Who among us doesn’t receive a mountain of spam on a daily basis? How would you like to turn those spam emails into cold, hard cash?
No, I’m not advocating that you reply to the Prince of Nigeria who wants to send you money. What I am suggesting, however, is that you can reply to some of those spam emails in a certain way in order to flip the sender from spammer to sponsor. Blog sponsorship sales can help you take your monetization efforts to another level, so this is an opportunity you should definitely consider, depending on your niche.
When is a spammer not a spammer?
There are three main types of spam, in my experiences:
- Spam from scam artists, which actively attempts to deceive you in some way, usually to acquire your social security number and other personal information.
- Spam that is completely off-target, sending you ads for erectile dysfunction pills and other products you don’t want or need.
- Spam that is sort-of on target, but sent by a PR rep or agency who clearly doesn’t understand how to best communicate with bloggers.
The third type of spam is what you can potentially turn into blog sponsorship sales.
Let’s say, for example, that you write a food blog. You might receive pitches every day from people who want you to promote their kitchen products, say a new type of spatula. Most reps don’t take the time to engage with bloggers and build relationships. Instead, they just “spray and pray”– in other words, they send emails to as many people as possible, asking them to promote their Spectacular Spatulas, and hope that even a small percentage of those people actually write a blog post or send out a tweet.
They’re spammers, but they have good intentions. They don’t mean to clog up your inbox. They just want to tell you about their product.
The Step-by-Step Process for Turning Spam Emails into Blog Sponsorships
The good news for you? If you do a little work instead of deleting these emails, you might be able to make some money! Here’s the step-by-step process:
- Step One: Research the product.
First, you have to make sure the product (or service) the “spammer” is promoting is actually something that fits your blog well. If you promote products just for the money, you’ll find yourself making readers angry. Do a little research. Make sure the Spectacular Spatulas you’re promoting are innovative, high-quality, and priced correctly, not expensive pieces of junk. Remember, even if you label something as an ad, anything you put on your blog is an endorsement.
- Step Two: Make sure your advertising rates are listed on your site.
If you accept advertising, have a page dedicated to listing your rates. Determine what kind of sponsorships you’ll sell. Popular options include:
- Sidebar banner ads
- End-of post banner ads
- Sponsored posts
- Sponsored podcasts and videos
- Text links
- Sponsored social updates
You can opt to not include prices or to only include very general price ranges, but remember that the more information you make public, the less time you’ll waste. Pricing is tricky, but if you’re fair and honest, you don’t have to worry about pricing yourself out of the market. It’s older, but I still love this post about how to set your prices.
- Step Three: Reply to the form letter with a form letter of your own.
I keep a form email on hand where I can “fill in the blanks” and use to reply to anyone who sends me the third type of spam. Here’s an example of what I might send if I were a food blogger who received an email about Spectacular Spatulas:
Dear John Doe,
Thanks for your email about Spectacular Spatulas! While I’m not able to promote every product people mention to me, I do think this would be a good fit for my readers. I have several options for sponsorships on my blog, which would allow you reach my audience.
You can find these options here: *link*
I would love to speak to you more about my traffic statistics, demographics, and editorial calendar so we can work together to promote Spectacular Spatulas. Let me know if you are interested.
Allison the Food Blogger
I get a response about 1% of the time, which might not sound like much, but when you think about the vast number of spam emails you get in a day, that number doesn’t look so bad! Not everyone who responds ends up purchasing a sponsorship, but about 25% of the ads I sell come from me responding to spam. It’s not a bad deal, and I highly encourage you to give it a try if you’re interested in selling blog sponsorships.
Image credit: Bigstock (altered)