Email continues to be one of the most necessary and powerful tools for writers.
In this video, Ian shares one quick tip for increasing the chance that you’ll get a response to your emails. When sending a pitch to an editor, this little tip can help you increase your bottom line, by increasing the chance that your pitch will be accepted.
Also – in the video, Ian mentions his pitch template. Grab a free copy here.
Something else to consider when leaving your CTA question at the end of the email is making sure the query relates to what interests his/her ideal reader. For example, suppose the editor seeks “how-to” content on best practices related to content marketing. The CTA question would intrigue or fascinate the editor and increase the chances of you getting a favorable response.
i.e. (Your CTA question at the end)
“What type of content marketing pieces seem most interesting to your readers? Those addressing a beginning, advanced or expert level for the target market? I’d love to write a piece on this topic if you think your readers want that kind of information. If so, please email back for more details.”
Susan, I like what you’re getting at here, but there are a couple of red flags that an editor might see. Think about it this way––you’re an editor who’s expecting her submissions to meet the publication’s guidelines, and you assume that writers are doing their homework. You get a pitch that ends with a question asking about your publication’s audience and their interests. That’s information the writers should already know! If a writer has done research, he or she will know if the audience leans beginner or expert.
Also, in your example, the pitch ends tenuously (“I’d love to write a piece…”) instead of decisively, which can lower your response rate. You want to make it known that you’re ready to write this article if it’s accepted. To be clear, the purpose of ending with a question is to begin a dialogue and increase your response rate. Ultimately, it’s meant to help you get your pitch accepted. If you have other questions that weren’t clear from researching/reading the guidelines, then of course you can ask those, but that’s not the same exact strategy I was getting at in the video.
Thanks for your comments. I was kind of playing Devil’s advocate here. You answered the question very well for those inexperienced writers who might have made the mistakes I alluded to in my answer. Nicely done!
That’s always a good thing! I had to learn this stuff the hard way, and I wish I had seen explorations like this when I was starting out.
Sharing insights like this helps other writers develop important writing and pitching skills.
It definitely does, Susan! I see those kinds of mistakes all the time, so when people see conversations like this, it really helps them know what not to do.
Ian, thanks for the tip. We forget these things and frequently need to be reminded. This can also work at the bottom of a website post. I always end my posts or articles by asking something like, “How to you solve the problem I just addressed?” People like being asked for their opinion or about their experiences.
Indeed! That’s a great strategy, and I use it all the time. That said, I would recommend this more for commissioned articles (at least, if it fits within the style of the publication) since most writers shouldn’t have their own blogs.
Hi Ian, really interested in your comment on how most writers shouldn’t have their own blogs. Could you expand on this idea, because I’ve never seen it discussed before.
I talk about this a lot on our YouTube channel––we’ll probably do a dedicated video soon. Briefly, the idea is that blogs don’t offer much to freelance writers. They take a lot of time and money to operate, and if you freelance, that time is better spent looking for work.