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Productivity series

Why Personalizing Your Pitches Matters and How To Do It Well

Why you should personalize emails to reporters and tips on how to personalize them


Journalist

In marketing it is shown that personalized email newsletters get higher enagement. Knowing this, I wanted to think about how this would apply to sending emails to reporters.

We know that journalists get a lot of pitches in their inbox per day. A study by Fractl shows that journalists at top tier publications get roughly 70 pitches per day.

Imagine having to look through 70 emails per day to find pitches that were relevant to you. If it was me, I’d look at:

  1. How appealing the subject line is to me
  2. Is it relevant to my beat?
  3. Is it a blast or a personalized pitch?

I’d look through my mailbox to find subject lines that were appealing to me, and would be something that interested me. Then, I’d check to see the contents of the email was relevant for me. If the email wasn’t targeted to me, that would be a deal-breaker. Research done by many organizations support these hypothesis.

We’re less likely to respond to emails that don’t have us directly mentioned in them. A good way to think about it is: would you have opened & responded to this email if you got it.

Tips on personalizing your emails

1. Never BCC people

Never BCC many reporters in a single email. Or even CC (much worse). They can see who you CC in the email - so they’ll know you’re obviously blasting the email.

Always send a reporter a direct email. It’s very easy for them to realize when you’re blasting an email if you’re using BCC or CC.

2. Don’t use an email marketing platform that brands your email

Some email marketing platforms leave branded content at the bottom. For example, “Sent by Mailchimp”.

Or they have an “Unsubscribe” link at the bottom. These make it pretty clear that you’re sending an email out to a large list (rather than sending it through Gmail or Outlook).

3. Always add their name on top

Never send an email to a reporter without having a salutations and greeting at the top. It’s the easiest way to spot a mass email nowadays. You’re going to get a much lower response if you’re not adding their first name. It’ll go straight in the archive folder.

Also, adding any other information such as their latest headline (or something else) helps. Especially when you’re sending a cold email. Since it shows that you’re familiar with their work.

4. Include your own information

Always include your own personal information. Such as, phone number, twitter, and any other information that might be relevant. It’ll be easy for them to verify you (through social channels) & call you if they need to.

Further reading

From our blog:

From others:

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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