If you run a website or blog, chances are your email inbox is filled to brimmin’ with offers from friendly advertisers willing to allow you a once- (or maybe twice!) in-a-lifetime opportunity to display their content on your site. Sometimes, sure, they offer to pay for the marketing work you’re doing on their behalf, but sometimes not! Sometimes, they just want to exchange links!
Now, you’re probably aware that you’re under no obligation to respond to such requests for free or underpaid labor—unless you’re really desperate for money, in which case I’d start billing the agencies the industry standard rate of $45 per hour—and saying “no thanks” can get a little old.
So here at the AAAFFF, we’ve developed a simple tool—a form letter, really—to respond to such offers. And instead of requesting the advertisers give us free or underpaid labor, we’re offering them the Anti-Advertising Agency Foundation For Freedom Award!
We’re posting our letter here for you to cut, paste, and send. Feel free to personalize it—and let us know how it works!
Dear Advertiser / Marketer / PR Person,
So great to hear from you!
Thank you for your kind offer to host your content on my site, in either a paid or volunteer capacity. Surely I will regret turning it down, because it certainly does seem like a fantastic opportunity!
Please don’t feel rejected. There are still several online venues available for you to legally and ethically pursue the wider audience you feel your product, event, or service deserves—without the trouble of chasing down individual bloggers or site owners! Two of the more popular are the Yellow Pages and Craigslist. Many local newspapers also offer affordable rates you may wish to look into. (One helpful hint I like to pass along is, if you are surfing the net and come across a site you like, check to see if they offer ad rates, usually noted by a link marked “advertising”!)
Maybe, though, this email comes at a bad time for you. Perhaps the legal and ethical problems plaguing advertising today have begun to gnaw. Likely, you always wanted to do something more fulfilling and creative with your life—and I can help!
My friends at the Anti-Advertising Agency Foundation For Freedom just might pay you cash money, throw you a big party in New York City, and award you a giant novelty check if you quit your job!
Plus, they’ll help you network with creatives in noncommercial fields and assist you in putting your talents to good use to help solve real-world problems! The application is easy, and you have plenty of time—it’s not due until September 1! Just download it here.
Or perhaps the problem runs deeper than that, and the legal and ethical issues the ad industry raises simply do not concern you. I completely understand. Maybe you’d be more comfortable making a donation, or forwarding the application link along to your colleagues in the industry. Now could be the time for you to weed out a bit of the competition!
Well, thanks again—It’s been great talking with you!
[YOUR NAME HERE]