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420 Sponsor Orientation

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Welcome to 420 Magazine. Thank you for joining our mission, we are truly grateful.

We want all our valued sponsors to get the very best from their time here, in terms of both quality and level of awareness, translating into sales. Sponsors who achieve the highest return on their investment are those who interact with our community, so we put this short document together, to help guide you through 420 Magazine and support your activity. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, I am at your service.

Setting Up Your Sponsor Account
Please register an account, naming it after your business, for optimal brand recognition. It's a simple way to start building awareness with our members and guests. Please use your company or brand logo as your avatar, and don't forget to also add a brand image as your profile cover photo. Once you have done so, let me know and we will convert it into a "420 Sponsor", which will give you access to our dedicated Sponsor Forum, where you can post weekly sales, specials and discounts. You'll know when your profile has been approved and upgraded, when you see "420 Sponsor" beneath your username, also giving you access to post in the Sponsor Forum.

Forum Guidelines
The next step is to familiarize yourself with our guidelines, which are designed to keep 420 Magazine free from all kinds of negative energy. As the oldest and most respected Cannabis community on the web, we provide a mature environment in which to showcase brands’ products and services. Our professional and global moderation team work around the clock, ensuring that the website is kept clear of spammers, spambots, minors, trolls, aggressive arguments and non-sponsors so that, unlike on competitive sites, your brand is never lost or tainted. We ask both our members and our sponsors to follow these guidelines to minimize problems and maximize the professional quality of the website and our mission, for everyone's benefit.

Posting Guidelines are designed for our members, however they also apply to all of our sponsors.

Sponsor Guidelines are just that, containing more detailed information for our advertising partners.

LED Sponsor Guidelines are designed for the LED market sector specifically, which has given us the greatest problems with both non-sponsor and sponsor spammers, flaming and trolling. We have sadly had to restrict the posting privileges of some LED sponsors in the past and even had to part company with a few of them. We put the integrity of our mission above everything and strive to treat both members and sponsors even-handedly.

Sometimes sponsors direct our members to their social media, (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, blogs etc) and ask them to promote their products outside of 420 Magazine. This is against our Sponsor Guidelines, Sponsorship Agreement and Forum Guidelines.

Unfortunately we cannot compete with billion dollar budgets like Instagram, so we have to be smart and creative in how we retain our members. We work very hard to keep our growers here: sending them to other sites to get lost hurts both 420 Magazine and all our sponsors in the long run, if they never come back.

We ask that you please:

1. Keep all contests and special offers restricted to 420Magazine.com
2. Not ask our members for their social networking channels
3. Not ask our members to promote you anywhere but on 420Magazine.com

All member photos uploaded to our website give us ownership rights to use them for whatever we want. If you want to use a photo for your social networking, that our member uploaded on our website using your product, then you don't need to tag them. Just tag @420magazine and hashtag #420magazine with the member's name, and ask followers to visit 420Magazine.com to see more of their grow journals, etc.

We are always mindful of proper ethics and sourcing, however the last thing we want to do is jeopardize our member's security by exposing them outside of 420Magazine.com. Promoting our members on other social networking sites builds their identity elsewhere, historically causing them to leave us and never return. With that said, we feel this is the best overall solution to achieve our goal, without inconveniencing anyone.

In our Guidelines FAQs you will find even more detailed explanations of our policies.

Please upload all photos of your products and logos to the Sponsors Gallery. Photos of cannabis plants and gardens however, are to be uploaded to your members gallery. Please refer to our Photo Gallery Guide for more information.

We work hard here to keep 420 Magazine full of positive energy and free from those who seek to exploit, disturb or tarnish our community. Our busy team of Moderators enforce all our guidelines rigorously, so please help us and yourselves by adhering to the above guidelines.

Sponsor Posting
Once you've read these guidelines, you are ready to start posting in our message forums. We have a dedicated Sponsors Forum for tastefully promoting specials, discounts and contests. These get extra visibility on the forum home page side navigation. In the past, some sponsors have posted one or two new threads a day. This is not only unfair to other sponsors, but also looks like spam. We therefore ask all our sponsors to post no more than one thread per week in the Sponsors Forum. Within your threads, you may of course make as many posts as you wish.

You can be as creative as you wish in the Sponsors Forum, within the guidelines. You may want to begin by offering a discount code for 420 members, seeking members for sponsored grows or offering monthly competitions (always popular) - whatever is appropriate for your product and/or services. This is also where you can promote your monthly, holiday and 4/20 specials.

Please note that links in contests and promotions directing our members to competitive websites and/or social media are prohibited. Please only direct our members to either your product website specifically or a contest thread on ours.

