How to Respond to Sponsorship Spam

BlamOMG, I get a lot of sponsorship spam. I bet I average a dozen or more spamsorship emails a day, and they all say virtually the same thing:

  • Greetings! (No name, because that would mean they’d have to do some actual work.)
  • We need money for blah-di-blah (usually with a side order of either sizzle or neediness)
  • Date by which we need the money (which is invariably within a month or two)
  • We can put your brand here and here and here (never actually naming your brand)
  • Please give us the money
  • Gmail address (because having a domain – and the associated professionalism – would take $7 and five minutes)

And if they’re getting really fancy, they might have one or more of these…

  • A link to their “show reel” or “deck” (and I can’t tell you how much I just love those)
  • Link to their Facebook page (because a photo of the dude eating a corndog at the top of the halfpipe is awesome… dude)
  • A 10mb generic proposal PDF (that clogs up my server and that I’ll never open, because do you know how much malware can be transmitted in a PDF from some stranger?)

And for the spamsorship gold star…

  • “Sent from iPhone”
  • Sent to several dozen people, with all of our emails in the cc field

I got one of the latter recently, I was a bit worried until I realised that mine was one of the only ones not addressed to the generic, customer service or webmaster email address for a brand. Yeah, THAT’s gonna get the big bucks rolling in!

I want to slap these people. I also want to help them, but mostly I want to slap them. To stop me from writing progressively ruder responses as I slog through these emails day after day, I’ve created a template response that incorporates both slapping and helping:

This is just spam and you need to stop it right now – not only because it’s rude, but because it won’t get you any sponsorship.

Every single time you hit “send”, you are burning a bridge with a potential sponsor who might have said “yes” to a good proposal. I’m not sure what this is supposed to be, but it isn’t even good enough to qualify as a bad proposal.

Do yourself and the whole sponsorship industry a favour, and stop this. Until you learn what sponsorship is about and how to do a proper offer, you’re wasting everyone’s time.

Here is a link to a lot of resources for sponsorship. There is a lot of good, free information out there. Please use it.

You’re welcome.

If you (and not customer service) get this kind of spamsorship email, I’d be really interested in how you handle it. Do you just hit delete? Send a nasty response? Try to help them get their act together? I’m opening comments for a little while, so please, do tell…

In any case, I am going to encourage you to respond, because these sponsorship spammers need to be pulled up, for their own good and for the good of our industry. If you don’t have an easy way to respond, feel free to borrow my text above as a starting point to create your own one-click template response. You don’t need to use my link – use whatever your favoured resource might be – but please, give them the slap they very sorely need.

© Kim Skildum-Reid. All rights reserved. For republishing information see Blog and White Paper Reprints.

2 responses to “How to Respond to Sponsorship Spam”

  1. Toby Hester says:

    kim love your work
    I leave an out of office for external emails stating: “thanks for your mail I’ll get to it asap!
    If you are requesting sponsorship, information regarding this company I do not accept unsolicited requests! Our sponsorship strategy is set, our agency roster full and any corporate information is available on our website or not publicly available”
    Best regards
    This work for me !

  2. Karl says:

    Hi Kim,
    Great note to spammers. I agree. Most of the time, I want to slap these guys and believe they deserve to be ignored. Some ‘proposals’ are border line funny or pityful. If they had spent 1h to search and craft something targeted and engaging, they could get a yes rather than a big fat no.

    Thanks Kim, keep up the great work!