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How to email influential people—and get responses FAST (plus new free download)
Last Updated October 9th, 2012

Today I’m going to share the 2 things you should NEVER say in an email to someone you don’t know.

(Especially if you want that person to respond to you)

And then I’ll walk you through a word-for-word script that I personally used to get influential people I didn’t know to respond to my email…

…and promote my work to their readers.

Sound good?

How to Ensure Your Email To A Blogger, Journalist, Or Investor Never Gets Ignored

Bonus Ebook: Download this free ebook that will give you the exact scripts you can use to contact important people – and get responses FAST

Now before you download your free PDF “email writing cheat sheet,” I want you to do 2 things:

1. Leave a comment to let me know the dumbest emails you’ve ever received from someone looking to get something out of you.

2. Do you have a friend who needs to get in touch with someone they don’t know? Show them this video so they can increase their chances of getting a response.

That said, here’s the free download:

Want to Know How to Email Influential People (And Actually Get a Response)?

Download this free eBook to get the word-for-word scripts you can use to do exactly that.

Yes, send me the free ebook

In this document, I share two word-for-word scripts I’ve used to email people I don’t know with hopes of getting them to share my content (or join me on my podcast).

Plus, I break down these scripts—LINE BY LINE—to show you why I say the things I said. This will make it MUCH easier for you to replicate.

Get at it!

And of course, if you’re new here, make sure you hop on the newsletter to get more of the good stuff.

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382 comments Leave a comment

Cool dude! (How” s that for brevity?)


Wow! Thanks for sharing this great post, I agree with your post and it will for sure help us, and many many thanks for sharing e-book


Hello Derek! I’m so glad I lost myself to your great article! Hahahahahaha!!!! Now I know why I don’t get any response… lols 😀 Thanks! Hehehe


HAHA, sat through two videos, even though finding you was a total accident and I’m supposed to be doing something else at the moment. You make some very good points and I’m intrigued. I’ll give you the share, it’s brilliant marketing.


I’d love to share this to facebook, however, none of the social share buttons for facebook are working.


Short emails are better, but how do you write a subject line that guarantees the email will be opened?


I agree totally. I also like how your email is direct and to the point, nothing squirrelly or reeking of ulterior motives. And if there’s not way around a medium length email, I like to break it up into more digestible bites. I hate one long paragraph.


Hi – yes please can you send the research about “design is king.”
Thank you.


I ALWAYS delete

1) any email that offers to sell me something at a discount which results in a price ending in any combination of the figures 7 & 9.
2) any email that promises me something which defies the history of mankind e.g. Learn how to write a Hollywood screenplay/best selling novel/or anything ither than my name and address in only 20 minutes each day
3) any email that places ersatz bonhomie before genuine engagement

Great video by the way:)



Derek – Loved the video!! It was so on point. I get at least 2-3 emails EVERY week from people who download my free articles and templates, then when I launch a $300 course on how to find a job, they’ll email me and ask if I have “FREE” option to attend at no charge because they’re unemployed and can’t find a job. Or they’ll email me and ask if I will take a look at their resume/LinkedIn profile for free. I asked one of them: do you go to the gas station and ask for free gas? Do you go to the dry cleaner and ask for free service?

What ever happened to your periscope? Are you still doing that?



I love emails that have a 1 or 2 line summary first – this allows me to do a quick scan and see if the rest interests me. It also tells me the person knows their stuff and can compress it.

But sadly the most emails I get are “I can improve your website conversions blah blah blah contact me blah blah…” DELETE


Thanks for the e-book! I’ve gotten some pretty hilarious emails and Facebook messages for people who want to guest post on my blog… The most recent one was a woman who I had never met before who sent me a Word Doc article for her new business and said she’d like me to post it on my blog & send it to my email list as soon as possible… She was persistent on asking what date I’d be doing this so she could mark it in her calendar and prepare for the new work that would be coming in…? Her audience had absolutely nothing to do with mine, and she never even mentioned doing anything for me in return! Yet the blog post was specific for my company and mentioned a few times how we were “friends”… It was totally bizarre, and of course I didn’t post it. I wonder how many people she emailed. *Face palm x1000* #whatnottodo


Thanks for information! Love it.


Last week , people requested to pay more for the exact same information as long as you have good value ! hmm What to Do! (same content)


I think I will email some of my colleagues about this great video I just saw regarding what not to write in an email. And let me know if you want me to send it to you. Ha! Isn’t that the lesson here? Thanks. Good stuff.


I appreciate emails that start out with a synopsis or very good title, part of the info or blog, then a link to the whole blog or transcript of a podcast or video. (slow internet connection in Thailand, and videos can be a killer)


Your clip is marketing genius 👍


I’ve gotten a number of emails and messages asking for insight, response to check inquiries, and also encounters for a research study. In mostly all situations, they were hit and also runs. I would provide what I assumed were beneficial and also full solutions, as well as they go quiet forever.

Yes, it cuts into my job time, and it leaves me putting up. It really feels exciting to assist individuals, and also on the off opportunity it creates right into a great connection, it will certainly have been worth it.

Maybe I’m not active enough? All the same, I hate being neglected, so the natural thing to do is to not disregard individuals that ask me for help, unless the person is asking for a big favor. Because situation, I might comply with up with a concern for explanation or suggestion to cut it to one certain point.


Haha Derek You are reading my mind! I hate exactly the same emails.. Hate when people ask me to share their content just so.. And go mad at me when I refuse. And yes I will send this video to them. For sure.


All good points. However, I feel that the ‘stumbled upon’ line does not seem honest. Surely you found this intentionally… so at that point I’m out. Does it need this line at all?


Sent you an email recently, and it conformed to your guidelines above.
Got a canned response, but would REALLY appreciate a personal critique on the course idea I layed out.
I put all of my energy into articulating the email and content it was pitching.

So, if you would, I will be a loyal social trigger sub for life. If not, no hard feelings. I’m sure you get THOUSANDS similar to mine every day.
I guarantee mine will stand out, not because the ideas are better, but because it is a very different and unique concept, presented from seasoned sales rep that needs to know if he is measuring himself correctly. Congruence is a straight I strive for, and I feel I am very close, if not there.



    Did you see the video? This is EXACTLY what he said don’t do. If congruence is what you’re striving for, you have headed 180 degrees in the other direction with this response.


I respond to emails that pique my interest or appear to have personal value for me
I’m going to ignore an email if its long as well.
I’m not usually one to reply to emails, because I’m not experienced with correspondence (unless if its for personal reasons). I also get different types of emails where it isn’t really appropriate to respond as they are automated.


I am going to test this tomorrow. It seems to have great potential.


This is perfect for email marketing, at any point. What about putting a link to something free for them that’s in line with what you are creating a gap for?

Marko Zupanic

I think this is a great tactic. I hate when someone send me email and in the first row ask me for some help 😀


GREAT! You got it Derek, one of my big problems is the amount of emails, I went through mine and have to say any long winding emails I did unsubscribe from, just had to clear my inbox down to the more serious things I need to know about to get to where I am going, there is too much around that wastes your day, not yours though!

Ruth Collis

I have tried 3 times to shorten my long emails before this video confirming it now. Part of me hates being cut off in person and I do want to ramble. My thoughts are important, as I don’t speak much, but you are right. Emails are to get attention and blog posts for a little more explanation, and when I feel the blog post is getting long, well it’s time for a book. I am slowly learning how long Facebook posts should be, and forget Twitter… I can’t get even a Hello in there or link by itself without it being too long.

Emails I don’t like would be marketers that have harvested my email and keep spamming me, even after unsubscribing many times, with both emails, emailed their customer support to get them to quit, and hit the spam button in email, finally having to put a filter on them to delete. Email twice a day, or more than weekly, I don’t like. There are exceptional websites, that if I can’t consume all their content, like a fun gadget site, or they are just really good, I will sign up for their email to get through it all over time.

I also don’t care for those marketers trying to sneak their way in through Facebook messaging, posting the same pasted message as earlier, 3 times, then using the wrong name to address me, and especially when going to their links, they present all kinds of religious matter that makes you think, “Great, that’s a Christian (or insert religion) spamming me that is making God look bad?” I need to have a word with them, and why does it always seem to be religious people doing this? It makes you wonder.

Thank you Derek. I will try again to cut it short in email. Two other things… This bright red submit comment button hurts my eyes and have to hide it under the fold to read what I’m writing. And I looked for your name to make sure I spelled it right in addressing you here, and strangely, don’t see your simple name anywhere on this page. Anyways, thank you.

Kevin Jans

I hate emails that assume I need something. I take the time to target my emails to people I at least believe are going to want our help. (in our case people who are looking for government contracts and have already SIGNED UP to be in the databases for this market). Just spamming “businesses” is lazy and just clogs up our email servers.

I like getting emails that ARE targeted to me (like yours, for example), that tell me how I can make my emails more useful and helpful (and worth opening) to the people in my target market.

Thanks for sharing your experience.


I hate emails that say the sender is ‘so disappointed’ in me for not taking up their ‘fabulous offer’ – very patronizing and annoying!


Dig your site and the terrific knowledge your’re sharing, thanks! The worst emails I get are typically from B2B data operators or list brokers. Not only are these emails long and usually grammatically challenged, they also ask for a bunch of data on my target customers that they could easily get from a quick trip to the website. Cheers!


You might want to rethink your use of the term “that said” in these example emails. The way you’ve used it, it means “however,” like you’re about to introduce something contrary to what you’ve just said. It’s like you’re saying, “I loved your book, especially the part about [insert example]. However, I just launched a podcast and I want to invite you on as a guest.” If lots of people are going to be using this as a template, I just wanted to suggest that quick edit.

That said, this is still a great resource.

Joseph Soares

As the host of Success Crumbs Podcast and the owner of my own blog josephsoares.com, I can tell you we receive tons of email like the ones you describe and can confirm that mostly, the only thing the write succeeds in doing is annoying us and finding a quick trip to our virtual blue bin. Its too bad really, it wouldn’t take very much to get our attention if they only took the time to think of what they were doing before they sent the send button.


i started LetsKickScoot.com as a hobby and am proud that it has helped people around the world into the sport. I *hate* receiving emails offering to elevating my site’s Google placement (it is very high already, which is how they found it), and offering to redesign my site (annoying and very often insulting).


Thanks and kudos to you for an informative but SHORT video. I used to get hooked into watching the star Internet Marketers videos by clicking a link to the information promised in their videos but too many were 1-2 hours with a very long fast forward button and no way to fast forward. Who has that kind of time to invest? So now I bypass most of them and never watch the. Ideos. They would do well to take a cue from you. I would rather get two valuable tips in a bite-sized video then have to sit through an hour+ video unless I am paying for a course and I know none of the meat will be left out as bait to buy something . I also wish they would offer transcripts as for long content I would rather read than watch.


If it doesn’t look legit with proper signature, contact info, link to website (that I will check out by google, not clicking on it) and logo… it better have a kickass joke or quote or line to get my attention.


LOOOVE YOUR VIDEO! I dislike long emails. I also agree with your ‘design is king’ I distrust websites and discard businesses due to terrible website design.

Nikol Ciccarello

Hi Derek. Loved your video. I’m usually either bored or annoyed with a video, but yours was great! Like your personality. Now as for your question, emails I neverrrrrr respond to include those with unfinished, unclear, or missing signatures. I want the full name of the sender, the name of the company with address and phone number, logo, and anything else that makes the sender legit. That’s one thing. I could go on but……………..

Michelle Farris

I love your energy and humor! I hate long emails too and am very sensitive to that. Can’t wait to learn more from you and wanna check out your services for a site review!!
Have a great day!


Hi Derek… you do reviews?!?!? Sweet, can you do one for free for me? JUST KIDDING.

Just a note to say your comments form has some fields but they are not marked up with what should be filled in with them.


Can’t stand long emails either so thanks for the reality check. Also hate “daily” emails, once a week is fine so I know you’re alive but everyday, it goes straight into the trash and eventually the “unsubscribe”.

Miss Bliss

Good tactic 🙂


*Sigh* If only I had watched this video BEFORE I sent that last email. It was too long. *Sigh*


Good god there are a lot of comments here! Well done, Derek! I will share my stupid email moment, and I bet you haven’t heard this one yet.

A couple of years ago I produced a series of video interviews with people in the Atlanta entertainment industry. Film and TV is pretty big here and the business is booming.

As my show became more popular, I started getting random emails from people asking me how they could audition. I was like, audition? There are no roles to audition for, it’s just me, the host, talking with my guests. I never posted any auditions anywhere either. It made me realize that the – thankfully few – people who did this were likely mass-emailing anyone with a camera and a YouTube account and new nothing about casting – or auditioning for that matter.

Anyway, I just love watching you! So full of personality. Keep up the great work!

Mike Pilcher

Great video and such good useful information!

Thank you!

-Mike Pilcher


I respond to people I know or people who know people I know. I always ignore unknown “froms” and those with misspellings in the subjects.

Thanks Derek!

Paul Dabuco

Great vid Derek. Unconventional wisdom

Gareth Sherry

Actually rather than telling you the dumb email I received…I am actually the dumbass who has made both mistakes numerous times. No wonder my response rate is in the toilet ha. I think I have scared people off even after getting a two way correspondence going with over long email and hitting them with a premature request…

Why is it I feel like I need to vomit every scrap of info on a topic into someone’s inbox thinking that they will sift through the mud to find the gold.

thanks for this Derek, definitely gonna mend my ways!

dobransky firearms

I like the valuable info you provide in your articles.
I’ll boolkmark your blog and check again here regularly.
I’m quite sure I’ll learn lots of new stuff riht here!
Good luxk for the next!

Stephen Brian

Getting excited about reading more. Great blog post.Really looking forward to read more. Great.

