You’ve finally done it: You’ve sent out your first pitch for a freelance writing project. As soon as you send the email off, the tension begins. You find yourself constantly checking to see if you’ve gotten a response yet. Ideally, of course, you’ll get an answer within a few days. If you don’t get a response right away, you may wonder when it’s appropriate to follow up on your freelance writing pitch. What should you say in that follow-up email? Here’s what you need to know:
Don’t follow up too quickly.
How long should you wait before sending a follow-up email? This depends on a number of factors. If your story is time-sensitive, you may want to mention that in the original pitch email. Otherwise, you should wait at least a week before following up on a story pitch. You should also check the publication’s guidelines for submission; many sites will explicitly mention when you should expect to receive a response to your query.
Keep your follow-up email brief.
When you send a follow-up to your story pitch email, it’s a good idea to keep the message as minimal as possible. Usually, it’s best to say that you just want to confirm that the original email was received. Don’t call attention to how long it’s been since you sent the first email or try to jazz up your original pitch with additional details. Do include the original email pitch in your follow-up email, so the editor you’re emailing doesn’t have to go digging through his or her inbox to find the first message.
Time your follow-up carefully.
When you do send a follow-up message, it’s important to send it at the right time, so the recipient is more likely to see it right away. After all, if the email is buried in the recipient’s inbox, it’s not going to do you any good. It’s best to send your follow-up email in the morning on a weekday—if you send it at the wrong time, such as 10 p.m. on a Friday, you’re less likely to get a quick response.
Know when to call it a day.
What if you don’t receive a response to the follow-up email? In most cases, this signals that it’s time to move on to other projects. If you keep sending follow-up after follow-up, you’re more likely to annoy and alienate the recipient than you are to convince them to publish your story. After all, if a publication is enthusiastic about a story idea, they usually won’t hesitate to let you know. If you don’t get an answer to your follow-up email within a few days, it’s safe to assume that you can start pitching the idea elsewhere.
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