As a small business owner, I frequently get requests to advertise with bloggers or to send a free copy of one of our programs for their review. Some of these appeals I respond to, and some of them I don’t. You see, as a small business owner, my marketing budget is not nearly as hefty as a larger corporation, so I have to make sure that every dollar I spend on advertising counts.
Here are three main reasons why I may not respond to your review pitch…
1. The pitch is devoid of information.
I can’t tell you the number of times I have received a pitch that only says, “Hi, I found your curriculum recently and it looks cool. I have a blog. Can I get a free copy?”
I’ve oversimplified that a bit, but seriously when you send a pitch to a company it should, at a bare minimum, include the following:
- Why you are interested in reviewing their products;
- Your blog’s name and a link to your blog in the text of the email (a link in your signature doesn’t count);
- What you and your blog bring to the table;
- AND the number of subscribers you currently have.
It also doesn’t hurt to include other metrics, such as monthly page views, unique visitors and your social media stats. You can also include a link to a review that you have done or attach a media kit, if you have one.
All of these pieces of information will help me, as a company, to get a good picture of you and your blog because if I don’t know who you are, I won’t be responding to your review pitch.
2. Your blog does not fit my target customer.
I’m looking for homeschool blogs, especially those who share about homeschool science, preschoolers, classical homeschooling, living books, or lapbooks, because the readers from those blogs will be more likely to be interested in my products. It doesn’t make sense for me to advertise on a cooking or writing blog because there is very little chance that my target customer is a subscriber to that blog, which reduces the potential for me to gain a sale from the review.
So, if I can’t see how my products will fit with the subscribers that are in your blogging niche, I won’t be answering your review pitch.
3. I can’t see the potential for good ROI.
ROI stands for “return on investment” and it is critical to the growth and success of a small business. Simply put, ROI means that I need to see enough sales from your review to cover my costs (and make a profit) or it is not worth my outlay. When I receive a pitch with the necessary information from a blogger that fits with my target customers, I take the time to crunch the numbers before I decide to pursue the opportunity.
So, let’s say that a blog has 1000 subscribers. MailChimp shows me that about 17.7%* of those subscribers will open the post feed and that 2.8%* of those people are likely to click on the link. So, that means that chances are 177 people will read the posted review of my product and 28 of them will go to my website. Conversion rates can vary from 2.9% to 20%, so I could potentially see 1 to 5 sales from your review post. If, I’m making an average of $10 per sale, I’m not likely to invest more than $50 in your review. Keep in mind that a free product for you and for a giveaway count as part of my total investment. (Note: If your open and click rates are better than the industry average, be sure to let a company know that as it will factor into their decision.) In the end, if I don’t believe that a review on your blog will provide a good return on my investment, I won’t be responding to your review pitch. [*Stats are taken from MailChimp’s industry standards.]
Advertising on a blog is a bit different, but basically I need to see that your blog has the potential to drive traffic to my website and that those people are likely to be interested in purchasing my products. So, it really helps if you are currently using one of my products or if we already have an established relationship. Just remember that a lot of homeschool companies are small, family-run businesses. So when you approach them to work with your blog, be sure to send a solid pitch that helps them to see how your blog will provide them a good ROI and how you fit with their target customers. If you do all that, you’ll be more likely to convert your emails into advertising dollars.
Also, remember that the three factors above are not the only ones that play into whether or not a company responds to your pitch. They may not have the time to respond at the moment, or they may not have the funds in their advertising budget for that period. So, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a response right away. After all in the end, your job as a blogger is simply to present the company with the facts they need to make an informed decision.
Paige Hudson is a homeschooling mom with a passion for sharing the wonders of science with children. She writes science curriculum aimed at homeschoolers for Elemental Science and shares tips and tools for science education at Elemental Blogging. She holds a BS in Biochemistry from Virginia Tech and currently resides in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia with her husband and 2 children.