5 Reasons Your Email Pitch to a Brand Got No Response

5 Reasons Your Email Pitch to a Brand Got No Response

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.

Hey Katherine,

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:

On Mondays,

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?

slightly savvy instagram stories dos donts

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.


slightly savvy email pitch brands

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.

  • I love this article. Super informative. Thanks so much for putting this together!


    Media kit?

  • Sarah Mills

    This post is super helpful. Awesome read!

  • VERY helpful post. Thanks so much for sharing the insider info! xx Shannon || http://www.champagneatshannons.com

  • Ann Remo

    I just started my blog a few months ago, but am very interested in pitching to brands once I have more experience and followers. Thank you for sharing these tips!

  • Denay DeGuzman

    Such wonderful, helpful information! Thank you so much for sharing this. I am definitely taking your advice to heart. I’m looking forward to your next post. 🙂

  • Emely Roman

    This is great information. I am so afraid of doing this because I feel like I don’t have enough following. I just don’t know when it is enough and when the ROI is enough for a brand to be like “YES let’s work together”

  • This is so good. Thank you for posting and taking the time to share such valuable info! XO

  • Amanda K

    These were great tips! The one thing I need to work on is making my pitch email shorter.

    Amanda || http://www.fortheloveofglittter.com

  • Kathrin Hartrampf

    What a great post! This is super helpful as I plan to pitch this year. Thank you for sharing!

  • Christine Jamieson

    Fantastic post! The email subject line tip is steller!

  • Mary-Ellen Fimbel

    Thanks for the great suggestions! I am saving it for when I focus on contacting brands!

  • This was so, so good, Katherine! I love the idea of changing up the subject line with a statistic! Super neat idea. I’ve definitely had too specific of pitches before when I first started out, but I’ve learned to approach collabs more widely. So good.

    Also, I’d add in that sometimes they just won’t respond for no reason, haha. Whether they’re not interested and don’t let you know to if they have too many collabs at that time. Sometimes they just don’t answer because they don’t feel like it, haha.

  • These are SUCH good tips! I especially liked the one about including a stat in your subject line … I hadn’t thought of that! Great to know about the best times to pitch as well. Will definitely keep this in mind for future pitches!

    xo Jaime

  • Lynn White

    Ooohhh….I so need this. Pinning and thank you!

  • I totally needed this today because I’ve been pitching like a mad woman lately!

  • These are all really great tips. I think my subject line needs some work, for sure.

  • YASSSS. I started cracking up when I was reading the “too specific” email. Like…chill a second. And yes there is a huuge difference between a focused email and a specific email. It still boggles my mind at how uneducated bloggers are when it comes to sending emails, but I guess that just means there are many that need to be taught the right techniques 🙂


  • This is a great post that I will continue to reference back to! Thanks so much for sharing this!

  • Shelby Stover

    This was an amazingly helpful read- thank you! I suck at reaching out for sponsored posts so I really appreciate it

  • Chloe

    Hi, I’ve never approached a company for a collarbration before. Amazing tips that I need to try, thanks for sharing, Chloe.

  • Another fantastic post that I have to comment! 100% agree with all this. When I read “put your time into creating a killer pitch email that doesn’t even need a press kit as support” I was like, girl hell yeah! If your pitch is amazing, 99% of the time I won’t even ask for a media kit or stats because you’re cool, creative and create beautiful content. And THAT makes me want to work with you.

    I don’t know about you Katherine, but I can’t count the times I’ve received beautiful media kits with too-good-to-be-true stats… And when I check the stats, it’s not accurate at all. Yes, PR people do have programs that can show insights into any website’s stats. Don’t try and fool us! I recently called someone out for lying big time and they admitted that they never got that many visits to their website. Oh dear!

    Oh I would also add #6 you’re focusing too much on your statistics. Don’t get me wrong, you’ve built an audience, you should be proud and that’s absolutely amazing! But I always say that what matters most is killer content, engagement (not followers) and showing a genuine interest in the brand. If your email looks like this “I have X followers on Instagram, X impressions on my pictures, X monthly visits on my blog, X people view my Insta stories…. So yeah let me know if you’d like to collaborate.” Mmm.

    Well this was a long one… I have way too many things to say on the subject haha! Again amazing tips Katherine and looking forward to reading the next one 🙂

    Flora x

  • shootingstarsmag

    It’s nice to get a bit of an insider look. I haven’t pitched too often but it’s something I want to do more of in the future. Thanks for these “not to do” tips.


  • Omgosh the too specific email is so aggressive hahaha also it’s funny that you mentioned Friday around 5:30pm being the best time to pitch because that’s honestly when I answer a good amount of the pitches I’ve received.

  • These are amazing! I also learned that if you include links in your pitch, they can sometimes go to spam!

