BLOGGER to BLOGGER: Email Etiquette

Blogger Email EtiquettePhoto Credit: With Love from Kat

Hi dolls, so today I’m bringing you the second edition of BLOGGER to BLOGGER touching on a subject that seems like common sense…but you’d be surprised: email etiquette. As a blogger {+ former PR gal} I have the opportunity to communicate with numerous brands, bloggers, PR reps and marketing directors on the daily. To my shock, awe, and sometimes dismay I’ve found that a large number of these people don’t have the slightest idea how the heck to email!

I digress. Just sharing a few tips and common curtsies to keep in mind when chatting it up via the worldwide web.

greetings Hello, Hi, How are you, Great to hear from you, Thanks for reaching out…these are all great starters to an email. No, I do not want to receive an email beginning with a run-on sentence about you or your brand. This is one of my biggest pet-peeves. If you’re reaching out to someone for the first time, heck, or for the second or third time, it’s polite to include a greeting of sorts. Of course if you have a continued relationship with this person that doesn’t necessarily apply {although it still somewhat bothers me personally}. Beginning your email with a nice, soft pleasantry just seems to make what you’re about to say a bit more cheery.

tone Email can be a bit tricky since you’re simply typing words on a page. You can’t see that person’s reaction, hear their voice, or read body language through a screen. It’s always important to keep your email tone positive and upbeat. It’s tough to dissect and respond to an email that seems tense, so try to shy away from writing hard sentences with no emotion. An occasional exclamation point is nice. Use smileys sparingly, unless it’s more of a friendship or close working relationship.

asking too much I love love love getting emails from fans and supporters asking questions about advice or tips on getting started in the blogging world. Let’s be honest, it’s a tough business to break into so I commend those that aren’t afraid to reach out for help! What really bothers me, and to be honest is extremely presumptuous, is when I’m emailed about my personal business, how much money I make, and crazy ridiculous requests to provide favors for individuals I’ve never met before in my life. Bye-bye – delete is my response. If you’re reaching out to a blogger you love {whether you’re another blogger or a brand rep} be considerate of that person’s time and don’t over ask to the point of making them uncomfortable.

pitching If you’re not making moves and pitching yourself to brands, get out there and start! If you’re a newbie blogger, it’s rare for brands to reach out to you – you need to be proactive and engage with brands you want to work with. Start small and work your way up. When reaching out to a brand be concise and to the point. PR reps have a lot on their plate, so they’ll appreciate your editing skills. Make sure you include a brief intro about yourself, your blog, and always speak to how you think you would be a good fit for their brand specifically and why. Do research prior to pitching to make sure you’re contacting the correct person {generally being their PR, Marketing, or Press Relations}. You’ll also want to include your blog stats and/or media kit. I personally don’t present my media kit unless asked to do so, but including quick stats {social media reach, blog hits, etc.} is a must.

negotiating If you’re blogging as your primary business, side business, or just a hobby there’s a good chance you have been in a position to negotiate terms/fees with a brand – which is a great thing! When I first began negotiating terms I was a bit nervous {I mean talking money with people can be scary!}, but then I realized the partnership needs to be beneficial for both parties – if you’re not happy about what’s being presented, go after what you think would be best! Whether that’s additional monetary income, cross promotion via social media channels, guest blogging, product, etc – compensation can come in a variety of forms. Be firm, but also willing to compromise at times. For example, let’s says there’s a really exciting brand you’ve been dying to work with but they aren’t willing to offer you the expected compensation – if you truly love the brand, chances are you’ll be willing to sacrifice a little to maintain that relationship. Don’t discredit compromising, brands will remember that you were willing to work with them on their terms and come back to you when the time is right for what you’re requesting. p.s. Sometimes negotiating via a phone chat is best!

follow up Something that is often lost these days in the business world, but follow-up is SO important. Whether you’re following-up with a brand regarding working together or simply sending a ‘nice to meet you’ email after a networking event! People will be more willing to work with you, listen to what you have to say, and engage with you if you send a simply follow-up. Follow-up emails should be super short {1-3 sentences} and relate back to previous correspondence or what you’re contacting them about.

blabbing Time is money people. I understand everyone, whether it be a brand or blogger, has something unique to offer or a story to tell, however make it a habit to keep emails {especially introduction emails} as concise as possible. Re-read through your text and see if all of that babble really needs to be included. There should be an opening, a point, and a call to action making that person respond accordingly.

