27,000 pitches reveal what editors want

Getting a journalist to notice your client’s story in an email pitch proves surprisingly easy, as this Fractl survey suggests. Just speak like a human and treat the reporter’s work with respect.

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I spend much of my day agonizing over pitches. I’ve actually dreamed (or perhaps had nightmares) about them.

Was that the right subject line? Was the intro a little too personal? Could the call to action be stronger next time? These are important questions, and we often revisit them when we pitch an editor the first time.

When you consider that 90 percent of journalists prefer to be pitched by email, it’s an understatement to say you’ll ask these key questions a lot. Whether you’re a freelance writer hoping to see your byline splashed across the front page of a publisher or a PR manager looking to share your client’s story, what you write before you click “send” makes a big difference.

How can you make sure your next pitch isn’t a shot in the dark? My team at Fractl recently analyzed 26,988 pitches to find out what in subject lines and introductions piques an editor’s interest.

Remember: You only get one chance to make a first impression. Here are six ways you can nail that initial interaction:

1. Prove to editors you have something new before they open your email.

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