Email is one of the most widely used communication tools in the world. From everyday reminders to newsletters and brand updates, professionals across all industries use their email as a portal to discovery — and as part of their overall decision-making process.
With email being so vital in our current digital age, it’s no wonder that users are overwhelmed with material that floods their inboxes — a large portion of which is uninteresting, or completely unrelated to their roles.
That being said, how do communications professionals ensure their golden message arrives in the inboxes of those who can truly use it?
There are many opinions, studies and examples of great practices to follow for optimal interaction. Some are complimentary and some at odds.
As a company that specializes in influencer outreach, here is what we feel are the eight most important tips for anyone managing email pitching via Cision:
1. Use Cision Comms Cloud’s Database as Your Primary Influencer Source
This may seem like a shameless plug right off the bat, but we assure you it is not – influencers in Comms Cloud™ have received rigorous attention to detail and have been proactively researched and contacted for confirmation on coverage, pitching preferences and outreach information.
Sending emails to influencers included in the Cision database ensures a better fit for your campaign and a higher chance of coverage pickup. Additionally, only send materials to private contacts who have requested to receive them — while contacts in the media database have been vetted and approved, privately added contacts require users to gain their own consent. Don’t forget this crucial step in your outreach process!
2. Only Include Materials Relevant to the Type of Content the Person has Requested
Searching for information on media contacts can be difficult and tedious, but it is necessary to have context and up-to-date details for improved relevancy of messaging and to help keep your pitch out of the junk box. With Comms Cloud, you can easily review their bios, recent work and social engagement (audience demographics, Influencer Rank and more) in one space.
3. Sending a Newsletter or Regular Update? Be Consistent With Your Sending Frequency
Reliability is key for retention — your readers will come to expect your messages at a certain time or on a specific day. Pick a schedule, whether it is weekly, biweekly, or monthly and stick to that schedule as often as you can; if you’re trying to figure out what works best with your readership, test and adjust if the results are lower than expected.
4. Timeliness is Key!
While we often send emails on our own productivity schedules, that’s not always the way our readers consume them. It’s about finding the right opportunity to make the most impact. Generally, it is best to send B2B emails Tuesday through Thursday. We’ve found here at Cision that the best times of the day to send are just after the start of the day around 9:30 a.m., or just after lunch around 1:30 p.m. Although some email providers will state the opposite, avoid sending B2B emails after 4 p.m., or on weekends — common sense should tell you that many employees are away from their professional emails at the end of the day or on weekends.
That being said, it’s almost the opposite for B2C emails — between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday or between Friday evening and Sunday afternoon you’ll find consumers checking through their phones, tablets and personal computers now that they’re out of the office.
5. Choose the Best Sender Address
Making the From Name for your messages either your company name or the name of a person at your company will help ensure better recognition.
Once you choose a From Name, keep it consistent. During the split-second decision subscribers make whether to open your email, one of the most important factors in their decision is whether the From Name is familiar or looks credible.
6. If Sending a Newsletter, Include Both a Plain Text and an HTML Version
If you don’t include a plain text message, around 5 percent of your recipients will see a message with nothing in it.
7. Don’t use ALL CAPS or Multiple Exclamation Marks (!!!) Within Your Subject Line or Body
Doing this will likely trigger spam filters. And if you think of it from a common sense perspective, it’s akin to yelling at someone in email form. Nobody likes that! While there isn’t usually one item that will trigger spam filters — which look at things like suspicious sender names, URLs that re-direct, etc., — bad/over punctuation and poor formatting are more-than-likely to raise a flag for recipient email providers. You may get an ALL CAPS email through to your recipient, but more often than not it will get flagged and spam-boxed.
8. Using the Same Influencer Lists for More Than one Campaign?
Whether you’re using Comms Cloud or your own rolodex, re-build your lists after every outreach opportunity to avoid the pitfalls of running the well dry:
- Lists should be targeted, whenever possible — make sure to read pitching preferences and profiles for additional insights to make sure your recipients are a good fit for the distribution.
- Contacts and coverage can change; overusing the same contacts for unrelated coverage lowers the likelihood of engagement.
- Using Cision’s Email Distribution reports, users can see who engaged to add for future outreach and who didn’t to remove from their lists.
Just getting started on your outreach campaign and need a partner? Schedule a demo with Cision today and see first-hand how targeted influencers fit for your audiences.
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Thought leadership and communications strategy for the C-suite written by the C-suite.
A blog for and about the media featuring trends, tips, tools, media moves and more.