LaTonya C.

Hi Derek,

This is a great post and I really enjoyed your video. 🙂

The dumbest email I’ve ever received was from a company contacting me about a recently registered domain. The reason the email was dumb is because the domain I registered was for my marketing consulting business which clearly stated marketing consultants in the domain itself and they were contacting me to offer marketing services.

The person contacting me never even looked at what my domain name was, they just sent me a blanket solicitation email which is very frustrating to say the least, and as you said it was an extremely long email.

When you are contacting someone in an attempt to make a sale you could at least find out what their business does before you try to solicit your own competition.

So from now on whenever I receive a blatantly stupid email solicitation I will reply with a link to your post…Thanks 🙂


Awesome Article. Really Helpful. Thanks for Sharing.

John Wright

I can”t imagine how you F*** with people in your daily routine!


Misspellings and grammatical errors instantly destroy the credibility of the sender! I immediately mistrust the quality of their products or services.


    I Really Agreed with you. Thank you So Much for Nice Feedback.


Love people who share my beliefs…with most emails-I usually lose interest around the 2nd sentence.
As for me, I don’t read any email that refers to me as dear, Lovie, or any other familiar term for me from someone I don’t know – or those with a ridiculous salutation (Dear Goddess?? really??)


Quick question- what about email subject lines that get opened? That’s as important as the email itself in many respects. Thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

Thanks in advance,

Ben W

I’m a photographer, so the dumbest emails I ever get are the ones that ask me to work for free, with the expressed (or worse, implied) promise that I will get a bunch of exposure for my free work. Usually these are for projects that any sane photographer would budget multiple days for, meaning these people want me to give away thousands in lost revenue so that other people who want free labor can see my work.

Karen Osburn

Great video! Funny, dude! For me that’s important. Funny=something I can easily remember.
PDF is amazing. Will definitely use when I launch my new podcast next month for contacting potential guests.
Thank you, and really appreciate all you do!

Dean Deguara

You nailed it. I don’t like to read long emails. I scan for the “main thing.” If I don’t find it immediately could be a couple weeks to respond when I’m bored and cleaning my inbox. Also hate reading emails that are sent out to 10 plus others. Best emails are about the size of tweet for me!

Shawn Dady

Derek…I have never ever seen such a long comment section in my life .

Hey bro…new subscriber here. How are you making money? What do I buy?
Shawn D.

David Cunningham

Great video, I am learning from itt, thanks Dereck!

1. I hate emails from people that request money to purchase a product that I have never expressed any interest in any where on the internet or asnywhere else for that matter. These make me laugh to actually think these people are going to get me to buy, NO CHANCE! Emails from companies that constantly come AFTER I have ignored them repeatedly or expressed to be taken of their mailing lists, these just MAKE ME MAD.

2. Just gave this link to my nephew, je is always trying to email people about one thing or another.


Another great video Derek.

However after just watching your video about the problem with big words I noticed in this video you kept mentioning a word I have never heard before,
“Panhandler?” I had to Google the definition. Could this be an example of “The curse of knowledge?”

Keep the kick ass content coming!


I read the ones if the subject line gets to me!
Funny to watch this video after sending you a lengthy e-mail – probably to get deleted, lol 🙂

Diane Lockman

Derek, you are amazing! I “met” you this week through Marie Forleo’s B-School lesson, and I am now a fan. Thanks for sharing such great content!


Now that is brilliant – I am great at talking about other peoples products but when it comes to my own, it doesn’t flow that easily. Thanks for this, it will help for sure getting the words out of my head and into writing!



Great video, I like how you think.
I don’t like long emails either especially one’s that try to smoooze me..


I am new too all of this. Trying to start from the ground up. What a better way then to do it the right way…
I get job email offers all the time and it’s annoying. Especially when they don’t pertain to my area of study.

I will forward this to my friend who is going to be starting a blog site and you tube site with me.
Thank You



Where is the best place to begin looking for data and research such as the many studies you continually quote?

Many Thanks,

Mike Brunet

Hi Derek,

Thanks so much for being an advocate for psychology and sharing so many great insights. I sent you an email – would love it if you could let me know if your interested in sharing your thoughts and awesomeness on our podcast.



I think email design is king as well! I ignore emails with improper layout, ie no paragraphs and such…

Great video, thanks!

Bharat Tekwani

Great advice Derek.

I usually don’t open any email or even read the headline unless it’s from someone I know or I have subscribed to.. So for me the “From” filter is really important.

And if I want to connect with someone that I think can help me in someway. I try to find them on fb see what they are talking about. I am a programmer and if I want to connect with another programmer & if all they talk & share about is golf on fb then I start talking about golf in the comments & then I introduce myself and talk about what I do. this example is not a fiction.. This is what I did recently..

I have never been on golf course and have never seen a golf club in real life…. but seems like it doesn’t matter.


I like curiosity induced emails such as *You’ll think I’m crazy…*

Crazy about what? I had to open your email Derek to find out why the hell would I agree with you that you’re crazy.

Keep those wonderful emails coming!

Isabella Fuentes

Emails I don’t respond to:

-Emails received a week later from someone I met a week ago or more and they are interested in meeting….by then I have already forgotten who they are and feel that I was not important enough to contact right away

-LinkedIn invites from random people I’ve never met and use the default invitation

-When I post item to sell and they send a one line email asking a question that is obviously answered in the description – means they did not take the time to read a simple bulleted list

-When I post a job and I receive one line emails asking what the salary amount is…means the pay outweighs the experience and they do not value the opportunity

I will definitely reply with a link to then when I get these ridiculous emails!

Thanks, Isabella

Paul N Prince

For dumb emails how about one that says they might have exchanged my background info with someone else, they are being sued and having to give away alot of money and all i have to do is give them my social sec. number to find out if they did this. Also I don’t like long emails or ones with links from someone I don’t know.I like emails that can catch my interest and short ones

KaZ Akers

Hellooo Derek,
Just the other day I had someone, who found me through my website, write me a lovely, glowing email about how great I was and how I inspired him. Then let me know about his projects and how he thought I could fit in with them and how they were worth 9 figures. (yes, you read it right, 9!!) What it REALLY got down to was that he wanted me to “open up my Rolodex” (does anyone use those anymore?) and send him my hard-earned contacts as an entertainment and business success coach, of people who could help him raise money for his projects. The kicker was that he knew I wasn’t the person to help him but I might KNOW the people who could. I am still laughing about it. Of course, when I politely refused and quoted my consultant’s fees, it went silent on the other end. FOR A DAY, then he was back trying to finaegle those “introductions”. Thanks for your tips! KaZ


Emails I like, that get me to read them and respond: Ones that have a touch of friendliness, but are still professional. Short, to the point and I get the feeling I’m being treated as an equal, not their mum and not their kid. Place me on the same footing as you, and I respond.

Emails I don’t like. Arrogance. Ignorance. Treating me like an idiot. Overly emotional, full of woebegone-ness. Overly familiar. Or the passive-aggressive “I’m not trying to sell you anything, honest – her buy this” type emails.

Oh an if you’ve been sending them to me for a year and I’ve not responded once – yeah, definitely time to stop.


Derek, you always make me smile. Thanks for the entertaining and informative messages.

I have 2 sites, one a relationship site, the other a spiritual site. So far, have not figured out how to merge the two.

My worst emails are from people who are asking for a link and ignoring my response, or asking me for a “post” on a book they have written.
My issue with both of these is I seldom if EVER link to a site or product I have not used or a book I have not read.
I am very protective of what I promote, especially on the spiritual site. Lots of room for flim flamery in that category.
The worst reason I had from an author as to why he could not send me his book to review was that Amazon did not allow him to give it away.
What? That was my response, followed by “Good Luck with your book”.

Thanks for all!

Katie Felten

I generally respond to short, friendly and personal emails.
Showing that they read or know something about me or if they compliment me on something I did.

I hate the ones that start out by “I want to pick your brain” ughhhhh and I don’t want lunch..

Sandra Weisner

So right about design being king, tmi will kill a marketing piece. Re: this video, you asked what I respond to in an e-mail? First, is this something that I can relate to and second, is the word free prominent within the first line or two. Don’t suppose it applies to this particular facet of marketing.


I also don’t usually entertain long emails. In addition to that I almost never continue to read to anything that implies they know what my emotional response is going to be. Like “you’re going to love this” or “you can’t live without X”. The other thing off the top of my head that immediately turns me off, is “I’m ___, I founded one of the top blah blah, followed by more blah blah blah”.

If I were going to send let’s say Derek an email, and hope for a response it would be something like this: Hi Derek, I hope this email isn’t interrupting your day too much, as I know you’re probably very busy. My name is Danielle, and I just wanted to thank you for all the content you provide on your social triggers site. I just watched your ‘How to email influential people’ video and found it very helpful.

If it’s not too much to ask, would it be ok to ask you a few follow up questions OR whatever it is that I’m looking to find out/do/etc… If now is just not a good time, I completely understand and thank you very much in advance in for the time you’ve already given me reading this message.

Best Regards,
P.S. I have shared this video on all my social networks


This is great information! Thanks!!
Emails I don’t like getting contain this:
“I have a giveaway which would be beneficial for your readers. It’s about this and this”.
What I wonder about though is what you write into the responding email that has the link if you want you to have THEM do something for you?


I have a website on creating business plans, and you would be amazed at how many people want to tell them how to get business financing. No, you wouldn’t be amazed — you’ve seen this happen. Yeesh, folks just don’t get it. Great post. Thank you.

Michael O'Brien

I don’t respond to very poorly worded emails, or ones where they seem to be on something. It almost always turns out to be a crazy person on the other side, who will end up wasting our time. I’ve gotten two emails this week that incoherently explained a website, or something, they wanted me to make. I couldn’t tell what they were talking about by the end of the first or second sentence.

People are insane, and do not self moderate. I do, however, read all of the emails I get about the free land, and money, that I have waiting for me in Africa.

Life rules as a long lost prince.


I can tell you that I might not be anyone of importance, but I hate long emails. I don’t understand the point of receiving a long, drawn out explanation of anything. I believe teasers are the best. If I want to read more, I will let you know.

I also like videos instead of letters. I get too many every day and any person that sends a video that explains what the letter says will get my attention. Thanks for the info.

Evelyn Ivy

Another earth shattering post from you. I will be applying your tips and will let you know how it works out for me. Thanks for sharing.


This is great, thanks for sharing!

The most off-the-wall request I’ve had was from a potential client who was a wine supplier – he couldn’t afford to pay me in cash so asked if I’d possibly work for wine…..

    Katie Felten

    I would have said yes to that 🙂


Hello Derek,

Sharing websites with friends is something I very rarely do, unless it is Facebook because it is easier to click the share button when I am busy online. I really do not know many peoples email. Who emails anymore on a personal level? Texting and Facebook sharing is my level of communicating with others on a personal level. I tend to give feedback through ? Comments. With that said, onto my comment about sharing info in an email where people respond. It is a know fact that in psychology, people who feel they are missing out on something will respond with a sale faster than giving the information away. For example, if I tell you that the new cars on a lot are on sale for a limited time, but you want to just shop around before you make up your mind, chances are you will consider buying now because you do not want to miss out on the “great” sale that is going on now.


Networking by email has been on my to-do list for too damn long. Time to get at it – your examples are great so I’m going to adapt them tomorrow and get started. Thanks for sharing!

My pet peeve: emails from content bloggers who can’t be bothered to check my site (which has clearly posted guest guidelines), can’t be bothered to use my name (easily found on my site), offer posts about everything but editing/writing (my blog topic), and don’t use proper English! Not only do I refuse to hire these people, but I block their emails.


I’ve gotten several emails and messages asking for advice, answers to survey questions, and experiences for a research study. In almost all cases, they were hit and runs. I would provide what I thought were complete and useful answers, and they go silent forever.

Does it piss me off? Yes, it cuts into my work time, and it leaves me hanging. But I will still continue to invest my time. It feels exciting to help people, and on the off chance it develops into a good relationship, it will have been worth it.

Maybe I’m not busy enough? In any case, I hate being ignored, so the natural thing to do is to not ignore people who ask me for help, unless the person is asking for a huge favor. In that case, I might follow up with a question for clarification or suggestion to cut it down to one specific thing.


The emails that get deleted first are the spammy ones. The ones that say, “Do this one this one thing and get paid $5,000 a day!” Ugh, stop wasting my time. Yes, I do like short, sweet, and to the point. Most of all, don’t insult my intelligence.

connie curtis

Great information. I am just starting a business your great and so is Maria folero. This is great since I do have people that I havent spoken to that I will be emailing and this gives me something to work with since just pulling it out of my butt.



Hey Derek,

As a person working in Business Development under the Marketing umbrella, I get solicitation emails too often. I hate disingenuous emails. Even cookie cutter emails can be warm; you know this. I usually ignore the email, or respond that the organization I work for doesn’t engage in cold cultures.

I also ignore emails that spell our company name wrong or use our old company name- which was changed three years ago.


Hi Derek,
I once got an email from a ‘literary agent’ who presented no references, but wanted me to send him my full manuscript (years of work), along with an offer to consider representing me. Red flag much?


Great info – I truly appreciated it. One important element for discussion was missing, though. I’m talking about the subject line. What did you write for the subject line to entice the influential person to open up the email?

Amy DiLamarra

So the other day I received an email with the words “pretty hunter” in the subject. I’ve seen things like “trend hunter” etc used in reference to fashion stuff so I didn’t think much of it. Instead, it was an email about women hunters, complete with a picture of a woman posing with a dead Deer. Turns out it was from a women who used to buy my jewelry for her catalogue. She has since closed down that business and started something else that has to do with hunting. I don’t judge, but I do think you should probably make sure to only add people who are really into hunting to a list like that. I’m a California girl, who’s never held a gun in my life. It was actually hilarious.

