Reaching out to influencers takes a lot of time. But this time can feel wasted if you aren’t getting the responses you hoped for.
If you've been trying to contact influencers with little to no success, you've come to the right place! Here are our do's and don'ts of influencer outreach.
This article will cover:
- How you should track your influencer marketing campaign
- How to find the right influencers to reach out to
- How to contact influencers once you find them
- How you can build a relationship that lasts
- What an outreach email should look like
- What you should do post-send
How You Should Track Your Influencer Marketing Campaign
Influencer marketing is one of your brand's marketing strategies to engage influencers to talk about your brand to their following.
An influencer marketing campaign is where you will choose to work towards a particular goal with your influencer marketing efforts.
- Increase the sales of a particular product
- Increase your brand’s following online
- Focus on raising brand awareness
- Create a movement on social media (i.e starting a hashtag trend)
Before you start reaching out to influencers, you need to figure out how you’ll track the success of your campaign.
Although, marketers admit it can be difficult to measure the results of influencer marketing —especially when the influencer has less than 10,000 followers, so they can't access the link feature.
If they have over 10,000 followers and have a link, you can track traffic to your website. If they have under 10,000 followers, one tactic to assist with collecting data, is offering the influencer a unique discount code.Or simply asking customers how they heard about you once they make a purchase.
We have to stress though, influencer marketing should be viewed as a long game. Expecting overnight results from one post could lead you away from a lifetime of influencer brand advocacy and as a result, valuable content.
How To Find the Right Influencers To Reach Out To
Don't forget the little guys. Even macro influencers had to start somewhere!
Nano and micro influencers, although they have a lower follower count or less subscribers, can still be successful influencers. They can be easier to reach, their followers are more engaged and they are less likely to expect money for content.
Not only is it important to find influencers that align with your brand and offering, but they must speak to your target audience. You have a better chance at landing free content marketing if the influencer genuinely likes using your product. And you have an even better chance of driving sales if this influencer is reaching people that also need your offering. Be selective. Influencer outreach can get time-consuming very fast if you are trying to reach EVERYONE.
Great, so you know you need influencers but how the heck do you find them?
Luckily we have provided a comprehensive guide on how to find the right influencers. It's full of great tips and free tools to help you.
How To Contact Influencers Once You Find Them
There are different approaches to contacting influencers. Your motivation and expectations are important.
You may be wanting seed them a product, in other words, gifting a product without asking for anything in return. With this approach you are hoping they will love the product so much they will post about your brand organically, for free. Or you may have the budget to contractually work with them.
Another other approach involves the two. You originally gifted product, they love it and have posted about it and now you want to engage them contractually.
If you are looking to engage them contractually we always recommend finding an email to reach out to. It's more professional and shows them you are serious about wanting to work with them.
You can generally find the best contact information for the influencer on their social media profile page. Some will have an email address but if you're connecting with nano or micro influencers, you may have to send a direct message on the chosen social media platform.
If an influencer asks you to email, then email. Influencers are inundated with direct messages daily, even hourly, so it can be hard to cut-through and be seen if sending a direct message.
How You Can Build Influencer Relationships That Last
Approach potential influencers like a date. Your first piece of outreach is your opportunity to make a good first impression.
What you aren't going to do on that first date is talk too much about yourself, be generic and ask them to pay for dinner.
This isn't how you build a family of influencers rallying behind your brand. This is how you end up wasting time and energy going on a lot of first dates.
Product seeding is a great way to build a genuine relationship with an influencer but it means you can't ask for anything in return. This turns it into a transaction.
Don't ask them for anything! Build the relationship on giving.
Product seeding describes a long-term mindset where the goal is the relationship and everything else is a bonus.
Read more about product seeding.
If you get this part right from the start and have some patience, you will be well on your way to creating influencer relationships that last.
What an Outreach Email Should Look Like
The following are the key elements to successful outreach:
1. A quick introduction about who you are and who your brand is
2. One sentence on why you have chosen them. Show them you have done your homework. Why are they the perfect match for your brand?
3. Explicitly say 'no strings attached'.
If contract proposal: What are you looking for and what will you give them in return? Be clear as it will eliminate the back and forth. Treat their time as precious by giving this information in the first email. Tell them what results you're expecting from this.
4. Include a Call to Action (CTA). How can they get in touch with you? What information you need off them, for example, an address, their size?
