As a small business owner, you know how valuable your time is. Pitching is a great way to increase your revenues, but it can be incredibly time-consuming. Not to mention the struggle of not knowing why your pitches may not be performing well. That is why we created a process to help you send more pitches with ease and collect data to evaluate where you can improve. If you are ready to save time and make more 💸 keep reading!
TLDR: Creating a pitching process will help you become more efficient and more effective at pitching. This will in turn help you increase your revenues from brand deals and client work!
Why you should reach out to MULTIPLE people
One contact may give you such a clear no that the lack of potential leaves you feeling like this. Another contact (at the same company 😱 ) may be super excited about the opportunity to work with you. When our founders were starting Relatable, they reached out to multiple people at the same company. One contact told them not to contact the company again, while another scheduled a meeting. It led to $725K in revenue in the future. Imagine if they had only contacted one person.We recommend when starting out that you find 10 contacts at 10 brands you want to work with. Learn more about finding brand contacts in our post 3 tips to improve your pitches.
Sample Pitching Timeline
The traditional approach to pitching often only sends a single email to a single contact. While that may work for some, we recognize that timing and who you are talking to make a big difference! Since most partnerships are actually campaign-based, sending out more emails over 6-8 weeks gives you more chances for the timing to line up.
Did you know? Following up pays off. 70% of unanswered sales emails stopped after the first email. Sending a second one gives you a 21% chance of a response and can improve average response rates by up to 40%.
The standard approach to pitching is typically one focused on immediately getting work. I don’t know about you, but sales emails? They aren’t really my favorite to open.
The Willa Way emphasizes a pitching process that helps you get in front of the right person, lead with value and build your relationship with them.
Our initial outreach is focused on reaching the right person not making money. Why? Because if you don’t have the right contact, they probably can’t pay you anyway.
Our follow-up suggestion is to pack on the value and show what working with you looks like.
Ex. Share an insight from a previous campaign, showcase prior work, or share a campaign idea.
Re-send your first and second emails to those who did not open the emails. This increases your chance of getting a response!
💡Willa Tip: Mindset is everything. You are trying to get in touch with the right people to help. Finding the right influencers is a big struggle for brands and you are making that search easier.
You may have also gotten some responses by now that say something like, "I'm not in charge of X, but NAME, is." Forward that convo to the right person. This helps you introduce yourself based on the internal referral to that person.
Our third email sets up an opportunity. Discuss the brand's upcoming marketing plans for Back to School, Summer, Thanksgiving, Holiday season, etc. Lead with value by sharing an idea of how you can work together and/or help them reach their goals.
The fourth email shares more insights, a case study, another example of your work, or a campaign idea. Try showcasing past work as an example of what you can do to assist them in reaching their goals.
💡Willa Tip: If a brand is focused on a particular goal (say driving sales for a Holiday launch?) make sure to share work as relevant to that particular goal as possible.
Finally, re-send your last two emails to anyone who has not opened them!
Tools + Tracking
You may be thinking, 10 contacts x 10 brands x 4 emails is 400 EMAILS?? 😅 Don’t panic, we have you covered with the tools and tracking plan to make scaling your pitching process a breeze.
This tool lets you connect google sheets to gmail so that you can send personalized emails to multiple people at a time. If you read our prior post in this series on writing better pitches, the spreadsheet in the action plan is a great spot to start!
Other benefits to YAMM
- Can tell you if an email has been opened/delivered
- Can segment unopened emails & reach back out to just those people
- Send to up to 50 recipients/day on their free plan
💡Willa Tip: If you upgrade your plan to paid and have the ability to send more emails, keep in mind that Gmail will prevent you from sending more than 300-400 emails/day.
This browser add-on lets you track your emails to know when, how, and where your emails have been opened. This can help you better time your follow-up emails!
💡Willa Tip: Did someone you reached out to last month open your email recently? Reach back out and see if now is better timing!
Sending out 400+ emails means you have a decent amount of data to work with to assess your pitching process overall.
Some basic items to track are open rates, response rates, if you are getting warm responses, whether you landed a deal or not, and how much that deal made you. If you include links to prior content, media kits, case studies, etc. you can also track whether these are clicked.
Here are some example assessments you can make using the data you collect using this pitching process.
- Lots of emails are opened, but nobody is answering? May be time to work on your copy.
- Hearing back from everyone but not getting real opportunities? Reach out to more people.
- Ending up with the PR team, with no 💸 ? Reach out to more marketing & advertising contacts. (If you are sitting like 🧐 wondering why we say that, check out our first article from this series, Pitching from the Brand Perspective!)
When sending out pitches on a larger scale, you are also able to assess the quality of your leads. This way you can determine what relationships you should invest more of your time into.
⭐ Willing to engage in a dialogue? Do they respond when reaching out?
⭐ Are they friendly/cooperative? Clicking through your links?
⭐ Is it a relevant stakeholder? Not necessarily final decisionmaker, but relevant to initiate a meeting?
⭐ Interested in influencer marketing? How you can help them?
⭐ They’d like your help?
If you answered yes to each of these for a contact, they are a 5-star prospect! We recommend overinvesting in these relationships. Get to know them and focus on the LONG TERM!
💡Willa Tip: Send a call to action like "Can we set up a call in the next few weeks to chat?" in your emails to 5-star prospects to foster a better relationship.
Test your Knowledge
Your Action Plan
- Shortlist 10 DREAM clients/companies to work with
- Find 10 potential contacts for each company
- Set up a cadence of 3-5 emails over 8-10 weeks
- Track your stats and adjust your strategy accordingly!
- Send all your invoices from your new fire strategy on Willa Pay