I recently caught up with co-owner and marketing mastermind behind Boston co-retail space For Now, Kaity Cimo. She runs the space with friend and business partner Katharine ReQua. They opened a year ago and have played home to over 80 brands in that time.
Get Your Kumbaya On: 9 Partnership Email Templates For Profitable Cooperation
In business, you don’t have to look far to hear talk of competition: “our competitors just launched their new product,” or “we need to stay relevant to compete.”
There’s no doubt that competition is important — vital, even — for most businesses to keep on keeping on. But while competition has remained the fuel for the engine of business, there’s always room for alternative energy.
Enter partnerships. If you’re reading this article, you probably already know about how they can drive your business forward, but to kick off a successful partnership, you’re going to need a way to get your foot in the door.
Reader, meet templates. Templates, meet reader. In this guide, we’re going to give you a delicious smorgasbord of partnership email templates to get your gears turning and whet your appetite for partnerships.
But first, a little backstory.
What’s the purpose of a partnership email?
Don’t ask me, ask yourself! Seriously. If you don’t know what you want to get out of a partnership, you’re not ready to start asking for one. Don’t enter a partnership just because it’s cuffing season and all the businesses at the cool kids’ table are doing it.
Of course, there are many good reasons to enter a business partnership: they can increase your revenue, grow your brand awareness, broaden your reach, and engage new audiences you didn’t have access to before. But before entering a partnership, you have to know what your goals are.
The purpose of a partnership email is to strike up a conversation with your desired partner, and, ideally, to make an offer they can’t refuse. Simple as that. A good partnership email is personable, convincing, and relevant to the receiver. But above all else, it should make it crystal clear what you’re offering, what you hope to receive in return, and why this partnership is a good idea for the recipient.
The components of a partnership email
So, you’ve narrowed down the goals you want to achieve, and you’re itching to start signing deals left and right. Now, all you need to know is how to put one together.
While the precise contents of your emails are going to vary from partner to partner, you’ll find that almost all partnership emails share a similar structure and answer the same questions:
- An introduction: Who are you? Why should this influencer or company be paying attention to your email?
- A compliment or recognition: Why did you choose them as a potential partner? What do you like about them or their work?
- A request: What do you want them to do for you?
- An offer: What will you do if they fulfill your request?
- A conclusion and call to action: What should they do if they want to discuss the partnership further?
While following this format doesn’t guarantee any partnerships, it will make sure you’re understood, and it’ll put your best foot forward — right into the crack in your target’s door.
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Partnership email templates
Now that you’ve got the formula down, let’s take this off the chalkboard and into the lab. Here are nine partnership email templates to get the gears turning.
General partnership interest
We’re going to kick things off with a very general interest query. Perhaps you don’t have a clear idea yet of what exactly this partnership will entail, but you know what company you want to work with, and you know what you want to achieve. If you want to collaborate with the other company brainstorm ways to make that happen together, this template is for you.
Or maybe you’re just looking for the most general template mold to your need – that works too.
Hey (partner’s name),
I’m (your name) from (your company). I’ve been following (partner’s company) and I really enjoyed/resonated with (specific product or content example). It (reason you liked it).
At (your company’s name), we (one-sentence description of your business).
Are you interested in (benefits you hope to achieve)? In the past, we (list of similar past successes). We’d love to see if we can work something out.
Do you have time on (date and time) for a quick call to discuss further?
Ask for a shoutout
This template is a bit more specific than the last one. Here, you know exactly what you’re asking for a shoutout, and you know precisely why it’s going to be good for your desired partner: their audience will love it.
Hey (partner’s name),
I saw your recent post about (subject matter), and it really struck a chord with me.
I’m (your name) from (your company’s name), and we (description of how your company or product relates).
We’re big fans of your work, and we think letting your followers know about (your product) and how it can (its benefit) would be a great value to your audience.
We’d be thrilled if you’d give us a shoutout on your next (type of content).
Thanks so much,
Ask for an ongoing product promotion
Ongoing promotions are one of the more traditional types of partnerships and can work exceedingly well in gaining a larger audience for both parties. The key to a successful promotional partnership is product synergy. If your products are too disparate, you’re not going to gain any traction.
When writing an email asking for an ongoing promotion, make sure you focus on the overlap of your audiences and how promoting each other can help both of you get a piece of the pie.
Hey (partner’s name),
I’m (your name) from (company name), and we (what you do).
We’ve noticed you (how partner connects), and we think both of our audiences could benefit from learning more about each of our products. (If offering a commission or other compensation, include it here).
Currently, we have:
- (Audience stats)
- (Major promotional achievements)
- (Other accomplishments)
We’d love to work with you. Do you have time (date and time) for a short call?
Ask for a brand collaboration
Brand collaborations are ongoing efforts between two brands to create a product that targets a specific niche. This form of partnership requires a lot more commitment from both sides — unlike most of the other types of partnerships on this list, you’re likely going to create an entirely new product with this one. Ideally, you’ll want to have a clear idea of what type of product you want to make before you send your email.
Hi (partner’s name),
I’m (your name) from (your company). We’re big fans of your (partner’s product), and we know our customers love it too.
