My blog is not nearly as popular as some other websites in the industry. But I regularly get emails from people through my contact form, asking about various things, including:
- Link exchanges
- Buying text links
- Advertising on my site
- Paying me to post a product review
- …and so on…
I understand why business owners are trying to do these things, and a few of these are legitimate business practices. It’s not easy getting a startup off the ground, and it’s not easy for a new company, product, or service, to get SEO-driven traffic. I feel your pain, I really do. We all face these issues.
But 99% of the people who contact me about these things haven’t got a clue about human relations. It’s annoying, because not only does it waste time for both of us, but it also takes away a legitimate opportunity for me to actually consider whatever it is they’re offering.
So if you are in the business of cold-contacting people online to promote your product or service, here is a very simple piece of advice:
Tell me what your product is.
I can’t believe how many vague emails I get that sound like this:
Hi, we would like to have one of our product review on your blog ImpressiveWebs. Do you allow sponsored reviews? How much does it cost?
The above is a real email I got about 1 minute before beginning to write this post. I get so many of these, and they sound like they’re all written by the same person.
For the love of all things good and pure, fill in some pertinent details! Why should both of us waste time exchanging 3 or 4 emails before I even know what it is you want to advertise? Even if I did publish sponsored articles (which I don’t; but it certainly is tempting in this age of ad blockers), there are some things that I would never publish. I have to know what your product is, otherwise you’re just wasting my time. In most cases, I won’t even respond to these emails, I’ll just insta-delete (which, interestingly, saves me tons of time).
This applies to anything you are emailing me about: Sponsored articles, link exchanges, text link buying, etc. It’s not that difficult, really. Just tell me about the product, and send me a link or two.
I know that many of these requests do not come from the companies providing the services, but instead a marketing company makes these requests in their behalf. But truthfully, this is even more surprising, since it’s the marketing company’s job to open these doors of opportunity. With these vague emails, they’re harming their clients’ chances of getting any exposure.
Of course, nobody should resort to this type of thing. Most of these requests are for spammy products and services that I would never want associated with my website. But even so, if these emails were specific, considerate, and written in a more down-to-earth manner, I would be much more likely to give them a minute or more of my time.
From this point on, whenever I get an email like the one above, I will be directing them to this post.