Sending an email to the press seems simple. You create your media list, draft your email and can launch your outreach. But we all know the feeling when you send out a lot of emails, ready to get all the responses and coverage and nothing happens.

If you are also tracking the open rate of your emails and that shows zero, there is one reason why this is happening, your email is not strong enough. And what people see first when they get a new message in their inbox? The subject line. Which means that if your outreach email is not getting opened, there is something wrong with your subject line.

It’s so important to get it right. Like mentioned above, it’s the very first thing journalists see! So what is the perfect subject line? There isn’t ONE ultimate subject line that will get you all the attention. As with everything, you need to do a bit of research and testing.

Tone of voice

What I always recommend is to read a few articles of the publication or journalist you are targeting, see what their tone of voice is, what their headlines are like. Do they use questions in their headlines? Or write everything in capitals? Do they use a lot of puns? Find out! And tailor your subject line to their writing style.

Be honest

Tell them exactly what you are offering. Is it new research? Feature article idea? Infographic or GIF? Brainteaser or map? Don’t try to lead them onto opening your email by hiding what you are really offering, no one opens email telling them THIS IS WHY XXX DO XXX – tell them exactly what you created or discovered.

Keep it short

Make sure your subject line is not too long. It’s best to keep it short, making sure they can read it without opening the email. I know, but we want them to read the full pitch. However, we also don’t want them to give up on it because they can’t read the full subject line – so they move on.

The best thing is to test what works for you. Take these tips and make them relevant to your approach.