Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Why your Pitching E-mails get Deleted

My first pitching experience was absolutely nerve racking complete with clammy hands and nervous voice. I know rejection is part of the industry and pitching in general, but I couldn't help  but feel nervous about my precious pitch not getting a second look. A recent article in  Business Insider shed some light on why a pitch gets deleted and the specific things to avoid when pitching.

Some of the top reasons e-mails never get opened can be related to the following issues; unknown sender, non-compelling subject line, recipient's name spelled wrong, and boring first sentence (you can see it in gmail without ever opening the email). The article further explains that even if your e-mail does get opened, there is a 50/50 chance of your e-mail actually being acknowledged. Either you wrote something untrue about the recipient in attempt to connect with them, your e-mail was too long, or your pitch is irrelevant to what the reporter covers.

With that in mind, its important before you pitch to do some research on the recipient. Research recipients articles or Twitter to find their tailored  interests. Also using a site like Linkdin could help you make a personal connection with the recipient.

Another thing to avoid when pitching is buzz words, there is nothing more annoying to a reporter than a comparison between your topic and an already successful established event or product such as Foursquare. One of BEST things you can do however, is have an intriguing subject line. It catches the recipient right away while providing all the information that the e-mail contains. Its a hard task, but the success is worth the effort.

 The article even provides an example pitch:
Hi Alyson,

Wanted to let you know that a startup BI has written about in the past is seeking between [X] million and [Y] million in Series A funding. The company's founder has received inquiries from a number of VC firms and is now in California meeting with possible investors.
Thought this might be a decent piece of news for you. Let me know if you have any questions or want to speak with the founder. Here's a video of him recently on Fox. [X]

As an aside, my brother went to Syracuse. I sent him your website in case he wants to get a t-shirt for his girlfriend :)


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