Dear Leading SEO Service Provider …

Dear Jay Smith,

You recently sent me an email describing yourself as the digital marketing and SEO expert at a leading SEO service provider. I’m writing back, in the form of a blog post, questioning the idea that you work for a reputable and, thus, leading agency.

Why am I questioning the authenticity of your expertise, the expertise of your agency?

1. Your email was delivered via Gmail address.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Google gal and I love me some Gmail. However, even though I’m a devotee, I manage to write and respond with an email that showcases the domain of my company, Go Creative Go.

Kudos for using Gmail and not Yahoo or AOL. Still? The failure to write me from a domain leads me to think your ‘leading” provider status might live only in your own mind.

2. No link to your site, EVER!

Jay, I’m shaking my head in wonder. You never, not once, link to your site. Therefore, I have no way of visiting your website and no way to verify your leading provider status. I can’t check where your site ranks in the SERPs, as you never share where exactly your company resides online. What gives?

Just saying, Jay – any SEO company worth their salt has a smart presence online. Know what else? They share it with their prospects!

3. You promised me first page rank on Google, Yahoo and Bing.

If there’s one thing I know, and one thing that I’m sure ALL of my audience knows, it’s this: No reputable SEO company promises first page rankings. Why? Because there’s no way to guarantee delivery. You didn’t ask me which keywords or key phrases I’d like to be found under, so how can you guarantee success?

4. You called my links poor and unauthorized.

Since I pick and choose any sites to which I link quite carefully, and because I carefully monitor sites linking to me, I’m going to have to call you out on this charge, Jay. I may not be the SEO expert you claim to be, but as a web designer I take a very hands on approach with all parts of my website, including the links going out and coming in.

So, sadly, going to have to channel Dr. Sheldon Cooper and call out your email’s assertion as pure hokum!

5. You dissed my content, calling it “not high standard.”

First of all, ouch! I generally don’t appreciate constructive criticism from those sending me an unasked for sales pitch. Secondly, I rarely take content marketing or writing advice from people who can’t manage to create a grammatically correct sentence.

That’s right! Don’t diss my content when your writing leaves a little something something to be desired!

6. You tried to convince me your spam email is NOT, in fact, spam!

You ended your leading SEO service provider sales pitch by telling me you’re NOT spamming me. I think we’re going to have to agree to disagree on what spamming actually entails.

You stated:

Disclaimer:- “Note: – We are not spammer. We found your email through manually efforts.We are sorry if you get email 2 or 3 times.You can simply reply with “remove” so we will delete your email from our list.Thanks again.“The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003”.

My rebuttal to your spam-free disclaimer:

  1. I don’t know you from Adam, and I certainly never signed up for your list. So, asking me to remove myself from something to which I’ve never subscribed pretty much points the finger at you as the spammer!
  2. Sending me the same unsolicited email more than once, two-three times, screams spam!
  3. You say you’ll delete me from your list. A list I never asked to join. Once again, this screams out spam, Jay. You either scraped my email address off my site after a keyword search OR bought my email address from a less than credible source. Final time I’ll say it, SPAMtastic!
  4. And, in closing, what the heck are “manually efforts” and why would you think that gives you permission?

Jay, I’m really sorry to say that I seriously doubt you’re a leading expert in anything related to SEO. In fact, I believe your only expertise lies in less than stellar spam email tactics. Going to have to give your offer a pass.

Anyone else heard from Jay or his ilk of late? Have you ever responded to spamtastic email with a blog post? If so, I’d love to read it. Please do leave me a link in the comments.

27 replies
  1. Robin Strohmaier
    Robin Strohmaier says:

    Oh Mallie, you are singing my song. I’ve had a number of “Jay Smith” type spam emails with similar messages. Let’s hope that no one actually falls for these deceptive emails.

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      Thanks Robin,

      You’ve done a fabulous job of showcasing these types of emails in the past, and I’m sure you’ll continue to do so in the future. It just really screamed at me this morning, so I decided on an off-the-cuff publish, not originally on my content calendar!

  2. Chad Egeland
    Chad Egeland says:

    This is so completely awesome Mallie and you had me laughing the entire way through.

    I have received several of these (as I’m sure every blogger has) and my favourite so far has been Dear Sir, I can tell by your content that you are a major player in your field or soon will be that then goes on to promise me hundreds of new Facebook followers and promising that this is a one time only deal. That is until they email me again the next day.

    I’ve always wanted to respond to emails like this but never wanted to poke at the trolls, but you took it to the next level and called them all out in a blog post that is just perfect. Thanks for making my day with this post.

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      I’m always happy when I can get a little LOL out of something I’ve published, Chad. I hope Jay’s not crying in his beer right about now, though I doubt he ever actually really looked at my site content. I’m guessing he’ll never see this and will never know that he earned a laugh or twelve from my audience. You know, the audience that isn’t finding my site or my low-quality content!

  3. Andrew Healey
    Andrew Healey says:

    What a fantastic post. Unfortunately, I receive emails like this all the time. I really don’t understand why they think people will fall for their tricks, particularly when their English is so dreadful.

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      Thanks, Andrew. I’m with you, betting that not too many fall for the spammy sales-ridden sends. But when you can easily spam across the globe, I’m sure they get a few less than savvy takers. Sad, but probably true.

  4. Don Purdum
    Don Purdum says:

    Hi Mallie,

    It’s absolutely amazing that this kind of stuff still goes on. I’ve been in web design and development for ten years and I have to say I think I’ve seen it all, lol…

    In itself, it’s an insult that someone would email and solicit SEO. It’s even worse that they don’t share their website and make outrageous promises.

