How to Approach Influencers Through Emails

Discover best practices for connecting with influencers through email.

Shane Barker
June 03, 2020

At a time when consumers are more aware of and skeptical of marketing techniques, influencer marketing comes off as more authentic and trustworthy. It also boosts brand awareness, sales, and customer trust and engagement.

It’s thus no wonder that brands and marketers are lining up to collaborate with influencers to grow their business. In fact,  36% of marketers leveraged influencer marketing, and the influencer industry grew by 48% in 2019.

There has to be a catch, right?

Yes, influencer marketing is no magic wand. There are a number of moving parts that you need to get right before you can hope to derive profit from influencer marketing.

One of the challenges marketers face is that of approaching influencers effectively so that they say yes to the collaboration proposal. In fact, communicating with potential and existing influencers is a challenge for 43% of marketers.

Image via Mediakix

Approaching influencers for collaboration can be tricky. Many times, there are gaps between the expectation of brands and influencers, including the preferred method of outreach. 

If you’re serious about influencer marketing, you need a fool-proof influencer outreach strategy. Emailing is one of the best ways to reach out to influencers. It is reliable, personalized, and efficient. 

Usually, emails have high deliverability rates as well. This means that your target influencers will be more likely to receive your emails.

In this post, I will explain how you can catch the attention of your target influencer using pleasing and personalized emails. 

Why is Emailing the Best Way to Reach Influencers?

Trust is the backbone of the influencer industry. 37.2% of influencers like to work with brands more than once when the brand’s values are aligned with theirs and those of their audience.

Through a series of well-crafted emails, you can nurture a relationship with the influencers on your radar. Through them, you can foster trust and make them more amenable to your request for partnership. 

Some marketers also swear by direct messaging since influencers spend a lot of time on social platforms and there’s a strong chance your message will catch their eye. 

But email beats messaging when it comes to relationship building. 

Through emails, you can carry on the conversation with your influencer once you strike an initial rapport. You can exchange contracts, guidelines, and confidential information for future campaigns. Remember, your aim should be to nurture a long-term partnership with your influencers, which might be difficult to achieve solely through messages.

Emailing is also a more reliable method of communication, especially if you use email automation platforms. Using these, you can track each email’s open, click-through, and bounce rates. You’ll know exactly when your email landed in an influencer’s inbox and when it was opened too.  

Let’s take a closer look at how to create result-oriented outreach emails.

How to Create Incredible Influencer Outreach Emails

Your outreach emails speak volumes about you and your brand. That’s why it’s essential to craft stellar emails to get the attention of the influencers. If you make a little extra effort, you can create the right impression on your target influencers and convince them to partner with your brand. 

These are the steps you need to follow:

1. Get to Know Your Influencer

Even if you know loads about your influencer, you need to dig a little deeper before reaching out to them. The better you know your target influencer, the more appealing your pitch will be.

Find out the following things about your influencer:

What is Their Real Name?

Seems basic?

It is. But you’ll be surprised how many people get it wrong. 

Most influencers go by an alias. But you shouldn’t use that while addressing them in your emails. Find out their real name from their social profiles or blogs, and use it to personalize your correspondence. 

Image via Instagram

Who Handles Their Business?

Most middle- and top-tier influencers have talent managers for handling their business. Some are associated with influencer agencies too. These are the people you need to contact if you want to get a better and quicker response. 

Image via Instagram

Typically, nano- and micro-influencers work solo. You‘ll find their email IDs in their social profiles. 

Using these details, create a consolidated contact list of all the influencers you want to approach. You’ll need it later for segmenting and micro-targeting influencers. 

Image via Instagram

What is Their Brand Affinity?

Dig into the social feed of your target influencer and try to understand the brand values close to their heart. Your aim is to understand if the influencer you are targeting is a good fit for you. 

If you associate with an influencer whose values are similar to yours, the connection will look credible and natural to your audiences. 

For example, if you’re an organic food brand, you can’t collaborate with an influencer who promotes animal testing. 

Burt’s Bees is one brand that understands the power of authenticity in influencer marketing. 

The brand manufactures all-natural lip balms and cosmetics. They partnered with 44 influencers for their World Earth Month campaign. All of the influencers were nature or wellness enthusiasts who believed in the concept of sustainability, just like the brand.

To find out if an influencer fits your brand values, check out their bio and posts. They will reflect the causes that the influencer champions. 

