About once a month for the past year, I’ve been receiving emails from various seemingly mid-tier enterprise technology magazines offering to feature my company in a “Top 10” or “Top 20” list of B2B companies…for a price. In exchange for that price, which is always $3,000, they promise to feature us in an article listing the best players in a particular B2B space. If you’ve ever received a similar email, you’ve probably wondered if it’s worthwhile investment.
The email usually comes from someone with a white-bread name, typically something like “Amy Smith” or “Chris Miller”, but writes in that clunky, awkward way that people do when not working in their native tongue. If you visit the magazine’s site and go through the articles, you’ll find that most of them seem to be “advertorial” pieces whose feature photo is a head shot of the author. The magazine sells for more than $10 an issue, but if you visit the “subscribe” page on their site, they’re more than happy to offer a FREE (it’s always in all-caps) subscription to “qualified readers” who provide them with contact information.
The invitation always follows the same template. Here’s the latest one I received, which should give you an idea of how they generally read:
Great to be connected here,
As mentioned below, we shortlisted your company to be featured in “Top 10 [players in my company’s space]” which we are covering in [crappy site name redacted] special edition on [space that my company is in].
You can also go through the following media kit link.
- Recognition of your company as “Top 10 [players in my company’s space]” is indeed a great honor and you can utilize it effectively for several of your marketing campaigns.
- This honor can effectively be used by your business development/ sales team as an additional tool to win clients.
- Top 10 [players in my company’s space] will have a shelf life of one year.
- Logos of “Top 10 [players in my company’s space]” can be used in all your marketing collateral and also prominently displayed on your website. This will enhance the brand visibility for your company.
- We will provide the full digital re-print rights for one full page profile in the print magazine and online magazine about your company, along with CEO picture.
- We will provide you a quote from our Managing editor. You can send out a press release to local media and also put up the press release in your website.
- Your current customers will also be a lot more comfortable doing business with you as you are recognized by a media company.
- Your prospective customers will be more than happy to work with you as you will be projected trust worthy player in the market.
- You can promote this recognition and honor in social media (Facebook/ Twitter/ LinkedIn)
- The certificate of honor can be utilized to be displayed at your office lobby, which indeed will motivate your employees as well contribute towards your company growth.
Once you confirm your participation we will schedule an interview call with your CEO to feature in the magazine.
Please review our opportunity and let me know your interest to take it forward.
Looking forward to hear from you,
I’d already rejected the idea after reading the email, but I thought I’d back my gut-based decision with some empirical data. I did a quick check of their site’s ranking on Alexa. Here’s what I found:
Their global rank was below 10 million. To give you an idea of how tragically, pathetically, hilariously poor this ranking is, consider Alexa’s ranking for this site, which I’d admit could use a little more of my love, attention, and promotion:
Even my personal blog, The Adventures of Accordion Guy in the 21st Century, does better than their site, with its Alexa ranking of 342,151 globally, and 84,883 in the U.S.:
Looking at the difference between my sites’ numbers and theirs, the people from these magazines should be paying me $3000 to promote them. I suspect that most of the pageviews for these magazines’ articles are from framed copies on the authors’ office walls.
If you have an extra $3,000 in your marketing budget, there are far better ways to spend it than on a vanity piece in a “pay-to-play” magazine.