Last week I wrote how a company would ideally approach me if they would like to cooperate but that’s just one side of the coin. Because also bloggers reach out to companies to cooperate. How that is done professionally you read in this article.
Not only companies contact bloggers, also bloggers contact companies to work together with them together. I have often contacted companies thus have plenty of experience of what is good & works well, but also know from personal conversations with companies & agencies that not all Emails are crafted as meticulously, sometimes even bordering on the outright rude. So don’t be that blogger, remember the good manners your parents thought you and show off your best side when you contact a company when you want something from them. Instead of giving you a pre-made template of an Email, here are the points which I know should be in there - use them to create your own unique contact email.
The Contact Email
Hei XYZ, - Do your research and find out who would be the right person to contact. Sometimes these can be found from the company’s website, sometimes you need to hone your Search Skills and use other tools. Tip: LinkedIn can be a good way to find the right contact person in a company.
My Name is ABC and I write the GDI Blog. - ALWAYS start off with an introduction. You would do this in real life when you meet someone the first time, do this also when you contact someone out of the blue. Tip: Yes, that’s a good place to put a link to your blog in there. And if you’re an Instagrammer, Youtuber or have a super-popular Maillinglist, switch blog for your medium.
I’m contacting you because… - Tell them why you want to work with that company. Be creative but sensible. The person you’re writing to probably gets twenty Cooperation inquiry Emails a day, so try to stand out from the crowd. Be funny, unique, creative. This should concentrate on the company, not the product - that comes next.
I’m interested in testing your CDI trousers on my next Yukon thru-hike because… - Now you pitch the product you’d like to test. Be specific in your test goal and it is good to straight away mention Size & Colour you are interested in. If you’re going to “only” test the item on day hikes through your local wood that might be less attractive as a trip where the receiver can imagine that great images would come out.
I would review the pants… - State what you offer for the item. Are it Instagram photos? A video? A blog post? All of that? What’s the time-frame (within 5 weeks, after 4 months, after a year)? Be as specific and detailed as possible.
Usually I charged XXX €$£ for a review, but because this is our first cooperation I’m happy to offer a Discount. - Yes, even when you ask a company for an item you should name your price. You can but don’t need to offer a discount, that’s up to you. Just don’t sell yourself for free.
My Unique Readers a month are XXX and the Engagement is XXX. For detailed information, please view the attached Mediakit. - The key numbers of your medium (Blog, IG, Mailinglist, etc.) should be in the Email so the receiver can have an idea of the size of your blog, while your Mediakit should be attached. If you don’t have a Mediakit attach a screenshot of your Analytics programme of the current month and name the Social Media channels you play on including numbers. And then get started on making that Mediakit!
Finally, I’m also a Signee of the Outdoor Blogger Codex and am transparent in my tests. - This shows the receiver that you are working professional and adhere to legal rules & requirements.
I’m looking forward to hear from you and remain with… - Remember the friendly and professional attitude we mentioned at the beginning? That continues until the last sentence!
More Pro Tips
K.I.S.S. - Keep It Short and Simple. Long Emails don’t get read, be as concise as possible - this shows you also value the time of the receiver.
I said it before, and I say it again: Also small blogs can contact companies for a cooperation because they can offer unique perspectives or a high engagement with their readers. If you just started a blog - don’t worry, you’re probably creating great content with a unique view, so don’t be shy!
If your blog is really outstanding - like it has won meaningful Awards - you can mention this. It should be something the receiver is familiar with.
Have you worked already with other brands together? Great! Mention a partner or two (preferably not from the same category - If you have tested trousers from company JKL and wrote a glowing review and now ask for another pair of trousers that might seem strange) as this shows that you’re a trust-worthy blogger that delivers what he promises.
If it is a product that has just been announced at a trade show chances are that there’s no samples yet, or very limited ones. Generally I have the feeling that companies prefer to have their new products reviewed, so if you ask to test a five-year old Bestseller that has won Magazine Awards your chances are very slim. In that case you’re better off pitching a cooperation to an outdoor shop.
Speaking of outdoor shops, these can be great cooperation partners. Emails to them are similar as this one and you can adapt these ideas just a little to get your foot into the door.
Your complete contact details - address & phone number should be in the Email, also Skype or similar. Some people prefer to pick up the phone and give you a call, plus it adds more credibility.
Finally, lets imagine you totally hate the product you were sent. Instead of writing a negative review you should get in touch with the company or agency, explain the situation and ask them what they think you should do. On the one side you might want to warn your readers about the product, but on the other hand it might be that you used it wrongly, it was a pre-production sample, or something else. Work out a beneficial solution out with your partner which both can life with.
The Bottomline is that when you contact a company or PR Agency you should do your research well. Know who to write to, be friendly in your Email as good manners go a long way to getting you what you want, and be as concise as possible. If done well the receiver will feel lucky that just you contacted them and help them do their job better. You want to create a win-win-win situation, where the company, you and your readers benefit from this cooperation.
Have more tips? Add them in the comments! (To see the comments you might need to use Firefox as for some strange reason Safari doesn’t show them - I’m aware of that and working on a fix!)
Disclaimer: I’m an owner at the Outdoor Blogger Network and have contributed to the Guidelines of the Outdoor Blogger Codex together with many other bloggers. Read the Transparency Disclaimer for more information on blogger transparency.