How to Write a Press Release for your Ecommerce Store

If you think your products will sell themselves, you're dreaming. In addition to paid search, SEO, and social media, you might want to consider more traditional forms of marketing and PR as well. 


There's a lot of debate whether or not press releases are worthwhile anymore. I've heard good arguments come from both sides, and to be perfectly honest, for most online stores it's hard to say whether the juice will be worth the squeeze. 

Companies like Apple can send a release and 2 seconds after it hits the wire there are headlines in every paper and on every TV station in the world. On the other hand, you can spend $500 and send a press release to +35,000 media outlets and be ignored by every single one of them.

At any rate, sending a news release does have its undeniable benefits. Even if it doesn't generate any coverage, it will at least pop up in Google Search when someone is looking for more information on your store or product. If you're ready to give it a shot, here's a beginners guide to writing and sending your first press release:

What is a Press Release?

According to Wikipedia, a press release is a written or recorded communication directed at members of the news media for the purpose of announcing something ostensibly newsworthy.

Oftentimes, companies will use press releases as standalone collateral, and if written correctly, they can be extremely helpful in enhancing your business’ reputation. 

What's Newsworthy?

Here are 10 topics that you can consider:

  1. Website or ecommerce store launch
  2. Launch of new products and services or a merger announcement
  3. Contest, competition, survey, poll announcement
  4. Changes to shipping and delivery
  5. Free samples
  6. Sponsorship or charity news
  7. Holiday or seasonal sales
  8. Receiving an award or acknowledgment
  9. Working with local communities, going green, or taking up an eco-challenge
  10. Customer success stories 

Elements of a Good Press Release

Heading: This needs to be strong. People are interested in how a business expands, who it sells to, and how much money it makes. Craft your headline with a strong title that grabs reader attention right away.

Sub-heading: A single sentence summarizes the entire content of the press release. It can be just as important as the heading because it  gives readers a taste of the content to follow.

Opening paragraph: The opening paragraph has to be strong and include pertinent information, namely what the press release is about, who it affects, and why they should read or act upon it. If you talk of an event or launch, you also need to mention when it will take place.

Middle paragraph (/s): These add weight to the article and can include testimonials, statistics, research details, and case study excerpts.

Conclusion: This is a summary of the article and must include either a call to action or details of where more information on the subject matter could be found.

Boilerplate: Include a brief company profile and contact information. 

Notes: Also include your company logo and the press release date. Traditional press releases always conclude with # symbols underneath the last line to signify the end of the release.

Sample Press Release #1

<INSERT LOGO>
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Opportunity Knocks on Laser Shooting Robot’s Door
Luxury hand-made laser shooting robot specialists expand their business to Europe.

San Francisco, California – January, 2012

Lasershootingrobots.com, the leading manufacturer of luxury hand-made laser shooting robots in North America today announced it would be expanding to Europe. The company, which prides itself on crafting unique one-of-a-kind laser shooting robots for residential and commercial projects, will tie up with Chuck Norris Metal Workers (CNMW) to manufacture and ship its products to Europe.

“We are thrilled to partner with CNMW and showcase our products in the leading laser and robot regions of the world”, says owner and CEO of Laser Shooting Robots, Brad Lambert. “Their passion and dedication to making quality robots is already well known. It’s an honor to be able to design alongside their team.”

Laser Shooting Robots has been producing hand-crafted robots for North American clientele since 2003. The company revealed that CNMW has already integrated the company’s software and sales tools as of October of this year, and while the robots will be manufactured locally, the designs will continue to be developed in San Francisco.

Yves Rochard, president of CNMW had this to say, “We are delighted with our partnership with Laser Shooting Robots and look forward to introducing their product to the European market. There is a synergy between our two brands that we feel will result in a profitable relationship for both of us. We have already integrated their sales tools into our website and will begin manufacturing, and shipping Laser Shooting Robots as of February 2012.”

To learn more about the merger, expansion plans, or to book an interview, contact Jackie Mason at 1.234.5678 or email, jackiem@lasershootingrobots.com, or visit the website at www.lasershootingrobots.com.

About Laser Shooting Robots
1 or 2 paragraphs about the company

About Chuck Norris Metal Workers
1 or 2 paragraphs about the company

# # #

A Few More Sample Press Releases

Here are a few press releases that we at Shopify have sent out. These aren't entirely applicable to you, but they should still act as solid frameworks to get you started: 

How Do I Distribute My Press Release?

There are plenty of services that offer distribution. Some are quite expensive, others are more moderately priced, and some are free. Like most things in life - you get what you pay for... but to an extent, so talk to your friends, and call people you trust to ask for recommendations. 



Do you recommend a specific press release distribution service?
Tell us in the comments. 

8 comments

  • Chris
    Chris
    January 27 2012, 05:12PM

    Now how do you go about finding someone to write one for you?

    Who do you recommend?

  • laura adamson
    laura adamson
    February 01 2012, 01:09PM

    Great post! How can I upload my press release to m store?

  • Tina Mammoser
    Tina Mammoser
    February 01 2012, 04:17PM

    Thanks so much for this! I do press releases for offline events but have always been at a loss about ideas for the online side of the biz. This post will help me build my 2012 marketing plan.

  • Claire
    Claire
    February 22 2012, 05:10PM

    This always helps me write press releases http://howtofixstuff.blogspot.com/2012/02/how-to-write-press-release.html

  • Jessica
    Jessica
    March 16 2012, 02:48PM

    I’ve been thinking about press releases lately….where do you suggest publishing them, besides our own sites and places like prweb.com ?

  • Heather
    Heather
    April 12 2012, 05:35PM

    I use PRweb, it’s a great way to build links and also sometimes score a staring spot on Google’s first page. If you have a lot of patience and a real news related story, I’ve also had occasional success with emailing individual news editors who not only have published a story in their paper but have shared with with there sister papers….

  • Julie Harrison
    Julie Harrison
    April 07 2013, 05:01PM

    I echo Heather’s experience. Publishing to PRWeb is an inexpensive way to help your company’s search results. Plus, an email blast to your media contacts. I had hopes that Shift’s Social Media Press release template would take off, but it’s been a few years now and the same ol’ press release format is still being used.

  • Yasmin
    Yasmin
    June 14 2013, 11:07AM

    PressDOC!

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