Rebekah Richards

Most unbelievable email I got was from a new LinkedIn contact. Couldn’t believe their approach which was written in texting grammar and then first asked for me to work for them for free up front and second promoted their MLM.

can u help a 52 yr old
disabled real estate broker?
or call text me at xxx-xxx-xxxx

ur idea sounds great, i pay u when
i get paid with ur system ok
xxx@gmail.com call txt my
cell xxx-xxx-xxxx

if u wanna lose wieght and make money check this out
it will cost u about $10.00 for the starter kit
making $1000.00 plus a month

Adam Blanch


I’m not talking about the PDF, haven’t read that yet. But the two requests you make asking me to contribute to you and to a ‘friend’ of mine. Participation marketing at it’s best.


For a couple of months, I patiently opened and skimmed most emails from a well-know, successful marketer. Back then, I was still starting to climb the Internet Marketing learning curve, so I welcomed every bit of advice, useful information… Not much of this in her messages, but some nuggets here and there.

Her stylebook was “hey, I am sharing ALL my personal life with you, ’cause we are so so so close friends now” (this in a playful, happy happy thingy dingy voice).

Then, one day I received a copywriting masterpiece starting like this:

“Hey Juanfer!
It’s been a great, sunny day here. Wow! Hope it is the same, wherever you are!”

Wherever you are? What the heck! Why not “whatever you do”? “whoever you be, you insignificant flea”?

Now, when I open my email client and feel overwhelmed about the size of my inbox, I smile and relax remembering the unsubscribe link is right at the bottom. Waiting…


Hi Derek,
I ignore long boring emails, I read short emails and long interesting emails 😀

Tom Justin

This was my first exposure to your videos today. Extremely well done, thank you. I’ll pass them on.

I’ve had the privileged of meeting and even working with some of the top celebrities in the world. John Wayne made coffee for me and then ordered out for lunch in his office when I was about 22. Larry King and I used to have lunch every couple of months when I lived in S. California. Sorry to drop names, and there are more too! LOL

Your technique is great and on the money. I’d add two things, 1, never say something like, “I’m your biggest fan.” 2, Find something you have in common. That last one’s not always easy, but when you do and it’s not silly and you’re not fawning over them, it can be a relationship builder.

This is long but it’s not an email. Right? : )

Paul O'Neill

Busy people – ROFL!!! Thanks Derek

Interesting video – I run a magazine ad busy news website. We get inundated with ‘pan-handlers’ every day wanting their PR to be included in our magazine/website for FREE !!! I wonder if they sell their products to their customers for FREE???
We are an established company (more than 20 years) and have a great reputation.
Every PR we send we respond to with a fantastic offer, giving 3 options for one price, yet still people refuse to pay. We even upload their PR to the website for FREE without so much of a thank you.

Any ideas how we can convert more would be hugely appreciated!


Personally I have been guilty of sending too long e-mails to people I have connected with on a personal level. In most cases they did end up being ignored in the past. That’s why I quit doing it.

Also, I don’t like people who fill e-mails with loads of stuff out of context, instead of sticking to the subject.

I like e-mails that are short, informative and easy to read.

Kris Roxas

Don’t know which is the dumbest email I’ve received, but I’ve received a few.

Richard Ford

The worst emails I get are people who have been so self-deprecating in describing who they are that I worry about their well-being… Then they ask for help having already told me why I shouldn’t want to help them.


You crack me up, Derek. 😉 Love your videos.

Alex Adams

Hi Derek,

Great article and video, I’ve recently signed up and I’ve downloaded your PDF for this evening’s reading.

I instantly ignore speculative mails that don’t greet me directly. It takes less than a minute on my site to figure out my name – if people are looking for a serious response or any at all the least they can do is address me by my name.


Aaron Hendon

I don’t remember any really bad ones but the best one was a follow up that said something like:

Sorry if I seem to be pestering you but could you just let me know which category this falls in and I will act accordingly:
1. I am interested – let’s set up a time to talk.
2. I am interested but this is not a good time – try again next month.
3. I am not now, nor have I ever been interested – leave me alone.



I like your approach. I have one nagging thought though – it seems to go against the advice of making their life as easy as possible. I would have assumed that including the link is making it easy and making them ask for it is making their life harder. Could you explain why it works despite that?

Thank you.

Jack Bobeck


I agree with you, long emails are a waste in my day. I can’t believe ‘gurus’ teach others to send long 10-page emails, who reads them? An email should be no more than 3 paragraphs, 3 sentences each. First paragraph is introduction last sentence leads to body in 2nd paragraph, which is the meat, which leads to the conclusion, end and finally signature. If you never took composition in High School or College, it shows up in emails!

Keep up the great work!

Wendy Tomlinson

So love short and to the point emails from real people (not robottie blah,blah, blah emails).


Do you have any suggestions about sending email soliciting a job?

Thank you

    Jack Bobeck

    I’d enhance my LinkedIn Profile, that is where recruiters mine for data on people. Update your profile, skills, and have people come to you. Link back your blog data to LinkedIn, make it part of your authorship on Google……people will find you, if your message is relevant to their need.

    Best of luck to you,

Kathy Klotz-Guest

For me – I get a lot of unsolicited “can I pick your brain?” it’s not bounded in scope, it has no focus and it has nothing to do with me – just my brain;-)

I also get guest blog requests – I don’t feature them. If people read my blog, they’d know.

Finally – I get link requests and infographics requests…my blog is listed in Alltop under marketing, so I get a lot of “Dear influencer…. please link to my stuff. blah, blah, blah….”

Those are the 3 I get most. Yikes!


I don’t respond to emails that randomly compliments something about what I did, most often it’s nothing about what I do and then they ask me for help.

And THanks for the video and the pdf. It helped.


My favorite funny e-mail was from a “soldier in Afghanistan” who had stumbled across a barrel of cash by the road. If I would just forward him my banking info, he’d deposit the cash and we’d share it 🙂

Maria From Club Wellness

I do not read any long emails, I do not respond to long emails, I do not click on every link on en email, I HATE it when people email me more than once a day doing nothing but offering me more and more products and the have the guts to say things like you must be crazy if you don´t get this. . You are missing on the opportunity of a life time..

Jeff Grant

A total refreshed view on what, has always worked, online and offlline, but been drowned out by the so called, and professed “GURU’S”. The pychology behind this isnt that complicated. KISS is always the best way, and thank you for re introducing the basics.

Thai Wood

Here’s the article Derek was talking about in the video: http://socialtriggers.com/content-is-king-myth/

Its a great read that I’m putting to use today!


Derek, this was so inspirational! You have given me an idea for an experiment. Thank you!


Hi Derek,

Just signed up with social triggers. Love this idea. I get a lot of stupid LONG, emails, the ones that are really dumb are the ones that I have no idea, what the benefit to me is, but they want me to buy something.


Hey Derek,

I read the PDF which is SUPER awesome, but you don’t explain what you do once they ask for the research. For instance, in the email example with the university study, how do you persuade them to publish your content once they ask for the research?



Hey Derek,

just in time for the launch of my first product and podcast, thank you!

So, I find myself here on a Friday night drafting emails to influencers to apply what you have shared.

Eager to try it out!


Eve Gumpel

The emails I delete are from individuals I might have met briefly at a networking event who follow up with an obvious plea for me to join their multi-level marketing company.


Dang. I am SO long winded, therefore completely guity of Rule 1.

I dont even open emails if the subject line says the word LEARN. Ironically I am one who hungers for knowledge… but if I need to learn something, Ill google it. And “Learn” emails typically want you to pay for something.

Also, anything bossy- no thank you. Requesting is one thing but telling me that if I dont do XYZ, Im doomed to failure.

Thank you for the advice. It was very helpful!


Michaela Kennedy

What a relief to watch this one, Derek. I don’t feel so bad now about not “liking” every Charlie and his dog’s FB page requests. “Rogue requests” LOL – you do have a way with words, cheers!

Avromy Segal

I am going to use this. thanks!

Phil Maguire

The ones where they pretend to be Facebook or Support or Accounts are pretty dumb.
But my award for “Dumbest Approach” goes to anyone who pretends to be my friend and pretends to be replying to something I sent them. What the Fudge! Do they think I don’t know who my friends are and what I send out? Do they think I’ m suffering from dementia or short term memory loss? Delete!


I only open email from sources I know and mostly expected. All others are tagged as junk and the deleted items folder is emptied about once a day. I don’t form relationships based on email. If I need something, I will research it on the web and initiate from there. Due to US law, unsolicited emails are iffy anyway, and are nearly always spam. The take-away? If you want someone to read your message, piggy-back on someone else’s message. I occasionally look at MarketingProfs email, which I requested. I may occasionally follow an unknown link from there. But read blind email? Never.

Joan Harbin

Loved your video – and the PDF is great. But your email content doesn’t matter if the recipient doesn’t open it. I’ll peruse your blog to see what you have written/recorded about that. We’re B2B – it’s getting harder and harder to get people to engage!

Rowena List

Thanks for a very informative video. I never read emails that are not addressed specifically to me or ones that are addressed to my company name. I also do not read long emails or ones that I feel have gone out to loads of people. These emails are like pasta. They are throwing it out there and seeing what sticks.
I look forward to trying your tips and getting massive results.

Joey Giangola

Hey Derek,

Fantastic, practical and most of all useful advice and information. Can’t get any better than that.

While I did my best to read through most of the comments, so if this was answered before, my apologies. I have one question that wasn’t address.

What about the subject line?

Would you mind sharing a sample subject line you have used?

I am always afraid my come off sounding spamy or uninteresting.

Thanks for your time, it’s much appreciated.


I generally follow this rule of thumb. I’d prefer people to say “I don’t understand exactly what you are asking.” then no response at all. Not saying that is my preferred response just one that is better than none.

I love the SEO unsolicited emails. “We’ll get you ranked to #1 in no time” then a ton of other poorly written sentences. (I thought my grammar was bad!)

Also- I love unsolicited grant requests (we are a social business). We do not even have our grant program up yet because we are so new and need to focus on building positive cash flow first.


Hey tienes carisma para las cámaras…
gracias por todo lo que compartes… for free!!

Yotam Ariel

Very nice! Thank you, Derek.

I answer emails which in essence have what I’m working on:
bringing solar to villagers in developing countries.

I don’t answer emails which say – Dear Sir/Madam, or Hi,
in short, if someone wouldn’t even bother to write my name,
why should I answer?

Max Miller

How true. The time I spend at Social Triggers always pays off.
The biggest surprise that I had was a telephone call from a stranger asking me questions about my website. Where did I get the software? Who designed the site? But the big one was…Can I copy your website?

Wenda C

Thanks, for the reminder to keep my e-mails short even if I am reaching out to be helpful, like passing on useful information. Keep it short.


Great video, this helped me a few times.

Most of the time I get spammed because of a link exchange. They haven’t seen this video yet I suppose. A rude email like; “place my link on your website and I will do the same”.

Keep up the good work! 🙂

Wendy Krueger

Just finished watching your interview with Scott for his CWA course.

Your first rule made me laugh. That is my rule for all emails. It if is more than one screen or you have to use the scroll bar, it is too long! ADD sets in.

I recently received an email from someone that I thought was spam. It was clear we met somewhere before, but it screamed “mass email”. They were in their job search and obviously looking for help. Instead of tailoring it to each person or writing it a way that acknowledged they were sending it to several people, it just came off looking very generic. I emailed the person back anyway asking to remind me where we met. The response was definitely bad: “Your name was in a stack of cards.” I kid you not, they actually wrote that.

Delisa Toole

Just discovered you TODAY – through Scott Dinsmore interview.

I dislike emails that are lead in’s – example…. you have a life threatening disease – click this link – to subscribe to the 3 set video that will tell you how to live.

I would rather people say – I would love to share with you three things that will bring life to your dieing body.
1. 2. 3. Boom. If you want to explore deeper click to this link to explore.

Quit treating me like I am a monkey click thru ape.


I had the emails that say a friend gave us your name, then proceed as if they really do know me. When you get to the bottom of the email you are requested to click on a link that leads you to something that they are selling. Of course they say it is free until you click on the link and find out there is a cost. Very annoying.

Robert Szymaniak

Hi Derek,

You are doing an extraordinary job here 🙂 Congratulations!

I personally try to read every e-mail I receive. I only ignore the obvious SPAM and other auto-generated, inpersonal messages.

For me, the most iritating e-mails are those, where people want something from me, but give me no reason to do that for them. They seem not to care how I would benefit from helping them.

It gets even worse. One person wanted me to place a link to his blog on my site. The problem was, he never asked for it! Not a single sentence was devoted to asking me for help.

He wrote all about his blog, his plans for the future and the FACT that he was now searching for people to exchange links with him. I accidentally happend to be one of them 😉

Sorry buddy! You haven’t used the magic word 😉

Thanks for all the great insights you share, Derek!
You rule man!


Here’s a doozy from a famous Oscar-winning NYC company who was looking for a type of illustration I have done in the past: “We really love your work, but we need 24 images. We can’t afford 24, so here’s payment for 1. We’re sure the exposure working with our company will get you more leads and more work.”

Uh, NO! I asked the director on the other end of the phone: “Tell me, how many shirts do you pay for when you go to the mall?” I went on to remind him that his invisible dangling carrot didn’t pay my very real mortgage. Needless to say, the correspondence ended.

Derek…your stuff is consistently delicious! Thanks for the solid info and your terrific sense of humor.

