The holiday season is fast approaching, but for B2C businesses, it’s already well underway. According to the National Retail Federation, 41% of consumers start shopping in October (or earlier). On the other hand, 58% of shoppers report they don’t finish shopping until December, so there’s still time to get your products out there.
There was a time when catalogs like Sears and Macy’s were the prime real estate for holiday product placement, but nowadays, it’s all about the Gift List. From broad base consumer appeal to niche interests and communities, there is a gift list for anyone and anything. Getting your product listed is one of the best ways to get in front of consumers for the holiday season.
But the competition is fierce. Landing a top-tier placement takes more than a good pitch (but you definitely need one); it also takes reaching the right people at the right time with the right angle. Here are our top tips for making it on Santa’s gift list:
Start preparing early
Pitching season for holiday gift lists can start as early as July and run as late as November. No matter who you’re pitching or when you should always give yourself enough time to create a refined pitch – at least two weeks. There’s more to it than selecting a few photos and throwing some copy together. Pitches that seem rushed or are too generic won’t make the cut. A pitch should be personalized. Do some research on the readers and come up with reasons why your product would appeal to them specifically.
Don’t discount experiences
When people think of presents, they always think of stuff. However, the number of people gifting experiences is growing as people look to save waste and find gifts that people will actually use. Not only does this provide a unique opportunity for service-based businesses, but it also gives retailers a different way to sell their business to consumers. For example, instead of pitching a bottle of wine, a bottle shop could sell tickets for an intimate wine tasting. Subscription and take-home boxes are also a standout, like activities for an at-home date night, movie night, etc.
Keep a master list of submissions and guidelines
Different publications will have different requirements, and it’s crucial that you follow these to the letter. Editors can have hundreds, even thousands, of submissions to look through. If you don’t take the time to follow instructions, they won’t take the time to look at your product. In addition, consider creating a master list of submissions and their guidelines so your team can better track which publication wants what.
Don’t forget about your digital assets
These days, most gift guides are digital, meaning they link directly to your product page. So make sure you’ve double-checked all spelling and grammar, ensured that all links are working, and that photos are displaying correctly. Also, make sure all your tracking pixels and any other analytics tools are up and running so you can measure the list’s effectiveness.
Always give credit and link back
When you do hear back, always respond with a kind note, regardless of the outcome. You might not have made the cut this time, but being kind could help keep your business in mind for another time. If you do make it into the guide, be sure to share it on all your digital and social channels and don’t forget to link back to the guide!