You spend time writing an email and are feeling excited about the response you’re going to get. You sit refreshing your email inbox but nothing. No reply.
It’s disheartening, especially when you’ve worked hard to craft a great pitch.
There are a number of reasons a business might not reply to a pitch email. Here are the common ones and how to fix them.
You’re focussing too much on who you are
In a cold pitch, what you do and who you are isn’t really that relevant. Instead, you should be telling the business about the transformation you can help them achieve. Once they see this, then your experience and platform becomes relevant.
You haven’t built a rapport
Even if you feel your pitch is on-point and really speaks to a business’s goals, you may not get a reply if they have no clue who you are.
A lot of people don’t like cold emails and won’t entertain them at all.
What you need to do here is build a rapport before you pitch. The best way to do this is in person, so work out what events the decision-maker will be at, or the networking groups they’re part of.
I’m not saying you need to stalk them but if you can simply introduce yourself in person before you pitch, you’re going to be in with a better chance of getting a reply.
If it’s not possible to get in the same room as the person you need to speak to, look to social media.
Most people have LinkedIn and this is a really great place to start building a rapport with them. Don’t use this as an opportunity to pitch but instead open the lines of communication with no agenda. Talk to them about their business, comment on their posts, and show genuine interest in what they do.
You can do the same on other social channels too.
You have to play the long game here but if you can craft genuine relationships with these people, they’ll be more receptive to a soft pitch in the future.
You don’t have a hook
Business people and marketing directors are busy and they don’t have time to read each and every wordy email that lands in their inbox. This is probably one of the biggest reasons people don’t get a reply; their email has been glanced over then binned because it seems irrelevant.
Because of this, you need to go in strong with your hook.
My favourite kind of hook is the one that teases a big business-changing stunt, event, or idea. But it can be anything that piques the reader’s interest.
- Big numbers – ‘Would you like to reach 30,000 potential new customers on April 21st?’
- Impressive social stats – ‘I’m an influencer with a reach of 150,000 people per month that I’d like to introduce your product to.’
- Something big that speaks to their goals – ‘Are your sales staff getting a bit bored of the box at the football, how about getting up close and personal with a race car instead?’
Your hook could also be about your brand and values. What makes you memorable that will keep the decision-maker reading on?
You don’t ask the right questions
Are you interested in chatting? Do you think we could meet to discuss further? What do you think about this opportunity?
These questions aren’t going to get you very far.
Instead, ask questions the person you’re emailing will want to answer.
- Your launch looked incredible. How has it been received internally?
- Your latest marketing campaign is genius! How did you come up with the idea?
- I see you were at Automechanika last week. Was it a successful show for you?
By asking interesting questions, you’re more likely to get a reply. It shows your interest in the brand but it opens up the conversation and it makes it a lot less one-sided.
You don’t have a strong call-to-action
This is so important that I dedicated a whole chapter to it in Get Paid to Race. Your call-to-action tells a potential sponsor what you want to happen next and makes it easy for them to organise that. Whether you’re after a call or meeting, give three options for dates when you’re free.
This makes things so much more simple when it comes to arranging a time to talk as the potential sponsor can simply email back with the date and time that works. No awkward back and forth where they might lose interest.
If you continually send emails and don’t get a reply, they’re clearly not working for you. This means you need to switch things up. Try a new approach but don’t keep doing the things that aren’t working.
What do you think is the hardest thing about pitching?