Marlys Arnold

I recently received a connection request on LinkedIn from someone I’ve never heard of before with the following message:
“While I was searching LinkedIn for a Author in Kansas, I found your profile. I could use your help. I would like to extend my professional network with you. I look forward to connecting with you soon.”
Underneath the message was a laundry list of every possible way to contact this person, along with “Joint Ventures – Lead Generation – Contact me TODAY for FREE assessment”

While I am an author (in Missouri, not Kansas), my gut reaction was that this sounded like a sales pitch, and after investigating her company a bit further, I’m pretty sure it was. I did however respond with a quick “How can I help you?” … to which she never replied. She definitely didn’t score any points with me!


I received an email from a marketing coach saying “you must have this ___ for your business, there’s only 5 left”… Well, all that’s fine except it was the same email they’d send a couple days earlier. I understand the so-called pressure they’d hope to arouse in me. But instead I thought, how dumb! If it’s so valuable why do they still have 5 left after 2 days? If no one else is buying, I’m not either.
I also didn’t like the pressure, “buy this from me or fail” or “do this or die” …. I know that’s extreme, but you get my point.

Ken Sandy

The most frustrating email I receive, and I tend to get them quite often is the one from abroad stating that they need me to go to a bank and help them with a wire transaction that usually is in the millions. REALLY? The story that typically goes with it is over the top.

Troy Vayanos

I respond to short emails Derek where I don’t have to do too much.

I prefer not to have to click on extra links that lead to long videos or lots of material to read.

Short and sweet is best


Hi Derek,

Thanks for sharing this information, it reminds me part of the book from Dale Carnegie “How to get friends and influence people” that gives you some examples on how to write a letter, in this case are emails.. But has the same approach.



I love all your recent posts on emailing people and getting a response.

Here’s a suggestion for a future post:
– What to do when you don’t get a reply from the people you’ve emailed
– How not to sound annoying or impatient when following up with people who haven’t replied you back
– What to do if you know the person has read your message and hasn’t replied (Facebook’s Seen feature, tracking email opens using Tout, etc)

    Susan Ross

    Great suggestion.


LOL, to dang funny. You know, just the other day this guy emailed me a looong email asking for a review copy of one of my products.

Now I usually don’t mind giving away a “legitimate” review copy, but this particular product is only $10 bucks. Come on now, really!!!

Anyway, I took your advice and sent him this video post 😉

Ryan OLoughlin

Wow. Amazing stuff. Seriously thanks for sharing those insights, Derek. A few friends recommended your site recently, and after watching this video, I think you hooked me as a loyal fan.

Worst email? Some guy from Nigeria asking me for money. He always does that! When will he learn!….(hopefully you detected my sarcasm here)…No, but in general I just get annoyed when people expect you to do something for them out of the blue, which you already covered in the video.

Brad Travers

Great post Derek!

Worst emails I get? The one’s from folks that try to convince me it’s in my best interest to provide them hours of free training under the guise of a mentorship when it is obvious they just don’t want to pay for coaching.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal but no thanks!


Marcus Grip

Yeah I hate long and small text e-mail.. doesn’t matter how intriguing the title is.. I usually just throw it away. The people I open mails from are the ones I know gives value, and usually write a short text and include a link to a video or article if I want to know more.. way better than include the whole frikkin’ article in the mail!

And using like 14px on the text instead of 12px or 10px actually helps me, it’s easier to read and I get caught on it. Not sure why but I do.


Well I must have been lucky…I had that same email asking for my bank account details so that I could have lots put into my bank account. I provided it and received £70,000 the very next day…then I woke up!


Derek, as a group all of the “get rich quick scams”. Yeah right – I’m going to send them my checking account number so they can wire my grandmother’s aunt Sally’s inheritance to my bank.

Thanks for the informative & valuable emails.


I read emails from people I have context with…or from those who tell me THEY have context with someone I have context with.

Valerie Federoff

I like short and to the point email. I am guilty of in the past taking up people’s valuable time by writing long email to get my point across. Now I understand. I am busy. AWAI made a promise that was almost too good to be true. I would not have bought into it except they said I could get all my money back if unsatisfied. Then they sent one very long email after another trying to sell me something else. They didn’t make any sales and I got my money back.
Thank you.

Etosha Lankatilleke

Hey Halpern,

Great Stuff as usual!

Your video quality has really taken off since
the last time I watched one of your videos…

Ruth Currah

Oh, yes, my name shows up instead of Psychotoons because I am too computer challenged to figure out how to change that, got an idea or a contact who could help me, cheap as my pants are not smart.

Ruth Currah

Oh, yes, I forgot to mention. I can not remember your name, too many names, they all sound alike. I love the Blog Tyrant, what a wonderful image to remember, I always spot him, think about a catchy name for yourself, like, Smarty Pants, I loved it when whats her name called you Smarty Pants. Why can’t I remember her name??? Something to do with radio, was it rain?

Ruth Currah

I can NOT tell you what e-mails I do not like because I do not read them. I only read e-mails I like and they seem to be the ones with the information gap points you talk about and short, to the point, with graphics, or a joke. I get tired of subscribing and usually quit reading them, esp if they are too frequent and I don’t even play games on the iPad. They need to be simple and SAY something, not dribble on and on about who knows what, I don’t know cause I do not read them. You are simple, fill the gap, with pics even if its only you and you get to the point. But I am tired of filling out your subscribes, my email is too cluttered. Keep up the good work.


The stupidest email I received was some kind of chain letter supposedly from a guy in Nigeria who had inherited a fortune. He claimed he wanted my bank account information so that he could deposit the money there, because he couldn’t do it in Nigeria for some oddball reason.

After I buy one product from a store, or order one product online from some service, I often start getting useless ads for more of their stuff that I don’t want. Examples: I bought a Cisco router over a year ago, and they periodically send me ads for more of their stuff that I don’t need. Adobe also loves sending me ads since I bought one of their products. Usually I just delete those. If I have an extra minute, I’ll take the time to unsubscribe.


Yes, “there is no such thing as something for nothing,” Napoleon Hill said…
At the beginning of this PDF document, there are words “What can I do to help the person I’m emailing? ”
Now, I wanna know something…
I’m a screenwriter and say a day will dawn that I have finished my next script, and I want to contact a prominent agent who is affiliated with a prominent studio. What can I offer an agent in turn for taking time to read and promote my screenplay?


Wish I saw this before sending emails to boutique owners trying to score a meeting, and establish a wholesale account with them. :/

I often receive emails from fashion bloggers, with less than 100 readers requesting free jewelry in exchange for them wearing it on their blog…

Katharine Trauger

I do not respond quickly to folks who misspell my name.
Katharine Trauger (me) is a writer.
Katherine Trager is a copyright lawyer.

    Veronika Freeman

    I’m with you! My name is the German spelling – and I’m pretty sure I’d use the correct spelling in my email address – so when people open with “Dear Veronica” I know they’re not reading, not caring, or letting spell-check run rampant.
    If they don’t care to get your name right you don’t want to know what else they don’t care to get right…


      Absolutely, Veronika! 🙂

      On Twitter, I use #KathaTrau to force people to notice the “a” in my first name, and the “u” in my last. Doesn’t help one bit.

      When they respond to my blogposts and misspell my name, I go in and correct it. Maybe I’m OCD? I don’t really care, though.

        Veronika Freeman

        I actually have some friends that call me “Veronika with a K” as a nickname! I too will correct my name in posts – especially on LinkedIn.

        My maiden name was Feesche (fine old impossible German name) Easy to pronounce but impossible for people to spell or say (even though it’s “fee-she” – easy right?). When I got engaged people actually asked me if I was going to hyphenate!

        People are lazy and crazy sometimes…


          Oh, I figured out I could just click on your name. I forgot that. Not such a good memory anymore. However, I like your site, too, especially that you also provide a “boy” version!


          Thanks a million for the compliment! I actually have two, but forget which one I posted here. 🙂 How did you find it?!

          Veronika Freeman

          I used to get “fishlips” and “something smells fishy around here” until 10th grade -then it was “feces”… didn’t matter how cute they were when they said that!

          My mom used to do a lot of rebating so we got crazy mail too…

          BTW, you have a very nice blog.


          Ha. You should try Heerboth (hur-both)for impossible German names! Not even in our own family do we all pronounce it right.

          My folks used to get mail to “Hairbath”, “Humbolt”, and other variations. Every year, in school, I was the only one who had to pronounce my last name over and over for the teacher to learn it. In school, boys teased me by calling me “Telephone Booth”. It’s funny, now, but ah, well, the cutest ones I didn’t mind so much …

Kent Sanders

Derek, thanks so much for your great content. I don’t remember how I came across your site, but I’ve really benefited from your stuff. To answer the question you asked in your video, I love emails that are short and to the point. I typically go “Ugh!” when I get a long one. There is a co-worker who always sends at least a paragraph!

Thanks again.

The Flying Couponer

The dumbest email that I have ever received was from someone that I don’t even know: “”Please, add our link to your blog.”. Really? Just like that LOL. You made my day Dereck, you replied to my tweet in less than 5 seconds. *Happy Dance*


Worst/funniest emails I get are “hey, we can help you with your google rankings!” … How did you hear about us? “Google”. :-/

Derek, could you tell me the name of the plugin you are using for the “Recommended for you” window in the lower righthand corner? Nice.


Thank you Derek–I found your site a few weeks ago and you are helping me to tweak some things to produce more results. Much appreciated!!!


“I am in your area and noticed your website needs help”.

Dr Rajka @expatdoctormom

Thanks for the tips Derek!

I dislike emails and phone calls that start out under the guise that someone is trying to help me when in actuality, they are the ones who want something form me.

Really has gotten out of hand and is so offensive that it is even coming from friends now…


Kenneth Vogt

It may be that the hardest part about this is to stop wanting so hard. If I really, really want Derek Halpern or Tony Robbins or Oprah to do something for me, it will be hard to focus on the only thing that will get this outcome: doing something for them that they want. Derek’s advice will all fall flat if you don’t get your head and your heart in the right place first.

Marcos M

Awesome video Derek, as usual.

I have a poker online related website in Spanish. I have received emails from guys that call themselves “link exchangers” which I don’t know if that’s a thing anyway. So, what they do is grab the message they want to send to me and I assume they go to Google Translate, put the message in there and click translate into Spanish and then sen that to me. That message, doesn’t make any sense for me, that’s like you give a laptop to an Indian to write something.

I have also received emails form gays who work in the poker rooms that pretend that I give their room a better position in my rankings over the ones that are the best and convert my visitors into real players. They say that their room is better but they’re actually not. They have begged also.

That bothers me.


I am extremely curious about what title did you used in your e-mail, like John previously asked 🙂 ?

Your PDF was great. Thank you!

Debi Slinger

Another great video. Have forwarded to 4 friends who are signing up to your site. Awesome.

Tisa Yonts

Love your style of delivery:)!!!

Hammad Baig

Hi Derek,
Wow.. you really know your stuff.. Not only did I post a comment, I also READ a huge number of them!


Great post and oh boy can I share stories about receiving stupid email requests. I create organic chemistry tutorial videos on YouTube. I will often get compliments and thank you emails
Last week i received an email saying “I request you to make videos on” followed by a long list of topics

Charles @ CodeConquest.com

I implemented your email formula and wrote to an influential site in my niche, and while they said no to endorsing me on their site (reasoning given was they can’t endorse any one blogger) I have built a connection with an influential party which I’m sure will benefit me in the future.

Buntu Redempter

Very cool. Thank you for sharing!

Alex Jamieson

Great tips, D!

Linda Gillis

I wish someone would ask me for something unreasonable. Unfortunately, I get very little traffic to my website and email. Lot of work to do! Love your advice.


I almost never comment, however i did some searching and wound up here How to email influential
people (and get responses FAST). And I do have a couple of questions
for you if you usually do not mind. Is it simply me or does it look as if
like some of these responses come across like written by brain dead folks?

😛 And, if you are writing on additional online social sites,
I would like to keep up with anything new you have to post.

Would you list of the complete urls of all your communal sites like your
Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?


Any email that starts with lots of words without telling me the point of the email, simply turns me off to the point of turning them off, and often unsubscribing.
I enjoy entertainment like you and Marie Forleo while educating. That is how I conduct my presentations, and what I should be doing on my blog & web site via videos.
Thanks for inspiration and tips.

Adeline Yuboco

Most annoying e-mail(s) I’ve ever received was from this person demanding that I post this article attached in the email in my blog as a guest post at a specific date. I just deleted it. Best part of it? The person e-mailed me back demanding an explanation why the post hasn’t been posted. UGH! Seriously!?!

Susan Ross

Uh oh! I send out e-mails without people’s names if I want to contact a lot of people with the same msg. Judging from the comments here I guess I’ll stop doing that. Live and learn.

Speaking about people wanting things for free, I hate when people offer their e-books on Amazon for free. I think it devalues their work. It takes me thousands of dollars and about a year of work to produce a book (I self-publish picture books). If I give it out for free how do I make money to write more books? Not really relevant, just a thought. Whoops, hope this isn’t too long.

Very funny and informative video. Thanks Derek.

Nic Natarella


I’m sincerely confused. I’m trying to build my “blog empire” but I’m not seeing the difference between “free website critique” and all the other free content you provide: your “Email Influential People” pdf, videos, downloads, etc. Where/how do you draw the line?

The best emails I get are the ones from a long lost relative in London or Nigeria – evidently, I’ve got MILLIONS waiting for me!!


Love your videos. My 17 years old son used to hit his hand to his forehead just like you when he was little and his older brothers were teasing him. Did you also have older brothers and do the same thing?


Great video! I recently received an email so poorly written that anytime I need a smile I retrieve it from the archives. What’s worse is that it was sent from the VP of a very large company we were considering hiring for outside services. Keep it short and read it at least twice before hitting the send button.


