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5 Reasons Why Brands Reject Proposals

Rejection sucks – no matter which side you’re on, no matter how you look at it – it just plain sucks. Luckily, as a creator you already have tough skin (how else are you going to stave off the endless amounts of haters?!). But it doesn’t lessen the sting when you receive the inevitable “your proposal was not accepted” email from Grapevine.


First things first… pretty much everyone has been rejected on Grapevine, even creators with 500K+ subscribers (seriously). In fact, the approval rate on the platform is only 5%! That means of every 100 proposals sent on Grapevine, only 5 of them result in a sponsored video or post. Get super psyched if you’re approved to work on a campaign, you’ve officially entered the elite of the Grapevine Community! But don’t feel bummed if you don’t. You’re not the only one.


Don’t let a denied proposal discourage you. Practice makes perfect, and you’ll only get better from the feedback you hear from brands. Want to increase your chances of hooking a brand partner and scoring a sponsorship deal? Here are 5 of the most common reasons why your proposal didn’t make the cut, and what to keep in mind next time.

1. Your audiences don’t match.

Screen Shot 2016-04-27 at 11.12.10 PMWhen a brand posts a new campaign in Grapevine, be sure to check whether your audience is the right fit. We’ve heard from a lot of brands that some creators just don’t have the right audience, channel category, or video style for their particular needs.


With that said, don’t throw in the towel yet if your channel isn’t a perfect fit! That same brand may have another campaign that’s perfect for your channel at another time. Many of our brand partners run monthly campaigns on Grapevine – another opportunity could be right around the corner!


Be sure to carefully read all campaign guidelines and clearly state in your proposal why you think your audience is right for the project at hand.

2. Your price is too high.

Your time (and audience) is valuable – we get it! But for some brands, your price might be out of their allotted campaign budget. Use our new Payout estimate tool to filter for campaigns that fit your sponsorship price. Change the slider to select the payout ranges you’re interested in, then learn about the campaigns that match. Remember, these are estimates, and sometimes brands are willing to go above these ranges, especially if you send a killer proposal. 😉


Use the slider on the left to select your price range, then view the estimated payout for campaigns that match your price
Use the slider on the left to select your price range, then view the estimated payout range for campaigns that match your price


Unsure of what to charge for a sponsorship? We’ve found anywhere between a $20-30 CPM based on your average number of video views (not number of subscribers) is normal. Need help doing the math? Check out this article for more tips and tricks to get pricing right and get the sponsorships you want.

3. Details, Details (Or, lack thereof).

Oftentimes, proposals are rejected because they don’t contain enough detail about how you envision the partnership evolving. If a brand thinks your proposal is too generic and not tailored to their specific campaign, they’ll opt for someone who went the extra mile to show they truly understand the campaign objectives and have included a creative plan of attack in their proposal.


We know the creative juices start flowing when you’re inspired by a brand or product. Put it out there and tell them your crazy ideas! That’s why brands turn to creators to promote their products – they want something unique and outside of the box.


In a proposal, you don’t have to get into the nitty-gritty of the campaign. But showing you’ve read the brand’s campaign brief, understand what they’re asking for, and tailored a response to their questions with insight into the magic inside your head goes a long way. Quality over quantity here – you’re better off sending out 2 uber tailored proposals than 6 generic ones.

4. Location Location Location

If your following is significant in other countries aside from your own, make that clear to brands!
If your following is significant in other countries aside from your own, make that clear to brands!

You may be located in the UK, but that doesn’t mean your audience is too. We provide brands with your demographic information, but let’s face it – they receive a lot of proposals. Don’t let them assume your audience demographics! Make it easy to book you by giving new brand partners the information they need up-front so they know you can achieve the task at hand. If you’re an international creator and your demographics aren’t reflective of where home-base is, this is especially important.


We ask brand partners to mention any shipping restrictions or limitations they may have when working with creators outside of the US. Make sure to pay attention to campaign briefs and look for this information if you aren’t in the US. There’s nothing worse than the excitement of getting booked on a campaign, only to have it fall through because the brand can’t get their products to you.


5. It’s not you, it’s them.

At the end of the day, some brands are just selective. They may only be looking for 1-2 creators to partner with of the dozens (and sometimes hundreds!) that have applied. In this case – where you know you have the right audience, have proposed a creative idea and set a fair price – our best advice is to not take it too personally. You were probably on their short list and could be considered for another project from that same brand if they were impressed with your first proposal.


While every brand is different and has a different proposal selection process, if you remember the advice above you should have a better understanding for why brands reject proposals. Hopefully this will translate into an uptick in approved proposals too!


If you ever have questions about your proposal strategy, our Community team is here to help, so drop us a line any time. If you’re ready to send out some proposals, check out the Grapevine marketplace today and put your newfound knowledge to work!






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