spell check + punctuation I’ll admit, this is a tough one even for me to always abide by – I’m a terrible speller. However, if you’re pitching yourself to a brand make sure you’re filtering your email through a triple spell check method! One or two little mishaps is understandable {hey, we’re all human}, but I cringe when I see multiple mis-spellings regarding silly words that makes it clear you didn’t re-read what you were writing at. all. Furthermore, write in full sentences when emailing! This isn’t texting, you need to be professional – exclude the use of {c, u, 4evr, bff, omg…you get my drift}. Sadly, these emails have come through my inbox countless times.

I’d love to hear your thoughts/stories on email experiences or personal pet peeves!
p.s. Have something specific you’d love to see on BLOGGER to BLOGGER – leave a comment!

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    Comments

    Floating Soul (@FloatingSoul14)

    Hey! thanks for the tips,I’m a new blogger and I cannot wait to see some of your other tips

    – Sara Sparkle

    Erin from Patricia's Daughter

    I found this post pinned to Pinterest, therefore I’m a first-time reader. Thanks for some refreshing thoughts on email etiquette. In our fast paced virtual world, it’s easy to babble something off without thinking about how it comes off.

    melissa @ my whole food life

    This is great! Thanks for sharing.

    Denise

    This is a great write-up, and I am thrilled to have found your site through my friend Tracy (Shutterbean). I often consider myself “old school” as I am a firm believer in all of the points you hit. I reply to every pitch we get, even if it is not a good fit, and I gently thank them. Not to mention I am old school, and still send the hand written note to say hello or thank you to bloggers as well as PR companies we work with or who reach out.

    justagirl

    I recently wrote a thank you to a blogger. I wanted to tell him I enjoyed the blog and appreciated the freebies he offered. I really appreciated the freebies since I am on disability and don’t always have the means to purchase what is being sold. This blogger wrote me back & rudely told me that he didn’t send out free merchandise and that my time would be better spent trying to get a job instead of trying to get something for free. WTF??? I never asked for anything from him, was thanking him for the freebies, and telling him how much I enjoyed the blog. Needless to say, I never read his blog again. I read my original email several times and still can’t figure out how he could think i was asking for something. He has been hailed as a guru & to me he is just a jerk!

    tipsywriter18

    These tips are so on point that I did a little dance after I read them. Seriously. THAT. GOOD.

    There are lots of them that I would love to shove down a few people’s throats, but now I’ll just forward them here! 😀

    – Tipsy
    http://www.tipsywriter.com

    autumnrennie

    Thank you for the points! I like to hear a short reason why they “love my blog and think it is a perfect fit.” Then, I know they at least made an effort to check out what might be relevant.

    Janet

    Agree with these wholeheartedly!

    =^.^= (@noodlesndoodles)

    Hey Kristin! It’s my first time on your blog and reading your Blogger to Blogger series – great post! Looking forward to more.
    I think my worst is when PR people mail me with promotions unrelated to my blog or brand or what I do and it’s clear they haven’t really done their research. Also annoying and incredibly rude when people ask me to promote their products without even offering any benefit for me in return.

      Kristin Clark

      Thanks for stopping by, hope you enjoy more of LICP! 🙂 Agreed to both of your added points!

    thethreadaffect

    Thanks for this post, it was extremely helpful to read it and the comments others left! The blogging world is hard to steer in the beginning and it is great to hear from more experienced bloggers.

    Shira

    I am actually really struggling right now with feeling completely taken advantage of by a company….I know I should’ve been more assertive but it’s kind of too late and now I’m just feeling bitter because I’m investing way more than what they initially had proposed… Is it better to keep quiet and suck it up or say straight out that you don’t feel you’re being fairly compensated?

    http://asequinloveaffair.com

      Kristin Clark

      Hey Shira, that’s a toughy since you’re already in the middle of the partnership [I’ve been there, so I feel ya]. If you feel like you can scale back a bit without damaging the relationship I’d go for it. If you’re nervous about that or don’t want to offend them, take it as a lesson learned and practice those changes next time. It all depends on the situation and the brand’s tone about the whole partnership! Good luck!

