As a sponsorship-supported newsletter, one of the harder parts to master is the pitch to a brand. This article shares the learnings from the hundreds of writers on Swapstack, a newsletter sponsorship platform, on how to successfully pitch a brand.
Swapstack is a platform and marketplace that helps brands and newsletter writers connect. After conducting thousands of introductions between hundreds of brands and writers, here are the most important aspects of a brand pitch that consistently work.
It might be no surprise that these components are quite simple:
1. Pitch brands compatible with your audience
It’s all about content adjacency and demographic alignments.
Always optimize towards pitching brands whose products and services align to the content of your newsletter and the interests of your readers. While it might seem obvious, brands will spend more time, energy, and money to reach audiences that align to their target market.
So, when browsing brands to work with, focus on those who will likely spend time with you.
2. Send a compelling first message
On Swapstack, writers send an intro request to brands they want to work with, which includes an intro message — or a ‘pitch.’ Including the right information will give brands no reason to not work with you. Plus — it’s easy to do.
Content adjacency & demographics
One of the first things brands will want to know, is “do you speak to my audience?” Tell them what you write about and who your audience is so they know there is alignment.
Reiterate your numbers
- How many subscribers you have
- Publishing cadence
- Open rates
- Expected CTRs for ads.
Pricing & Availability
Provide clear options that outline:
- Number of ‘runs’
- Expected numbers & results
- Dates & availabilities
f you have multiple ad listings, make sure to clearly state what these are (image, word count etc). and
Examples of previous ads
Share links to any previous paid sponsorships you’ve run with other brands. Add as much data as you can about how these performed, including the click-through rate, conversion rates, etc. If you’re new to the platform or are running your first paid sponsorship so far, it’s alright to skip this step.
3. Structuring a collaboration
Brands receive intro requests from writers several times a week. If they like your message and are interested in collaborating with you, you’ll receive an email with the introduction from the Swapstack team.
The rest of the conversation will be carried out over email, keeping the Swapstack team in CC. Here’s a list of steps you might have to go through before a collaboration is finalized:
- Propose the different pricing options the brand can choose from.
- Discuss the type of collaboration post you want to go ahead with (classifieds, shout-outs, or deep dives. More on that here).
- Based on their current goals, you might have to tweak your offering a little.
- Decide on the final content of the collaborative post and set up a date to run the campaign.
4. Report the results
Once you’ve successfully run the campaign, the next step is to report metrics to the brand. Make sure to include:
- A screenshot and link to the newsletter(s) where the brand was featured.
- Total # of opens
- The open rate of the newsletter
- Totaly number of clicks
- Break these numbers down for each ‘run’ if you ran multiple ads.
When you’re in agreement with the brand regarding the pricing, you can send an invoice. Once the payment is made, you’ll get the full payment in your Stripe account. Swapstack charges a 10% fee to the brand — their effort to make sure the creators get exactly what they quoted.
All it takes is four simple steps to plan, structure, and run a successful paid sponsorship with a brand on your newsletter using Swapstack. For more information, don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Newsletter Guide: How to set up Paid Sponsorships with Brands.