We’ve been talking about influencer marketing and monitoring for awhile now. And in that time, its growth in popularity has only increased (skyrocketed?).
And when the influencer marketing space is that crowded, think about how cramped influencers’ inboxes are. And don’t get me started on their social media notification feeds.
It’s not easy to get an important person’s attention.
A few years ago, all you had to do was try – to send over a quick outreach email – and you’d at least get noticed, even if you didn’t always get a reply or a “yes.”
Now our outreach needs to be really awesome, and marketers can’t scrape by on doing “just enough” to reach out.
So simply sending a mediocre pitch to connect with an influencer for an upcoming campaign? Not gonna work anymore. It has to be a freaking great pitch.
In this post, learn how to tweak and tune your next influencer outreach email until it makes the first impression you need.
Tweaks to make your next outreach email rock
1. Find the best inbox
Are you emailing the right address?
This sounds obvious, but with some influencers and niches it can be more nuanced than you think. VIPs like influencers are often associated with more than one brand or company or may have more than one website.
This means they could have multiple emails.
For example, if they’ve written a book, that book probably has a website which probably has a catch-all email account. But just because the address exists doesn’t mean it’s a good way to contact them. It might not get checked frequently (or at all), or may be maintained by support in a totally different area than who you need to talk to.
You want to make sure you’re sending your influencer outreach to the most appropriate email address – which may even mean emailing an influencer’s representation.
Not only does it ensure your pitch actually…you know…gets seen, but pitches sent to the wrong place don’t make a great first impression. It says “I didn’t do my research and you don’t need to take me incredibly seriously.”
Influencers often have contact info like their email address listed on their website and social media, so there’s really no reason not to know the best place to contact. For example, Gala Darling provides a direct email in her site’s footer, so there’s really no excusing sending her an email to any others you may find for her.
2. Write a subject line that intrigues
When it comes to the subject lines for email outreach, you want to play up curiosity a bit without resorting to clickbait territory. Curiosity and intrigue always make for some amazing subject lines, but it’s even more important with influencer outreach emails.
Think about it.
Influencers are busy people.
Sure, they may see a subject line and go “sure, this is potentially interesting…I’ll save this email for later.” But then later, they get busy and never get around to it. It’s not that they weren’t interested in your email, they just weren’t interested enough.
You need to make them see your new email in their inbox and go, “I have to know why they’re contacting me and what they’re talking about in this subject line.”
For example, the difference between “let’s work together” and “let’s make amazing things happen” is small. Neither are amazing subject lines, but one of those emails will definitely get opened before the other. One is bland, and the other is enthusiastic with a bit of mystery (what amazing things?!).
It’ll be a challenge, but all good marketing is. That’s why it’s so satisfying when it works.
3. Compliment without fangirling/fanboying
Oh man, this is something I’ve been guilty of a lot in the past. In fact, realizing this (and just making a small mindset tweak) made a huge difference in the results of my own influencer marketing efforts.
Influencers are not your idols, they’re your colleagues.
Even if you’re a huge fan of a certain influencer, you’re not approaching them as a fan, you’re approaching them as a potential business partner. Treat them as such – as equals.
Complimenting someone and subtly sucking up is all well and good (and even recommended), but gushing over them, the way I used to fangirl over some of the influencers I contacted, makes you seem more like an obsessed fan than someone on their level.
If you’re going to come at me with the argument that some influencers you reach out to are way bigger than your business or agency, and really aren’t on your level, well…“fake it til you make it.” ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Professional compliments will get you taken more seriously than excited multi-paragraph ramblings. And yes, excited ramblings are something I still struggle with.
4. Make your sleuthing obvious
So you’ve just reached out to an influencer. There’s a 99% chance you’ve already spent some time cyberstalking – er…researching – them online.
I know it. You know it. They know it.
They’re about to cyberstalk you right back.
So there’s no need to pretend it never happened.
I love being upfront about the fact that, yeah, I read six month’s worth of someone’s thoughts on Twitter.
Or actually watched the Instagram story they posted about their cat.
Anything that’s been posted on their professional online channels is fair to reference (please, please, please stay away from the clearly personal profiles).
You can either go my route, and make an awkward joke about how much you already know about the influencer, or you can try to blend the knowledge in more naturally. Reference old projects they’ve worked on – ones that may not be front and center in their marketing anymore. Comment on posts way back in their archives, which says, “yeah, I dug deep into your content.”
There are lots of ways that prove you did your research before reaching out, which can give influencers assurance you’re professional, know your stuff, and likely are a good fit (otherwise you wouldn’t keep wasting your time on them).
5. Namedrop where you can
If you have some social proof around your past influencer marketing efforts, like examples of other influencers you’ve worked with or successful campaigns you’ve run, talk about them.
This is where it’s okay to name drop a bit. After all, social proof builds trust. That can be used to win over more than just new customers. You can use it to nab partnerships as well.
Being able to say “yep, we’ve worked with these big names and they loved us” will make an influencer feel so much more at ease about working with you, especially if they’re totally unfamiliar with your brand.
Different ways to show an influencer they wanna work with you can include:
- Citing past influencers you’ve worked with
- Pointing them to the actual campaigns or content you’ve done with them
- Including a quote or testimonial from a past collaborator, if you have one
6. Share the possibilities
Don’t leave them with some vague “I’d love to work together” stuff. Get specific. Give them some ideas.
Influencer marketing has a broad scope that includes a ton of different tactics and strategies. Don’t make them guess which ones you’re interested in.
Going back to the previous section, showing them campaigns or collaborations you’ve already done gives them an idea of what you might be looking for in future campaigns, so including examples becomes doubly important.
And if you’re contacting them with a particular idea in mind, make that super clear. Let them know what the goal is and what you would need from them. This all makes it easier for the influencer to decide whether or not they’re interested and get back to you.
Take your outreach from “meh” to “amazing”
Taking the initiative to reach out to an influencer, unfortunately, doesn’t hold any guarantees anymore. Your email needs to be outstanding to well…stand out. Spice it up, show your research, name drop – do whatever you can to make your next email count.