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Productivity series

The Best Way To Get a Journalist to Notice Your Pitch (Part 2 of 3)

How to maximize your chances of getting a reply from a journalist using data


Pitch Reports

This is part 2 of a 3 part series. If you haven’t done so already, you can read the first post here.

In the second part, we’ll go through a full example of pitching to a reporter and learning from the feedback. We’ll look at different ways to test different pitches, and see if we can learn how successful they were through data.

First, lets create a basic Excel sheet with a couple columns:

  1. Email Address (of Reporter)
  2. Opens (Number of Opens)
  3. Clicks (Number of Clicks)
  4. Replied (True/False)
  5. Pitch used (ID of Pitch)

These are some simple things we can track.

You won’t be able to track these metrics just by using Microsoft Outlook or Gmail. You’ll need to use some kind of email tracking or CRM software. But, lets assume you have access to one of these pieces of software. How are you able to learn from these metrics?

We will send two different pitch emails. Find two approaches you want to take in your pitch email. Test two different subject lines and bodies in the two different emails. We’ll name the first email Pitch 1, and the second Pitch 2.

Now, we’ll select 5 journalists to send the Pitch 1 to, and 5 journalists to send the Pitch 2 to. Using an email tracking software, send out the emails to each of the journalists. Most email activity happens within the first 2 hours of spending the email. So you’ll be able to quickly get metrics on opens, clicks, etc.

We created a demo sheet to show what you’d get. Below, you can see how I emailed 10 journalists, and their opens/clicks data.

Sample Media List

We can see that 3 people replied to my emails, 6 people clicked on my links, and 8 people opened my email. The success rate here is pretty high:

  1. 80% of the journalists opened my emails
  2. 60% of the journalists clicked my links
  3. 30% of the journalists replied to my email

This helps you measure the success of your pitch email. You can compare them to other pitches you send, and compare. In my experience, you should be able to compare email metrics of different campaigns.

You can learn from what kind of subject lines and bodies work better as well:

  • Pitch 1 was opened by 4 journalists, and pitch 2 was opened by 4 journalists.
  • A link in pitch 1 was clicked by 2 journalists, and in pitch 2 by 3 journalists.
  • Pitch 1 got 2 replies, and pitch 2 got 1 reply.

The more number of journalists you email, the more you’ll understand what kind of pitches are successful. The data is quite small here, but we can still make observations.

  • Pitch 1 had a good subject line (people clicked the email from their inbox)
  • Pitch 2 had well placed links or a better body (people clicked the links)
  • Pitch 1 was replied to more by journalists (more appealing?)

If you had from 50-100 journalists, you’d be able to make better observations from it. A trick is to send 2 pitch emails to 15-20 people, and see which one performs better. Then, send the better email to the remaining 50-100 people you’re pitching. This will help you test your pitches, and use the more successful one.

At the end of the day, people don’t open/click/reply to emails for certain reasons. There are ways to measure which emails work better. I usually use them to maximize the chances of someone opening up my emails.

In the next post, I’ll be going through how to compare these between campaigns. Subscribe below to get it in your inbox!

This post was written by . Abhi graduated from New York University with a degree in Creation of Artificial Intelligence. He is the co-founder of NewsAI.


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