There are a number of times when I start developing a post, I reach out to my network to get them to weigh in. If the expertise isn’t there (or I would like to use a new source), I use my tool (yes, I have finally got into Google Alerts — though that might be shortlived as I spend time using Mention) then follow where the threads lead me.
One glaring thing I noticed in the 70% of pieces I came across in which I wanted to reach out to the writer: no way to contact them. I did mention previously (you hand the site owner your IP Address) my aversion in using forms. I imagined other people trying to contact the same person shaking their heads.
Now…if you’re not crazy about sharing your email address to the world (on your Twitter bio or your site’s contact page)….
Here are a couple of options:
1.) Set your domain name to receive any email
A lot of startups do this. So if you’re looking to reach out to one of the founders, just use their first name and the domain.
The biggest upside is typos. If you’ve given your email (on a card or in a handwritten note) to a new contact and they missed typing one letter of your last name…
…come on! You don’t want them to risk getting distracted by something else!
(If you had asked your webmaster to enable this, the warning you’ll likely get is: ‘Are you sure? You might get a lot of spam.’)
2.) A throwaway email
You might notice that a lot of reporters do this. If you’re okay in sorting through lots of spam (once your email is out there and one spammer finds it — it seems like it tends to spread to different lists).
I thought that I was able to find something that would escape their grasp by not listing my email and instead leaving instructions on how to obtain it. I was proven wrong when I recently received a couple of spam emails — barely any content. I imagine this would be the spammer testing out if the email harvested is working.
So at least with a ‘throwaway’ one (either your backup or a completely new one) that you can just use for incoming email…or at least until you’ve decided that you’re keen to keep corresponding with the person.
3.) Join A Platform that has Private Messaging Capabilities
My platforms of choice would be Reddit and Tumblr. Primarily because of their uncomplicated rule for sending and receiving messages. Unlike Twitter where you’re not entirely sure if the person you’ve sent a message to has read it.
4.) Use a secure messenger
Based on the effectiveness of choice just give your reader none to choose from. That’s right! Go for one. You never know if that person has run out of all the decisions they are able to make on that particular day.
What are the best ways you’ve been able to reach your most valuable contacts? Send me a note on Twitter!