7 steps in mastering the art of emailing publications and blogs

Pitch perfect: 7 steps in mastering the art of emailing publications and blogs

The power behind the email is phenomenal in today’s digital age.  As many as 2 billion emails are sent every single day, and it’s fast becoming one of the most desired ways of communication.  There are a plethora of different reasons for this, it’s easy, it’s quick, and above all else, it’s free.  However, with emails becoming easier to send, they’re also becoming easier to receive.  On a daily basis our emails are subjected to an influx of messages sent for a variety of reasons.  Some emails are trying to sell us stuff, some important business correspondence, or maybe even a cheeky joke or two from a friend or family member.

With all these digital scrawlings speeding through hyperspace, many land in the inbox of an editor or writer of a music blog.  Grabbing the attention of that writer or editor has become one of the most important things to master, and when it’s done right, you’ll see your open rate and actually getting some replies boom.  The more enticing and easier you make it for the editor or writer to listen and learn about you and your music, the more of a chance you’ll get featured on their blog.  Take a look at the 7 steps below of how to stand out from the rest of the subject lines and get your music considered and reviewed.

Dazzle me with your headlines

There’s nothing worse than having an email land in your inbox with a feeble subject line.  This is your first, and possibly only, chance to grab the reader’s attention and prove that your email is worthy of their time.  You have minimal space to work with, so ensure that you’re engaging from the off, yet informative.   So, remember the 3 C’s – be Clear, Concise and Creative.

Get their name right!

Woohoo! They’ve clicked ‘open’ and their in! You’ve gained their attention and now it’s your time to shine.  But, you’ve addressed the reader with the following:

“To whom it may concern” or “Dear blogger” – bye bye! The email is swiftly deleted without a second hesitation.  Why you may ask?  Who wants to be addressed in a general way?  Although this may seem polite and respectful, I don’t feel special at all, so I won’t be reading the rest of your email.  Take the time to find out the name of the editor or writer, and if you fail to do so, why not use the name of the publication instead?  More often than not you can find contact details on the ‘Contact Us’ section of the website, where lists of positions, names and emails are readily available for you.

Guess what, they want to hear from you – but make a great first impression!

Also, make sure you get their name right.  If you misspell their name, you’ve already insulted them with your lazy typing.  It all seems so simple, yet so many of these mistakes are made too often.

Waffles are yummy, but not in an email

One of the most annoying things to come across in an email, or any piece of writing come to think of it, is lengthy paragraphs.  The reader doesn’t have time to read through paragraph upon paragraph about how amazing your band may be, even though you’re excited and want the world to know how great your music is, the proof is in the pudding, right?

Get straight to the point with an opening paragraph that’s light, informative yet simple.  If the reader finds some huge paragraphs in front of their eyes, they’ll quickly scan to find the important information, and if they can’t find it within the first 5 seconds, unfortunately, it’s to the bin the email goes.

Be brave, be bold

If you’re writing a review request, make sure you bold the important words so the reader can pick up on them quickly.  Some words you should make stand out are band/artist name, release date, record type, record name.  These are the key words the reader will be looking out for, so if you take the time to make them bolder, then the editor subconsciously will be pleased as punch.

Link love

What’s the point in emailing an editor or a reviewer if they can’t listen to your music?  There is absolutely no point whatsoever!  If you want an album review, make sure you include a couple of links to stream and/or download that album you’ve worked your socks off to create.  Arrange them neatly so the reader can pick them up, highlight them, and make a note of them for a future feature or review.

My favourite layout ever to read in an email from a band or PR company requesting a review is the following:

  • Band name:
  • Record Name and Type:
  • Release Date:
  • Stream Link:
  • Download Link:

It looks neat and tidy and above all else, professional.

A word of advice: do not attach a whole album to an email.  Can you imagine how much space you’re using up in someone else’s inbox?  That’s like going into someone’s office with a huge TV box and leaving it right in the middle of the room, with your CD in it.  Annoying!

Over and Out

You’ve sent a terrific email, got the editor to consider getting a writer on your album, and now it’s time to say goodbye.  No one likes saying goodbye do they? The sign off is important as it’s the last thing the reader will remember, so make sure you get it right.

Always thank the reader for taking the time to checking your work out, and maybe even say something like “I hope you had a lovely day” too?

Please, please, please, do not write “let me know when the review will be up”.  You may wonder “why ever not?” as this seems like a request to stay in touch, but it comes across rude and like you’re expecting a review.  In order to keep the connected line flowing, write something along the lines of “I’ll email back in a couple of weeks to see if you need anything else”, as this conveys your considerate and your desire to keep in touch.

The follow up

The editor has emailed you back and stated that they’re going to add your album to their reviewers list.  Hooray! You may now celebrate with a beer (or a drink of your choice).  It’s been a couple of weeks and you’ve not spotted the review on the site yet, which is common as blogs/websites/online magazines have a huge amount of requests to sift through each month.  Some are in the hundreds!

How do you follow up? Just send a little reminder asking if there’s anything else you can send over that they might need for the review.  Perhaps an image of the band or album artwork?  Always be polite and considerate, and you’ll go a long way.

Maybe send a couple of follow ups with 2 weeks gaps between them, and if you’ve not got a reply or no review as of yet, maybe you should just take it on the chin and move onto the next blog or website.  Don’t ever take it to heart, a lot of the time they just haven’t had the time to review your album as it’s sat beside about 20 others that week.

These 7 steps might seem like common knowledge and probably the simplest things to master, but they are extremely powerful if you get it right, and will definitely help you correspond with perspective editors and writers.

May your email inbox be full of responses and opportunities, from now on.