Mailings in Digital PR - How Your Seeding Will Become Successful in 5 Steps

We show you how to set up and send successful PR mailings!

Mailings im Digital PR
Table of contents
  1. Where are you in the process of your digital PR campaigns?
  2. Find the right time to send your online PR mail
  3. This is what you should definitely pay attention to when writing your digital PR emails
  4. Use the right structure when writing your online PR emails
  5. These mistakes should you avoid when emailing in digital PR
  6. These tools help you with the outreach of your PR emails
  7. Conclusion to emails in Digital PR

Media coverage, preferably from the big ones – this is the declared goal of PR work. Be it traditional or digital public relations. To achieve this, there is usually no way around contacting journalists, for whom the preferred contact method is email, as numerous surveys show.

But what do you need to consider in an email for Online-PR and what should you definitely avoid? Based on our own experiences, our guest author Tobias Rösner and Laurent Bussmann from Claneo reveal some tips and tricks for successful digital PR emails.

Table of Contents

1. Where are you in the process of your digital PR campaigns?

2. Find the right time to send your digital PR email

3. This is what you should definitely pay attention to when subjecting your digital PR emails

4. Use the right structure when writing your PR emails

5. These mistakes should you avoid when emailing in digital PR

6. These tools will help you with the outreach of your PR emails

7. Conclusion to emails in digital PR


Where are you in the process of your digital PR campaigns?

Creating emails is one of the last steps in developing a digital PR campaign and is to be located during the distribution phase. Before you start creating PR emails, you should know what data you have, what story you want to tell as part of your campaign and who you want to reach with it.

Find the right time to send your online PR mail

Planning a mailing in digital PR begins even before writing. First, you should consider on which day of the week and at what time your target group is most likely to open your email. Last year we from Claneo sent 23,805 emails in Germany. Based on the numbers obtained from this, rough recommendations can be made.

After evaluating our data, it was found that Tuesday is the day with the best opening rates. It is followed by Thursday with the second best values. In terms of time, a time between 9 and 10 a.m. in the morning proved to be the most successful. During this period, our emails were able to achieve an average opening rate of just under 24 or 28 %.

For comparison: the industry average is 20 %. So in the afternoon around 3 p.m and in the evening between 6 and 7 p.m you could also achieve higher opening rates. However, you should not see such or similar evaluations as binding, but rather as a guide. It is important that you determine the optimal day of the week and the best time yourself.

This is what you should definitely pay attention to when writing your digital PR emails

Together with the sending time of your online PR emails, the subject has the most influence on whether journalists click on your email or ignore it. Many journalists receive around 50 topic suggestions daily, sometimes up to 100. Accordingly, it is important for the success of your send-outs that your subject stands out.

But how do you succeed in this?

  • Make it clear to journalists that it is an editorial suggestion and not an advertising offer. So use terms like "Editorial tip" or "Content tip".
  • The contact person should be able to guess the content of the mail based on the subject. Use specific keywords like "study", "investigation" or "ranking" to highlight the informational value of your PR emails.
  • Less is more: the subject should not exceed 80 characters.
  • Put the most important information at the beginning of the subject so that it is not overlooked.
  • Formulate the subject line in such a way that it can be used directly as a headline for the article by journalists.
  • Try to put yourself in your counterpart's shoes when writing. Choose different wordings and phrasing depending on the target group.

Following these points alone does not guarantee success, but you avoid the major sources of error and maximize the chances of a successful send-out.

Use the right structure when writing your online PR emails

The sending time is chosen and the subject is written - now it's time to write the PR emails. You can present your content in different ways. We show you three variants that you should consider for the structure of your emails.

  • Little content with reference to the press release: Surveys show that the press release is the journalists' favorite source of information. If you have a press release in the attachment to your email, it is therefore recommended to keep the mail text as brief as possible - in this case, the most basic information is sufficient. This prevents the contact person from being scared off by the length of the mail and it closes or even deletes it before the press release is even noticed.
  • Facts Mailing: However, some topics are too complex to be adequately described in a few sentences. In this case, you should briefly summarize the most important points of your press release in a few keywords. However, make sure to select the bullet points that are appropriate to the respective contact person. In addition, you should never mention all the facts from the press release in your email. The goal is to draw the attention of the journalists with the most interesting information.
  • Storyline Mailing : For some contact persons, you need more than just concise summaries and pure facts. In this case, it is a good idea to integrate a concept of a storyline into your email already. How do you imagine that he or she should report about the topic? Which keywords should he or she know for sure? Write the PR email in such a way that it could already serve as a basis for an article. This makes it easier for the contact person to write about the topic.

