1. Connect on social first
Social media offers the perfect way to build a relationship with the person you’re sending a pitch to, before you even hit send. Do a bit of digging and learn about the recipient’s background in as much detail as possible. If you’re a connection across a social channel they may be more likely to respond to your email when it lands in their inbox.
2. Find the right person to send it to
Use your research skills to find the right person in the organisation to send your email to rather than simply sending it to a generic contact mailbox. There really is no need for the middle man, do your research and hopefully you will get a response from the person you are really after.
3. Use the person’s name and make it personal
Personalised pitch emails are the only pitch emails you should be sending! Make sure you address the person you’re sending the pitch to by name, customise your copy to make sure it’s noticeable that you have done your research and know about their background and field of work. This will show that attention has been made which will show the recipient that you have selected them to pitch to rather than sent out a mass of emails.
4. Check for guidelines
See if the organisation you’re pitching to have any guidelines on how they expect pitches to be submitted. Make sure you adhere to any guidelines and follow the advice they give you. This shows you’ve researched the organisation and listened to what they have to say.
5. Be brief and to the point
Do the 10 second test. If the recipient has only 10 seconds to read this email are they going to be drawn in straight away? Make the information you’re providing as brief as possible without missing out any key information. Your aim is to make a big impact with few words. Cut straight to the facts and make sure you link to any research or significant data.
6. Don’t give away too much
Whilst you want to share as much information as possible, hold a few things back. What you don’t want is for someone to read your pitch and take your key ideas then claim them for themselves without giving you the credit you deserve. If you leave them wanting to know more, they are more likely to reply to your email.
7. Explain mutual benefits
Explain the ways that the person receiving the pitch will benefit from the collaboration as well as yourself. If there is no benefit for the recipient, they’re not likely to go forward with what you’re pitching (no matter how good it is). A good pitch is always mutually beneficial.
8. Don’t exaggerate
As tempting as it may be to make things sound even better than they already are, don’t over exaggerate any of your points. Stick to the facts and let your writing win you the pitch, rather than promises that can’t be kept.
9. Prove your points
Following on from the previous point, if you’re stating any facts such as “first in the market” make sure your claims can be substantiated so that your pitch is credible.
10. Follow up
If you haven’t heard back in a couple of days, send a follow up email to see if the email was received. If you haven’t done so already, connect with the recipient of your pitch email on social media, seeing this connection request may prompt them to address your unopened email, and keeps your name fresh in their mind. Cautionary note: following up is always a good idea, harassing a response out of the recipient is never a good idea!