As the owner of a website that publishes blog posts and articles, I get emails just about daily from people wanting to publish on my site. In fact, it got so bad I set up a separate email address for it.
There’s nothing wrong with pitching an idea or an article already-written to someone for publication on their site. I’ve done it and I’m sure you have too.
However, there are things that will get your email an automatic NO. Seriously, I wonder if some of these people ever took a class on correspondence. Let’s take a look at what not to do in an email pitch…
Fail to greet me by name.
Rule 101 in writing a letter (or any correspondence) – you always greet the person by name. My name is all over my website – it’s not hard to find. Not greeting the person you are emailing by name is a total disrespect to that person. Since you went to my website to find the email address you are sending it to, you would have seen my name on the site and my about page. Here’s a variation on that – you get my name right, but ask who they need to talk to. If you got my name, then you should see I am the person to talk to.
Advice: Take the extra 2 or 3 minutes and find the person’s name you are wanting to email.
Make it obvious you’ve copied and pasted your email.
Okay, I’ll admit it – I copy and paste between emails. Who hasn’t? However, it’s kinda obvious you’ve done it when you have multiple fonts and font sizes going on in the email. We won’t even touch character and word spacing. Why would I accept a post or pitch from someone who cannot even proof their own email?
Advice: Show some professionalism and proof and spell check your email before sending.
Assume I’ll pay you for your article.
I do not believe in paying for guest posts. It’s a GUEST post. Do you pay people to be guests at your house? I didn’t think so. If I’m paying someone for their blog posts, they are considered a contributor, not a guest. If someone asks, I’ll tell them, but don’t just assume I pay by telling me your content is of no charge. Wait for someone to bring it up before just assuming. I am aware there are bloggers/writers who sell their articles for a living. That’s fine – just please be tactful about it.
Advice: If unsure, ask if the person you are approaching compensates (use that term, it’s nicer) for guests posts. Do. not. ever. assume.
Pitch me something that is not even the industry I work in.
If you pitch me something (like the below example) that doesn’t even have to do with my industry, I’ll think you’re an idiot who didn’t do their homework. Make sure what you are pitching is relevant to the person/business/industry you are approaching.
Advice: Do you homework and make sure you are contacting companies in the right industry.
Send me testy emails when I don’t respond fast enough.
I hardly ever respond immediately to pitches, even legitimate ones. If it’s legit, I will take the time to research you and/or your company before responding and I will respond. I’m just as busy as you and the next person and cannot respond immediately. The last thing you want to do is get snippy following up (see below).
Side note: Do not ever buy links unless you want to be black-listed by Google.
Advice: Be patient.
I will say I have gotten some great pitches via email – they aren’t all bad. I will respond back to legit inquiries when I get them, so if you are reading this and are interested in a possible guest post, please do contact me. Just make sure to avoid the list of things above 😉
Now it’s your turn – what do people need to avoid doing in their email pitches to you?
This post originally appeared on the ME Marketing blog and has been republished with permission.
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