4 Secrets to Pitching Your App to Reporters

Getting press for your app can give it a huge boost in downloads, but there's a fine balance between persistence and annoying.

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By Zach Cutler

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A great idea can lead to a great app, but no one will ever know about it without great marketing. With more than a million apps in both the Google Play Store and Apple App Store, app developers are struggling to get their apps noticed, downloaded and used.

Starting with media outreach can be powerful and effective. Below are four easy but effective steps to pitch an app to reporters and make sure it gets noticed:

1. Build a target list. Before writing any pitches or press releases, take some time to research all the articles that were written in the last 12 months on similar apps, as well as anything general within your industry space. Take the time to find as many reporters as possible, but make sure they are all relevant and on target -- don't just add people to add them.

Related: 25 Creative Ways to Promote Your App For Free

Using the results from the research, build a list that includes the name and contact information of the reporters, a link to the original article and when it was published and a couple of sentences to reference noting what the article was about. This may seem like a lot of work up front, but it will be worth it.

2. Draft a captivating press release. The press release should be about 500 words in length and drafted in a hard-news style without fluff. Referring to some of the articles uncovered in step one can help determine what type of information is relevant to include and what the reporters really care about.

Make sure to use captivating words within the release and eliminate extra words. Have at least two people review the release for grammar and spelling errors -- it will not be taken seriously by a reporter if there are mistakes.

Related: How to Write a Press Release That Gets Noticed

Finally, the most important part of a press release is the headline. This is the first thing people see, and if it doesn't capture their attention, they won't open the email, let alone read the rest of the release. Make it bold and exciting yet not overly grandiose.

3. Individually tailor each pitch. Send an individually-tailored email to each reporter in the list developed in step one. Make sure to include the press release, an email body with one to two captivating sentences summarizing what the app does and why it's unique and a screenshot of the app.

Also, make sure to utilize the information included in the target list -- reference something from a story the publication published, or make a more general reference to the types of stories they write. Taking the time to get to know the reporter's writing will be meaningful to them.

4. Follow-up without being a nuisance. Following up persistently without becoming a nuisance is very important to the success of these pitches. It's also a very delicate balance. Reach out to the reporters every two to three days -- if there has been no response after the third follow-up, move on.

To be more effective, try to alternate follow-up methods, including emails, phone calls or social media. All journalists have different contact preferences, so taking the time to figure out what his or hers is will lead to greater success.

Related: Pitching Practice: A PR-Checklist for Early-Stage Startups

Zach Cutler

Founder & CEO, Cutler PR

Zach Cutler is an entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Cutler PR, a tech PR agency in New York and Tel Aviv. An avid tech enthusiast and angel investor, Cutler specializes in crafting social and traditional PR campaigns to help tech startups thrive.

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