When we started off Lil Helper Cloth Diapers a year and a bit ago, in order to get traction for our products, I started contacting some top cloth diaper bloggers and pitched our company and products to them. My only expectation was to start a conversation through which I would expect them to either review our diapers or share our brand with their audience. I was mostly successful in doing so and most of the bloggers we contacted were very receptive of our Baby Do Good mission and the way we source our products.
After the initial leg work, we started being contacted by dozens of eco-friendly bloggers who wanted to review our diapers on their blog and do giveaways, etc.
The problem is most of the pitches we receive from bloggers are unremarkable. They get lost in my mailbox and I cannot tell one from another.
If you run a blog where you would like to do the occasional review or giveaway for your audience, please keep this in mind when you contact potential companies.
1) Address the e-mail by name: Yes you went through the trouble of finding the company’s e-mail address. If you poke around a little bit more, it is not difficult to find the name of the person who runs the company. We have a bios page and an about page, where our FULL names are available, yet almost none of the pitch e-mails have our name on them. We get e-mails addressed as Hi Lil Helper or To Whomsoever It May Concern. As soon as I don’t see my name on an e-mail, I am not interested because it shows that you don’t care enough to find the name of the guys who might read the mail.
2) A little flattery goes a long way: Tell your potential client how much you like their products or their mission or the way they conduct their business. This shows that you have spent some time reading about their company but also connect to them in some way, which would make it worthwhile for them to give you a chance to review their products. Most of the e-mails we receive just have a copy-pasted blurb that has been sent to a million other companies, there is no personalization.
Heidi from DiaperDeals.ca was one of the first bloggers to have contacted us even before we had officially launched. She had taken the time to go through our website and had written her introductory e-mail as if she knew us, which she did because she must have spent a few minutes reading through our website. She told us how well our website is designed and even a few pointers on making it better.
3) Nobody cares about YOU: Which basically means that everybody cares about themselves, first. Rather than telling them about yourself, you show the company how the event that you are hosting be it a giveaway or a blog hop will help their business. The focus should be on how you will help them, not how they can help you. Talk about specific aspects of the your blog or audience that you will harness to give better exposure to their brand or product.
Celeste from Thinking-About-Cloth-Diapers.com convinced us why it is imperative that Lil Helper participates in her Cloth Diaper Charity program. Again, her e-mail was personalized for us.
4) Give before you receive: If you really want to work with a company and think you will be a great team together, then become their ambassador. You don’t need anybody’s permission if you want to create positive chatter around a company. Once you tweet out or do a Facebook post or a mini blog post about the company, e-mail them and show what you have already done on your behest. Now you can tell them, imagine if only I had some of your products, what more magic I could weave for you.
Alaina from DinkerandGiggles.com put up a post on her blog about her favorite bamboo cloth diaper and mentioned Lil Helper Cloth Diapers. She had not asked us about it. We were so impressed. So when we needed a community manager and she contacted us, it was almost a no-brainer when we had to pick someone.
Anne from Zephyr Hill wrote me a beautiful thank you letter when I answered a little question she had on the TOTS Facebook party. Through that initial conversation our friendship grew and I offered her to review our diapers, which in hindsight, I should have done a long time ago.
5) Deliver more than you promise: So you got the confirmation that you will receive a review package. But, there is no contract that stops you from talking about the brand or company before the review. Show the company that they have made an excellent choice by working with you. Put up a small post introducing the brand or products to your audience even before the review.
Maria from Change-Diapers.com wrote such a heart-felt post about Lil Helper even before we mailed anything from our end. We were thrilled then and I still remember that gesture. (I had pitched Maria to review our products.)
Krystyn from Really, Are You Serious? tweeted out a beautiful mini-review of our diapers even before her official review was out.
6) Give constructive feedback: No product that you will review is perfect. There is always scope for improvement. Tell them what could be done to make a better product, so that the company can be more successful. This will build trust and let the business owner know that you have their best interest in mind. If and when, they make the changes you suggest, guess who gets to try the new product- YOU.
Kristy from Manager-To-Mom.com wrote a thesis like thorough review of our products and gave us some amazing feedback. We acted on her recommendations and when the new samples arrived, she was the first one to try it out. Our relationship has grown to a level where I feel at ease talking to her about upcoming products. She on the other hand has mentioned Lil Helper as the most innovative company around when she was interviewed for Circle of Moms.
Have Your Say
If you agree or disagree with anything, please feel free to voice your opinion in the comments section.
Or better still, pitch me at [email protected] and if your pitch is up to par, I will send you a review package of our products. And if you are up for it, I will even critique it for you.
You can always connect with me on Twitter @Gandhilogy and come and see our range of products at LilHelper.ca.