Email Newsletter Sponsorship: How to do it and Why 17th January, 2011

Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing channels available, ensuring a wide reaching audience and proven results.  E-Newsletters are particularly useful for organisations as a tool for communicating with customers, building engagement, driving traffic, and directing customers to key content.  And, with a groundswell of readers behind it, an email newsletter can be used as a platform for sponsorship –  providing a great revenue opportunity as well as a great marketing opportunity for potential brand partners  to create new engagement opportunities with your audiences. 

Sponsorship of e-Newsletters can be a powerful way to tap into a new customer segments and  aligning your brand to relevant and complimentary  topics or propositions.  It helps increase exposure in a receptive environment (your customers’ inbox) and can subtly promote your brand whilst gaining goodwill through association.

For the converted, there are a variety of e-Newsletter sponsorship investment levels to consider, which vary according to type of audience (mass market B2C vs niche market B2B), frequency (daily vs monthly), and style of content (promotions vs editorial).  From a cost perspective, most range between £1,000 and £3,500 a campaign (which may translate to a one off, mass market hit, or a monthly ‘takeover’ of display ads). 

A great example of an e-Newsletter sponsorship opportunity is eConsultancy, who offer a prime position on their daily alerts for £2,250, which is sent out to a 10,000 to 12,000 opted-in subscriber list. 

However, not all e-Newsletters are appropriate for the task.  There are a few points that we always take into consideration when talking to clients about before considering this style of sponsorship.  Here’s a quick overview:

1.  Audience: an e-Newsletter can only be sponsored if it attracts an audience that is either sufficiently large or very niche.  To state the obvious, B2C e-Newsletters require a large audience to be of interest, whilst B2B e-Newsletters can deliver value with smaller audiences with greater purchasing power.  If you have an e-Newsletter that might be attractive to sponsors, but you don’t yet have a sponsorship sales strategy, you will need to demonstrate value in your audience through proof  of size, quality and engagement of your audience.  Most email marketing applications will provide you with basic analytics tools to generate this information.

 2.  Measurement: ROI is key to sponsorship and vital for brand sponsors when choosing who to spend their marketing budget with.  Analytics tools will also provide publishers and sponsors with all of the necessary metrics to understand views, click throughs and open rates; and it is this data that will ensure that pricing and value for money are maintained at the right level.

 3.  Resource: sponsorship is not just about attaching someone else’s brand to yours.  For this style of sponsorship to be successful there needs to be a dedicated team behind it that understands data, brand synergies, and the ability to unearth unseen co-branding opportunities.  This is no small task, but this kind of attention to campaign management can turn e-Newsletter sponsorship opportunities into gold.