Six Tips To Getting An Actual Response to Your Email Pitch
You've got about 10 seconds to capture my attention and that's it. Period. After that you are out of luck and hopefully, the next time I see you I won't remember how terribly bored I was the last time we spoke.
You've got about 10 seconds to capture my attention and that's it. Period. After that you are out of luck and hopefully, the next time I see you I won't remember how terribly bored I was the last time we spoke. Seem harsh? Good, it should be. This is how every media representative and journalist feels when they get that oh so dreadful "You've Got Mail" alert pop up on their computer. Or in my case...my phone and my computer. When sending out pitch emails on behalf of your client, it is extremely important to make sure that the information provided is of interest to the readers or viewers of that particular publication. The heading of the email should grab the readers attention and prompt them to continue reading. Make sure you are targeting publications which would be interested in your information. You wont have much success pitching to a tech magazine about your latest inventory of press on nails.
The issuing of your pitch email should be timely. That is why it is important to cooperate with your marketing professionals who should evaluate and research the market before your email is sent out. In your email, you should immediately reveal what you are trying to accomplish and why you are publishing it.
"Your headline is one of the most important elements of your email pitch; it should be appealing, attracting and interesting; however it must in several words tell whole story. One should try to avoid generalization; like a press release, your email pitch should communicate with your reader in easy-to-read, coherent and logical style."
The text must impress your reader and should not exaggerate: remember that this information is issued to the media and sometimes can be passed on throughout their own network of professionals, who may be highly skeptical and are used to treating information with a cautious eye.
Your email pitches can go straight over the plate. With a little forethought, and a few tips, you can throw fewer balls and more media relations strikes.
1. Brevity is the soul of wit.
If you can't get to the point in your subject line in 10 words or less, you need to work on your message. Keep the subject line short and to the point, and include the time frame if it is important to the pitch. For instance:
"Entrepreneurs Storming NC General Assembly Tuesday".
If you have a startling or interesting fact, use it as a hook. If you are developing a story idea about local bars in the area up-charging patrons, my initial thought for a subject line is: "Local Bars Spike After-hour Prices By ___%." Straight, direct and to the point. The reader immediately knows what they are about to read.
2. Humor Me.
Humor is not for everyone. Trust me. It is best to use it only if you are familiar with the personality and sense of humor of the individual you are contacting. Knowing what amuses them could help break the ice and get the attention of the person on the receiving end of the email. I once received an email from a publicists that said "Does Jesus Take Returns? 10 Things All Moms Can Relate To" and I immediately opened it to see if I, in fact, could relate to what was inside.
3. Don't Get Too Attached.
Don't ever attach word documents or photos files to an email pitch. Did I mention that you should not send attachments? To get past email filters and to avoid hacking off your media contacts, wait until they ask for additional information before sending photos and documents. And, if you make them mad, your next pitch may be deleted before it is ever read.
4. Be Cool.
You're fired up to fire off that media pitch you have just written. Don't. Let it cool off a bit first. Ask for input from others before you send the pitch to the media, particularly if you are trying to use humor or be quirky. You don't want your pitch to fall flat.
5. Be Relevant.
If they contain news relevant to the publication and its readers, if the pitches are concise and if the pitches are understandable," he says.
Wind up and start pitching.