Last week I facilitated a pitching workshop. One of the many questions I was asked was “What’s the best advice for a cold pitch over email to someone you don’t know”?
I always like a challenge, and cold calling certainly ranks very high in its intensity.
There are a number of personal characteristics you need before wading into these waters.
First, you have to persevere. You know that phrase – the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
The people you’re trying to reach are inundated with emails, social media and phone calls, not to mention the internal demands of their company. So no doubt about it – they’re busy. But how to grab their attention?
Here are tips that may help you get their attention by email – and I say ‘may’ because this is a high risk endeavour. It can take lots of time, but the rewards are definitely worth it.
Connect online using social media channels
Start by following the person on LinkedIn, Twitter and any other social media channels they’re using. It’ll give you a good idea of their hobbies, interests and passions. Ideally, you’ll have interests in common. Congratulate them if they’ve recently had a promotion or launched a new product or show.
Craft your email with great care, humour or an attention grabbing headline
Social proof is always a good subject line – as in “Jack Daniels suggested I get in touch.” It shows you’ve already been vetted by someone they know and trust. Another sure fire way is to use their name in the subject line. We all love the sight and sound of our own name and, again, it helps your email stand out in a crowded inbox.
Keep it short and snappy
According to the US consumer Device Preference Report (who knew there was such a report?) 65% of emails are opened on mobile phones. So it’s possible your email will be opened in the grocery store lineup, for example. Don’t cram in too much information. Allow for whitespace and get to the point. Be clear on your specific value to their organization or to their customers.
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For more tips, worksheets and advice on how to pitch, buy How to Win Your Next Creative Pitch – my ebook and online course.
Here’s what others just like you have said about it:
“A quick note after my pitching sessions last week to say that I got script requests from a production company for both my features, plus guaranteed reads/feedback from a broadcaster plus 1-pager requests from a financier. So all good.
Thanks again for your course and book, which I will continue to use, and for your kind support!” – Rebecca de Fargues
If you’re nervous about having a rambling pitch, work with me one-on-one to refine your story, logline and actual pitch. Get in touch for an initial consultation.