How to Write an Influencer Outreach Email That Gets Results
If you’re sending an influencer outreach email for the first time, it’s natural to have some questions and worries.
How do I start the email? What do I include? Should I mention payment terms or is that a serious faux pas?
Outreach emails are a type of cold email marketing strategy. It involves reaching out to relevant influencers you’ve never had contact with before to discuss a potential collaboration. While it might sound scary, sending a personalized, direct message can help you unlock rewarding opportunities.
Consumers are increasingly turning to influencers for product recommendations over traditional channels. In fact, influencer ads are more likely to persuade consumers under 60 to try a new product than any other kind of ad, according to IZEA’s Trust in Influencer Marketing 2023 report.
On top of this, consumers aged between 18-29 would rather view influencer product recommendations on TikTok (42%) and YouTube (40%) than ask friends and family (25%).
It’s safe to say influencer marketing has serious ROI potential. But you can’t just send out a generic influencer outreach email and expect the offers to roll in.
Messages should be personalized, authentic, and specific with the intention of establishing a meaningful connection. To achieve this, there are several essential steps that you need to follow.
Crafting perfect outreach messages is no mean feat. But it is possible. Let’s look at ways you can structure outreach email templates to perfect each collaboration email in the future.
Craft a relevant and intriguing subject line
The rise of influencer marketing means that influencers can afford to be selective. They’re also busy people. Chances are, they have dozens of emails sitting in their inbox.
So how can you make sure your email stands out? Crafting a subject line that immediately grabs your reader's attention is a great starting point. Avoid dull, impersonal email subject lines such as this:
- Collaboration request
- Partnership opportunity
- Can I have a minute of your time?
Instead, use personalized, enthusiastic, and intriguing subject lines similar to the following:
- Sam, that was our favorite video yet! We’d love to partner up.
- We think our audience will love your authentic content—care to collaborate?
- Let’s team up and create content together!
- Riley, we want you to be one of our VIPs.
Show genuine interest by referencing their content
Generic, mass emails scream inauthenticity. Show influencers that you genuinely care about the content they create by mentioning it in the opening lines of your email.
There’s no need to go into wads of detail. A line or two is enough to demonstrate that you actually know who the influencer is, are familiar with their content, and are interested in what they do.
Here are some simple examples:
- We’ve been binging your Thai recipe videos this month and have cooked up an idea we think you’ll be interested in.
- We love that you’re using your platform to promote environmental awareness. We think you and your followers would love our eco-friendly product.
- Your quirky product reviews never fail to make us laugh. We’d be honored to have you review one of our products.
Clearly state your purpose for reaching out
Influencers should be able to quickly gauge why you’re reaching out to them. Yes, you want to collaborate with them—but why them, specifically?
Are you a long-time fan of theirs? Do their values align with your own? Do you share the same interests?
Instead of simply saying that you “want to collaborate,” be specific about the type of collaboration you’re hoping for. Popular brand-influencer collaboration activities include:
- Sponsored posts.
- Product collaborations.
- Content collaborations.
- Influencer gifting.
- Takeovers on social media platforms.
- Virtual events.
- Brand ambassador programs.
Highlight mutual benefits and other opportunities
The more popular an influencer, the more collaboration offers they’ll receive. They can’t partner with everyone. So, why should they partner with you?
Entice people to work with you by highlighting the benefits of an influencer partnership. This might be a monetary incentive, such as a flat-rate payment, commission, or free product.
Making payments as a percentage of sales value is currently the most common way of paying influencers, according to Influencer Marketing Hub, shifting away from flat-rate payments.
source: Influencer Marketing Hub
Consider non-monetary incentives and unique opportunities, too. For example, you could offer a VIP ticket to an event, social media promotion, exclusive memberships, exclusive content, and more.
Don’t be afraid to communicate the benefits that you’re hoping to gain, too.
Include key project scope, specifics, and timeline
Now it’s time to outline the key scope of your project. In this section, define the goals, deliverables, and timeline of your campaign, as well as any specific requirements.
Are you trying to increase brand exposure? Drive more social media engagement? Generate sales? By clearly defining your project goals, you can align influencers with your vision and guide deliverables in the right direction.
