on the fact that the webmaster could open the email, get distracted, forget, and close it. That’s why he didn’t respond. We continue to write, but give the person the opportunity to unsubscribe.

Be sure to include a convenient “Unsubscribe” option in your email template. provides this option: you just need to click on the “Add an unsubscribe link” button in the signature builder and enter the link text.

When a person reads your email and disregards it, then receives a follow-up and opens it, give them the option to simply click “Unsubscribe” and unsubscribe from the newsletter.

It’s better to let them unsubscribe than to “throw” you into spam or block you. An increase in the bounce rate is an undesirable factor for an account’s reputation. A low bounce rate means a high risk of getting into spam.

Depending on the open/unopened rate, you can change the content of your emails. For example, “I see you opened the email. Let’s clarify the format. When is it convenient for you to talk?”,  etc. Try to find out why you’re not getting a response.

It’s also important to set up time intervals for follow-ups with different texts. We usually send a chain of three emails: after 3, 7, and 20 days. There is an opinion that follow-ups are unnecessary: if a person hasn’t opened an email, you shouldn’t bombard them with new ones. However, our practical experience with WMLinks shows that it makes sense. You should take into account the human factor: someone is sick and unable to open an email; someone has gone on vacation or simply left the workplace. Webmasters can receive a huge number of emails during the working day, and it is impossible to control when an email was received – either at work or while traveling on the subway.

That’s why we recommend using every chance to get through the information noise and other circumstances that may prevent you from opening and reading your email. Also, make different texts. And make it easy to unsubscribe.

Follow-ups should be short and informative, without distractions. It can be an update of the previous offer, some questions to the person.

The first two follow-ups can be with a small interval (remind yourself in 3-7 days). The third follow-up is best done in a month.

Why do you always need to personalize the newsletter?

Yes, you need to always personalize. But there are nuances.

Someone can view personalization as using first names but we, however, do extensive research and based on that personalize the newsletter.

First of all, personalization and its depth depend on the segment of websites you work with. If your budget is $50-60 for placement, you don’t need to dive deep into the webmaster’s site. For low-cost sites, it’s enough to address the webmaster by name and explain the benefits of cooperation. This is easily automated with in one click and doesn’t require anything extraordinary.

However, for the premium segment of serious websites, getting links on a barter basis or working with a resource that doesn’t openly sell links and doesn’t look like a spam dump requires more effort to build a relationship. People who have made a quality product want to receive quality content. So, personalization needs to be thorough.

Personalization levels will be differentiated according to the site level. If you’re building your database, there’s no point in bothering with analysis, examples, and deep personalization. It’s enough to address them by name and indicate in the subject line which website you’re going to make an offer for. But when working with the premium segment, you will need additional steps that take time but increase the chance of positive responses and cooperation.

Personalization features that do not work

When we were reading Western blogs on SEO, marketing, and email marketing, we came across the advice to start communication with a compliment. Actually, you don’t need to do this – empty flattery doesn’t work.

Non-standard email subject lines (for example, your favorite football team lost or your son’s birthday) are another hypothesis that we have disproven. It seems to be creative and attracts the webmaster’s attention. But an irrelevant subject line doesn’t encourage contacts to open the email. It’s better to write to the point, and convey the essence of what you want to give and receive.

There is one more point. If you are analyzing a competitor’s backlinks and see that they have posted somewhere, you should not ask for placement there in an ultimatum, reminding them of the competitor. At the beginning of the correspondence, you cannot put a person in the position that they owe you something, especially in niche edit. In principle, the likelihood of you being placed on a website that already has a competitor is quite high. But the decision to place your article on a website is influenced by many factors, including luck.
To summarize, business correspondence has its own rules. Please avoid:

  1. empty compliments;
  2. email topics that are not relevant;
  3. emphasis on the fact that the webmaster hosted your competitor and therefore should host you.

A webmaster receives a lot of emails per working day, so he appreciates specifics, no watered-down messages, and respect for time. Don’t put him off with common mistakes.

Personalization features that work

  1. Quality presentation of yourself.
  2. Addressing the webmaster by name.
  3. Polite small talk after receiving a response.
  4. Communicate a specific benefit other than money.
  5. Show that you are familiar with the webmaster’s site.

