The email below arrived in my Inbox this afternoon (click to expand)

Email pitch

It was sent in the hope of garnering some press for the company’s website, that helps students connect with potential employers. Great – nothing wrong with that, and here’s to more companies helping students get a great start in life.

The problem is, the approach is all wrong and will probably put off every blogger they reached out to (and there were some big names in there). Here’s why:

  • The message header and the opening line don’t gel. The message header is great – “I enjoy reading your blog” is always an ego-stroke guarantee for a click-through. But then you get the generic “Dear Blogger” salutation. Bah.
  • Mass email, baby! As you can see, the email was sent to quite a few addresses and, better still, this was via open cc’d. This meant what should have (probably) been a private list now gave other people access to email addresses that the owner may not have want shared.
  • Lack of relevance. At no point in the email (apart from the standard opening blurb about being useful for the blog) is there a cohesive point made on why the company’s site would be relevant for my readers (or that of the other bloggers that were emailed).
  • A confidence-building domain… When I clicked through to the domain of the email sender, I was greeted with the image below.

Big1 domain

Now, it may be that the coolest website on the planet is due to arrive at the domain – who knows, even cooler than Chuck Norris! But for now, it raises alarm bells as to who’s behind the email and how well they’d serve the students they’re looking to help.

Simply put, it adds the finishing touches to an email that means well but does pretty much everything that goes against a solid blogger outreach program.

What They Could Have Done

Now, it may be that it’s a small company looking to get awareness and a foothold in the space, and they feel that bloggers with a certain audience reach can help. Or, they’ve heard blogging is the new advertising and it costs less money too.

Nothing wrong with that – most bloggers love to help promote something that’s relevant to their audience. The problem here is that the pitch fell flat at the first hurdle due to the approach.

What they could (should) have done is:

  • Ignore the mass email approach. Bloggers are generally busy people. If they feel a pitch isn’t truly targeted, they’ll ignore and move onto the next one. Try and really personalize the approach – use the blogger’s first name and a little overview of your understanding of the blog and audience. And, if you must use mass email, make it a BCC…
  • Use examples of relevance throughout. You don’t need to suck up to the blogger to get their attention, but maybe drop in 2-3 references to past posts that correlate to your service. Each reference builds your case – build the case and your job’s almost done.
  • Make sure you’re ready for investigation. Bloggers are successful because they’ve built trust with their audience. They won’t ruin that by not doing due diligence, and the first thing they’ll do is check you out. Make sure you’re ready for that – if your website isn’t built, don’t share your domain.

These are just really short suggestions based on this particular email and where it went wrong. You also need a great boss who can educate you on best practices, just in case Ann is a junior and she’s been told to send a pitch like this. If so, her boss should be ashamed.

To really run a great blogger outreach program needs a very cohesive approach. It also helps if you’ve been some part of the blogger’s audience beforehand – a tweet here, a blog comment there, etc.

Awareness of you means a better chance when it comes to sharing awareness of your product by the blogger in question.

Contrary to popular belief, bloggers do want to share your content – we just need a reason to do so.

Note: In his comment about this post, Frank Strong (who I respect immensely) questioned my outing of what may be a junior person at a PR agency. To clarify: this would never be a goal of mine.

If you try Google the name, nothing comes up. Nothing. Same with the company on LinkedIn. Which makes me think it’s a front for the “client” they’re pitching, which I did blur out.

Additionally, the blogger names that were on the email were all over the place. Two PR agencies; a sports blog; two tech blogs; a mobile phone blogger; a car forum and more. There was no rhyme or reason – it was just a blind pitch with a bunch of names thrown in for good measure.

With all that in mind, if someone is so indifferent that they don’t “exist” and are blasting out a generic message, then perhaps it makes no difference to blur or not.

213 comments
SEO Training Indore
SEO Training Indore

Good work…unique site and interesting too… keep it up…looking forward for more updates.

wade72
wade72

I think many people today could still benefit from an old book. How to Win Friends and Influence People from Dale Carnegie. It was written in the 30's but is still extremely relevant today. Actually show people that you spent the time to look at who they are and show them why what you want them to do is genuinely good for them as well. 

wade72
wade72

I think many people today could still benefit from an old book. How to Win Friends and Influence People from Dale Carnegie. It was written in the 30's but is still extremely relevant today. Actually show people that you spent the time to look at who they are and show them why what you want them to do is genuinely good for them as well. 

Aliosha Kasin
Aliosha Kasin

Wow this is a PR issue. Some people just dont know how to do it right, you should point them to this post Danny, maybe they can learn something from it. Enjoyed reading it, and I get this sort of mass-main, unrelated and un-personal stuff all the time, I just ignore it, especially if they don't even bother finding out the name of the person they are contacting. 