Be specific about what you expect without hindering creativity. Make it clear what you want—for example, a detailed product review or sponsored post.
Establish deadlines in alignment with the timeframe of your campaign. These should be clear and realistic, and allow for a degree of flexibility. Remember, you won’t be the only brand that potential influencers are working with!
If you need to ship products for reviews, make sure shipping and delivery times are factored into the project timeline. Consider using order management system software to accelerate fulfillment so products can be reliably shipped, tracked, and delivered on time.
If you have an ongoing collaboration or work with several influencers, you can also track inventory so you know what products are on hand to be reviewed and automate orders to send new products to existing partners.
Outline any specific requirements you have (again, without hindering the influencer’s creative freedom). You may request that they don’t mention any other brands in their post or that they use a branded hashtag or keyword to align with your SEO strategy.
Detail compensation and payment terms
Influencer Marketing Hub discovered that more brands are paying influencers in cash (42%) than gifting them free products (30%).
source: Influencer Marketing Hub
If you decide that you’re going to compensate influencers in cash, you need to detail your payment terms.
Imagine you’re offering a flat-rate payment for a promotional social media post. How much are you offering per post? Will they be paid upfront or after the content has been shared? Does the post need to meet any requirements before payment can be made?
The same considerations apply to commission payments. How much will you pay per sale/new customer that the influencer brings to your brand? Are there any conditions?
When targeting macro-influencers, in particular, it’s important to be flexible and open to negotiation.
If you’re reaching out to a list of influencers and are successful in securing collaborations, it can be challenging to track all influencer agreements. Adopt an automated accounts payable solution to manage transactions and relationships with influencers.
Automated software makes it easier to stay on top of multiple invoices and payments. Plus, you can gain real-time visibility into your cash flow with reporting and integration, so you can make sure you’re getting the most from your influencer marketing budget.
Specify collaboration expenses and reimbursements
In some instances, an influencer may need to make extra purchases to meet the demands of your deliverables. For example, they might have to travel to a specific destination to create on-brand, visually aesthetic content. Or, they may need to purchase special equipment or complementary accessories.
Transparency is critical if you want to build a trusting influencer relationship. So, specify what these expenses will be and whether they will be reimbursed by your brand.
Tailor your proposal to their brand and audience
82% of marketers believe that influencer marketing generates higher-quality customers than any other marketing type. But, this can only be achieved if the influencer marketing campaign is strategically tailored to the interests and preferences of their target audience. If not, you can ruin the integrity of your influencer campaign as well as the influencer’s reputation.
An influencer’s image relies on them promoting brands and products that they genuinely believe their followers will be interested in. So, your proposal needs to resonate with their audience.
Do your research for every influencer outreach email you send. Match your proposal to the influencer’s style, tone, niche, and preferences. Ask yourself whether you believe your collaboration proposal will be of value to the influencer’s audience.
Express openness to different ideas and preferences
Influencers need to see potential in your proposal, which is why you need to lay out the scope and deliverables. That said, your collaboration idea should be viewed as the initial brainwave that gets the ball rolling rather than the definitive plan.
Express your eagerness to explore any alternative ideas that the influencer might have. Remember, they know their audience inside out, from the kind of collaborations their followers resonate with to the style of content they prefer. So, offer them creative freedom and welcome their suggestions.
Mention availability and provide active contact information
There’s a subtle art to ending your email to get the outcome you desire.
In the case of outreach emails, your goal is to elicit a response. So, make sure to include your name, email address, and phone number at the end of your message. Give them a variety of channel options—email, phone, video chat, SMS—and clarify your availability. For example, you could say something like, "I'm available for a call on Tuesday or Thursday afternoon."
Don’t forget to make sure all of your details are up-to-date. You can use Newoldstamp’s email signature generator to create a professional email signature that includes all of your relevant contact information.
By making it easy for people to contact you, you're more likely to get the response you're looking for.
It’s better to send one well-crafted influencer outreach email than hundreds of generic ones. By infusing your message with your brand personality and enthusiasm, along with an authentic interest in the influencer’s content, you open the door for meaningful, collaborative relationships to blossom. So, get writing those emails today and say hello to ongoing partnerships that will boost your brand.