Let’s dive into seemingly the hottest topic ever right now – email pitching to brands as a blogger.
9 out of 10 questions I get are about how to get your email answered, what to say, how to negotiate, even the best days and times to send it.
Luckily, both receiving AND sending pitches is a huge part of my PR job day to day. I’m either sending pitches to journalists and reporters myself or receiving them.
1. The message was unfocused.
I see a lot of emails that look like the one below. They start out with their life story, get into their blog, get into what they want from the brand… It’s a LOT of info.
And from a PR perspective, it takes a lot of time to sort through it that kind of email and figure out what is valuable.
I went to UGA, and I majored in PR and English. I graduated two years ago, and now I’ve started my blog, Slightly Savvy. I write about blogging social media and branding from a PR perspective.
I really love blogging, and it’s been so fun to work on my blog before and after work, where I work in marketing. It’s my dream to continue growing my blog and helping women around the world grow their own blogs. I started my blog in November, so I’ve been working on it almost a year. My goal is to create a community of like-minded women where they can come for tips and tricks on creating their own blog.
I wanted to ask if there’s any way you would be interested in doing a sponsored post on my blog. I charge $200 for a sponsored post and $100 for a sponsored Instagram post. I want to start working with brands more and I would love to write about your product on my blog and review it.
Figure out the goal of your email. And then, analyze why every sentence either backs up your goal or does not.
If does not support your goal, do not add it.
2. Your subject line was a turn off.
I think subject lines for email pictures to brands are super important. Obviously, it’s the first thing we see and depending on what it says, it kind of gives me a clue if I want to read this or not.
Place your key words at the beginning of your subject line.
Don’t bury key phrases or words at the very end of your subject line, risking it getting cut off on some devices or someone’s screen.
Collaboration with Slightly Savvy?
Lifestyle Blogger Reaching Out
Ask a direct question.
Collaboration with Slightly Savvy?
Super simple and easy way of catching someone’s eye and letting them know exactly what this email is going to be about.
Throw some stats in your subject line.
250k Instagram Lifestyle Blogger for Collaboration?
If you have a quick statistic that can give you some legitimacy and authority as a blogger, work it into your subject line. Also, keep it short. Make it a statistic that everyone is familiar with such as Instagram followers, page views, or something else high-level.
3. You sent it at the busiest time.
There’s a little bit of a science magic when it comes to figuring out the best days and times to send your email pictures to brands.
A little peek into what our PR schedules frequently look like to give you an idea of the best days to send your pitch:
We are catching up on the stuff that needs to get done right away from the weekend. Any client fires, any last minute things for meetings on Tuesdays, lots of annoying but important things that need to get done immediately. If I get an email pitch on a Monday, chances are i’m going to leave it on answered for another day.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
This is the heart of the week where I am getting stuff done. Tuesday through Thursday I feel super on my role, super productive, ready to tackle that project they don’t really want to… Basically, these are good days and my Pinyan to send pitch emails.
Probably not the best day to send a pitch. Like everyone else, a lot of people have checked out for the weekend and are trying to just make it 5 o’clock.
I do have one caveat… I’ve sent some email patches at like 5:30 PM on a Friday and gotten an immediate answer.
These are the people who do not clock out at 5 PM, the ones you’re going to work till 7 PM on a Friday night. If you were lucky and you’re trying to reach one of them, your pitch email late Friday night might actually get answered and it might actually get answered fast.
Just say no to weekend pitches. Most likely it’s going to get buried in a pile of random coupons from Edible Arrangements and weird recommendations from eBay.
4. You were TOO specific up front and pigeon holed yourself in.
There is down side to being too specific in an email pitch.
Also, I think it’s important to know there’s a difference between focused and specific in a pinch.
Your message can be very focused but not go into too much detail. Making your pitch too specific is when you lay out every single specific idea of content you have.
Also, you run the risk of turning someone off to your entire brand just because they don’t like your specific content idea. If you lay out the entire collaboration from beginning to end and we don’t really like that, it kind of seems like a lot of work to start over from scratch and work on something we both want.
Hey Katherine, I would love to work with Sunday Riley on a post about oily skin care for back to school. I’m going to list three Sunday Riley products and talk about each of them and why they come back oily skin.
In addition, this post will go up on Tuesday, August 28 and I will do two tweets along with it. The post will be about my experience with Sunday Riley product and how I overcame my only skin problems. I charge $250 for a sponsored post, and if you want to add in more social media promo, it is $100 for an Instagram post.
I charge $250 for a sponsored post, and if you want to add in more social media promo, it is $100 for an Instagram post.
Like what if I, as a brand, don’t like anything about that idea? I’ll probably say, “Thanks for reaching out but no thanks.”
A collaboration is literally that – two brands working together. A partnership has to be 2 sided and help both the blogger and the brand.
It’s kind of like a boy – Maybe wait til you know he likes you before laying out your entire marriage, kid’s names, house, etc?
5. Your press kit isn’t helping out your pitch.
Honestly, I know it’s the hot topic to talk about press kits for bloggers. Everyone wants to know what it should look like, what to say, etc.
In my humble opinion, I don’t love including a press kit in the first initial email reach out. ESPECIALLY if it includes pricing.
A few reasons behind this…
- Better make sure your press kit design is bomb – there’s lots of pressure to have a perfectly structured press kit designed to capture a PR pro or brand’s attention. I truly think you’re better off putting your time into creating a killer pitch email that doesn’t even need a press kit as support.
- You can shoot yourself in the foot with pricing – say you are undervaluing your sponsored content. If a brand sees that, they will snatch up your pricing and say YES, making you lose money. Also, sometimes brands are shopping for the cheapest influencer with the biggest audience. Putting a pricing list out there immediately makes you lose your leverage, negotiation, etc.
Keep your press kit on deck until a brand asks for it. Then, I would still say it’s in your best interest to talk out all pricing together.
Now, How to Email Pitch Brands as a Blogger
So, that was a lot of what NOT to do in your email pitch. Peep the 2 posts linked down below for what TO DO when you’re working with brands and email pitching for collaborations.
Also, fun times, there’s a lot more branding and PR content coming your way in the upcoming weeks + months.
More learning on working with brands…
Your Roadmap + Checklist on Working with Brands –> here
Email Pitching to Brands: What Works + What Doesn’t –> here
3 Quick Tips for Building Relationships with Brands + PR Pros –> here
For more fun insider tips on working with brands from a PR perspective, drop your email in the pink bar below to join the weekly newsletter fam.