The Art of Outreach:
I. Acquiring Targets 101 – Learn how to find appropriate blogs and YouTube channels to target.
II. Finding Contacts 101 – Learn how to find the emails of tastemakers you want to specifically pitch.
III. The Perfect Pitch 101 – Learn how to craft the perfect pitch email to send to contacts.
You’ve learned how to acquire your target and know which publications and YouTube channels you want to pitch, but within the target is another target. While there are many outlets that only operate out of one general email inbox, this is not usually the case. You can usually find an [email protected] email, yet these are rarely checked and you will almost always have better luck if you find a specific person’s email, whether it is with a company domain or a personal Gmail. However, even general emails can be difficult to track down sometimes. TL;DR: Emails are hard to find.
Finding a YouTube channel’s email
For me, there are only a couple of strategies I use to find the target’s email so I’ll touch base on those first.
Once you are on its channel, head to its “About.” Many channels will feature their email address or a submission portal in the description or details. For details, you only get to view so many emails a day after passing the bot test so if you have multiple Google accounts, switch between those once you have hit your limit.
If the channel doesn’t have its email on the account, don’t give up just yet. Go poke and see if there are any social accounts linked to the channel, which is at the lower right hand side of the banner. All of the strategies following can be applied to a general publication, as well, although this will usually only provide a general email address. If it has a Facebook account, head to its “About” on the Facebook page. Many will list an email address there.
If you’re still not finding much success, go to their Instagram page via your phone. Sometimes, business accounts will include a “contact” option next to “message” on their Instagram profile. Click that and document the email address that pops up in your drafts.
If the channel doesn’t have any social media accounts linked and an email isn’t provided, you could always simply comment on one of their videos, “Hey, is there a good way to get in touch with you?” If this doesn’t yield any results though, I would just take the loss there and not try to dig much deeper, out of sake of time and likelihood it will actually be found. Many YouTube channels do not have their own email domain and if it’s not able to be tracked down, it’s likely not wanted to be found. Don’t let this discourage you though. There are hundreds of relevant YouTube channels out there that want to hear from you. You just need to do some digging to find them.
Finding a writer’s email
Locating a specific writer’s email is another story. There is a running joke that publicists are just really good stalkers, but it’s needed to find these squirmy, evasive emails. Although some outlets make things easy by having an email displayed loud and proud on their “Contact” page or on the writer’s author profile, that is not always the case. Websites such as Earmilk cover many genres within and outside of electronic music so you can’t just pitch anyone, you usually are looking for a particular person. Once you find who you want to pitch to, here are my strategies on finding their contact information without actually contacting them.
While some companies have really similar email structures, such as [email protected], it can be a pain to guess at these. Especially at places such as EDM.com or Billboard, where freelancers do not have a designated company email address. When I took a Heroic course, it showed this amazing website called Voila Norbert. If you are able to locate the writer’s first and last name, you can plug it into the website with their blog domain and it will provide you their specific email. This does not work all of the time so this is not an end all be all. Sometimes, the emails are not accurate or it is unsearchable because many blogs do not provide official email domains to their writers. You can get your first 50 searches for free, and it does not count as a search unless an email pops up so you don’t have anything to lose!
Don’t let this discourage you from the hunt. Instead, try to find the writer on social media to locate an email address. If you don’t know the person’s last name, try typing their name with the outlet they work for in Facebook to see if those keywords yield any results. For example, “Kaelyn Raver Rafting.” Then, you can check out the person’s “about” and see if anything is listed. Even if nothing is listed, you have their first and last name so you can head to Twitter or Instagram. Similar to Instagram, some writers will put their email in their Instagram’s contact section to click on, and people will occasionally put an email in their Twitter biography. However, if a personal phone number is listed, I would personally advise to ignore that and do not call or text it. If the writer has a website, an email may be displayed on there. Even if you can’t locate it in the website copy, an uploaded resume PDF file might have it.
If you absolutely cannot find any email addresses for a particular outlet, there is no harm to shoot a message to its contact form on the website. Once the person responds, you will have an email on file. If you are convinced a specific writer will really enjoy your music, they don’t have a website, and you have their social media, I do not think it’s bad to kindly reach out and see where they accept pitches. Personally, I prefer to do this on Facebook or Instagram. Do not pitch into their social media DMs though. Merely ask where you can pitch. That introduction is the major difference between an answer and a read receipt.
Once you have their emails…
When you finally locate the writer’s email, do not be afraid to actually reach out to it! I know that it may seem strange to email a stranger, especially since you had to do so much digging to find it, but it’s not as abnormal as you think. It’s definitely nowhere near as weird as if you cold-called them. Writers are used to receiving pitches and publicists sharing contact emails with one another all the time. Also, if they displayed an email somewhere on their social media accounts or on their website, it’s intended to be contacted. You worked to find this email, use it!
These are only the fundamentals to the art of outreach though. Just having an email address of a person does not guarantee coverage. You can have thousands of emails on file, but if you do not email with a strong pitch, it will be for null. Even if you have the most killer single, a weak pitch may cause it to never get heard. You know where and who you want to pitch to, but you need to make them want to write about you. You need to perfect the art of the pitch. We’ll visit this next time.