7 Ways to Make Sure Someone Deletes your Email Pitch

If you’re a blogger or have prominence online, you’ve probably been the victim of a lot of outreach emails.  These are emails from people who want you to link to them, write about them, interview them, review their book, or other requests. I say victim because most “outreach” emails just feel like someone wants to take something, like they want something from me.  My time, my money, or mostly, a link. Most of us enjoy helping people, but we usually enjoy helping people we like or people that we feel deserve it.  And, I think most people are like that.

At Avalaunch Media we’re usually asking people to share an infographic on their blog, with a tweet, a pin or a Facebook update. Preferably all of the above, or depending on what is the most relevant. In the process we’ve learned something about the process. To illustrate the point, I am going to use an example of trying to promote the following infographic to bloggers who write about sales. Keep this in mind as you read on. You can apply the principles to other types of content but overall we’ve found that images get shared most often online.

So, how can you avoid coming off as another one of the Takers and avoid getting your email deleted?

7 Ways to Get People to Delete your Pitch Email (without a second thought) 

1: You’re too vague.
Simply put, if you’re vague you make people try and figure out what you’re saying and what you want. So instead of being vague be as specific and brief as possible.  There are two tricks to doing this well: 1) you need to capture interest immediately and 2) you need to get to the point quickly but without sounding pushy.  That is easier to say than do.

2: Your subject line sucks.
A Bad example of a subject line for the infographic above – “Here’s something interesting about sales.”

Good example – “For your blog: the Secrets of Sales Performance”

Can you see why the second example is so much more effective? Not only does it identify the purpose of the email (a la,”For your blog”), it also hints to the worthiness of the information (a la, “Secrets of Sales Performance”).

3: You lost me (why would I care about this?)
Highlighting individual statistics from the graphic (that would be really interesting to the blogger or journalist) is much more effective than trying to sell a description of the entire graphic. It may be the source (information from Harvard Business Review is more credible than an outdated or unrecognized source).

Example of a less effective pitch –

I thought you’d be interested in a new infographic from Work.com titled “Motivating Sales Pros.”  It contains everything you’d ever want to know about helping sales staff set and reach goals and you can see it here http://work.com/sales_performance/secrets_of_sales_performance…

More effective pitch – (this one got a response) –

pitch

 

4: You made it too hard. TLDR = too long didn’t read
The easier you can make it for someone to do what you are asking of them, the more likely it is that they will do it. Keep it simple. Just like you, people are busy. If they see a long email or if you’re not clear on what you’re asking, they probably won’t waste their time.

In the example of the successful pitch above, the blogger asked me to provide 3-4 prewritten tweets to choose from. She could edit them as she wanted. Even though initially she agreed to just one, she sent three. Why? because I made it easy and relevant. I looked at her Twitter account to see the types of things she wrote and would appeal to her audience. It paid off. So offer to do a little extra.

Continuing with the more effective pitch example above:

“If you think this data would enhance the article you wrote in March about Motivating Sales Employees (insert url), please feel free to share it on your blog using the following embed code (insert embed code) or on Twitter using one of the following tweets (insert Tweet option 1 and Tweet option 2).”

I did three things here

1) provided embed code,
2) provided two different pre-written tweets, and
3) found a relevant way to make her blog a better place!

People simply don’t want to have to work to share your information.  So, make it as easy as possible.

5: You’re ‘all take no give’.

Our outreach team has found that influencers in particular are almost always looking for a mutual benefit.  So, do your homework and find someway in which you can scratch their back.  One of the best questions you can ask yourself is, “Can I meaningfully-leverage my audience to help them”?  Find that meaningful leverage and then help them in a way that doesn’t feel manipulative. In other words, make them feel like you like their stuff  and would happily share it with no strings attached.

Continuing with the more effective pitch example above: she asked if in return we’d tweet a new whitepaper she’d written to our audience. Retweet their work. Share their posts on your Facebook page with your comments and otherwise try to help them out. You can also let them know you helped them out in advance, like this:

“By the way, I sincerely enjoyed reading your stuff!  I followed you on Twitter earlier and couldn’t resist sharing your article (insert url) with my followers (insert tweet url).  Great case study in more effective cold calling!”

6: You assume people will remember you or know of your importance.
Just remember, there are times you will be reaching out to a person that you might “know”, the problem is influencers “know” a lot of people without hardly “knowing” any of them.  Make sense?  So, identify yourself in a way that transfers meaning.  Don’t sign the email “Dave in Salt Lake City”.  Sign the email with your name, your company, your position within the company, and a couple of social media links which allow the influencer to quickly ‘vet the source’.  This reminds them that there is a reason they should “know” you and that scratching your back might be worth the effort!

Continuing with the more effective pitch example above:

Best,

Full Name

Important position, Credible Company

Social Media Profiles
*see my fairly impressive social footprint 😉

7: You sent the pitch to the wrong blogger (didn’t fit). 

Even though on my blog Newspapergrl I write about pr and marketing, I still get the occasional random pitch for something like a book review request for an author of a romance. Not going to happen. Plus I’m annoyed with you for not even getting close.

The best is when you find the perfect fit. The topic and the blogger are in alignment. The stars line up. When you have great content, a solid pitch and a blogger that is interested in the topic, you might not need a lot of explanation.

Here’s an example of an actual pitch to a media outlet that covers environmental news in Utah for an infographic about Utah’s air quality. This was submitted via a contact form:

I have an infographic that I asked the company I work for (Avalaunch Media) to create, illustrating lots of research about air pollution in Utah.
Would you like to run it? Let me know and I’ll send it over. I just need your email so I can send it as an attachment, or I can post it on our site and just send the link.
Thanks
Janet

And this is what I got back right away:

We are interested and will review.  Please email to [email address] and someone will have a look.

For your reference, the entire pitch:

Subject: For your blog: Secrets of Sales Performance

Body:

[Blogger’s name]

Since you blog about sales, I wanted you to know about some of the more powerful statistics in this new Work.com infographic about motivating sales pros:

  • Less than 55% of employees make their sales quotas
  • 60% of companies don’t provide new hires milestones or goals
  • 95% of employees don’t understand their employer’s strategy

To see more: http://work.com/sales_performance/secrets_of_sales_performance

If you think this data would enhance the article you wrote about Motivating Sales Employees (insert url), please feel free to share it on your blog using the following embed code (insert embed code) or on Twitter using one of the following tweets (insert Tweet option 1 and Tweet option 2).

By the way, I sincerely enjoyed reading your stuff!  I followed you on Twitter earlier and couldn’t resist sharing your article (insert url) with my followers (insert tweet url).  Great case study in more effective cold calling!”

Best,

Full Name

Important position, Credible Company

Social Media Profiles*
*see my fairly impressive social footprint 😉

 That’s it.  7 Simple Steps to not getting your pitch deleted!  Happy outreaching. And if you have any tips for us, please leave them in the comments.

3 thoughts on “7 Ways to Make Sure Someone Deletes your Email Pitch

  1. Smallbiztrends says:

    Janet, I couldn’t agree more with you about #3. I would also add that’s a great thing to keep in mind when coming up with a headline for an article about a study. 🙂

    – Anita

  2. maja says:

    I get several hundred pitches a week from well-meaning PR people.Sadly, nearly all of the pitches I get are just plain spam.

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