Write an engaging email, optimize recipients list and send your media pitch with Prowly
Journalists and editors are flooded with press releases. Various other demand on their time and attention. Based on research from Fractl, 46.5% of journalists receive at least 11 pitches per day, while 28.64% receive over 26.
To stand out from the crowd and improve your chances of getting a reply, it definitely helps to know how to choose recipients and what to include in an email pitch.
In this article, you’ll learn how to:
- Optimize your recipient list
- Write an email pitch
- Personalize your email for specific recipients
- Review errors and suggestions
- Save, schedule, or send your email pitch
- Track email effectiveness
Optimize your recipient list
Before writing your media pitch, you should first find relevant contacts and prepare a list of journalists who could be interested in covering your story. If you don’t know any relevant media contacts yet, you can find them through Prowly’s Media Database - either by searching manually, or using contact recommendations based on the content of your press release.
Once you have your contact list ready and organised, go to Emails and click New Email. Now, you need to select recipients of your email:
In the Select Recipients tab, click on Add recipients. You can then choose any Contacts, Lists, My filters, or Filters in the respective tabs. This essentially means that you can distribute your pitch to predefined groups and lists that you’ve created earlier in the CRM.
And the best part? Prowly enables very flexible recipient selection. With the same personalized email, you can easily target different lists and filters. Not to mention that Prowly’s smart suggestions will help you optimize your recipient list before launching an email distribution in order to protect the sender’s reputation and increase delivery rates.
Here’s what smart suggestions look like:
- Exclude GDPR- protected contacts
Contacts that aren’t GDPR-compliant should not receive this email.
- Exclude unsubscribed contacts
Contacts that unsubscribed from receiving your emails should not receive this email. We exclude them by default.
- Exclude blacklisted contacts
Blacklisted contacts won’t receive this email.
- Exclude contacts that hard bounce often
Contacts that have hard bounced are potentially invalid or outdated.
- Exclude contacts that soft bounced recently
Exclude recipients that have encountered difficulties in recent delivery attempts.
- Exclude contacts with low open rates
For contacts that haven't opened 10 recent emails from you.
- Exclude contacts with low click rates
For contacts that haven't clicked any links in 10 recent emails from you.
- Exclude contacts with low-quality scoring
Low deliverability to these contacts is predicted by an in-depth analysis of email addresses. Prowly has detected issues with email addresses of certain, which decreased your deliverability rates in the past. Excluding them should have a positive influence on your overall email performance.
In the optimization section, you can also find a warning about risky contacts: Risky contacts detected
Spam traps, invalid or disabled email addresses detected through comprehensive AI analysis of your contacts. Emails won't be sent to them.
Such recipients are automatically excluded, as your message is likely not to get delivered to them. This, in turn, can decrease your sender reputation, negatively impact delivery rates of all your emails in the future, or even result in your email address being blacklisted.
To double-check what the final recipient list looks like in detail, you just need to move from Select Recipients to the Verify Recipients tab. Here’s also where you can exclude particular journalists from receiving your message.
Avoid mass pitching. Keep in mind that effective PR revolves around relationships, and these require a personalized approach. Launching mass email campaigns can also affect email deliverability and your reputation as a sender.
Write an email pitch
It’s important to realize that a journalist on a busy schedule will most likely scan your pitch first to see if it’s worth a closer look. Make sure you structure it in the right way to make the most important details stand out immediately.
When creating an email pitch in Prowly, you can easily structure, enrich, and personalize your message to grab the attention and resonate with your audience (even when you send it to hundreds or thousands of contacts from your CRM).
How should you structure your email pitch, then? Sandra Coffey, Media Publicity Mentor, usually divides her pitches into four paragraphs:
- Paragraph 1: Lead off with your story and, ideally, mention a piece written by the journalist that relates to yours. Here, you are showing your relevance.
