This month marks the one-year anniversary of MailChimp’s marketing department. In the last twelve months, we’ve grown from a one-person team to a group of fifteen people, and we’ve accomplished a lot.
To celebrate, we’re issuing a comprehensive guide to writing a marketing anniversary email that’ll give you the skills you need to become a master pitchman.
To properly execute a pitch, you need to follow a specific protocol, so let’s get to it.
1. Timing Is Everything
The most basic tenet of the pitch is that you have to know when to bring up key points and when to move on. You can’t afford to ramble on for too long, because you’ll lose the attention of your reader. Think of a TV news anchor delivering a newscast: She’ll pepper in a few jokes here and there, but the bulk of her speech will be dedicated to the big story.
By the same token, you can’t rush through your pitch. Rushing through your pitch causes errors that could end up costing you customers. Our advice? Take your time and ensure that each point is made with perfect diction.
Pro-Tip: When you’re feeling rushed, take a step back. Clear your head, and then restart your clock. Take a deep breath, and then dive back into your pitch. Your readers will thank you for taking the time to ensure that everything is delivered properly. Believe it or not, perfect timing is more important than perfect diction.
2. Keep It Short
When you write your pitch, you have to keep it short and sweet. Think Hollywood blockbuster trailers.
The key is to entertain your readers without boring them to death. If you have a tendency to go on tangents, take a step back and refocus. Cut out the unnecessary details, and keep the important points short and snappy. Your readers will thank you for simplifying complex issues and keeping the information brief.
Pro-Tip: To keep your pitch concise, strip out all the fluff. Cut out all the unnecessary hype. Keep your messaging easy to understand and memorable. In Hollywood, brevity is highly valued, and it helps the storyteller connect with the audience more effectively.
3. Use Numbers
We’re creatures of habit, and when you throw a number in there, we’re more likely to remember it. Just like the example above, use numbers instead of words to make your point. When you use numbers, the facts are easier to check. Plus, the points are more easily digested.
For example, if you’re pitching an organic cotton outfitters, you might say, “Our shirts are made with organic cotton, and we try to use as many natural fabrics as possible.” Better than saying, “Our shirts are made with organic cotton, and we strive to use as many naturally woven fabrics as possible.” The first part of the sentence is important, but the second part is a bit dull. It’s not exactly a hook. At least with the first example, we know exactly what we’re getting into: organic cotton.
Pro-Tip: When you write your pitch, pull numbers out of the blue. If you have a tendency to use overly flowery language, choose your numbers carefully. If you don’t, choose your numbers randomly. There’s no wrong answer as long as you choose something that’ll make your point better.
4. Customize For Multichannel
In the digital age, everyone’s listening to music, watching videos, and reading articles online. To reach your audience, you need to write a custom pitch that’ll work across all channels. What’s more, you have to do this while still sticking to the four-point brief above.
If you have a tendency to write long-winded emails, shorten them. Instead of saying, “Hey, XXL readers, check out our new album on iTune,” write, “New album from XXL. Check it out if you’re a fan of hip hop.”
Pro-Tip: Every story needs a beginning, a middle, and an end. The same holds true for your pitch. Use the first portion of your pitch to introduce your product or service. Use the second portion to describe how your product or service will benefit the reader. Finish with a summary of the key points you made in the first two sections.
5. Grab Attention With A Hook
A hook is something that’ll make your reader want more. It’s a line or a phrase that’ll incite curiosity and desire for more. Your hook should match your target audience. Know what you’re aiming for, and then craft a hook that’ll help you attain your goal.
Here are a few examples of hooks that’ll get audiences’ attention:
- Marketing Made Easy
- Four Steps to Effective Lead Generation
- The Ultimate Guide to Digital Marketing
- How to Promote Your YouTube Channel for Free
- How to Create a Winning Facebook Campaign
- 50 Things You Need to Know About Digital Marketing
What’s important here is that each of these hooks matches the audience the speaker is aiming to reach. Take a bit of each of these hooks, and you can craft your own bespoke pitch to suit your needs. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to pitching.
Pro-Tip: To write a winning pitch, you need to match your target audience. Choose phrases, words, and examples that’ll keep your reader engaged and interested in your message. The better you are at matching your reader’s interests, the more effective your pitch will be.
6. Craft An Outline
An outline is simply a list of the points you intend to make in your pitch. You can break down your pitch into several key points with an outline. If you find that you’ve forgotten something vital, you can always go back and insert it later. Outlining your pitch will help you distill your thoughts into a concise and coherent message.
As you craft your outline, you want to make sure that each point is made sharply and with perfect diction. With practice, you’ll be able to write an effective outline and then turn it into a strong and concise pitch.
Pro-Tip: To write a winning pitch, you need to match your target audience. Choose phrases, words, and examples that’ll keep your reader engaged and interested in your message. The better you are at matching your reader’s interests, the more effective your pitch will be. To start, make a list of the most important points you intend to make in your pitch. This will form the backbone of your pitch, and it’ll help you flesh out your thoughts more clearly.
7. Create A Mental Picture In Your Reader’s Mind
To properly communicate your message, you have to write in a way that makes your reader feel like they’re right there with you. To do this, you need to craft a narrative. A narrative is a story, either fictional or non-fictional, that’ll put your reader in the center of the action. The narrative structure should match the structure of the actual speech or presentation you’ll be delivering later. This will help create a seamless connection between the two. It’s essential that your narrative is as authentic as possible. The more you can do to streamline the process, the better. For example, if you have a tendency to ramble in your speech, break down your narrative into short, snappy sentences.
Pro-Tip: To write a winning pitch, you need to match your target audience. Choose phrases, words, and examples that’ll keep your reader engaged and interested in your message. The better you are at matching your reader’s interests, the more effective your pitch will be. Know your target audience, and then write to them. What are they interested in? What do they need? How can you help them achieve their objectives?