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Are you sending dozens of emails to pitch your app, without any replies?

Have you launched your app, but it doesn’t look like the press care about it?

Don’t worry, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just a new part of the game that you still have to learn: how to get a reporter’s attention.

Reporters get blasted with dozens, if not hundreds, of emails every day. You have to make sure your email stands out from the crowd. In order to do that, there are seven critical mistakes that you need to avoid like the plague.

With that in mind, here are seven reasons why reporters might not be responding to your emails. Chances are, you’re making at least one of these mistakes.

1. Your subject line or heading doesn’t grab their attention

Your subject line is the first chance you get to grab the reporter’s attention and make him or her care about what you have to say. In the very title, the very subject line, of your email, you need to give them a reason to care.

Here’s a hint: subject lines like “PRESS RELEASE” or “Interview opportunity” are going to get deleted right off the bat.

If you want to have an absolutely stunning subject line, make sure you personalize it. You should also follow a framework that is a proven winning combination. We’ve even written recently about a subject line framework that tends to get a 77 percent open rate.


2. Your story isn’t relevant to them

You’d be surprised at how many emails reporters get that simply aren’t relevant to them. Apple bloggers get pitched for Android apps, Google-centric reporters get news blurbs about the latest Apple TV game, and the list goes on and on.

The biggest tip I can give you about pitching your app to a group of reporters is to make sure it’s relevant to each and every one of them. If it isn’t relevant to that reporter, don’t bug them with it.

3. You’re making it too hard to find the info

Reporters want to know who, what, where, when, why, and how. They don’t want to hunt for that information, so put it right in their faces. Tell them who you are, what you’ve done, where you did it (i.e. the App Store), when, why, and how.

  • Don’t be afraid of bullet points, because reporters love ’em.

Just be careful you don’t overwhelm your email pitch with information, or it’ll be …


4. TL;DR

If you don’t already know, tl;dr stands for too long, didn’t read. Remember, even though you have to give the reporter the who, what, where, when, why, and how, less is more.

Some of these reporters get hundreds of emails a day, and they have to wade through them while still getting writing done!

If you can’t wrap up your own product in a concise, interesting way in a sentence or two, the reporter won’t bother reading your email because they won’t be able to write about it in a concise and interesting way, either.

5. Your pitch strategy is overkill

If you’re trying too hard to get the reporter’s interest, he or she will probably delete your email straight out of the gate. The same thing will happen if you send the press release too often too soon.

Then, of course, there’s the buffoon who sends an email pitch, calls the reporter to tell them they sent it, leaves a voicemail, and then sends another email to let the reporter know that he just left a voicemail. It’s overkill.

Work smarter, not harder. Track your emails, so you know whether they’ve been opened. Before you send another email, be sure you check out our article about the tools we use for sending (and tracking) all of our email.

Once you know who’s opening your email, you know who to follow up with. Just give them time to actually digest what you’ve offered them before doing that.

6. You haven’t read what they write

If you don’t take a gander at what the reporter tends to write about, you’re not going to be able to craft a very good pitch for them. You’ll end up breaking the rule of relevance, and send an Android writer a pitch for an Apple app, just as an example.

In the app sphere, it’s equally important to pay attention to which reviewers are gamers, as another example, and which ones tend to focus on productivity and GTD apps.


7. You just plain gave up

While you want to be mindful of avoiding overkill, that doesn’t mean to just give up altogether. Remember that it’s impossible for writers to cover every story they see and find interesting, so you have to keep pitching them with new angles and apps.

Remember, too, that not every story is right for the audience or for the particular news cycle, and try again when your app is more fitting to the time.

In summary

You can see there is a lot that you can possibly do wrong when it comes to pitching the press, and hopefully these mistakes will help you learn how to better get your app covered by your favorite reporter.

The biggest thing to remember is to make sure your story is relevant, not only to the blog or news outlet, but to the individual reporter/blogger, and that you pitch them in a clear, concise way that makes it easy for them to do their job: write about newsworthy topics like your app.

Jeff Butts

Jeff is the general manager at AppMasters, responsible for client care and overseeing all of the content you read here. Jeff has a deep background in technology journalism and public relations, along with teaching experience with writers and technology majors alike. He's also a penultimate geek, into everything from LotR and Dr. Who to Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica.

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