6 types of email subject lines that will increase your open rates with media

Email subject lines are the first thing the recipient sees. Samiha Fariha offers insight into six ways you can ensure your subject line stands out in a crowded inbox.

Reporters, publication editors and producers of morning and afternoon shows receive dozens of emails in one day. In today’s media landscape to grab the media’s attention and to cut through the clutter, the email subject line of your pitch needs to be clear and specific. Email pitches with clear and specific subject lines get more clicks. They are more likely to be read and potentially get coverage.

Here are six types of email subject lines that will generate curiosity and interest with media:

1. Subject lines mentioning ‘story ideas’

Does your brand have helpful tips or great topics for lifestyle stories it would like to pitch to the reporters or editors of print and web media? Unfortunately, the print and web media receive over 50 emails every day from companies pitching their brands or new campaigns to be considered for their next story. To stand out from the sea of other emails, make it clear to the reporters and editors that your email is regarding a story idea.

For example, write in the email subject line ‘STORY IDEA: Open / Closed: Whether it’s Monday or Friday, Rabba remains open this Easter’. This subject line is not only clear and specific, but it is also interesting enough for media personnel to open this email.

2. Subject lines mentioning ‘segment ideas’

Do you have a great segment idea that would be perfect for the morning or afternoon shows on TV or radio? To make your pitch stand out to the producers, mention the segment idea in the subject line. This will help the producers understand that your email is regarding a segment pitch and it will also increase the chances of them opening your pitch and reading it for consideration.

For example, when pitching a segment idea to a producer of a morning or afternoon show, write in the subject line ‘SEGMENT IDEA: Natalia Juarez provides quarantine-friendly tips for celebrating Valentine’s Day’. This way the subject line grabs the producer’s attention and entices them to open the email and read the full details.

3. Subject lines indicating ‘release’

Did your brand launch a new seasonal campaign? Do you want the appropriate lifestyle, local and trade media to write about your news? Consider mentioning ‘release’ in the subject line when distributing your press releases to media, to make it easier for them to understand that your email is a press release.

For example, when distributing a media press release, write in the subject line ‘RELEASE: Expressing care and concern for loved ones is easy and edible this Valentine’s Day thanks to Baskin-Robbins’ product line up’. Writing ‘release’ in your subject line makes your email stand out to busy reporters who may not have the time to distinguish which email is a release and which is a general email pitch.   

4. Subject lines mentioning ‘interview opportunity’

Are you interested in pitching your spokesperson for interviews on business shows or morning or afternoon shows on radio and TV? Producers receive so many pitches in a day, it is hard for them to know whether a spokesperson is available for an interview or not. Consider mentioning ‘interview opportunity’ in the subject line to make it clear to producers that your spokesperson is available for an interview for their upcoming shows.

For example, when pitching media for interview opportunities, make sure to write in the subject line INTERVIEW OPP: Canadian sailor remains hopeful despite major Olympic qualifier competitions cancelled due to COVID-19′. Doing this will help you in getting a response from the producers about whether they have availabilities in their upcoming shows for your spokesperson.

5. Subject lines indicating ‘photos’

Did your company make a donation to a charity or open a new store? Do you want to share a photo and caption with local and trade media showing your contribution to the community or features of your new store? Consider mentioning ‘photos’ in your subject line to generate interest and curiosity from the media.

For example, when distributing a photo and caption to media, mention in the subject line ‘Photos from HGreg.com’s newly opened West Palm Beach dealership’. Writing the subject line this way helps the media understand the email they received will contain a photo, a caption and the photographer’s name they can use in their story.

6. Subject lines mentioning ‘following up’

Did your company recently launch a campaign or is your CEO available for interviews? Did you distribute a press release or an interview pitch, but received no responses from media? Consider following up via email by mentioning ‘following up’ in the subject line before the original email subject line you used. Doing this will get more media to respond back to you with an email about their interest in covering your press release or pitch.

For example, when following up via email to check the media’s interest in your pitch, mention in the subject line ‘FOLLOWING UP: Super Bowl Story: While most Canadians feast in a warm home, city’s most vulnerable are worse off than before’. Writing the subject line this way will get the media to respond back to you faster to let you know if they or their colleague were interested in the pitch or if another reporter or a producer chose to pass on the pitch.

Samiha Fariha is an account executive at Torchia Communications.

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash.