For some event organizers, the revenue generated through event sponsorship makes up about 80% of total revenue. That’s a lot of money to depend on from event sponsors. It means that crafting the perfect initial email is critical if organizers hope to maximize sponsorship revenue.
There is much debate about whether cold calling or cold emailing is the best option for reaching out to prospects. Cold emailing is often considered the better option because you have the ability to construct your pitch exactly as you would like, and you won’t have to worry about the nerves and the confusion involved in speaking with a potential prospect. In this blog post, you’ll learn the essential components to keep in mind when constructing your cold email to potential event sponsors.
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1. Understand That You're Starting A Conversation
When writing your email, make sure you keep in mind your end goal: to start a conversation and ultimately schedule a meeting to discuss the sponsorship opportunity. You cannot expect to secure a deal just by writing the email alone.
Therefore, the cold email should not include terms and conditions that specify details like methods of payment or any other similar components. You’re starting a conversation, not signing a deal.
Instead, the email should focus on value, articulation of shared objectives and audiences, and should include a tone or language that elicits a feeling of partnership.
2. Know Who To Reach Out To
Before figuring out who to reach out to, you need to do research on the company. Often large companies have an entire section of their website dedicated to the submission of sponsorship requests. Unless you are contacting someone who you’ve personally met at a networking event, you can most likely expect that cold emails written to companies that have this filtering process on their website be ignored.
Sources generally agree that you should reach out to more than just one person within the company.
Here’s why. You’ve done research on the company and searched through LinkedIn to find relevant positions, and you realized that perhaps the person you want to contact is the Marketing Manager. In this case, you should not only contact the Marketing Manager, but you should also contact the manager’s boss and her boss’s boss (the Marketing Director and the VP of Marketing). By doing so, you are increasing your chances of being directed to the right person, and you also know that you are contacting the decision makers.
3. Do Your Research
Research is key to constructing the most effective cold email to potential sponsors. The first component you should research before writing your email is the company you are reaching out to.
Specifically, you should focus on researching the company’s values and event marketing objectives. Then, analyze this data in order to see if these values match those of the event or conference you are producing, a compatibility here will not only illuminate what specifically to highlight in your email, but will also make sure you are actually going to provide relevant sponsors for your event attendees.
Besides researching the company you intend to reach out to, you should also do research on the specific person you are contacting. You’d be surprised how much you can find just by searching the person on Google or by looking at their profile on LinkedIn.
When researching the person, keep an eye out for personality. Once you can identify the personality of the person you are contacting, then you can change the tone of the email accordingly. The ability to create the right tone in your email will maximize the chances of it actually being replied to.
4. Offer A Partnership, Don't Sell
The most important tone to avoid is the “salesperson” tone. Avoid at all costs having your email sound like you are selling something. You should write the email keeping in mind that you are seeking a partnership rather than a sponsor who will just be giving you money in exchange for brand recognition. Here are some tips to avoid sounding like a salesperson:
Avoid starting the email with pronouns like “I” or “me”. The email should focus on the prospect or potential sponsor, not on you. (SalesHQ)
Don’t list past accomplishments, at least not right away. Again, doing so focuses on you whereas the real focus of the email should be on the prospect.
Try not to list the ways the sponsor will benefit from partnering with your event. Instead, you should discuss how you intend to provide this value.
An informal tone is often a better tone: for example, using words like “talk” instead of “discuss” will prove to be more beneficial in creating a mood that does not directly expose your sales intentions of scheduling a meeting (BreakThrough).
5. Articulate How You'll Bring Value
When contacting a potential sponsor, you should already know the ways in which you could provide them with value. Based on the research you’ve done on the company, you should know their marketing objectives and what they are looking for in terms of partnering with events. This can range from ROI in sales to brand awareness amongst a new audience.
In the email, you should emphasize these particular objectives and the specific ways you intend to provide this value. One example of this could be featuring sponsors through your event management software, or event networking app.
For example, you could include in your email a sentence like this:
Considering the launch of your sustainability initiative this past month, it would be great to talk with you to discuss how to expand this initiative by partnering with our sustainable event.
Besides just summarizing the ways in which the prospect can benefit by sponsoring from your event, you should also identify that you are willing to work with them to provide them with exactly what they are looking for. Doing so shows how you are looking not just for a sponsor for your event but for an industry partner.
6. Write The Perfect Cold Email
Try to remember your intro writing courses in college. The introduction can make or break the success of your essay. The same can be said of cold emailing. Considering that sponsorship departments at many companies receive hundreds of sponsorship requests, your introductory paragraph is the most important part of your email’s content, and will ultimately determine whether or not the prospect will continue reading. Here are some things to keep in mind when writing your attention-grabbing introductory paragraph:
Your introduction is a great way to point out your particular relationship with the company. For example, if the company has tweeted about your event in the past, then the intro paragraph is a great place to indicate their previous interest. If you’ve met the person you’ve contacted at a networking event, then mention something like, It was nice to meet you at the Tech Conf 2015 this past May.
The email should include a concise description of the ways in which partnering with your event will bring their company value. What sets my event apart from the others? What unique opportunities can I offer this sponsor that other events cannot?
The end of the email should include a call-to-action, and you should indicate exactly what you are looking for.
As many event organizers already know, event sponsorship can play a critical part in generating valuable revenue while also provided added value to event attendees through strategic partnerships. To master the 5 keys to finding, pitching and keeping event sponsors, click the button below to grab a free eBook on event sponsorship!