    I often wonder if this still works but it must. They obviously prey on those who don’t know any better. It is really funny to me the disclaim it’s not spam.

    If it’s not spam then what is it? lol…

    Maybe you should have baited them a little more and got to the point of a discussion. I once had a friend go far enough that they recorded the conversation where he turned it into an interview that went really bad for them. It was hilarious!!!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Fortunately I don’t hear of this anywhere near as much as I used to.

    It’s my first time to your site and it’s nice to connect with you.

    Have a great week!

    ~ Don Purdum

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      Don,

      Thanks, first of all, for visiting and commenting. Thrilled to have you visit.

      You’re right, the “not spam” disclaimer was the most laughable part of the entire email. I probably could have strung them along for a while, but I am pretty happy with the article that the email prompted, so not going to complain that I didn’t get more content fodder.

      Sadly, I see several clients continuing to receive these kinds of spammy solicitations, mostly via their web forms. I’m happy it’s slowed down for you, though. Gives me hope that maybe it will do the same for us, and soon!

      Congrats, to you, on the new look to your site. I gave it a quick look today and will be back the next time I see your latest publish on Triberr.

      • Don Purdum
        Don Purdum says:

        Thanks Mallie, that was quick. LOL… I love that!!!!

        Fortunately I haven’t personally gotten one of these in a few years. Last time I saw one it was for a client a little over a year ago, and I don’t hear the same level of issues with it as much as I used to.

        It might be more the business circles I’m running around in. They probably have great filters. Who knows.

        Thanks for the kind words on my site. I should have a post tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, my current one is just rocking it and that’s always fun to see!!!!

        It’s good to connect and I look forward to reading more from your site.

        ~ Don

        • Mallie Hart
          Mallie Hart says:

          LOL. I try. I’d just snarfed down an early dinner and was settling into a little more work before I watch Big Bang Theory.

          I don’t get as many of these emails as I used, to, thank goodness. I really do look forward to them possibly stopping for good, and will hope to be in those same spam free circles as you, and soon!

          I’ll swing by tomorrow for your latest!

          • Don Purdum
            Don Purdum says:

            WOW! You are a fan of The Big Bang Theory? I NEVER miss an episode. It’s my all time favorite show. Fortunately, I have DVR because I’m also a HUGE New England Patriots fan and they are on Monday Night Football tonight. Best of both worlds!!!!

          • Mallie Hart
            Mallie Hart says:

            I am. One of only two shows I watch, ever. Didn’t you see my Dr. Cooper reference in the article itself? 🙂

  5. Nathan Ambrose
    Nathan Ambrose says:

    So true, Mallie!

    You forgot to mention that your analytics missed Jay’s visit to your site.

    Also, you had never heard of Jay’s company and couldn’t find it on (the first page of) Google.

    Oh, and a different person’s name probably appeared in the sender name or email address.

    I receive such emails of Jay’s ilk on a regular basis, which I find amazing. If their SEO skills are so good, then why bother sending us emails instead of sorting through all those emails that they receive?

    I think I shall have to ask them next time.

    Nathan.

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      Hi Nathan,

      You’re correct, I could have gone on and on, but I wanted to publish today! Shockingly, his email address was jay*****@gmail.com, so I couldn’t add that to the list of wrongs.

      And I couldn’t agree more, if they’re that amazing wouldn’t I be seeking them out rather than waiting on them to spam me?

      Have a great night!

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      Oh…

      And I couldn’t check out his company to see how they ranked (I think this was my #2) as the company itself wasn’t mentioned. Not once!

  6. Stuart Davidson
    Stuart Davidson says:

    Ha, love this!

    I get these emails all the time and there as annoying as they come. Your pretty much spot on throughout the entire article with my experiences.

    I once actually entertained an seo company who emailed me like this and took them up on their offer for a free report. It was just one of those half-baked pdf’s you can get from anywhere, then they sent me about 10 follow up emails to try and sell me their services. *blacklist

    – Stuart

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      Hi Stuart,

      When those emails aren’t annoying (depends on the day, right?), they can be pretty amusing or even downright entertaining. And nothing beats an article idea showing up in your inbox! Have a great day!

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      They certainly aren’t up to snuff on the idea of permission based marketing, are they Mandy?

      Ahhhhh … at the very least it gave me an article idea that’s generated some interest and discussion. Perhaps I should send Jay a thank you note.

      If only I knew where he actually worked?!?!

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      Of course, as soon as I have a popular article, that’s when my hosting company goes under attack and my site’s down on and off all day. LOL.

      Thanks so much, Brooke. I had such a great time writing this, and am glad that it’s ringing true with so many who’ve read it. Makes the hard work of content marketing all the more worthwhile.

  7. Michelle Phillips
    Michelle Phillips says:

    LOVED this post, Mallie! Every single point you raise has run through my mind each time I receive Jay’s “non-spam” email! And I’ve received enough of them, thank you! Fun Friday read and I will definitely be sharing this post!

    • Mallie Hart
      Mallie Hart says:

      So glad I could entertain and maybe even educate while letting loose with a little rant, Michelle. I really enjoyed writing this and I had no idea it would end up being one of my most popular posts in quite some time. Just goes to show that you should trust in your gut when you get a strong feeling re: creating content!

  8. Sam
    Sam says:

    (Lol!) I was just googling around doing some research and this is what I saw on google “You ended your leading SEO service provider sales pitch by telling me you’re NOT spamming me. I think we’re going to have to agree to” I’ve been wanting to reply to these emails since day 1!, next time I get an email like that I’ll just link this post xd

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