Real life examples of business pitch emails – good and bad

After my post the other day I coincidentally received 2 emails from people interested in working with me. They were very different, take a look:

Email 1: How not to pitch for business:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I hope you are well. I am recruiting selected affiliates for some of the leading online merchants in the UK. I manage Bennetts, Home Learning College and Holland & Barrett affiliate campaigns.


Bennetts is the UK’s number one for motorcycle insurance and insures over 180,000 bikers in the UK and Northern Ireland. Please view full details of Bennetts affiliate campaign and current competition at You can earn up to £20 commission per sale from Bennetts.

Home Learning College

Home Learning College is a leading independent online education provider. You can join the campaign on Commission Junction. Home Learning College offers £8 per successful lead.

Holland & Barrett

Holland and Barrett is the UK's leading retailer of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements. The campaign is live on Commission Junction and offers attractive 5% commission on order value.

I am also in the process of launching an affiliate campaign for which would be available on Affiliate Window from 1st June.

Please feel free to contact me by email, msn or call me directly.

Kind Regards,

The above email was everything I talked about in my previous post. It was impersonal and very generic. Whats worse, it was addressed to my eToys email address so none of the affiliate programs it is promoting are even remotely targeted to my audience.

Email 2: How to pitch for business: This was sent via a private message via the A4U forum.

Hi Kieron,

Sorry to post through the forum, but as you are on here quite a lot I thought it might be a good place to catch you - as im sure you probably get hundreds of e-mails etc everyday.

I was simply wondering if you would consider promoting the HSBC credit card on your cards site? I believe you may have featured our marbles card previously, (prior to it closing). In the marbles days you may have been contacted by colleague Andy Bowley.

The card is currently running through CJ and commissions are currently set at £20 per accepted card - although dependant on volumes we are always open to some negotiation on this.

I would really like to work with you, as I really rate your Blog, and it would be great to have some top affiliates on-board who are open to a bit of innovation, and can give us some feedback on the programme, whilst also driving some volumes.

If you are interested, please feel free to drop me a note on here, apply through CJ, or give me a shout to discuss..

Now isn't that a much better way to pitch for business? The sender knew my name, knew I run a credit card site and spent some time making the email personal to me. Sure, there was a bit of sucking up in there, but thats a good thing :)

Footnote: I was really impressed by the second example of a business pitch, so much so that I logged in to CJ and applied to the program. ONLY TO BE AUTOMATICALLY REJECTED! You see? This is why I don't recommend any merchants to use CJ, I mean why on earth would I get an automatic rejection? Rubbish system. Anyway, I emailed the guy at HSBC who knew nothing about the auto reject thing and swiftly got me approved. Seriously CJ, your system sucks.

What I'm listening to right now: Trey Songz – "Wonder Woman"

Affiliate Marketing

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7 Responses to Real life examples of business pitch emails – good and bad

  1. caroline says:

    Hi Kieron,

    Just a quick note to thank you for inspiring me into the affiliate marketing game. I got started around 14 months ago after reading your blog and will quit my job this July. It took me until Dec 06 to make around 3k per month profit and now I’m up to around 7.5k monthly – and I’ve not even started to use Yahoo and MSN paid search engines as yet. I’m aiming to triple the latter profit number by Xmas. Not bad for a soon to be former secretary.

    Two questions I had concerns your structuring of your Google Adwords campaigns. How many keywords do you typically put into your adgroups – and does this differ if they are long tail keywords as opposed to being high volume/specific terms? Do you generally use phrase and exact matching?

    Thanks again Kieron.


  2. Kieron says:

    Hi Caroline, thanks for your comments and questions. Can you email me at info at ukoffer dot com for a chat please?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Kieron,

    I hope you are well?

    I read with inertest the comments you have made re the approach I took when contacting you about the affiliate programmes I manage. I agree that the approach I undertook wasnt personalised however I didnt know that etoys was your website. I always contact affiliates I know by phone or personalised emails however Etoys was found on Alexa and there were no contact details provided, I could only find an email address for contact on your website.

    I do understand that etoys per se wasnt directly relevant to the programmes mentioned in my e mail however many affiliates have several websites and I often find that affiliates are interested in more than one of the programmes. I am grateful for you highlighting issues in my approach and will take on board your comments when recruiting in the future.

    Kind Regards,

    Adeel Farooq

  4. Kieron says:

    Hi Adeel,

    if you ever want to know who runs a website then use a WHOIS lookup tool such as All you do is enter the domain and it tells you who the owner is.

    Also, I would avoid emailing websites that have no content related to the programs you are promoting, these emails will just be perceived as spam. Instead I would just focus on contacting websites where you think your programs will create a good match, and when you do make sure you send a personal email like the one I received from HSBC :)

    Anyway, thanks for your comments and the feedback. Much appreciated.

  5. Helen says:

    Hi Kieron,

    Just wanted to say this is a really valid point and am delighted to see it raised from the horses mouth so to speak :) I’m forever banging on about taking a personalised approach when approaching affiliates. It does take a lot longer and you need to do your homework on who you are talking to but in my experience it gets a much better response and goes a long way to building good long term relationships with people which we all know is the key to success in this industry!


  6. Pingback: Communicating effectively with affiliates - 5 golden rules | Affiliate Marketing Blog from UK Offer Media

  7. Pingback: Affiliate Marketing Blog from Kieron Donoghue | John Chow dot Com

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