How does the pitch end?

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People often ask me how to phrase the very first words of their email pitch – which actually barely matters at all. But nobody asks about the very end, which is crucial.

Yes – a surprising amount of people in my training sessions ask if they should begin with “Dear Andy” vs. “Andy” vs. “Hi Andy” vs. whatever else they come up with.

Doesn’t matter. Only keys are to get the name right and don’t call him “Mr. Johnson.”

Instead, look much more closely at the way you conclude your pitches. Here are some common approaches:

Let me know if you’re interested . . .

Thanks for your consideration . . .

If you’re interested, you can access . . .

What weaknesses do all those have in common?

First, they aren’t direct questions

You know how pressed and distracted these folks are. When they are skimming your pitch they are looking for a way to justify ignoring or deleting it. If you’re successful at intriguing them, you gotta capture that moment and prompt them to engage with you right then. Not a soft “let me know if you’re interested . . .”

Instead, pop a simple question. Something like, “Can I send you more details about . . .?” The goal is to turn their mild curiosity into a simple action. They can just hit reply and type “Yes.”

Second, and more subtly, they don’t communicate a lot of confidence in the pitch.

You and I know that every journalist isn’t going to cover every pitch. Not even close. But we should only be sending them stuff that we sincerely believe they’ll be interested in. Your confidence should come across in your language. No, I didn’t say presumptuousness – I said confidence.

If you’re really thinking about this, you’re realizing right about now that the real work here doesn’t happen with simple word choice at the end of typing an email. In fact, the real work happens before you ever start off, regardless of whether you’re a “Dear” or a “Hi” person :).

The real work starts way back when you develop a compelling story angle. And then match it with appropriate journalists or influencers. That makes your confidence and language automatic.

This article was originally published on Mar 20, 2019.