Being visible online, means you probably get more email and inquiries from the masses. And, not all are emails from those you actually care about or want to encourage ongoing communications with.
In particular, folks trying to sell you something. What I experience daily is marketers wanting to place advertisements, articles and links on my websites.
Or service providers that add my email to their auto-generated list that sends me a series of inquiries automatically. Whether I show interest or respond or not.
I have to unsubscribe to make them stop. If I have to unsubscribe to something I didn’t ask for in the first place, that makes you a spammer. One I do not want to do business with.
Okay, back to why my I get so many of these type of inquiries. Because my websites get found and receive a ton of traffic. They probably searched for their targeted keyphrases that apply to their business and found one of my websites.
If your website is not getting found, the theory goes, try to get promotional materials on the websites that do. Then the links or ads on that site, will send folks your way.
Or at the very least, that one-way link to your site from a site ranked better than yours will give your rankings a boost. These are the websites that you want your promotions on. The sites that actually get traffic.
The more targeted traffic the better the chance of getting that link or ad clicked. Even with that thought, I increasingly wonder how many of us now actually phase out ads and ignore them. I know I do. Ad blindness syndrome?
Example of an Ineffective Business Inquiry
Here is an just one example of the many requests I receive, in particular through my NetManners.com website which is about every day Email Etiquette.
i was interested in placing a text ad on your site for the site that i am working on. i would like to put it on page for business email and exchange hosting. my budget is pretty limited right now so i could offer you about $25. let me know if your interested when you get this. thanks!
Wow. Does that instill confidence? Is there anything in that email that exudes professionalism?
For the record I get why folks send inquiries of this nature. It’s tough and expensive to get found. That’s why I have Google Ads on my email etiquette websites. It helps defray the hosting and operational costs.
But, why would I trust linking to, and therefore even tacitly, give my endorsement to a website whose owner cannot communicate like a professional? I, and most other website operators, won’t.
The purpose of the above request is to facilitate a one-way backlink from my site to theirs for SEO reasons. Regardless of the reason for the request — the request did not impress.
Not a single sentence is capitalized and the grammar leaves a bit to be desired. This person is “working on a site” for business email and hosting but cannot even communicate like a professional?
Nor did they make the effort to read the About page to see that I also have this website about Business Email Etiquette. Which is obviously much more targeted for business services.
Investigate and Extrapolate
They just wanted the link. NetManners does get more traffic and exposure than this site. However, traffic isn’t just about the numbers. If you can gain exposure to an audience more inline with what you have to offer — even those lower numbers have a higher chance of converting.
Needless to say, if you send requests like this, they will not be taken seriously. And to actually make me an offer based on what you can afford? Is the $25 for perpetuity, a month, a week? Until you gain the rankings you desire?
That’s not how this works.
Even if I did accept “advertising” from just anyone, which I don’t, there would be no way I would have the confidence in the credibly of an individual that approaches me in this manner.
What would I do differently?
- Have a general understanding and familiarity with how link exchanges, guest posting and other cross-site promotions work before approaching other websites about partnerships.
- Interrogate the targeted website thoroughly to see if they are offering promotional opportunities.
- Investigate if the website’s market is inline with my market.
- Make sure my email was as professional as if it were on my company letterhead.
- Proof-read to make sure sentence structure and grammar are correct.
- Offer insight into how my promotional item (ad, article, post, graphic) would also benefit the website operator too.
- Know what the going rate is for websites based on the traffic they receive and note timelines. X-amount for a month, quarter or otherwise.
It’s All About Perception
When you link or accept advertising for other sites, you are in essence giving a recommendation. At least that’s the way I look at it.
If you are not advertising through a service, such as Google AdSense, that juries ads in advance, you have to prove yourself. Why should the website operator partner with you? Tell them why it would benefit them as well.
When you need those coveted one-way links into your website from credible traffic intensive websites, be prepared to pay for the opportunity. Know your numbers and make it worth their while.
When you are contacting other site owners on business related topics — it behooves you to apply Business E-mail Basics. This includes using the shift key and having a well thought out and professional offering.