In the past, I’ve given you some meaty posts. Now it’s time to break them down into bite size pieces. We’re going to start with how to submit your line to retailers by email. This submission option is quick and free. But if you’re like me, even the simplest emails can take forever to write. So how about I write this one for you? – Emily of Clementine
Illustration by Emily McDowell for Oh So Beautiful Paper
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I wrote a long post about how to get a shop owner’s attention here. If you’re like me, you enjoy reading thoughtful things, but when it comes to perfunctory business dealings, it’s better when someone just tells you how to do it. So, ok. Here is my suggested template for the best way to submit your line to an independent retailer by email.
Hey there [Emily]!
If you’re writing to an independent retail shop, find the retailer’s name and use it. Based on the volume of submissions (and how easy it is to find my name on Clementine’s website,) I don’t reply to those who don’t bother to find my name. Double check, that you have the name right if you’re copying and pasting.
I’m writing to introduce [Undressing Press], my line of [letterpress prints inspired by vintage lingerie]. I found your store on Instagram and I love [the way the light hits your desk obscuring the papers you obviously hid under your chair.]
This paragraph is short: it tells who you are, how you found me, and that you know that my shop is uniquely mine. It doesn’t give me three paragraphs about your history and what you’re inspired by. I love getting to know lines, but the intro email isn’t the place. Also, closing with a compliment helps you avoid the temptation to tell me that your line would fit in my shop. Instead, it subtly tells me we might get along.
I’ve attached images of my current favorite prints so you can take a quick peek. If you like what you see, you can find my entire line at [website link and/or I’ve attached an online catalog.] I know you’re busy, so I’ll send a follow up email in two weeks.
Thanks so much!
To recap: The intro email is short, sweet and free. (And I hope it goes without saying, this template is based on my experience. It doesn’t guarantee a shop will give you the time of day, but I think it’s a great start. Please tweak it to the recipient and your own style). It’s easy to duplicate for many retailers, but gives you the space to personalize. It should fit on my screen so I don’t have to scroll down and include your version of:
- Personal Salutation
- Who are you, how you found the retailer, and a little compliment for them.
- Web link or online catalog and 2-3 low res images of your work
- Promise to follow up and closing salutation
Till next time! xoxo Emily
p.s. This is my view at Clementine when I’m reading emails. The light is good, but believe me I am also surrounded by piles of to-dos that are instagramed out of the frame.