How Email Tracking Changed My Pitching Strategy
Okay so... I’m a little late once again. Those of you who have any experience in marketing are already hip to email tracking. Aside from Outlook or my MailChimp newsletter, I haven’t paid much attention to email tracking or email marketing analytics.
I’ma member of multiple writing groups on Facebook, and I began hearing marketing aficionados talk about email tracking. The practice, for those of you who don’t know, allows you to see if and when an email is read as well as how many times it's read.
The reason why this is so important for journalists is because it can totally change the way you pitch articles. Thank God for email. Writers pitching national magazines might have faxed or mailed their pitches in the past. But now, you can write a killer email subject line, wait to see if an editor opens it, and decide whether to follow-up or pitch elsewhere—all within a matter of minutes.
Earlier this month, I started using Mailtrack, an email tracking software which connects to your Gmail account. I use the free version, which allows users to track an unlimited number of emails but also attaches a Mailtrack logo to your email signature. At first, I was little annoyed with the logo placement in my email signature, but you get what you pay for and it’s not so bad.
That said, I do recommend the free version for independent journalists in order to speed up their pitching schedule. Now, particularly when I’m pitching national magazines, if I see that an editor has read my email but doesn’t respond within a day or two, I mull over whether I want to move on or follow-up. Before, I’d wait a week or so before following-up, because I didn’t want to be a nuisance and I wasn’t sure whether the editor read my pitch yet.
The software periodically sends me a report of how many tracked messages have been read. I don’t really use that data for. However, as a user of MailChimp, I’m interested in how subject lines compel subscribers to open up a message.
If you’re interested in email tracking, here are a few other services you can try:
There are plenty more out there, so click around and see what price and service work best for you business. I’ll keep experimenting with email tracking to see what other insights it gleans. What kind of subject lines should I be writing? How soon should I follow up? Does opening an email mean it’s actually read?
What kinds of email tracking software do you use? How has it helped your pitching? Tell me in the comments or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.