The genesis for this article was an email I received a few days ago from a new clothing line (who shall rename nameless) that was also sent to about a dozen other blog owners in the industry. I know this for a fact because it the author of the email used CC instead of BCC, allowing myself and all the other addressees to see exactly who he had sent it to.
These types of emails are horrible for two reasons:
1. Unless everyone you’re emailing knows each other, CC is a great way to open up a can of spam – all it takes is 2-3 people hitting “reply all” and you’re suddenly stuck receiving endless emails that you can’t opt out of or stop. It’s literally a nightmare.
2. It’s “lazy marketing” (put so well by someone who responded to this latest email). You’re essentially appealing to a blog owner to take the time and effort to look at your products, and then compose a well-thought out (hopefully positive) review… But you can’t take the time to write them a personal email?
This was the second time in recent months that I received an email like this. I “replied all” on the first one with a very long, and very annoyed rant about the relative lack of consideration, so this time I thought I’d do something a little more productive…
In this article, you’ll find some do’s and don’ts for clothing lines (especially new ones) on emailing blog owners to get some press on your apparel. These tips won’t guarantee you a feature, but they’ll definitely increase your chances.
- Do actually be a reader of the site you’re submitting to. Blog owners can easily be bribed with praise, and we’re more inclined to respond if we know you’re an actual reader. So tell us you enjoy reading the site, give us a suggestion to make it better, or just let us know you appreciate what we do.
- Do provide lots of information with your submission. At minimum, give us some nice product shots, the price, and link to buy. We can work with that. But if you tell us (don’t just copy and paste from your website) the story behind your line, or some interesting tidbit about another aspect of your company, we can build a more compelling story.
- Do offer a personalized coupon code. If you have the capability and you’re running a discount anyway, why not create a code specifically for blog you are submitting your tees to? These are great because it offers an incentive to buy for readers and give us a measure of authority too. We like personalized coupon codes – it makes us feel special. Plus, it’s a great way for you to know when you’re actually getting sales from a post.
- Do track who you email, and when. This is more for you, than us. But keeping track of who’ve you submitted to ensures that you can do follow-ups (after a reasonable amount of time) and also keeps you from emailing the same person twice.
- Don’t send canned messages. You’re asking for our time, so give us a little bit of yours. Fair is far, right? We’re also one of your best allies in reaching the masses, and we are generally huge fans of good clothing lines. This isn’t just a one shot thing, it’s your chance to build a relationship. And that will pay off down the line.
- Don’t feel obligated to send us a t-shirt. Yes, we solicit tees, but only for people who want to send them. Don’t feel like you need to send us stuff to get on the site. That said, if we have a physical t-shirt, we can talk about things like print quality, shirt feel, and packaging experience that’s simply impossible to do if we’re just looking at a website.
- Don’t get hurt or offended if we don’t respond to your email in a day… or even a week. As much as we’d love to say we respond to every single email we receive, there’s just not enough hours in the day. But we do read every single one of them. It may be a month before a submitted tee makes it to the site, but if it’s a compelling design, it will make it.
Got any suggestions that I missed? Share them below!