4 ways to improve your pitch’s subject line

Great content gets noticed by proper pitching strategies, and a recent survey of top-tier publishers showed the best pitches are based on opening words.

Great content is nothing without a great promotional strategy, but getting in touch with highly engaging and popular publishers involves breaking through a good deal of noise.

Editors for lifestyle, entertainment, and tech publications receive more than 300 pitches per day. They have little time for mistakes: 53 percent say they’ve blacklisted at least one person this month due to bad pitches.

The teams at BuzzStream and Fractl surveyed writers and editors from 500 top-tier publications to find out what gets their attention. Most of them want you to pitch them via email, but even more noteworthy, 85 percent of them decide if they’re interested in a pitch based on the subject line alone.

To help you cut through the clutter and get your pitch noticed, your subject line needs to be top-notch. Here are a few tips from a white paper on pitching publishers:

1. Keep it brief. Shorter subject lines are key.

Though 75 percent of survey respondents prefer a subject line under 10 words, don’t cut it too short: A vague subject line can be perceived as click bait or not descriptive enough. A good rule of thumb is to limit your subject line to 10 words.

2. Make it information-based. Can you pull a key fact from your content? More than 80 percent said they want to see a statistic from a study or the headline of your content as your subject line.

Trying to be witty or personal might backfire on you, since less than 20 percent of publishers indicated that they want a catchy or funny subject line. Not surprisingly, very few said they were okay with a subject line that smelled like click bait.

3. Mention a past relationship. Many writers say they’ll open an email that’s from someone they’ve worked with before, so it’s a good idea to reference that in your subject line.

However, one-fifth told said a past relationship has no bearing on whether they’d open an email, so this strategy won’t work every time. Focus on building a solid relationship with writers and editors so they not only recognize you, but trust you as well.

4. Show off right away. More than 85 percent of writers like to see raw data in addition to a finished asset in pitches. A majority of high-authority editors also prefer exclusive content.

You can highlight these assets right away by indicating them in your subject line. Include keywords in your subject line like “exclusive” or “raw data” to quickly convey the contents of your message.

Your subject line is just as—if not more—important than the contents of your email pitch. By implementing these strategies, you stand a much better chance of making connections with top-tier writers and editors and getting your content noticed.

Cristina Lachowyn is a Media Relations Specialist with Fractl. For more from the survey, check out 21 Tips For Pitching Publishers And Writing Exceptional Subject Lines.

Topics: PR

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