When Is A Compliment Not A Compliment?

E-mail can be a great tool for building your business. But when you reach out to solicit new business, don’t waste time with fake compliments. Your prospective client will see right through it. Especially if they are me, and if your email looks like this (I’ve removed the name of his website, because he does not deserve the free promotion.)


Hi Jon,

Firstly, congrats; funnywebsite.com is a great site. I really enjoyed reading your ‘judging Kanye’ post!

The reason I am writing is to let you know about [SPAM]. [SPAM] is the first Google AdSense certified partner headquartered in the US that helps sites increase AdSense earnings through layout improvement. Have you ever considered testing your site’s layout and ad placements? I know it sounds implausible, but testing new layouts of the exact same content can increase your ad income 50-250% and significantly enhance the user experience, which is one of the most important ranking factors!

[SPAM] can help you do this; would it be alright if I sent you some info?

Thanks for your time,



Wow, Mark liked my website! I should be doing cartwheels right about now, no?

See, here’s the problem. Mark may have a legitimate service to offer me, but I’ll never know, because his insincerity has ruined his message. Mark started off his message by telling me “I really enjoyed reading your ‘judging Kanye‘ post!” This immediately tells me that Mark did visit my website, but it also tells me that this letter is far from personal.

The website in question is FunnyWebsite.com, a funny pictures website. It’s a bit awkward to say “I enjoyed reading your funny picture.” Why would someone use this vernacular? Drumroll…

It’s because Mark is using a canned e-mail template where he fills in the blank with the title of a post from the site’s front page.

There’s nothing wrong with using an e-mail template, but once your prospective client catches you doing a sloppy job of cutting and pasting, the jig is up. You’re sending a message that you’re prioritizing cutting corners to make yourself a buck over helping your prospective client make money with Google. That doesn’t make me very comfortable about opening my wallet to use your ad optimization service.

If you are going to compliment someone, do it sincerely. Don’t be a Mark!