Read The Full Insights Story

The only way to pitch an idea via email

Before I got into copywriting and content marketing I worked as an editor on loads of different magazines and this was by far the best email pitch I was ever cc’d on:

Howdy tarts!
Here are some ideas for this lovely Thursday. Let me know if any of them grab you by the boobs X

The freelance writer went on to list three ideas – just headlines and bullet point summaries.

You may have guessed by now that I was working on a women’s magazine (as TV Editor) and while I would advise against offering to grab the boobs of someone you don’t know, I would recommend keeping your email pitch simple, short and clear.

Give them a headline that they can’t ignore and detail exactly what you’re going to provide. Nothing else.

In other words, just sell the idea, not you (that can come later).

People are very busy. As an editor, I didn’t appreciate long-winded emails detailing how much experience a writer had, which publications they’d written for and a list of their favourite novelists.

All I really wanted to do was fill a magazine or website with great content that had knockout headlines.

I received hundreds of email pitches as an editor. As a writer, I sent hundreds of pitches, and eventually honed a formula that seemed to get results more often than not.

It’s an email format designed for magazine pitches, but it works for anything with a bit of a tweak.

In your subject line is the perfect headline for the target market. You’ll have researched what they like in advance, of course.

Suggest another headline straight away in the email, some brief intro copy and an outline of what you plan to include in the article.

Plus, it’s always a winner if you can tie your email pitch into something in the news, or something current, so it’s not just hanging out there.

Something like this, if you want a commission from a parenting website…

From: Your Name <>
To: Editor <>
Sent: Wednesday, 20 September 2016, 15:13

Subject: Parenting Tips That Will Save Your Life


After the recent survey suggesting 98% of new parents end up on Valium [link here], I wondered if you’d be interested in this feature: Parenting Tips That Will Save Your Life (or 10 Ways to Survive Parenthood).

Just a few lines as an intro….

  • It’s going to cover this.
  • It’s going to cover that.
  • There’s also a little bit of this.
  • And a little bit of that.

A couple lines about you.

Thanks, Your name

(contact details, etc.)

It’s a simple but effective email formula designed to target busy people. The recipient can tell within six words if the idea will work for them and knows straight away that you’re organised,  not a time-waster.

It’s an approach that tends to get a response, even if your ideas don’t always grab them by the boobs.


Share Button

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *