Every day I get dozens of enquiries for advertising partnerships, paid blog posts, link placements, and more.

I don't reply to 99% of them. Also, while I'd like to help marketers improve at what they're doing, that's not something I have time to do for free.

So here's a summary of the top reasons why I'm not replying.

If I've sent you this link, it's because you're guilty of one (or more) of the below.

If you want to get a reply from people like me in the future, this is what you can improve upon.

Untargeted solicitation

This is the biggest one. The vast majority of people who write to me just say something like "your website caught my eye" or "you've really been killing it lately".

Then they propose to write for me on a range of topics including crypto, the stock market, travel, food, product reviews, and more.

This "spray and pray" strategy may work with other generic marketers, but it won't work for a lot of niche website owners who manage their own assets.

My websites (aside from this one, my personal blog) are quite well-targeted.

Sometimes — very rarely — a marketer will write to me explicitly talking about why they want to work with me or my website, and I always respond to those. You just have to mention a few key words saying what we have in common, and I'll write back.

Lazy Automated Follow-up Strategy

Marketers seem to drink from the same Kool-ade lately. I think a few online courses from Udemy and the like are likely to blame.

Marketers think it's smart to just set up a system to keep replying to the original email, following up. "Just wanted to follow up".

However, this doesn't work with me. It's just reminding me that your original pitch was inadequate. And repeating inadequacy is just amplifying mediocrity.

Many say "I'm sure you're busy". I'm not, actually, if it's for something important. I have time to reply to emails I enjoy!

My favourite email in any sequence is "One last time...". I love this one, because it means I'll never hear from them again. I still often mark it as spam.

Typo / Grammatical mistake in your email

It makes me laugh (but also weep) to see someone pitch me with copywriting services but to have a typo or grammatical mistake in the email.

My friend, if you can't get spelling, grammar, or syntax right now, I don't trust you will when selling me copywriting services.

Be very meticulous with your grammar. My hot tip is to use Google Docs to compose any message.

Too casual

Many people emailing me incorrectly assume too casual a tone.

"Hey! What's up?"

We don't know each other. Be more formal. Try "Dear Dana", or "Dear Mr. Hooshmand". I'm not even that old, but it's easy to be safe.

"Just reply 1, 2, 3, or 4!"

Who teaches this? I can't stand it. I'm a writer. I'm not a child. I can put together a sentence.

I'm not replying to this because I don't want to talk to someone who thinks that's a good strategy.

I would also wage that if you get responses from people too lazy to type anything but a number, they won't be very good leads. (But I may be surprised, who knows.)

Confusing Bio

Your bio must match the project you're pitching, and hopefully also the client you're working for. Ideally, it should also match the email (but gmail is fine).

Sometimes I get an email where

  • They introduce themselves as something like "business consultant"
  • They pitch copywriting or paid link placement
  • They are writing from an email address with a domain for their own website
  • They claimto be working for another client, and
  • Their bio in the email says something unrelated like "travel blogger"

It's confusing. I don't get the impression that someone like that is very dedicated to the task at hand.

I don't reply because I don't want to work with someone who's all over the place.

Not a Real Person

This is a funny one — because I'm not sure why I'd even respond to this email.

Sometimes I get an email from a person who's bio says something like "Marketer | Company name". I do a google for their name as it's spelled and I get nothing. This happens often from Jooble.

It's safe to assume that any marketer would at least be on LinkedIn. I'd also think they'd have other assets with their names on it, like maybe their own site pitching their work.

If I find nothing, I mark it as spam.

What Should You Do Now?

If I've sent you this — Don't give up. You can improve on all the above. If you do fix it all (especially the first — targeting), feel free to email me again.