Here You Go Busy Blogger Man, Another Article For Your Site is the largest resource on the Internet linking shoppers to free-shipping deals offered by more than 4,000 online merchants. The company is also a content marketer. They keep up an active blog on frugal living, and they send out complete articles for editors like me to post.

Here’s how their latest offering begins:

Return policies for some merchants are more complex than income tax laws. Buy online and you’ll spend umpteen hours working your way through phone trees and waiting on hold to talk to a customer “service” representative. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a refund. Otherwise, it’s a store credit from a store you may not wish to patronize again.

Humorously, many of these merchants claim to offer “hassle free” returns. Some retailers, on the other hand, genuinely believe in making the process as pain-free as possible. FreeShipping did some research and came up with the following top 10 online return policies.

The piece goes on to name L.L. Bean and others. But that’s not what I’m interested in. I just thought it worthwhile to take note of this new tactic, because these type of appeals are coming in regularly now. Sometimes it is a PR agent wanting a byline for their client, other times it’s all about the link back.

I understand why a company might want to offer pre-packaged content to a site like ours, but how well do they know our readers? Did they prepare an article just for you, or is it a blanket the blogs strategy? Clearly, in the case above it’s the latter.

Sending out pre-packaged content is predicated on the notion that blogs need content, but that’s not the correct assumption in this case. And the fact that there’s no prior relationship here, no getting to know me, or AdPulp, makes the whole thing a bit sour.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.