How NOT to Ask for Sponsorship or Advertising: 6 Deadly Mistakes


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Often times I get emails from people that want me to sponsor a contest or event on their blogs. Most of the times I take the time to at least check it out, and if the contest is structured well, I am happy to donate free copies to my eBook or licenses to premium WordPress themes.

Sometimes, however, the email is so bad that I just think “Man, you got be kidding!”.

Last week one of those came through. I asked permission to the sender to republish it here, but I will keep it anonymous for obvious reasons. Here is what the email said:

hello friend congrats for your pr6.I am organizing a contest in my blog.So if you are interested then please sponsor in this contest.we will be happy if you sponsor here.

So many things wrong here that I don’t even know where to start. I will break it down in 6 points so it is easier to follow:

1. Not using the name of the person. If you want to get someone’s attention, you must make sure that you will address him or her by the name. When people start their email with “Hi Daniel” I will make sure to read it and give it enough attention, cause I know at least that the person on the other side knows who I am.

2. Blatant ass kissing. If you are going to make a compliment, make sure it is genuine. If it is clear that you are just saying that to please the person you are asking something, it will do more harm than good.

3. Crap writing. When you write emails to your friends or relatives, I guess you could be informal and not pay too much attention to grammar and punctuation. If you are writing to a potential sponsor, however, you want to make sure that your message is perfectly readable. Capital letters to start a sentence and spaces are the very minimum you wanna go with….

4. No link or URL. So you want me to sponsor your blog eh? That is all right, but what is your blog? Give me the link, or I will sure not sweat myself in Google trying to find it by searching for your name.

5. No explanation of what I have to gain. We got be frank here, there is no charity going on around the Internet (well perhaps some, but you get my point). People will just sponsor your contest or website if they have something to gain out of it. It is in your best interests therefore to make this part as clear as possible!

6. No explanation of how the contest is structured. You also need to explain how the contest is going to work. Some people might not want to get involved with certain practices (i.e. blackhat or affiliate marketing).

There you go. If you want to get someone to sponsor or advertise on your blog, try to avoid those 6 deadly mistakes.

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33 Responses to “How NOT to Ask for Sponsorship or Advertising: 6 Deadly Mistakes”

  • charles mng’ong’o

    I have get a chance to go for further studies but I felled because no one can pay me for fees the sum of $12,000. Could you help me for that?

  • Social Media Marketing Blog

    well, it happens most of the times when the other person is not certain on your reaction. At times, he/she just write a short email like i want to do that, are you interested and once you say yes I’m .. send me this and that detail….

    then they convey their complete message to you..

  • Oz

    Wow, some of these comments are just as bad.

    I have a music blog and we get hundreds of album/artist submissions each month. Same problem. Sometimes I’ll get a blank email with just an mp3 attached or other times I’ll get a genre that’s not even close to the music we discuss.

    Take some time to learn about the blog and be relevant.

  • izzat aziz

    that look like asking from he/she own family.
    gosh.. if me, i mark it as spam.. 😀

  • Colocation hosting

    did some off those mistakes in my early webyears

  • Alan

    I’m really NOT referring to any comments here!…

    I think #2 would be a great post about what not to do when making comments on a post. What do you think ? I see it everywhere and find them so dull to read.

  • Dennis Edell

    Very timely. I’m in the middle of my first contest now, with more to come for sure, thanks. 🙂

  • Michelle

    not just ass kissing, but ass licking. So, so true.

  • DKumar M.

    Ok Daniel, Some of the points really shaking but rest is usual.

    Obviously, in 85% cases these contests organized just for marketing purpose. It’s OK, to be sailfish. but what matters in the end is finding yourself alone, Not lonely.

    It’s sometimes sound mad but not bad.

  • Adam – Creadiv

    I have been receiving a few e-mails offering me free logo design/web design services for newbs that are trying to make a portfolio and name for themselves. But they never give me a link to their portfolio or even tell me why they think I need a new logo. I am very happy with my current logo so for the most part I just ignore them.

