Unsolicited email pitches from companies and PR firms are the bane of my existence.
Every day, I get emails from people I don’t know, asking me to promote either their company or their product or a thought leadership piece by their CEO.
I reject 99.9% of these requests. If you work in PR or in any capacity in which you pitch bloggers on writing stories for you, please pay attention to these 5 steps. These are the 5 reasons why I never promote you.
1 – You never ask if you can email me before you do. I’ve been blogging now for 15 years. I can count on one hand the number of times someone has emailed me and asked my permission to pitch them BEFORE they pitched me. It simply doesn’t happen.
If it did happen, I would reply to that person, and thank them. I would then ENCOURAGE them to pitch me on a provided list of topics.
Instead, I get pitched by people I have never heard of. And since they don’t know me, that leads to #2….
2 – You pitch me on topics that are completely unrelated to what I cover. Anyone that reads this blog for any amount of time knows the topics that are covered here. Anything concerning customer behavior, brand advocacy, content strategy, ambassador programs, etc.
If you pitch me on the exciting new line of cooking utensils you are rolling out for the Fall, I cannot mark Report Spam in my inbox fast enough.
Take 10-15 minutes to read my blog. Familiarize yourself with the topics I cover. Then email me, ask if you can pitch me on topics that are in line with what I cover.
I promise you that I will say ‘Absolutely!’
3 – You never mention how I will benefit from covering your story. What’s in it for me? We both know what you get out of it, a link and publicity. What do I get?
When you pitch me, think about how *I* will benefit. What value are you creating for ME?
If I can clearly see the value in your pitch, I will act on it. Every. Single. Time.
4 – You pitch me on a story from a SME that I could write better than the SME. This goes back to understanding the topics I write about. If you pitch me on having your SME talk on a topic I discuss regularly, I will probably say no. Because I can likely cover the topic better than your SME can.
So instead, pitch me on how your SME would like to share how his or her company built an employee brand ambassador company. Or the results from building a Voice of the Customer initiative. That I would be interested in. But don’t pitch me on your SME explaining how to build an amazing brand ambassador program. I’ve already written that post.
5 – Don’t try to followup with me on a pitch that I’ve already written about. Honestly, this just happened to me and it’s what prompted me to write this post.
As I said above, I reject 99.9% of the email pitches I get. Usually because the topic of the pitch is completely off topic for what I write about. And I don’t waste time replying, which leads to a followup email in a day or two asking if I am interested.
Well recently, I actually got a pitch on a topic I cover. So I immediately wrote and published a post on the information I was pitched on. I then thanked the person who pitched me, and encouraged them to continue to send me pitches, and gave her a list of topics I wanted to be pitched on.
See how that works? When I get a relevant pitch, I work with the person to ensure that they keep sending me MORE pitches on topics I want to cover.
So I emailed this person back. She replied immediately, thanking me for the post.
The VERY NEXT DAY, she emails me asking if I had reviewed the study that she pitched me on the day before. The same study I wrote about that same day, and which she thanked me for doing so.
All that did was confirm to me that I am just a name on a list to her, and she had no appreciation for me actually answering her pitch and replying.
So what do you think the chances are that I will answer a second of her pitches? Yeah, not good.
If You Want Me to Answer Your Pitch Every Single Time…
1 – Read my blog. Familiarize yourself with the topics I cover.
2 – If you or your clients don’t cover the same topics I do, then DO NOT PITCH ME.
3 – If you or your clients DO cover the same topics I do, then EMAIL ME and ASK IF YOU CAN PITCH ME. Tell me what topics I cover that you have pitches for. I promise you that I will reply to you, and be elated that you took the time to ask. If you catch me in the right emotional state, I may be so overcome that I ask for your hand in marriage.
4 – Once you’ve established that you have a relevant pitch AND that I am interested, give me all the information and resources I need to create a better pitch. Such as custom graphics, quotes from relevant SMEs, access to relevant stakeholders at your company.
Now if you are reading this list and thinking to yourself “Aw Mack, that sounds like a ton of work!” No shit, doing a good job TAKES PUTTING IN THE WORK.
Do you want your daily job task list to show that you sent out 200 email pitches, or do you want it to say that you got 20 bloggers to say ‘yes’ to your pitch?
Conversions is the name of the game. Follow the above guidelines and you’ll get far more conversions on your email pitches. Keep following these guidelines and you’ll see you actually send out FAR FEWER pitches as most of the people that say ‘yes’ to the first one, will likely say yes to the second and third one as well.