Image via Instagram

A word of caution here: it’s not a good idea to poach your competitor’s influencers just because they endorse the same values and have the same audience demographics. Social audiences are very discerning. They might find an influencer who promotes competitor brands as inauthentic. 

2. Do They Have Adequate Reach and Engagement?

An influencer’s influence can be gauged by the engagement their content gets. If the number of likes, comments, and shares is adequate, you’ve found a winner even if the influencer has just a few thousand followers. 

Want to know an eye-opening fact?

Research shows that micro-influences have 22.2X more “buying” conversations (such as product recommendations) than average people.

The quality of conversations in an influencer’s account also makes a big difference. If the comments on their posts are just emojis or generic comments, that doesn’t count as real engagement. On the other hand, if the influencer’s followers ask them for reviews or recommendations, or comment on something specific about their post, the influencer can be considered a bankable partner.

What’s more?

Relevant reach is equally important. Check out the follower demographics of your target influencers. They should align with your target audience so that you get access to new and engaged audiences that might be interested in your brand. 

For example, a travel agency should partner with a popular photographer. Why? You can bet that many of their followers will be avid travelers who follow the influencer to learn expert photography tips. 

3. Give Your Emails a Personal Touch

Once you are sure that the influencers on your list are well-matched and verified, it’s time to compile your outreach emails. 

Ditch the generic approach when it comes to composing and scheduling your emails. Everyone likes a bit of personal attention and influencers are no different.

Addressing influencers by their name, customizing the content to match their tone, offering them things that they crave, sending them emails when they are most active are some ways by which you can personalize your outreach. 

Even if you plan to use an email template, tweak it to add a personal touch.

Here are some ways to do so:

  • Personalize email subject lines and salutation: Even if you’ve crafted a great collaboration proposal for an influencer, it will be a waste unless they open the email. 

To increase the chances of them opening your emails, include their first name to make your email stand out in their overcrowded inbox. Use words and phrases like “collaboration,” “proposal,” “business opportunity,” or “let’s work together” to grab their attention. Be friendly but respectful in the salutation. 

Spammy keywords in the email subject line and body can trigger a bounce. Avoid all words/phrases that make you look manipulative, needy, or sleazy. 

  • Personalize the content: After introducing yourself briefly, compliment the influencer’s latest achievement or post. Write why the collaboration would be mutually beneficial. The key is to connect with influencers on a human level. They are inundated with offers and are more likely to remember a brand that took pains to research about them. 
  • Include a compelling offer: Influencers work for different things, including money, exposure, free products/services, and emotional satisfaction. If you know what motivates your target influencers to accept a proposal, you can pitch them more effectively.

Be upfront about what you bring to the table. Make the offer more appealing by adding frills like free product samples for them to try. Try to match the industry standards for influencer pricing.

  • Personalize your sender details: Try to use your professional account to send the email. You don’t want an influencer to think the email is coming from a bot or an impersonal automated platform. Include your complete contact details in your signature so that they can revert easily too

4. Clarify Your Expectation

Lay down your expectations in unambiguous terms. What should be the influencer’s deliverables? What is the timeline of the delivery? How will you measure their performance? These are some questions you need to think about while drafting the email. 

While it’s good to be honest, try not to overwhelm them with stringent guidelines and unrealistic goals. Content creators crave freedom and you should respect their boundaries as well. 

Pro Tip: Busy influencers don’t have the time to go through lengthy blocks of text about your company’s background and campaign ideas. Use video editing tools to create slick videos and showcase your brand story and value proposition visually. Your influencers might appreciate your ingenuity and effort.

There are a few more things you need to keep in mind:

  • Make your emails mobile-friendly. 
  • Schedule them for early business hours on weekdays. 
  • Include a clear CTA about how the influencer should proceed after receiving the email.
  • Follow-up within a week if you don’t hear back from them. 
  • Follow email deliverability best practices if you don’t want your email to land in the spam folder, like 45% of all business emails. 

Conclusion

Influencer marketing is no fluke. Neither is the process of influencer outreach. If done well, email outreach can help you onboard your desired influencers in record time. 

But it’s best to be practical about the whole process. You may need to go through a few rounds of rejection before you find success. Persistent effort and the great tips in this post will help improve your success rate by a huge margin. 

Do you need more tips about influencer marketing? Schedule a demo with one of Klear’s influencer marketing experts.