  • Anjerika

    I’m not at the point where I’m ready to reach out to brands for collaborations yet, but I definitely found this post to be insightful — especially from your perspective as a PR girl. Bookmarking this for later! xo

  • This is SUCH a good post, girl! I am still working on my stats, but this is something I am hoping I can use in the near future (fingers crossed!!). Thanks for all of the details & advice into the PR world xx

  • These are awesome tips I am going to keep these in mind the next time I want to work with a brand.

  • ahhhh THIS! Seriously every blogger needs to read this! You laid it our perfectly! It’s a dance at the end of the day and you can’t be too thirsty when you show up or step on your partner’s foot! the over detailed email, “don’t lay out marriage plans kids, etc..” haha #dead!

  • Karen Duncan

    Some great points here. I hadn’t even considered some of them. Surprisingly constructive for a “what you’re doing wrong” piece.

    • Ha thanks girl. The goal is never to be demeaning or overly critical, even when sharing what bloggers could do differently. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!

  • Totally pinning this! I love to read the professionals take on collaborations!

    Alix | apintsizedlifeblog.com

  • Some really great advice here! I have definitely made some of these mistakes. Thanks for sharing!

  • These are such great tips! Especially as a new blogger, advice is so helpful!

  • This was so good! Thanks for writing this!

  • Dia

    Amazing tips. I think it is hard to find that line between being too vague and too specific. I normally try to send over 2-3 different ideas I think would be fit their brand.

  • Anna Hubbard

    It’s so interesting to hear this from a PR perspective! Thanks for all the info!

  • This is amazing!! Especially coming from a PR perspective!
    Thank you for all of this awesome info!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  • Domestic Dee

    This is a great post. I can really use at lot of the information you provided moving forward to collaborate with brands. Thank you for sharing.

  • Such a useful post! 😀

  • Tanya Travels

    Good tips. I think I’ve made some of the mistakes you pointed out!

  • Irene Gallardo

    Great tips. I haven’t had a pitch with a brand yet, but I will definitely take this advice into the account when I do it 🙂

  • Great suggestions – thankfully it looks like I do adhere to most of these already (though I have been guilty of including my press kit in the original email – without pricing, though).

    Thanks for sharing!

    • That’s awesome! There’s nothing terribly wrong with including a media kit – it’s just my personal preference to see a strong email pitch instead. And I think bloggers spend a lot of time toying around with the design, font, layout, etc. when they could focus on something different.

      But thanks so much for reading and sharing your insight! xx

  • Great post and tips!

  • Great advice! At what level of a following would you recommend beginning to pitch to brands?


    • I think once you’ve built some solid engagement and have real readers consistently coming to you for advice on a top, you can reach out to brands. I don’t think there’s a set # of followers because there’s room for both macro and micro influencers when working with brands.

      For some bloggers that might look like 2,000 followers and for some bloggers that might be 50,000 bloggers. I think when you should start pitching is when your audience trusts you enough to be ready to purchase something or interact with a brand simply because you said so.

      Hope that helps a bit!! But let me know if I can clarify anything.

  • These tips are all spot on- I work in PR as well and agree 100%, especially when it comes to putting more effort into your actual pitch than the media kit. Great post!

    • Ah love that you see that, too! A lot of bloggers who write about blogging are always pushing media kits so hard. Or bloggers say to me that they’re waiting on a media kit design that takes weeks. But I know I pay way more attention to a high-quality pitch vs. a media kit.

  • Very good advice. People are very protective of their inboxes and will quickly delete your email if they don’t absolutely love it.

  • Macarena Ferreira

    I love this advice! Deff using this next time I’m pitching.

    xo // http://www.thematerialgirl.co

    • Well I 120% hope this advice works out for you when you pitch! I’d love to hear how it goes girl xoxo.

  • SO bad when people pigeon hole in! It’s really about finding that quintessential balance in being specific but not TOO specific, and just striving for the most mutually beneficial partnership humanly possible right outta the gate.

    Coming Up Roses

  • I used to be in PR and even though I read pitches everyday, pitching myself to brands is sometimes difficult! These are all great pieces of advice.

  • This is amazing advice! I’m definitely taking this into consideration for my next pitch email!

  • This is so helpful to me as someone who is just starting out in the blogging world. It gives me a starting point to work with. Thanks for the advice!

  • Elly

    ooh this is so useful! especially the days of the week part. Love learning this from a PR perspective! x

  • Kristin

    Thanks for the info! Do you have any guides on what a press kit for a blogger should look like?

  • Ashlea

    Love this!! Thank you

  • kathycakebread

    I can’t believe people would put their entire life story into a email especially if they don’t even know the brands wants to collab! lol

  • Thankfully I’m not guilty of too many of these 🙂 I definitely have seen a much better outcome from shorter e-mails.

  • Makaela Premont

    This was an awesome post! I went through some of my emails after reading, and it definitely needs some more work before I try again on reaching out to brands. Do you think numbers matter specifically when you are first starting out?

    -xo, Makaela

  • how do we start negotiating after the brand replies to our pitch interested? I’m wondering how to broad the compensation discussion without listing my price too early?