Any suggestions for tweeking your emails for requesting JV partnerships? Thanks for the pdf.



Hi! I dont remember how I stumbled on this site, but the video interested me. As for emails I received, not a lot who want to sell to me. I dont read generic website generated mail, though.

Mridu Parikh

Hey Derek,
This post is very timely as I was just about to approach a successful blogger…and I’d be doing it all wrong. I’m excited to try your approach and will let you know how it turns out.

Cheptiony Mutai

I love this video. You have the authority. I run a business and its slowly as I am learning a bit of social triggers to succeed in the field. You are really pulling it.

This is the e-mail that usually puts me off from continuing to read
…. we are requesting you to donate to the needy children in (…………………) home. Send your contribution to the following account……………………… yours faithfully

I am left wondering why on earth should I send by hard earned cash..because they are needy! Naaa…I am not sure if the person/sender is using it for scam…or so..

This a wonderful video of the week.


I’m here because I’m finally doing all that social media stuff that I’ve heard so much about.
Currently my email pet peeve is people “inviting” me to events on FaceBook. They some how put me in their events and then I get every post that anyone makes in the group. I get rid of pretty much all of them and often go on to ignore the people who sent them. Unless I already knew the event was happening or if it’s critical to me in some way (best friend’s birthday party is a good example, you mentor’s best friend’s class on basket weaving is a bad example). But ugh, why do I need to be spammed with all the comment everyone makes about some event by some people I’ve never heard of!

Cathy | Treatment Talk

Love the information. The email samples are very helpful. Good advice to make it about the other person. The craziest email I have received recently is from someone who said they write travel articles. They had found my site and said they would love to write a travel article for me. While I love to travel, my site is on addiction and recovery, so not such a great fit.

Anna Long

If anyone I didn’t really know sent me a email that use the word “King” to describe something as the most important…I would delete it. I hate anything King. Just saying. King Henry the 8th sucked bad.


I love your videos…they’re so informative. Especially this one. Sometimes, I’m not always sure how to apply it…but at least I have the knowledge in my back pocket. This part of the business world is so interesting and I look forward to Social Triggers TV!


Great video. My takeaway is:

Be helpful. Be concise. Be credible.

Since my current website has been live for only 24 hours and my previous design work has all been through word of mouth, I don’t get requests beyond the Viagra and p*nis enlargement emails. Here’s to becoming popular!



Very practical advice and the step by step breakdown is excellent. Offering a complement at the beginning or establishing credibility is perhaps the most important because you don’t want to lose the reader at that point. Next step is to apply some of these principles!!

Jenn Burton/ Have Him Your Way

Damn Derek… I have to scratch that off my to-do list… I was so looking forward to your free website review lol…

I really enjoy how you break down your content. My first introduction to you was when you reviewed Laura Roeder’s site. But I think my favorite so far was your interview with Marie F. Sweet dance moves;)

Funny but the free requests don’t bother me… usually they are very heartfelt (at least with my audience, it might be different for others) but you certainly make valid points…


Hi Derek,
Firstly “excellent video” brother. I just did not know how soon the 6 minutes went over. You really don’t bore your viewers.
Well I just hate long emails. Getting many emails daily who has time to read something very long and at last get to know that he just wasted his time reading something which was not at all of his need.
A simple few liner mail always works with me along with a link to the site. I am always happy to go to a website and read the stuffs that matters rather than reading a lengthy email.

Rich Brooks

Um, since I asked you for a (free) blog eval during your presentation at BlogWorld in LA last year, does that count? It wasn’t email, after all! 😉

Of course, it led to me interviewing your at FastCompany.com and you delivering a knock-out performance at my Agents of Change conference, so I’m glad I took the chance.

Your number one pan-handling fan.


This is a great content, but I have a question: before opening the e-mail, people decide whether if they’ll open it or not depending on the subject. How can I make “attractive” subjects to increase open rates?



Jeff Russell

Dumbest e-mail? The one from a former college student of mine who had graduated a couple of years ago and wanted a recommendation letter for a graduate program. She had barely passed my class, didn’t pay attention when she was in class, and had not ever been in touch with me except for that one class. What was she thinking? Actually, maybe she wasn’t. I didn’t write the letter.


Hi Derek,

You are spot on and I am very grateful to Marie Forleo for having introduced me to you! I am launching my second business, and your tips come in really handy.

For my first business, I see one type of unbelievable e-mail come in over and over again. It is from people and businesses who do not check out what I do. People contact me out of the blue, send me resumes, cooperation proposals, sometimes even state that they’ve looked at my web site and are writing to me as as result when they clearly have no clue who they’re writing to. Two things give them away. 1) They contact me assuming my business is a very different type of business (because they purchased a database with e-mail addresses?). 2) They call me Sir.

I forwarded the link to your video to a friend in New York because I think the same strategy may also be useful in helping someone secure their dream job.


Tahlia Meredith

I got a great email at work last week. I could eventually see that the writer was hoping to meet my boss to introduce a new product that he felt could help the community. Rather than explaining that though, his message was basically:

Mr BlahBlah,
I need a meeting with you. The development of my product has recently finished and you need to adopt this system.


Pritam Nagrale

Hi Derek,
Just downloaded your eBook. Both the examples are awesome.

I am sure your video & this example is going to benefit a lot. Earlier I have tried to email people but the response was bad. I was not even bothered to know why.

I am a regular reader of your Social Triggers & love to watch all the videos.

Thanks for all your research.

Matthew Jeschke

I delete long emails. Most of the time before ever even reading them lol

Emails I respond to might be one paragraph in length. Funny thing is, I never bothered writing my emails to be short. Hadn’t connected the dots until recently.

My response rate when through the roof when I started using shorter emails… even single sentence questions 🙂

Tony Elam

Good video Derek. The production quality is looking great. I don’t like to ask for stuff because of how I view unsolicited emails myself. This will help me though. I will say that although other podcasts and online blogs have given good nuggets of info, I have implemented so many things directly from your advice. Thanks!


The best/worst emails we get on a regular basis are from shady SEO companies telling us what they are going to do with our website and make us #1 in Google SERP’s blah blah blah!
The funny thing is, my main business is a local SEO company that ranks #1 for it’s main terms. Strange how I can never find their companies online whatever search term I use.
I was going to put you video up on our contact page but I don’t think these unsolicited emailers would take much note, it’s just a numbers game for them.
Derek, lovin’ and sharing your content! Keep it rockin’ dude!

Eric J. Nisall - DollarVersity

The worst email I ever received was from someone trying to get me to link to their site from my blog. It wasn’t bad enough that they wanted to give me a guest post “at absolutely no cost” to me in exchange for one or two links back. No, the bad part was that they emailed me telling me how much they loved my blog, except the blog they referred to wasn’t my blog!

On my contact page, I clearly state that I will not entertain any messages about advertising through that particular form, and direct those kind of inquiries to my about page for the advertising contact form. This person (as well as many others) don’t seem to care enough to pay attention and show that they made an effort to actually read anything on the site, so those people always make me laugh too


Thanks for the great info! Love all your videos.
The annoying emails I get are not only long but ask tons of questions about what they should do for their health. Listen, I’m all about educating people and helping people get healthy, but seriously do people really think I’m going to answer long winded emails that ask for lots of free health advice?
The emails I do like are ones that tell me a little about themselves and then ask when i can make an appointment with them.

Thanks again!

Therese Prentice

This is so timely!! I delete all long emails and respond cautiously to emails that sound like it’s from one of the “Internet Panhandlers” –

I love to receive emails that tell me what you want in the subject and you get to the point without all the fluff and puff. I think 2 – 4 sentences is more than enough to get to the point. If I want to know more about you I should see a link to your site in the signature!

I love your term I was just ranting about this on Facebook tonight the number of Internet Panhandlers messaging me on Facebook is at an all time high!!

Erin Round

I almost made it all the way through the video like I nearly make it through the first sentence of a spammy email 🙂 Ok, I shared it on my FB and enjoyed it.. Kudos and Thank You..


This is great. New to your site, and it’s full of great content. I have a radio show that has a very clear focus and I swear I get about 500 emails a day that have NOTHING to do with my show so they get deleted. The best is when a PR person sends a nasty email follow-up. And one more thing I would tell people is do not send unsolicited books. They will never get read and most likely trashed. Imagine how many books are sent unsolicited. We could build a library.

Joshua Waldman

I’m embedding this video on my “Contact” page. I get crappy pan-handling emails from people asking for favors and taking 2 pages to get to the hook all the time. This should do the trick!

Christie O.

It’s a formula really. “Hi, I love your blog. I wanted to tell you about a new product we’re launching that I think your readers will love…”

What I read is: “Hi no-name-who-is-one-in-a-10,000-bulk-email-send, I got your email address off of a directory, and I wanted to tell you about a new product we’re launching. I don’t really give a crap if your readers will love because I’m just looking for some google juice…”

Too harsh?


Perhaps the hospital rep who works with women undergoing chemo who chatted me up at a craft show about ‘forming a relationship with the hospital’ when he just wants a donation. Sigh.

Nick Tart

Every week the background is a little bit more white ;). I’ve been enjoying these, Derek. I feel like I need to respond to every email. If they took the time to email me, I can at least give them a minute to respond. But minutes add up. At what point did you stop replying to every email?

João Leitão

Another great article about proper marketing. I love your website and your unique style. Thanks for being such an inspiration. greetings from south Morocco! anytime you’re around you are very welcome for mint tea!!!

Adam Wallace

Great stuff as always Derek. I just used your advice to communicate with an organization that I have been trying to get to but didn’t have a contact at. She wrote back in an hour and set up a meeting for tomorrow! Awesome!

Julie | A Clear Sign

I usually respond to requests for advice to a simple question – usually to be included in another blogger’s article – and requests for book reviews in the spiritual/intuitive field. BUT I only do this for people I know well (online) AND who are willing to share their book or program so I can actually experience it OR people who made a real, honest effort and look like they have a unique offering. I do tune out long and unreasonable requests, or anyone wanting me to stop everything for no good reason.

    Christie O.

    Same here. I know it’s highly subjective, but I also look for that “honest effort.”


So timely derek. I managed to get an interview with a top MBA school with an FT ranking of under 20 and that too for my first podcast. I had to sent out close to 15 emails. I wish you had come out with this sooner.

BTW what is the video setup you use and how much did you pay for it?


This is brilliant. Thank-you. I’ve been generally fortunate on my end regarding receiving unsolicited emails, a great number of the people who’ve written me have been gracious and appreciative. That being said, I’ve also received my fair share of emails from people who feel entitled to the knowledge I’ve amassed, an individual even sending a one line email written as, “I’m waiting…” when I didn’t respond. The positive side of such emails has been that those with a sense of entitlement have influenced my decision to launch consulting on my site. They’ve acted as that extra push I needed out of complacency.

Debra Torres

I don’t like to receive emails from people who have poor grammar and spelling. They are asking write a guest post for my site and they can’t spell?


Thanks for the info!

Tim Allard

Derek –
Just awesome advice, and timely as well. Will come in handy the next time I email “anyone”.

I was recently in the market for a job having been laid off. Amazing how I got inundated with 15 page copy trying to “sell” me their resume writing or placement services. Ugh …


Hmm, I am not sure it is the funniest, but when I write back tot he sender of an email in response to something they sent and I get back a reply like “I am protecting my inbox from spam, so in order for your email to go through, you will have to verify your address” And this is from the email address that is the sending address from the autoresponder. Just one of those things that makes me go “Huh?”


Hey Derek, a short while back I received a realllllly long email from someone telling me all about her business and explaining she needed copywriting support (my forte.)

I responded with a phone call . . . she kept me on the phone for HALF AN HOUR before I realized she wanted me to re-write her entire website for free. Something that’d normally set her back well over a thousand bucks.

If that doesn’t prove that a loooong email can be a red flag, I don’t know what does.


Thank you for this post and video, Derek. I appreciate your approach on the subject: very straight-forward and direct to the point.

The email which always get thrown to the trash are the ones that have “undisclosed recipients” written on the “TO” portion of the email. These emails are so generic that they haven’t been personalized at all. Same to emails that are dodgy, which usually congratulate you for winning some weird lottery or inheriting a fortune from royalty of an unknown kingdom.

I have to agree with you on the long emails, they are a bit tedious to read especially for people who don’t have the time to read them. I personally resort to them only if I have to. My belief is that the golden rule applies to emails too: Don’t write long ones if you don’t want to receive them yourself.

That being said, if I need to write a long one, I try to help my reader by giving him/her visual cues so s/he can spot the important details easily. I usually do this by writing an email with bullet points or formatting key words (bold, underline, or highlight). I think a lot of people respond to visuals nowadays.

Again, thanks!

Cris of Kiss My Tulle

My favorite by far was about a month ago when a “struggling artist” emailed me inviting me to give away his jewelry on my blog… all I had to do was pony up for the materials, machinery, and shipping.

Um. No.

Richard Whalebelly

Another great video and also not too long either. 🙂

Totally agree with you what amazes me the same people that write the long emails are the ones that would never read one.

As ever you should put yourself in the shoes of your recipient.

There is a real value in brevity.


This is exactly the kind of advice I needed yesterday. I couldn’t believe it when it just showed up in my inbox. Score! Thanks tons.

I recently received an email from a guy offering SEO help. His first email said, “I thought you would have responded to my previous email…” I had not received a previous email from him. Judging by the fact that he sent the current email to his own address (and probably bcc’d half the planet), I had no pause marking him as spam.


I usually ignore emails by the SEO experts if they start emailing me each week, or more than once a week.


Derek, I’m genuinely torn about where I stand on this subject…

Re: sending long emails. On the one hand, I can understand your frustration at people emailing you purely because they want to take advantage of your large audience and cash in on your potential good nature.

