Want copywriting advice? At least reply when you get it!

January 28, 2014 •
Say thanks for copywriting advice

An aspiring copywriter emailed me for advice, recently. I sent a helpful 172-word reply, then he took 18 days to say thanks…

Is that a bit rude? Or am I just expecting too much?

Just as importantly, is it a trend?

A guy claiming to be an adult industry copywriter messaged me on Facebook back in September 2013. He wanted to know if it would be worth his while ‘mainstreaming’. He even asked my income! Yet despite my 227-word answer, he didn’t get back to me at all! (Perhaps that’s because he charges “quite obscene rates for most projects” already. Which, of course, begs the question: Why did he need my advice at all?)

I’m more than happy to give aspiring copywriters advice. I’ve received a lot of advice myself, over the years. And I believe what goes around comes around.

But if you ask for advice then show how little regard you have for it by taking forever to reply (or not replying at all), you’re not doing yourself any favours.

End rant.

Feel free to comment...
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Donna Spencer wrote on January 27th, 2014

Glenn, this happens to me all the time! Out of every 5 long answers I write, 2 might say thanks. Some cultures are worse than others, and I'm glad to say that most Australians say thanks.

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 27th, 2014

Oh no! That's worse than my reply rate. So rude.

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Anna Butler wrote on January 28th, 2014

Wow, I must have been very fortunate. Most of the aspiring copywriters I've taken the time to give advice to have been gracious enough to say thank you. In fact, there have been quite a few who I've conversed with on numerous occasions. Maybe I'm just scarier and they don't want to risk ticking me off... ;-)

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 28th, 2014

Haha! Yeah, you're soooooooooo scary, Anna... ;-) Don't get me wrong, most still do reply and most are lovely about it. I just got a bee in my bonnet this morning because two recently didn't.

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Ken wrote on January 28th, 2014

Heh Glenn, I think this is happening more and more now online. We get people calling regularly after advice on their online marketing. We have a chat and usually follow up with a nice email confirming our advice and pointing them to some research material. Some people give us a nice thank you. We don't hear from most. Ken

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 28th, 2014

Yeah, I get a lot of tyre-kickers too. Almost never convert, so I'm done with them. It'll be short phone calls from now on. If they want advice, they can pay for it.

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Laurie wrote on January 28th, 2014

Mmm, the tire-kickers as we call them up in Canada. Yes, I'm finally starting to wise up to them and am learning to say no or offer up a clever redirect. I guess I could just send them an invoice, or a list with my rates. That'll get the message across. Oh, and THANKS for all your great advice Glenn. :)

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Emily Read wrote on January 28th, 2014

I don't usually get a thank you either. I've only had a couple such emails so far, but still. It's incredibly rude! Although I do feel better knowing I'm not the only one to experience this.

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 28th, 2014

It's made more difficult by the fact that a lot of them aren't really tyre-kickers. Not intentionally, anyway. They're genuinely interested in your service, but when they realise it costs more than $3/page, they decide they don't have the budget for it.

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 28th, 2014

Yeah. It's especially frustrating as they're not just asking for advice, they're asking you to help a potential competitor out.

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Brook McCarthy wrote on January 28th, 2014

Yep, happens all the time. I introduce people via email, send them relevant information I come across that would be of interest to them, direct journalists their way, and refer to them in articles I write. I get an acknowledgement or thanks about half the time. Just rude.

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Donna Spencer wrote on January 28th, 2014

I'm a published author, and I think my lower thank you rate is that people treat me like a bit of a commodity to be used...

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 28th, 2014

Sorry to hear that Brook. Frustrating, isn't it?

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 28th, 2014

That's weird. If you had to choose who you were going to be rude to, you'd think it wouldn't be the published author... :-\

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Rhonda wrote on January 28th, 2014

This is a common behaviour and even the people in your office, on the same floor, act this way. Then you feel awkward in the kitchen because now you think perhaps it's you, not them. I sometimes take some time to respond to first contacts, but that's only a few hours and because I want to be at a PC from which I can avoid sending a 'Sent from my Sony phone' sig! :-)

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Anna Butler wrote on January 28th, 2014

That's why I ended up putting together that rate chart on my new site... gives them a bit of an idea. Seems to be helping to filter out those who probably can't or don't want to pay what I'm asking.

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 28th, 2014

It's been 12 years since I worked in a real office, so I wouldn't know. :-\ I know one thing, though, if someone in my office failed to reply to my email, I'd sack him and go for a surf. ;-)

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 28th, 2014

I did exactly the same thing, Anna. But then I let my ranking drop, and I stopped getting as many off-the-streets, so it wasn't such a problem anymore.

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Rupen Savoulian wrote on January 29th, 2014

Hi Glenn. I feel your pain! A simple 'thank you' is not too much to ask. Common courtesy has gone out the window. I think in our rush to increase production, the little but significant norms of social communication have been abandoned. Great post, and keep on ranting. Cheers. Rupen

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Glenn Murray wrote on January 29th, 2014

Hello Mr Rupen. Long time no speak! Yep, you're 100% right.

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Elizabeth Garner wrote on February 3rd, 2014

Hello Glen, It's called common courtesy. Something that is sadly lacking in many industries these days. What these rude folk don't realise, is that people have long memories. In a totally unrelated industry (livestock), I had a new entrant to industry contact me and pick my brains on animal health mercilessly. I have always been happy to accommodate enquiries by new entrants to the industry I'm involved in. I'll even go the extra mile for an animal that is actually ill. In this instance though, this 'new entrant' picked my brains on animal health, then started an animal health supplies business in direct competition to mine. Creep. Keep the high road. What goes around, comes around. :)

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Glenn Murray wrote on February 3rd, 2014

That sux, Elizabeth. Don't worry, just as you say, karma will get them in the end. ;-)

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Jackmo wrote on November 13th, 2014

I always get heaps of phone calls from people asking to help them through the problem instead of paying you to come out and fix it. Soo anoying

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Website wrote on June 20th, 2015

Couldn't agree with you more on this! Nice read :)

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Computer Fixperts wrote on June 20th, 2015

Pretty darn rude!

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IT wrote on June 20th, 2015

That's a bit of a wait! haha. I find it all too common this kind of behaviour. When are people going to demonstrate common courtesy!

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Bob wrote on July 25th, 2015

I agree peoples sense of morality and ethical behavior is diminishing with every passing day it seems elastic to technology. Less face to face interaction means that we dont take things seriously anymore.

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GeekGuru wrote on June 14th, 2016

Best thing is to have people with absolutely no knowledge answering the phone.

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Gary wrote on September 6th, 2016

It didn't beg the question. It raised the question.

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Glenn Murray wrote on September 6th, 2016

If you're a prescriptive grammarian, sure... ;-)

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