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How to Avoid Marketing Outreach Fails

Apply email etiquette to promotional outreach requests.

Today, I’m going to get into a little email marketing discussion because of the email inquiries I receive through my contact form on this site. If you have your own website or are thinking of partnering with other websites I hope that you will find this insightful.

Being visible online means I get more email and inquiries from the masses. In particular folks trying to ride on my tailcoats. In my case, marketers wanting to send me guest posts for this site.

The way they want it to work is they submit a post, filled with links to their site, that I then post. This is an attempt to help improve their rankings with search engines.

Epic Outreach Fail

Here is an example of a recent request:

i was interested in placing a post on your site for the site that i am working on for my business email and exchange hosting about how to choose the best host. my budget is pretty limited right now so i could offer you about $25 if you post the article. let me know if your interested when you get this. thanks!

Not a single sentence is capitalized. Other grammatical issues are obvious as well. This person has a business email and hosting business but cannot communicate like a professional? If you want to submit a post, shouldn’t your email provide the impression that you can indeed write?

My next thought was why didn’t they make that offer to my Business Email Etiquette website? That is where their target audience would be found. This tells me they really didn’t review my site to discover that option or to confirm any synergy. Which implies they really aren’t interested enough in my site to investigate past the contact form.

Needless to say this type of request cannot be taken seriously. And to actually make an offer of what they can afford? Never do that. Make your offer and back it up.

Ignoring My Contact Page Notice

That’s just one example. Many others that I receive are typed properly and are professional in tone. However, they also ignore the notice I have on my contact page.

A Note to Marketers, Product & Service Providers…
I do not write sponsored posts for a fee. Oh, and while I have you, I do not entertain guests posts either.

The above note is right about the form fields necessary to complete my form. And for those who email me directly, this tells me that you haven’t reviewed my site enough to know your request will fall on deaf ears.

Here’s another example:

Hey there, Judith:

I have a great article from one of my clients I think your site visitors would enjoy. I know your site visitors would benefit from it and was wondering if you would consider posting it on your site.

Thank you….

What is the article about? Who is your client? What benefits? These are all answers that you need to provide in your initial inquiry.

In most cases the articles barely relate to what my site covers. It is their attempt for one-sided exposure for their client’s website.

Benefits for Both Sides

I gave guest posting a try and it didn’t work for me. To be clear, I’m not putting down guest posting overall — just that is has to be approached properly by both sides.

Few were able to communicate on topics that fit my site’s niche in a way that provided true value. Most were more concerned about what was in it for them. The links and exposure. And the post content reflected that.

In other cases while the topic may be relatable, it is poorly written, shallow or really didn’t offer anything new of value. In some cases I already had several articles on the topic already posted. The value, for them, is in the link(s) off my website to their targets.

Yes, inbound links from other websites can help with your rankings. Having articles that you wrote posted other sites is a great promotional tool. But only when it benefits both parties, is done properly and makes sense to do so.

Pay Attention to Detail

Lately based on what I see in my inbox it’s like these marketers are throwing everything at the wall to see what will stick. I have actually caught myself feeling sorry for their clients. They may be doing them more harm than good.

Even though I talk about always replying to emails sent to you, this is where even I make an exception. Ignore the comment that I don’t entertain such requests and you send them anyway? I don’t respond.

If you are running a website you need to have a realistic budget to reach any substantial goals. You also have to be willing to look beyond what your goal is and have the communication skills to back it up. Especially if you are seeking to partner with other websites.

Tips for Email Marketing Outreach

Keep these tips in mind when reaching out to other websites in regard to partnerships of any kind.

  • Review the site thoroughly to see if there really is synergy and if they will entertain your offer or request. Check out the About, Contact and FAQ pages before emailing.
  • In your email detail the benefit of your offer for the site owner. The more detail the better.
  • Communicate with proper sentence structure and grammar in a professional tone.

A couple quick tips for your guest post:

  • Make sure your post is well written and offers valuable information that visitors to the website you are contacting would expect to find on that site.
  • Including one link within your post to your target website is acceptable if it adds to the content and is not gratuitous. Otherwise, keep the link in the guest post “About the Author” box.

Website partnerships have to have obvious value for both sides. If you cannot relay that effectively it will be a marketing fail.

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