Aliosha Kasin
Aliosha Kasin

Wow this is a PR issue. Some people just dont know how to do it right, you should point them to this post Danny, maybe they can learn something from it. Enjoyed reading it, and I get this sort of mass-main, unrelated and un-personal stuff all the time, I just ignore it, especially if they don't even bother finding out the name of the person they are contacting. 

brittanybotti
brittanybotti

This kind of drives me nuts. I hate the "throw crap at the wall and see what sticks" strategy! When will people learn that quality will serve them much better than quantity?Thanks also for including some tips on reaching out to bloggers. I'm new to the subculture of blogging, and am always worried I will offend someone or do something I shouldn't!  

brittanybotti
brittanybotti

This kind of drives me nuts. I hate the "throw crap at the wall and see what sticks" strategy! When will people learn that quality will serve them much better than quantity?Thanks also for including some tips on reaching out to bloggers. I'm new to the subculture of blogging, and am always worried I will offend someone or do something I shouldn't!  

SerdarSezen
SerdarSezen

Excellent, smart, well-written post . Thank you I do so enjoy your writing

SerdarSezen
SerdarSezen

Excellent, smart, well-written post . Thank you I do so enjoy your writing

Sonia (Sunnnee)
Sonia (Sunnnee)

When I get pitches out of nowhere I am always on the defense because where there is scammers, there are spammers. I think when a email is sent to directly to me and not part of some blind copy set of emails I might take it a bit more seriously, but when I can clearly see I am apart of a mass email campaign, I see I am not so special anymore, which devalues the email.

 

Nonetheless, I loved your post and it's a good lesson for people getting pitched for anything from guest posts to other business ventures with people that appear out of nowhere.

 

When in doubt always check em out!

Sonia (Sunnnee)
Sonia (Sunnnee)

When I get pitches out of nowhere I am always on the defense because where there is scammers, there are spammers. I think when a email is sent to directly to me and not part of some blind copy set of emails I might take it a bit more seriously, but when I can clearly see I am apart of a mass email campaign, I see I am not so special anymore, which devalues the email.   Nonetheless, I loved your post and it's a good lesson for people getting pitched for anything from guest posts to other business ventures with people that appear out of nowhere.   When in doubt always check em out!

SpaTravelGal
SpaTravelGal

@Kaitlin_PR I just had a doozy of a bad letter from PR saying they spent much time on my website and it was obvious they had not! Kinda funi

SpaTravelGal
SpaTravelGal

@Kaitlin_PR I just had a doozy of a bad letter from PR saying they spent much time on my website and it was obvious they had not! Kinda funi

SpaTravelGal
SpaTravelGal

@Kaitlin_PR hate to see you go! Especially after some of these tips!

SpaTravelGal
SpaTravelGal

@Kaitlin_PR hate to see you go! Especially after some of these tips!

Andrea T.H.W.
Andrea T.H.W.

90 plus comments, that's pretty cool, isn't it. :)

 

Anyway Danny good points, let me just add that if I receive an email not addressed to me I just hit delete. If you don't take the time to find my name then surely what you offer is at least not interesting.

Andrea T.H.W.
Andrea T.H.W.

90 plus comments, that's pretty cool, isn't it. :)   Anyway Danny good points, let me just add that if I receive an email not addressed to me I just hit delete. If you don't take the time to find my name then surely what you offer is at least not interesting.

EndlessRange
EndlessRange

It shocks me that someone actually thought this would work as a pitch!

EndlessRange
EndlessRange

It shocks me that someone actually thought this would work as a pitch!

jhampson35
jhampson35

You really make some good points, especially about personal attention. If the person emailing you would have just spent a little time talking about how they could help you, or at least why they like your blog and how it could connect with their target audience, their pitch could have received a completely different end result. It is just like what you learn in public relations classes in college, create a mutually beneficial relationship. This plays out in all social media and public relations realms. Thanks for the post, it is something good to keep in mind an aspiring public relations pro.

jhampson35
jhampson35

You really make some good points, especially about personal attention. If the person emailing you would have just spent a little time talking about how they could help you, or at least why they like your blog and how it could connect with their target audience, their pitch could have received a completely different end result. It is just like what you learn in public relations classes in college, create a mutually beneficial relationship. This plays out in all social media and public relations realms. Thanks for the post, it is something good to keep in mind an aspiring public relations pro.

bdorman264
bdorman264

Damn, I didn't get that e-mail; just another list I didn't make..........

 

You made some good points in your post and for me the biggest meh, would be the 'mass' e-mail. Yes, it could have had a lot more impact with a few tweaks.

