Recently at the Master Your Remodeling Business Workshop, one of the attendees asked me how he could politely turn away unqualified leads via email. Apparently, he’s been getting many emails from people that either aren’t in his service area, want a service he doesn’t provide, or don’t have a realistic budget.

My first piece of advice was for him to reevaluate his website and his overall marketing messages. If he’s regularly attracting the wrong prospect, then he has a fundamental issue with his brand image. That being said, there is no way to avoid all possibility of getting the wrong type of lead inquiry. So having a polite way to turn away the misinformed prospect is a good idea.

Now, I don’t have this exact problem myself (and we were standing around at the networking dinner), so I didn’t rattle off an eloquent email right then and there; however, I can relate. I have a number of redundant emails that hit my inbox to which I need to respond, so having templates available saves me a lot of time.

Here’s a sample of the requests I get every month:

  • Someone wanting to submit a blog post to PowerTips (unsolicited)
  • Someone wanting to submit a blog post to PowerTips (from a friend)
  • Someone that wants me to write a blog post for them
  • Someone that wants to sell me marketing software (unsolicited)
  • SEO company that wants to sell me their services (unsolicited)

Obviously, there are times where the email is just spam, in which case I’ll add the sender to my blacklist and delete the email without a reply. But there are also plenty of instances where I want to be professional and extend the courtesy of a response, even if it is to say simply “no.” So I created templated responses for these common inbox requests, and I entered them as an email signature in my Outlook email. That’s right. No law says that the signature must only contain a signature!

Here’s an example of the template I send to unsolicited guest blog submissions:


Hi [Name],

Thank you for your interest in contributing to PowerTips! It’s an honor that you would want to be associated with our humble publication.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we’ll be able to use your submission. We receive dozens of requests every month, and I simply can’t accommodate them all. When I am able to use a guest submission, I offer it to our community members first.

Thank you again for your interest. I wish you all the best in your blogging endeavors!

Warm regards,

I get many of these requests every month. Having this template is a huge time-saver.

This method works great for politely replying to all of your redundant emails; unqualified leads, requests for employment, or any number of other time-wasters hitting your inbox.