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5 Tips for Writing Powerful Pitch Emails

5 Tips for Writing Powerful Pitch Emails

When we first became a team, the outreach department was asked to come up with a team name that would best describe us as a bunch. “Team Pizzazz” was the ultimate decision and I guess you could call it a self-fulfilling prophecy because every day we work on developing new ways to jazz up our pitches…

Since successful blogger outreach depends heavily on email communication, it’s crucial to properly inject personality and the right tone into your emails. This can make or break whether someone hits “reply” or “delete.”

For some, communicating through email can feel awkward, especially when approaching someone new. Roadblocks in email happen because it’s hard to read people without the aid of body language or inflections in their voice. Giving off the wrong impression is as easy as misusing a certain word or punctuation mark. It is possible to overcome these obstacles in email communication…

After connecting with people from a wide variety of niches, we’ve become pros at putting some “pizzazz” into our emails that evoke a response from the recipient. Read on for some of our favorite tips for adding an extra spark into emails…

How to Craft Attention-Grabbing Emails

Set the Tone Based on Your Research

Each outreach team member sends out dozens of personalized emails every day to a few carefully selected people. We spend a lot of time researching and getting to know these contacts based on the information we find about them on the Internet. We  closely examine their online persona by reading their content and following their Twitter feed. This pre-outreach research guides us on what kind of tone we should use in our initial pitch.

For example, if the person frequently uses witty remarks on their Twitter feed, we would feel more comfortable approaching them with a tone of humor in our emails that includes puns and pop culture jokes. On the other hand, if the recipient of the email writes about political topics and retweets breaking headlines, our tone would be more serious and factual when approaching them with content.

There is certainly no one-size-fits-all tone to use when approaching new contacts. Be diligent in researching online personas and it will become apparent what kind of tone the recipient prefers in email communication.

Greet & Close Emails with Feeling

Although it may sound inconsequential, pay close attention to how you open and close a message. These two things can say just as much to the recipient as the email itself.

The greeting that you use in an email sets the tone for the rest of the pitch. In the world of blogger outreach, our goal as an advocate of strong relationships with our contacts is to sound as personal, approachable and excited as possible.  In order to avoid sounding mundane, boring and spammy, avoid using ““Dear,” ““To whom it may concern” or ““Greetings.” These introductions come off as impersonal and templated.

When drafting your initial pitch email, keep it simple. In my experience, being greeted with ““Hi Britt” or ““Hey Britt” is straightforward without being to formal or informal.  It is casual and avoids the awkward goofiness of getting a ““Howdy” or ““Aloha”  when first receiving an email from a stranger.

The same rules apply with sign offs that you choose. But here, you can have a little more fun with your wording since your pitch has warmed the recipient up to you. Again, avoid words such as ““Sincerely” or ““Regards” when doing outreach as they seem emotionless.  Instead, thank them for their time by including a quick ““Thanks for your time!” or give them a push to respond with ““Can’t wait to hear back from you!”

Use Toolbar Functions Sparingly

Overall, the golden rule of ““less is more” applies when taking advantage of your handy email toolbars.

If you want to put emphasis on a phrase, go ahead and italicize.  For example, if you learned a lot from an article that the recipient recently wrote, italicize the fact that you gained a lot of knowledge and left the site feeling highly informed on that issue.

Of course, use obvious email etiquette and be wary of bolding or using colors to accentuate any words or phrases.  I live by the phrase ““you are bold to bold” and avoid bolding words when drafting emails for outreach purposes.

Emoticons are also a feature that you want to use sparingly and only once you’ve established a relationship with someone should you actually use them.  They are great for enhancing your emotion about what you have written, but never use them in place of words. :)

Connect with Your Recipient

Even if the person you are reaching out to blogs on a subject that is totally unfamiliar to you, there is still something that the two of you have in common or can agree upon.  Determine what that is and include a sentence or two about it within the opening of your email.

For example, if you find out through their blog’s About Me page or social media profiles that you share the same passion or hobby with that person, mention it!  Even better, share with them a tip related to that interest or point them in the direction of a resource that they may have not known about.