 

bdorman264
bdorman264

Damn, I didn't get that e-mail; just another list I didn't make..........   You made some good points in your post and for me the biggest meh, would be the 'mass' e-mail. Yes, it could have had a lot more impact with a few tweaks.  

jeffespo
jeffespo

NOTHING is cooler than Chuck Norris. 

Bulk mail mailing
Bulk mail mailing

I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for this post. Keep it up.

email marketing service
email marketing service

I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for this post. Keep it up.

yoursocialfans
yoursocialfans

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yoursocialfans
yoursocialfans

YourSocialFans.com can help you attract thousands of followers that you can keep informed about any of your product or service offerings instantly. By bringing you a targeted crowd of buyers all you need to do is give them an offer they can’t refuse! Branding is also another successful tool Twitter can provide for your business. As more and more people become followers of your page it builds trust in them and they are more likely to buy from you than your competitor, because they have been following the brand and it’s a brand they trust.

copelandconsult
copelandconsult

Excellent, smart, well-written post (as usual). Thank you — I do so enjoy your writing! 

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

 @wade72 You know, it's funny - any time someone asks me how to be successful on social media, I point them straight to that book and say "Read every word and then take it online." Works every time. ;-)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

 @wade72 You know, it's funny - any time someone asks me how to be successful on social media, I point them straight to that book and say "Read every word and then take it online." Works every time. ;-)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

 @Aliosha Kasin It's such a lazy approach, especially for someone who's hoping to get their client in front of someone. Ah well...

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

 @brittanybotti Hey there Brittany,   I think every PR person (and marketer, advertiser, etc) should blog before they become fully immersed in PR, to truly understand the mindset and culture. Maybe then we'd have less need for posts like this.   You have great colleagues in Justin Brackett and Samantha Collier so you're off to an immediate advantage. :)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

 @Sonia (Sunnnee) Haha, I hear you on the mass emails, miss. I know we're all busy, but if you can't take the time to BCC at least, then you're already off on the wrong foot. Hey ho..!

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

 @Andrea H. | The Hypnotism Weekly Normally, I'd do the same mate, but I'm currently collecting pitches for a special project so I need to read them all - stay tuned! ;-)

Danny Brown
Danny Brown moderator

 @jhampson35 Completely agree, mate - I wrote this post about the best pitch I'd ever received, and it still holds a high place today:

 

http://dannybrown.me/2010/09/23/alexandra-kirsch-perfect-blogger-pitch/

 

If more PR folks would only follow the lead set by people like @alexandrakirsch  everyone would win. PR keeps client happy, gets more work; client gets coverage; blogger gets to work with new brands.

 

Why's it so difficult? ;-)

Latest blog post: Vision Is a Two Way Thing

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

 @jhampson35 Completely agree, mate - I wrote this post about the best pitch I'd ever received, and it still holds a high place today:   http://dannybrown.me/2010/09/23/alexandra-kirsch-perfect-blogger-pitch/   If more PR folks would only follow the lead set by people like alexandrakirsch  everyone would win. PR keeps client happy, gets more work; client gets coverage; blogger gets to work with new brands.   Why's it so difficult? ;-)

DannyBrown
DannyBrown

 @jeffespo VistaPrint checkout is!!! ;-)

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth

 @DannyBrown You are MUCH too kind. @brittanybotti is a HUGE part of our team and @samtaracollier  I are already learning a great deal from her.

 

This whole way of pitching bloggers makes me laugh. I mean, why not just "cold call" them and see if they will give you a million dollars. Your odds are all but the same. I also guess I don't have the guts to ask someone for something like that with NO relationship or willingness to take care of you in return. When it is all about me, it means no one will benefit.

JustInTheSouth
JustInTheSouth

 @DannyBrown You are MUCH too kind. brittanybotti is a HUGE part of our team and samtaracollier  I are already learning a great deal from her.   This whole way of pitching bloggers makes me laugh. I mean, why not just "cold call" them and see if they will give you a million dollars. Your odds are all but the same. I also guess I don't have the guts to ask someone for something like that with NO relationship or willingness to take care of you in return. When it is all about me, it means no one will benefit.

jhampson35
jhampson35

 @DannyBrown I really enjoyed reading the post concerning Alexandra Kirsch. It really isn't difficult one bit either. Sometimes it's just about putting forth that little extra bit of effort that makes the difference. Thanks for the reply by the way. I really enjoy reading your blog!

jhampson35
jhampson35

 @DannyBrown I really enjoyed reading the post concerning Alexandra Kirsch. It really isn't difficult one bit either. Sometimes it's just about putting forth that little extra bit of effort that makes the difference. Thanks for the reply by the way. I really enjoy reading your blog!

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