The following is a piece of spam, sent to me as a website owner…

But as I read it, at first it didn’t feel like spam.

In fact, it’s incredibly well-written.

It’s really good copy, and I think it’s probably pretty effective.

I ended up not responding to it.  But I did want to share it with you as an example — and what makes it so good.

Here’s my spam!

SUBJECT: I love your website!

Hi,

I’m Gaby from [NAME REMOVED] ( [WEBSITE REMOVED] ) and I run a small mommy blog. I live in Marietta, Ohio where I grew up and it’s the coziest little town you’d ever visit. It’s really small though!

Since it’s a small community – we do a monthly little MeetUp group for all the local business owners/etc to see how they’re doing, who needs help with what. When the Walmarts and Amazons close in on the small mom and pop shops – business gets hard. And even though I’m just a woman with a mommy blog, I’m pretty much one of the few people in that group that is even aware of the internet (which you know mom and pop shops have a hard time adapting to since forever).

I came across https://www.breakthroughmarketingsecrets.com/, and realized one of the members in the MeetUp group runs a shop in the same niche as your blog. I was wondering if we could work out some sort of deal – where I can compensate you for an article on your site? I’d write the article and everything – and I don’t need any access to your anything, just would send it to you to post, pay you and hopefully maybe do it again if I have any more friends in my MeetUp group that would benefit from a mention on your website.

We’re not a marketing company, and we’re not very wealthy – but we can pay you something, and you would be giving a small business a chance to survive before all the Amazons and eBays force all everything to close down.

Please get back to me and let me know if you’d be into the idea – it would be a major help!

Thanks a lot for reading!

Gaby, [NAME REMOVED]

Let’s look at what makes this so great — starting with the first paragraph…

“I’m Gaby from [NAME REMOVED] ( [WEBSITE REMOVED] ) and I run a small mommy blog. I live in Marietta, Ohio where I grew up and it’s the coziest little town you’d ever visit. It’s really small though!”

This is immediately disarming.

It lays the small-town charm on thick.  It’s from a “mommy blogger.”  NOT an SEO firm.

(Which I actually suspect this comes from.)

It feels immediately personal — not so much personal to me, but coming from a real person.

The second paragraph immediately establishes an US versus THEM theme…

“Since it’s a small community – we do a monthly little MeetUp group for all the local business owners/etc to see how they’re doing, who needs help with what. When the Walmarts and Amazons close in on the small mom and pop shops – business gets hard. And even though I’m just a woman with a mommy blog, I’m pretty much one of the few people in that group that is even aware of the internet (which you know mom and pop shops have a hard time adapting to since forever).”

In case you’re not aware, this is one of the most powerful human motivators out there.

Good versus evil, and we’re always on the good side.

She’s set herself up as a crusader for all these small town businesses.  Who are struggling against the big mean mega corporations.

This is, in case you’re not aware, an incredibly powerful pitch to small business owners.

And she loops me into the cause, to side with her.

All the while playing the “aww, shucks” angle of the small town businesses that struggle to figure out how to make the internet work.

The next sentence might work for many, but it’s where this fell apart for me…]

“I came across https://www.breakthroughmarketingsecrets.com/, and realized one of the members in the MeetUp group runs a shop in the same niche as your blog.”

In analyzing this, I’m sure it’s a template email and my web address just gets filled in.

This email was sent to the generic contact email on that website, so I’m pretty sure both of those were just pulled off the site.

But being a blog mostly about marketing on the internet, I struggle to think that one of these local mom and pop businesses is in the same niche as me.

This is a huge credibility-killer, but may be much less so for the others who get this email.

What comes next is a fantastic, irresistible offer…

“I was wondering if we could work out some sort of deal – where I can compensate you for an article on your site? I’d write the article and everything – and I don’t need any access to your anything, just would send it to you to post, pay you and hopefully maybe do it again if I have any more friends in my MeetUp group that would benefit from a mention on your website.”

