8 out of 10 event planners, managers, and strategists are overwhelmed by the concept of cold emailing an event sponsor. This to me is mind-blowing! Event sponsorship isn’t easy to obtain but it’s also not that hard either. Sponsorships are a huge part of being successful in the event industry. So much so, that I provide courses and one on one coaching specifically for creating sponsorship onboarding strategies. Today, I had to bring you all into the world of cold emailing, the single most effective way to reach your dream sponsors and close the deal.
Make Contact With the Person in Charge of Event Sponsorships
Leave behind the good old “Dear Potential Sponsor” emails. Instead, create a custom email for your top 10 sponsors that you want to approach. Each proposal should be as specific to the brand as possible and resonate a genuine desire to connect with them. But, all of this means nothing if it lands in the wrong inbox.
Get in direct contact with the person in charge of sponsorships. Don’t waste a perfectly good email pitch on the wrong staff member. You don’t want to be waiting around for a call, while your strategic email sits in the secretaries “other” folder. This will require a little digging and research, but it’s a little added effort that makes a huge difference.
Common Event Sponsorship Cold Emailing Mistakes
Before we get into the steps to drafting your email, let’s focus on the uncomfortably common mistakes people make that turn business emails into awkward first impressions.
- “Hope you’re well”. You are not reconnecting with your Aunt Sharon looking for her old cookie recipe. This phrase seems harmless but, if you haven’t had a few previous interactions with your desired sponsor, “hope you’re well” is just out of place.
- Avoid overusing “I” or “Me”. This is about them and what they offer and why they are a perfect match for the event.
- Don’t be too formal. Your tone should be approachable. Your email is meant to land a call, not a sale. Keeping the tone conversational doesn’t reveal sales intentions or put them off.
- Don’t copy/paste. If you’re sending out a generic mass email…fuh-geta-bout -it. It went straight into the trash.
Phew! Now that we’ve dodged those failed approaches, let’s look at what actually works.
Drafting the Email
Every email you send will be unique but it will follow the same set of guidelines. Here is your set-up:
A) Be short, but direct. Honor your sponsors time by keeping your first email brief. Anything requiring more than 3 minutes to read or watch becomes “high-risk”. The first contact is your chance to show you know the added value they offer, your need and how they fill that need, and what your business relationship can offer them. Remember, it’s all about mutual benefits.
B) Remain authentic. There’s a specific reason why you want them as a sponsor. Their brand resonates your vision or you have a shared audience, whatever the case may be as to why you believe you’d a perfect fit, make that feel like the reason for the email. So, highlight why you’d be a good match for each other instead of just the fact that you need a sponsor.
C) Position them as an authority by seeking advice that’s relevant to the event. “We understand you to be an expert at _____, any ideas on how we could_____!?”
For hands-on coaching where I dive deeper into what I’ve done to land over $1 million in sponsorships let’s hop on a call or shoot me an email! From sponsors to event marketing, selling out seats and everything in between–together we’ll strategize the ultimate event to up level your brand and business.
An event sponsorship email doesn’t have to comprise entirely of text. To really show off your competitive edge Create a custom video for your sponsor.
A video approach is vastly different than an email, but when done correctly is much harder to ignore. First, script the email according to the guidelines and do’s & don’ts. Keep it under 3 minutes. Only this time introduce yourself and your role in the event and how their content inspires or impacts you personally. Videos are far more personalized and create a real opportunity for a relationship starter. However, an email packed with personality and realness could do just the same.
Following up is one of the most important steps in this process. Like everyone in the online space, we get caught up in our email inbox and next thing you know, there are hundreds of backed up emails and missed opportunities. Unlike templates, operating strategically to land a client who isn’t biting the bait requires an in-depth look at your approach to your business. I’ve created a Savvy Sponsorship Sales Course specifically for the businesswoman who refuses to accept “no” for an answer. Sign up now to get what you need from sponsors, every time.
I recommend a follow-up timeline for everyone. Use something like Boomerang or a CRM system. It doesn’t have to be high tech, you can even use a free calendar app like Google.
Input reminders into your calendar to put yourself in the best possible position. I always like to do 7 touch points before omitting the sponsor for good. This can include a variety of emails, video submission, social media comments, visiting a local branch or store, or connecting with an employee on Linkedin. Never apologize for repeated attempts to connect. Stay as excited and optimistic from the first to the last attempt.
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