Violate typical email etiquette to get your pitches read

Your name and employer are in your email signature, so why are you redundantly leading off your email pitch with that stuff?

You’ll save 20 precious words or so and get to your news much faster if you dispense with the friendly greeting you likely typically use.

If this hadn’t occurred to you yet, don’t worry, you’re in good company. About two-thirds of the targeted pitches I review during my workshops and consulting projects begin with something like:

Dear [name],

I hope you’re doing well. I’m Rachel Cunningham, and I represent Caniff Electronics, a B2B seller of server hardware and services . . .

And you do it for a good reason: you’re a nice person :).

Because what if a stranger approached you at work and dove right into offering you something without introducing himself? You’d rightfully think he was a tool.

But email pitching is not the same as an in-person meeting, and the etiquette is different. In fact, some journalists or bloggers could consider you insensitive for “making” them wade through extra info before you get to your reason for contacting them.

So when you’re cold-contacting, don’t lead with yourself. Instead, focus squarely on what’s in it for them:

Dear [name],

I know you cover hardware, so you might be interested in the announcement coming tomorrow about . . .

If they’re interested enough to wonder where you work, they can glance down to the end of your brief email pitch and get that info from your email signature.

This article was originally published on May 21, 2015

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