On the other hand, what gives someone the right to call themselves ‘important’ and deem themselves ‘too busy’ to read the words of their audience, simply because they’re a blogger? I’ve certainly sent long emails to bloggers in the past where I opened myself up and made myself vulnerable because I thought I’d found someone who could relate to my situation and give me some words of wisdom. I didn’t necessarily want anything out of it, other than a sympathetic ear. Is it wrong of me to expect someone to read such an outpouring and actually be interested..? Or am I right in feeling a little bit hurt and shocked by the opinion that the person I’m emailing is too busy and important to care what I’ve got to say?

I think a little respect goes a long way. And respect is a two-way thing. Surely an unsolicited email means someone has taken time out of THEIR busy schedule to email someone they don’t even know. That gets respect in my book.

I might be totally off the mark here, and I apologise if I’ve misinterpreted what you were trying to say. I can definitely understand your annoyance at bulk emails, impersonal messages and blatant self-promotion. But it winds me up when people think that their time is more important than anyone else’s. And I’d hate to think that people couldn’t reach out to someone and share what’s on their mind for fear that the other person is way too high and mighty to be interested.


    In some ways I feel the same way that you do Rebecca. I am surprised that anyone succeeds in this life because most that do, do think that they are too high and mighty to help the “little” people and that their time is more valuable than anyone’s else. I think that they forgot that they were once the “little” people. 🙂 Frankly, some people are just not respectful human beings whether they are the little people or the high and mighty people, so if you encounter these individuals just learn from the experience and move on.

    That being said Derek is putting out there valuable advise that will help the “little” people. He could have easily made this free PDF into an e-book and sold it to the up and coming “little” people”.

    I am at peace with the fact that everyone wants and loves FREE stuff including myself. So yes Derek, I agree that if you offer something to someone for FREE and show them respect by giving them a chance to accept or reject that gift rather than forcing it on them, they will definitely be more open to helping you. I will be utilizing your helpful INFO!


      “advice” not “advise”

Richard Howes

Have to relate this even though it was a phone call.

Phone rings and I answer. Machine says, “Please hold for a very important call.”

Needless to say I hang up. Happens several times over a few days until curiosity gets the better of me. Turns out its MY BANK trying to sell me new services, and they want ME to wait until THEY are ready. The manager now knows what I think about this system – not that it will do any good.

Marie Fiorin

Thank you Derek you’re the best!!! Great video!
What I really can’t stand is when I receive emails asking for a job or an internship and the only thing the candidates are talking about is themselves and what THEY want, yet never about how they can ADD VALUE to my company. Huge mistake!
I think it’s the same thing when it comes to interviews / reviews etc. When sending an email for the first time you always have to give before you can actually receive.
x M

Richard Hennessy

Juicy content as always Derek! Cheers for sharing.
For me any email that begins “Greetings Friend” gets deleted straight away! Likewise anything that is badly formatted. If their autoresponder is badly set up and it has something like “Dear {CNAME}..” that ends up in the bin too.

Rosie The Wedding Planner

I’m a wedding planner and mag editor and I hate when companies write to me and make statements like ‘my company is great… I’m great… I do the best job of… your clients will really appreciate you if you send them my details…’ My virtual trash can is overflowing with such wonderful self praising businesses!

Show me what you do, not tell me and let me be the judge!

APD Internet Marketing

Hey Derek,
Really cool video and sound advice…I know it’s really just common sense but people don’t take time out to think about what they’re doing in situations like this when they are trying to get a link. I guess it all comes down to giving people a WIIFM (what’s in it for me) that makes it a no brainer for them to do what you want.
Thanks for the PDF as well.


The dumbest emails I get are from SEO companies, with their 5 page epic email about how great they are. Needless to say I never read them!

Great video Derek, and very timely for me – fairly new to your information and I love it!!


A lot of useful information! Thanks so much – came at the right time too!


Hi Derek,

This post came in at the right time as I’m planning on writing an ebook and how to market it. Thank you!

I accept guest posts and advertising on my blog and one recent and very funny yet annoying email I got was from a potential advertiser.

The sender was asking me to put up their text link on my side bar in exchange for a pen or cardholder. Would you believe that? The sender said it’s made of porcelain but seriously would a pen or cardholder be that expensive to make it equivalent to advertising rates? My rates are not very high but the sender did not respond back when I informed her of my rates so it really made me assume that the pen and even the cardholder were not equivalent to the rates I mentioned.

Again thanks for the insights and the PDF especially!


Good video, Derek

I’ll be sure to share that on Facebook.
I delete about 95% of my emails especially if there is anything related to a sale. I’m starting to not open and delete many emails I get from bloggers I subscribe to just because I am tired of hearing from them and too lazy to unsubscribe. Since I recently subscribed to you Derek, I probably will start deleting you emails in about 2 years from now … LOL!

Ankur Sharma

Hey Derek

Thanks for this article…in my opinion it works not only in email but in any conversation that you start with a stranger….


Classic email: Hi Cindy! I know it’s been 8 years since we last chatted, but I have been thinking about you for the last few days and wondered how you are doing, what’s new with your business and if you can give me the phone number and address for Jay Leno. Thank you for keeping in touch and I’ll be looking out for that contact information! Steve


Great presentation. Thanks!

The dumbest emails I receive all have a few things in common: 2 or more links; more than 2 short paragraphs; and poor grammar or punctuation in the first few sentences.

An email shouldn’t be like a store sale bin where I have to rummage through everything to find the one interesting item.


Hi Derek,
I’ve watched a few of your videos now, and I just really appreciate the information. I’ve actually subscribed to email lists based on a website–and then immediately unsubscribed–because they sent such a long and arduous email.

You’re so right! Thank you!


The dumbest email I got was when someone sent his nasty comments about a potential client to everyone on the team. He hit reply all instead of replying to one of his own team members. In addition he was using company email address to conduct his own business matters and his comments were so inappropriate he was reported to his boss. Oops!

Eden R

Great video Derek, loved your bit on MarieTV too!
I actually got an email the other day that said this and only this (no links or anything):
Hey Eden
Are you looking to get more clients in the next 90 days?

I then looked at the email address and proceeded to the website and found that he claims this on his website:
A Lesson in Trust through your Marketing
I teach my clients about building trust and credibility, and I’ll share one of the lessons with you here….
Seriously?? It made me gag!
Sadly I bet some people actually reply to the email ;-(


Simply for me if the person is contacting me through my blog for a blog review or wanting to buy ad space if they can’t even bother to address the email with my name (LISA) it gets a DELETE. Simple courtesy.


Ugh. I’m so annoyed. I just sent an e-mail to a whole bunch of “big people” last night and made all the mistakes you mentioned. But that’s not what makes me so annoyed. Do you know what I did just before sending off those emails? I VISITED SOCIAL TRIGGERS TO SEE IF THERE WAS A POST ON HOW TO WRITE EMAILS TO INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE.

If I had held off on sending those disastrous emails for just a few more hours, I would have been able to access this information. Darn you, Derek! I curse your ironic timing and bless you for the great info at the same time! DX


Good points in the video. Detest long emails, I’m already sleeping faster just to keep up. Haven’t downloaded the PDF yet so cannot comment at this point.
People and businesses that use undisclosed recipient. Act like they know you and it’s not personalized, sends the wrong signal immediately. When I see that… DELETE flashes in my brain, and bam it’s gone.

Allison Braun

Loved seeing you dance today (*I can say that was my favorite part of the interview because I recently listened to one of your podcasts with similar info – right?!) .

I am most likely to respond to emails that are short and specific. Someone who is really clear with what they want, but are also clearly coming from a heart space.

Due to the nature of my biz the worst emails I have received are inappropriate emails from men (my target market is women with a religious/conservative background) asking how to get women to do (insert raunchy details here). Delete.


Great info. I had an online education website that I sold last year, but your video reminded me of people sending me emails saying they could not afford to pay for the courses and asking if I could give them access for free thank-you-very-much. Usually guys from India. I always thought of the lie from the movie ‘Robots’: “Memo to Bigwell, this is not a charity!”

Will use your template for some emails I’m about to send. Thanks!

dez stephens

hilarious…i answer emails that have great copy in the subject line…i don’t open emails that feel automated

Michelle T

Derek, thank you for all your hard work. Great information.

Like many, I tend to respond to emails that are specific and catch my attention in the title.

One email subscription in particular caught my attention this way. It still does but the body of each update is so poor I can’t be bothered to read them. I open them because I’m caught by the title and then…disappointment. Usually they contain one, giant, run-on paragraph, in a really small font, and single spaced!


Hi Dereck, grat articule…

But i have a cuestion, what do you recomend us that we should put in the subjet, to get a better open rate from people that i dont know and dint ask for my email…



Hi get many of them mostly about advertising on my website or how they can help me with my SEO. One of them I replied to and they said I would clarify why I am writing to them. They didn’t understand.

Andrew Zuo

I get my text-to-speech software to read my email to me… while playing fruit ninja.

Marian Pierre-Louis

I have already subscribed. I watched your video, honestly, without a lot of expectations. I was delightfully surprised. I think you are right on the money and your presentation was better than when I first saw you on the Marie Forleo video. You definitely have your own groove going on over here. The “information gap” is great advice and a wonderful reminder.


Hi Derek,
Wow.. you really know your stuff.. Not only did I post a comment, I also READ a huge number of them!


I love emails full of ideas and collaborative concepts when it seems like the person sending has done their research, knows what I’m about, and poses a real tangible possibility for a mutually beneficial exchange. Cold call emails that are bcc’d, or anything that suggests the person didn’t do their homework will most likely be canned.

Love this video, checking out the worksheet now!


Love your material mate. Very Surprised why you didn’t include the Subject titles you used or how to create them to attract emails being opened in the first place. Any chance you can comment on that. Cheers

Chivy, Designer/Builder

… some people got “it”, and some don’t , I think you might D. H. ! 🙂

…. if I had a buck for every time I saw someone “building” one of my designs, without paying …… I wouldn’t have to give a ….. better be nice and say buck, with a “b”

make it happen, ……. all the best, I enjoyed the rant !

Niight Wind

Loved it! Opening the knowledge gap, would have never thought of that, very clever. Thank you for making these videos:) Long e-mails are annoying, but I get really annoyed when people try to get sneaky free e-mail consultations from me. And it’s annoying when people will send me a question VIA my website that is answered clearly on the site and I send them the link of the exact pg. on my website.


Ha ha – sorry for the long email I sent you the other day!

Melanie Duncan

Awesome information, per usual, Mr. Halpern!

Thanks for sharing the wealth. 🙂

Brett Kelly

My least favorite ones are actually the extremely short ones that, if answered properly, would require a 3-5 paragraph reply. (e.g., “How did you grow your audience before you launched your product?”).

Those ordinarily get shit-canned, but if it’s an interesting question, it’ll sometimes become blog post fodder (and I’ll reply to the original asker letting them know where they can see my response).

JoAnn Jordan

Emails I open – ones from family & friends, clients, responses to emails I have sent or information I have requested. I don’t open things that come across as political.

Rhonda p

Not so many stupid emails as really crazy stupid comments. I got a comment from a lady on my blog actually putting my product down and really taking me to task. I tried to answer her question as best I could, but it became apparent that she only wanted to be negative. I love what I do, I love helping people reach wellness, purpose and abundance. So, I just delete the negative and move on! I am careful about sending emails and enjoyed your article. Thank you for your great insights.

Sean Davis

Lol your videos are getting more and more entertaining, man. Great content here as well.

00:30 through 00:33 is my favorite part. I CANNOT stand long emails. Because I’m still in my early business days, I’m sucking it up and reading them. But I am getting closer and closer to passing on them.

Some people may not agree, but if you respect my work enough to contact me, you should respect my time enough to get to the freaking point!

Rosie Addison

I heckled a business coach who sent me an unsolicited email recently. “Really lady? Do you realise I live in New Zealand? That means I have to stay/get up at 2am to attend your webinar? Do you think I care about all that stuff you just mentioned? Do you really think I’ll be enticed when you haven’t even addressed me by my name? Do you really think anyone with any brains would ever send you any money? Do you realise that every person you email is an actual person? Would you go up to someone, shake their hand and just blurt out all that stuff, ask for money and ask them to get up at 2am to listen to you prattle on about having a “better life”? Do you really expect me to think you have secrets to success when you’re sending desperate, unsolicited emails?”

Funnily enough she ACTUALLY replied simply saying: “Sorry I didn’t address you by your name Rosie, but that means I’d have to handwrite every message and I want to send to a lot” I told her to try mailchimp & to google “why you shouldn’t spam”.


Worst emails:

1) Any email that starts with “I thought you’d like to know…” Why did you think that, I wonder. And who are you, anyway?

2) Just about any email from someone who promises to increase my rankings in search engines. It’s obvious they’re sending out blanket emails and have done no research on my business.

3) The “newsletter” I got from a relationship coach the other day. I had asked her for more information about her services. She did not respond to my request for more information and merely added me to her newsletter list. The first issue I received was all about (several paragraphs) about how she surprised her boyfriend with a trip to Paris and what a good time they had. This was supposed to be a “tip.” Something tells me I could have lots of “relationships” if I bought people trips to Paris.

Mark Mojo Master

Really useful blog on emails -my advise to shorten emails, is to write it, cut once, cut twice..send!

with energy

Mark the Mojo Master


Great stuff and on Marie TV yesterday too!

It annoys me to no end when I get emails raving on about my blog/site and then the next paragraph they want me to review or promote something that isn’t relevant to my content in the slightest.

Christelle Hobby

This came at the most perfect possible time. I saw you at Affiliate Summit East and have been trying to convey your message to my content marketing team, but I have a feeling the information will sink in better coming from you, so I shared the video with all of them.