The Sponsors Forum is also where you can start general threads about your own product or service. This can be particularly valuable, not only to announce and launch new products and services, but also to create a dialogue with our members. Good sponsor threads are full of solid information, product announcements and supportive member interaction. Any activity like this will drive members and guests to your website - please remember to put your linked website url in your signature. We attract a more mature and sophisticated member demographic than other sites, members who welcome the positive environment that we actively foster. These mature adults have a higher disposable income and are always looking for new tools and techniques to support their work.

Once a brand wins a member's trust, sponsors benefit from the most persuasive form of advertising, word of mouth. A number of our sponsors are particularly skilled at this, and have created huge, long-term threads where members discuss and demonstrate their products and/or services. This in turn leads to thousands of member-to-member generated recommendations, while tens if not hundreds of thousands of guests are watching. In order to achieve maximum results, we highly recommend having an active on-site representative. Past experience shows that this kind of intelligent, continuing dialogue, delivers your return on investment tenfold.

If you are considering or developing a new product or service, please remember that you are welcome to ask our members for their input. Given the mature nature of our membership, this can be an invaluable, pre-launch tool.

We highly suggest utilizing a native English speaking representative for posting in the forums. History shows that poor English and grammar skills, are often treated with scrutiny and skepticism. Your representative should write in a positive attitude and helpful demeanor, which will help your bottom line.

The web is primarily a visually-led medium and our members love 420 related photographs & videos, so posting pictures of your products and/or plants grown with your products, is another great way to share your information and build interactions.

Grow Journals
Some sponsors have made the mistake of posting uninvited in member grow journals, often simply posting a meaningless "Well Done!" and/or smilies. This is called "fluff posting" and is often unappreciated by the members. This can harm your reputation because they see it as spamming, therefore is also prohibited in our sponsor guidelines. Sponsors who post well in the wider community have built trust and credibility over time, so please make sure that all threads you post in are current and addressing the exact topic at hand, with in depth information. Fluff posting can result in being restricted to posting in your own threads. Further attempts can lead to loss of posting privileges altogether.

Off-Site Links: Sponsored Contests, Journals & Reviews
When it comes to contests and reviews of your products, we ask that you please do not request our members to post for a contest on any other social networking websites but our own. We know of course that it's an inter-connected world, and we don't want to be the last man in the jungle still thinking there's a war going on. However, we have a business to protect. When we relaxed this sponsor contest guideline over the last few years, we lost thousands of members to other social networking websites, to the detriment of all our sponsors and therefore our business. This is all in our legal sponsorship agreement that you signed.

When our members enter a contest via these other websites they get pulled away from 420 Magazine. Sponsors lose click-throughs: as a consequence everyone loses income, which derails our purpose, vision and mission. Our members and readers create accounts at these websites just for the contest, then get a bunch of likes and friend requests from the contests, then they get lost in the amazing world that Facebook & Instagram have created with billions of dollars. We simply cannot compete with that, therefore we keep our members and sponsors all in house. Many sponsors successfully run dedicated 420 Magazine contests, please feel free to check the sponsor forum for ideas and let me know if you have any questions.

420 Magazine contests are very popular, we highly recommend getting involved in sponsoring some, if not all of them. This is the fastest way to gain member attention, gratitude and respect, with optimal exposure. Each month we host the Plant, Nug & Member of the Month, Grow Journal of the Month and Photo of the Month contests. Each of these also has an annual contest, where sponsors often donate more than they do for monthly contests. All contests are voted by the members, except for the Photo and Grow Journal of the Month contests, which are voted for by the 420 Magazine staff. Winning members often post pictures and write about their prizes. It's another great way of generating awareness and merchandising your products, resulting in more sales.

Please let me know if you would like to get involved.

Complaints About Sponsors
We work hard not only at protecting our sponsors - without whom 420 Magazine would not exist - but also at representing our members. If there is a complaint against a sponsor, then we recommend the member's first course of action should be to contact the sponsor directly. If complaints are posted on site, are expressed with reason and rationale and do not in any other way contravene our Guidelines, (for example, no name-calling, immature language or multiple posts), then we will contact the sponsor in question and invite them to post in the thread. Inappropriate posts which are clearly 'sponsor bashing' will be deleted.

The smartest sponsors deal clearly and directly with such complaints, if necessary moderated by ourselves; the result invariably turns a problem into a positive outcome. Members understand that mistakes can happen in business and not only forgive but credit sponsors for a problem well-handled.

Our gratitude for your support is not just in words: we are always happy to work with our sponsors to iron out any problems they may have. From putting sponsors in touch with our best growers, to helping get your signature links working, we are here to help you get the most productive result from your presence here. We want all our sponsors to have a happy and profitable time on 420 Magazine, and truly hope that we have a long and positive relationship. Please don’t hesitate to email or PM me with any ideas, questions or problems.

Welcome and thank you again for your support, we are truly grateful.
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