5 Steps to Create an Effective Gift Guide

Cotton Creek Farm Store, Michigan

We’ve all seen gift guides that are written to advertise items sold by that store. A good gift guide can help increase sales any time of the year.

Here are 5 steps to help you create a gift guide.

Step 1Think about your customers/target audience(s)

Will you focus on:

  • Outdoorsmen,
  • Women,
  • Men,
  • Children,
  • Mothers,
  • Fathers,
  • Apparel,
  • Toys/Plushies?

Depending on the audiences you choose, this means you may have multiple gift guides, e.g., one guide for outdoorsmen and another for women.

Step 2Choose your items

Your guide should include quick, simple, and reasonably priced items specific to the audiences you want to target. Consider adding some of your best-selling items.

Avoid items that are:

  • Frequently out of stock
  • Very expensive
  • Will be discontinued in the near future

Your gift guide should include a maximum of 10 items.

Step 3Organize your gift guide

Now that you know your audience and the items you want to include in your gift guide, it’s time to organize it! Think about organizing products by personality, price, and gender. Then think of a creative name that tells your shoppers how your guide will help them. For example, “The Top 5 Gifts Every Outdoorsman Needs” or “The Ultimate Stocking Stuffers”.

Ways to organize your gift guide:

  • By age, e.g, kids, teens, adult
  • By personality or interest, e.g., fiber arts, sustainability, shopping local
  • By category, e.g., early bird, staying warm, stocking stuffer,best-sellers
  • By budget, e.g., under $25, under $50, under $100
  • By gender
  • By recipient, e.g., mom, dad, brother, sister, coworker
  • By impact, e.g., sustainable, small-business, eco-friendly

Step 4Decide on the format

Determine how you will promote and share your guide.

Formats could include:

  • Social media posts and stories
  • Email campaigns
  • Blog post
  • Website
  • Postal mail/postcards
  • Posters for your store

You could choose to promote your gift guide via multiple formats.

Step 5Create your guide

Now that you know the format(s) of your guide, it’s time to start creating! Include high-resolution, eye-catching photos. If you’re including descriptions, keep them brief but engaging.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating your guide:

  • If you’re using a digital format, remember that guides should be responsive (e.g., accessible on mobile devices) with the correct links.
  • Guides should be clean and have white space to help avoid overwhelming customers.
  • Printed guides should be done on high-quality paper.

Cotton Creek Farm Store, Michigan

Final Tips

  • Designing your Guide
    • If you don't have graphic design skills there are resources and templates to help you create a professional-looking guide. Both Canva and Adobe Express offer templates, are easy to use, and offer free versions.
  • Stock up!
    • Since you will be promoting items to shoppers, make sure you have adequate inventory. The last thing you want to do is disappoint customers who find items via your gift guide but can’t complete their purchase because items are out of stock.
  • Collaboration
    • This is a great opportunity to partner with other alpaca farms to co-create and promote gift guides. You’ll likely reach a broader audience and be able to share more/different items on your guide.
  • Discounts
    • Gift guides can be a good opportunity to incentivize shoppers to support small businesses and shop early in the season.
  • Contact information
    • Consider adding your contact information and offer to help shoppers choose items! This is a great way to connect with your customers and share all the wonders of alpacas and products made from their fiber.
  • Work with AOA

Download your Gift Guide Cheat Sheet