I still get people asking me about this, and when I got one this morning myself I decided to write about it. Sometimes what we get through the contact forms on our websites is just spam, but other times it seems to be written by a human being and looks legit.
Except it’s not a prospective client or an interested reader with questions. It’s someone clumsily trying to sell you something.
Friends and clients of mine have asked “What do I do with it? This guy says he can help with my SEO/website.”
Short answer: delete it. It may not be bot spam, but it’s human spam.
Often the email will go something like this:
Hello there sir or madam!
I am so and so from XYZ company! We offer a range of web development, SEO, reputation management, and other such amazing services! Call me today if you are interested in hearing more!
Random probably made up name
Impressive sounding title
Every part of that is wrong. If the salutation is “sir OR madam” it means they don’t know which it is, so it’s not a genuine prospecting effort where they actually examined a site and contacted the owner for a real reason.
They open immediately by vomiting a list of their services, which you never asked for, and close it quickly by inviting you to call if you’re interested in hearing more. Well, you didn’t even ask for this part, and they offered nothing in the way of what makes them different, a special offer, or any actual human interaction.
It’d be like a plumber emailing you and saying “Hey random guy, I’m a plumber and fix pipes and stuff so…. call me.”
But what if they’re reputable? Isn’t deleting it right away unfair?
They’re not. If they actually knew anything about marketing they’d know that unsolicited email like this is one of the least effective ways to prospect. At the very least it’s lazy.
Tactics like this work in bulk. Say one out of every 10,000 people actually responds; well now they just need to send it to millions and it’s “worthwhile”. But any company that relies on mass spamming to get business is not one you want to be associated with.
99% of the time the only legit correspondence you want from your contact form are prospects that are looking to potentially buy from you, not sell to you, or existing readers or clients with questions. Or maybe someone with genuine comments, compliments, or suggestions for your site.
In my opinion you should delete any email of this sort that comes in, no matter who they claim to be or what they’re offering.
Emails like this are throwaway because it’s a shady business practice, so they’re not trustworthy. And it’s a bogus method, so they’re also not likely to be competent. You want someone who is both of those things handling your marketing.
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