Want to learn how to reach out to brands for collabs and get a yes more regularly to your email pitches? Email marketing is an art and you’ll be happy to know there are many tricks to increase your brand collaborations email responses rate every time you make an email pitch! Ready to learn how to write the perfect brand collaboration email pitch? Then keep on reading!
How to Reach Out to Brands for Collaborations: 9 Surefire Ways to Increase Your Email Responses
I love writing email pitches because there is no better feeling than opening your email and seeing an unread message from that renowned hotel that you’ve always wanted to work with, waiting for you in your inbox.
However, I completely know and understand the frustration of blasting emails and getting a flat NO (or even worst, getting nothing, not even a reply to say they are not interested).
That horrible feeling of opening your Gmail all happy in the morning, hoping to see the endless replies to all the pitches you did last night, only to be welcomed by CRICKETS (and a spam mail from that uncle who moved to France).
It is so demotivating!!
After all, you’ve put all that time and effort into researching brands to work with, into getting the proper contact’s email, into drafting the perfect personalized pitch for more than 1h…
…. And the damned hotel can’t even send you an email response back????
Ughhhh, you just wanna throw the computer out the window and call it a day.
Trust me, I do.
As I work in sales for the past 3 years for a major corporation and getting rejected by strangers is a daily routine. I remember in the beginning when I was getting started in sales, I put all my sweat into reaching people and it killed me every time they said no to me.
I felt humiliated, embarrassed, frustrated, and above all, my entire confidence would immediately go down the drain.
The feeling I was left with was of never wanting to pitch anyone ever again, but as my monthly income depended on that, there I was the next day, once again, pitching to more strangers.
Mastering the Email Pitching Mentality On How to Reach Out to Brands (and get more email responses)
Practice makes perfect, and soon enough I started learning some hacks that revamped my entire sales game. Out of a sudden, I was getting much more replies to my emails and I was getting much more ‘yeses’ than ever before. I started befriending these ‘’strangers’’ and winning their trust, making them even open up to me about their pain points.
Because of this, I decided to write this post to address common mistakes influencers do when they pitch to brands and hotels. Here I will give you my top surefire tips on how to reach out to brands for collabs and instantly increase your email responses by up to 70%.
Are you interested in learning everything about the art of a cold email pitches and how to reach out to brands? Then keep on reading this article.
How to reach out to brands: Writing a Cold Email Pitch
Goal: Get your foot through the door
First things, what is a cold pitch, you may be wondering?
A cold pitch is when the party being contacted by you has no prior knowledge about the meeting or call, meaning both of you have never been in contact before.
On the other hand, a warm pitch is when there has been some sort of rapport established between both parties at some moment before.
This means that when you are contacting a brand for the first time, that is considered a cold pitch. Only after you have their email response that they become a contact, as opposed to a lead.
Because of this lack of prior relationship, I like to tell people that whenever I write a cold pitch to a hotel or a brand, my one and only goal is to get my foot through the door.
In other words: All I need as a result from my first pitch is an email response from them.
That sounds easier said than done, right?
So here are my tips to increase your chances of hearing back from a brand.
HOW TO REACH OUT TO BRANDS FOR COLLABS: BE SURE TO BUILD THEIR CURIOSITY
What this means is to write enough information in your email to get their attention, but at the same time to keep the content short and to the point (so they actually take the time to read it).
When learning how to reach out to brands, know that you have this one chance to build up their curiosity and to sell yourself (and marketers can sort out amateurs from pros quicker than you think).
Remember, people are busy and marketing managers are getting more and more emails from influencers to their inboxes every day.
The objective of the first email is to grab their interest so that you can continue the conversation in the other emails that will follow up on the initial one.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a deep breathe and relax. That’s why I am here for: to guide and educate you on how you can easily master the art of email pitching.
In this post, I will go over all my golden tips that will immediately boost your email pitches response rate.
Before We Learn How to Reach Out to Brands Like a PR Pro…
I’d like to suggest an activity.
Get your email pitch and have it in front of you. During this post, we will go over some items that can improve how you get your foot through the door.
Don’t delete old things!! Rewrite a new pitch with these items and then compare both.
If you wish, you can also send me your corrections so that I take a look and give you my own insights.
HOW TO REACH OUT TO BRANDS FOR COLLABORATIONS (the right way)
1. BE CURTEOUS
Courteous, by definition, means to be polite, considerate and respectful to others.
Indeed, the first thing that you quickly learn in a hospitality university is about this much-appreciated skill. While I studied in EHL, it was normal for students to hold doors for others to pass, to be kind to different cultures, to impress by politeness.
It didn’t take me long to grasp just how far being courteous can take you in life.
