It’s always been an exciting experience to get autographs from people you admire. Back in the day, you’d have to bring your own pen and something to sign for the chance-occasion that you’d be able to ask the celebrity for their autograph in-person. Nowadays, you can ask for their autograph via email.
- 1 How to Get Autographs Online
- 2 How Do I Get Autographs Through the Mail?
- 3 Case Study: Too Broke to Buy a Store-Bought Gift
- 4 Developing Your Own Outreach Program
- 5 How to Use Who.is to Contact Celebrities
- 6 How to Get Peoples’ Autographs
- 7 Resources and Recommendations
How to Get Autographs Online
The most difficult part in getting a celebrity’s autograph is contacting them. That’s because obtaining the person’s contact information can be hard-to-get-a-hold-of. Then there are other challenges, like, dealing with rejections, etc. And as many autograph collector’s know, it’s not as simple as googling their name + “email address” (though, sometimes this does work).
For the past several years, I’ve experimented with different ways to reach out and get autographs– not only for keeping the autographs for myself, but also to give the autographs as gifts for people I love and admire.
Getting autographs online is relatively simple nowadays– at least the outreach portion is. And you don’t need to send request letters in the mail as you did in the past (do you remember those “fan clubs”?). However, the real value exchange happens when the respondent is responsive (and kind) enough to send you their autograph in the mail.
How Do I Get Autographs Through the Mail?
Back in the day, I would read articles in magazines, like, Boy’s Life which would give insights for how to compose a letter and ask for a celebrity’s autograph. At the time, it was sound advice, though, it didn’t work all the time.
What does work, though, is to implement an ongoing outreach program (I describe more about how to get celebrity autographs via email below). By doing so, you’re continuing to research potential people, obtain contact information and send outreach emails on a continuous basis. This methodology will help to improve your chances for success in getting autographs through the mail.
Case Study: Too Broke to Buy a Store-Bought Gift
It wasn’t that I was poor, I was just too broke at the time to buy a gift. The loved one’s birthday was coming up, and I wanted to give something cool and unique. I just didn’t have the funds.
Then I jogged my memory for things he liked: Twizzlers, peace and quiet, and oh yeah, watching Judge Judy!
— CJ (@CJRooneyKC) May 5, 2015
Ok, the gift was for my dad. Instead of paying for a lame gift card that year, I just paid for a picture frame and wrapping paper.
It worked again (for my mom’s bday).
— CJ (@CJRooneyKC) May 14, 2015
Joel Osteen (and Team!) delivered a signed book for my mom. And it continues to work…
— CJ (@CJRooneyKC) August 23, 2016
Developing Your Own Outreach Program
To achieve similar results, you will need to consider developing an outreach program of your own. Here are the components you will need to factor into your outreach program:
- Which types of people are you looking to get autographs from?
- How to find their contact information?
- How do you contact them?
Types of Autographs
There are many different types of people whom you might value their autograph. The obvious suspects are the sports athletes, movie stars, television actors, politicians, etc. Focusing in on the main type of autographs you’re seeking will help you to develop a targeted list when researching their contact information.
Finding Contact Information
For me, the main test I do before moving further is to find out whether they have their own website. Of course, there are other methods to researching online for contact information, but my main method is to use the Who.is database (described below). By having a website URL (of the targeted person), you are set-up to easily go from your targeted list rather than going back-and-forth between other browsers/tabs during the process. Basically, it streamlines the process (if they do have their own website URL).
How to Contact
Once we find contact information, we contact them via email. In rare cases, I will submit a request via the contact form on their website.
How to Use Who.is to Contact Celebrities
You can go to the Who.is website and find information that is publicly available for practically any website. Who.is is often used for accessing databases that store domain name registration information from domain registrars (e.g Godaddy, 1and1, etc) around the world. Unless the person registering the domain had specifically requested (and paid for) “private registration”, the default is usually to list the person’s personal information as publicly viewable. That’s the information you’re looking for.
Note: Some domain registrars, like, Namecheap.com often default to private registration for the first year.
