Occasionally the inbox contains sufficient fodder (second edition)


          My first instinct was to delete and forget about your query, which is what I do with 99.9% of such requests.

          In the past, I have accepted a small-few similar proposals.  For example: a disc golf merchandiser (which I play and discuss online); another was a web application designer looking for input from a person of my demographic (relatively active, employed, middle-aged male with basic working computer/HTML knowledge). 

          Since I rarely receive requests written like yours, I decided to reply.  At first glance, you appear to be offering a legitimate marketing arrangement, but I remain skeptical.  To assuage my doubts, maybe you could explain what caused you to choose my site?  I've yet to write about gambling (on-line or otherwise) and suspect you are merely "casting a wide less-than-perfect net". 

          I may be willing to append a banner to my sidebar (on the right of s n a p p e r h e a d) so it would be viewed without scrolling (on the "splash page" is the term).  Also, maybe, I could write an article about your client—with embedded hotlinks—if there were incentives to do so.

          But, I rarely permit outside authors to write on my site because most people have dishearteningly low standards when it comes to the use of proper grammar in their written communications.  I also am disinclined to cut and paste the words of another writer without the liberal application of my editor's pencil.

          For example, below is your query letter with underscores and highlights where I note that punctuation, capitalization, proper grammar and suggested elimination of clichéd or informal language is warranted.

          A legitimate initial query letter should appear to have been written by a professional who understands the importance of first impressions.  With no intended disrespect, this one does neither.

I work for a Discover Media, and i am acting on behalf of a casino client of ours who would like to place an article on your site, or potentially place a banner on your site.

The article would be a one off short piece (300-400 words). We would look to have the piece stay on your site for 12 months period.

The article will not necessarily be about casinos but will contain a link to our clients online casino site. In order to ensure the article is relevant to your site and will be of interest to your audience we have a specialist team of writers who will write a new and unique piece tailored to your site and readers.

Alternatively if you feel more comfortable creating your own content, we would be more than happy to work with you creating a piece that works for both of us.

Ideally we need this to be live as soon as possible we can finalize a deal quickly.

If you had some other website you may also be able to do a deal on then I would happily take a look and see if we can do a group deal, or if you have any friends that may be interested as well?

If you are interested and would like to discuss this opportunity further then please get in touch.

I wish you good luck with your site and look forward to your reply_

Best regards_
          I provide all of this (albeit unasked for) guidance, Josh, because my intuition tells me you are not an internet troll, or working for a spam marketing company, but just someone who, maybe, could use a little free assistance with his endeavor (which I realize is a rarity in today's lightning-speed world).

          You may use the following revamped query letter verbatim, with my blessings.  Or, throw it away, it matters not.

          Begin with filling in the blank with a full name.  You found their email address, use their name or, at a minimum, their web-name, or—last resort—use: Website Administrator for website name.  Always close with your full name above a title. 

Hello __,

Discover Media is currently representing an online casino interested in contracting with you, or the administrator of your website, for the purpose of advertising.  Specifically, we are looking for websites willing to enter into a minimum obligation of one year.  We would be excited to discuss one or more of these strategies with you:
  • Webpage article(s) containing embedded hotlinks to the client's site.
    • Short (300-400 words).
    • On a variety of subjects or themes (not restricted to casinos).
    • Authored by yourself (within specific guidelines).
    • Authored by our staff.
  • Banner advertising.
    • Home page, sidebar, "sticky" page, etc.
    • Click revenue, view revenue, etc.
If you are interested or desire more information please reply to this email or write to josh@discovermedia.co.uk with questions.  If you received this letter in error, please reply with not site administrator as the subject line and accept our apologies for any inconvenience.


Josh _________
Online Marketing Associate
Discover Media, London

          Josh, If you happen to be interested in adding to your "specialized team of writers," I might be amenable.  I have some time each day to use as I see fit, I enjoy writing (wrote professionally before retiring) and am always interested in a unique challenge.

Very Respectfully,
Veach Glines

You talk about a first impression yet you start this business venture by picking up on my dyslixia and slating the way i go about my job, before going on to give the most basic of english lessons about how to address a letter to someone,

We will pass on this oppertunity

          I didn't expect you to reply, Josh.  Actually, I'm slightly amazed that you did.

          As soon as I read your query I realized you didn't belong to a real marketing business and weren't representing a real company, which was why I composed my more-than-rude response. 

          I don't think your specific not-grammar / no spell-check reads Nigerian, so I'm going to guess Ukrainian?

          I wonder if Josh is your real name or if you chose it as a joke, because you're "Joshing with people"?  If that's the case, you would need to be familiar with the idiomatic usage of the term, which would then suggest that English isn't your second language.  Since it so clearly is, I'm stumped.

          I guess there's a slight chance you're a moronic teenage failure using a parent's computer to fuck with people, but I'm still leaning toward you being a scam artist, trying to con people out of money. 

          I suggest, "Josh", that you refrain from future attempts to foist the dyslexia flag (I correctly spelled it for you with an "e" in the place where you erroneously put that pesky little "i").  I once had a friend with the disorder and there was one word—besides his name—which he always spelled right.  

          Your scam is probably something like "...convince people they are entering into a business venture, provide them with a contract, which means listing their personal information, and slip in a need for their account numbers under financial information..."  Am I even close?

          Thank you "Josh" for affording me this second, wonderful, opportunity to p0wn [a first!  I 've never had opportunity to use this in a sentence before] an internet scammer such as yourself.  It has been equal parts uplifting and giggle-inducing.

          Oh and one last thing—just in case you are slightly curious about what all those squiggly red lines are doing under your words—when you right-click over one, a small list of words will appear.  It's like magic!  Just pick one.  Oh...sorry...imbeciles can't pick the correct one...pick the top one.  More than fifty percent of the time your word will be right.  The rest of the time, you'll have a totally different word, but it'll be spelled perfectly and will be certain to make your rambling run-on groups of words without punctuation a much more humorous read.

Again, thank you so very, very, much.  You've put a big smile on my face.



Paddy said...

Veach, had to let you know that despite Josh's huffy response he apparently copied your suggested revised query word for word, as one of my clients just received an email from him. The first paragraph is identical - he added some other alternatives after but must have had someone proofread it before he sent it. Still a scummy bunch who spam everyone, but thought you'd be amused.

veach glines said...

I should be more surprised than I am. I'm more amazed that someone got the new letter from "Josh" and tracked down my blog post about his original one.

Thanks for letting me know, Paddy.

(And if anyone actually knows how his scam works, I'd love to hear.)

The Punx of Fashion said...

Is it real or fake?
Because I receive the same offer because of my blog.

veach glines said...

I suspect fake. But as I discussed in this post not every offer that looks shady is a scam.

The horror reporter said...

Got this email tonight from 'Josh'... And his paragraph is the corrected version

Heather Sebastian said...

I got this email yesterday,

I work for a company called Discover Media, acting on behalf of a casino client who like to advertise on your website.

I am interested in publishing a short article (around 300+ words) on your website, to stay live for a 12 month period.

We tailor each article to suit individual websites, and are able to provide the content if necessary and can ensure that it is unique, up to date and relevant to the theme of your website, alternatively you can provide content if you wish.

If you are interested please reply and we can discuss it further.

Best regards,



Anonymous said...

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