I’ve got a great idea! How do I write a pitch that won’t be deleted?

By Conrad Egusa Published: 23 June, 2015 Last updated: February 18th, 2022 at 11:52 am

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Since the media industry downturn in the last few years, fewer tech writers are being hired, which means, as Robert Wynne from Forbes astutely put it, “There are millions of press releases chasing fewer megaphones.” Journalists’ inboxes are bursting at the seams daily, meaning that pitch emails need to follow a particular style if they are going to be given the time of day. Our marketing team have compiled some tips to make sure your pitch email is not only opened by a journalist, but also given the attention that it deserves:

Make sure it contains an appropriate subject line

DO Keep your subject line short and sweet. Remember that on a busy day this might be as much attention as you receive when the inbox is filling up. Try something along the lines of:

Exclusive story for [REPORTER NAME] – [very short description of what the story is]

Exclusive story for Steven- Launch of OMNI. Text message scheduling app that incorporates GPS to help keep drivers safe.

DON’T be vague or cryptic. “I have an amazing story for you” will most likely lead to a quick click on delete rather than an “ooh” of excitement.

DON’T exaggerate the importance of your product with lists of strong adjectives. Words like ground-breaking, revolutionary, disruptive, or unique are like red flags to tech reporters. They will be the judge of just how important your creation is, if they decide to write about it. Don’t force it down their throats as this will only turn them against you.

DON’T use words commonly used in junk email or spam, such as “FREE” or “Congratulations.” Also avoid using excessive punctuation, such as exclamation points or dollar signs – the tell-tale signature of email spammers.

Get your Journalist’s name right!

DO make sure you address the journalist correctly. Spelling their name wrong will likely send your pitch straight to the bin.

DON’T write generic pitch emails which have obviously been sent to lists of journalists. Take the time and effort to hand pick journalists who might be interested in your story, and who write about products/services like yours, and then hand-craft an email to explain to them why they will want to cover it.

Keep it short and sweet

DO keep it brief and clear. Many journalists have stated they don’t read past the third sentence. Follow the general rule of: who/what/why should they be interested? If a journalist sees that they will have to scroll down through two pages of text to get to the bottom of your product, the chances are they will skip to the next one.

If you follow these basic rules, you should be able to pass the first hurdle and get your pitch email opened by a journalist. This advice will be continued with how to write a perfect pitch email.