A good and clear self-presentation is about your name and position in the company. The person reading you should immediately understand what field you come from. And make it clear which site will be hosted: yours or the client’s. Because if you use a corporate email (for example, and want to place a guest post for, without a good self-presentation, the webmaster may get confused about which site you want to get the post for. Write briefly, informatively, without double meanings.

It can be clear from our side, but it’s worth looking at the situation from the perspective of the webmaster. He receives a high quantity of letters so there is a reason to put the information clearly. 

Combine this with addressing the webmaster by name from the personalization system, and it will put the interviewer in a positive mood. After all, you’ve at least taken the trouble to find a name. If you don’t know what to call the contact, the system simply skips this step: you’ll get a greeting and then an email text.

We recommend using small talk when you have already received a response. It’s not entirely appropriate to do this in the first emails, but it works well once you’ve established contact. For example, the webmaster didn’t respond for a week, then wrote that he was sick. It costs you nothing to ask how he is, how he is doing, if everything is okay, and this sets you up for more trusting cooperation. This can be done at the stage when you have already received a response. And, in general, see how the person reacts. Sometimes an informal conversation can be continued if people are interested in talking. And when you realize that your questions are being ignored, build a communication that is comfortable for people.

About communicating specifics, a webmaster should understand what you can give him or her besides money. Outreach is not always about money. The higher the segment of the site, the more it is about relationships. It is important to understand how to do it. For example, we use Ahrefs to analyze the competitors’ websites we write for. We look at pages with high traffic and note whether our webmaster has an article on a similar topic. If not, we offer several topics for articles that we can publish. And we immediately say: “Look, your competitors have articles that rank well and drive traffic. Let us write something similar, but better, and everyone will be happy.”

You are giving direct information why you can be useful for the webmaster. And you are also giving a hint to the webmaster that yon ou know the site.

You might not have the time or the budget for a deep analysis. You can offer a number of topics without the deep dive for not-very expensive sites that you believe are missing (just looking at the site’s theme). If you have a reply that they have similar articles, you can start negotiating new offers. You have received a reply which is the most important.


There are no features that are working for everyone. Even if you repeat all the same “rituals” you cannot repeat the successful outreach campaign. Do not think it is your fault – just analyze better and make conclusions. Remember that, while working with people, luck and human factor play important roles.

Do not spam, respect the individuals, hope for luck, and do not turn  outreach into a routine – be creative! Look for different approaches to webmasters, build hypotheses and check them, do not use the same templates for long, deepen your niche to the full and get the perfect result. When making a decision, use your clients, price segment, niches – and other factors that are of impact in your opinion.

Questions and Answers

— Do you know  how parses emails? Where exactly are they taking the information from?
— It’s a good question but no, I am not fully aware of the process. It’s enough for us, outreachers, that we find the site, click the icon, and get the emails.

— Hunter and give different emails and the managers state that you must collect emails manually for the quality base. So what to do?
— You must be cleverhere. You can collect emails through and say that you have done that manually. You can also check what exactly you are collecting. For instance, you can take 50 found sites from and 50 from Hunter. And then use  the form to see what is relevant for the site. Find a way to parse that suits you best and always improve your work. Surely, it’s better to work manually. But setting aside the way of mail collection, you also need to verify the emails so that your newsletter is effective achieves the desired. Both and have verification functions so work with different services and follow the effectiveness of your newsletter. This would be the best approach.

— If the mail has been validated, does it mean that the letter will definitely reach the addressee?
— There is no way to guarantee 100% accuracy because there is also the factor of what you write. If the email is spam, the system and Gmail will track spam scores, spam phrases, etc. If you use them, there are fewer chances. But if you send it to valid email addresses, the chance that the recipient will receive the email and it will end up in the appropriate folder is higher than if you do it without validation. For example, if you’ve checked the validity, but you have a porn or drug campaign, no one can guarantee that it won’t end up in spam.

— What should be the response rate if all emails are verified, the offer is OK, and the test is OK? For example, if you send 100 emails, how many responses should you get on average?
— I think it should be 20-30%. I don’t want to be vague, but I can’t help but notice the dependence on a lot of factors. What is the niche, and what sites do you send to (mailing to saas sites gives a lower percentage), that is, there is a big difference in the categories of sites. If we are working with new donors, if it is something “in-between” – not Forbes, but not “Hindus” either – we believe that a successful mailing has a 20-30% response rate. If you focus on sites that don’t sell links openly, it’s better to use LinkedIn, write to Product Owners, and find contacts of people who do outreach on this site. Because big sites are interested in cooperation, they don’t sell guests. They don’t mind making a niche edit on their blog or swapping articles. But to reach them, a template email is not enough. You need a lot of creativity: we use LinkedIn, and we use our own contacts. And it works great when you write directly to the person who is responsible for the product or works in a related department. Don’t neglect other communication channels.

