You Know What to Except When Email Contains the Words: “Sorry if I disturbed you”

There’s not only one but several things that I really like how NOT to approach anyone when you want something from them. Here’s a sample email I just got, and I think this works as a great introduction to the topic “how not to do business”:

From: Jane ******************
To: press@polycountproductions.com
Subject: Link exchange request with gamerelease.net


My name is Jane ********, SEO Consultant. I’ve greatly enjoyed looking through your site gamerelease.net and I was wondering if you’d be interested in providing a link to the tarot’s website I represent. In exchange, I could offer you a link at:

http://www.**********.com/ with page rank 3

If you are interested, please send me the URL and TITLE in order to list your website. I’ll add your link as soon as possible, within the next 24 hours. When your link is ready, I’ll send you a confirmation email along with the information (TITLE and URL) of my website.

I hope you have a nice day and thank you for your time.


Jane **********
Web Marketing Consultant


PD: I really wouldn’t like this email to be considered as spam, since I’ll try not to contact you again with the same request, but in case you feel annoyed by this kind of requests and want to make sure neither me or anyone from my team contacts you again with a similar petition, you can just register at http://********* That way we’ll add you to our email filters. Thanks for the attention (and sorry if I disturbed you).

I’ll bite:

  1. The first thing annoys me is that this is very much a mass sent email to their spam list. If I want to have success in contacting some companies, I really need to craft them a personalized email to get a response.
  2. The second thing that annoys me is that they are using press@ in their email, not my personal email. They’ve found it from some website, and put it in their people-to-spam list.
  3. Third thing that I think is pretty useless way to approach others is that this is useless. They suggest me link exchange with some Tarot site. I have an indie game press release site. They have a tarot site. Let me repeat: indie press. Tarot site. Like… that’s not going to cut it. (And I don’t do link exchanges there so they are missing the point big time). Bonus point for trying though.
  4. Fourth thing is that they put some crap about “URL” – hey you suggested the url already. You are wasting my most precious asset I’ll ever have in my life: my time. But what do you care.
  5. Almost last point: “I really wouldn’t like this email to be considered as spam.” I mean for heaven’s sake. It’s not about how you feel. If you plan to suggest something to me then think what I feel. Thinking other people when doing stuff is like a pretty good business practise.
  6. Not yet last point: “register at” to “get filtered away”? Like (censored) (censored) you (censored) piece of (censored)!! I don’t “register” any of your spam lists to get away. I shouldn’t be there in the first place. And I don’t want “filter”, I want my freaking email as far as possible from your spam list you spammy spammers. You should kindly ask me if I ever want to be in touch with you. I’m in charge. Not you, you puny spammerers
  7. Very last point: “(and sorry if I disturbed you)”. Now, whadda (censored) you mean by “IF”?! If I wasn’t a nice guy, I’d say something that would get censored right now. You know you are spamming me, don’t try to play nice. (It’s much more okay if you really mean it, but if you think you might be disturbing somebody – don’t contact them in the first place, okay?)

Something good turned out from this spam email though. Pretty good business lessons.

Every spam has a silver lining.

Well. Not every spam.

But at least some.


Juuso Hietalahti


  1. This has me a little worried actually… I have never sent out a press release before, and I generally don’t contact other websites unless I have been contacted first. I will need to start doing that soon to get the word out about my games though. While I know I should send a personalized email, the rest of this email is similar to what I would have probably written. Now I don’t know what to do, and am worried I’ll accidentally offend the people I am emailing rather than ensure they aren’t offended!

  2. Isn’t it amazing who quickly we are able to identify spam these days, just from the sender/title combination or the barest split second glance at the email body.

Comments are closed.