The Worst Blogger Outreach Email Ever?

Blogger outreach can be tough. Getting the attention of relevant bloggers in the required industry is a difficult task, one that can often take up serious amounts of time yet produce little in the way of positive results. One of the key issues is often the fact that the initial approach, usually via email, is very poorly put together and does more harm than good. I received the email below yesterday from someone at a very highly regarded and established agency (one that I have used in a client side role in the past) and it’s the perfect example of how not to do an initial blogger approach. I’ve made comments on each section to show you why it is so bad.

Hey There,

Issue – Always try to find out the name of the person who runs the blog. It really shouldn’t be that hard! My name is all over The Social Penguin Blog!

I hope you’re well.

As a prominent blogger within the social media community I just wanted to get in touch and bring to your attention a free competition currently being run by brand withheld name withheld by Mike in which entrants follow and submit the following phrase via Twitter – “Want to win a £1000 of bathrooms vouchers? Check out twitter name withheld by Mike competition at URL withheld by Mike. The winner of this receives £1000 of brand withheld name withheld by Mike vouchers.

Issue -  A prominent blogger that you don’t even know the name of? Fail. This person has clearly not even looked through the content on our blog. We have never covered such a promotion. It offers nothing to our readers in terms of great social media use. The approach is far from innovative. The ONLY advantage in this lies with the agency’s client, not the blog or our readers.

As a socially savvy blogger who has successfully built up a strong following within this particular blogosphere I thought this competition might be something both yourself and your readers could potentially be interested in promoting or entering.

Issue – Aside from the use of the word blogosphere, the whole wording of this sentence is just so crass. 

This competition is perfect for those looking to make potential modifications to their bathrooms.

Issue – How many of our readers are looking to modify their bathrooms at any given time? I would wager very few. Try and place this on a home improvements blog, not a digital marketing blog. 

If you have any further questions, it would be great to hear back from you.

Issue – Yes, I have a question, would your client be happy to know that you are wasting their billable time contacting blogs in such an unthoughtful manner? Also, using their brand name opens them up to a very public slaying if all of the bloggers that get these crap emails decide to kick up a fuss on social media platforms.

Kind regards,

I’ve withheld the name of the person and the agency. I’ve also not named the brand as I feel that would be unfair.

I hope you found that useful readers! Are you a blogger who receives emails of a similar quality? Do you work at an agency and struggle with blogger outreach? Do tell…

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About Mike McGrail

Mike McGrail is the owner of The Social Penguin Blog. He is the MD of Velocity Digital. He likes scotch and leather-bound books. Follow Mike's ramblings on Twitter. He also resides on Google Plus here.

  • Jackie

    Classic case of just because you CAN contact someone does not mean you should. Social media makes it easier to get in touch with people you don’t know…but does not bypass the need to get to know them first before you ask them to do you a favour!

    Thanks for the warning – duly retweeted!

    • Mike McGrail

      Yup, there should be a good level of ground work done before this style of approach!
      Sent from my iPad

  • Anonymous

    The grammar is also risible. “As a prominent blogger within the social media community I just wanted …” indicates that the writer, not the recipient, is a prominent blogger. Ditto for “As a socially savvy blogger …”.

    • Mike McGrail

      Ah yes, I had picked up on that too, but decided not to focus on it!

      Sent from my iPad

  • Paul Gailey

    ew, I just opened one what that started with “Dear Concerned…” :(

    • Mike McGrail

      Oh for god sake! Nasty.

      • Paul Gailey

        yeah, the thing is I became so after reading it :)

  • Hugh Anderson

    Oh boy. Lots to learn. Just reinforces why bloggers are “earned media”. Little effort = ‘little in the way of positive results’ (as you say). A bit of effort = get it right, get noticed and ultimately create brand advocates, but that requires time, patience and focus. It’s a two-way street.

    • Mike McGrail

      People think it can be a quick win – major error!

  • Kirsty Butcher

    I’m currently looking to redo my bathroom! :-P

    • Mike McGrail

      Great, enter the comp! Haha!

  • The Londoneer

    Mike, I get these inappropriate pitches every few days.

    What public relations people have to appreciate is that there has to be something in it for me and my readers – I’m not a free mouthpiece for whatever they’re selling – if all the benefit is on their side of the table why would I even waste my energy by typing a reply?

    I’ll give you an example from last week – a big US drinks brand that has just come across the water and set up in London has been in touch (twice now, the second time more desperate than the first) asking me to mention a pop-up store which they’ve just opened and where they are doing special movie nights, food tastings etc centred around it.

    When it occurs to them that they should actually invite me to one of these ‘exclusive’ events I might even bother to reply…

    • Mike McGrail


      Wow, so they are asking you to plug an event, without asking you along. That’s clever. Your blog is so visual and would give this great coverage, they clearly haven’t taken the time to really look at what you do.
      I wonder when the penny will drop?

  • Hannah Stephen

    Hi Mike, enjoyed reading this post and wonder if you have a good example that you’ve received? Or in your opinion, is it not possible to send an ‘introductory’ email without having a relationship or connection first? I’d be keen to hear your thoughts and think a good example would be a fine blog post :)

  • Deniz Doganay

    love the fact that most of them say they are from a professional organisation and then they have a gmail address haha

  • Karan

    A bot could have done a better job.