In this article we’ll talk about how to get journalists to open, click, and interact with your email pitches. I came across a recent article by Agility PR Solutions, which issued a breakdown on their recent statistics gained from their database analysing over 4,400 distributions. Before we highlight the most popular times of opens and click through rates retrieved from journalists, we’ll begin with the main fundamentals.
First things first
Off the bat, there are five basic principles to be noted and applied towards distributing and outreaching to people. You must establish a personal presence and try to aim for a connection with journalists and writers. Your initial goal is to make sure the action is relevant and that it will appeal to them, whether it’s content, videos, any images or an infographic you’re trying to pitch.
So, how do you accomplish this?
- Target: It all starts by finding the right journalist. Do your research, see their recent publications, find their social platforms and seek out what they’re currently talking about. If all the dots connect towards your distribution, you may have a potential connection.
- Personalise: Once you’ve found the right person, be sure to lead with their name and personalise the email. As obvious as this may sound, you’d be surprised how many people make this mistake and simply just send out a drafted template. It’s most likely that journalists won’t interact as much with the approach of ‘hi there’ or being referred to something else such as “Dear Sir/Ma’am”. Ensure that what you’re pitching is personalised to each individual.
- Address: General/real person: Ensure the sending address comes from a personal or general email. It’s much more welcoming as opposed to it coming from a company’s address or something that looks out of place and not from a real person.
- Eye catching: Subject lines are more valuable than you think. Journalists receive a massive amount of emails flooding into their inboxes every single day. So, bear that in mind and ask yourself the question, what makes mine stand out from the rest? You want to invite them in and get them to open and relate with your email. Keep your subjects to the point and intrigue them for further information.
- Formatting: Incorporate the correct formatting in your outreach distributions, as jumbling up the words or making the font too big or too small may make it unreadable for the reader. Clearly label your key points, the main area of focus and give your distribution an opening introduction. Alternatively, you can head straight to the point, and simply supply what it is you’re trying to reach out with, without giving it an opening introduction.
Improving your open rates margin
Understanding the fact journalists receive a vast amount of emails every day, you want to inspire them to open yours. There are two ways of doing this. You can expect to imagine when they see another email come through, what would make them draw in towards yours and open it? Something relevant to them, intriguing and engaging is the answer. Based on the research, it appears Monday afternoons are the best times to send your emails.
- Pitch 1: Lead the way with your distribution and highlight the main idea or couple of points in the subject field, as that’s the first thing they’re most likely to see and scan read. Keep the subject field between 60 to 75 characters, then follow on by simply pasting in the release or what it is you’re trying to push. It may be straight to the point, but according to Agility’s recent article, their database recorded more than three quarters of the top distributions that were recently made were issued by these kinds of formats being used.
An example here: https://content.agilitypr.com/hubfs/RoyalBallet-email.pdf
As you can see, the formatting is easy on the eye, structured well, along with some images and has the relevant times and dates of the event in place. Additional information is provided at the bottom in regards to the release for the journalist’s eye. There are further high-resolution images to download, contact information and where the distribution is coming from.
- Pitch 2: If you feel your press release or any other material you’re wanting to publish needs an introduction, do so. Add in a brief summary to the pitch; maybe you want to go over how the research was founded or maybe you feel it needs any further additional information or statistics to be included. Just be sure to be brief and to the point.
Gaining more clicks
Tuesday around noon is one of the most popular times to send out your material to gain reads and clicks from journalists, according to Agility’s recent update. The most common number of links calculated were around six or seven, all of which typically located to three locations: Dropbox, YouTube and Google Drive.
The database also revealed the emails that produced the top click through rates, which contained 800+ words. So, judging from this, if you’ve got more information to offer, be sure to include it. Just ensure to stay on track and keep their interest throughout.
We’ll be testing out this approach and will feedback the results we’ve gained in an upcoming post. We’ll send out and aim to target around 100+ people and outlets. The update will highlight how many opens and link clicks we receive in comparison to our normal go to traditional methods. From this, we’ll be able to test out and see if the approach is more successful.