With the explosion of the newsletter industry, more email entrepreneurs than ever are looking for ways to turn their audiences into sustainable sources of revenue.
One of the top challenges that I wanted to dive into a bit further today is how to find potential sponsors. You’ve assembled your audience; you’re putting out a great editorial product. Who will want to sponsor it?
Let’s dive in…
1) Define your space
What is your newsletter about? If it’s general interest, you’re going to have a tough time finding sponsors at a small scale (say, under 100,000 subscribers). If it’s more focused — say, personal finance for Millennials, yoga for moms, fashion for men over 40 (just kidding… we don’t have any fashion) — then you have a more targeted audience to sell.
2) Find your neighbors
After you’ve defined your space, you’re going to want to find every newsletter you can in that space.
Google, of course, is a start. But just barely…
You’ll also want to search the various newsletter directories that have begun springing up to bridge the gap between Google and your inbox.
3) Subscribe to everything
Now, subscribe to all of them. If you’re in Gmail, you’ll probably want to create a filter to put all of these new newsletters into a designated folder… but you do you!
Now, you can periodically browse through the competition and see who’s sponsoring what.
Bonus idea: Follow all of these newsletters’ Instagram accounts (should they have one), and then follow a bunch of the other, related accounts that Instagram recommends. Now your Instagram feed should begin populating with ads from sponsors relevant to the topic you cover.
4) Keep a list of who sponsors stuff
Keep a list or spreadsheet of who’s sponsoring newsletters in your niche. (And, if you did the Instagram trick above, also start noting down the relevant ads you’re now seeing in your feed.)
This is your population of target companies who are already spending marketing budgets on email and social media ads relevant to your topic area.
5) Find the right contacts at the companies you’re targeting
Once you have your list of companies, now you’ll want to scour the company websites and/or LinkedIn pages for someone in Marketing.
Companies can vary quite a bit in structure, of course, but you’ll probably want someone with a title like Marketing Manager.
Tracking down direct emails can be a bit trickier, but there are various tools available, such as Hunter
, and Snov
Now, you’ll have to put yourself out there and send a cold pitch to your potential sponsors.
The basic information a potential sponsor will need to know about your newsletter up front will include: list size, open rate, clickthrough rate, and (if you have any previous experience running sponsors) ad-clickthrough rate.
You’ll also want to give the potential sponsor — as best as possible — a sense of who your readers are. General age range. Geographic distribution (are they all in the U.S.?). Income range. You don’t need in-depth audience research. But if you’ve ever run your own reader survey, or if you have some data from Google Analytics or Facebook, that can probably suffice.
Time & creativity…
It takes time and some creativity to stay on top of your niche and find the companies with money ready to spend to reach your audience. These steps should get your search started.