How to filter HARO queries with Gmail (without spending a cent)

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In a recent post (in German) I introduced you to HARO. HARO stands for Help A Reporter Out and is one of my favorite backlink acquisition methods. On HARO, Journalists and Publishers submit requests seeking experts for stories they’re working on.

If you subscribed to HARO you receive roundups of these requests every day. Some clients of mine felt overwhelmed by the number of emails and queries they receive. Typically, they get three emails per day: the morning, afternoon, and evening edition. All of them contain several dozens of queries from journalists.

My clients were scanning a lot of irrelevant queries to find some they could pitch on.

But don’t fret, if you work with Gmail, there’s a simple solution to walk away from this misery.

You can set up a filter that scans the HARO emails for keywords you pre-defined. All emails that contain one of the keywords get straight into your inbox. All the other HARO emails will be excluded from your inbox and archived.

A huge time saver. Without spending a dime on the premium HARO plan.

I will walk you through step by step.

1. Take a moment to identify your keywords. Typically this is your niche. Topics you are confident speaking about and act as subject-matter expert. For myself I identified: SEO, Freelance, German and Switzerland.

2. Log in to your Gmail inbox. Click on the gear icon Settings.

3. Then click on See all settings in the upper right corner.

Gmail Filter and blocked adresses

4. Next up, click on Filters and blocked addresses

5. On the very end click on Create a new filter.

6. I add the following parameters to the filter:

Filter for Gmail

From: haro@helpareporter.com
To: your email address
Subject: leave blank
Includes the words: leave blank
Doesn’t have: insert your keywords separated by a comma. In my case SEO, Freelance, German, Switzerland

Then click on Create filter (not on Search)

filter to skip inbox and archieve

7. As I don’t want to deal with HARO emails that don’t include one of my keywords I mark:

✓ Skip the Inbox (Archive it)

✓ Mark as read

8. Confirm by clicking again on Create filter

That’s it. You’re done. In the future, you will only receive relevant queries to your Gmail inbox and can focus on delivering stellar pitches ⭐.

Hope that helped! If you want to be noticed when I publish new posts, subscribe to my newsletter.

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