Freelance writing: email pitches and the subject line

One of the major arts of freelance writing is the pitch. I’m preparing a report on how to pitch to magazine editors, publishers, and clients, so watch for it if you want to increase your pitching success rate.

A pitch is a query or proposal designed to get you freelance writing work.

Email pitches and the subject line
You’ll be pitching many of your contacts via email, and very few writers know how to pitch via email so that their email message gets read and isn’t deleted or automatically sent to the Junk folder.

How to craft your subject line: drop “cute”
I get around 400 email messages a day. Most of your contacts will have a similarly overflowing inbox. Therefore, it’s vital that your contacts know what your message is about, without having to open the message.
I’ve worked as a tech journalist for many years, and over the past year “cute” has become popular in headlines in press releases and in general emails from contacts. Unfortunately this supposedly attention-getting device makes email messages look like spam, so they’re treated like spam and junked.

Your subject line is not a headline
Writing a cute headline is fine, but if you use it as your email’s subject line, it can mean that your pitch is deleted unread, and your email address added to a blacklist.

People scan their subject lines looking for junk. I look at my inbox, and checkmark every dubious subject line, and then delete those unread. Any which resemble spam are checkmarked and sent to the Spam folder, also unread. I just haven’t got time to read everything. Neither have your contacts.

Tell them what you’re sending them in the subject line
I craft pitch subject lines so that it’s obvious, like this –

* Query from Angela Booth: How to get your emails read

* Proposal from Angela Booth: The Get Your Email Delivered Fast Book

* News from Angela Booth: get your emails read

Etc.

Make it obvious WHAT your message is, and FROM WHOM it is. If you’re just starting out as a freelance writer, you won’t have name recognition, but over a few months of sending pitches, you will have. So put your name in the subject line.

You also need to make it clear what your pitch is about.

Pitching via email is fast. However, you need to think from the point of view of your recipient to get the process to work for you.

Write more – become a pro writer

Yes, you can write more and become an expert writer – even if you’re a world-class procrastinator.

Did you know that when you write more, your writing improves? Many of my writing students experience this. They find that when they write more, writing is easier for them – they’re not dominated by their inner editor.

My new writing class, “Write More And Make More Money From Your Writing: Develop A Fast, Fun Productive Writing Process” is based on lessons I developed for my private coaching students to help them to write more, improve their writing, and make more money writing.

If you’re struggling with your writing, the class will help. The techniques you’ll learn in class with help you write fiction, nonfiction, and copy for business.

Discover how you can write more, improve your writing, and sell more of your writing to higher-paying markets.

[tags]freelance writing, pitch, query, proposal[/tags]

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Angela Booth is a copywriter, author published by major publishers, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills at her online store. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her novels and business books have been widely published.

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About Angela Booth

Angela Booth is a copywriter, author published by major publishers, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills at her online store. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her novels and business books have been widely published.