Have you been featured by Apple, but still couldn’t get the press to write about your app? Would you like to know how to write a good pitch email that will get many of the top blogs to write about you and your app?
In this post, I will reveal the exact email script that I used to get FitMenCook coverage on BGR, Mac|Life, Tech Cocktail, AppAdvice, Apple World Today, and many more publications.
Through the PR coverage, along with a variety of other elements such as Product Hunt and Kevin Curry’s own list, we were able to collectively get the app to the No. 2 paid app overall within a week of launch.
Even better, a couple of weeks later someone at Apple noticed the coverage and decided to feature it in the App Store.
That’s the power of PR. It will amplify your story and get it noticed by the App Stores (even when you pitch them before your launch like we did).
#1: Think of Your Subject Line as the Headline of an Article
The subject line is one of the most important elements of your email pitch. It’s the gateway to getting press. If you suck at your subject line, then your story will never see the light of day.
Spend your time coming up with 3-5 different ones and test them out on your friends and family or even smaller publications before reaching out to the bigger blogs.
In an earlier post, I talked about 3 simple words you can use to increase your open rate.
Use a reporter’s name in the subject line to make your email pitch stand out.
After meeting with Andreas Kambanis, the developer behind the FitMenCook app, something really stuck out to me about the app. He mentioned that Kevin Curry’s recipes allow you to cook once for the entire week.
I thought that would be the perfect angle to pitch the press.
With the subject line, you want to focus on the ONE key benefit to your app.
Coming up with a compelling subject lines takes practice, because you have to think of it like a clickbait headline. Use a tool like Buzzsumo to see what the most popular headlines are for your topic.
However, be careful to not fall into the Buzzfeed trap and start coming up with subject lines that have big numbers in them. For example, 32 ways to stick with your diet – this will not work well in a email pitch.
Reporters get hundreds of emails, so find the ONE unique feature.
In another email pitch for my app oSnap, I tested these two subject lines:
1) oSnap – The Perfect Camera App for Selfies
2) oSnap – Tap anywhere to take a pic
Number 2 received a 99% open rate and was the subject line that I used when The Next Web covered the app.
Ask yourself “Why?” a couple of times to discover the unique benefit of your app. Using my oSnap example, why was the app perfect for selfies? Because it’s gestured based.
Why is being gestured based cool? Well, you don’t have to find the button anymore, you can just tap anywhere to take a picture.
#2: Use the First Two Lines as Social Proof
Now that you’ve written a great subject line that you know reporters will open, make sure you have a compelling story to tell.
In the FitMenCook email, I start immediately with Kevin’s social proof.
Your goal for the first two lines is to make the reporter want to read on. A lot of times, it’s not so much the quality of the app, but the people behind it.
Put yourself in a reporter’s shoes for a second. You get hundreds of pitches and you’ve been pitched practically EVERYTHING to the point that there isn’t a really unique or “first of its kind” app.
By starting off with social proof, you instantly show credibility and make your email pitch stand out.
Notice that I haven’t talked about the app yet at all. It’s all about keeping the reporter engaged enough to see the full features of the app.
#3: Use Formatting to Your Advantage
Do you like reading really long emails that have no breaks in them? Yeah, me neither.
Make your email pitch stand out by using formatting tricks to your advantage. Careful use of bullets, bold case, italics and underlines will make your email pitch more fun and easy to read.
Heck, I’ve even used animated GIFs in my email pitches.
You’ll notice that in the FitMenCook email, I bolded “ONE hack to actually sticking with a diet:” to further iterate that this is the unique benefit. I then followed it with the hack in italics on its own line.
Cook delicious healthy food in advance for the week.
I try my best to break up longer paragraphs (3-4 sentences) with short sentences on their own lines. This allows the reader to take a break with the content.
Get it? =)
Now I’m going to write a long sentence or two, because I just gave your eyes and mind a break. Did it help? I sure hope so because I really don’t want to write anymore.
#4: Use Bullets to List Out Features
Remember I said I hate long emails? Most people do! We get too many emails as it is, and your pitch email is probably boring enough as it is, but add on to that the fact that it’s long.
When writing about your app’s features, here’s my suggestion:
- Break out your awesome, never been done features into 3-4 bullet points.
- Don’t make the bullets longer than 2 sentences max.
- This allows the reporter to skim through your email to see if it’s a good candidate to write about.
- And isn’t it way easier to read?
You can also bold a few things that you want the reporter to notice, but make sure they are actually worth bolding. Don’t just bold for the sake of it.
#5: Include Relevant Links
Make sure you provide the reporter everything she needs to write about your app. There will be times when she’s on a deadline and won’t have the time to email you to get her what she needs.
Relevant links include:
- YouTube or Vimeo video link
- iTunes and/or Google Play store links
- Press Kit
- Review Guide
- Promo code to download the app
Reporters have to write 3-5 articles a day, so make sure you don’t make their job harder by having to search for all the things they need to put an article together.
Practice makes perfect. I recommend pitching your app to friends and family while you are developing it to get a few practice rounds in.
My gift to you.
For the next week, I will personally give feedback on your email pitch. All you have to do is write your email pitch on any blog and leave a link to it in the comments below.
I’ll then leave a comment on your blog with my feedback or leave your email on the blog so I can respond privately.
Now I run an app marketing agency where we’ve helped 8 clients get featured by Apple, 5X downloads with ASO, and get coverage on Techcrunch, Mashable, Venture Beat and other major publications. I also write about apps on The Next Web, Entrepreneur.com, and on my blog AppMasters.co.
Latest posts by Steve Young (see all)
- How to Expand to Global Markets (China, India & Southeast Asia) - March 19, 2018
- How to Create a Dynamic Link (or One Link or Redirect to App Store) - March 14, 2018
- Best Marketing Strategies for a Paid App - March 7, 2018