Influencers receive hundreds, if not thousands, of emails and DMs on a daily basis from fans and brands that want to establish partnerships. If you want to get in touch with a content creator, you’re going to be competing for their attention, which means your outreach needs to be strategic.
Below, we’re going to go over the common mistake brands make when trying to approach influencers to promote their products, and how to optimize messaging to get better response rates.
Should you DM or Email influencers?
“Should I send them an email or a DM?” This is one of the first questions to consider when attempting to connect with an influencer. The answer is really simple: look at their social media bio.
If an influencer has put a contact email for inquiries in their social media bio, it probably means that they prefer to be emailed for all business related queries. A lot of super-influencers (influencers with over 1 million followers) include the email addresses of their PR managers/teams so they can vet potential opportunities on behalf of the influencer.
If there is no contact email address in their social media bio, do a quick search on Google to see if perhaps the influencer has included it on their website or on any of their other social media accounts.
For influencers that have not listed an email address for business related matters (or other inquiries), then it’s pretty safe to go ahead and send them a DM. Some influencers prefer this approach as it keeps all their communications on one platform.
Why are influencers not responding to your messages?
Sometimes, in order to understand how to do something the right way, you also need to pinpoint how you’re doing it incorrectly in the first place. In many cases, brands use ineffective messaging when trying to approach influencers, which hinders their chances of receiving responses.
You can almost think of your initial message to an influencer as a cold email. If you have your sights set on working with a particular influencer, you have to be tactful with your messaging. Otherwise, you’ll risk getting ignored by them.
If you’re struggling to get a reply from influencers you have messaged, consider whether or not you’re making any of the following three common mistakes that businesses tend to fall victim to.
Your subject line isn’t enticing
Your subject line is the first thing an influencer will see when they receive your email, which is why it’s so important to make it compelling. If your subject line isn’t interesting, the influencer or their manager may not even open your email.
While you don’t have to worry about crafting a great subject line for a DM, you do need to make the first few words of your message sound interesting. Influencers will see the first few words of your DM in their inbox, so you want to make sure it grabs their attention and they read the message.
You cut and paste the same message to different influencers
When trying to get in touch with a new influencer, it’s alright to use certain elements of an email or DM you’ve sent to another influencer in the past. However, it’s a big mistake to send influencers a message that you’ve copy-pasted word for word. Simply put, they may perceive you as disingenuine.
First of all, by sending influencers the same message, you’ll struggle to convey your understanding of their content and audience. Every influencer is unique in some way, and they want to know that interested brands recognize what differentiates them.
Moreover, don’t assume influencers and their managers won’t be able to identify a cut and pasted email when they see one. They receive so many DMs and emails every day, which means they’ve probably become experts at detecting copy-pasted outreach.
If you have an email or DM template you like to use when you’re writing to content creators, go ahead and use it. Just make sure to tailor your message to the influencer you’re sending it to.
Your message is too long
The length of your messages to influencers probably matters more than you think. You want your email/DM to have enough words so you can effectively convey your message, but you don’t want to send several paragraphs or use any ‘jargon’. It should be simple and to the point.
It’s normal for brands/agencies to struggle to fit their whole message in a concise DM or email of 3 sentences. In particular, brands tend to go into a ton of detail about their products. Influencers are busy, so you want to make sure they/their sponsorships manager can read about your product, the intent of your email (eg list out the benefits of a partnership), and brand contact information in just a few sentences.
While it’s important for an influencer to understand what your product is, they don’t need to read several paragraphs about it in your first DM or email. Once you’ve established contact with the influencer and they’ve shown interest in your offerings, then you can get into the details with them.
Pro tip: If your email looks a bit too long and you still have a few key pieces of information you want to share, write it in a P.S. This is a trick that copywriters use all the time as a sales tactic. When a reader sees a P.S. in a message, chances are they will actually read it before the rest of the message.
The P.S. is almost always the first thing a person reads, which makes it a great place to put any important details you want to include.
How to approach influencers to promote your brand
Make sure your message is easy to scan
As we stated earlier, many marketing and sales professionals make the mistake of sending emails that are way too long. By sending these long messages, they risk being ignored by their subjects. Ultimately, the reason long messages aren’t effective is that people are busy.
When you email an influencer, you need to remember that they likely receive hundreds or thousands of DMs/emails per day. In order to increase your chances of getting a response from influencers, you want to ensure your message is concise.
Firstly, most people read their emails/DMs on their mobiles, so you want to make sure your message doesn’t look like a novel on a small screen. To avoid this, limit your message to three or four sentences max. This should be enough to tell the influencer the three things they care about:
1. Who you are: (what is your brand/product?)
2. Why would the influencer be a great ambassador for your brand?
3. A call to action: Finish your message with a call to action. Here, a question could work well (eg. request a meeting).
Pro tip: When writing an email to an influencer, avoid adding any links in the body. Very often, email providers flag emails with links from unknown senders as ‘spam mail’. The last thing you want is for your email to end up in an influencer’s junk mail.
Do your homework
Before you start your influencer outreach, set some time aside to learn about them. Influencers are more apt to reply if they feel like you have a genuine interest and understanding of the content they post.
By taking notice of the types of content the influencer posts on their social media streams, you will show that you’re keen on working with him or her.
You don’t need to spend hours researching each influencer before you send your message, but a quick Google search could help you craft a better DM or email, and increase your chances of getting a positive response.
Use an influencer company
Influencer companies are great resources for brands that are looking to connect with influencers. They are particularly useful if you’re trying to reach out to influencers that have huge social media followings.
By using an influencer company, you can increase your chances of connecting with the influencers you want to work with. The advantage of working with these companies is that they already have a ton of existing connections in the industry. As we’ve already established, there’s a lot of competition in the inbox of a content creator. Influencer companies can often get past this issue because of their connections.
Not only do influencer companies help to increase your chances of connecting with an influencer, but they can also be a huge help with all the unpleasant outreach.
A great influencer company that can help you approach content creators about promoting your products is Social Elite. The company is used by over 4,000 stores and 60,000 influencers. Social Elite is recognized by influencers throughout the industry, which makes it a great resource for brands that want to use influencers to promote their products.