Aside from cold emailing brands for years and having been on the blogging side of things, now that I’m venturing out on to the brand side of things I’ve also seen a lot of different email approaches asking to collaborate, and I think having dipped my toes in both sides of the pond there are certainly better ways to go about asking to collaborate than others.
First things first, asking for a free product straight up is never the way to go. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, if you are blogging just because you want free things you’re not going to get very far. Blogging is a long term commitment and takes years to gain an authentic following so if you don’t genuinely love it, you won’t have the patience to stick with it and, ultimately, you won’t get very far. Cold emailing is all part of the job, and a very important part when you’re just starting out, so having your email game 100% is key.
Get a personalized email address
For me, personally, I think having a email@example.com looks unprofessional. I know there are lots of people who have the gmail.com email address but I personally feel brands don’t take those people very seriously. To me, it looks tacky. Again, that’s just my personal opinion. It’s $5 a month to get a personalized .com email address, I’d say it’s worth it. When you’re starting your email I always like to start with “Hi Brand’s name team,” or, better yet, the person’s name in which your contacting. If you do a little digging on LinkedIn, you can usually find this. As opposed to just a “Hello” or “To Whom It May Concern”. I feel a name is more personalized and direct.
Why should the brand pick you?
Secondly, the email should never center around you getting the free product. Please don’t state “I will wear your product in a post on my IG.” I’ve already received tons like this and I nearly roll my eyes because first, it feels like this person just wants a free product- there was no effort put into the email, no information, no kindness or passion about my product; but also, what’s in it for me? Is your following highly engaged? Do you have a large following? What will a simple tag in a photo do. Not much I think. Your email should be more focused on why the brand should pick you to promote their product. Why do you want to work with them? Introduce yourself properly- what’s your blog about/ what do you write about? A collaboration email example should look something like “I’ve been a fan of your line for years. As you can see from a recent post of mine, I’m wearing your shoes. I would love to collaborate with your team as I think my audience would really love to shop more of your latest styles!” Then include ideas about the collaboration. If it’s around Christmas time, mention a cool collaboration idea you had in mind on “10 perfect stocking stuffers” with one being their product.
This way you’ve showed that you’re a fan, not just said it, and it would benefit them since your audience clearly likes their shoes. This is, of course, just an example. I have not collaborated with the linked post’s shoes before.
Link your channels
Lastly, always link your social channels. I’ve seen tons of emails with just a sign off being his/her name. How can the brand find you to review your work and see if they’d like to collaborate? Showcasing your stats is a great way to secure a partnership as brands will really want to see that. Having a press kit on hand doesn’t hurt either. Browse Pinterest to find press/ media kit examples and then customize it to your taste and stats.
Approach the right people
As a side note: Be a reflection of the brands you want to work with! If you’re wearing Zaful and then reaching out to Marissa Webb the next day, things don’t look right and chances are, the latter brand won’t want to work with you. Of course, I always do my best to mix my pieces with high and low items yet even that, in itself, is a targeted market. But if all you wear is one type of brand and then reach out to a completely different style brand, you’re not being a reflection of your targeted market.