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The Art of Sponsorship Sales Emails: Templates, Subject Lines and Follow Up

by | January 4, 2020

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

Mastering the art of sponsorship sales emails will open new doors and opportunities in your ventures. Understanding what works, why it works, and how it can affect your overall strategy is paramount to success in our digital world.

What is the best way to approach sponsorship sales emails? When communicating with potential sponsors, you will need to understand how to create and implement email templates, which saves time without sacrificing accuracy. Next, the importance of subject lines and follow up emails tend to be overlooked.

 According to HubSpot, more than 40% of salespeople say sales emails are the most challenging part of the sales process. But they don’t have to be. Unlocking the key ingredients to an informative, enticing, and engaging email can be your ticket in.

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Creating Effective Email Templates

Email templates are every salesperson’s best friend. We all know those emails that we have to send out time and time again that become monotonous and stale. It’s not an exciting process, which can lead to errors. If you’re not fully engaged as you write it (spoiler alert), the reader isn’t going to be, either.

Sponsorship sales is all about building relationships. Creating templates that will save you time and ensure accuracy is essential but finding the best ways to personalize will also be critical.

For the more personalized touch it is best to create templates within your CRM or company email that you can use over and over again. This will allow you to have the general template laid out so that you can populate it with the click of a button. Within that template, you will have areas that you know you can update to personalize it to the recipient.

These personal touches should mostly be geared towards their company and the potential sponsorship deal between you. But leave room for the quick personal note that is specific to them. Maybe you met them at a networking event and had a great conversation. Pull something from that chat and find a way to bring it up in the template organically.

Companies, influencers, and sponsors are all used to receiving email blasts. When they see something that resonates with them, or they notice you going the extra mile to personalize something to them, it means a lot.

Create your template that covers the basic needs of the email, like introducing yourself, the purpose of the email, and any quick facts or information you need to include. But then, leave it open for moments of personalization.

The Introduction Email

Your first email, or your “cold” email, will be your introduction. This needs to be an email that grabs attention, gives concise information, and motivates your prospect to respond.

Come in Hot

According to Litmus, mobile clients accounted for 41.9% of email opens in Q1 2019. This makes your first few sentences even more crucial. Think about viewing the email on your smartphone. When you go into your email, without even opening a specific email, you will see the first sentence, but that’s about it. Make those first words count. Entice them to open it and look at it right there and then.

Clear and Concise

When recipients open an email to see a novel, it’s not the most enticing start. Chances are, they will not read the entire thing. They may just completely discard it if they don’t see the value up top. Be clear in your message and direct in your words. After you complete the message, go back and be ruthless in your decisions for what is needed vs. what is wasted space that will distract from your goal.

Make a Connection

Use your first few words to make a connection rather than waste time with a generic opening like “Hope this finds you well.” Use what you know about the recipient, their business, or your possible partnership and make that the focus. Everything in this email should serve a purpose, and that includes your opening.

Mastering the Art of the Subject Line

The subject line is often the nemesis of any salesperson. Even in a casual email to a friend or family member, it is easily a moment where we all stop and say, “Ugh, what do I put here?” But the subject line for a sponsorship email can be one of the most important things you will write. No pressure.

You need the subject line to convey urgency, a sense of connection, and something that will engage them. The subject line is essentially a reason to open or ignore an email. Try a few of these tips to make sure yours goes in the “open” pile.

  • Make it personal immediately – “Met you at _______, let’s connect!”
  • Use the name of a reference or mutual friend – “_______ recommended I reach out.”
  • Make it specific to the reason for the email – “Had an idea for _________.”

Sensing a theme? Quick, concise, and personal. Finding creative ways to stick to those guidelines will increase your open rate.

For more information on subject lines, HubSpot has a great list of examples.

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The Importance of Follow-Up

So, you wrote a killer cold email, came up with a dazzling subject line that no one could ever look away from. But you didn’t hear back. Time to give up, right?

According to Yesware, that is precisely what 70% of all salespeople do. They give up after the first attempt. The amount of missed opportunities resulting from that is staggering. Creating additional follow-ups and forms of contact will only increase your chances of making an impact and hearing back.

Make the Connection Make Sense

Use whatever similarities you have in this email. Whether it is a mutual friend or contact, an event you were both at, or a connection between your businesses or brands, it will help further establish a rapport with them. Keep it concise, and don’t overdo it, though. No one likes a thirsty email.

Ask Compelling Questions

Give them a reason to respond. You can even do this by asking for their expert opinion on the subject at hand. You want them to have a reason to respond to you. Leave room for open-ended questions and provoke that response.

Don’t Ask for Their Sponsorship Yet

This can be premature and often can ruin a relationship before it has begun. You don’t want to get too aggressive in a follow-up when you still haven’t heard back yet. They may be interested but busy. Or maybe they are not the point-person and they need to get the info to someone else in their organization. Asking too early can be off-putting and backfire.

Sponsorship Email Template

Here is an example of an email that I send out when I have to go in completely cold:

“Hi Dave,

I noticed on LinkedIn that you are involved in the sponsorship program at Company X, focused on high net worth moms who live in the suburbs.

We did some research and found that around 30% of our attendees match this demographic and thought you would be interested in a conversation.

Are you around on Tuesday at 3:00 for a 15-minute discovery call?



It works every time! Well, it works 10% of the time, which is still pretty darn good.

Tying it All Together

Your sponsorship emails will need all these puzzle pieces to become a powerful sales tool. The keys in every segment are to be clear, personal, concise, and direct. Find unique ways to create connections and do it in a succinct manner that will leave the recipient wanting more.

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After several years as a sponsor (that’s right, the one investing the money!) Chris decided to cross over to the sponsorship sales side where he has personally closed tens of millions of dollars in sponsorship deals. Chris has been on the front lines of multi-million-dollar sponsorship agreements and has built and coached teams to do the same.