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I used to spend hours crafting the perfect pitch. The subject line was compelling, the announcement was newsworthy, and I found the perfect reporter.

However, all I heard was crickets. Should I email Techcrunch again? Is it too soon to follow up? Am I coming off as annoying? Should I try a different subject line?

Why wasn’t I getting a response?

Well, I’ll share with you the tools that helped me from agonizing over those questions and gave me real data that I could work from.

#1: Rapportive

Rapportive is a Gmail plugin that shows you the social media profiles of your contacts right inside your inbox.

By hovering over the email address of the recipient, you can see:

  • Profile picture
  • Location
  • Job title
  • Company
  • Linkedin Profile
  • Twitter Profile
  • Facebook Profile
  • Shared connections
  • More

Rapportive is a great tool to build rapport with the reporter you are about to email.


Using Rapportive, you can easily see the person’s Facebook profile and LinkedIn profile to see if you have any commanalities with the person.

The goal is not to to stalk the reporter and try to build a friendship.

The goal is to make your pitch stand out by showing that you’ve done some research.

When a company that I used to work for was covered by Pando Daily, I included in my email pitch that the reporter went to a neighboring high school.

I put this little andecote in the P.S. of my email pitch just to show that I did a little research.

Another way I use Rapportive is to find a reporter’s email address.

Using this handy spreadsheet, I can enter the reporter’s first name, last name, and website domain and the spreadsheet will auto-populate all the different variations of an email address.

Copy all the email address and put all the email addresses into the “to” field of Gmail. Then hover over each email until Rapportive returns a result.

Go slowly over email as Gmail may actually return a result too.

#2: Bananatag

Bananatag will notify you via email when the recipient opened your email and what links they clicked on within the email.

And the best part is that the recipient doesn’t know that they are being tracked.

Bananatag works with any email client including Gmail and Outlook.

In fact, you can even append “” at the end of any email address and Bananatag will track the email.

Bananatag is free up to 5 tracked emails a day and then you’ll have to pay to get more emails.


SalesHandy is a similar tool where you can get up to 200 tracked emails a month.

I am a paying customer of Bananatag and prefer it over Sidekick, but either tool will get the job done.

Now if a reporter doesn’t open your email, you can try a different more compelling subject line to see if that will get an open.

See the subject line chapter for some tricks to get people to open the email.

#3: Boomerang

Boomerang for Gmail allows you to schedule emails to be sent later and reminds you to follow up by bringing the email string back into your inbox.

You can set the reminders to follow up only when no one has responded or after a certain amount of days regardless of a response.

Unfortunately, the tool only works with Gmail.


Another similar tool is called

Unlike Boomerang, uses an email address to remind you to follow up. For example, you can bcc and the email will return to your inbox one week later.

#4: Google Canned Responses

Do you find yourself sending the same email to multiple people?

Google Canned Responses allows you to save email templates and then send your common messages using a button next to the compose form.

You can even automatically send emails using filters.

You can install Google Canned Responses in Gmail by going to Setting -> Labs -> Google Canned Responses.



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