7 essential tips on writing a pitch email that works
Before we move on to the examples, here are a few not-so-obvious tips on writing successful pitch emails. Using them can help take your email pitches to the next level and increase your chances of getting that craved-for positive reply.
Avoid cold pitches
People instinctively trust people they know, even though vaguely, more than complete strangers. That’s why cold pitches (i.e., pitches to people you have no connection with whatsoever) are always the hardest to nail, so it’s best to avoid them if you can help it.
To “warm up” your recipient, research that person and the company they represent, and try to connect via a referral or a social network such as LinkedIn prior to sending your pitch to them. You can also use a networking event, online or offline, to acquire connections. Even if they won’t remember you, a reference to an industry event you’ve both been to will have a positive effect.
Double-check the recipient’s email address
You wouldn’t want to send off your carefully crafted pitch to someone who has nothing to do with it, would you? To save yourself the trouble, always double-check the recipient’s address to make sure it’s written correctly.
And that’s not just the address that needs checking, but the recipient’s name as well.
Moreover, typos, errors, and grammar mistakes should not make their way into your email either. To ensure you got everything right, re-read your pitch email a couple of times prior to hitting the “Send” button, and use grammar checkers (Grammarly, ProWritingAid, Google’s built-in checker, etc.) if necessary.
Pick the right tone of voice
Depending on the type of your pitch and the person you’re addressing it to, you might want to tweak the tone of voice of your email slightly. For example, sales and collaboration pitches can be more casual and conversational (within certain boundaries), while business pitches call for a more formal approach.
When you’re unsure what tone of voice to choose, it’s always best to err on the side of formality. This way, even though you risk sounding a bit stiff, you’ll at least avoid coming off as ill-mannered and unprofessional.
Leave out unnecessary details
As we’ve already mentioned earlier, it’s crucial that your pitch is concise and focused. That means it’s best to omit any unnecessary and/or irrelevant details that might distract the reader from the gist of your message.
In case the recipient needs additional information, they can ask for it in their reply email. To prompt them to do so, you can add a short sentence indicating that you’ll be glad to provide further details at their request if they are interested in the offer.
Emails that scream they are copied and pasted are a definite “no” when it comes to pitches. Even in marketing communications, personalization is one of the general best practices — but in business, personalizing every element of your email is a must.
The same as in marketing, personalization starts from the subject line — for example, you can mention your recipient’s name or their company name right away. If you’re sending a bunch of emails at a time, using A/B testing will help you pick the subject line that works best.
Apart from subject lines, it’s worthwhile to add personalized details such as company/brand names in the email body whenever possible (using merge tags will make the task easier). Approaching the “value” paragraph the right way, following our advice in the previous section, will also add a personalized feel to your email.
Be sure to follow up
In email marketing, sending follow-up emails after getting no response is a commonly used tactic. For pitch emails, it works just as well. If your first email went unnoticed, following up with another one can make a difference between losing a prospect and closing a deal.
To avoid being too pushy, be sure to wait about a week before following up. But don’t wait too long unless you want to start all over again. In your follow-up, mention your initial email and briefly reiterate the essence of its contents, wrapping up with a cordial request for any sort of feedback.
Prepare for a negative reply
Last but not least — the sad fact is, pitch emails, especially cold ones, don’t get positive replies very often. The best thing you can do about it is to accept the fact and not get too downhearted if you get a “no”.
In fact, you can consider yourself lucky if you get any answer at all because that means the recipient considered your offer significant enough to be noticed. Whenever you get a negative answer, warmly thank the person for responding and ask for permission to write again when you have another idea, thus securing a connection for future pitches.