Back by popular demand: let's explore some more ways brands and agencies maximize the amount of replies they get when reaching out to influencers.
You've been given the green light for the kombucha campaign. You've got the brief on the type of influencers. You've spent hours trawling through Instagram to find them (or maybe you've done it the smart way). 150 perfect dad-fitness influencers found and ready to go - boom! 100 emails sent off. A day passes, two days, a week – only a few replies. Should I have DM'd them? Was the subject line off-putting? Am I going through to spam?Reply rates vary widely across the influencer marketing industry, so what strategies are the experts using to maximise their influencer marketing leads? I spoke to 14 influencer marketing specialists to ask "What's your best tip to increase your reply rate from influencers?".
Here's what 7 of them said (and here's what 7 others said).
Ariana from Mutesix - Advertising agency
Always include some sort of personalization in the subject line or body of the message. Beyond that I like to make sure that my outreach messages include information that is intriguing to the influencer. Don’t pitch them like you want them to invest in your company or write an article on the brand, sell them on why they should want to consume your product/brand in their daily lives.
Influencers are still consumers, and consumers need to be convinced why they should consume something. What makes your product/brand different from the rest. For example with a hair dye brand, you can list all the benefits of the product (ammonia free, nourishing ingredients, rich colors) but what would really catch an influencers eye is noting that maybe another influencer who uses the product, or hyperlink to an article where the product was included in on Marie Claire or Elle etc.
Tawny from HMI - Marketing agency
Have a well crafted initial email. Give it away in the subject line - don’t be vague and make sure you promote the fact that it is a paid opportunity if it is! For example: Paid Opportunity to Work With [Insert Brand]!
Also always make the email body as personalized as possible. For example: use their name in the greeting, do research on what they are up to and try to tie it into your email, if you are copy/pasting always format the text so that the formatting matches the rest of the email body. Influencers receive an incredible amount of messages in a day so I really try to make mine stand out by being personal, friendly, and treat them with respect. This ensures that you start off on the right foot and has resulted in some really great influencer relationships for our clients.
Akos from Post For Rent - Influencer marketing agency
Be straightforward and transparent. Try to send short messages, a maximum of 5-10 sentences. Most of the influencers got hundreds of messages per day, so you have to be interesting and your offer should look promising to him/her. On the other hand, be formal. You represent a brand or an agency, as I mentioned they got a lot of messages. If your message doesn't seem to be serious, then they will think it's fake.
Isabelle from Beatly - Influencer marketing platform
Be very clear about the setup of the collaboration right away. Influencers gets tons of proposals from agencies and brands every day, so they have to be able to make the decision if the collaboration is interesting or not very fast. So make sure to answer all the important questions such as product, timeline, platform, frequency, goal, message and compensation in the first email.
Caitlin from CEG - Talent agency
I would say the best way to increase the reply rate from influencers is to form a relationship with said influencer or talent. I’ve learned to treat a relationship, in this industry, as a partnership rather than a business transaction. At the end of the day, nobody wants to be hounded for a reply; but, when a friendly relationship is in place, they are more likely to get back to you.
Rena from Onefootball - Football news
It’s not an easy question since the answer very much depends on the situation, company, brand, goal and experience. But in a nutshell my best recommendation would be: automate the routine as much as you can, even if it’s copy pasting “ Hello” instead of typing it, creating a contract, calculating the fee, technology and velocity is very important. Efficiency is highly important because it will free a lot of time to be able to actually be genuine and have a personalised approach towards every person you are negotiating with.
You will have more time to DM or even Tweet to a person if you automate all the unnecessary stuff. It’s much better than copy-pasting a boring email that might go to SPAM.
Jonno from Team17 - Gaming label
Influencers and Content Creators are people too, so talk to them like one! Be personable and respectful, show them why you’ve decided to reach out to them in your email. If you’re wanting their time to play your game or review your product, the least you can do is show that you’ve taken a small amount of time yourself learning and understanding their channel and brand.
Yes this can be time consuming at first, but if you’re wanting to build meaningful and long lasting relationships with Influencers and Content Creators, then this is a great first step!