My least favorite type of pitch is one that isn’t personalized at all. If the sender doesn’t care who I am, why should I care who they are. Manners should be applied offline and online. Good things come from listening to your mother. Thanks for the great information and the free PDF.


Absolutely the dumbest was someone asking for me to redesign their site for free. When I politely replied that no, I get paid thousands of dollars to do that, he replied with, “But if you design MY site, you’ll actually get famous because I will become the nest big thing on the net.”

Excuse me, I just threw up in my mouth a little.

Great post as always, Derek!

Tommy Walker

Dear Tommy, Please review my Facebook ads product and share with your audience…

Me: “are you providing a budget to run ads, and a free account so I can review?”

No. please sign up for membership at this 50% discounted rate, and provide your own ad budget.



Derek, I am new here and I must say I was skeptical but you do make me tick, you make me act.
Focus on how you can help the person, key! Thanks for the info!

The following is an e-mail I received, word for word…

Hello Vanessa Vanessa,
I am writing to follow up on the e-brochure and quote I sent you regarding the . Please let me know if you have any questions or need any additional information.
(There was an extra long paragraph detailing boring stuff)

I this e-mail for a 2nd time after ignoring the first one. Wonder why?
Thanks I know my name, don’t wear it out.
The blank was actually there, I did not delete anything, he forgot to write in the product.
And, he never even sent me a quote!
Frustration to the max!


completely agree with you, Derek….
and still, working on my OWN emails, but then i don’t really email people i don’t know. still, out of consideration for the people i DO email (and, admittedly, i tend to be long-winded at times)
i try to put the important sentence or two at the top, and then more details underneath, in case the person chooses to read further.

like you, long emails are a turn off for me and usually, i’ll only read past the first few sentences if
a) i know and trust that person
b) if the first few sentences are provocative enough and not begging for something


I totally agree! Nothing worse than a long chattering email that you have to fish around to find out what they are talking about…I quickly delete those if I don’t know the person. If they are an acquaintance I’ll reply with “hey I’m running out the door, don’t have a chance to read all this now, what is your question?” they will usually reply with a shorter summary of their question. Now I have this video to send also if I see a “rogue email” haha. great post Derek!


Hi Derek

Very useful information. I don’t get much emails asking for favors like you and many others here do, but I can certainly model your emails to contact other bloggers for guest posting & interviewing.

Thanks for sharing


Valerie Ormond

Hi Derek,
In writing, you only asked for the bad stories, but in your video, you asked for some good ones, too. So I’m going to stay positive. I like when someone tells me what he/she wants, specifically and succinctly, and how this person knows who I am. I received just such an e-mail today and responded favorably because in a few sentences, she let me know exactly who she was and why I should conduct the presentation. The quality of the information vs. the quantity helps decisionmakers with little time on their hands.

Brooke S.

I usually get emails addressing me by my first name and sounding very urgent, like my credit score may have changed or something about my bank. Very “fishy”, so I delete them. (Most of the ppl sitting around me basically yell ‘delete it!”, before I.can even get the question out. Thanks for this wonderful article, I will pass it along!

Skylor (@SproutLifestyle)

Thanks Derek – I gotta admit I am a long email writer sometimes and I haven’t figured out how to break the habit!! I am going to try out your template an see what I can do! I have been working a great deal on cotent for my website, but failing at guest posts. Do you think this template will be bomb dot com with that? Thanks!

Robin Hallett

Derek! I loved your Marie TV interview today with bonus Gangam style dance. Whoop Whoop!

Thank you for the great advice on the right way to approach people. I have received more than my share of really lengthy emails from subscribers and it’s challenging to say the least. And, that makes me cringe to think- yikes, I’ve done that too. Well, at least I know how annoying it is.

Loved the PDF and now I am imagining who I am going to try it out on. I will come back and give you my results.

Keep rocking it Derek!


Tracy Vasquez

I don’t read long emails…I decide in the first couple of sentences, or even the subject line, if I’m going to read it or delete it.

Angela Shelton

Thanks DH! You continue to enlighten us with your wisdom.

The worst letter I got was asking for me to consult on a book the person was writing and then to be allowed to write for my blog. Throughout the very very long email, she referred to me as Amanda instead of Angela. Delete.

Bill (LoneWolf) Nickerson

I wonder who is better at Fruit Ninja, you or Adam 8=)

On a serious note, thanks for the tip on opening the knowledge gap. I’ve heard the term “open loop” used before and I think it is a similar concept. Curiosity killed the cat, but it draws in the clients!

I get lots of email every day since I am on a lot of lists. I constantly cull them and then go out and add more.

But amongst the unsolicited ones, the worst I’ve seen was one that trashed my site and then offered to help me fix everything. Sure, that’s the way to build trust.


Derek, I think we’ve all gotten the spam emails from every third world country where they want you to send them you bank account info so they can send you a million dollars because some how you were the exact person they were looking for half way around the world and they wanted to reward you. REALLY!


Go back to the white T-Shirt Del!

I find it hard not to respond to almost any email that addresses me personally. But then I’m not as in demand as DH.

Jelle Verdoodt

Derek… your content is great man, but replace that shirt you’re wearing 🙂 it doesn’t do you justice on camera. (no homo)



    Off-topic, but: Love Derek — distracted by this shirt.

    I prefer the purple and pink polo’s that I’ve come to associate with him. This shirt is not as authentic as his message.


Nice article. You are certainly great at opening that information gap. Me, I read most articles right now. The ones I don’t read are the ones I receive repeatedly from companies marketing their services. I’ll usually even read it the first time, but not twice.

Great advice. Downloading the file. Thanks!


I’ve often wondered what the best policy is for dealing with these requests and I’ve enjoyed this thread. Glad to see I’m not the only one who gets requests to do work for free.

Part of what I do is dreamwork and people constantly email me their dreams and ask me what they mean. If they send a short paragraph I reply and let them know what my hourly rate is. If they send long dreams (one was once 4000 words) I ignore them. If, however, someone has a disturbing dream or nightmare I often give them a little bit of free help, usually to put their mind at ease or point them in a direction that can help them (e.g. book referral).

However, I am seriously considering your suggestion to send them a link to your video! Thanks for the PDF.

Sean Mysel


One tactic that’s always worked for me and gotten me access to high profile athletes and sports marketers is to ask them something that’s thought provoking. For instance, I asked Larry Robinson who’s a coach for the NJ Devils and HOFer if he would coach beginning hockey players the same way as NHL players.

He responded to my email and actually sat and had coffee.

Good job man!


Ryan Cote

Thanks Derek. I’m actually in the process of prospecting via LinkedIn so this video is exactly what I needed!

Burt Binner

Hey Derek

Thanks for the message. Sometimes the obvious is so difficult for some people to comprehend. Their passion misleads their common sense.

Burt Binner

Dave Jackson

My favorite is when they don’t start off with my name. It’s on every website I have, I introduce myself in every podcast, every video, and yet the email starts off with “Hello,” (if I’m lucky). Then they explain how their product will fit my audience (which it never does). So if my name is not in the email, you get about a 4 second glance. I’ve also started signing up to email lists with the name of the product. So when I see an email to popupkiller and its not from the popupkiller company, I know my email has been shared. (popupkiller is just an example).

How about this one? Sales videos with no pause, rewind button?

Wendy Merron

Derek- great PDF. Thanks.
Long emails remind me of Thos. Jefferson’s quote (paraphrased):
“If I had more time I would have made this letter shorter.”

Gabriela Pereira

Unsolicited pitches for guest articles: usually these don’t bug me, but when they read like mass emails (i.e. not addressed to me by name) and are pitching articles that have nothing to do with my website’s focus, then they really get under my skin.

Not only is this type of email a waste of both my time and the person who’s pitching the article (because if the article is irrelevant, I’m guaranteed to say no), but this whole approach is seriously unprofessional. I’ve stopped replying to these emails altogether. If these people can’t spare 2 minutes to research my site and see if their articles would be a good fit, then I won’t spend the 2 minutes to write a reply. Am I being too harsh?

Brian Bennis

Nice and simple and to the point. And that’s exactly like the emails sent out from a top UK pension blogger called Steve Bee, who used to work for a major insurance company. His emails are simply the headline. The latest one was:

Strange combination, fascinating me…

and that’s it. His headlines are always strong and engaging – just like the short emails you refer to in your video. So it’s not just short emails that work, ultra-short ones work too! Less is more, as they say.

Laurie Wheeler

The absolute dumbest email I have received was from an SEO company. They sent me an unsolicited email, they don’t know my business or my brand (I don’t care about SEO, my organic traffic is stellar) so I didn’t respond. THEN they sent a DEMAND that said, “I was expecting a response from you.” I gave it to them, I sent them a one liner that was not kind or polite.


Great info Derek!
The example with the academic research is so inspiring – it gives me really al lot of inspiration!
The email I never respond to are the ones that are impersonal or have a ‘no-reply’-adress. Like I really want to do business with a machine…

Caroline J

Another excellent video, Mr Halpern.
You’re racking up a nice colourful pile of T Shirts too! 🙂

Luz Donahue

So when I started watching this at first I didnt realize Spotify decided to turn itself on… So I watched the first 2 minutes with really dramatic music in the background, like Inception status. I was thinking “Geez, Derek got really intense about email etiquette.” Honestly, though, a lot of people don’t really get it. You’re totally right. You send someone a short novel and you might as well not have sent anything at all. Its not just that, many people dont know how to translate real world business etiquette into email. You wouldn’t call someone you were trying to get help, attention, or business from and leave a 10 minute voicemail. It shows you don’t value their time. And don’t even get me started on just asking for free things outright…

You mentioned we should leave our bad email stories: I had a guy buy an hour of VA services and (talk about asking for free stuff) what he really wanted was for me to organize his entire life but he insisted that the benefits he’d bring to me as a spiritual coach would make up for the difference in time because he has that kind of “energy”. That email was probably 3 pages on a word doc… Lol. Only a weirdo would do this. I’m sorry but no thank you.

Pam McMurtry

The worst email I received came from myself! Not really, my account was hacked and the criminals wrote asking people I knew for money. Their language was atrocious and I was consoled in the fact that my people recognized that I wouldn’t behave that way, nor speak that way. It was very irritating – and illegal. They also stole my contacts so I couldn’t get in touch and warn them. GRRRRR.

Mandy Kilinskis

I received an email recently from a video company who wanted to help us out with our recently-launched product videos. It started with “I know you are busy, so I will be concise.” and then continued on to be about six (lengthy!) paragraphs long. Bah!

Ali Handal

Thanks for this, Derek! The PDF is fantastic, in that you give direct advice to people who don’t yet have 10,000 followers (something that sets your advice apart).

I get many strange email requests…in the past couple of years, I keep getting autograph requests from “fans” (who I don’t believe are actual fans) in countries like Czech Republic & Germany. I used to answer them (and mail autographed photos, which cost $5/each with postage), but I got wary when several people asked for multiple copies of photos… I’m not a celebrity, so I have no idea how they could make money selling them, but it just seems a bit weird…

Israel García

Congratulations Derek.

The email marketing is important, and most marketers do not take into account.
Since I discovered your blog I can not help revise the amount of relevant information that is in the.

Good article, waiting for the next.

Geoff Talbot

I write a blog that is all about you and NOT about me… because you matter. I want you to be able to read it in less than a minute… because your time is important to me and I don’t want you to waste it…

The worst emails I receive are always self-focused, unsolicited, very long and often include movie script attachments. I think this represents a sense of entitlement, that’s why people don’t ask permission.

The assumption is that others are just as interested in their work as they are.

Always ask permission AND take small steps.

Will Mitchell


Sarah J. Storer (@sarahjstorer)

I got this one as is–no greeting or signature–the other day through my Facebook Fan Page:

“wen can i see you come in the shop for a tattoo ill give u a great deal ma jus ck out my page and halla bak”

So, apparently I am in for a real treat from what appears to be a 13 year old girl with a tattoo gun. Super excited!

J. Delancy

I’ve actually written a post on this very topic.


My post deals with the mechanics of creating meaningful e-mail, while Halpern’s video is more specific about the social engineering aspect, of course.

I don’t get much annoying e-mail (knock on wood) now but spammy comments in broken english that always originate in Poland are making me suspicious.

I look forward to reading the book


Makes sense, you do a good job of directly connecting social theory to action. Also you do a terrific job of illustrating and using engagement techniques- ie I am writing to you, engaging right now. hahaha!
Thanks much, I will keep following you.
Meanwhile, I will work on that marketing email I need to get out.


Hi Derek – I got here via Marie Forleo’s site. Really like your style and content!

Paul Haarman

Great video again. Like everyone else I get a lot of ineffective emails. BUT what also is annoying Derek (and I must get this of my chest) is that everytime I open your site I ALWAYS will get this Pop Up asking to subscribe on your mailing list. And I did this months and months ago. So please stop these annoying Pop Ups! Sorry, had to say this. (I must add I never regretted subscribing, I think your the BEST informative internet marketing person in the Whole Wide World).

Mihai @ Freshome

Derek you should check this – I’m sure you’ll love it – http://five.sentenc.es/


    Very funny! Think it will go viral?


Love this! Perfect timing for me too- as I need to reach out to some people about my new site. So thanks once again for saving the day! Can’t wait to read the PDF- and loved you on Marie TV today- great stuff there too!!!

As for stupid emails- I get so many everyday- it would be hard for me to choose. I may start saving them and definitely send them a link to this!

You are the best!

nancy fox

Great topic, headline, content Derek.

To your point, I wanted to craft the right email message so I could connect with Barbara Corcoran.
It took a while til I found out how to connect with her.
Then I had to figure out exactly what was in it for her to speak with me.

