- Make sure your email address aligns with your brand
First things first: take a look at your blog’s email. If you’re still using that archaic AOL email address, chances are a brand isn’t going to take you seriously. Ideally, you should use an email address that has your domain name in it (ex. email@example.com). If that isn’t a possibility, Gmail is the most professional, free email provider. Sorry Yahoo and Hotmail fans. It’s time to move on!
- Target a specific contact person
As tempting as it is to email the general customer service email or the firstname.lastname@example.org address, you’re more likely to get a response if you find a specific contact person’s name and email. How do you get this information? I’ve found that LinkedIn is a great resource to find out who you need to contact (I like to do an advanced search and seek out a company’s marketing/pr team members!) Also, make sure to network when you’re at blogger meet ups and conferences. Often times, local and/or national brands are there to meet bloggers to collaborate with. Never throw out those business cards!
- Personalize your greeting
Please, please spell your contact person’s name correctly! Also, make sure to personalize the first couple of sentences in your pitch and make it specific to the brand. Compliment them on a certain campaign, a product of theirs you use, a recent collaboration. Make it known to the brand that you follow their work. If you’ve met the contact person for that brand, remind them of where you two met.
- Make a convincing argument
Explain to the brand what type of collaboration you had in mind (ex. a sponsored post, giveaway, product review, etc) and why your blog is the ideal fit. Mention your blog/social media stats, reader demographics, include any testimonials you might have or link to past collaborations with other brands. Make it clear what exactly you want from the organization and what you can do for them in return.
- Keep it brief
Who knows how many pitches these PR/marketing reps receive on any given day? I would keep your pitch to three (short) paragraphs, max. Quantity ≠ quality in this case! Get to the point and include relevant information in your pitch (after your personalized greeting, of course). Skip the fluff!
- Always have a media kit on hand
Offer to send over your media kit to the brand if they’re interested. Most likely they won’t request one, however, always have it on hand just in case they want to see it. I don’t send my media kit right off the bat because occasionally attachments won’t pass through some companies’ spam filters and firewalls, but I always let the brand know that it is available upon request.
- Follow up
No response after a week? Send a short and sweet follow up email and ask if they received your first email and reiterate your interest in working with them. The PR/marketing world can get a little hectic at times, and they may not be ignoring you on purpose! They might have a little too much on their plate. If you don’t hear back after one follow-up email, I would call it quits and move on to the next brand.