Want to market your product or services to bloggers, and increase the response you get?
We love working with new brands and companies here at 2 Kids and a Coupon. We’ve learned about some wonderful products and services, and we’re always grateful for the new opportunities the come in through our inbox. We’re lucky enough to have lots of incoming requests these days, and like many bloggers, some of these requests that we recieve are better than others.
Bloggers can get hundreds if not more e-mails a day, and get some great coverage for your press release or product, there’s a few things you can do to help increase your odds of getting exposure. For my full-time non-blogging I work in public relations and regularly pitch media and blogs. I know how difficult it can be to not know who you are talking to, and to get the story placed for your (or your client’s) company.
From someone who is both an experienced marketing professional AND a blogger, here are a few tips for you PR pros on how to make your pitches and e-mails to bloggers a little more effective.
Tell me what you’re going to do for me or my readers.
Yes, you might have the coolest product or service absolutely ever, but please tell me in a paragraph or less how this helps me or my readers. Tell me why I should review your product, give you free news coverage or why my readers are going to want to know about you. I average 400-500+ e-mails on a slow day. Tell me why I should spend a few more seconds on your message, much less decide to share the info with my readers. Tell me what I need to know if you’d like me to share with others.
Tell me what you want me to do.
OK. This one may seem a little strange, but do you know that over on over half the e-mails I get, I don’t have the slightest clue what they want? I’m not sure if they are just spreading the word, want me to write a review, want to sponsor advertising, want free news coverage or something totally different. And truthfully, most of the time, I don’t have the time or patience to e-mail them back to find out. If you’re contacting bloggers, tell us what you’re looking for from us. We get so many e-mails we’re a little tired of guessing — and if you ask for want you want, you might just get it!
Use technology to help personalize.
I actually get several e-mails a day that say “Dear (insert name here)”. Yep. Parentheses and everything! That tells me the sender didn’t bother to customize even a little bit, much less check out our site to make sure we’re a good fit. It’s OK if you don’t know our name, even “dear blogger” or “editor” is better than being called “insert name here”. LOL. Take advantage of some of the great, easy to use management software out there like Mad Mimi email marketing and start off your intro a little better than these.
If you’re going to include a reference to a bloggers work – get it right.
While you may think you’re being personable or clever referencing a blogger’s work or following, just make sure you get it right. About ½ of all the e-mails I get that are trying to do this make an error (like including a reference to an article that’s not on my site) or accidently mention another bloggers post (and just didn’t take the time to update it for me.) If you can’t take the time to get it correct. Don’t try it. It just makes it more obvious you don’t know a thing about us. I don’t expect you to know everything about me, but don’t mistake me for someone else either.
While your e-mail may have some great info, be sure to include a link or two where I can find out more if I’m interested. How do you expect bloggers to write about you if you don’t give me enough info to write about? Be sure to include social media links too. If I like you, I’m going to follow you, and maybe even encourage my readers to so to.
Make sure I’m your target market.
You’d be surprised at how often bloggers get inquiries from stuff that we would not place on our sites in a million years. I periodically get opportunities presented for items of an.. ahem… “adult” nature. Now the title of my site has the words “kids” in it. So does my e-mail. That would tell you that I’m probably in the category of family friendly only. If you’re that far off base, you’re not going to hear back. Ever, or if you do, you might not like the response you get.
Value my time.
When you get up and go to work, do you work for a $1 or 2 an hour? No, I’m guessing not. Bloggers don’t either. If you’re asking bloggers to review or write about an extremely low dollar item like an app or e-book, be prepared to offer an incentive. It takes us time to download, test, write about, post and promote the items we review, and even something simple like an app can take an hour (or hours) if it’s done well. Free apps or product grocery coupons for $1 off don’t pay the bills or clothe our children. If you want a blogger to write about your product and it’s a low value item, consider offering an incentive or purchasing a sponsored (paid) review instead. You’ll get all the exposure, better quality work and a relationship with a great blogger you can go to again for future projects.
Tell me how to contact you.
Because so many big e-mail campaigns are automated and sent from a “no-reply” e-mail address, many times there is no way just to simply reply anymore. If you’d like me (or some other blogger you’re coveting coverage from) to respond, give us a way to contact you and make it obvious! Put the best way to contact you at the TOP of your e-mail where it is easy to spot and click. Make it easy to get in touch so that we can share all the great coverage we do provide you!
Overall, more and more consumers are relying on bloggers for their product news and recommendations. If you want to successfully get your product placed on popular sites, do a little bit of homework, and give to writers you’re targeting a little more to work with. You might be surprised at the results!