How to Craft a Compelling Podcast Pitch (With Email Examples & Template)
In an era where podcasts are rapidly gaining popularity, the opportunity to be a guest on one can be incredibly beneficial. It’s an effective way to increase exposure, introduce yourself to new audiences, and solidify your authority in your industry.
But with so many aspirant guests vying for the same opportunity, standing out from the crowd can be challenging. The key lies in crafting an irresistible podcast pitch.
As is the case with all things that count (job interviews, meeting your future in-laws, etc.), making a memorable first impression is crucial. You can’t bang out a generic email, hit send, and expect the offers to come flooding in.
An effective podcast pitch isn’t just an introduction; it’s your personal branding statement. It should encapsulate who you are, what you bring to the table, and why the podcast host should consider having you on their show.
You want to start the relationship on the right foot and that means writing a personalized pitch that showcases your unique expertise and explains how the prospective show’s audience will benefit.
This guide will walk you through exactly how to do that, from identifying the right podcasts and crafting your pitch to following up and keeping track of your outreach efforts.
We’ve also got email pitch examples and a downloadable template you can use to write an email that’s sure to make an impression. Ready to take your pitching to the next level?
Let's dive in!
Understanding the Concept of a Podcast Pitch
Before we get into the how of it, let’s unpack what a podcast pitch actually is.
In essence, a podcast pitch is you effectively communicating your value proposition to a podcaster with the hope of being invited onto their show.
It’s the tool you use to convince them that you have something compelling to offer their audience—something that’s not only interesting or entertaining but also beneficial and insightful.
To do this effectively, you need to understand the podcast’s audience and the style and format of the podcast itself. You should be able to articulate why you're the perfect fit for their show as well as how your particular insights would add value.
In short, your pitch should resonate with the host and their audience. Their listeners may not be reading your email, but if they did you want them to be, “Hell yeah, we’d love you to be a guest on our favorite podcast!”
Identifying Suitable Podcasts
Now that we’re clear on the concept, let’s take a look at how to find potential podcasts to pitch to. It can be tempting to reach out to all the popular podcasts, but you need to think beyond the appeal of their larger-than-average listener base.
There’s no point landing in the ears of a million people if they don’t care what you have to say. Instead, you must consider how well your expertise aligns with a show's content, theme, and audience demographics.
Start With Your Own Audience
Understanding your own audience first is a vital but often overlooked step. After all, isn’t the idea to research other shows’ listener base? Yes, but it’s important to look at your own first, as this will help you identify the podcasts they are likely to listen to.
Who listens to your content?
What are their ages, and their occupations?
What are their interests, concerns, and aspirations?
What kind of topics would attract them?
Finding podcasts where your audience already hangs out, or where there’s an overlap of interest, means you're more likely to resonate with the show’s listeners. This will increase the chances of your pitch getting accepted.
Check Out Your Competitors
Sleuthing your competitors is also a smart move. Knowing which podcasts they've been guests on not only gives you potential shows to pitch but can also provide insight into the types of conversation topics that are well-received in your niche.
One good way to do this is by conducting a Google search. Simply enter your competitor's name followed by "podcast" in the search bar. This will provide you with a list of shows where they've been a guest.
You can also check their podcast website since most people are inclined to list their media appearances there. Another handy method is using social media. Platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter are often used to promote podcast interviews.
Clever Hack: Google Your Niche
Nowadays, a lot of podcasts will have a guest application form that makes pitching them super easy. It also makes finding podcasts in your niche a cinch. How?
Type this into Google: podcast guest application form [niche keyword]
The great thing about this approach is that you know upfront whether or not a show is open to unsolicited guest applications.
Plus, because most of them outline exactly what they want from you (bio, website, preferred conversation topics, etc.), it takes the guesswork out of what you should include in your pitch.
A lot of times they’ll even explain how long it will take to get back to you, which means you’ll know exactly when to follow up if you don’t hear back.
That said, it’s still important to go through the following two steps before filling out the application form.
Research Each Podcast
After you’ve identified potential podcasts, it’s time to do some in-depth research. Listen to a few episodes of each show. This will give a feel for the podcast’s tone and format.
Analyze the host's interviewing style, and try to gauge their audience's preferences. Take note of how they interact with guests. This will give you a good sense of whether your expertise and presentation style would be a good fit for them.
Additionally, dive deep into the topics that the podcast has covered in the past. This can potentially reveal any gaps in their content that you can offer to fill. By bringing something new and fresh to the table, you'll increase your chances of being invited onto the show.
