How and Why: Getting your Product into Holiday Gift Guides

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Holiday Gift Guide - 5WPR

How can you pitch your product to holiday magazine editors to get a spot in their annual gift guide? Displaying your products not only can lead to a growth in sales, but it can help spread brand awareness at the same time.

However, as gift guides become fewer in number, so too are the number of available slots offered to products. Not only this, but publications each have their own price points and specific themes, which further narrows the field.

Why Use Gift Guides for Publicity?

Having a feature spot in a holiday gift guide can lead to stronger traffic to your company website, which can lead to more sales overall during the holiday season. When a guide shows your product, the brand’s credibility will also increase as awareness goes up within the target demographic. Simply put, it’s an investment with a great potential ROI.

Why Think About Holidays Now?

Most magazines work up to six months in advance of a given issue’s publication. For the holiday gift guide, most editors search for new products from July through September. Localized magazines may work between two to four months in advance, meaning the search occurs from August through October. Online publication searches can vary; although some might not actively search for products until as late as November, it’s still worth pitching now.

Start Early and Know Who to Contact

Typically, a publication will assign the duty of developing the holiday gift guide to an editor, although some may have more than one editor curating new products. Look for whomever seems like the best fit for your product; for example, if you’re looking to feature new jewelry, the fashion editor may be the one to write.

To help figure out the lucky editor, look for the masthead in one of the publication’s issues. Some may include an email address, or you could simply call the primary phone number and request information on the holiday guide’s lead editor. Other times, the editor may be found on LinkedIn or similar social media websites.

Start Off with an Email

You have the name, so the next step is to send the perfect email. Consider the following tips while writing:

  • Include the words “Holiday Gift Guide” in the subject line, but add more personality to it. The key is to look personal, not like the editor is in a mass email list.
  • Keep the email short, with a maximum of three paragraphs that have no more than three sentences each. In this summary, state the product’s key demographic, why the readers of the publication would love it, as well as some information about your brand or how the products are manufactured.
  • Add an image inline rather than as an attachment. Inform the editor you’re prepared and able to provide images of print quality.
  • Offer to provide a sample, as well as whether or not the sample must be returned.

Follow Up

If the editor responds back with a yes, then great. Have a high-resolution photo ready for them in 24 hours, or a sample if it is requested.

If you do not receive a response within one week, send a follow-up email. Ask whether there is someone else you should contact regarding products in the gift guide to ensure the right person reads it. Remember editors receive plenty of mail, so don’t be discouraged from an absence of response.

Try out the other publications on your list and keep trying to follow-up a few times, allowing sufficient time for response.
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