November 5, 2019

First Sponsorship!


We used to monetize using Carbon ads. Last month, we set out to explore sponsorships and try to get a steady stream of revenue from ads.

Following advice from many of the IH posts, I drafted a template message introducing Requestly (what we do), our target audience, some visitor stats, and a proposal to show their company's ad (replacing the Carbon ad). I then made a list of companies that are mid-sized and who are targeted at web developers as well. On one day, I used to contact around 2-3 companies via Twitter / website chat / email. Since this is a cold process, we didn't get replies from most of them. But having seen a lot of sponsorships on IH, we knew that this takes time and this is typical of a normal sales funnel. After contacting 20+ companies, we got a reply from 2 of them and we closed a deal after 15 days of back-and-forth emails.

Today, we received the payment of our first sponsorship and I'm very excited to share this milestone with all of you! Happy to answer more questions. :)

P.S. I found that finding companies who have a marketing budget to spend right now is not trivial. Would someone else be interested in getting this kind of data? The maintenance of such a list would have to be crowdsourced and there has to be some sort of a quality-control as well.

  1. 2

    Thanks for this, it was super helpful. I checked out Requestly and saw the Retool ad for December.

    I was wondering whether there is an opportunity to build something better to manage sponsorship placements on the web. ie if you took all ad tracking off a tool like Requestly and relied only on pure sponsorship, could there be a way to provide something richer than an ad tile? All the ad tech investment today is heading towards super privacy-invading tracking and my sense is that some people don't want this anymore.

    Not sure where the opportunity is here, but something I'm thinking about.

    Any frustrations you found during the implementation or reporting processes after the deal was signed?

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      Hey, thanks @toddheslin for putting your thoughts here. I agree that people don't like placing external JS in their apps which kinda gives a lot of control to the third-party advertiser. Sponsorship is quite better as sponsors mainly give images and the app owner is in control. No external tracking. I'd love to hear out your thoughts on the new opportunity.

      So far, we haven't found any frustrations as we provide weekly reporting to our clients which is mostly extracted from Google Analytics.

      FYI, ReTool ad worked pretty well in the last couple of weeks.

      Do you use Requestly, anything you like or don't like in Requestly? Let me know if you have any ideas around sponsoring and I'd love to catch up sometime, skype maybe.

      1. 1

        Thanks for the reply @sachinjain024

        I wonder if there is a bit of opportunity in facilitating the sponsorship assets on the site and reporting back. I've worked a lot in ad tech and all of those ad servers rely on using external services where it's really unclear of the redirect chain when placements are shown on the site. Not to mention that it's also easy to get blocked by ad blockers.

        It's not quite clear to me where the opportunity is yet but I'll keep my nose on the ground smelling for consistency in other people's experiences.

        Good to know the ReTool ad is working well. I think sponsorship has to be somewhere between direct response and brand marketing. It's only direct response when it's on the web. Podcasts and Youtube are really leaky when it comes to attribution. So there has to be a component of 'We love what you stand for and want to be seen next to you'. We'll see how this plays out.

        Regarding Requestly, I've never used it before but just fired it up to see the ad :-) I just installed it now. The best feedback I can provide is this: It's not clear to me which situations I might need Requestly. Perhaps it's obvious when I'm starting with the problem and Google around and find it. But if it comes across my radar and I check out the home page, I'm struggling to think of the use cases. I'm sure I've probably needed this before, but it's not at the top of my mind.

        Suggestion: add something like "You might need Requestly when..." on the homepage. Make it clear which problems I've probably been in before when I should have had this installed. As it's free to install, if I recognise the past problem, I'd install it now for next time.

  2. 2

    Yes, would be into finding companies spending on marketing. There are some enterprise solutions but nothing for cheap or simple implementations. At HypeLetter we do this all manually now.

  3. 1

    This is great thanks for sharing!
    Why did you move to sponsorships from straight ads?

    Can you share what price range you asked for your sponsorships?

    1. 1

      We are trying different revenue models and ads/sponsorships is one of the channels. We have tried out Google Adsense in the past, replaced it with the Carbon Ads and now we wanted to understand the price sponsors are willing to pay for the audience we have and the traffic we have. Kindly get in touch on [email protected] and i can share more details.

  4. 1

    What's the best email to reach you?

    1. 1

      You can reach me via the website chat at