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To Call or Not to Call: Should You Be Cold Calling or Cold Emailing Your Potential Sponsors?

February 5, 2019

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To Call or Not to Call: Should You Be Cold Calling or Cold Emailing Your Potential Sponsors?

February 5, 2019




Here is one of the most frequent questions we get here at SilverCrate:



Should I call or email my sponsor leads?



The answer, quite honestly, is it depends. While they are most certainly unique, selling sponsorships is no different than other business-to-business (B2B) sales. Whether it’s a $20,000 title sponsorship package or a $20,000 piece of software, your ability to land a customer depends greatly on your ability to sell. And your ability to sell is determined by your ability to get your lead’s attention.



Before we discuss whether you should be emailing our calling your potential sponsors right out of the gate, let’s revisit the main goal of your first contact with potential sponsors:



To schedule a phone call or in-person meeting



That’s right, your entire goal with your first connection with a potential sponsor is to secure a scheduled phone call or meeting.  



When you call or email someone – especially when you don’t know them personally – you are interrupting their day. Can you think of the last time you received an unsolicited phone call or email that you were excited about? Pretty rare, right? And even if you were excited, were you in any position or mood to buy what they were selling? Of course not!



Chances are you have never purchased something from a single, unsolicited email or phone call. And sponsorships are no different. Sending someone a generic sponsorship proposal and asking them to select a pre-made package is the equivalent of someone calling you unannounced and asking if you want to buy a special cruise package. Sure, you may love cruises, but you’re not about to stop your busy day to chat with a salesperson about your preference for port side and rooms with balconies. For most busy professionals, if it’s not on the calendar, it’s not going to receive much attention.



This is why your ultimate goal is to get a follow-up meeting. To secure time on your lead’s sacred calendar, where they can listen to you fully explain the value you’re bringing to the table with your sponsorship packages, and why it’s a perfect match for their business.    



So, knowing that your ultimate goal is to get a meeting, what is the best approach? Should you be calling or emailing the sponsor leads on your list?



The answer: both.



Here at SilverCrate, we teach our students how to leverage a “Hybrid Strategy” of outreach that we’ve developed over years of sponsorship solicitation. This method uses both emails and phone calls to get your lead’s attention in a non-invasive way, and maximizes the odds of you landing a spot on their calendar for a follow-up meeting.



The Hybrid Approach



What is the Hybrid Approach? It’s a series of two emails and one phone call over the course of a week used to land that meeting. Here’s how it works:



Day 1: Send Email #1

Day 4 (If No Response to Email #1): Send Email #2

Day 7 (If No Response to Email #2): Phone Call



This method allows you to be persistent without being pushing or overbearing. And by choosing email over phone call first, you have the opportunity to be top of mind with your leads…even if they choose not to respond right away.



Going back to our cruise example, imagine if the cruise operator decided to email you first instead of call. And inside that email, they quickly piqued your interest with something that was of value to you – say, a brand new, all balcony cruise ship launching in the spring. Even if you chose not to respond to this email, you would spend the next few days with the image of you on a brand-new cruise ship buried in your subconscious. You’d think about the last cruise you took and how much fun you had. You’d think about the stress in your life, and how it’d melt away with a Mai Tai on your private cruise balcony…



If the cruise company followed up a week later asking for a few minutes of your time, you’d be much more likely to say “yes” this time around, wouldn’t you?



This is exactly what the Hybrid Approach does for sponsorships. It gets your leads interest piqued. Hopefully enough so that they respond to emails, but if not, when you do make that phone call, they’ll have had your value proposition top of mind for a  full week, and will be much, much more likely to respond positively and grant you that meeting.



So, how do you apply the Hybrid Strategy? Our FREE eBook How to Find Event Sponsors: 6 Steps for Securing Massive Event Sponsors outlines this process in detail. But to get you started, here’s a look at a simple 3 step email and phone outreach program that follows the Hybrid Method:



Email #1


Subject: Your Thoughts


Dear {Potential Sponsor},


I’m working on an event targeting {You Event’s Audience} and noticed that {Sponsor Brand} is using its current marketing efforts to target this same group.


I had a though on how we might be able to use our event to help further your efforts in this area.


Are you available for 5 quick minutes on Wednesday at 1pm for me to run it by you?







Email #2 – Sent 3 Days Later (If No Response)



Subject: Re: Your Thoughts


Dear {Potential Sponsor},


I wanted to follow up on my last email about {Sponsor Brand}’s efforts to reach {Your Event Audience} and share a quick idea with you.


Are you available for 5 quick minutes on Tuesday at 1pm?







Phone Call – 3 Days Later (If No Response)



Hi {Sponsor Name}! This is {Your Name} calling. I had emailed you about a project we’re working on over here that aligns with {Sponsor Brand’s} current marketing efforts.


I don’t want to disrupt your day with an unscheduled call, so I was hoping to see if I could schedule a quick 5-10 minutes on your calendar for Wednesday. Would 10:00am work ok?



Simple. Quick. To the Point. This series makes it very clear that you are offering your potential sponsor a chance to connect with their target audience. A connection that will allow them to find more leads, and ultimately, more sales for their brand. In a few short sentences, you’ve made the value you’re offering incredibly clear.


This will greatly increase the chances of a response on one of these three touches with your potential sponsors.


Want to learn what happens when you finally land that meeting. Need some email templates to get you started with the Hybrid Process? Be sure to check out our new eBook How to Find Event Sponsors: 6 Steps for Securing Massive Event Sponsors. And as always, if you have any questions, or if there is anything we can do to help you on your sponsorship journey, please don’t hesitate to reach out: hello@silvercrateproductions.com


Happy Sponsor Seeking!











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