We’d like to propose (one-sentence proposal).
Do you have time (specific date and time) to discuss further?
Ask to advertise with a brand
Advertising with a brand is pretty similar to setting up an ongoing promotional partnership. However, for the purposes of this guide, when we say “advertising”, we mean asking to rent ad space or place ads somewhere else on the brand’s sites, social media, or other content.
Because of this difference, you’re likely going to need to be ready to pay for ad space. That said, it’s possible a brand will be open to a tit-for-tat exchange where you let them advertise on your own site but don’t bank on it.
Hey (partner’s name),
I’ve been following (partner’s company’s name) and I’m really excited about (specific recent event). I (personal anecdote that connects with the partner).
At (your company’s name), we (what you do), and we think it would be valuable for your audience to know about our efforts in (same or similar field to partner’s company).
We’re interested in advertising on your (marketing channel), and we can offer (your offer). Optional: We’re open to other arrangements as well.
I’d love to discuss this with you further. Let me know if you’re interested and we can set up a call.
How to ask a retailer or marketplace to stock your product
If you sell physical or digital goods, knowing how to ask retailers and marketplaces to stock your products is a vital skill. Without it, you’ll be lucky if you ever get your product on shelves.
For this type of partnership email, you need to stress why your product is a good fit for the seller’s existing base. If you have any stats or previous success stories, make sure to include those.
Hey (partner’s name),
I’m (your name) from (your company’s name), and we just launched (your product). (Short one-sentence description of your product).
(Your product) is selling fast, and as big fans of (partner’s company) we want to make your customers can easily find what they’re already looking for, and of course, that (partner’s company) can enjoy some of the profits.
In the past (timeframe), we’ve:
- (Stats about sales)
- (Stats about followers)
- (Success stories from other retailers)
- (Any other relevant information)
I’m excited to discuss how we can get (your product) on (partner’s company)’s shelves.
Do you have time on (date and time) to talk things over?
How to ask another brand to join in a giveaway competition you’re pulling together
Giveaway competitions are one of the best ways to grow brand awareness because they contain two things that everyone loves: winning and free stuff.
But what do people like more than free stuff? More free stuff, that’s what. By getting other brands involved in your giveaway, you can up the ante and create a bigger winning pot for your audience.
Getting another business to join you in a giveaway is difficult in some ways and easy in others. On one hand, you’re asking a company to give something away for free. On the other, any smart business will know how effective a giveaway campaign can be and, assuming they can afford it, will jump on board in a snap.
To improve the chance of success of this type of email, make sure the receiver understands they can commit as much or as little to the giveaway as they want.
Hey (partner’s name),
We both know that there are few things people like more than sweet, delicious, free stuff, and we both know how effective giveaways can be for growing your audience and customer base.
That’s why I want to invite you to be one of the select-few brands included in our upcoming giveaway contest! We have a base of (your subscriber, follower, etc., count) followers, and we’re growing every day.
Just like you, we care deeply about (your shared interest). We think our customers would benefit from learning about (partner’s product).
If you’re interested, let’s set up a time to talk this over. Does (specific date and time) work for you?
How to get a brand or influencer to contribute to your blog
Having a major influencer contribute to your blog can bring a lot of traffic with it, and conversely, if your blog is big enough, it can bring a lot of traffic to an influencer. It’s a win-win deal for both parties.
The biggest barrier you’re going to face is that writing a valuable post takes time and effort. It’s not as easy slipping a product into a photo the influencer was going to take anyway or taking a straight-up photo of your product.
To get around this, it can be helpful to let the influencer know you can help write the post — either in the form of a ghostwriter or just a bit of guidance as they work their way through the post. That said, if the influencer you’re reaching out to is known for their blogging, they could end up taking this as an insult, so make sure you gauge their interest in writing before you include a section like that.
Hey (influencer’s name),
I’m (your name), the (your position) for (your blog). I really admire your passion for (shared interest subject), and I loved your recent post about (relevant subject). (Genuine opinion about shared interest).
I think our readers would really benefit from reading what you have to say about (shared interest), and we’d like to invite you to write a guest post for us!
Our blog reaches (organic traffic stats) and we have (number of followers), so we think this would be a great opportunity to expand your reach.
We know writing a guest post can take a lot of time and effort, so we have writers on hand who are ready to help you along the way if you need.
Let me know if you’d like more information. I’m always happy to hop on a call to discuss further.
How to ask an influencer how much it will cost to work with them
Unlike some of the other email topics we’ve covered, this one requires absolutely no commitment on the influencer’s part, so it doesn’t need to go as in-depth. You’re just asking for pricing, so be nice, but get to the point.
Hey (influencer’s name),
I’ve been following your posts, and I really enjoyed your post about (recent topic).
I’m (your name) from (your company), a brand that focuses on (your shared interest) as well, and we’re interested in sponsoring one of your posts.
Could you tell me what your pricing is?
Thanks very much,
What to expect
The reality is that you’re not going to hear back from most people you reach out to. Don’t take it personally. Just keep on finding new prospects and sending personalized emails, and eventually things will fall into place. Keep it consistent and keep it personal, and you’ll be well on your way with these partnership email templates.
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