Like a lot of bloggers, I get a lot of pitch emails. Most of them suck. But the "Delete" key and I are best friends, so I don't spend a LOT of time ranting about why they suck, making flack blacklists or bitching about them (though I will admit to the occasional tweet about some of the more egregious emails).
But sometimes, riding a ray of sunlight, a pitch hits my inbox and I stand up and shout "Yes! YES! A pitch I was actually happy to get." Dan Mahoney of CSG|PR sent me such a pitch this week. Let me break it down for you (I even asked Dan's permission first).
- The subject line is short and descriptive. Not overly cutesy/clever. It simply STATES WHAT THE EMAIL IS ABOUT. Yes, I'm yelling. Just tell me what the email is about. Don't use "Story Idea". Don't use "Want Your Thoughts". Don't tell me it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. Shut up. If you have something I'm interested in, I'll know. Don't try to trick me. Dan also gets bonus points for not using ALL CAPS nor for marking the email URGENT.
- Dan addressed me by name. Not "Dear Blogger". Or worse "Dear mynameiskate.ca" And he said "Hi" - which is nice. Friendly.
- OMG, give Dan's high school English teacher a gold star. Or if Dan didn't write this, give his copywriter a raise. There is not one wasted word, one unnecessary superlative, one gimmicky sell line in this email. It is 93 words of pure gold. Also, notice how the font of the body of the email is the same as both the greeting and the signature. A lot of the times it's not and that just screams "copy and paste job". Look, I know this isn't a personal email. That's cool. But don't point it out to me by having two (or more) different fonts, often in different colours. And I don't need PR people fawning over my blog. I need PR people respecting my time. And I need smart, savvy people raising the tone of the profession. Really well written and respectful.
- Dan said "Thank you." I can't tell you how rarely I see that phrase in a pitch.
- There is an obvious, clear, one-click Unsubscribe option. Not in minuscule font (oddly, it's in a larger font). And not "hidden" in a mass of other links. Just simple and easy. Like the entire experience of Dan's email.
The only thing I would have changed about Dan's email is I would have stuck an "http://" in front of the URL so I could immediately click and not have to copy/paste URL. But some email systems mark emails with live links as spam, so I respect it if Dan were trying to avoid the spam filters.
So there you have it. Pitch like Dan and I'll pay attention.
Oh, and what about that thing Dan was pitching: Proformative, a hot up-and-coming online community site built exclusively for corporate finance, accounting and treasury professionals? I'm not THAT kind of professional, so I'm not really in a position to do a hard-core evaluation of Proformative. But I looked at the groups, the discussion board and the jobs. It seems like it's fairly active and has some good, meaty content to engage with. I also know that there is a real paucity of niche communities for unsexy jobs like corporate finance and accounting - so I'm pleased to see that there are emerging sites out there that want to reach those professionals.
So, if you ARE that kind of professional, check out Proformative - my Pitch of the Week