Seems that I am late to the game here as Lorelle goes over a list slowly being created on Rules on How to E-mail a Blogger. Kent of Newsome.org started the list with five items, TDavid of Make You Go Hmm added four more rules, and Lorelle added a final rule, rounding out the list to ten.
Those rules include:
1. Develop a relationship with the blogger before you email.
2. Don’t just start sending indiscriminate emails to people who don’t know you.
3. Be brief, kind, and appreciative.
4. State why the post might be of interest to the recipient.
5. Be patient.
6. Contact people the way they prefer to be contacted (not everyone likes email – IM, IRC, blog comment, etc.).
7. Be sure the person hasn’t already written about the same thing.
8. Random selfless acts communicated separately. [Say thank you in a separate email.]
9. Be sure it is among your best stuff and in the blogger’s field of interest.
10. Have No Expectations and Silence Is Not An Answer.
I think these are really great rules, and some of them should be turned into a standard text on contact form pages to let people attempting to contact you know what they should expect.
Something along the lines of:
“Getting to know me first by commenting on my blog is a good way to get your e-mail contact noticed at the top of my list of people to reply to. Please be brief, but informative. Please do not expect an answer right away, as no doubt I am very busy, but I do appreciate that you are trying to get a hold of me and if I have a chance, I will get back to you. Also, feel free to use my search bar to find out if I have already answered your question(s).”
I get contacted all the time, with long e-mails which I skim through and do my best to answer, but what really annoys me is the e-mails where people say “That’s funny, know what I mean?”
To which I have to reply, “Nope…sorry…” As they did not inform me what they were talking about and must have assumed I was tracking their specific movements through my site. I don’t think that people lack communication skills, but instead the patience to make sure they have commented correctly.