These mistakes should you avoid when emailing in digital PR

Mistakes are human. Everyone makes them and no one is safe from them. Most – and especially this applies to sending emails – the first impression is crucial. Therefore, it is extremely important for the success of your outreach to immediately eliminate simple sources of error. How this works, you will learn in the following:

  • Avoid repeating the subject in the first line of your email. The first sentences should give the recipient new information so that interest is maintained.
  • Pay attention to unified formatting. Make sure you use the same font and size everywhere in your email. The devil is in the details.
  • Get to the point quickly. No matter which of the three proposed structure variants you ultimately decide on: Be as brief as possible. Avoid sprawling phrasing and long sentences. Always remember: journalists are often under time pressure!
  • Always keep your target audience in mind. Journalists from different sectors need different approaches. Avoid sending a generic PR email to all contacts, otherwise you convey to the recipients the feeling of having only received a mass email.
  • Is the message readable on smartphones as well? Send the email to your private inbox beforehand and check whether everything is displayed legibly on the mobile phone.
  • Avoid spelling and punctuation mistakes! Always have another person take a look at it or check the written text with a grammar program.
  • Be sparing with pictures. Images and graphics can be a great way to convince journalists of your content. However, you should not bombard your contacts with image material. Choose really important content with caution and rather make additional material available via a download link.

These tools help you with the outreach of your PR emails

For seeding in digital PR also applies: Tools can be a very good means to make processes faster and uncomplicated. We have therefore put together the tools that we believe are most important for digital PR outreach.

1. Cision

Cision is the Swiss Army knife for the entire seeding process. The tool serves you firstly as a journalist database, with which you can find suitable contacts for your outreach. Secondly, with the help of the tool, PR emails can also be sent, reports created and mentions tracked. Cision is a paid program, which is cheaper or more expensive depending on the service you need.

2. Mailchimp

In case you don't need to rely on a database, but would like to use a tool for the email itself, you can fall back on Mailchimp (or ActiveCampaign). With the tool, you can create your own PR emails, customize them individually and send them to a contact list you created. The basic version with up to 2,000 contacts is free. Anything beyond that, you must pay for in a premium version. Detailed user reviews on Mailchimp can be found on OMR Reviews in the Email Marketing category.

3. Hunter

If you are looking for a media contact that you can't find in any of your databases, the browser extension from Hunter might help you: Hunter provides you with the email addresses that are stored for a website. If the right one is not there, the extension gives you the common pattern according to which addresses for this are usually designed. Hunter is free to use in the basic version.

4. Email checker

You've found a supposed email address of a contact, but you're not sure if it's correct? In this case the email checker helps you. Simply enter the corresponding email address in the search box and the tool gives you whether this email address exists or not. There are many tools in this direction, but from our experience, the most reliable is the email checker from Expert. The tool is also free of charge.

5. LanguageTool

As already described in the upper part, avoiding typing or grammar mistakes is a source of error that must be eliminated in order to maximize the success of your seeding. LanguageTool helps you with this: As a browser extension, it checks everything you write in the browser for grammar and spelling mistakes. In the desktop version, you can even enter your own texts and have them corrected by the program. The basic version of the program is free. In the paid version, the tool tries to find better wording possibilities for you.

Conclusion to emails in Digital PR

As with many areas in the communications industry, there is not one right way for writing digital PR emails. What works well and what works less well is ultimately always dependent on the person receiving the message. However, there are sources of error to be eliminated and potentials to be tapped. If you stick to everything mentioned in this article, you are surely on a good way!

Tobias Rösner
Tobias Rösner

Tobias Rösner ist Digital-PR-Manager bei Claneo, einer Search- und Content-Marketing Agentur aus Berlin. Er unterstützt Kund:innen im Bereich des Digital PR und hilft ihnen dabei, die richtige Kampagne passend zu ihren Wünschen zu entwickeln.

All Articles of Tobias Rösner
Laurent Bussmann
Laurent Bussmann

Laurent Bussmann ist Head of Content Marketing bei Claneo, eine der führenden deutschen Online Marketing Agenturen für internationales Search- & Content-Marketing mit Sitz in Berlin. Seine thematischer Schwerpunkt ist das Content Marketing, mit besonderen Fokus auf Digital PR und Offpage SEO. Zusammen mit seinem Team führt er sowohl nationale als auch internationale Kampagnen für KMUs und Konzerne durch.

All Articles of Laurent Bussmann

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