When I worked in-house for law firms for years as a Director of Marketing, I got solicited by hundreds if not thousands of marketers via phone and email. If I had free time or a gap that needed to be filled in my workflow, I responded or answered these calls and emails. Especially when it comes to email, it is relatively simple to know if the email is genuinely from someone interested in getting your attention or someone just using canned urgent and dire messaging. I’ll go over the kinds of emails you will or may have received and give insight into which are worth humoring and which are just completely missing the mark.
Totally Off the Mark
For someone to be totally off the mark, you’ll normally see any of the following:
- Claiming you have duplicate content on your website, without mentioning what page
- Say that your rankings are garbage, without citing a single viable keyword
- Say you’re losing traffic, without knowledge of your traffic in the first place
Basically, anything that makes a huge claim with urgency without citing anything about why it’s a red flag is something that should normally not be followed up with.
Closer But Canned
To help identify this type of email, think of a simple email saying a wide range of services; “we can handle your SEO, SEM, Social Media, Web Design, email marketing etc.”. While the breadth of work being offered may make sense, there isn’t anything personalized or unique about these proposals.
May Be Genuinely Interesting & Point Out Something Legitimate
It is common that some more savvy marketers will start something like “While I was doing research I came across your website and noticed A, B and C could be improved…” though this could be canned again, the moment they use an attorney name, the geography you’re located in (your URL could still be easily extracted) or say one thing about your site that makes sense (the blue color used for the font is a bit harsh) I would proceed with the rest of the email. The moment something factual is presented is the moment my interest is remotely elevated. At the very least, these companies may put together a free audit for your website that could be quite beneficial.
We get a lot of email on a day-to-day basis, but it doesn’t mean absolutely all should be ignored. There are good people out there doing good work for other businesses – if the email is sensible and helpful, maybe hear them out.