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Are Reporters Opening Your Emails?

Your subject lines might be causing you to miss out on media coverage opportunities.

Most media pitching is done via email. And, the first thing that needs to happen for a pitch to result in coverage is for your target contact(s) to open the email.

Sounds simple, right?

Consider this: more than 42% of the journalists who responded to a 2019 survey receive between 11 and 100 pitches a day. And that’s all on top of their other work-related emails.

The bottom line is: your subject line matters. Really, really matters.

So, before you send that next media pitch, consider these tips to ensure your subject line is one that leads to opened emails.

Write at least 5 subject lines for each pitch.


Like most things in life, you need to practice writing must-open subject lines.

Once you’ve drafted your email pitch, put together five – or more – potential subject lines. Once you have your list of potential subjects, read through them all and think about which ones would make you most likely to open the email.

Consider the headline you’d like to see written as the result of your pitch.

Work backwards by considering the headline you’d like to see as the result of your email pitch. Does your dream headline – or some variation of it – work as an email subject line? Interest a reporter in your pitch by thinking like a reporter.

Try different subject lines for different reporters.

When you’re pitching multiple contacts with the same story angle, conduct an A/B test by using different subject lines for different reporters. Does one subject line get more responses than the others? If so, the higher response rate might actually indicate a higher open rate.

Don’t give away all the goods.

Leave something to be desired in your subject lines – a little mystery that makes the recipient want to learn more (by opening your email…).

Lastly, don’t ever use a meaningless, nondescript subject line like “New Article Idea” or “Story Pitch”. Those emails will never get opened.

If you’re interested in help with your media outreach efforts, please reach out to us anytime at info@418communications.com. We’d love to work with you!

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