When you run a blog, sooner or later you’ll start seeing an occasional business pitch in your inbox. I can rule most out as bogus right away.
OK, bloggers, here’s a question for you: How far do you read into an unsolicited business pitch for your blog?
I receive them here at this blog and I also receive them at the real job. They promise everything from logo creation to content production to SEO optimization.
They almost always come from someone who claims to work for a “world-class” company. The company, the emails always state, boasts a huge roster of clients. In some cases, the emailers will claim they represent national and even global companies. Those clients — if they ever actually named them — would surely be recognizable.
Oddly enough, I never receive one that lists all such clients by name.
You might think that would be a red flag.
Most of them don’t provide any actual details. They don’t describe the services they offer. There’s no breakdown of how much contact you’d receive or how much control they’d want for your site.
You might consider that a red flag, too.
The emails usually don’t provide any specifics about your site — the very site whose services they want to improve. The emails suggest they’re just cold-calling (or the email equivalent thereof) without even knowing what your site is about. If you think that’s the case, I suspect you’re probably exactly right.
The emailers always ask if you’d be willing to listen to a 15-minute pitch that will surely convince you to hire them.
If you read very far into the emails, you’ll find plenty of red flags that should raise your eyebrows. And your suspicions.
I don’t ever make it that far.
I trash most emails of this type after looking at one simple detail.
You see, I’m going to make a fast assumption.
After all, we’re talking about a company that presents itself as having national and global clients. They present themselves as website experts.
So I’m going to assume that they must have a website. I’m also going to assume, since they must have deep pockets with all those high-dollar clients, that they must also have a domain.
What worldwide business that cornered the markets on all things web would operate from a Gmail or AOL account?
The same goes for lots of scams. Publisher’s Clearing House, after all, would send an “official” email from their domain, not a generic free email service anyone can use.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t mean to knock Gmail or AOL. But a business proposal should always come from a business account.
Fortunately, that one little glance at the email address saves me a lot of time when I receive a business pitch.
Business owners: Before you send that business pitch, do this first!
If you seriously expect me to even attempt to believe your pitch, you’re going to need to show me something.
You’ll have to start with a serious business email address. If you email me from some generic freebie email service, I’m out before I’m even in.
That’s a dealbreaker. Always has been, always will be.
Show me your website. Let me browse on my own. Let me see the list of services. (And the prices.) If you hide the prices, I’m going to assume they’re too high.
If you’re going to waste my time with an unsolicited business pitch, at least make it worth my while to at least consider it.