By connecting with them on a personal level and mentioning the common ground that you two share, you are showing your own emotional connection to their Internet presence.

Let Your Personality Shine Through

In the profession of PR, it is easy for one to overthink communication when forming business relationships.  We forget that the person behind the other screen is another human being who wants to connect with you and become engaged in a conversation, not receive an emotionless email that is perfectly worded and predictable.

Once you’ve established a relationship with someone, treat email as if it is face-to-face communication.  If it is appropriate, feel free to include a few jokes (I love a good pun!).  For example, I am currently promoting a piece that relates to football and one of the editors I am talking with mentioned that it is hard for them to host such large images.  This was the perfect time to explain to the publisher that we’ve “tackled” this issue before (haha, get it?) and can definitely provide a solution.

Also, take advantage of the hilarious resources the Internet provides us with. I use memes, gifs and YouTube videos to add some flair to my emails.  For example, after I’ve set up an infographic to go live exclusively on a highly authoritative site, I like to send over an excited gif (such as the Excited Baby Bieber meme) to the person I collaborated with.  Here’s an example:


As emotionless as the idea of an email might sound, using the tips above can help you write pitches that give a strong first impression.  By connecting with the recipient on a personal level and allowing your personality to shine through,  your pitch emails will make the recipient realize that the person behind the email is a person with “pizzazz” who truly cares to hear their response.

How do you add “pizzazz” to your pitches? Let us know in the comments below. 

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  1. Gemma says:

    I agree that emails need to communicate a passion as well as blunt content. However, if you are a marketer there is an angle that has not been tackled here. If you are marketing to a group of people who are buying your goods, there will be as many who won’t. They will have their reasons for not wanting to buy, just as much as those who want to.

    One of the most important emails in my series is always one that winnows these people out.

    If you are driving traffic from an adwords campaign, you can dig through your analytics and see where those people are coming from. The ones that drop out because the things you sell aren’t what they want. With care, you can discover where they come from. Then you stop bidding on those search terms, or add a negative somewhere.

    Email is still one of the most powerful tools on the planet, and the old style direct mail techniques still largely apply. If you don’t have an email sequence to follow up your landing page, you are missing out not only on sales but a heap of data.

    • Brittany Klontz says:

      I definitely agree, when it comes to using email for marketing purposes it is so important to leverage contact data for better targeting. Thanks for your insight, Gemma!

  2. Aoife says:

    Hi Chris!
    Great post! We’re an independent film-making company, so tend to send a lot of pitches out there to potential investors and sales/distribution companies to promote our upcoming and completed films. You shared some great tips on the prep work before pressing the send button, we also have in the back of our mind that these guys get hundreds of emails a day so how to make ours stand out!! Also, we too get a lot of people in the industry applying for roles in our projects and you can easily suss out the generic copy and paste from those that have made an effort to get to know you and your work.Certainly, there’s more of a chance of us getting back to those who make it personal and try to connect with us than those who don’t make the effort. Its always good to have these points at the forefront and act upon them, even if it means it takes a bit more time, hopefully getting the response will be worth it in the long run!
    Thanks for sharing!
    PS May i share some info from this post on my blog?

    • Gemma says:

      One little tip for you. Making your email headlines stand out – what do your clients most like – - – and what do they most hate? Sort out a few of those, split test them and find the winner!

    • Brittany Klontz says:

      Thank you for the feedback, Aoife! Personalizing your emails may take a little more time than if you were to send templated-emails, but your response rate will increase significantly. I’m so glad you found this post helpful, please feel free to share anything you’d like with the readers of The Producers Blog.

  3. Ayaz says:

    Certainly, great tips and having to the point and mentioning your research about certain things is really crucial.

    Thanks for sharing great tips. :-)

  4. carlo says:

    I use bold and italics to highlight important information in the email

  5. David Spears says:

    Great tips!. Also, subscribing to http://www.pitchingnotes.com can help with targeting a better pitch.

  6. Rambo Ruiz says:

    Thanks for sharing this tips as I am, this very moment, composing my first proposal email telling my target customers about my service.

    One thing idea that came to me is to check my previous messages on my inbox and see how some emails made it to my attention and got me taking some actions. :)