How to get your handmade items featured in Holiday Gift Guides
It’s not too early to start thinking about getting your handmade products in Holiday Gift Guides
If you want more coverage in national magazines for your handmade products, now is the time to start planning! I know it may seem a little early to think about your products as a holiday gift, but June, July and sometimes August are the months when most national magazines plan their holiday gift guides.
Can being featured in holiday gift guides increase your sales? Absolutely! It can also increase your credibility among other journalists and media, as well as increase awareness of your brand among your target customers.
Here are five simple-yet-effective steps for getting holiday press for your products:
1. Determine what type of gift your product is
Think about your product and what type of gift it can be. Here are some examples and keep in mind that your products might fit into more than one of these categories.
- gifts for the animal lover
- green gifts
- gifts that give back
- splurge-worthy holiday gifts
- gifts for geeks
- gifts for the person who has everything
- last minute gifts (if you offer gift certificates on your website, your products fall into this category)
- gifts for foodies
- gifts for baby’s first Christmas/Hannukah
- gifts for health and wellness gurus
- gifts for the outdoor enthusiast
- gifts for the pragmatist
- gifts for the fashionista
2. Find the most appropriate magazines for your products
Browse the magazine racks at your favorite bookstore or searching online. And don’t forget to think outside the box. If you are selling all natural bath and beauty products, for example, the most obvious magazines would be Women’s Interests, Lifestyle, Health/Beauty and Fitness. But you can also contact magazines that cover eco-friendly topics, travel magazines, airline magazines and hotels/spas magazines.
3. Find the most appropriate section editor or writer at those magazines
To find the right editor, check out the masthead of the magazine (usually found within the first few pages of a magazine) and see who is the editor of the magazine section you’d like to be in. Some mastheads list their email address format (for example,email@example.com), but if it’s not listed there, you can either call the main phone number of the magazine and ask what their email address format is. Or you can also google “person name” + “email” and see if you can find the email address that way.
You can also purchase a media list and save yourself a lot of time. When purchasing a media list, make sure that the list is up to date and has the latest contact information.
4. Contact the section editor at each magazine
Pitch your holiday gift idea. Keep your email short (2-3 sentences for each paragraph and no more than 4 paragraphs total. In your email, include the type of gift your product is best suited for, along with a few bullet points mentioning the benefits of your products. Also list where your products can be purchased, how much they retail for and a link to your website.
Make sure the subject line of your email has some elements of curiosity. Think about emails that you receive and which ones you are interested in opening right away. Which of the following subject lines makes you more likely to open an email message?
“Holiday gifts from Super Natural Bath and Body Shop” or “A gift that not even the pickiest gift recipient will return”
If you are more likely to open an email with the second subject line, so will most journalists. Make your subject line interesting and relevant with a bit of curiosity.
5. Follow up
If you don’t hear back within a week, send a follow up email. Keep it short and say that you are following up to see if they are still looking for holiday gift ideas. And if you still don’t hear back after two more weeks, give it one more try and follow up again or suggest a different gift idea angle.
If you follow these strategies, you’re on your way to getting holiday gift guide coverage for your products.
In the comments below, I’d love to hear about your success with getting your products in holiday gift guides. And if you want even more in-depth information on how to get your products featured in gift guides, check out my friend Andreea Ayers is holding a FREE WEBINAR on Monday, June 17, 2013.
Here’s the link to sign up: holiday gift guides webinar