It's also beneficial to investigate how the podcast promotes their episodes and interacts with comments on various channels. This can offer a further understanding of its audience and their engagement levels. Look at the reviews and feedback they receive to see what their listeners enjoy or look for in an episode.
On the flip side, it can also indicate any areas the podcast might be missing out on. This could be an opportunity for you to add value and contribute something that caters specifically to these underlying needs or desires.
Keep in mind that a successful pitch is more than just securing a spot on a podcast. It’s also about ensuring that you can create a meaningful and mutually beneficial relationship with the host and their audience.
Review Past Guests
Looking at the list of past guests can also provide some insights. Are they industry leaders, influencers, or lesser-known experts? What kind of value did they offer and how did the listeners respond to them?
You’ll be able to judge this by checking the podcast’s social media platforms or website for comments and feedback following the guest’s appearance. Look for discussions indicating that the audience appreciated the guest’s insights and expertise.
Identifying patterns in the types of guests that are chosen can help you prepare a pitch that is better tailored to the podcast, significantly increasing your chances of being accepted.
Creating Your Email Podcast Pitch: A Step-by-Step Guide
Right, you have your list of potential podcasts you’d like to pitch. It's time to learn how to construct a well-crafted email pitch that sets you apart from the rest.
These are the qualities that make a great guest pitch:
The subject line has a clear ask and doesn’t read like spam
The body is short and sweet and gets right to the point
It includes three focused points about what you could talk about, that speak to the audience of the show you’re pitching
Your message shows that you’ve listened to the podcast and know what it’s about—it isn’t some template email you’ve sent out to 100 relevant podcasts
It contains hyperlinks pointing to a reputable website that offers more info about you
Note: The next section is useful to read through even if the podcast you’re interested in has an online guest application.
The Subject Line
An eye-catching fomo-inspiring subject line is vital. It's the first thing the recipient will see, and it will determine whether your email even gets opened.
It starts with the’ sender name.’ That’s the bit preceding the actual subject line that tells the recipient who the email is from. It needs to be personal! According to Litmus, it’s even more important than the subject line itself.
As for writing the actual subject line, we’ve included some basic guidelines below:
Keep it short: Try to keep your subject line under 50 characters to avoid it being cut off
Use action words: They make your subject line stand out and encourage recipients to click
Personalize it: Include the recipient's name or podcast specifics to grab their attention
Steer clear of spam triggers: Avoid words like 'free,’ 'click here’ or 'open now' to bypass spam filters
Cater to your recipient: Shape your subject line to resonate with the specific podcast host or show you're reaching out to
Once you’ve come up with some ideas you can use an email subject line tester to rate your efforts according to length, wording (helpful or negative), scannability (adding numbers, using title case), and so on.
Remember, the subject line's goal is to get your email opened. From there, the content of the email will do the rest of the work.
The Introduction: Setting the Stage
Now that you have the recipient's attention, it's time to introduce yourself and establish your relevance. Briefly explain who you are, what you do, and why you're reaching out.
It's essential to come across as approachable and genuine, rather than overly promotional. Mention if you’re a fan of the podcast and reference some episodes or moments that stood out to you.
The Body: Selling Your Idea
Give the host three potential topics or conversation points related to your expertise that you could discuss on their podcast. Make sure they tie into the podcast's theme and appeal to its audience.
Avoid a sales pitch tone—instead, explain how your insights might benefit their listeners. Cite episodes where similar topics have been discussed or where gaps exist that you could potentially fill.
Showcasing Your Credibility
It’s time to brag without bragging. Provide links to your website, published work, or other relevant credentials that show you’re an expert in your field.
Mention any significant accomplishments or experiences that might bolster your proposed topic ideas. If you’ve been featured on other podcasts, be sure to link to those episodes as well.
The Conclusion: Closing the Deal
You've set the stage, sold your idea, and showcased your credibility. It's time to wrap up your pitch.
Reiterate your interest in providing value to their podcast audience, offer to answer any questions they may have, and remind them of your availability for a follow-up conversation if needed.
Thank the host for taking the time to read your email and end off with a soft call-to-action (CTA), like "Feel free to reach out if you think I would be a good fit for the show" or "I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts.”
This gives the host an invitation to respond but doesn't push too hard.
Providing Effective Examples and Templates
Email Pitch Template
Successful Email Pitch Examples
Following Up: Do's and Don'ts
Understanding follow-up best practices is paramount to your success. As the Harvard Business Review points out, there’s a fine line between being persistent and being annoying.
When to Follow Up
Like most of us, podcast hosts have busy inboxes, so there's a chance your first message might have been overlooked. If you don’t hear back in a week, it’s definitely worth following up with them.
