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How to successfully pitch your app to the media

Posted by Ben Dickson on Mar 8, 2016 12:00:00 PM
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One of the best ways to get exposure and downloads for your app is to draw media attention to it and to get it reviewed on popular blogs and authority sites. So how do you get the attention of journalists and bloggers?

In this post, I’ll share with you the details and tricks of writing a successful pitch.

The necessary elements

Take note that journalists and bloggers are busy people, and they get tons of emails similar to yours every day. Therefore, the first thing you have to consider is that, while reading your pitch, their minds are already half occupied with other pending tasks. Being concise is extremely important.

Here are the points that are crucial to include in your pitch email:

  • The name of your app as it appears in app stores
  • A short paragraph about your app, the genre, what it does, the audience it is intended for, and what sets it apart from the competition
  • The price, if applicable, and payment model
  • A link to your app’s website/landing page. (If you don’t have one, you definitely need to remedy the situation)
  • A link to the App Store and/or Google Play page
  • A couple of screenshots that show different aspects of your app
  • Contact info, including relevant email addresses, phone numbers and social media accounts

How do you draw the attention of journalists?

You don’t necessarily have to be a big company or development studio in order to draw media attention to your app.

There are plenty of success stories that involve two or three developers who became famous by coming up with a great app idea. The point is to emphasize that selling point enough in the introduction to convince your reader about the importance of your app. Random “Here's our product, please write about it” pitches never work with journalists who receive 300-400 emails a day.

In the words of Matt Rosoff, West Coast editor at Business Insider, “Good email introductions are those that say what existing company a startup is aiming to disrupt; news of funding from a respected VC, or simply a pithy line or two explaining why the journalist might be interested in a piece of news based on what else they've been writing about recently.”

Also – and this is personal advice – think thoroughly on the subject of your email. That’s the first piece of information that will likely draw the attention of the reader. Avoid generic subjects like “App pitch from…” or commercial-like  subject like “Check out this cool new app.” Write a subject line that can sum up the best thing about your app in a few words. For instance, “New ride sharing app promises to disrupt Taxi market.


 Don't forget a great video to accompany your brilliant words: Making An Effective Introduction To Your App Using YouTube


 When should you send your pitch?

Jolie O’Dell from VentureBeat suggests, “The right time to talk to a journalist is when you’re excited.” If you’re not enthusiastic about your app yourself, you won’t be able to rouse interest in your interlocutor. On the other hand, if you know you’re developing something ingenious and can’t wait to spread the word about it, the time is ripe to reach out to the media. Don’t wait for the launch date.

She also suggests to send the pitch to 1-5 bloggers/journalists who cover your vertical to increase the chances of getting feedback.

Do you need a press release?

You definitely do. A press release is a must-have in your app press kit and you can publish it on a major PR site. Some bloggers also require a press release, so it’s better to have it prepared and not make them wait when they ask for it. And the more traditional reporters will still expect you to send them a press release no matter how intriguing and exciting your idea might sound.

The press release should be included in the body of your email. Don’t forget to mention it in your message and paste the text under your signature. Here’s a good read on how to write a press release for your app.

Be personal and polite

Dealing with a lot of incoming mail on a daily basis, bloggers and journalists are quick to detect when they’re being targeted by mass email campaigns, after which they’ll definitely ignore the email altogether or send it to their trash folder. In order to avoid turning down the recipient of your email, try to make it as personal as possible.

First of all, make sure the person and blog you’re contacting is from the same niche and category as your app. So if you’re pitching a health app, don’t expect to get results from a game blog.

Also, be polite when addressing bloggers. Always use their name in the greeting line. This is the first step to ensuring them that they’re not dealing with a mass email marketing campaign. If you can make a reference or two to articles they’ve written before, better. But be careful to keep the tone balanced and don’t make it read like groveling. That would be just as offensive as being impolite.

Avoiding too many buzzwords is another point to consider. Creating too much hype about your app and making false claims will only convince your interlocutor that you’re trying to make up for what your app is lacking with empty words. Gimmicks will earn you a reputation you want to avoid.

Oh, and before I forget: Don’t hassle writers. One pitch, one follow-up, and if you receive no reply, just move on. There are others who might answer to your pitch.

Over to you

These are my tips on writing about your app to the media. What's your approach? Share it with us in the comments section below.

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