Subject Lines

Note: This chapter is part of the book’s Additional Content, which is where I put the parts I don’t think are good enough (yet) to include in the book. My ego humbly requests that you lower your expectations.

I could write a big thing about subject lines but it wouldn’t matter because it comes down to this: you have six to eight words. Fit what you can. In an ideal world these words would elicit a “ooh-i-wanna-read-this” impulse, but that needs to stem from the story you’re pitching, not fancy wordplay.

If you’re offering an exclusive, include that. If your team is killer, or you’ve got a hot-shot founder, that’s your thing. Likewise if you’ve landed big-name funding, or have great early traction, or it’s a product that you’ve seen the writer personally wish for on Twitter.

If you have none of those — or have room for a few more words — figure out a punchy way to describe the company. This is where that ‘X for Y’ trope often comes in.

If you’ve been in the press recently, include the company’s name. If it’s unlikely the reporter has heard of you, don’t bother. And don’t fret too much about fitting the ‘story’ stuff in here, unless it makes for a great tagline.


Ex-Apple team building a Game Center that works

(Exclusive for you) GutenberGo raises $2 million from PlatitudeVC, Angels

Former NSA agent building ‘Tor for normals’

BugMunchers growing 200% month/month — want the exclusive?

Don’t bother with clever ploys that make your story sound more urgent or important than it is. Your integration of Google’s publicly available API does not constitute an “Exciting New Partnership.”