Email Pitch: How to Craft the Perfect One

Steven2 responsesList Building

Sooner or later you’re going to want to contact another blogger with some type of proposal. You may be pitching a guest blog post you want him to publish on his blog, or you might want to ask him to be a guest on your blog. Or maybe you’re pitching an article idea to one of the online magazines. When the time comes you can’t just toss out your demands. You need to know how to craft the perfect e-mail pitch letter.

Address it to the Right Person

Most blogs and websites provide contact information. If you’re pitching a large site which may have several contributors, there’s usually an editor listed on the contact page. Nothing looks more unprofessional than addressing your email “To Whom It May Concern” when all you had to do was go to this page and there, in big bold letters, is the name of the exact person you need to contact.

Use Their First Name

Personally, I’d have a little trouble starting off my email with “Dear, Arianna” if I were writing to Arianna Huffington, and you certainly would want to fire off an email to the Queen of England and address it to “Elizabeth”. In most cases, though, you’re going to be contacting regular people, just like you and me, and you’ll make a better impression if you address them by their first name.

A lot of big-name bloggers and content editors receive email requests all day long and anything addressed to Mr. or Ms. Is automatically suspect. It just sounds like there’s a pitch coming and they’re instantly on guard. Use their first name. Not because you’re trying to trick them, but because you want to put them at ease.

Flattery Helps

A little flattery goes a long way when you’re trying to get someone to help you with something. And let’s face it – that’s basically the reason you’re pitching someone. They have the power to help you. Of course, you don’t want to go to extremes because too much flattery just makes you look sad and needy.

Start by praising the person for something relevant to your need. For example, if you’re trying to get them to accept your guest blog post you might start off by praising the quality of the content you see on that blog. Make it personal, too.

I wanted to thank you for your article on traffic generation tips. It was the best I’ve ever read and the amount of research in in-depth analytical information was phenomenol. After implementing some of your suggestions I’ve seen a 25% increase in my traffic.

Next, write a brief paragraph that blends you flattery with the reason for your request, so you ease them into it gradually.

I particularly liked your suggestion about guest blogging and I’m happy to say I’ve already had two guest posts accepted by ABC Blog and XYZ Blog. The increased exposure has already had an effect on my blog and I’m thoroughly enjoying replying to the commentors on those two guest posts.

Now, you can make your pitch…

(First name here) Now that I have some experience with guest blogging and understand how to provide the type of content blog owners are looking for, I’m wondering if you’d be interested in a guest blog post I’m working on titled, “Top Three Things I’ve Learned About Guest Blogging From This Blog.” I feel this article would benefit your readers because it’s written from personal experience, following your advice. I think they’d find it quite informative and entertaining and as a bonus, they’d get to see that your advice really does work.

And there you have it. The perfect email pitch letter. In fact, this example is so good I think I’m going to use it myself!

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2 Comments

  1. Dan Aldridge

    Steven – Just the right combination of flattery and pitch to get the job done. I like it. We’ve experimented with e-mail blasts with mixed success. Should we maybe personalize each one after reviewing the prospect’s background. It seems you may be suggesting something like that.

    Also, what’s your opinion of LinkedIn “inmail” and ads with the HTML version of an e-mail campaign?

    Cheers,
    Dan Aldridge

    1. Dan, it’s all about balance… When you have a 100k email list, you simply can’t go through them one by one to personalize them. However, you can use some variables to make it look more personal.

      This post is more about when you want to reach out specifically to one person or company.

      I didn’t really use the LinkedIn system yet so I can’t comment on that. Regarding HTML versions of Email blasts, it’s all about testing. It might work for some websites and not work for others… Make a split-test and decide for yourself.

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