Hello SOTGC community,
Getting the timing right for the perfect pitch takes practice, but even the best laid plans often go astray, and an email without the basic components goes straight in the trash. The basic pitch should be short, sweet, and to the point while still getting across any pertinent information.
The perfect pitch starts with the subject line. It is the first thing the media sees and will seal the deal on whether or not they’ll open your email. You want the subject to be easy to understand and clear about what the intention is. Try to be clever and different (we love using alliteration!), however, don’t make it too long in case your key words end up trailing off the page. Also, remember that many of these people are reading their emails on their smartphones, and there is even less room for wordy subject lines.
After you’ve nailed down a witty subject line, it is time to head to the body of the email – start with “Hi” and their name. This sounds like a no brainer, but so many people forget a greeting, and that leaves the reader feeling as though the email isn’t meant specifically for them. Of course, you could be sending out over 100 of the same email in one day, but taking the time to personalize each separates your pitch from the rest of the pack. We’ve discussed before how important it is to add in a line or two about a recent vacation they may have taken, or to ask about their family, and that goes for mass pitches too! Keep it personal and you’re sure to see better results.
Don’t be fooled, the greeting is not what gets the readers to respond, the body of the email needs to be the hook. Like the subject, it should be short and informative and include any major selling points. Include line sheets, price points, and something special about the brand(s), such as: “this brand is made exclusively in America!” Having a key fact for each brand that sets them apart will not only impress the media, but will also help you know who you should be pitching to in the first place.
Use images to drive your pitch home. If you’re trying to tell an online magazine why your brand’s products are great for Father’s Day, embed images of best selling belts and cufflinks. Leave the miscellaneous images out, and only include what could be used. Try not to repeat images from past pitches to the same person, which can be a challenge if a brand doesn’t have many products to include, but it is pertinent to find a way. When editors have seen the same image over and over, they won’t be excited by your pitch and will be less likely to respond.
What are your tips for getting the media to respond? Which subject lines do you find work best for you – serious and short or witty and wordy? How long do you wait to follow up on a pitch? Comment below and let us know.