How to Pitch to Brands
I had been wondering if this blog post was necessary as you may think that there are enough articles of this nature available as I had also thought. Despite this I still often receive emails such as this:
“Dear Mille, I am a blogger and would love to discuss collaborating. Thank you”
Harsh truth point time!
Dear Mille. Or even Dear Millie! There are so many articles out there giving this advice but I still get emails which start this way. There is no one called Mille; it is just part of the brand name. While it may not be immediately obvious to whom you will be writing, a quick Google of ‘Mille Saisons Creative Director’ will tell you who to address your email or a quick look at my press page. Looking at the press page is also useful as it will show you which other blogs I have collaborated with and whether your blog fits in. Not knowing my name shows a lack of attention to detail and will make me wonder how you will represent my product if you didn’t even try to find out my name.
You have not included a link to your blog. I cannot respond properly to a request for working together unless I know where my brand will be featured and if I can see my brand fitting in with your blog. This then means at least another email between us just to see if your blog is right which just wastes both of our time.
There is only a vague collaboration mentioned. What do you have in mind? Are you offering something different perhaps? Are you looking for a behind the scenes studio piece maybe? Or are you putting together a gift guide you think my products would fit into? Again, I can’t really know whether I am interested in working together when I do not know what this will entail.
The best way to think about pitching for samples is not to think about it in terms of getting free samples, think of it as an exchange of a product for a service- in this case you are exchanging your promotion and blogging skills for products which help provide you with content. If you want brands to work with you then you will have earned that sample and depending on your follower numbers, content or engagement rates you may also be worth money for your time. Brands and bloggers should be able to value each other and build relationships. I can often tell who is just interested in the free part of the samples as they often will not respond to an email asking for more details and figures.
Having an idea of your figures is important. Learning the basics of Google Analytics will be helpful. I am probably going to be interested in how many people read your blog and then how many of those readers click on the product links. It doesn’t matter to me if your follower or readership number is considered low if you have an amazingly engaged audience who click on your links and genuinely like products you have previously recommended and if you are creating good content.
Having an idea of what kind of person reads your blog is also helpful to see if it matches the audience you imagine my brand wants to reach. I may also be interested in seeing articles with similar products featured, especially if you are a smaller or newer blog. How do my products fit in and are your readers really going to be interested in my brand? You could have an amazing blog but if it is not related to my target customer then it is probably not a good fit for either of us.
What my ideal blogger collaboration email to receive might look like "Dear Jo,
I have recently discovered your brand on Instagram and love Mille Saisons’ recent silk choker launch. I am a blogger with my own website www.website.com. I am putting together a Christmas gift guide and would love to sample your scrunchies for inclusion if this was something you were interested in.
My blog readers are 20-30 year old women based in …….. and with an interest in luxury accessories and fashion. My blog reaches …. people a month. Feel free to have a look at these articles www.article1.com and www.article2.com (showing similar products) to get an idea of how I think your products fit in with my blog. Product 1 had …. Clicks to the brand website and product 2 had …. Clicks to the brand website.
Here are further links to my Instagram and Twitter.
I hope to hear back from you soon.
Thank you/best wishes/kind regards,
Mentioning something you have seen recently on my social media will make me think you are genuinely interested in my products and have actually looked into my brand a little. I don’t expect you to bend over backwards to learn my business inside out but expressing a genuine interest will instantly make me consider you more seriously. If I write to a blogger, I will always re-read their latest 10 or so blog posts, check their social media and double check the name to email to, especially if they have grown and now have contributors on their site.
Some of these points are personal preference. I know some brands prefer payment not to be discussed immediately, but I like to be able to know before I start saying yes to working together. I wish I had an unlimited marketing and sample gifting budget (but I don’t!). I know it is easy to think of brands as businesses, but we are people too, and often just one person trying to make a living and job for themselves. While my budget may be limited, I am also willing to invest it in good promotion and marketing and a blog with an engaged and invested audience can be excellent value for a brand.
It’s also important to remember that I am often looking for opportunities to market my brand and as a small brand will definitely consider smaller blogs. Your message doesn’t need to be an essay, but it should be enough for me to be able to look at and evaluate the fit of your blog to my product.