Earlier this morning I received a seemingly on-target pitch from an agency hired to do content marketing for a B2B software company.

My typical process is to either forward them on to our team for follow-up or reply directly.  In this case, the email pitch was well done.  A clean, factual, up-front ask to participate in an “expert interview” blog post.  Company X will send you a survey from which our team will generate a blog post and link to you.  Take a look at the screenshot below, its a great template and a really nice content marketing tactic.

em-pitch-body1

I pressed reply and started to write back accepting the pitch when I noticed the reply-to line:

em-pitch-reply

…and noticed that this pitch was emailed to a number of role-based and bad email addresses at GroupHigh.  At that instant all credibility was destroyed.  I went from feeling like this brand wanted to build an authentic relationship with our content team to being spammed.  Sure, the pitch was really well done and well-targeted to our industry but the lack of personalization ruined any chance of success.

It seems small, but the difference between sending a personal email to 20 targeted bloggers or influencers and sending impersonal emails to a few hundred is huge.

If you’re sending pitch emails this holiday season here are a couple takeaways that I would recommend considering:

  • A survey-to-interview pitch is a great content marketing tactic
  • Don’t CC your pitch emails to multiple email addresses especially role-based or bad emails
  • Personalizing and selecting small groups of target influencers for initiatives always pays off in the long-term
  • Agencies can add valuable creative -this is a great email! But they can be prone to skip personalization due to time/budget constraints

Have you found survey and expert interviews a valuable content marketing tactic?  Have you received a pitch that was “so close”?  Please share in the comments below.