How to increase your email reply rate of pitches

How can you increase the reply rate of your journalist pitches or general communication? Simply change “ME” and “I” language to “YOU” and “YOUR.” This changes your language from “low focus language” to “high focus language” as explained by Joe Thomas of HighFocus.AI. By changing focus from you, to the person you want to impact, you increase the chances of them replying.

I learned about the high focus approach from my client Paul Allen, founder of and Since then, I’ve seen a dramatic increase in not only replies to my emails, but engagement on communications campaigns in general.

Example of high/low focus language

It’s easier to simply write an email of high focus vs low focus. Keep in mind, communication is unique to every person. Even as a trained corporate communications person, I’m improving every day. There are plenty of pitches I send with high focus language that get zero response.

Low Focus: (ME/i VERSION)

“Hey John, I saw the top 10 cleaning product guide, so I thought I’d send information about my new product to be included!”


“Hey John, because you write the top 10 cleaning product guide, you may be interested in a new product to be included!”

Get more replies to your email

Many marketers, communicators and even sales professionals fall into the trap of focusing too much on their own perspective and values. This self-centric approach is a big pitfall further reinforced by widespread communication norms. High focus language breaks free from this toxic communication cycle in two ways: people want to hear about themselves, BUT this also forces you to think about them, completely changing your strategy.

You are motivated by your own values. So are journalists you seek to impact. When emailing them focus on “your readers,” “your publication,” and “your previous work.”

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Hi, I’m Justin Brady. I amplify inventive companies (and their people) to new audiences by identifying and utilizing their customer’s trust channels. I wrote for The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post and I hosted the founders of Starbucks, Hint and on my podcast.
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