Authors should be very good writers but when it comes to e-mailing powerful, effective, and eye-catching email pitches to the news media, many fail to achieve the impact they believe they will get. Why is that?
Well, in terms of expectations, authors should know that many pitches fall short because they simply reflect a topic or point of view that won’t appeal to the media outlet or that particular columnist, producer, or editor. So the first rule for sending great emails is to properly identify the list of contacts that you should be reaching out to.
The next consideration is technical. Do you have the right e-mail address to reach the designated person? Did you avoid sending graphics, images or attachments so that the pitch doesn’t get rejected based on its size? Did you include a good subject line that would get their attention but not cause SPAM filters to hold your email?
Now we get into design. Is the email relatively short -- the equivalent of 300-400 words? Does it have bullet points for easy browsing? Do you have an orderly pitch that clearly explains what you are offering, who you are, and why this is relevant to them? Did you avoid weighing the pitch down with a zillion links that could pull their attention in too many directions? Do you spell-check everything? Did you use appropriate lingo and level of vocabulary? Is everything factual that you are sharing?
Next, you have clearly given a call to action or reason to respond? Did you create a sense of urgency and opportunity?
Your pitch will need to be in a readable font and typeface. Keep it to black and white. Multiple colors, weird typefaces or tiny fonts are a turn-off and a distraction. Don’t go crazy with bolding, underlining, or initializing everything.
Your email has one intention – to get the recipient to take an action step: call you, email you back, request a copy of the book, or to say they want to interview you. That’s it. The email alone often won’t automatically lead to an article or show appearance – but it can lead to that next step of fact-finding and shaping a chance to get media coverage. So, in this case, your goal is not to share everything in your email or tell the entire story of a 300-page book. It’s to act as a tease and serve as an introduction to what could be a great story.
Do not repeat yourself in the email. Do not lie or sound hyped up. Do not merely sell them on a problem, complain, or seek to lure them in on a dreamy claim. This is not an infomercial. Your email is your chance to make a positive impression so that you can get another chance to seal the deal.
Make sure your link (only one) works. Make sure your contact information is accurate and that you are accessible. Be confident, focused, and personable. They’ll respond favorably if they feel you can help them in some capacity. That’s all that you need to know. Now press send!
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2019. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.
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