I don’t have to do any work, and I get paid to post content to my site?  Awesome!  Considering that a good writer will charge $200 or more for an article, this is a smoking deal.

I’ve written about irresistible offers before.  About making an offer that takes all the risk off the respondent, and puts it all on your shoulders.

This is the kind of offer you need to make.  Especially for a first offer.

In this case, she’s literally paying me to post.  Doesn’t say how much, but it doesn’t really matter here.  The idea is that the risk isn’t on me.

(That said, part of the reason I have a policy against ever posting content from strangers on my site is reputation risk.  As a publisher, my content defines my business, and I don’t want that diluted with content like this.  Many other sites would not have that same concern.)

And note, there’s a little extra icing on the cake here.  If the first article goes well, there could be many more!

Then, she sets expectations…

“We’re not a marketing company, and we’re not very wealthy – but we can pay you something, and you would be giving a small business a chance to survive before all the Amazons and eBays force all everything to close down.”

In a sense, she makes this about more than the money.  It’s about forming an alliance with other small businesses, and helping fight the big, bad companies killing local retail.

And at the same time, she positions it against another objection.  “I don’t want a bunch of marketing for others on my website.”  But she says they’re not a marketing company.  (Which is probably at best a half-truth.)

And then there’s the note, “and we’re not very wealthy.”  The implication is that I’m not going to make a ton of money from this, but it’ll be something, and a nice bonus for my help in fighting the good fight.

The sign-off keeps it folksy and personal…

“Please get back to me and let me know if you’d be into the idea – it would be a major help!  Thanks a lot for reading!  Gaby, [NAME REMOVED]”

Again, it’s about helping.  And there’s a really soft sign-off, with “Thanks a lot for reading!”

For the most part, unless you’re playing this folksy attitude, I’d recommend NOT using a sign off like that.  Assume that what you write is so good they couldn’t help but read it.

But here, with the personality and story, and aww-shucks, us-against-the-big-guys attitude, it works.  It just reinforces that this is a personal appeal for the greater good.

Now here’s what I think is really going on…

While it wouldn’t surprise me if Gaby — assuming that’s a real person — is a mom blogger…

I also think this is part of an SEO agency that creates links and rich content for small local businesses.

These articles are no-doubt link-heavy, and are targeted to be placed on sites with reasonable credibility with the search engines.

Gaby — or a team of writers — gets paid to write and place the article by the small business clients.

And she forwards on a token cut of that to the website owner, inflating her fee to cover that expense.

The small business gets to see articles linking back to their site and talking about their business on sites all over the internet.  And blog owners get paid for adding another page to their site.

There are other ways to accomplish similar goals.  Certain press release networks will let you post a well-written and news-like press release to their site, for a fee.  That’s one option.

But this is a reasonably-valid option.  And if the articles are decent, it should be an okay long-term search marketing strategy as well.

I personally would never accept paid placement on my site.  And when I promote a person, business, or product, it’s because I’ve personally chosen it as something interesting to me and valuable to you.

Frankly, I have at least a small level of admiration for this.

The copy is good.

The business model — if it’s about what I assume — is decent.

And it’s probably a better income source that just mommy blogging.

Choose which of these you want to learn from — there are multiple lessons.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

Like This? Get More...

Get daily marketing tips by email... Enter your info below!

Your Privacy is SAFE! We won't sell or share your email.

Instant Download: 5 Free Gifts

Especially valuable for: Copywriters, Direct Marketers, and Internet Entrepreneurs... 

   • My Response to a Copywriter Looking for Career Advice
   • The Master Secret of Great Marketing
   • The Single-Most Powerful Word in Persuasion
   • Total Business Breakthrough Marketing Audit
   • Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins (PDF and Audiobook)

Enter your info.  Try my daily emails.  Get instant download access to these 5 gifts now. 

Thanks! Check your email to confirm & grab your free goodies...