Part of the university’s culture is to teach students how to write emails as if they were dealing with clients. So after 4 long years of writing extremely polished and respectful emails to people in every level of service (from our teachers to the IT intern), this kinda got ingrained in our brains.
Nowadays, all my emails remain polished and professional and I do strongly believe this makes a big difference in brands taking me seriously, even at a small social media following.
ACTION ITEM: Take your email pitch and go over it. How can you polish it to be more courteous?
TIP: Use words such as ‘’thank you’’ as opposed to ‘’thanks’’, ‘’could you’’ instead of ‘’can you’’, ‘’I would like’’ instead of ‘’I want’’, ‘’kind regards’’ instead of ‘’best’’… etc
2. BE CONCISE
Marketers are busy people living hectic schedules, and with the ever-growing influencer trend, they are getting more and more emails to their inboxes from creators just like you who also wish to work with them.
A huge tip on how to reach out to brands and get a yes is to keep your email clean, organized and concise. If your ideas are all over the place they won’t take your seriously (or worse, they might not even bother to read your email – yikes!).
Furthermore, remember that marketing is about visual storytelling. If there is no effort in making your email clean or appealing, how can they trust your content will be worthy?
ACTION ITEM: Go back to your pitch and clean it up. Remove unnecessary fluff, cut down on the word count as much as you can.
TIP: Use bullet points whenever possible to convey a clear and clean message.
3. ACT AS A CONSULTANT
I also believe this is a mistake many bloggers make when they don’t understand how to reach out to brands (at least this is what I notice from all the email pitches that I have been correcting so far)
The more you act as a consultant, the more they will take you seriously.
I’ve said this in many posts, but there is truly no bigger turn off for a marketer than to get an email from an influencer saying that they will be in town and asking if they can stay at their hotel in exchange for social media posts.
It just doesn’t sound good.
Quite the contrary, it sounds a bit presumptuous and petty.
It doesn’t matter if you can give them a massive social exposure if you’re approach is not done right.
You might remember the case of Elle Darby, the influencer that was humiliated online by a Dublin hotel after pitching asking for a stay in exchange for social media coverage.
(at the time Elle had 80k+ youtube subscribers yet that did not stop the hotel from rejecting AND humiliating her).
If you really want to gain their trust and respect, you should take the consultant approach.
ACTION ITEM: Check your pitch and try to read it as if you were the marketing manager receiving it, how would you feel? Tweak your pitch to change the tone and give it a consultant approach.
If you need further examples, be sure to download my email template that got me 8 luxury hotels collabs at et end of my Start Here page. In this template I have also included an analysis of the pitch, detailing each point I believe was important to explain. Don’t miss this opportunity!!
4. BE PROFESSIONAL
This is one of the highest valuable tip I can give when teaching how to reach out to brands the right way.
What credibility do you have? Do you have any relevant degrees? Have you ever worked with a hotel or brand? If yes, be sure to send them links of your work.
Furthermore, do you have photography equipment? (no need to tell them which model, but let them know if you have mics, drones, different lenses, GoPro, etc).
If you need further help with this, be sure to check my post “Best Practices All Successful Influencers Always Follow”.
5. KEEP THE SUBJECT LINE SHORT
And be strategic about it.
If you give away the goods ahead of time, you may risk your chances of getting a reply. Marketers receive so many emails written ‘’collaboration idea’’ or ‘’let’s collaborate’’ that it is fairly easy for them to simply ignore it.
On the other hand, if you keep the email subject line vague, you have a higher chance of it at least being opened (and that is already a win for you!).
For example, when I emailed the hotels in Sri Lanka, my subject line was ‘’Sri Lanka Travel’’.
They had no idea what it was about, yet it still indicated that I was going to Sri Lanka for travel purposes, so it is appealing enough for the marketing person to open it up and read it (thus getting me the desired email response that I needed to start the conversation).
Furthermore, if the email is well written, presented and professional, they might consider you if your offer is good (even if you don’t have a huge following!!!).
I promise because this is what happened (and is still happening) to me!
ACTION ITEM: How was your subject line before? Do you think a marketer would be curious to open it, or could they easily ignore you? How can you make it more appealing?
6. NO ATTACHMENT
This is such a huge mistake that people commit when they are not sure how to reach out to brands.
Did you know that if you send an email that contains an attachment to a person whom you’ve never spoken to before there are higher chances of your email going to SPAM?
Many influencers send their Media Kits, altogether with their first email pitch. I wouldn’t advise that for two reasons:
- First, you guessed it, you risk your email going directly to spam and not being seen and never getting an email response because they never saw it!!
- Secondly, remember what we said about your first goal being getting your foot through the door? You don’t want to risk a hotel rejecting you just because your social proof is not big enough yet. You want them to hear from you, and what you can create for them.