    Alyssa//Runway Chef

    This is all so true! I also hate when I get e-mails that start out “Dear Blogger, we think your blog would be a good fit…” If you’re going to pitch me, at least find out my name and the name of my blog!

      Kristin Clark

      Hahaha automatic delete in my book since it’s usually followed by the generic crap…

    Megan @ Lush to Blush

    I love this! I work as a marketing coordinator for a fashion brand, as well as run my own personal blog. I think all of these points are great. It’s the worst when bloggers reach out wanting to collaborate, but have no idea how we can do that. It’s important to have something in mind before reaching out to brands, or even other bloggers. Thanks for the advice!!

    xo Megan, http://lushtoblush.com/

      Kristin Clark

      Very true Megan, thanks for sharing your insight brand a brand’s perspective!

      xo
      Kristin

    Jesyka Lynn

    Thanks for sharing. I’m a new blogger and am just recently discovering this is even possible. Thanks for helping out other bloggers.
    Jesyka Lynn

    Rachel

    Great tips!

    I do have some questions about pitching yourself to a company. If you are a new blogger, how do recommend approaching a company? Do you just introduce yourself and then let them decide if/how they want to go about working with you? Do you make suggestions (i.e. a product review?) Also if actual money is involved (as apposed to products) do you have or know of any resources/sites that explain how one goes about figuring out amounts? I figure most bloggers (myself included) don’t have any business/marketing training and there is some fear about asking for too much and offending a business or asking too little and shorting their earning potential.

    I hope my questions make sense! Thanks again for the tips!
    Rachel

    fiercefantasy

    Thanks for sharing. You pointed out a few things I sometimes forget to do! I enjoyed reading this, and I look forward to reading more from your Blogger-to-Blogger series.

    Stay Fierce,
    Niani Tolbert

    The Haute Frugalista

    This is a great post hun! I agree with everything you said. Talking money can indeed be very tricky and embarrasing at times. I’ve been askimg myself why are women more afraid to ask for money or gI’ve ourselves our worth.
    I’ve been super fortunate to meet great bloggers, like yourself, who are always there to help and share some guidance.
    Xo,
    Dee

    iesha

    thank so much for this information! i’ll definitely save this for future use! (well, hopefully)

    xoxo

    Sara Miller- Style For The Seasons

    Wow, I had no idea people asked things like how much money you make, etc! How rude! I can’t imagine sending an email like that! Love all of these tips– definitely a good reminder and I once again feel inspired to send out some emails! Thanks!

    Connie

    Awesome tips, thank you so much for sharing! I am a new blogger so these tips are really useful and a great reminder of the best practices!

    xox,
    Connie

    http://www.connnietang.com

    Laura @ Walking in Memphis in High Heels

    Great tips!! Thank you so much for doing this series.

    The Stylish Print

    This post is so insightful! I am definitely taking all of this into consideration—thank you, Kristin!

    Joanne Mason

    Great tips, girly! I love when bloggers help other bloggers out, as it should be!

    You’ve got yourself a new follower here:)

    Katie @ Katie's Bliss

    Everything you mentioned is so true Kristin! I once got an email from a brand that was in comic sans and rainbow-colored font – deleted it without a second thought!

    katiesbliss.com

    ceislin

    All of these you’d think would be common sense but you’d be shocked at what I receive in my personal and work (HR) inbox! Such great tips– thanks fo passing them along and I’ll have to “remind” people of these!

    Classy Chic & Chardonnay
    http://ceislin.com

    Agi

    Great post. I couldn’t agree more. One of my pet peeves is when people don’t respond in a timely manner. It drives me crazy!!!!

    Please stop by my blog and link up for my weekly tres-chic fashion thursday link up and enter my giveaway for a fabulous pave link bracelet.

    Agi:)

    vodkainfusedlemonade.com

    allycog

    Love this! These points seem so simple, but I’m always surprised at what shows up in my inbox! Always nice to have a reminder 🙂

    XO, Alison
    http://www.ChainStrapPurse.com

    Rachelle

    such great tips, i am saving this.

    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl

    Preach!! My biggest pet peeve are bloggers that email asking “What are your site stats?” “Can you send me your contact list so I can reach out to them?” etc…So RUDE! #delete

    xoxo
    Cathy, your Poor Little It Girl
    http://poorlittleitgirl.com

    @kristinclarkfsu