If you’re thinking of monetizing your email newsletter, then you might want to consider looking for sponsors. Securing a good sponsorship deal can be beneficial for everyone involved. For you, of course, it will mean generating revenue. For your sponsors, it will mean access to ready-made audiences, which in turn will get exposure to new brands, products, or services that give them value.
But if you’re thinking of looking for sponsorship, there are a few things you’ll need to consider first:
- How many subscribers your newsletter has, as well as its click rate and open rate.
- The target market of the companies you approach for sponsorship and how they align with your demographic.
- How you can package your sponsorship deals to make them attractive to prospects.
When it comes to monetizing your email newsletter, there’s never a one-size-fits-all approach. So here are some hints and tips for making sponsorship deals work for you.
How To Set Your Newsletter Up For Success
Prospective sponsors will be looking for you to hit specific success metrics. If you want to attract sponsors, you’ll have to ensure that your newsletter is doing well enough to make it worth its while. There’s not much point in trying to secure a sponsorship deal if your newsletter only has 200 or even 2,000 subscribers unless you’re in a tiny niche.
But having an impressive list of subscribers is not the only consideration. Even if you can boast 10,000+, there’s still more that potential sponsors will need to know. Because you see, if you do have plenty of subscribers, that’s going to count for a lot less if your open rate is through the floor.
Your click-through rate will be more important still. You can’t offer prospects much value if none of your subscribers follow up on the links you currently feature.
So, work at getting your newsletter off the ground before looking to bring in sponsors. Then, once you’re confident that what you can offer them is worthwhile, you can start thinking about how exactly you want to package your offer.
Build The Package
When reaching out to prospects, there are some key things you’ll need to know before you can put an offer on the table. Approach prospects when you have no idea what sort of deal you want to make, and there’s little chance they’ll engage.
With a defined product package, you can be clear on exactly what you can offer your prospects and how much you want to charge. So, think about:
- Advertising space.
- Additional benefits you can offer.
- Your pricing.
Tip: Letterhead can help you build and manage your inventory in one easy to use place. We'll even help you with best practices.
You must know what sort of space and how much of it you want to offer out to sponsors. Do you want them to have a banner ad right at the top of your newsletter? Or would you rather your sponsors purchase a run of native ads elsewhere, which are more subtle?
Whatever you go for, a good rule of thumb is to only use a maximum of 20% of your email for promotional content. Remember that sponsorships only work if your subscribers keep reading, so don’t put them off by turning your newsletter into a classified ads page.
If you want to make your deal more attractive, you can offer additional benefits. For example, if you have a popular YouTube channel or a Twitter account with thousands of followers, you could offer to promote your sponsors there, too.
In your package, you could also include a dedicated email introducing your new sponsor to readers. Be careful, though, because this only really works if your sponsor’s messaging aligns with yours, and you’re sure it can offer value. Otherwise, you risk putting readers off.
One of the most important things you need to think about is your pricing. How you price up your sponsorship packages will depend on various factors, including how many subscribers you have, how much advertising space you have to offer, and any additional benefits you can include.
You’ll also have to think about how many sponsors you want to reach out to and, in turn, how many advertisers you’ll want to feature. If, for example, you decide you want to feature two or three sponsors in each newsletter, this will inevitably change how you package your deals and will likely make your offer less attractive.
Tip: Check out our Revenue Calculator to figure out your current CPM.
Finding Those Sponsors
When it comes to reaching out to potential sponsors, you should focus on good old-fashioned sales prospecting. Emails and phone calls to businesses that you’re interested in featuring are the best way to start building relationships that will last a long time and remain mutually beneficial.
So start by doing some research. Spend time searching out brands that have a similar ethos to yours and look at what sorts of companies sponsor similar newsletters. From here, you can build a list of ideal prospects, add them to your CRM or database, and make contact.
When you reach out, let them know precisely why you would love to work with them, what it is you can offer, and your starting prices for negotiation. And remember: this first email or call is just the start.
To get sponsors to sign on the dotted line, you’ll have to send out additional emails and ensure you follow-up over the phone. You’re building a working relationship for the benefit of all involved, so make sure you put the work in.
Email Template Examples
That first point of contact is, in many ways, the most important. You’re introducing your brand and trying to set a partnership in motion. However, you won’t be the only business trying to get a foot in the door, so you’ll have to work at getting that first email perfect.
Suppose you’ve already been in contact with a representative from a company you have in mind, great! All you have to do with your email is re-establish rapport and give them a reason to jump on a call with you. You don’t even need to mention the reason for your email outright. Asking someone for a quick chat to discuss an exciting opportunity or get their feedback can go a long way.
However, if you’re going in cold, then you’ll need to work that bit harder. Keep in mind that you’re trying to start a conversation that will lead to a more in-depth discussion further down the line. Some sound advice is to be as concise as you can, hold your prospect’s attention, and avoid being too pushy.
The following template gives you an excellent place to start:
My name is […] and I write [newsletter title], the go-to [daily/weekly/monthly] newsletter for [target demo]. It currently has [XXX] subscribers and counting, and I’m hoping to bring in sponsors with a similar [vision/goal/purpose] to me. I can offer [concise overview of sponsorship package] for sponsors looking to expand their target audience.
I was wondering if you’d be interested in jumping on a call for a quick chat?
In the meantime, if you want to know more about my newsletter, my brand, and its audience, you can take a look at [links].
I am looking forward to hearing back.
Just make sure to edit the template to make it relevant to your business and add any other information you think your prospect will want to know.
Finding Sponsors For Your Email Newsletter
Sponsorships can take your brand to another level. When you monetize your email newsletter by initiating partnerships with similar brands, you allow yourself to expand your reach and set bigger and better goals for your business. Just make sure that you’ve got good enough foundations for a sponsorship deal to be worthwhile to your prospects.
And remember that if you’re going to do it, do it right. You must never compromise reader experience by overloading your newsletter with sponsored ads or reaching out to the wrong companies.
Be considered and tactical when finding sponsors for your email newsletter, and you’ll be onto a winner.