Today we bring you a guest post from Kelsey Libert, VP of marketing at Fractl. It follows a joint study conducted by Fractl and relationship CRM software maker BuzzStream. Click here to download the full white paper.
Maybe you haven’t been getting the type of responses you’ve been hoping for. Perhaps you haven’t heard anything back at all. It might begin to feel like all your effort isn’t worth it. But then you remember that everything could change if a high-authority digital publisher picks up your story. Getting coverage from one of these publishers will guarantee wide distribution of your ideas, more so than just about any other way you might share your content.
Still: You’ve been trying, and nobody seems interested. If you know your content is good, it could be that the very email you are sending to get your work noticed is in fact keeping it from being discovered at all.
Our research of 500 top-tier publishers shows that email is by far the best method to pitch writers. While this news isn’t earth-shattering, it is important to note that 85% of editors determine whether or not they are interested in a pitch by the subject line of the email. This bit of information is golden and goes a long way in explaining how almost all the 300 or so daily editor pitches go unread.
If you want to get your email noticed, make the subject line short; 10 characters or less is preferred. If you understand the types of catchy headlines that entice people to click on content, this isn’t the place for you to use them.
Editors agree almost 100% that clickbait subject lines are a great way to get ignored, or worse, blacklisted. They’ve only got a few seconds to decide if they want to review your pitch or not, and they would appreciate if your subject described what you’re really trying to get published.
Furthermore, original research is great, and editors would love to see any unique statistics in the subject line.
If you have worked with a particular writer before, you may be in luck. Over two-thirds of respondents said they would be more likely to open your email if the subject line reminded them that you have worked together in the past. Whether or not you’ve worked with the person before, it is still more important to pitch ideas that are fresh and relevant.
Above all, keep the formatting professional. Things like emoticons or excessive exclamation points annoy editors and reduce the chance that they will open your pitch.
Take some time to research the writer you are emailing. Find out what type of writing style they prefer, and tailor your subject to their interests. At the same time, avoid being too friendly. If an editor is offended, annoyed, or otherwise bothered by your emails, he or she will blacklist you. Getting sent straight to spam is a very bad thing if that person is the gatekeeper to a major digital publisher.
Whatever you do, don’t lose confidence that you can reach bigger publishers and have your work shared with the masses. All it takes is a bit of planning and an understanding of what the other side is looking for. Once you are armed with this information, it becomes easier to get your pitch noticed, which will get you highly valued publicity.
Here’s a infographic from the project (click here for the link).