No, just not going to happen – ever

Time for an email fisking…

Hi Ian,

I’ve just seen your twitter post about [major London museum]. Just to quickly introduce myself, my name is […] – I manage the [major London museum] affiliate programme here at [spamming agency].

So you actually scan around for random Tweets (that was actually about a fire alert, not the museum specifically), as a way of finding websites to contact?

Your site and twitter page look great and I’d love to recruit you onto the programme as soon as possible. It’s run through Commission Junction, to sign up please click here.

Even if I were interested, as you work on behalf of [major London museum], shouldn’t they pay you rather than inserting a referrer code into the link you asked me to click on so you can also get a percentage share of my sales?

The programme offers 12% commission on product sales and 10% commission on exhibition tickets sales. With it being Easter half term and with summer around the corner, it’s the perfect time to come on board. We also run exclusive offers with individual partners.

I am not entirely sure what summer has to do with visiting museums. However, while I could use the commission links when listing events to buy tickets, why ask me to cut into the museum’s profit margin on ticket sales when I am happy to promote their events for free right now?

If you have any questions, please email me or drop me a line on the number below – I look forward to hearing from you and working with you.

No, you really don’t. Trust me. Bad Idea.


Why did this annoy me to the point of writing about it.

Frankly, it was a really badly written pitch, which made it clear at the outset that this person wasn’t researching websites and then writing specifically targeted messages (why didn’t she specifically talk about my events guide and ticket sales from the listings there?), but just scanned Twitter for totally irrelevant comments then copy/pasted a bland generic message about the service into the email.

It didn’t offer any targetted advice about how and why my website would do particuarly well with an affiliate scheme, nor offered any real-life examples of how other websites do well out of it.

I am familiar with how CJ operates through previous websites, but many people are not, and there wasn’t really any hand-holding in helping me to sign up with a totally different (and somewhat complex) website.

I wonder if the museum in question realise what a really bad job this agency is doing on their behalf and how a normally very supportive blogger is now in a bit of a bad mood with them.

Yes, I know you can probably find out which [major London museum] I am writing about with a little bit of research, but I am not going to make it that easy for you ;)

Whats's on in London: today or tomorrow or this weekend

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3 comments on “No, just not going to happen – ever
  1. I feel your pain. I get emails like this everyday – mostly from SEO agencies who want to SPAM my site with their links. They simply send a form email with my URL cut and pasted into it (sometimes in quotes!) – saying how much they love my site and would I like a very irrelevant post that has nothing to do with my site, for free. I don’t even bother to repsond anymore.

    A lot of these agencies seem to think that bloggers are easy marks, for some reason. We’re certainly not.

    • IanVisits says:

      I get a fair quantity – it is just the most egregious examples that I write about.

      Some companies are quite good in what they write to me about though – so they do exist.

  2. Agreed – I do accept guest posts from those types of companies – as long as they clearly understand what my site is about and write good articles.

    Oh and they get bonus points if they spell my name right.

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