In a previous blog, we shared our best tips for getting your interior design work published. At the time, we heard from so many of you about how intimidated you had been by the process of writing and sending pitch emails. Especially for designers without a designated marketing coordinator or department, getting your work published is easy to procrastinate. Even so, having your work shared by industry publications is the most effective way to generate buzz around your business.
Today, our resident experts, Lauren Day and Erin Lepperd, and IDCO client and friend Crystal Palecek are weighing in on best practices for pitch emails. Plus, we put together a foolproof template so you’ll have no excuse but to start pitching your beautiful work.
1. Pitch to one publication at a time, starting with your most desired.
Allow a couple of weeks for them to respond before you follow up. If they still don’t respond, move down the list to your next choice. Many publications will require exclusivity, so you want to make sure you don’t have to rescind any other submissions when your pitch is accepted. That might not bode well for future partnerships.
“If the project has already been published elsewhere, be sure to include that information. Not disclosing that is often considered a faux pas in the editorial world, because each magazine and media outlet strives to share never-before-seen content with their readers. Of course, there’s always an exception to that rule so don’t let that deter you, but to be safe, be upfront if the project has been seen somewhere already.”
2. Submit professional photos in the initial email.
Editors are often working on tight timelines and having all the images they’ll need in front of them helps them make a quick decision and ensures that they won’t be waiting around for you to send photos. Erin Lepperd, former head of editorial at Style Me Pretty Living and current editorial manager at IDCO, encourages designers to go the extra mile to be thorough:
“It’s great to package your pitch with a thorough selection of images, sized according to requirements, plus info and credits so editors can really get a sense of the project. The more thorough the pitch, the easier it is for them to say yes!”
3. While including all the necessary facts is a huge help, a lengthy email is not.
In fact, more text to read might get you overlooked by busy editors. Crystal says:
“I know I speak for many editors when I say that a short, concise pitch is always best. Editors are often inundated with pitches all day long, so if you send a really wordy, long email they’ll likely pass right over it for a lack of time.”
Equally as important is sending the pitch in the way the publication requests, according to Erin. Check the publication’s website for their preferred submission process. Whether it’s a form, portal, or standard email, don’t break protocol.
4. Tailor your email to each publication.
Mass emails might be time-saving, but what good is saved time if you didn’t accomplish anything? Be sure to make your emails personal by including the editor’s name and including information you know will be relevant to their specific publication. Lauren Day, IDCO accounts manager and current Design*Sponge editor, admits to skipping over emails that sound too generic:
“I generally don’t finish reading emails that seem like press releases. Identify why it’s a good fit for that publication. Each site/magazine has its own values in what they like to feature—for D*S, we value homes with personal stories and unique use of color.”
5. Be ready to proceed immediately.
Don’t make an editor wait on you. Only send an email for a project that is completely finished and photographed, unless you’re pitching a process piece. Once you submit, check your email regularly in case the editorial process needs to move quickly. Have all your sources on hand and your thoughts gathered about the process. Lauren recommends getting permissions for interviews from the homeowners and collaborators ahead of time and even including that in the initial email. The more of your homework is done, the more appealing a tour will be.
With all these tips in mind and some expertise from our contributors, we crafted a template that you can use as a starting point as you pitch your work.
Hi [Editor name],
Paragraph 1: Introduce yourself and your business in two sentences or less.
Paragraph 2: Introduce the project in three sentences or less. Start with the basics (style of home, inspiration for design, location, and anything that will create an interesting story). Emphasize characteristics of the home or design that will be particularly relevant to the publication and/or its readers.
Paragraph 3: This is where you include essential information like where else the project has been featured (if applicable), any collaborators or credits, and that the homeowners are willing to be interviewed.
Drop a link where the editor can access your photos of the specific project you’re pitching. As always, we recommend Dropbox! Make sure your link is working and your permissions are set accordingly.
Sign off with pleasantries and include a phone number you can be contacted at.
As an interior designer, there is no better form of advertisement than a feature and endorsement from a trusted publication. We hope these tips encourage you to send thoughtful, concise pitches and wait for the interviews to roll in! We can’t wait to see your work in print (and on the screen!).
For more great reads from the world of interior design and business strategy, check out these posts…
The Identité Collective is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.