The new server rolling out and, with my account name on alliance profile, I go though the same annoyance again and again. This is not a guide, I will not discuss how to find the alliance that suits you best. Just a few simple (and obvious to me) notes to have in mind when you apply to the alliance of your choice. All my personal preferences of course, others might feel differently.
1. Messages without subject are simply ignored. It is funny when someone knocks on my mail box again with a remark about my rudeness not answering their message. if you can't spend a few second to put a word in subject line why do you expect me to be polite in return?
2. "Can I join?" is not enough incentive to even check your location or tribe. Give me something to consider otherwise the message will be ignored. Introduce yourself properly. Mention your game experience or willingness to learn if you are relatively new. "I will have settlers ready in 36 hours and want to join an alliance before I send them. Ready to go wherever needed." will gain you good amount of points."You have boots (regional map example). Can I join?" will not.
3. Little bit of research increases your chances dramatically. Most likely alliance profile page will name designated recruiter. Don't contact anyone else in leadership. Read alliance profile and think if there is anything to connect with or avoid in your message. Read recruiter profile and check the same. Check the map and see if there are any alliance members to befriend. Check your network and see if you have any friends who can possible reference you.
4. Do not lie! Leaders of serious alliance are capable of checking getter and usually have decent network. Kick is just as easy and invitation.
In general, Travian server is long term project, not one night stand. Your effort should reflect that.
Thank you for reading and letting me vent I hope this helps someone.