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Better influencer marketing

How to outreach to influencers. Step-by-step NO BS guide

Better influencer marketing
9 min
October 16, 2020

Everyone loves the feeling of getting completely ignored by the people we want to talk to. 

Said nobody. Ever.

As a growth marketer, you want results now. Whether you’re building or testing a new Facebook ad-set or launching a PR campaign, you want to move fast. At the end of the day your job isn’t to put up billboards, send emails or tweak facebook ads.

It’s to acquire customers, make money, and GROW.

This no bad-stuff guide to influencer outreach will help you start, scale and increase your response rate.

Step 1: Collecting contact details

This strategy is cross platform, but email is the foundation.

We have seen companies with compelling copy and reasonable compensation convert 60% of their contact list into ambassadors. In other words, email works for recruiting influencers.

Modash can get you the contact details you need. All you need to do is provide the influencers you want to contact and it will provide the emails. 

The other details you might like to have are their real name (in the case they use an alias) and their agent / management contact details which are usually listed in the bio or “about” section of the influencers most popular social media page. 

Step 2: The strategy

The rest of the article will teach you how to implement this strategy.

We’ll follow a very simple 28 day string of follow ups. You can find the templates here to draw inspiration from.

Section 1

Day 1: Email intro 

Day 2: Email followup, simplified intro

Day 3: Instagram (or other network) concise message

Day 4: Comment 1

Day 6: Comment 2

Day 8: Email

Section 2

Day 12: Comment 3 + DM

Day 13: New social network (We’ll call it P2) followup, or alternate email. 

Day 14: P2 followup 

Day 20: Email followup

Day 22: Both platforms follow up

Day 22 - 28: Contextual response to content (Stories, Posts). And moving across platforms.

First, get section 1 working. You should see a minimum of 50% response rate (even if they say no, it’s a response) before adding section 2. That will force you to not just spam, but to optimize your copy writing and tweak the wording to work for you. You’ll start to learn what gets influencers excited about your brand, and what converts them into ambassadors.

All you need in the beginning, are the emails. You can download templates here

This is the ideal flow and it’s not completely necessary to hit every message on time. In fact, it might be worth spreading them out further with greater gaps in between.

What you absolutely should do is send at least 8 follow ups.

The above graph is part of the growbots study on Sales email response rates. Yes, responses after the 2nd email diminish quickly. That said, significant responses come in all the way up to the eighth follow-up.

It’s important though, that you don’t go too heavy on one channel. 

Growbots study only focused on one channel, Email. What they found was that after the 8th follow up, negative responses skyrocketed. 

In our past agency experience messaging thousands of influencers, we found that reaching out on multiple platforms performed even better than growbots study of strictly email did. But it was important that we didn’t spam influencers on any one channel.

Multiplatform outreach works better for influencers, because unlike sales prospects they don’t spend all day in their email. 

Writing good influencer outreach

You can skip most of the writing part by downloading the outreach bundle. But it’s still worth reading to understand our findings on communicating with influencers.

If you’re used to a straight-to-the-point, no small-talk type conversation, buckle your seatbelt.

Influencer’s tend not to be robotic, quite to the contrary. They need and expect a personal touch with most of the brands they work with. They work hard to maintain their audience’s trust.

As you try to gain access to that trust, you can’t just send a $20 Bil and expect to get everything your heart desires. You need to build rapport.

It’s worth getting to know the influencers you work with. This obviously isn’t possible at scale, but you can at least know their general characteristics. That they are mostly posting about parenting, they have a undying love for collectible guitars, or they actually are a college athlete. 

This will help you write contextual outreach and stay as human as possible in your manual interactions. 

Here’s a sample of a good and a bad email template.

Optimizing, Automating, Scaling 

It will be very tempting to just chuck some contact info into Mailchimp and hope for the best. While you will get there eventually, we recommend you handle recruiting the first 10-20 influencers yourself. The process of contacting them, consuming their content, onboarding them and interacting personally with them will make you better at your job. Just like a new sales guy shadows someone doing calls with clients, you need to interact with influencers first hand.

After you’ve done that, you can start automating based on your learnings. Likely the first step to automate is all of those email follow ups. You can do that with any best-in-class email tool, but our favourite is Woodpecker (we are not affiliated, we’re just fans). 

Whatever tool you choose, it should give you data to use to improve your outreach and increase your base of ambassadors. USE THAT DATA. With information like open-rate, you can experiment with different types of Titles and get more influencers to open your email. With click-through rates you can get more calls booked or at least see the level of interest and improve it with a better pitch.

Use that data to form one hypothesis a week like:

“I think putting an emoji in the title will increase open rate 13%”

And then TEST IT! If it works, you just got WAY better at your job. If not, then you can revert back and try again. Make sure you’re regularly running experiments to improve your influencer recruitment efforts. A/B Tests are your friend. Don’t be shy with them.

To scale up, you’ll need to start automating away the “customer support” of influencer recruiting. The best ways to do this are with a simple FAQ landing page with a link in your email signature. 

You’ll also need to start optimizing your campaigns and making sure your outreach is going to the right people.

Finally, you can automate more and more steps of the process. But Always, always be focusing on constantly taking baby steps toward automating the process. That is how you grow faster, more efficiently and build a truly unbeatable influencer program. 

Remember, if you stick to the structure, write great copy and automate when possible - influencer marketing will become your top growth channel.

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