In prime publicity season, our team is often sending hundreds of pitch emails every day. And PR pitches aren’t even our primary tool – we’re also creating event invites, building strategic partnerships, negotiating vendors, advising on strategy… not to mention selling our services. So we’re constantly trying to improve our communication and create brief, hard-hitting messages that connect and motivate in a matter of seconds.
Pitch emails aren’t just for publicists. Sales, business development, job searches… even most emails you send to your boss or team are appeals designed to pitch your point of view and position yourself as a valuable team member.
It should go without saying that your emails should always be professional, without spelling errors or missing attachments, match the tone of the recipient, and well-timed. But the content is what makes or breaks the connection.
Here are our top five questions to help you self-edit your pitch emails for maximum persuasive effect:
Who is the recipient?
Do you understand who you’re contacting and why? Double check that your email is properly addressed and that the details apply to the recipient; that it’s not just a cut-and-paste job or bcc spam attack.
Am I valuing her time?
Is the email short enough and is the information organized clearly enough to be easily digested? Are you clear in your “ask” and is it that ask something the recipient can easily execute in a reasonable time frame? More on this here.
What does she want?
What is are her needs or pain points, and how are you creating a solution versus expanding the problem? For example, we write our press releases in a journalistic style so that they can easily be repurposed to be published. When it comes to sales, remind the recipient of his or her greatest needs and how your product or service can improve their experience.
Am I making it very easy to learn more about my project?
Include the basics – what, when, where, why, who, how much – and then include links to the details. No need for long blocks of text, but don’t make it a multi-step process to get more information either. Include links and appropriate supporting materials in their proper formats.
Am I keeping it as simple and clear as possible?
Go back over the email and delete anything extraneous. People usually scan versus reading carefully, so be clear and to the point.
Being a great communicator is one of the highest-value traits you can bring to your audience, whether it’s your customer, your team, or a potential employer. Continue to evolve your communication skills and reap the benefits of better connections and more action.