As digital media relations and traditional marketing find themselves interconnecting, it’s not uncommon to find lead nurturing email management and online media pitches performed within the same company, department and yes, sometimes even within the same job description. However, these two styles of communication are fundamentally different.
What differences do you need to consider?
Human vs. business sender
Of course, one of the core differences between these two is who’s sending it. If someone’s on a business email list, they’re most likely expecting content related to your product or service, deals, or messages about new offerings. They know they’re on the list, and they know they can opt out.
If they’re not on a list, do not mass email them. Their emails should be written by a person, and written for the person it’s going to. Take some time to get to know them, and they’ll be more likely to take kindly to your pitch.
Segmentation vs. personalization
This is similar to the first point, but it’s so important that it needs to be emphasized more than once. Whether you’re pitching or sending marketing email, it needs to be a message that the recipients want to read. On one end, you should be personalizing pitches to at least acknowledge the recipient’s industry and Internet “home” (her blog or the site she contributes to).
However, there is a certain level of personalization that you can’t cross when mass emailing for marketing purposes. Include the subscriber’s name? Sure. Including a reference to one of their recent tweets? No. So, for mass marketing emails, make sure your list is segmented to keep the top-of-funnel recipients separate from bottom-of-funnel recipients, and be sure each group is getting content or messages tailored for them.
Introduction vs. brand reinforcement
Which level of branding is appropriate for these two kinds of email? Everyone who’s signed up for your email list has some level of familiarity with your brand, so there isn’t a need for you to include an elevator pitch each time you email your subscribers. A tagline is fine, sure—but they don’t need to be reminded of who you are.
It’s just the opposite for the media you’re outreaching to. If you’re outreaching on behalf of your own company, they may have no idea what you do, where you are or who you serve. Have a brief introduction/elevator pitch prepared for each email you send out, and don’t forget to adjust it to best emphasize your relevancy to the recipient.
Follow-up vs. consistent message
Social media can be a useful tool for both types of email, but should be used carefully in both situations. With marketing and lead nurturing email, there’s need to follow up with the message recipients; but by maintaining a consistent message across all platforms, you’ll be able to reinforce to your followers and subscribers what you’re currently offering.
You can follow up with influencers you’ve recently pitched through social media (namely Twitter), but be careful. Don’t overdo it—two attempts at contacting is enough—and do some online research to find out more about how this person most prefers to be contacted. Bonus points if you develop a relationship with them through a couple of informal interactions before you pitch them.
Common ground: What they both need
Pitches and commercial emails do have one important thing in common, though: they need to offer value to the recipient. Does the email offer a story idea or a valuable piece of content that’s highly relevant to the media outlet’s industry? Or, do the products or information presented to the customer resound with them at their particular place in the funnel? Pack every email with value, no matter the recipient or purpose.
If you’re new to pitching media outlets to further your message, check out our post on creating an irresistible pitch here.
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