— How do you avoid spamming the text so that emails don’t bounce back with the 550 high risk of spam mark?
— If, for example, you are sending these emails through a third-party automation service, you can always write to their support team and they will provide you with guidelines that will help. There are tools that analyze your text for spam, and they emphasize what needs to be changed. Make sure that your text does not contain phrases that everyone else uses. If you work through services, write to support or look for extensions that will analyze your text.

— How many contacts do you manage to find per month per employee who is ready to cooperate? Of course, not taking into account paid resources that publish anything.
— In a related process, if a person is engaged in placements and finds contacts in their free time for the future, then 200-300 contacts are a normal indicator of donors. But this does not mean that there will be 200 placements per month, even if communication is built. Someone may disappear, or someone may not like the article – something happens all the time when working with people, and you need to take this into account.

— Are there any unexpected results when testing hypotheses?
— There was an anti-case when we got an idea for custom email templates. We read an article after which we decided to attract attention with a catchy phrase that had nothing to do with the topic at all. We did it and were very disappointed because it didn’t work. And if we look at cases, the best way is to use a database. When you have a great list of contacts, when you’ve done your homework, you’ve created a great personalized template. Analyzing the competitors of the site you are writing for works very well. It doesn’t take much time: look at the top pages of the site’s competitors in Ahrefs and write the webmaster a proposal for an article. Systematic work shows better than the tricks that are often searched for but not found. Because they don’t exist.

— Do you make creative emails with pictures or something like that?
— We don’t, and I’ll explain why. If you add such things, the sender may think it’s spam. Put yourself in the shoes of the person who opens your email. You are a stranger and someone sends you a picture. Most likely, I would delete such an email right away. What comes to mind is that you can attach some infographics, but they should be informative. There are services that generate infographics using artificial intelligence, and you can try them. But it seems to us that a picture is an unnecessary thing. We even try not to overdo it with examples, so as not to impose unnecessary actions on people. Again, it all depends on the niche and tone of voice. If you see funny content on a blog, you can try it. If it’s fintech, then excessive creativity can go into spam. Of course, you can test it.

— What determines whether an e-mail gets into the 550 spam filter?
— I think it’s a combination of the factors I mentioned. If you send email campaigns to unverified red emails using, the probability of getting into spam is high. Spam text can also cause problems. Unheated emails and illegal niches are also highly likely.

— If the complimentary language doesn’t work. Maybe try writing that they have a bad website? It will be easier to get a discount.
— It’s a good joke, but I don’t think it will work. If you want to increase your trustworthiness, think about how you can be useful to the site. We do this through content. But if you have expertise, or if you have seen some mistake, you can write it, say it. But without explicitly saying “your site is bad”.

— When you write on behalf of a fictional person, do you personalize it? Do you create social networks, etc.
— We tried this. We created a fictional copywriter for websites, but it didn’t work. We made him a LinkedIn, a cool contact list, a grid, and a photo. But after a mailing with good text from the natives, our hypothesis with a good copywriter didn’t work. But if you are creating a fictional persona, you should definitely create social networks for them to confirm their trustworthiness, so that you can be identified. Twitter and LinkedIn are the two social networks that are easiest to pump up, add posts, write about education, and so on. It can work.

— How do you process websites before sending out a mailing list and collecting contacts?
— We have a comprehensive approach. First of all, we look at the site visually, because any metric is manipulative. DR can be cheated, backs can be boosted, and traffic can be too. So first, we look at the site, sections, backlinks dynamics, and their quantity/quality, organic – for us, this is a marker that the site is made using white-hat methods and will not collapse after the update. You can also focus on the Traffic Value metric.

— How do I know if my email has been caught by a spam filter?
— If I’m not mistaken, there will be no warning from Google that you are under the filter. However, if you send emails to valid email addresses and receive 0 replies, it may mean that you are under the filter if you work manually. To check this, you can take another email and use it to send a campaign to the same contacts. Or, if you use, they will tell you that you are either under a filter or have a high probability of getting there. Because you’re sending spam emails or your bounce rate is going up.