The holidays are approaching and so is gift-giving, gift-buying, and most importantly for your business, product-pitching season. Bloggers are ramping up their holiday coverage as we speak and will soon be featuring gift buying guides to their readers. Will your product be included? It won't, and your product will remain unheard of if you don't start pitching bloggers your products now, striking while the iron is H-O-T.
And while a quality product is of utmost importance, the first email pitch is what gets a blogger hooked. If you combine the right elements of flattery, facts, photos, and describe why the product will make their lives (and the lives of their readers) better, you'll be on the right track.
Select one of your products that you'd like to see in a gift guide, and then follow the steps below to get your website ready, and learn how to send that first email pitch to a select group of bloggers. Happy pitching!
Get your website ready
- Freshen up your About Me page — It's likely that the bloggers you're about to pitch have never heard of you before (no offense), so make sure they can find out all about your amazing and adorable self without going into a full-on exposé interview. Take a look at your About Me page and make sure it's relevant, fresh, and exciting. Above all, let it read like you were speaking right to the blogger — show off your personality and unique voice!
- Beef up your Press area — Have you gotten any love from blogs or websites in the past? Been featured on the Etsy homepage? Show them off in a Press area on your website. Knowing that other online destinations have already recognized your brilliance helps to amp up your desirability.
- Stock your Media room — The Media Room is a place to provide high resolution product shots, photos of you, and links to your most popular items. Even more important, the Media Room is the perfect place to insert gleeful testimonials from wildly satisfied customers. Feel free to trumpet your horn from the mountaintops — highlighting the fact that you provide reliable, high quality products along with like-a-member-of-your-family customer service isn't showing off, it's smart salesmanship.
- Take new photos of your product — If you haven't taken photos of your product since its debut in 2010, now is the time for an image makeover. Consider some holiday-themed shots (light on the holiday — let's not turn it into an ugly sweater situation), or even better, a crisp white background. It's been shown that white backgrounds are stellar front-page-of-Etsy bait, and bloggers prefer them too since it highlights your product and not its surroundings. This look is usually the product of a lightroom, which can be relatively pricey but you can DIY your own lightroom on the cheap if you've got the ingenuity.
- Target the right bloggers — This is super important, as you're not going to want to pitch a necklace to a tech blog or a cooking app to a fashion site. Just because you personally love a blog, doesn't mean its right for your product. Find the sites that fit your niche, have a similar voice as you and your company, and that have featured products similar to yours before. You'll have better luck convincing them that your product belongs on their digital pages. If your product doesn't speak to their audience, they won't want to write about it.
- Keep it short — Don't go on and on about your history, how you came up with the product, or your company. In the initial email, keep it short and concise. But most of all ...
- Make the offer clear — Even though the email needs to be short, you'll want to describe why the product deserves to be featured on their site (with links back to similar products they've featured if you can find them), how it's different or better, and how it will help them and their audience. Give them a reason to want to write about it. Tap into the emotion of your product — how will your product improve their lives? What problem does it solve? How does it make the owner feel?
- Offer to send the product ahead of time for review — Including high res photos of your product in the first pitch is a given, but offering to send a review unit goes a step above. And while some people believe that bloggers write stories in exchange for free stuff, it's not always the case. So don't worry about going broke by "giving away" your inventory for reviews — it's totally acceptable to ask the blogger to send the product back to you after a pre-determined amount of time. Just include a note and a return label in your package.
- Don't send a blanket email script for all pitches — While the skeleton may remain essentially the same, you will want to tailor each pitch to the recipient. Mention a recent post that featured a product similar to yours (and why yours is better or complimentary), or compliment them on coverage of a recent event. Let them know that you are paying attention.
- Follow them on social media — Start following them on Twitter, like their site's Facebook Fan page, follow their Pinterest boards and start sharing their content. You'll get on their radar before you even send the first pitch.
- Follow up in a few days time — If you haven't heard back from your bloggers in a few days, follow up via email with a quick reminder about your product and let them know you're available for questions. Send a link to your Media and Press Rooms if they want more information, and get outta there. Still no response? Wait a week and try again.
- If they don't respond after two attempts, move on — Two attempts at a pitch should be your limit. Otherwise, you'll be seen as a pest who can't take a hint. Take the hint, digest it, and move on to your next set of bloggers.
Have you pitched bloggers during holiday season in the past? What methods or tricks worked for you? Share your experiences in the comments!
Source: Flickr user kevin dooley