This may cause you to pause and reflect whether your personal information is publicly viewable. Do you have your own web domain? Might want to check the Who.is site (and search for your domain).
Start Researching Information on Who.is
To start, you might want to develop a list of potential people you’d like to reach out to via email. You can open up any word processor application, and just copy-and-paste for a list of website’s owned by the people you’re trying to contact. Or if you’d like, you can just open up a couple tabs in your web browser and go back-and-forth to see if their contact info is available.
I’d start by brainstorming a list of 10 to 20 people (with their own websites) to start the research process. Once you’ve got your list together, you’re ready to start s̶t̶a̶l̶k̶i̶n̶g̶ research.
Let’s take a couple recording artists, for example. First, you go to the Who.is website and enter their name.
Go to Who.is
Or just click here to go to the Who.is website.
Type in the Website URL in Who.is
Wanna get Beyonce’s autograph?
To start, we’d paste her website url in the box.
And look at the results…
Unfortunately for us, it appears that her email is being protected.
Let’s try another.
Do you remember Norman Greenbaum’s hit from 1969, “Spirit in the Sky”?
It looks like he has a website, appropriately named spiritinthesky.com.
Going back to Who.is, we type in “spiritinthesky.com”.
And look at the results…
It looks like this might be his actual contact information.
Capture their email address
Now that we see a promising lead, we need to capture the email address.
Note: Who.is won’t allow you to simply copy-and-paste the email address, so you need to retype it manually.
Email the person
Now open up your email client and send them an email.
That’s basically the entire process for getting autographs by using Who.is. You just rinse and repeat.
How to Get Peoples’ Autographs
As you can see the process is quite simple, though, it’s not always easy getting autographs via email. Keep in mind, on the receiving end of your message, you’re likely connecting with the actual person or their manager. In addition, be aware of the troubles they will need to go through in order to actually send you the autograph that you’re looking for:
- Need to find something to sign (likely a photo of themselves)
- Find a Sharpie and sign their autograph
- Buy an envelope and stamp
- Write your name and address on the envelope
- Enclose their autograph in the envelope
- Go to the mailbox and send it off to you
That’s not hard work, but it’s work. So your ask needs to be compelling enough to get them excited enough (or kind enough) to do this for you.
Sample Autograph Request Letter
An email autograph request might look something like this:
My name is Stan and I am writing to you 1) out of curiosity, 2) to challenge assumptions.
My friend, Ken, introduced me to your movies several years ago and got me hooked! He’s a cool guy, hippie dude with a young spirit. He’s going through a rough time right now, and I thought, “What are the chances of contacting Bruce, himself, to ask for an autograph”? I know it would cheer him up (like, for life!), and I just wanted to see if it may be feasible to get an autograph from him?
If this is possible, I’d totally be willing to pay for cost, shipping, etc. In case you approve, here’s my mail info:
(ideally signed for Ken)
Your Own Name & Mailing Information
City, State Zip Code
If this can be accomplished, I have won at life. If it can’t happen, no problem, you still rock, he still thinks you rock and I will try harder at life. Thanks for your time.
Here are a couple things to consider for your autograph request:
- Get to the point quickly.
- A short story (keep it honest!) does help.
- Always submit your mailing address during the first email.
- Don’t expect a response– and don’t follow-up with them (especially if they never responded).
- Sometimes they do respond and ask for you to send a self-addressed envelope, stamp, etc. If they do, send this to them quickly.
Of course, OMG, please write your own version of the email autograph request– don’t just copy-and-paste what I suggested! Always be honest. Don’t expect too much. Be grateful.
Now, you’re ready to start getting your own autographs for free using the method above.
Resources and Recommendations
- If you have access to a student email account (through your college, etc), use that email for your outreach emails (for better results).
- Prioritize your outreach emails to start with people whom are out of their prime. They’re easier to get ahold of. For example, you might start here.
Before we part ways, though, here’s a video from 1939 to show you how far we’ve come in requesting autographs!
Hopefully you enjoyed this Who.is experiment! What did you takeaway from this? Leave your thoughts in the comments section of the star reviews below. While you’re here, feel free to check out more experiments!
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