How to Craft Your Email Pitch to Build Partnerships (And Grow Your Business Even If You Are Starting From Scratch)

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Do you struggle sending emails that get responses?

Businesses need leads. But if you just focus on lead generation, you can end up with a heap of useless email addresses or phone numbers. It's not just about leads. You need high-quality leads. Your need people that are highly likely to do business with you. But how do you find high-quality leads?

Find people in the market.

Traditionally when you have to sell or buy something, you go to the market. People you find in the market are there to do business. They are not trying to window-shop with shopping bags. How can you find such people when you run an online business selling courses or freelancing services or info products? You find businesses that your prospective customers are already going to.  And you get them to introduce you to their audience. But why would they do that? And even if they did, how do I reach out to them?

You need to pitch yourself.

You will need to craft an email pitch. But who answers unsolicited emails anyway? Even if they did, how do I get past the initial objections and get them to say a 'yes'? Well that's exactly what you'll learn in today's episode of podcast. You will learn:

Full Transcript

Today, we are talking about alliances.

And that was Steve Jobs from an Apple sales conference at Hawaii in 1983 where Steve played a skit based on a TV show called The Dating Game.

And that was Bill Gates from the skit.

This was the time when Apple and Microsoft started to partner to beat the dominant player in the personal computer business - IBM.

Businesses like Apple and Microsoft have built alliances for a long time. And small businesses can do it too. It’s not hard.

In fact, I’d argue it’s easier than most other alternatives. So long as you do it right.

We started talking about building alliances and partnerships in last week’s episode. And this week, let’s look at how to build one.

No matter what kind of business you have, B2B or B2C or DTC, you can leverage the power of alliances. Every business is a P2P business. That’s people to people. So when we talk about building alliances, it’s about connecting with the people running businesses. Just like what Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did.

But everything starts with a pitch.

In today’s episode, we’ll look at how to pitch your business to other businesses. So you can start to build alliances too.

We’ll do this in three parts.

First, we’ll look at the why. We’ll see if building alliances is for you in the first place. Because yes, in some cases alliances may not be right for your business at this current juncture. If so, what are the indicators in your business that you need to watch out for, so you can start building alliances. We’ll also see what types of alliances you can possibly build.

In the second part of this episode, we’ll take a look at a simple recipe you can use for your pitch. Since we are focused on online businesses, in this section we’ll focus on writing email pitches. We’ll look at structure of your pitch, activities you need to do before you pitch, and after you pitch.

In the final part of this episode, we’ll look at how to maximize the chances of your pitches getting a response. People are inundated with emails. And the last thing someone will want to see is a pitch. So how to write a pitch that makes the person reading want to respond?

If that sounds good, let’s jump right into today’s episode.

Part 1

Let’s look at the Why.

But first, is your business ready for alliances?

Do you need to have products or services ready to sell? Can you start building alliances and partnerships even if you are a brand new business?

I built my first alliance when I barely had an email list and a few blog posts. I didn’t even have a business.

And we continue to build alliances today too.

There are many reasons to build an alliance. Apple partnered with Microsoft many times for different reasons. A partnership can help you fill a gap in your offerings, get more or better leads, sell more products or services, build trust in your market, and much more.

If you are a blogger or podcaster, you can use alliances and partnerships to grow your blog readership or podcast listeners. If you have an email list, you can use partnerships for high-quality lead-generation. If you sell products or services, you can use alliances to make more sales or increase the average order value.

Exchanging lead magnets.

Doing joint promos.

Hosting webinars on specific topics.

Joint ventures.

These are just some ways of building alliances.

But everything starts with finding the right business to build an alliance with, and a pitch.

And that’s what we’ll look at in the next part of this episode.

Part 2

Before we jumped into the anatomy of a pitch, let’s see what a bad pitch looks like.

Here’s an email I just received from someone. It’s a pitch. A bad one. And this is how it goes.

Hi, I'm Nic, Head of Growth in Reditus, a growing partner network and SaaS marketplace based in Europe with over 1500 sales partners across the UK/US.I stumbled across your site when I was doing traffic analysis and found you've contributed a decent amount of traffic to PartnerStack's clients.

Within our SaaS marketplace, we have over 50+ companies including notable ones like Piktochart, Dashed.ai, Tykr, Affiliatable, and many more that are exclusive on our platform that you can't find elsewhere.In the past, we've paid our affiliates a generous amount of commissions ranging from $2.5k all the way to $10k per month. Not only that, refer the sale once, and you'll get paid a recurring commission for that same sale per month for a lifetime.Would you be interested to be part of the platform? It's totally free to get started. No credit card required.*

Business owners and content creators receive hundreds if not thousands of pitches every month. And this is amidst a ton of other emails. If you use Gmail, most of them are already landing in the Promotions tab.

The last thing you want to do is to send a templated email like this.

