Journalists receive hundreds of messages a day. Have you ever sent an email pitch to a journalist and received no response? Chances are they didn’t even open in the first place. Why? Pitches live and die by the quality of their subject line.
These seven quick tips will make your pitches stand out in a crowded inbox:
Think like a journalist. Put yourself into journalists' shoes and consider what type of stories they would be interested in. Send journalists newsworthy, attention-grabbing stories. successful topics are those that stress human interest, speak about triumph over adversity, or tell a story about an emotional journey or the unlikely underdog.
Keep it short. Time is money, and the likelihood that a journalist is reading emails on a mobile device is high. This means that what was already a small window to get your point across is even smaller. Use short, descriptive, 8 to 10-word subject lines. These fare much better than cheesy lures.
Send it to the right people. Find out which journalists will be the most interested in your news and send them a personalised email that appeals to their beat and their interests.
Make sure it doesn’t read like spam. The junk folder is your biggest enemy when it comes to pitching. Make sure your pitch doesn’t look like just another spam email by avoiding exclamation marks, the word “free” and UPPERCASE LETTERS LIKE THIS.
Use a clever subject line. A unique subject line can make your pitch stand out among hundreds of dry, dull emails surrounding it. If you can make the journalist laugh, or even just do a double take, that will help to get your pitch open and read. Be careful, if the subject line doesn’t make sense, or is too cryptic, it can deter a journalist from opening it altogether. A good subject line strikes the balance between being creative and clever.
Adopt the inverted triangle. Capture editors' attention by putting the news in the first paragraph. Then add the necessary details.
Make your releases look crisp and professional - that means no smudgy type. Include the name and phone number of a contact person, and answer media queries promptly.
Faced with a plethora of pitches vying for their attention, journalists are getting savvier and want to clean out their inbox as quickly as possible. To prevent being dumped straight to the trash, remember these tips to get more eyeballs on your pitch.