I have a bunch of sites and therefore I get a lot of email through my contact forms. It is amazing to me the lack of attention and detail in many of the inquiries that I receive.
Today I’ll share with you the dos and don’ts of making first contact through a business’ website.
5 Website Cold-calling Tips
- Read the instructions on the contact form page.
Does the site require specifics from you? Are there instructions or links to more relevant forms that you should use? For example on my primary contact form I have a link for visitors who would like to submit guest post proposals for those who miss “Guest Post Inquiry” in the top nav bar. What do you think that says when the incorrect form is submitted? Not reading the very contact page you are completing reflects that all you care about is getting your message in front of someone — anyone. Not impressive or worth a response.
- Make sure you are completing the form correctly.
Using my guest post form again as an example. I am clear about what I need to know and what the potential guest author needs to provide to pitch their articles to me. I receive submissions every day that do not meet the criteria noted on that very page. Including submissions that propose articles that have absolutely nothing to do with Business Email Etiquette or proper technology use!
- Is your inquiry even apropos?
I receive inquiries that offer me services that are not targeted for what I do or are not related in any way. Why would I buy what you are selling?
- Double-check your submission for typos and proper grammar.
Wrong info and if I do want to reply I can’t. Poor grammar in your inquiry reflects a lack of attention to detail. Who emails an Email Etiquette Expert without displaying proper Business Email Etiquette?
- Don’t be a stalker.
Yes, I talk about responding quickly to emails on this very site. But unasked for, unsolicited sales pitches do not fall into that category. If you do not hear back from me you can safely assume I am not interested. Keep emailing me and you become aggravating and someone I won’t do business with.
Here’s What You Do…
Before you email through a website form or to a posted address read about the company. Read the “About” page. Determine if what you have to offer is something the site or owner really can utilize. Then personalize your message. Next, and this is important, ask if I am interested in any additional details instead of assuming that I am.
Never underestimate how your level of personalization, courtesy, attention to detail and professionalism will encourage a response. Even if I am not interested.
My website forms or posted address are not in place to be spammed with offers that a sales person thinks I need. Being website owner’s didn’t ask for your sales pitch, you need to approach site owners with diligence and discretion to not be perceived as spammy.
That means you don’t whip off a templated inquiry that is not personalized or that you didn’t check to make sure it applies. Following the above tips can help you put a positive spin on your outreach efforts without annoying and possibly dashing any potential opportunities.
You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. ~ Lee Iacocca