Aug 28, 2009 at 04:02 PM
written by Ron Seaver

Sponsorship for Authors

Okay – we just finished covering sponsorship for those of you in the speaking business – now to switch gears and focus on those of you in the newsletter and e-zine business.

In today's age of specialization, we're finding more and more niche authors out there – and believe me, it's true what they say: "There’s riches in niches"! Especially where securing sponsorship is concerned.

Specialized topics draw specialized audiences – and with some careful "pairing", you can locate a whole host of potential companies interested in sponsoring what you're writing about.

Now note the difference here – this isn't "advertising" … it's sponsorship. You can certainly have both, but be certain to clearly delineate the fact that these certain companies are your sponsors.(Advertisers "tap" into your market … but sponsors have a deeper level of commitment to your readers. Make sure you recognize the difference.)

And by that, I mean editorially act accordingly. Advertisers buy space – sponsors buy involvement. Advertisers "hit 'n run"; sponsors stay and settle in for awhile. Your sponsor's logo should be right up there with yours on the masthead. (And under their logo write "Official Sponsor of (name of publication)".)

To that, be sure to give them editorial recognition periodically throughout the year (or term of their sponsorship). If you have "columns" – offer them their own "Ask the Experts" column. Create special editorial that they can "present" – maybe it's a reader's contest or promotion. Maybe i'’s your monthly photo gallery presented by "XYZ Company"?

And don't forget to include them in your mailing envelope. Put their logo on the outside of the packing envelope … put their one-page flyer or insert in with your monthly newsletter. (On an e-zine … be sure to have click-through capabilities to your sponsor's home page enabled on your pages. Include them in a Johnson Box on the first page. Do a special "Overheard in the Hallways at "XYZ Company" featurette – and put some useful information to your readers into that section.) (How about a monthly "click to get this month’s special" coupon?)

In short, involve your sponsor and where possible, make them "the hero".

(And one final "P.S." on this – don't forget to offer your sponsors the opportunity to include their retailers or distributors in your copy. This is what’s known as "Pass-thru Rights" and they're really valuable.

By that I mean … and let's use Coca-Cola as the sponsor in this example – let's say you give Coke the opportunity to drive traffic by promoting and offering a special cents-off coupon for six packs of Coca-Cola redeemable exclusively at Safeway or Giant Eagle stores? This moves their sponsorship from "exposure and association" to "sales and traffic" – which is much more valuable to them!)

Ron Seaver, president of Seaver Marketing Group and The National Sports Forum, and author of "Brought to you By... - The Ultimate Sponsorship Sales System" has over twenty-five years of experience in the field of marketing and sponsorship. View all of Ron's posts here

photo credit via flickr: mshades