I had once an email response from a hotel say yes to my pitch, and then they asked for my Media Kit. I sent it over in my second email and they came back to me saying that my social following was smaller than what they are used to working with (I was not surprised by this, however I was not pitching them marketing reach).
So during this email exchange, I explained to them that my goal with this collab was not to give them social media exposure but to create high-quality content for them.
After a few days of consideration, they finally accepted our proposal and invited us to stay with them.
(in the end, we had to reject them because of time constraint, but I still consider this as a won deal).
Wanna see the full email exchange? Download it here. (coming soon)
7. BUILD THEIR CURIOSITY
It’s important to make it clear that you have ideas for this collaboration (and try to specify for which mediums, if videos for YouTube, or IGTV, or drones, etc), but there is no need to detail every aspect of your ideas.
I’ve corrected some email pitches that people sent in the cold pitch a detailed view of how each picture would look, with which outfit they would wear, how they would be sitting…..
A marketing person really doesn’t care about this level of detail (at least not in the first email).
Try to build their curiosity about what ideas you have so that you get that email response. Once you do, you keep the conversation going with a more detailed proposal.
8. SIGNING OFF
This goes back to being courteous + acting as a consultant + keep it clean.
Give them the idea that they are also involved in this process by asking what did they think of your proposal while giving them space to feel comfortable to contribute as well.
Before signing off, ask them ‘’is this interesting to you? Let me know how I can support you’’
Or ‘’I hope this is in lines with your expectations and I’m happy to further discuss ideas with you’’
Lastly, include links to relevant social accounts (make it as easy as possible for them to find you), to your website and insert 2-3 relevant posts or Instagram pictures that can help you win this case.
TIP: Don’t just copy and paste the links. Keep the email clean by hyperlinking these links to relevant words.
9. THE GOLDEN TIP
All the above tips are all great but sometimes it doesnt matter how good your email pitch is, the brand might not answer.
There is one last yet valuable trick to get someone to answer to your cold pitch: FOLLOW UP!
Following up to an email is the single most important thing you should do in order to get an answer.
Trust me. I know this from experience as a sales agent.
As I said, at my job I write a lot of email pitches to strangers and most of the opportunities arise only AFTER I follow up.
I swear, last month alone I was pitching like crazy to get meetings for a big event in Cannes and NO ONE was replying back to me. Two days after my first email, I sent a follow up one, just a short message, something in the lines of:
”HI X, I hope you are well. I am kindly following up to my last email in case you didn’t have a chance to see it yet. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my proposal.
Please let me know.
The result? I got nothing less than 21 people interested in meeting with us at the event.
If I hadn’t shamelessly followed up I would never had all these opportunities (and my wallet certainly appreciate this too).
The rule to follow up via email, as I said, it to send a second, short and polite, email two days later.
If still nothing, send a third one another 2 days later.
After that, if still no response, give it a rest. If you are extremely interested in working with this brand, try again a while later.
Cold Pitch > (wait 2 days) > 1st Follow up >> (wait 2 days) >> 2nd Follow Up
PREPARE YOUR MINDSET
Unfortunately at times it doesn’t matter how good we are at pitching, sometimes it really doesn’t work. Maybe the brand is not interested, or maybe you don’t fit their standards, or who knows why.
Pitching is a numbers game and the quicker you understand this the better.
This means, of course, that the more emails you send, the bigger the chances of getting a brand deal.
Don’t discourage if you get a no, or not get an email response. This is how the game is.
After all, there is a reason why sales people get paid commission. It is definitely not easy to be rejected on a daily basis. But keep going and don’t discourage. You will immediately understand just how rewarding everything is when you get a YES.
These are my top tips for writing killer email pitches to increase your email response rate by at least 50%.
Now it is up to you to apply these to your day to day work and see that email inbox get full
Psst, before you go!
WANNA SEE THESE TIPS IN ACTION? Then be sure to download the exact email I wrote that landed me all those luxury hotel deals.
As a BONUS, I added my self-analysis of everything I believe made it work. Be sure to download the template to see what I meant with all my tips contained in this post.
These are my top recommendations on how to reach out to brands for collaborations and get more replies to your email pitches.
What do you struggle the most when you reach out to brands or hotels? Let me know below and maybe i can help!
OTHER POSTS FROM THE ‘WORKING WITH BRANDS’ SERIES THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:
- How I Manage to Stay in Luxury Hotels for Free as a Small Blogger
- Brand Collaborations Best Practices (Before, During and After)
- How to Reach out To Brands and Get a Yes
- Top Criteria Brands Look For When Selecting an Influencer
- How to Pitch Hotels and Easily Get a Collab
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