In order for you to appreciate what’s wrong with this email, let’s look at an email I sent to a top-rated podcast host to be on my show:


I'm so excited to have finally taken action on the XXXX course that I signed up for in 2018. I just started to promote XXX since mid-Jan this year to a small part of my email list and the sales have been promising (screenshot below).

In fact, it was your ebook guide that I used to start my email list that brought in over 1000 subscribers in little over 3 months in 2016.My testimonial was featured on your website for a very long time (screenshot below).

Later that year I even launched my podcast (Design Your Thinking Podcast) with your 7 YouTube videos and my show did over 250K downloads in less than a year, all during a career break.

More than the downloads, it got me clients and found a whole new career with podcasts, copywriting, and online courses!

Ever since, I've purchased the AMP'd Up Podcasting, 123AM, Fusebox, Will You Fly, ConvertKit, and now sell your courses as an affiliate too 🙂

Heartfelt thanks to everything you are, and everything you've done for me (you helped me launch a whole new me!)

Here's why I'm writing to you this time:

I'm launching a new podcast

Did you notice the difference between the two emails?

What was that I did in my email, that you didn’t see in the email I received?

That’s what we’ll look at in this part of this episode.

The ingredients and structure of a good pitch.

People are tired of receiving unsolicited email pitches. But if your email had something they are interested in, chances are, they are going to be interested in reading it.

And if your email has something for them, chances are, they are going to reply to you.

Let’s look at the six parts of a winning email pitch.

Step 1: Praise

The first part of an email pitch is the Praise.

No matter who is reading your email, a few words of appreciation always goes a long way. That’s perhaps because of the way our brains are wired. We like to see and hear good things being said or written about us.

Sadly, only a few marketers and people in general understand and use this in their work. And an email pitch is the perfect place. Open your email pitch with a few words of appreciation about the person you are writing to.

If you’ve followed them on social media and liked something the posted, talk about that. If you’re on their email list and you liked a particular email they sent, let them know about that. If you’ve purchased their products and liked them, tell them about it.

This is the opening of your email. So keep it authentic. If you don’t have anything good to talk about them, it’s perhaps a good idea not to pitch them in the first place.

Step 2: Shared Space

The second part of a winning email pitch is to establish a shared space.

When you know that the other person has something in common with you, it feels good. Perhaps it’s about shared interests. Maybe you are a part of a group. A common friend. Worked in the same company. Worked with a specific client. There are many ways you can establish a shared space.

Did you post a comment and the other person liked it? That’s a shared space you want to anchor to.

Both are fans of Manchester United? Use that as your shared space.

And you can use more than one shared spaces in your pitch too.

Step 3: Ask

The third part of a winning email pitch is the Ask.

What is that you are looking to get the reader to say YES to?

Do you want them to accept you as a guest on their podcast?

You want to have them on your podcast?

Want to host a free webinar for their audience?

Whatever your Ask is, this is the time for you to do that.

Keep it short and make it clear without any ambiguity.

Step 4: Your Plan

The fourth part of your winning email pitch is the Plan.

Explain how your Ask will be fulfilled.

If your Ask is about you doing a webinar for their audience, then let them know the details of who will setup the webinar. How you’ll make the emails available so they can send to their audience.

If it’s a podcast, tell them how long is it for, and if it’s just audio or both audio and video. So they have everything they need to make up their mind.

Step 5: Wins

Fifth part of your winning email pitch is the wins. What are the wins for them and for you.

Make it clear what your Ask and your Plan will do to the person on the other side.

Will it give them leads?

Will they get to make some sales?

And finally, how will it help you? What’s the win for you?

Step 6: Close

The sixth and final part of your email pitch is the Close.

No matter what you did thus far in your email, unless you close the email, you are not going to get a response.

That’s why you need to close the email.

Think of your Close as a follow-up on your Ask.

For example, if your Ask is “I’d love to have you as a guest on my podcast,” your close can be “Are you interested?”

And that brings us to the end of part two of this episode.

Part 3

How to maximize the chances of your pitches getting a response?

No matter how good your email pitch is, if you don’t make it easy for the reader to make a decision, you won’t see a response coming your way.

The only way you will get a response is when you tell them what you want to hear.

When you close the email with “Would you be interested?” you are still giving them an option to say No.

But if you closed your email with something like “Just let me it’s a YES, and I’ll send you a link to book time,” you are doing two things:

  1. You are asking them to say YES.
  2. You are also letting them know what will happen after they say a YES.

Nobody wants to waste time thinking or working hard. When you give the reader what to do and tell them what will happen after they do that, you are making it easy for them to respond. By reducing the number of variables to the response, you made it easy for the reader to respond to your email.

And that’s part three of writing a crafting a compelling email pitch.

Let’s quickly recap what we discussed so far.

In the first part of this episode we saw why you should build alliances with other businesses.

In the second part, we saw how to craft a winning email pitch. It’s made up of six parts: Praise, Shared Space, Ask, Your Plan, Wins, and the Close.

Finally we saw how you can close your email by reducing the variables, so that you can maximize the chances of getting a response.

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