Sponsorship & Advertising Mistakes: How NOT To Ask For It

Steven4 responsesBlogging
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I get emails all the time from bloggers who want me to sponsor contest they’re running or advertise on their blogs. I do read these emails and if it’s a good opportunity I take advantage of it. However, so many of these emails are just … awful. There’s no other way to describe it! Here are some things you should NOT do when you’re asking for sponsorship or advertising.

  • No mention of my name in your email: If you want to get my attention address me by my name. Or at least use the name of my blog. Show me that you’re not just some robot spamming every email address you can find.
  • Blatant butt-kissing: If you want my help with something, ask me. But don’t try to butter me up with a lot of flattery. I know I have a popular blog. You’ll get a lot more cooperation out of me if you tell me why that’s important to you. All this butt-kissing is just … creepy and wrong.
  • Write like an illiterate spammer: So many of the emails I receive are poorly written. The spelling is horrible, the formatting sucks. Some of them are completely unreadable. Look, you’re asking me to give you money. At least present yourself as a professional business person.
  • No link to your blog: If you want me to sponsor a contest on your blog or buy advertising space, why didn’t you include a link to your blog so I can check it out? Are you expecting me to take the time to try to hunt you down on the Internet? Sorry. If you’re not professional enough to send me a link I probably don’t want to do business with you anyway.
  • WIIFM?: Asking me to hand you money without telling me What’s In It For Me is a big mistake. I do contribute to a few charities but this is a business arrangement you want me to make. Which means I’m only going to hand you money if I get an acceptable return on my investment.
  • No information about the contest: You want to know if I’ll sponsor your contest but you don’t tell me what the contest is, how it works, what it accomplishes, who’s participating … Nothing. For all I know you could be awarding prizes to the person who replies to the most comments on your blog. And, oh yeah… that’s you.

In other words, it’s perfectly fine to email other bloggers and ask if they’d be interested in sponsoring your contest or buying up one of those empty advertising slots in your sidebar. But handle it in a professional, business-like manner. Address them by name, explain why you’re approaching them, give them all the details and links, and make sure you let them know what they can expect in return.

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And last, but not least, make sure you’re using an email address they can reply to or give them valid contact information. Otherwise, you’ll never get a response, no matter how great your email is.

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  1. Paul Osborn

    I receive a lot of these under the guise of a free article for my blog. Marketers are either really dumb or they think that we are.

    1. These usually go straight to the Trash folder

  2. Jennifer

    I agree with this. I received an email stating they had been following my blog for sometime now and wanted me to guest blog on their new blog, but left no link to their blog and the whole thing just felt spammy.

    1. These are very often automated emails…

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