11 Pitch Subject Lines for When You’re Really Desperate

By Julie Vick May 31st, 2016

Most freelancers know how important pitch subject lines are. In a day and age when editors’ inboxes are overflowing with emails, a bad subject line means your idea will never get read.

But what if you’ve read and followed the great tips on how to improve your subject lines and you still aren’t getting responses? Here are some ideas for when you are truly desperate.

1. Proposing deeply reported piece on choosing the best name for your pet meerkat. Five solid sources secured (3 humans, 2 meerkats). Read clips at 

Try getting your whole pitch into the subject line. After all, there’s technically no word limit.

2. Pitchy McPitchface

If it worked for Boaty McBoatface, maybe it will work for you.

3. Story idea you probably won’t be interested in

This subject line employs a nice blend of reverse psychology and crippling self-doubt.

4. What do cute baby hedgehogs and artisanal sauerkraut have in common?

Nothing, actually. But maybe the editor will be intrigued enough to open your email.

5. Please, please, please open this email

Straight-up begging is always an option.

6. Spooooky submission attached. Open at your own risk

If the editor is ghosting you, maybe you just need to speak their language.

7. Pitch: My Butt

Editor Jess Zimmerman actually jokingly recommended this one on Twitter. You never know—could work.

8. 3 terribly brilliant ideas every editor should have. You won’t believe number 2

Why not try the clickbait approach?

9. Surprise inside!

Spoiler alert: It’s a pitch.

10. I am becoming concerned for your welfare

If an editor isn’t writing back, you may start to wonder if they are okay. Just be sure to ask how they are before you launch into your great idea about an all-expenses-paid reporting trip the Greek Isles.

11. Psychologically and financially broke freelancer really needs response to this pitch

Honesty is always the best policy, right?

Image by Getty Images
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