Many of you are working on conference sponsorship pitches right now. However, you feel paralyzed by the fact that you are just not sure what to include in it, how to contact the company, and ultimately, whether or not you feel confident enough to pitch anyhow.
I recently email interviewed Erin Lane, the Director of Marketing Communications for SCI Child, to gain insight into what she’s looking for in a sponsorship pitch. While each company is different, her answers are ones I imagine many companies would also reply with. Use this information to help craft your pitch.
1. What would you like to see in a conference sponsorship pitch from a blogger? (i.e. a page limit, certain content included, a specific versus vague pitch with regards to promotion ideas?)
If you are asking for SCI to sponsor you at a conference, first I want to know WHY. Why did you select us; why do you think we’d be a good partner?
Next, I need to know what you can offer. I always think it’s a good idea to show options, but be specific and only offer what you are comfortable with. Are you going to advertise our brand on your blog? Are you going to offer a contest? Will you take a product to the conference? All the details are very important. If it’s too vague, I just hit delete.
2. How do you prefer to receive a pitch: email or phone call? Do you welcome those who initially make a connection with you via Twitter, but then follow up with an emailed sponsorship pitch?
If we’ve never interacted, I would prefer an email pitch. If I know you well, a phone call is fine, but will likely need to be followed up with an email with the details. Twitter is great for starting the relationship and opening the door, but the pitch needs to be in an email.
3. In your opinion, what are some “mistakes” in a conference sponsorship pitch?
Not to be redundant, but again, it’s in the details. The biggest mistake is to send a pitch that screams form letter. I have received sponsorship pitches that tell me who they are and what they need, but don’t talk about what they can offer and why my company would be smart to work with them.
Another mistake I’ve seen are pitches that are filled with hesitation. You have to believe in yourself and what you can offer. A pitch is your opportunity to shine. If you seem doubtful, then so will I.
4. Many newer bloggers feel intimidated if they don’t have fabulous stats or high traffic. Would you still encourage them to submit a sponsorship pitch, and if so, what else should they highlight to offset the lack of stats?
For me, it’s all about the pitch. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just started or if you’ve been blogging for years. I want to know why you selected Scandinavian Child and why you think we’re a good fit. If you believe in our brands and our company philosophy, then you’ll be considered in the same vain as anyone else.
So what exactly should you be putting in your sponsorship pitches? The following sections are ones you should include somewhere in your pitch:
- Brief intro about you and your blog: What is your blog about? What relevant information do you think the company should know about you to help them make their decision?
- Blog Statistics: Similar to what I listed in the creating a media kit post, companies want to know a bit about your traffic, readership, and online influence. Include any relevant stats that speak to this topic.
- Conference Information: If you are planning on pitching sponsorship to a specific conference, include a link to the website as well as some basic information about it. What makes this conference THE conference to sponsor you at? Include reasons why they not only should sponsor you, but also why this conference is the best fit.
- Why You? Along with the “how you will promote their brand” section, this might be one of the most important areas of the pitch. Companies receive lots of emails from bloggers and others trying to create partnerships, so you want to give them a reason why they should sponsor you. Are you a loyal product user? Have unique ideas on how your partnership with them will benefit you both? Highlight anything that sets you apart and will illustrate why they should sponsor you.
- Promotion Ideas: Again, this part is important. Here is where your creative ideas will shine! You can approach this section a couple of ways:
- Create specific plans for how you will promote the brand. You can also create tiered packages based on the dollar amount the company will sponsor. For example, full/exclusive sponsorship (i.e. paying for the whole trip) would include the most promotion opportunities, which would differ from a mid-level package with less promotion opportunities since the company wouldn’t be sponsoring the entire trip. Obviously, the more they sponsor you for, the more you’ll promote them. You can create as many packages as you want, ranging from full sponsorship down to even a $25-50 package.
- Highlight promotion options, but ultimately wait until the company talks with you so you can tailor a package that is right for their budget and goals.
- Conference Costs: Again, you have options here. You can either state something like “Full conference sponsorship is $xxxx, but I am open to discussing partial sponsorship options,” or just list the breakdown of costs (i.e. travel, admission, lodging, etc).
- Closing: Just as you would in a cover letter for a job application, include a brief closing with your contact information.
Remember, there is no wrong or right way to write a conference sponsorship pitch letter. When crafting yours, put yourself in the company’s shoes; they get many emails each day to sort through, so keep the pitch short, sweet, and to the point. If you hook them, then you can elaborate in follow-up discussions.
Find other tips on this topic by checking out the Sponsorship 101 section, which includes the popular “Sponsorship 101 Series”
SCI, which stands for Scandinavian Child, is “the exclusive North American distributor of extraordinary children’s products that meet the highest style, function and safety standards of discriminating parents, including Svan, Anka, Cariboo, lillebaby, Micralite, and Beaba.” You can follow them on Twitter at @ScanChild or follow Erin at @Mktg_Mama. Visit SCI Child at www.SciChild.com.