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Sponsorship Emails That Convert 

by | April 5, 2022

Why you can trust Sponsorship Collective

  • The Sponsorship Collective has worked with over 1000 clients from every property type all over North America and Europe, working with properties at the $50,000 level to multi-million dollar campaigns, events and multi-year naming rights deals
  • We have published over 300 YouTube videos, written over 500,000 words on the topic and published dozens of research reports covering every topic in the world of sponsorship
  • All of our coaches and consultants have real world experience in sponsorship sales

Everyone knows how to write an email nowadays, right?

You type something into a subject line, add a few paragraphs to the body, maybe double-check that the recipient’s email address is correct, and voila. Your email is ready to go through cyberspace to the other person.

But do you know how to write sponsorship emails? More importantly, can you write sponsorship emails that convert?

If you answered no, that’s okay! A lot of sponsorship seekers aren’t sure how to get responses to their emails, especially when they’re cold-emailing sponsorship prospects.

Today’s post is going to take you through a free training I offered to those in the Sponsorship Collective Facebook Group (which, I really recommend you join, since it’s free!). By the time you’re done reading, you’ll know how to write the kinds of emails that prospects want to read.

Let’s get started!

Are You Making These Sponsorship Email Faux Pas?

Cold emails aren’t exactly the thing that most of us want to see in our inboxes. It’s ideal when you can name-drop a fellow connection that you share in common with the sponsorship prospect, but I recognize that you can’t always do that.

When you are sending a cold email, your chances of getting the prospect to open that email are already low. Be sure not to make them even lower by committing the following errors.  

Are You Making These Sponsorship Email Faux Pas

Sending Emails and Expecting Instant Money 

The sponsorship sales process has a set number of steps. 

First, you send that initial email or pick up the phone for a cold call. Then you have a discovery session. Next, when the prospect wants it, they’ll ask for your sponsorship proposal.

If all the content in the proposal is what the prospect wants to see, you two will begin the negotiation phase. Finally, you receive what you’ve wanted all along, which is sponsorship dollars.

Some sponsorship seekers assume they can start with a cold call or email, jump right to the proposal stage, and then rake in that sweet, sweet cash.

Imagine if you were doing an oil change on your car or baking a cake and you followed two steps and then skipped right to the end. Your car probably wouldn’t even start, and you’d be lucky if the cake was edible.

So why do it when approaching sponsorship? It comes down to inexperience, usually. 

Writing Really Long Emails

Some sponsorship seekers assume that a prospect won’t even reach the point of reading through their sponsorship proposal, so they attempt to cram every last morsel of information into the initial email. 

I’m sure I don’t have to tell you this, but that’s the wrong approach.

A 5,000-word email is always the wrong approach. Even if you’re not regurgitating the content in your proposal practically verbatim, whatever you think you have to say that could constitute an email that long, I promise you it can wait.

According to marketing resource Campaign Monitor, the average email body should contain somewhere from 50 to 125 words. That’s it.

Your email might be a smidge longer, but it’s not going to be 5,000 words. It’s not going to be 1,000 words or even half that.

Remember, your sponsorship prospect doesn’t know you, even if you two may run in the same circles. 

Why in the world would they take 10 minutes out of their day to read a 5,000-word email? 

That’s a lot to ask of even your friends or colleagues let alone a complete stranger. 

No one is going to have the time, so your email will end up right in the trash. 

Attaching Photos

How can you get a sponsorship prospect excited about your opportunity? That’s easy! Show them photos of your past events and how much fun your attendees have. Right?

I can understand the rationale here, but it’s still a faux pas to attach images to your initial email to a sponsorship prospect.


Well, to be frank, they don’t want to see your pictures. A picture may speak a thousand words, but none of those words have to do with discovery or audience data or anything that could pique a prospect’s interest at this phase. 

Plus, there’s yet another reason to forego attaching photos to your cold emails. 

An attachment + an email from a strange sender is enough for a lot of email clients to redirect your message straight to the spam filter, never to be seen by your recipient. 

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Skipping a Subject Line

Writing an email subject line is the most daunting part of the entire process, wouldn’t you agree? It’s the make-or-break element of your email.

If you try to be humorous when you shouldn’t be, your email will get sent straight to the trash. If your subject line is too long, your email will get sent straight to the trash. 

Emojis? You know what I’m going to say. Straight to the trash.

With so much pressure riding on a great email subject line, some sponsorship seekers just skip the subject line altogether. That’s right, they leave it blank.

This is almost as bad as including a few emojis in your subject line, maybe even worse. 

A blank subject line is sketchy. It reeks of spam email. If you combine this faux pas with attaching photos or writing long emails, then the fate of your message could once again be the spam filter. 

Mass Emailing Your Entire Contacts List

Isn’t it so painfully time-consuming to personalize every email and then hit send? Isn’t that why mass emailing exists?

I know it’s very tempting to write one generic email and then send it to every contact you have who could be a viable sponsor. 

The thing is though, if you email 500 people, each recipient can see the 499 other recipients who got the same email. 

They’re not going to feel like you took any time to write to them specifically (because you didn’t), so they probably won’t bother responding to you. 

On top of that, mass emails can be perceived as spam, so your emails could go right into the spam filters of the many, many recipients you’re trying to reach.

You could even find yourself in a rather unique predicament. Let’s say you did email 500 people and you asked everyone if they were free at 2:30 on Tuesday.

