The reading level for this article is Novice

Note: This is an excerpt from the 37-page “Building Thousands of Links to Your Web Site.” You may download the full ebook here.

7. Saving Hundreds of Hours by using Automation Software, Spreadsheets, and Mail Merge Mailers

Time Saver #1: Using Spreadsheets and Mail Merge Mailers

Instead of finding the email address from each related site and then emailing them individually, here’s a way you can send all the emails at once.

Before you go to a search engine to begin to collect related emails, open up a spreadsheet (either Excel or the one that comes with Works) or even Notepad or WordPad. Do not email each site individually, as you come to them. Rather, collect the email addresses, web site addresses, and keyword you found the site under in your spreadsheet.

Now, we can use something called mail merge to send all the emails at once. Mail merge simply sends individual emails to each person on your list and inserts fields in each email such as the web site address or keyword you found them under into your standard link request email. Inserting the information yourself might take as long as thirty seconds per email. Using mail merge, hundreds of emails can be sent per minute and they are still personalized for each recipient.  

If you look back at the sample email I provided, you’ll see [topic] and [url]. These are mail merge fields. Depending on the program you use, mail merge fields can look like [field], {field}, %field, or any similar combination. Follow the instructions the specific software you are using and make sure you get it right as there is nothing more embarrassing than sending a few thousand emails that do not show the person’s site or keyword but rather "[site]" and "[keyword]". Check for both case and spelling in your message.  

You have a number of options for mail merge software. Generally, when using mail merge in things such as newsletters, you’d be able to use web-based email list management software such as IntelliContact Pro ( However, since web-based programs will insert a manage subscription or unsubscribe link at the bottom of your message, you’ll have to use desktop based mail-merge software.

In the past I have used a program called Mailloop as my mail-merge email client. Mailloop is a good program and has a number of features, but does cost quite a bit. It sells for $379. I would really only suggest purchasing it if you plan to use it after you finish your linking campaigns. It has some pretty useful capabilities such as filtering of emails, autoresponders, database cleaning, database merging, list splitting, scheduling, and newsletter management. If you currently use or wish to use autoresponders or send out mail merged emails such as announcements, link partner requests, or newsletters, an investment in Mailloop may be justified.  You can learn more about Mailloop at

Here is a screen shot of the Mailloop sender.

Figure 7.1

However, if you already have other software for your autoresponders and newsletters or do not use any presently you can save this money. The free trial of Postmaster Express ( will give you the ability to send out ten mailings with mail merge. So if you collect all your potential link partners email addresses at once and then import them into Postmaster Express, you can send out all your messages in your first mailing. This is a good free solution. Below is a screen shot of Postmaster Express.

Figure 7.2

If Postmaster Express, for some reason, is not to your liking, or if you want the ability to send out mail merge emails for other reasons such as announcements or newsletters, then you may want to check out a program called WorldMerge. It is available for $49 from  There is a free trial, but do not use it for your linking campaign as it will insert an advertisement at the bottom of every email, something Postmaster Express does not do.  

Time saving tip one: To send out your emails for your link campaign all at once using mail merge instead of individually, try the free trial version of Postmaster Express ( You can mail to an unlimited number of users up to ten times and there are no advertisements or unsubscribe links in the emails. You’ll save quite a few hours of your time and still be sending personalized emails. If you find the mail merge ability useful and wish to use it for other areas of your business or run newsletters or autoresponders, you may wish to try Mailloop ( or a web-based solution called IntelliContact Pro (

Now that you have your mail merge mailer and you can save time when sending your link request, let’s look at a way you can save time in finding potential link partners.

Time Saver #2: Using Automation Software

Instead of manually going through the search engines to manually find potential linking partners, you can save time by using software that will do this for you. I personally use a program called LinkPartner Pro (formerly known as Supersonic) to do just this.

LinkPartner Pro gives you the ability to search via keyword using the search engines. You set the keyword you want it to search for and then It queries search engines and then visits the web sites of the top results (you can set the depth of results, but unless the keyword you are searching for is widely used, keep it to the top 100 results). Once this is done, it enables you to create a comma separated value (CSV) file of all the related web sites it and the email addresses of the web site owner. Then you can use a mail merge mailer such as Mailloop, Postmaster Express, or WorldMerge to send out these emails very quickly.

Essentially, the software does everything for you and can return one hundred potential link partners in about a minute, instead of the hour and a half it would take you manually.

Once the software finds the related sites, you simply double click on the listing to visit each and make sure they are related to yours and a good quality site that you would want to be your link partner.  If you find any sites that are not relevant or do not have their own domain name (ie – they are on free servers such as Geocities) delete them from the list. Ensuring relevancy is extremely important. You do not want to be emailing any sites that that are not relevant to yours or else you may be accused of sending spam.

For example, if you sold a back massager, you would be all right emailing chiropractor web sites. However, you would not want to email a web site on knitting. The standard of relevancy is of course subjective, but the close you keep to your subject the less chance you have of being accused of sending out UCE.

Secondly, you do want to send email to more than one address at each web site. Often companies will have an email address for every employee, one for sales, one for customer service, and one for general info. You do not want to send the same email to thirty different email addresses at the same company. Therefore, make sure you delete all but one email for each web site.

Here is a screen shot of LinkPartner Pro.

Figure 7.3

LinkPartner Pro can be purchased for $97 from I receive nothing if you do purchase the software as they have no affiliate program for the software. I simply recommend it as it saves so much time. If you really want to build more than just a few links the software will be a good investment.

Time saving tip two: Do not manually go through the search engines to find potential links partners. To save time use software that will do this for you such as LinkPartner Pro ( Be sure to view every listing for relevancy, however, and do not email more than one address per web site or send emails to personal or non-business web site owners. Search for related partners for all of your related keywords. If your keywords are broad, you may be able to find quite a few thousand potential partners. Once you have your list from LinkPartner Pro, use your mail merge software to send personalized link requests to each potential partner.

Let’s quickly compare the time you would need to spend to compile and send 1,000 related potential link partners manually and the time needed using automation software and mail merge software.

Figure 7.4


Using Software





Searching in search engine for keyword and finding email address of one listing

45 seconds

Typing in keyword and hitting Search and waiting for 1000 related site to be listed

10 minutes

Using standard link request email and inserting web site and keyword for one email

45 seconds

Quickly viewing each of the 1000 sites for relevance by double clicking

90 minutes


1.5 minutes



x 1,000

1500 minutes


130 minutes

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Note: This is the final excerpt from the 37-page “Building Thousands of Links to Your Web Site.” You may download the full ebook here to read the remaining fourteen sections.



This Building Links article was written by Ryan P Allis on 3/1/2005

Ryan P. Allis, 20, is the author of Zero to One Million, a guide to building a company to $1 million in sales, and the founder of Ryan is also the CEO of Broadwick Corp., a provider of the permission-based email marketing software and CEO of Virante, Inc., a web marketing and search engine optimization firm. Ryan is an economics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is a Blanchard Scholar. [learn more.