13 ways to keep your pitch from getting deleted

Follow these tips and you’re sure to get better results the next time you pitch a reporter via e-mail.

In survey after survey, journalists consistently cite e-mail as their preferred method of contact—provided the pitch is relevant and targeted to the particular journalist, that is. What else can you do to keep your e-mail pitch from being deleted? Here’s a quick rundown of the advice I’ve found most effective at getting pitches noticed:

1. Attention-grabbing subject line. With e-mail, you only have a second to grab the recipient’s attention. Assuming your news is relevant, the most attention-grabbing subject line might be your release headline. Try to avoid humor in the subject line, as some people might not get the joke. You should also try to avoid common words used in junk e-mail or spam, such as “FREE” or “Congratulations.” Also be sure not to use excessive punctuation, such as exclamation points or dollar signs—commonly used by e-mail spammers. Use a quick, descriptive subject line that leaves no question of what your e-mail is about.

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