When you want to send your first email to an influencer, it can feel overwhelming and bring up quite some worries: How do I address them? What if they never reply? And: What if they hate the product? But there is no need to agonize over an outreach email.
If you follow our best practices and influencer outreach email examples, you will write an inspiring collaboration email that convinces the recipient to work with your company.
Why collaborate with an influencer?
According to Mediakix, 89% of marketers say that ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing channels.
Let that sink in for a moment. The vast majority of marketers say that working with an influencer brings a similar or even better return on investment than other marketing channels. The risk you are taking in by trying out influencer marketing for your business is relatively low, and the reward can be high if you know how to do it right.
It's one of the reasons why influencer marketing is on the rise. The influencer marketing industry is on track to be worth up to $15 billion by 2022, up from $8 billion in 2019. To join that trend, you can start by working with the right influencer for your business.
How to write an email to an influencer – the best practices
1. Find the right influencer for your marketing goals
Not all influencers are created equal. There are beauty, fashion, or traveling influencers and marketing, parenting, or even farming influencers. You want to find an influencer that is a fit for your company.
First, you have to decide what goal you want to achieve with this collaboration. Is it meant to increase reach & engagement, raise brand exposure & awareness or boost sales?
As a second step, you want to choose the platform that fits your ideal customer profile. Every social platform attracts influencers to some degree, but Instagram is by far the most popular one. Nearly four in five (79%) brands predominantly use Instagram for influencer campaigns, compared with Facebook (46%), YouTube (36%), Twitter (24%), and LinkedIn (12%).
Ultimately you are looking for an influencer that works on the platforms your audience is on. There's no point in advertising on Instagram if your ideal audience mostly consumes Youtube.
Third, you want to be clear on why you want to partner with this particular influencer. To decide which person is perfect for you, think about the following.
Are they relevant to your audience? An influencer can have millions of followers, but if the followers are not your ideal audience, you won't get the ROI you want. Similarly, if a person has low rates for their services, but your ideal customers don't follow them, there is no point in investing in a cheaper option.
Which follower size is "enough" can vary from brand to brand. Social media influencers can be divided into five different tiers: nano-, micro-, mid-tier, macro, and mega-influencers (from smallest to biggest). While the follower size is the deciding factor for these groups, there is also a difference in engagement and reach.
Nano-influencers can be an exciting option for companies. Despite the low follower count, they often have high engagement levels, especially within their local community. They know most, if not all of their followers, which leads to high levels of trust. If the followers trust the influencer, they will also trust their recommendation of your product.
Ideally, you want an influencer who isn't green. Spare yourself from the constant back and forth and unclear collaboration terms, partner with someone who knows what they are doing.
Lastly, you want to decide what kind of collaboration you want to offer. Should the influencer post a photo of your product, give a detailed product review, or are you interested in a giveaway for their followers? Once you know the terms, you can write your influencer outreach email with clarity and ease.
2. Start with a catchy subject line
47% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line. There's some heavy inbox competition when you write to an influencer, so your subject line will make or break your outreach. A busy person who gets more emails than they can read only opens messages that are truly important or come with an enticing subject line.
While it's key to spend some time crafting the email body, you should spend even more time coming up with the subject line. The subject line is what decides if you are in and out.
Don't write something as dull as the following examples ❌
- Collaboration offer
- Partnership possibility!
- Want to cooperate with us?
These subject lines indicate that this is a mass email sent to many influencers, and you only bothered to change their name in the greeting. Instead, you want to encourage the influencer to check what's inside of the email. Please do not mention monetary rewards in the subject line. It will make your email look more like spam and will likely make you end up in the promotion, if not the spam folder. To ensure that your email will not get flagged as spam, you can test your message in various programs.
Try to personalize the subject line by showing that you know them ✅
- Lauren, I adore your dance videos!
- Your followers will love this product iPhone case
- Bamboo or recycled plastic - which toothbrush would your audience prefer?
- Peter, looking for your advice on charcoal grills
3. Speak their language
If you want to collaborate with an influencer, make sure to speak their language.
Don't turn your message into a college essay to convince the recipient or use too formal greetings. Speak the language the influencer also uses in their content. However, you want to take this tip with a grain of salt because your words still need to sound authentic and fit your overall brand voice. If you're selling high-end watches, you might not want to reach out saying, "your videos are lit."
Try to use language playfully. If you find it hard, stick with a more professional approach before it gets cringe-worthy. Despite trying to speak their language, make sure to take the influencer seriously in your outreach. They are, after all, your potential business partner and should be treated with the same respect as any other partner.
