Dear Sir/Or Madam Or Dear Web master
Now I know that on some sites there is literally no way to know the holders gender or real name. As some people don't put that down anywhere. However, if I get one like this, I toss it almost immediately, why ? Because there is a big fat picture of me on the about me page on one site, on my bio on the other, as well as my name in big bold letters on both. So my name and gender would be well known to anyone who had even looked at my sites. Which means whoever sent me the letter, didn't. I am just one of many on an email list they bought and are sending out canned requests.
The proper way is to greet them by name, if at all possible, and if not, explain to them why not.
Now this one I get a lot. Sites for gambling, porn, drugs, a furniture shop etc. the list is endless. None of which have any relation to any of my sites. Now this shows that these people don't care that I will lose ranking on the engines for out-linking to unrelated sites. All they care about is that they get an in-bound, which will count for them, that it will cost me doesn't seem to matter to them. This is just plain ignorance of what they are asking of me and/or rude if they do know.
Correct way: Make sure that you are related at least to some degree with the site you are asking, and tell them how and where it will be of benefit to their viewers
Don't Say what site:
Now this ones a real cue to me that they have no idea what my site is about, as they don't even say which one. I have three and soon to have more. Which means again I am most likely an email on a list they got and they are taking a blind shot at it.
Now there are exceptions to this, and the body of the letter will tell me if they don't realize that I have more than one, and I have to ask them.
Correct way: Always say what site you are wanting to link with by name and url, that way there is no question in the mind of the site holder.
Tell me they have a link up for me, when they don't:
This one is a real T off. They are related, they have the right URL, all the forms have been observed, and tell me they have a link up for me on their links page. But yet, when I go to their links page there isn't one. Now I have to wonder about this, what, they think I won't look ? This is just setting yourself up to look like a liar ,even if you have every intention of putting the link up, but haven't done it yet for whatever reason.
Correct way: If you plan on putting their link up but have not yet, say so, tell them how long it will be and where it will be, and if it's already up, send them the url to the page it's on.
Have multi sites they want you to link to, where you get only one link back:
Now this is just pushing credibility. I have gotten letters that had a dozen or more sites listed. And they wanted me to link to them all, in exchange for one back to me. First time this happened I thought it must be a mistake. No, they meant just what they said, they wanted a link on my links page to all 12 of theirs in exchange for one link to mine on their directory.
Correct way: One on one, if you have multi sites, you have to give multi links, if they link to more than one of yours. I have this on both my sites where the exchange link is repeated on both sites, because both of mine are on there's.
And my favorite, demand links:
These are link " request " letters that are not a request at all but a demand that you put up a link to them because they put one up for you. Now if someone pops a link to me up of their own accord that I did not ask for... and then asks me if I would " like" to reciprocate that's one thing, but flat demand that I do so ? I think not.
Correct way: If you have posted a link to a site, write a nice letter asking the site holder if they would mind reciprocating, if your site is one they like, is related, and your polite about it, most site holders will.