If you sent your pitch via an online application form the host may have stipulated how long it might take for them to get back to you. In this case, you should obviously follow up according to their timeline.
How to Follow Up
Your follow-up message should serve as a simple nudge to remind them of your original email. Check pushy and desperate at the door, and get straight to the point.
Refer them back to your original email (you could attach it), and express continued interest in the opportunity to be a guest on their podcast. If there’s something else you can think of to add that will make your request more appealing, add it.
It could be an interview you had, an article you published, a sponsorship you secured, or whatever. If it’s new information, it’s worth sharing.
Follow-Up Email Template
Head back to the email template section above, where you can register and receive your very own email template for crafting the ideal follow-up message to pitch yourself to a podcast host!
How Often is Too Often?
What happens if you don’t hear back after following up? A good rule of thumb is to wait for a week or two after your follow-up message before reaching out again.
However, if you still don't hear back after the second follow-up, it’s probably time to accept that this podcast might not be interested in your topic and move on to the next one on your list.
If it turns out they were just super busy or your email got momentarily lost in the ethers (it happens), and they get back to you later on. Awesome.
If not, just remember that there are plenty of podcasts out there. This one might not have worked out, but that doesn't mean the next one won't.
Managing Your Outreach: Keeping Track
It’s one thing to send out a ton of emails requesting a guest slot on a podcast, but how do you manage all of these outreach efforts? The last thing you want is to reach out to a show you’ve already contacted.
Keeping track can also provide valuable data for evaluating your pitch's effectiveness over time, so don’t overlook this step. We’ve got some useful tips to help you organize your pitches (and avoid getting egg on your face).
Go Old School With a Spreadsheet
They get a bad rap in some circles, but ye olde spreadsheet can be an effective and budget-friendly way to keep a tab on things. Particularly if you create it in Google Sheets, which allows for easy sharing and updating across devices.
Set up columns for the name of the podcast, the host(s), contact details (name, email address, etc.), date of outreach, follow-up dates, responses received, and any other relevant information, like the outcome or notes from the interaction.
This way, you can easily refer back to your spreadsheet whenever needed and ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Color-coding the responses based on status can also help you see at a glance where each pitch stands.
Green for successful pitches
Red for declined
Blue for no response
Make Use of Cold Email Software
A more sophisticated option is to use cold email software. These tools can save you a lot of time and effort, streamlining the pitching process and automatically tracking your outreach efforts.
They come with a host of useful features, including email templates, reply tracking, and analytics that can be very beneficial in evaluating the effectiveness of your pitch.
Though the majority of them come with a cost, the benefit of reducing the time spent on manual tasks and the increase in organization and efficiency can make it a worthy investment.
Some are more expensive than others, and there are also a couple of free options if your budget is tight. Here are a few to consider:
Project Management Tools
However, if you're a solo podcaster or early in your podcasting journey, paying for an email outreach tool is probably overkill. If that’s you, it’s a good idea to look for something that doubles as a workflow management system, like Trello or Asana.
These platforms allow you to create an organized system to manage your pitches. You can create an individual card or task for each podcast you’re pitching to. From there, you’re able to set deadlines, attach files (like your email pitch), and add notes about any interactions you've had with the host.
You can also move these cards or tasks through different stages as your pitching process progresses.
To be pitched
This gives you a visual overview of the entire process and makes it easy to see where you are with each pitch.
It's clear that coming up with a persuasive podcast pitch takes forethought, research, and a fair amount of creativity. It takes time to research each show, distill your unique value proposition, and communicate it in a compelling way.
But it’s worth the effort. A well-executed pitch can open the door to valuable new audience segments, create fantastic networking opportunities, and position you as a thought leader in your field.
According to Propel Media, podcasters open 73% of the pitches they receive, whereas journalists respond to less than 3%. This stark difference could be due to the more open and diverse nature of podcasting, where hosts are often looking to feature a variety of voices and perspectives.
This data certainly underscores the opportunity available in podcasting and its potential payoff, reinforcing our earlier point that a strong pitch reaps worthwhile rewards.
Remember though, a fundamental aspect of a great podcast pitch is to make it about the host and their listeners, not about you. Show them that you understand their show, their audience, and their needs. Demonstrate how your expertise and story can add value.
Most importantly, don't be disheartened by rejection. It's part of the process. Instead, learn from each experience and use it to refine and improve your pitches moving forward. Always aim to build a relationship, not just to secure a guest spot.
Keep these pointers in mind as you embark on your podcast outreach journey, and you'll be well on your way to becoming a popular and sought-after guest. Happy pitching!