As bloggers, we’ve all received these. Sometime, five a day, sometimes none. You know what I’m talking about… the infamous and ever ambiguous brand collaboration offer. And now you’re wondering how to reply to a brand collaboration email.
At first, you might feel your stomach drop, because it might be from a brand or company you’ve always wanted to work with as a blogger. And then, after you have read it, you might feel elated. Or, you might feel a pit in your stomach as you wonder what to do when a brand reaches out to you.
I remember the first email from a brand I got. I was so excited until I got to the bottom of the email, and there was still no mention of compensation. Not a free product sample, no gift card, and definitely no cash. You mean to tell me that this Fortune 500 company want me to go out and buy, write about, photograph, and sell my readers their product for free? Of course, I said no to this so-called collaboration offer.
Whether we intend to or not, bloggers post about brands they love all the time. I share what I’m wearing, what beauty products work for me, and how I decorate my home, all of which contain a multitude of products from brands. Most of the time, these brands and companies have no idea who I am. From time to time, I get sent a free product or have the opportunity to work on a paid post, but even more often, collaboration opportunities don’t go anywhere.
Now five years later from the first iteration of this blog post, I think I’ve gathered many tips to help you navigate how to respond to those brand offers, how to tackle the brand inquiries on Instagram and how to reply to collaboration emails instead of just hitting delete.
Ready to respond to brand inquiries with confidence? Read on to learn how to respond to a brand collaboration email!
Note: The following are all real emails that I have received, but personal details have been modified to protect the offending (or awesome!) parties.
The Good Brand Emails That I Love To Get
How are you? My name is Jane Doe and I’m the co-founder of XYZ Company. We’re just about to launch a new product, and I was wondering if I could send you one?
Let me know if you’re interested and I can have it shipped this week.
Why I Love These & How I Reply to a Brand Collaboration
They have no requirements, they just want you to try their product, love it, and share it in an organic way. I responded with my thanks (trying to hide my surprise for the simple request, I mean really!) and accepted the offer. When I posted about it, I sent her the post link. Now I recommend her company all the time and feel good about doing so.
The Ambiguous Emails I Don’t Love So Much
My name is Jane and I own XYZ Company in Somewhere, USA. (Here she gives me more details about her company and what products and services they offer.)
Anyways I came across your blog and love it! I see that you offer advertising and would love to find out more.
Could you please send me your advertising package? I’d love to work with you.
Why These Aren’t My Favorite & How I Respond to this Brand Collaboration
I don’t love these types of emails because there’s not much information to go off of. What type of advertising does she mean? Does she want me to try her product and post about it? Or is this inquiry just trying to get me to post a link or banner type of ad? These types of brand emails are so ambiguous and can feel awkward to respond to.
I used to respond to these by sending rates and more information about my offerings. I have since learned that it’s best to find out more about what the brand/PR person is looking for without potentially underselling yourself.
My response would go something like this:
Thanks so much for reaching out and your interest in my blog! I’d definitely be interested in working with XYZ Company and learning more about the type of advertising you are interested in.
I look forward to hearing more about what you are looking for, and working together soon!
The Ugly Emails I Absolutely Abhor
Spring is finally here! The sun is shining and flowers are blooming, but here at Really Big Company we are finding ourselves most excited about one thing: the start of brunch season!
We’ve put together a few checklist items for the ultimate brunch event. Now we want to know what makes your perfect brunch. We’d love for you to create a post telling us your best brunch tip: whether it’s a recipe, an outfit, or just your own favorite must haves to make your brunch the best in town.
You can check out our post here: (URL here)
Please let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to hearing from you!
Why I Hate These & How I Respond to a Brand Offer
The thing I hate about these types of inquiries is they are not totally transparent with you. They obviously want you to share their post (for free) in something you’ve crafted based on their guidelines about whatever post topic they’ve come up with. However, they don’t mention that, and they don’t mention anything about compensation. Sometimes they’ll also promise to feature you on their social media channels – but I wouldn’t count on it. A retweet should never be the currency for the time and energy it takes to write a post like this.
My response generally goes like this:
Thanks so much for your inquiry! I absolutely love brunch, in fact I host one for my family every holiday season.
I’d love to work with you on a special brunch post, what does your marketing budget allow for a post like this?
Generally, I will never hear back, or they’ll let me know they have no budget. Often they’ll promise social sharing or “good karma” (yes really) for your post. I either then archive it, or politely say something like:
“Thank you for the offer, but at this time, I’m unable to take on unpaid work. I hope to work with you in the future!”
How to Reply when a Brand Asks For Your Rates
Thanks so much for thinking of me! I would love to work with your business to create some exciting content on my Instagram. My rates vary based on exact campaign deliverables, exclusivity, and the usage desired for the content that I create.
I’d love to hear more about what type of coverage you are looking for!
I hope these suggestions are helpful. While these replies won’t work in every case, you an easily tailor them to what works for you. And if you ever have any questions about how to respond to a brand collaboration email, I’d be happy to help! You can book a one-on-one consultation with me below and I can walk you through how to respond to your first, second, or hundredth brand collaboration email!
How do you deal with ambiguous or not-so-awesome brand inquiries?
Looking for More Blogger Advice About Working with Brands? Try these Blog Posts!
- When You Should Say No to Blogging Opportunities
- How to Take Your Own Outfit Photos For Your Blog
- What I did Before I Quit My Job To Become a Full-Time Blogger
- Productivity Tips for Bloggers & Creatives to Beat Overwhelm
- Tips and Tricks to Up Your Photo Game on Instagram
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The first version of this post was shared on January 23, 2015. It has been updated as of July 2020.