Real Examples Of Bad Pitches
Welcome to my inbox.
My name is _______ and I am an artist, displaying and selling my cards and paintings in various Shops and Galleries in _______.
Would you be interested in displaying my artwork in your Shop? I am sending you on some images – and hope you like them and find them suitable. (the last 4 images are the gift cards at 5″ square).
Thank you for your consideration
Dear Sir / Madam = Ruh-roh
This reads as “I couldn’t be bothered looking up your names, even though they’re plastered all over your website. To me, you are faceless blob monsters. You seem to have a business bank account, though, so I’ll perform politeness.”
This is entirely about what the artist wants.
There’s zero consideration given to what we might get out of buying these products, or why we should buy their products in particular.
No attempt at describing who their work is for.
Figuring out what kind of customer they serve, and whether we also serve that customer, is our job.
No sign they know anything about our shop.
Because blob monsters.
FYI Please find the enclosed document referred to in the subject.
This is the entire pitch.
And it’s why we retailers go into our stockrooms, turn off all the lights and rub peppermint lip balm on our eyelids. We just want to feel something.
On checking our outstanding enquiries I notice we have not heard from you since our original enquiry.
We have recently sent out our up to date Price List and catalogue and trust you received your copy. Should you require any additional information please do not hesitate to contact me.
Why do they hate us?
This is the emotional tone you use when you’re about to impeach someone. This artist can therefore expect extreme hesitation in us contacting them about anything.
I am a new company looking to introduce my new range of greeting card range to you and your company. Sorry if this emails not for you but if you know someone that would be interested, could you please forward my details to them.
5 Ranges over 500 images to choose from.
No hint of what kind of customer they serve.
But we know they make greetings cards, so that’s helpful.
Spelling and grammar are important.
Even if the language you’re pitching in isn’t your first, proof-reading and editing matter. The odd mistake is bound to happen, but this is our first impression of you. Getting it wrong here makes it look like you just don’t care.
Their success is our responsibility.
This artist doesn’t know for sure that they’re writing to the correct people, because that information is kept inside a golden nutmeg guarded by a giant squirrel with glowing red eyes. It’s up to us to make sure their email gets to the right place.
Good job we don’t have anything else to do.
In addition to the Christmas images, I am happy to send my every day cards for you to consider selecting.
And can she open our pitch emails from now on?
Send everything we need to make a decision.
Don’t make us ask for your line sheet, prices or details on your full collection. Attach the whole thing to your pitch and any follow-up emails.
Good afternoon Clare & Anthony
I emailed a week ago and also left a telephone message for you regarding potential stocking of my products.
I haven’t had a response to my email or call and am just checking that you have received it.
Please could you confirm whether my products would be of interest to you?
Insistence creates resistance.
Stamping your foot because retailers haven’t got back to you within your preferred timeframe is a speedy way to get your email deleted. You bounded into our inbox and asked for our attention. We don’t owe you anything. You can and should follow up on your pitches, but don’t expect (or demand) a response.
Fear makes smart, funny, emotionally intelligent artists write terrible pitches. These examples are just a tiny fraction of the hundreds shopkeepers like us receive every year.
Now you know the bar is so low, imagine how little effort it takes to stand out from the crowd. Writing a persuasive pitch email – one that actually gets retailers excited about opening your catalogue or line sheet – isn’t rocket science.
I promise you can do it.
The first step is getting to know the buyers you approach. Once you understand things from our point of view, you can write to us with ease and confidence. Maybe even a dash of humour.
When you do, we’ll put down the lip balm and notice you.
Hello, I'm Clare Holliday. I'm a shopkeeper who's helped thousands of creative people sell their work to stores, galleries and regular customers all over the world. Now it's your turn.