I didn’t get what I wanted (yet!) but my first response was from her assistant, then I got a direct and very lovely message from Barbara.

Proof that if you write the right message to an influential, you will generate the results.

This now opened the door to future communications with her.

Susan Kuhn

RESPOND TO: Emails where the individual expresses knowledge or interest in me and comes off as “not a taker.”

IGNORE: Self-serving, mass-produced emails using worn out persuasive verbiage.

Nice vid!

Ron Holst

Hi, I am a marketer who follows people like you to increase my skill set. Great video. As for email campaigns the old saying, “less is more” is true. Now, you must also tell the story, get your message across, inform … yada yada yada. So, the methods I like are right in line with your “design is king.” Using an info graphic or some other picture can take the place of a wall of words. You can see that with companies like Guess and their email campaigns. I have ben on other organizations that just send out emails that give 20% discounts. To me tht just says well, our product is not worth full price so here!

Mars Eve

actually, I get Facebook chat & Facebook messages that say “plz like my page”. I instantly don’t like them now.

Great info!!! (no wonder you never emailed me back…ha ha) – I know the secret…you can’t resist now!

Alexandre Venturin

Hi Derek,

The type of e-mail that I don’t usually respond is the ones with lot of people copyed and wrote to a lot of people, and not for me.

Please, don’t try to reach a lot of people with broad e-mails. Do some personalized ones, spend some time with it. Or make it good, so at least LOOKS LIKE personalized (with merge tags, for exemple…)

Thanks Derek! I’ll begin to use your techniques now that I creating (finally”) my blogs!

Ryan Hache

I read the first line of my emails and ask myself is this going to benefit me.
if yes I keep reading and if no I move to the next email.

In the case of our email the design bloggers answered yes because they want to know what that academic research is behind a point they have been trying to back up for a long time. Great angle!

It’s like emailing an apple fan boy blogger that you came across some academic research that proves apple is better than android for 5 reasons android owners just don’t understand.
(that apple fan boy has likely wanted to prove their point many times and has been unable to in the past which make them natually want to get a better way to explain themselves)

I think the academic line is very important, because in a niche of opinions, it says.. finally here are some facts.


lol, I wrote you an email 2 days ago Derek, I’m super relieved I didn’t do wrong and so didn’t ruin my first impression with you 😉

it was a short one, an answer to something you asked (in the newsletter signup with the “Thing #1: Reply to this email”), and also glad that I didn’t ask you anything

talk to you very soon Derek, and thx for all your great advices !

    Derek Halpern

    If you just sent me an email a few days ago, chances are I haven’t seen it yet. I get hundreds of emails a day >.<


      sure! I’m not even awaiting an answer, I mostly talked about how I like you tone 😉

      ohh and I forgot, you ask above to write here what kind of email we ignore, I must say for now I just do not (manage to) ignore when anyone writes to me, maybe it will be different when I’ll be *really* busy 😉

      tty soon 🙂


I tend to be a chatty Cathy in emails, been working on it.

I certainly hate when I get a 37 line email from Jamie representing [Insert random foundation/cause here] demanding that we plug her excellent health-related Facebook page in exchange for “exposure to over 500 blog followers”.



Great tip Derek, but what about those times that I don’t have academic research conducted by the University of London?

    Derek Halpern

    Find a different way to demonstrate your credibility.


      But without talking about myself correct?

        Stanley Lee

        Dude, just find a different study then. There are tons of academic and technical journals out there with many reputable institutions and research groups.

Jennifer Shea

This is so great Derek! I get dumb e-mails all the time from people blatantly asking me for my business plan, my recipes, the specific type of ovens I use, how I built my business, etc. etc. They do say they are opening their shop somewhere far away from me, so they “wouldn’t be competition”…but I am amazed and usually appalled that people would just e-mail me asking for something that took me years and years of hard work to learn and accomplish. I rarely answer, or just to be nice, I say “sorry, I’m very busy”.

Thank you for your great advise. I will be using it to reach higher.

Love your blog, Jennifer
Founder, Baker, Party-Maker- Trophy Cupcakes

    Jennifer Shea

    um, “advice”. I love typos in an open forum.


I’ve had people reach out to me for guest blogging, but they almost never read my guest blogging guidelines. Derek, I even posted a link to your blog format that I received when I attended one of your teleseminars; however, they don’t want to follow it. I don’t know. I’m now ignoring emails from people who don’t bother to look at my website BEFORE they email me.

    Stan Horst

    That is a good one, Amandah. I get so many emails asking about guest writing, and most of them are a copy and paste version, and very evident that they haven’t read my guidelines.

Stan Horst

Great information, Derek.

I hate getting emails that try to act like the person knows me, when it is obviously a bulk email sent to a list. When that happens, my mouse automatically moves to the delete button or the spam button.

I don’t mind them using my name. It is when the email is designed to look like it is from a friend. That really ticks me off!

Keep up the great content!

Lisa Cash Hanson

That last take was like Zoolander you missed your calling- comedian.

Tracy Matthews

Derek, love this…

I can’t stand it when I get super long emails from PR agencies who want me to give free stuff to celebrity gift bags. I design really expensive custom made Fine Jewelry. These gift bag people charge $3500 to enter so that they say a celebrity is getting the piece. The celeb usually gives everything in the gift bag to their assistant. I am not going to pay $3500 plus the cost of the prodcut to give away S#!t to a celebrities assistant. Dumb. Now a long email from the celebrity..I might read it. ha!

I never read them ctrl-at-del.

This is a great reminder, because I have been a long email culprit. No more…

Great post Derek…as always, you are cracking me up.



    you restart you computer?

Joe Cassandra

Great Derek!

I’m actually a little weirder, if the Subject Line doesn’t grab me, I usually hit Trash, but usually if it does I’ll read it.

You’re right about long-emails, I just skim them quickly if they got past Test #1 (unless it’s a response to an initial email)


I have a real doozy – yesterday I received an unsolicited email from someone who wanted me to buy a video podcasting service. It included this incomprehensible sentence:

“If you find getting interviews conducted for you your clients are a challenge, turn around is slower than you like in becoming available, need same day turn around or if you would desire multiple interviews instead of a one and done then we are your solution. ”

Because I have a business writing company, I wrote him back and asked for clarification, stating that I could not understand what he was offering.

He replied and told me I was a jerk.

It was kind of awesome, in a wow-that’s-totally-shocking kind of way.


    HAHAHAHA! OMG, that is HILARIOUS! He ACTUALLY said you were a jerk? For asking for clarification? WOW. That, just, …. speechless! LOL

Sharyn Dimmick

I don’t get dumb emails, but I get dumb comments on the blog — generic comments that say things like “This post really helped me with this topic.” Can you say “Spam?”

    Susan Ross

    I think that’s a perfectly acceptable response. They are being nice by thanking you. I would appreciate more thanks in my business.


      No, Susan, they ARE spam comments. If you check their website link from the poster, it’s usually for some bag or shoe knockoff sales site, or seo backlink service. I get them ALL THE TIME on my low-traffic, personal blog where I share recipes and natural parenting info. A REAL comment will have specificity in it, not “this post really helped me with this topic” but rather “when you said that you really struggled with going dairy free, and had headaches and were emotional about it, I could TOTALLY relate, so THANK YOU!”

      Akismet is your friend Sharyn. 😉 Delete, delete, delete! lol


Hah, loved the iPad stuff. Was that angry birds?

And yes, one of the most common emails I get is people looking for free advice. They want me to review their 102 page ebook or website.

Or they write a 2000 word email, which is great. I truly appreciate emails, but I’ve lately come to realize that I can’t really help anyone via email.

They aren’t committed to taking action, and I don’t really know what’s going on.

On the other hand, the kind of emails I love are short, to the point, and … short.

    Josh Cary

    Henri writes: “one of the most common emails I get is people looking for free advice. They want me to review their 102 page ebook or website.”

    I’m in this boat too, Henri. Question for you and others…

    How do you handle those ‘review my site’ requests? Do you have a way to monetize them? (IE. “Sorry I do not offer free web reviews, but I do offer….”) Do you reply with anything or simply delete/ignore?

    Derek Halpern

    That was Ninja fruit.

    One of the more annoying emails is when people are like “I just started with internet marketing, but I just made this new course about internet marketing. your readers will like it. Will you sell it to them?”


Yesterday I got an email from somebody who wanted me to post an infographic on BlogcastFM about the dangers of drinking milk. That was probably the dumbest one I’ve had in a long time.

    Derek Halpern

    These infographic spam requests are driving me insane. This one company keeps emailing me even though I told them to add me to their do not contact list. I’m at the point where I want to get a lawyer and go after them.


Hi Derek.
This is my first comment on your blog, I’m also a new subscriber. 🙂
This article is awesome! It opens my eyes and will help me a lot in few next days, when I’ll writing to people I know only a bit. Thank you for that!

One of the dumbest emails I received was an offer from a virtual art gallery, asking me to send to them my jewelry, so they could sell it. It was an email they sent to multiple people, sent without editing or even saying “hello”, they didn’t speak to me by my name, there wasn’t any owner’s name or the gallery address in the bottom (so total lack of credibility). Also, the financial offer was so disappointing and I just felt like they were treating me like someone who they wanted to exploit, when I should rather felt like an talented and important person. Of course I didn’t answer. 😉

    Derek Halpern

    Welcome Grace!

    And you’re probably right.

    They were trying to exploit you ;-P


      So nice you responded. 🙂
      Sorry if I made some mistakes, but English isn’t my first language. 😉
      And yes, one thing in handmade business is sad – many people think it should be cheap. I just can’t understand this reasoning. 😉


        Grace, your jewelry is gorgeous and really stands out. Never sell it for less than you think it’s worth.

Howie Nguyen

I love your example on page 8 of the PDF. We all have to start somewhere and that example definitely can be used by everyone at some point. So watch out for my email ;-).

    Derek Halpern

    Uh oh…

MelAnn Morales

Usually I receive fB messages every time I offer a course. I gave away info for free so long – people became accustomed to it. And now, that I charge – so many will email me or message me on Facebook asking for free access to my content! These are people who witness my journey – they know that my business is now sole support of my kids and myself. I don’t even charge a lot to begin with! I will often scholarship a course to one or two people – but it has to be my idea – and it’s never to anyone who asked for something for free. I’m sure among my peers – I have quite a few – that there are many who would benefit from this post -so I shared the link!

Great advice on Marie Forleo today!

    Derek Halpern

    Thank you MelAnn.

    A lot of people like to ask for stuff for free, for some reason. I almost NEVER do that. And I hate when people do that to me.


      Now if I’m being offered “Free” stuff is different. Coz I learned the hard way that going around serial shopping from place to place, looking for free stuff causes major overwhelm, & hampster wheel progress. So much information, too many loopholes. So I just encourage those who care to listen, to just stop it. Pay for your services and it’ll be done. Its like tryna fix a motor without being a mechanic and bugging busy auto mechanics to give ’em free information and free tools. It doesnt usually doesnt work out, or get anywhere

      Patrick Curtis

      Hey Derek, just hot you up on LinkedIn, but I think I didn’t follow the #1 rule of keeping it short 🙂 here is what I wrote:

      “Hi Derek, my name is Patrick Curtis and I’m the founder of WallStreetOasis.com, one of the largest online communities of finance professionals (and students trying to break in) with over 4 million pageviews per month (mostly through long tail organic search traffic).

      I’ve gotten a little better at trying to convert more of my visitors (600k+ uniques per month) to subscribers/members, etc, but I think doing something like this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAzuZ-mh2gU&feature=related , you might be able to point to some obvious areas of improvements.

      We have a ton of content and search traffic, but I’m sure we could do better with our opt-ins and promoting our paid services/products. Do you do any consulting or cross marketing with Social Triggers? “

        Miles Solomon

        This guy has legitimately helped a lot of people out. He may not have followed the “two rules” listed here, but he deserves a response anyway. Personally, I’m a happy subscriber and would like if other people could benefit from the resources available on WallStreet Oasis.

        Thanks for all your help Patrick!


        P.S Still considering that private counseling…

          Patrick Curtis

          Miles, just came across this. Thanks for the kind words 🙂

          To be fair, I did discuss some consulting with Derek and he pointed me to some great resources, so thanks Derek for your help and all that you do with Social Triggers!



        That email was FULL of “OUR” “WE” “US”

        Tisa Yonts

        I don’t think Ur listening…


This is very timely… I am reaching out to influential sites/people regarding my new site. Thanks for the PDF!

As for the funniest one I have received, I got this one just the other day… “Thank you for your email. Because I have activities scheduled in advance, it could take me 2-3 days to reply to your email. Thank you for your patience. If you need to contact someone immediately at _______, please contact the client services department at ___(only a partial email address… ha!)___ or ____. Thank you ____”

I have never e-mailed this person… and the subject line was about a website I sold 4 years ago, and which is being forwarded to a different domain. Cracked me up!


    Well here I am stuck at the bottom of dozens of Comments but I have to tell you this one.

    I got an email from someone I knew was a ‘make money online’ blogger, with the title, “I sniffed my baby’s bum”….Uh? What the……?

    Sad to say it made me open it because I couldn’t believe anyone could actually write an email like that….but it was so worth it! Why?

    Because he actually asked his readers what they thought about it! well I told him – both barrels.

    I scanned other people’s Comments and to my great disappointment (and incredulity) I was the only one who was not intrigued or impressed by this… this – I don’t know what – blatant manipulation?

    They said things like “It makes me feel like you are my friend” and “I like the way you always share your family news with us. It makes me feel you are a real person who cares” What? Hello! He doesn’t know you!!

    Who are these people who think a blogger they have never met is their ‘friend’ because he ‘shared’ some personal info (and no content of value).

    I give up.

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