5 Ways to Build Successful Email Pitches
Change may be constant in the PR world, but traditional pitching methods are alive and well. In fact, while reporters’ presence on social media platforms has risen over the past few years, email still remains their preferred pitching method.
So how can you stand out in a reporter’s overflowing inbox?
Go back to square one. Revisit traditional PR tactics to build a better, tighter email pitch. Here are five efforts to invest in now to get picked out from the crowd down the line.
1. Search Editorial Calendars
What’s the key to reaching your goals? Large-scale planning. Map out your year by taking a look at your target outlets’ editorial calendars.
Look for overarching themes and mark down deadlines for the topics that match your brand’s coverage goals and expertise. Then, remember to occasionally revisit these calendars to ensure dates or topics haven’t shifted around.
2. Research Pitching Policies
Like editorial calendars, most outlets also include a section on their website with guidelines and pitching policies. Long before you even consider pitching an outlet, anticipate its readers’ needs and double check the listed requirements.
The best way to know what type of story idea is acceptable, as Foreign Policy points out, is to read what’s already been written. Some media databases even include specific reporters’ pitching tips within their profiles.
3. Perform A/B Tests
Subject lines are the gateways to reporters. Ensure your emails make the cut by running A/B tests on wording, number placement or even punctuation.
Like headlines, subject lines should entice the reporter to click on the body of your email for more information. Not feeling particularly creative? Turn to these tools for help.
Help A Reporter Out (HARO) brings PR professionals and reporters together in one place by sending out daily source requests to meet urgent deadlines. The free service also provides a place to track what topics are trending in various industries such as lifestyle or finance.
By identifying patterns, you’ll be better prepared for future opportunities and could even come across content ideas to cover on your brand’s blog.
5. Look to Past Relationships
Mistakes are extremely helpful teachers, especially in the world of relationship-building. Reshape your tactics by taking a good look at which relationships fizzled out or never even got off the ground.
If you track your outreach efforts, you can determine how to better approach reporters in the same beat, from the same outlet or with a similar background.
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