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Seedcorn – A Perfect Example of HOW TO ASK FOR ONLINE ATTENTION

Posted in: General by Richard Hearne on June 3, 2008
Internet Marketing Ireland

Here’s a mail I just received from InterTrade Ireland. What’s exceptional about this mail is that it is an almost perfect example of how to approach members of the online community in order to circulate information:

Hi Richard

We’re trying to promote the 2008 Seedcorn competition using the web this year in order to spread the word even further and I wonder would you like to help us out.

The Seedcorn competition is now in its 6th year and has a cash prize fund of €280,000 which is awarded to the best 9 start up companies on the island. Through the competition we are trying to re-create the investment process so we are looking for companies with the best investment potential. The competition is ideally suited to high tech high growth potential companies. For more information visit www.seedcorncompetition.com

What we’re looking for is for bloggers to mention the competition to their readers (if you think it might be useful to your readers of course) and point them to the Seedcorn website and perhaps encourage their readers to tell people who might think the competition is worth entering. We’re not looking for better Google rankings just people to come along to the website and read about the competition so “no follow” the links away! Maybe it’ll be because of you that someone finds the competition and wins it!

If you wanted to go much further (but you don’t have to) maybe you could put a small button on the side of your blog so visitors can see it and click on it? I’ve taken the liberty of attaching one just in case.

If you know of any people or companies that you think fit our criteria, please pass on the word to them too, we want the competition to reach as many people as possible so we can highlight the great talent we have across the island of Ireland.

Thanks for taking time out to read this email. If you yourself want more information, please don’t hesitate to contact me or send others my way.

Kind regards,


Grá¡inne Lennon FCA
The Old Gasworks Business Park
Kilmorey Street
Newry, Co. Down BT34 2DE
Northern Ireland

E-mail: [removed for privacy]
Web: www.intertradeireland.com
Tel: [removed for privacy]
Mobile: [removed for privacy]
Fax: [removed for privacy]

Now you have to hand it to Gráinne – I’m not sure if I’ve met Gráinne previously, but she’s come across in a very friendly way. She opens the email to me personally, introduces me with to-the-point content, and she stresses that the purpose of the request is not SEO (although this could indeed be counter-productive?).

I’ve been working with clients in highly competitive industries, and link building is one of the most difficult areas of SEO. The initial approach to any site owner can make or break your request for a link, and this mail is definitely worthy of consideration (and sure here I am blogging about it now!).

Just about every box is ticked for me:

  • Personally addresses – TICK
  • Useful content – TICK
  • Contact email details – TICK
  • Contact phone details – TICK
  • Address details – TICK

If I were to fault the mail in any way, (and being who I am this post would barely be authentic if I didn’t) I’d say maybe look to see if you can compress the copy to just a quick paragraph or two. Then include more information (or perhaps the text of a PR) beneath your signature for anyone who needs more info.

Good work InterTrade Ireland, and worthy of a link to www.seedcorncompetition.com.

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  1. Yes. I was more than happy to mention them on my site when they contacted me a few weeks ago:

    Unlike some of the idiots who seem to think that startup spam is acceptable!


    Comment by Michele — June 3, 2008 @ 6:06 pm

  2. [...] (June 03 2008) It appears that InterTrade Ireland is actively seeking blog posts now. Did I start [...]

    Pingback by WillKnott.ie » Blog Archive » seedcorn catcher — June 3, 2008 @ 8:46 pm

  3. It’s probably even better that they are not doing one large drop – quite impressive that they are looking good targets over time.

    The real pity about all the spam is that too much of it comes from ‘marketers’, and I include ‘SEOs’ in that group…


    Comment by Richard Hearne — June 3, 2008 @ 8:52 pm

  4. Interestingly enough, Gráinne is also popping along to Barcamp Belfast in June..I followed her link through to the website from the Wiki Page. So they are also attending offline events to promote an online competition. Bravo.

    Comment by Paul Anthony — June 5, 2008 @ 7:32 am

  5. [...] I caught up on some of my far-behind blog reading and read a post from Richard Hearne on another company doing things right: Intertrade Ireland is running around [...]

    Pingback by Sabrina Dent: Pixel Pushing Ireland » Doing Things Right — June 25, 2008 @ 12:36 pm

  6. [...] Not personalised in any way (nothing to personalise) – unlike SeedCorn [...]

    Pingback by One More Reason For Damien To… | Search Engine Optimisation & Online Marketing Ireland .:. Red Cardinal — June 29, 2008 @ 8:26 am

  7. That’s awesome. I would never have thought to suggest nofollowing the link, knowing that such openness, might get a followed link. Brilliant. Honest. Straightforward. A little too wordy, though.

    Thanks for sharing, Richard. You’ve found a loyal reader and a link from me!

    Comment by Integrisearch — August 7, 2008 @ 7:41 pm

  8. [...] a link to a good post by Richard Hearne in which he meticulously breaks down what someone has done right in attracting his attention. Read the comments too for more [...]

    Pingback by Internet Marketing Strategies from Brightspark Consulting Dublin, Ireland — August 12, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

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