Free example email template for influencer outreach (copy & paste)
Hi [Contact Name],
My name is [Name], the [Position/Title] of [Brand Name/Handle].
We believe that [Short blurb on who your brand is, Brand Distinguisher].
I believe you are the best representative for our brand because you represent that message![Why do they complement your brand].
I’d love to send you some product, no strings attached.
Here’s what we are looking for in exchange for [Product/Compensation]:
[Deliverables / What You’re Asking Of Them]
- One Instagram Story Video (:15 seconds)
- One Still Image Instagram post
This initiative would serve as a way to understand how your audience reacts to our brand’s products and success will be gauged on [What results you expect and your goal]
Let me know your address and we’ll get some product over to you ASAP! [Product seeding CTA]
Let me know if you’d be interested and I can share next steps. We look forward to hearing from you soon! [Contractual CTA]
Email: [Contact Info]
A successful product seeding email flow
Let's see this put into practice with a real-life successful product seeding outreach email to an Instagram influencer that yielded an immediate response.
The subject line is to the point and mentions a gift:
How the influencer complements the brand
Letting them know we have done our homework and understand their offering as an influencer and blogger. This is quite detailed because the brand had been tracking the influencer's content for some time:
The blurb on the brand
This only speaks to the areas that the Instagram influencer aligns with the brand. They knew the brand of makeup she currently uses, that she strictly uses non-toxic products and is very supportive of local brands.
No-strings attached message
Making it clear this is all about giving free products with no expectations in return. This is very important to communicate:
Include a CTA
To collect all the information needed to send the product in one reply:
The influencer response
The Instagram influencer replied to this first email within an hour and this was the response (which included an address):
A more transactional email flow example (and what not to do)
While this product seeding outreach email yielded an ideal response, it turned an opportunity into a transaction. Let us show you where it went wrong.
Firstly, the email example we're about to share with you was not sent directly to the influencer, it was sent to the talent agency that manages the influencer. So the first takeaway here? Always get in touch with the influencer directly when product seeding.
The subject line states 'collaboration' which immediately implies the brand wants something in return for the product:
Ineffective CTA for Product Seeding
While the CTA does mention trying the products 'obligation-free', it fails to ask for all the information needed to be able to send the products. However, the biggest issue is that the brand has asked about rates. Ultimately, the brand has turned this relationship into a transaction.
The agency responded with the influencer's rate card.
If we look at this outreach email from the perspective of approaching the influencer contractually, it performed better. It just needed to include what the brand would be willing to pay and/or what they would expect in return for that.
It isn't a total loss in this respect, as the brand received interest and can now respond to the influencer's rates with this information.
What You Should Do Post-Send
A great influencer marketing strategy is to be persistent and keep outreach going all the time.
You can quickly become disheartened in this world of influencer outreach, contacting so many and not always getting a lot of responses. But don't give up too quickly! No answer is not a no.
Don't forget to follow up
It can take a number of emails to yield a response from an influencer that can then go on to post about the brand regularly for free. If the influencer aligns well with your brand and you're sure they will love your offering, be persistent.
Mix-up your approach to try and cut-through the noise. We also recommend following up with a direct message on their social media platform if you are still waiting on an email reply.
As an example you could say something like this:
My name is [name], the [position] of [brand]. We are the first [product/service] on the market and you’re the perfect match for our brand. We’ve identified you as someone we’d love to work with! We’d be thrilled to get you our products [add contractual: and see if there’s an opportunity to collab]. I've recently sent you an email if you would like to take a look and let me know what you think? [CTA]
Email: [contact info]
A Kynship Influencer Marketing Case Study: Pact Apparel Results
Forming partnerships with the right influencers can be very lucrative for your brand but as we have mentioned already, that's the result of a long-term relationship. It's not all about the money.
You can see from this case study that the brand ended up with so much more than just a tonne of new visitors to the website. The compounding value in terms of content marketing was 10-fold.
Total influencers contracted: 20 micro influencers
Total content received: 72 assets
The influencers were first seeded with product and after showing interest in sharing the product, were only contracted to one video but they overdelivered 10-fold.
New website visitors: 2,265
Total reach: 812,000
If you need help to take the guesswork out of influencer marketing and want to generate amazing results like Pact Apparel, we can help! Book us in for an initial chat (no strings attached).