The art of the pitch isn’t for the faint of heart. It can be hard to balance a healthy dose of conversational skills with getting to the point of the email, but it’s a crucial step in any public relations outreach. Follow these dos and don’ts to increase the likelihood that your next pitch email will receive a positive response.

  1. Do flatter their work:

    Show that you’re well-versed in their work by remarking on an article they’ve published or if their company has been in the news lately for positive reasons. This shows that you have a genuine interest in their company/work and interaction isn’t just about getting them to do what you want.

  2. Don’t forget to make the pitch:

    In your attempt to win your contact over, try not to get too distracted with pleasantries that you don’t make a clear point as to why you’re contacting him or her. Start off with a personal touch and make sure to clearly state why you’re contacting them and what you hope for this connection to result in.

  3. Do kill them with kindness:

    While ideally you should be providing reciprocation in your pitch, remember that you’re the one reaching out to them. Make their decision to say “yes” a lot easier to make with well-placed pleasantries.

  4. But don’t overdo it:

    It’s easy to spot someone being less than genuine, especially via email. An over abundance of exclamation points or too many “you’re awesome/amazing/fantastics” will tip your contact off that you’re desperate to make this pitch a success.

  5. Do keep it short:

    On a daily basis, you probably skim over the majority of your emails because otherwise it would be a full-time job just to keep up with the influx. The same thing holds true for whomever is receiving your email. With the constant influx of emails into our inboxes every day, few people are likely to read a wordy email. Allot some text space for flattery and kindness, but don’t let it take up so much of the body that the recipient never even reads to the ask.

  6. Don’t be afraid to follow up:

    People get busy and emails wind up at the bottom of their inbox. Your contact may have intended to respond to you, but yours got pushed to the end of the to-do list. If a few days have gone by without a response, send a friendly “just checking in” email to either trigger a response or confirm that they might not be a viable lead.

With these tips, you’re sure to increase your email responses and create mutually beneficial relationships to add to your contact list.