Journalists respond to about 3% of the email pitches they receive.
Pitches under 150 words long get the most response.
Friday is the best day to pitch journalists.
These are some findings from the Propel Media Barometer for the first quarter of 2022. This quarterly benchmarking study analyzed a sample of nearly 400,000 email pitches sent via the Propel PR platform.
Many of the statistics are sobering. However, it is great to have hard data that provides insights into effective pitching strategies.
I was particularly intrigued by its findings about subject lines, and length and timing of pitches.
The most engaging subject lines were 1-5 words long. These had an average journalist response rate of about 5.5%.
The least engaging subject lines were the longest. The average response rate for pitches more than 16 words was under 2%.
Most pitches have subject lines of between 10 and 15 words. However, these pitches have one of the lowest average journalist response rates (<3%).
The body of the pitch
The most engaging pitch leads were 50-70 words long. They enjoyed an average journalist response rate of about 4%.
Journalists responded most to short pitches. The average response rate to pitches 50-149 words long was almost 8%.
Story pitches with two to three embedded links had a response rate of about 3.5%, higher than pitches with more embedded links (2.7%) and significantly higher than pitches with no link (1.5%)s.
Friday pitches get the highest percent of journalist responses (12.0%) relative to the number of pitches. This could be because PR pros face the least competition on Fridays.
Most pitches are opened within the first 10 minutes of landing in a journalist’s inbox.
Most journalists open almost 80% of pitches the same day they receive them.
The report reinforced my committing to do three things in my pitches:
- Make a strong first impression (the subject line).
- Keep the pitch short and use links for additional information.
- Send the pitch on Friday.
I encourage you to read the report in its entirety.