I get a lot of unsolicited emails – okay, spam – trying to sell me sponsorship. Leaving to the side the fact that I’m not a sponsor, I’m often on the other side of the planet, my name isn’t “Dear Sir/Madam”, and the twenty-five other things wrong with this approach, they often refer me to a page on their website where I’m supposed to become so enthralled I can’t wait to cut a cheque.
With that in mind, I’m going to start this blog with how not to use your website to sell sponsorship, because from the alarmingly indifferent to the obnoxiously heavy-handed, I think I’ve seen it all.
Okay, so that’s how you shouldn’t do it. This is how you should: Create a sponsorship sales landing page.
You will already have a page or more dedicated to showcasing your sponsors to your target market (your fans, donors, etc). That’s not what I’m talking about.
You want a page titled something like, “Are you interested in sponsoring [property]?” This may or may not be on your main, audience-oriented menu structure, but would certainly have a prominent link from your sponsor page and would be searchable from Google et al. This page would include the following elements.
List your current significant sponsors. If you have 40 rats-and-mice sponsorships way down at the bottom, you may want to leave them off.
Keep it brief, but talk about how you get to know your sponsors’ individual needs and create bespoke offers for them, including plenty of ideas for how they can leverage the sponsorship to meet their objectives. You may also want to include something about what it’s like to be a sponsor. Do you host sponsor networking functions or workshops? Do you report monthly? Use state-of-the-art project management tools, like collaborative workspace, Trello?
Talk about how your sponsors have achieved a range of objectives and added value to their B2C and B2B customers (or whatever). Link to another, non-indexed page with a selection of 150-200 word case studies on how your sponsors have changed their target markets’ perceptions and behaviours, and/or deepened alignment. This will be your most powerful selling point. Why non-searchable? You want people to end up there with some context.
If any of your sponsors have won any industry awards working with you, be sure to list them.
Tell them that your first step will be to conduct a short phone meeting with them to determine their needs. You will then provide them with a customised proposal, which you can work together to fine tune.
Introduce your sponsorship team, include photos, roles, and contact details.
If your sponsors are really happy, ask a few of them to provide short testimonials about how great it is to work with you and the great results they get. You can incorporate that on the landing page, with the case studies, or both.
In the end, it’s going to be you, not some web page, that sells the sponsorship. But it is part of the package. When it’s so easy to get it right, why would you let your online sponsorship voice let you down?
If you’re doing any of the “don’ts”, you may have bigger issues with your approach and may benefit from some additional reading. Definitely browse this blog, as there is lots of how-to for rightsholders. You may also want to check out The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit 4th Edition, which will bring you through the whole sales and servicing process with support from many tools and templates, or enrol in my online sponsorship course, Getting to “Yes”.
For all you need to know about sponsorship sales and servicing, you may want to get a copy of The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit 4th Edition. You may also be interested in my white papers, “Last Generation Sponsorship Redux” and “Disruptive Sponsorship: Like Disruptive Marketing, Only Better“. I’ve also got self-paced, online sponsorship training courses for both sponsors and rightsholders. Get the details and links to course outlines and reviews here.
If you need additional assistance, I offer sponsorship consulting and strategy sessions, sponsorship training, and sponsorship coaching. I also offer a comprehensive Sponsorship Systems Design service for large, diverse, and decentralised organisations. Please feel free to drop me a line to discuss.
Please note, I do not offer a sponsorship broker service, and can’t sell sponsorship on your behalf. You may find someone appropriate on my sponsorship broker registry.
© Kim Skildum-Reid. All rights reserved. To enquire about republishing or distribution, please see the blog and white paper reprints page.