4. Personalize your email to the influencer
Influencers help you build trust for your product because their audience trusts their opinion. But to get them to work with you, you also have to create trust with them. Social media influencers want to feel appreciated, and they want to see that you did your research (see #1).
Your email needs to show that it's tailored towards one particular influencer. That starts with a personalized subject line and greeting, but you set yourself up for failure if you don't customize the entire message. You'll have way more success if you focus on sending a few personalized emails instead of sending out the same message en masse.
After a personalized greeting, your first line needs to show the influencer that you know them. You can refer to the content they recently created, collaborations they have going on, or even products or freebies you have used. If you met them at a conference or joined one of their workshops, even better – mention which event you attended and what you learned from them. Express that you like their content, style, and approach. After all, that's why you want to work with them.
5. Create a unique pitch & don't use influencer outreach email templates
There are many influencer outreach email templates online, and most are free to use. But since they are out there and easy to find, you will be using the same template as other brands.
As tempting as it can be, it's more beneficial to draw your company's attention with a unique pitch. Influencers can see when you're a copy-cat, and it's not a good look. While it seems easier to use a one-size-fits-all approach that supposedly works for others, it might not work for you. You want to explore what kind of pitch fits your brand voice, company, and product.
6. Be concise and get to the point
Always assume that your target is busy: just like any other entrepreneur, influencers have a full schedule and prioritize their time for what makes sense for their business. They don't want to search through an email to find the most critical info. They want a message that is easy to scan to see what is relevant for them.
So don't waste their time with complicated formulations or metaphors: Be concise and get straight to the point with what you want from them. While it's great to start your email with a personalized compliment (see #4), don't spend the entire email telling them how amazing they are. It's frustrating and does not have the positive effect you were hoping it would.
Here are the most important elements that you need to include in an influencer outreach email
Introduce your company & yourself
Marketers tend to share too many details about the brand. Just mention the absolute necessities to start a conversation – the industry you work in, (potentially) the product you sell, and your mission.
Connect your brand values with the values of the influencer
You want to work with this influencer for a reason. It's good to share how this person is a perfect fit for your brand and how your values align. You can use some of their content that resonates with your brand as an example.
Be clear on your offer
Explain what you are offering them quickly. Is it a collaboration, free products, or an affiliate program? Don't mention monetary compensation because the influencers know that they will be compensated. If they are interested, move to talk about their rates.
7. Create value to the influencer
Ask yourself: What is in it for them? While the influencer needs to know your business goals for the collaboration to put their best foot forward when working with you, you need to entice them with a unique collaboration offer that stands out from the masses.
The larger the influencer, the more offers they get from brands daily. You want to come up with an unusual proposal that goes the extra mile. You can offer them something that other brands can't or won't provide, such as support for their content creation by hiring a local photographer or an exclusive invite to an event or concert.
Some of the most common examples of opportunities that go beyond the monetary compensation are:
- Gifts for followers
- Ambassador status
- Exclusive membership
- Access to new products that are not yet on the market
- Promoting them in your channels
Of course, the benefits depend on the size of your marketing budget, the follower size of the influencer, and the type of partnership you're looking to have with them.
8. Provide freedom to create
Influencers want to create content in the way they like. After all, they chose to run their own business all-around content creation, and they have been successful at doing it. Don't limit their creativity by giving too strict prerequisites on what the content has to be like.
Assure the influencer that you trust them entirely and that you won't intervene in content production. Social media influencers know their audience better than you: they are the experts on what content the audience prefers and what kind of brand collaborations work. If you chose the right influencer (see #1) to contact, you can trust that you will get quality content that fits your brand.
9. Format your email to perfection
Even with a classic email, there are many ways to use formatting for your benefit. You can utilize the white spaces, bolding, and paragraphs to make your email easy to read.
You want your layout to be clear and establish a visual hierarchy that makes it easy to scan the text and find the essential information. A professional signature is a great way to end the email and to quickly explain who you are and what your company does in a few words.
10. Send follow up email to the influencer
One of the biggest mistakes many marketers make is not following up. According to Propellercrm, sending more follow-up emails can triple your response rate. Often, the influencer won't read your first email in any case.
If they haven't replied within 24 hours, you want to follow up with another email at least 3-7 days after your initial email. You can send a reminder or even ask if they got your previous email. Depending on the social media platforms they are on, you can also send a DM with the same offer. After all, your email might have ended up in spam or promotions. While you want to be eager and check in every once in a while, you never want to spam or stalk them.
When you send an outreach email matters a lot, and that's why you should test the timing when you are sending follow-ups. The best day for following up is often considered Tuesday, while weekends are not recommended.
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