    I guess my point would be is that it doesn’t matter what type of email it is it has to be structured well and they need to provide the information that will really matter.


  • Clog Money

    I’ve read a letter quite similar to the one above recently myself. I still can’t believe how some people can put such little effort into cold-emailing. It’s a much more difficult skill than people think!!!

  • Potato Chef

    I would have thought that it was spam. I’m suprise, considering how bad the email was, that the author gave you permission to reprint it.

  • Franklin Bishop

    I completely understand where you are coming from on this one. There are too many people that do ass licking and think that it will get them somewhere. Bloggers are not stupid and fully understand what these kind of people are trying to do. In the end though those are the people that look stupid.

  • Angel Cuala

    Based on the the email you showed, I think I have to add the 7th mistake – Not checking the grammar before hitting the “send” button.

    Writing to someone and requesting someone to be a sponsor is a business proposal, and we should look more professional when doing such.

    Another useful reminder here, Daniel.


  • TechZoomIn


    What Snady asked is really very useful for many new bloggers.Pls take that soon yar 🙂

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Sandy, thanks for the nice words. I will try to come to that article soon.

  • TechZoomIn

    Thanks Daniel.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @TechZooming, I don’t think it is a clever idea to let other people copy your content. If they can read it on other websites, they won’t need to come to yours!

  • IDoBlogs

    I was once one of about 30 people to respond to an ad on a freelance board. Out of the 30, I was the only one to simply supply the information asked for in the ad, nothing more. I got the job!

  • Melvin

    Its just mind boggling to see how many people think it work that easy.. Well I think just the simple thing that you did with blogging idol is what people should do about gaining sponsors… Shoemoney has a post about it that gives great value too.

  • TechZoomIn

    Hi Daniel,

    Really good one yar… i think you kept all your experiences till now here 🙂

    I do get some mails asking permission to copy the content. But by the time i see their blog, they already copies it.Don’t know what to respond.
    Is that good to give permission to copy my content?
    Did you get this type of requests?

  • Sandy Grason

    Hi Daniel,
    Love your daily blog posts. I’m a new subscriber and all the information is faaaaabulous.

    Would you consider doing a “6-10 Things You MUST DO when approaching Sponsors & Advertisers” article?

  • Rajeev Edmonds

    Very useful article Daniel. A good number of bloggers are going to learn something from this.

  • blackzero85

    I lol-ed after reading 4th point on this post.

    Anyway, good post you have there. I’ll make sure I remember this if I work on my own contest in the future. I haven’t had any, though.

  • Rajaie AlKorani

    I know how you feel, Daniel (actually, I don’t, since your blog is a hundred times more popular than mine)

    But seriously, I get a few Emails a week asking me to sponsor contests and most of them don’t even know my name!

  • SEO Genius

    That made me laugh, thanks for that Daniel.

    How can people even be serious sending that? Some excellent points anyways and a nice article came out of the rather poor email.


  • Ben Evert

    Looks like that person lacked quite a bit of marketing and common sense skills. Hopefully, they will work on that and send better e-mails in the future.

    Will be really interested in how you structure your e-mail requests and will be waiting for that post.

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Dan, I receive all sorts of emails 🙂 .

    I try to respond to most of them though, I only skip the really bad ones where it is clear the other side is just spamming to see who will catch the bait.

    I will try to write in the future about how I structure my own emails when I want to ask something.


    Timly reminder. I was about to contact some advertisers to advertise on my blog. In hurry I might have done one or two mistakes.
    Thanks for the post.

  • Dan @

    That’s a fair point Dan. I’ve had a few emails asking for backlinks, when clearly there’s only benefit to the sender of the email, and none to me.

    What other types of email do you receive? Perhaps you can analyse them in the same way you did here? Or even, how *you* would approach someone for a favour?


Comments are closed.