Ah, the pitch email. If you’ve worked in public relations for any amount of time, you’re probably intimately familiar with this device, which is alternately one of the most powerful and most abused PR tools that you have at your disposal.
So what distinguishes a successful pitch email from one that falls flat?
The Anatomy of a Well-Crafted Pitch Email
- The Subject Line: Don’t be vague, and don’t leave the subject line blank. Use clear, concise language that’s specific to your story. Include your company name and, if possible, an interesting tidbit that makes your audience want to read more.
- The Introduction: Keep it brief – a couple of sentences at most. Tell your influencer who you are and why you’re reaching out, but more importantly, show them how you can provide them value (this goes right along with doing your research to ensure that you’re sending the right message to the right person in the first place). Which leads us to number 3…
- The Value Proposition: The most important thing to remember here is that it’s not about you. It’s about how your story will benefit your audience. Know in advance what they care about and personalize your pitch accordingly. Be respectful, but be friendly and human, too. The goal of this first email isn’t a full-blown write-up in a top publication; that will come later. Your initial goal should simply be to pique your target’s interest enough to start a conversation.
- The Supporting Evidence: Don’t just tell your prospects about your story – show them why it’s worth their while. Pictures, multimedia and factual research will all greatly enhance the story you wish to tell.
- The Next Step: Make it as easy as possible for your contact to follow up with you. Include all of your contact information (phone number, email, Twitter, Skype, etc.), and suggest a clear next step with a date, time and place (a phone call or a quick chat in person, for example).
Don’t take the process of crafting pitch emails lightly. A good pitch email can open new doors and rapidly increase your exposure, while a bad one can alienate you from key influencers forever.
Next week, we’ll cover a few ways to reach out to influencers that don’t involve sending pitch emails, and that might even be more effective.
In the meantime, what are your tips for writing pitch emails that garner responses?