- Paragraph 2: State clearly what you want the journalist to do. Do you want them to interview a new hire, cover an event, do a story on a study you have done? This gives the journalist an idea of how much time they will need to actually cover your story.
- Paragraph 3: Explain why this story is important. Really ask yourself what is the most important thing a journalist needs to know about it. This is a good place to link to your site, your report, or any other resource that might be valuable.
- Paragraph 4 – Sign off. Yes! You are finished. Try to have an interesting sign-off but this is not essential. Being polite works just fine. Remember to put in your contact details, though.
By sending in a short pitch that is relevant to its recipients, you are giving yourself the best possible chance of staying on their radar. At this stage, adding some personalization and different elements to your email pitch definitely doesn’t hurt - especially since you can easily do so with Prowly.
If you want to save some time, use Prowly to draft your email with AI! Learn more here.
Personalize and enrich your message
When writing your email pitch in Prowly, you can leverage different personalization tokens—each one represents a contact property, which is why it pays off to have your media lists updated and filled with as much information as possible.
You can use these details to create slightly different email pitches depending on your relationship with specific recipients, their location, or their specialization.
- Click the Personalize button located above the email creator in the top right corner
- Choose which data property of the contact you would like to use for content personalization
- As a cautionary measure, you can also set a fallback value in case some contacts are missing a data property you have chosen for personalization (if there's no fallback value, your recipient sees a blank space instead).
List of available personalization tokens:
- First name
- Last name
- Personalized greeting
- Zip code
How else can you make your email pitch more engaging?
Apart from the classic, plain-text message with a link to your press release, you are also able to attach files that can be downloaded by the recipients upon clicking, add images or CTA buttons, as well as embed an entire press release you’ve created in Prowly (or its summary) into the body of your email.
Explore your options on the toolbox bar above and next to your email.
Add email signature
At the bottom of the email body, you can easily add your signature. Find out how to do that in this article.
Make your emails stand out more by customizing their content and being more personal with your contacts!
Apart from using personalization tokens in the body of the email, you can further personalize mailings for specific recipients. This can be done by going to the Personalize step in the email creator.
Choose the recipient you wish to engage with and click on the Personalize button:
You will then see a window where you can edit and alter the email body intended for this specific recipient. You can add, remove and change all sorts of things, from the simple content, its font, and colour to including attachments, press releases or call-to-action buttons:
You can personalize up to 20 recipients' emails per email. Recipients you have already customized are marked with a green Personalized label. You can see how emails will look like for specific contacts by choosing the Preview option. If you're not satisfied with the look, you can always change them by clicking Edit or delete the personalization altogether by choosing Restore original:
Review errors and suggestions
Go through the list of errors and suggestions:
You will need to resolve any errors you see below. Suggestions are recommended but not required to resolve.
Save, schedule, or send your email pitch
In the last step of email creation, you must fill in the sender's email address and name. Remember also about the subject line and preview text - you can now use AI to generate them! Check this article to learn more.
In this step, you can also choose whether you want to use your email's subject line as its internal name or if you'd like to change it - here you can read more about the difference between these two. You can also assign the email to a campaign.
All set? You can send a test email, send the mailing immediately, or schedule it for some other time (set any date and time in the future and select a timezone).
Wondering when should you send your email pitch?
Research shows that the best day to send a press release is on Thursday when the average open rate jumps to over 26%!
The worst days are Wednesdays and Fridays when even 85% of your emails get lost in various journalist inboxes.
The best time to send a press release, on the other hand, is between 10 am and 2 pm—this is when editors open about one-third of all the emails they’ve received. Early mornings are less effective: open rates drop to 20.5% between 6 and 10 am. If you do decide on the early morning, however, wait at least until around 8 am-9 am.
Last but not least, keep in mind that some of your recipients may be in a different time zone, and adjust accordingly.
Track email effectiveness
Finally, as soon as your email gets sent, you can track its statistics to see how it's performing. You can read more about it here.