Another Dumb Way to Start a Business Proposal

They just keep coming in.

Subject: re: advertising proposal


I am a media buyer at Medios One LLC (  I am interested in buying inventory on your site.  MediosOne is a global online advertising network.  We have offices in 5 countries and many more support offices around the world.  Our publisher network model gives us access to large amounts of high  quality inventory from all types of sites, which are targeted to users in many geographic locations. Some of the advertisers we work with include ICICI, Make My Trip, Max New York Life,, Colgate, Hewlett Packard, Tata Sky, AOL, Citibank, and  India Times. We are  currently looking for publishers to add to our network. Currently, we are running a good  amount of campaigns targeted to the US, Asia, South America, UK as well as Western Europe.

Can you help me reach the appropriate person who handles advertising sales for your website?

If you are the correct person please let me know and we can move forward, if not would you please direct me to that person in your company.

I look forward to your response and the possibility of our companies doing business together.

Thank you,
Jobette Escobanas
contact information removed

This e-mail was actually relatively well written, and polite. They get points for that, as well as for targeting the global market and not just being limited to English and the good ol’ U.S.A. To nitpick his e-mail, he states his company’s name different ways: is it MediosOne, or Medios One? Also, why would I want Colgate ads on my website?

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I think that details really do count on an e-mail like this. It’s obviously a copy-pasted e-mail with no mention of my name, my company’s name, my product’s name, the website address, or anything that tells me that the e-mail was targeted at me and not just blindly multicast to hundreds of other e-mails. To be honest, I’m at the point where any business deal I set up must be five figures per month and that’s not something I’m going to trust with just any drive-by e-mail with random spacing anomalies and other inconsitencies.

Also, Jobette has made an enormous faux paus in my book: He started the subject line with ‘re:’. Why did he do that? Does he think he has to trick me in to reading his e-mail by making me think this is part of an existing conversation thread? I don’t get it. Maybe it was a mistake, who knows. In any event, no thanks Jobette … but best of luck though I suppose.

Lastly, I apologize for not blogging much lately. I’ve been busy with work, social life, and of course Paint.NET work. And Rock Band. I’ve made enhancements to the PNG, BMP, and TGA codecs that have come with some refactoring work, as well as having extended IndirectUI to work with file type codecs/plugins. We were also tracking down a bizarre enumeration related bugs with the .NET runtime … I seriously thought my computer was failing and I”d have to buy new RAM, but then tracked it down to a smashed stack. Interesting stuff.


9 thoughts on “Another Dumb Way to Start a Business Proposal

  1. Andrew D says:

    Heh, at this rate you’ll make a category about business proposals.

    Any other strange ones came? And also, how can they find out your e-mail, but not one detail of you?

  2. Mickiscoole says:

    Re doesn’t necessarily mean that it is something replying, it has only been used that way with the advent of email.

    Re is a Latin word that basically means ‘in the matter of’ (about, concerning). It is grammatically correct for me to say “We need to speak sometime Re your dog and my lawn”, or an email subject “Re: new shoes” just means that the email is about my new shoes.

    Sorry to give an English lecture – it’s just one of my pet peeves.

  3. Sander says:

    You are right about re being translated to ‘in the matter of’, but technically re is the ablativus from the word res. Res translates as ‘thing, object, being, matter, affair, event, fact, circumstance’. The ablativus can be translated to ‘regarding the matter’, although there are way more correct translations.
    7 years of latin on school (way too much).

  4. Dean Harding says:

    “Re is a Latin word that basically means ‘in the matter of’”

    While that is certainly true, it has taken a very specific meaning in email subject lines: it means “this is a reply to another email”.

    If you want to use “Re” in it’s original form, you can put it as the first line of the message body. But I agree with Rick that it’s not “good form” to use in the subject line if the message is *not* a reply.


  5. WJUK says:

    In terms of the internet and emails, “RE:” has always meant reply.

    But I’m sure in letters “RE:” means “Regarding:” that’s what I was told anyway.

  6. Rick Johansson says:

    It’s amazing how some companies are clueless when it comes to business proposals. I mean, at least get the obvious stuff correct! Boilerplate proposals are maddening!

  7. Kaity says:

    I think the word “re” is just over-discussed here. If you really want to do business then don’t just look at someone’s English. I think you also need to learn other cultures and see what the intent of the person could have been.

    Instead of teaching others your language, and being over critical about it maybe it will help you if you learn about different cultures which can eventually help you do successful business globally. I am not from non-english speaking country, I think you will really struggle doing business with them if you get stuck with such “re:” words.

    hope this helps.


  8. Rick Brewster says:

    Kaity, it’s ironic that you flog me/us as rat holing on “re:”, and then you base your entire comment on that and ignore the rest of the context.

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