If even 30 people respond saying that yes, they are free, well now what? You’re only one person, and you can only have one meeting at 2:30 on Tuesday!  

Attaching Your Sponsorship Proposal

I saved the biggest sponsorship email faux pas for last, and that’s attaching your sponsorship proposal to your email.

This is something that sponsorship seekers will do when they go out of order during the sponsorship sales process. 

It’s also something that really unconfident sponsorship seekers will do because they’re afraid that the prospect will never see their proposal otherwise.

You should only ever give the sponsorship proposal to your prospect when they ask for it. That won’t be at least until after the discovery session, although how long until after, it’s hard to say. Maybe it’s one meeting after, maybe it’s several.

You must be patient until then and hold onto your proposal. 

Sponsorship Email Templates That Convert

Okay, so now that you know well enough about what not to do, how do you write the kind of email that not only gets a sponsorship prospect to open the message but encourages them to respond as well?

You use the following templates.

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Template #1 – When You Don’t Know Who to Contact Within the Company

Listen, sometimes all the research and LinkedIn scouring in the world is not going to be enough to tell you who in the company represents sponsorship operations. It happens. 

If you have to ask who that person is, the way you go about it is very important. Here is an example of an email I sent to a company when I wasn’t sure who was in the sponsorship department that I wanted to talk to.

Hey Ray,

Any chance you can suggest the best contact for those in the product X side at your company?


[your name]

Yes, that’s it. See how I didn’t mention the word “sponsorship” anywhere? Notice how there’s no mention of dollars? 

There shouldn’t be! I’m just trying to get information.

Here is the response I received.

Hey Chris,

Yes, you would contact Mike. He is the product X marketing manager. I’ve copied him on this email.

Then when I got in touch with Mike, here is the email I sent to him.

Hi Mike,

Just following up on Ray’s note. I would love to set up a quick call to discuss some of your areas of focus and see if there is some common ground between your priorities and our plans for the year. 

How does your schedule look on Wednesday? Does 3:00 work for a phone call?

Again, I never mention sponsorship in the email. I’m breezy, I’m light, I’m casual, but I am making progress by getting a discovery call going. 

I always recommend that you be the one to request a date and time for a meeting. Don’t ask the prospect when they’re available, as that can cause a lot of ping-ponging of emails back and forth trying to put something together. 

Rather, pick a time when you’re available or when you can be available, such as Thursday at 4:15. Propose that date and time. The prospect will either agree, or they’ll tell you a better time for them.

Make yourself available at that time. 

By the way, these emails paved the way for a sponsorship deal that was valued at $85,000!

Template #2 – Cold Emailing 

I’ve talked enough about why cold emails are the bane of everyone’s existence. If you have to go in and send an email to a prospect without any prior connections, you have to do it right or you’ll never get a response.

Here’s my template.

Hey [name],

I saw [on social media, website, etc.] that you are involved in related products/projects. I would love to connect and ask your thoughts about a cool project I’m working on.

Are you free tomorrow at 3:00?

[your name]

This is a great type of email to send, especially to cold prospects. 

You’re asking their advice on something. In other words, you’re feeding their ego a bit, and who doesn’t love a nice ego boost every now and again?

Additionally, this email is focused solely on the recipient. You’re not launching into your cause or who you are and what you do. You talk very briefly about your opportunity, but only because that’s needed as a springboard to get the prospect on the phone. 

Template #3 – Email to Noteworthy Company Based on Audience Research

When you get your audience survey responses back (and I trust that you did survey your audience), you’re going to notice a handful of companies that your various audience segments mention consuming or using the most. 

These companies are part of your prospecting list. The way you write to a representative at the prospect company can really play up that audience data if you follow this template.

Hi [name],

I saw on [social media site, website, etc.] that you are involved in the marketing side of [their company’s name]. I recently surveyed our database and [company name] had a strong showing.

I’m wondering if you have a couple of minutes to talk about what we found and whether our audience is one of your priorities? 

Any chance you’re free this week for a quick call?

[your name]

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Establishing an Outreach Cadence

Now, after sending an initial email to a sponsorship prospect, especially a cold email, you might not always hear back. 

Following up a time or two is perfectly fine and is part of what I call a sponsorship email cadence.

Here’s how that cadence should go.

Email #1 on Day 1 > Email #2 on Day 2 > Email #3 on Day 3 > Phone Call #1 on Day 4 > Email #4 on Day 5 > Email #5 on Day 6 > Phone Call #2 on Day 7

This cadence applies to one person within the sponsorship company. If you hear from them while following that cadence or directly afterward, then great!

What if you only hear crickets in response to your efforts? Then it’s time to initiate an outreach cadence with the next contact within the company. 

Repeat the same cadence as you did with the first person. 

If by chance, you don’t hear from the second person within the company, then you’d repeat the cadence with the third person. 

However, if the third person doesn’t reply to you, it might be worth it to review your emails and ensure they’re not falling victim to the faux pas I talked about earlier.

Does all this really work, you’re asking? It most certainly does!

The clients of mine who have followed the sponsorship outreach cadence usually have an email open rate of about 30 percent. 


If you’re not getting the email open rates or response rates you want in your sponsorship program, try rewriting your emails following the templates I shared with you today.

Sending sponsorship emails that convert is a lot easier with the right templates to guide you, after all!