Influencer marketing is an excellent way to stand out from the crowd, especially if you’re in a super-competitive industry. The influencer marketing industry has grown from $1.7 billion in 2016 to a whopping $13.8 billion in 2021.
People tend to trust influencers they follow, so their recommendations carry weight and authority that’s difficult to match.
But before you can leverage influencer marketing, you’ll need to find the right influencers to target and reach out to them. And that’s what we’ll discuss in this article. We’ll also discuss Gmail’s canned responses feature that can make influencer outreach a lot easier.
But first, let’s talk about why influencers are so helpful.
The Importance of Collaborating with Influencers
According to Oberlo, 93% of marketers have used influencer marketing, making it an essential marketing strategy now. But why?
It’s a quick way to build trust
Influencer marketing is a quick way to build trust (the most critical factor in sales). It’s especially true in the case of micro-influencers, who have a small yet dedicated fan following.
Influencers have already built trust-based relationships with their fans, which you can leverage instead of investing time and money into creating a brand image.
You get easy access to a qualified audience
Influencer marketing is an excellent way to target a qualified audience. Marketers spend a lot of time finding the right people to target. And they often fail, which is why $37 billion is wasted on ads that cannot engage their target audience every year.
You get easy access to an audience that’s most likely to buy your products by targeting relevant influencers.
You get a good ROI
The ROI on influencer marketing is comparable to or better than most other marketing channels. According to MarketingProfs, influencer marketing offers an 11x higher ROI than traditional marketing forms.
You can save time and money on advertising campaigns
Finally, you get to outsource an entire advertisement campaign via influencer marketing. You have to create content, tailor ads according to different social media platforms, and post them in a typical advertisement campaign at the right frequency.
But when you partner with influencers, you get ready-made promotional content posted on different social media platforms at all times.
According to some estimates, you can use some of this content for your campaigns to save time and money, which 41% of advertisers have done. Or, invite the influencer to host a webinar with your team. While it may be a little more costly to do this, having a real-time conversation where prospects can ask questions is likely to build more trust, especially if they are followers of the influencer already.
How to Conduct Influencer Outreach Using Gmail
There are five steps for conducting influencer outreach using Gmail. These are:
Set goals and develop a strategy.
Find the right influencers to target.
Craft the best outreach emails.
Create templates using Gmail’s canned responses.
Send follow up emails.
Let’s discuss each step in detail now.
1. Set goals and develop a strategy
Before you reach out to an influencer, you must be clear on what you hope to get out of the relationship.
A clear goal will help you target the right type of influencers and track the success of your partnership using the proper KPIs. It will also help you determine the right influencer marketing strategy for your case.
Common goals marketers keep in mind when building an influencer marketing campaign include:
Increase leads and sales. Sales-focused strategies include coupon discounts (where you offer exclusive discounts to an influencer’s following), promotional videos, and product contests (where you develop contests for an influencer’s following).
Keep in mind that it’s not a good idea to force sales-focused strategies on new influencers. You may be reaching out to them for the first time, and they might not be comfortable with heavy promotion.
Here’s an example of a coupon discount at work:
Source: Laura Kasperzak via Instagram
Create brand awareness. If your goal is to create brand awareness, you can’t use the sales-focused strategies above. In this case, your options include product reviews, brand mentions, and sharing encouragement (where influencers encourage their audience to share your content or use promotional hashtags).
Increase engagement and social media followers. The brand awareness strategies above will increase your social media engagement and followers to some extent.
But you must focus on content-based strategies if you want even better engagement. This could include working with bloggers to create posts around your products or partnering with vloggers.
Teaming up with vloggers is an excellent idea if you run an establishment-based business. You could invite them to your brand and encourage them to show their followers around, promoting your business on YouTube. Or you could ask them to try out your product (like food) and create something similar to this:
Source: Mark Viens via YouTube
2. Find the right influencers
Once you have defined your goals, you can find the right influencers for outreach.
Here are some essential tips to help you out.
Ensure they’re relevant. After all, one significant benefit of influencer marketing is that you get a qualified audience, which isn’t possible without a relevant influencer.
There’s no objective measure of an influencer’s relevance to your company. You’ll have to go through the content of potential partners to determine whether it resonates with your ideal customer. It’s also essential to match the influencer’s voice, values, and goals to your brand.
One quick way to find relevant influencers is to search for industry-related hashtags on social media. But this is a very broad way to do it, so make sure to vet each influencer you find through this method carefully.
Influencer databases are also a good option for finding relevant influencers. For example, HypeAuditor offers the Influencer Discovery tool with multiple filters. It lets you narrow down your influencer search using set criteria. But again, how relevant an influencer is to your brand is for you to decide.
You can also use Mention to find influencers, which is a tool that alerts you whenever your target keyword is mentioned anywhere on social media. It can help you find influencers who are talking about your industry.
Watch out for fake followers. It’s easy to get misled by the number of followers an influencer has. Unfortunately, fake followers are easy to obtain these days, and many influencers are involved in inauthentic activity.
One way to catch fake followers is to look at the number of followers to the number of interactions ratio. If it’s abnormally high, you might be dealing with fake followers.
However, this is a very crude method of detecting fraudulent activity. That’s because a high ratio might simply mean low engagement. So it’s better to use a fraud detecting tool like HypeAuditor if you’re suspicious about an influencer.
Influencers involved in unethical practices are also more likely to commit influencer fraud, which is another reason to stay away from them.
Compare engagement rates with other similar influencers. Everybody knows that engagement rate is a more critical metric than follower count from a marketing perspective.
But engagement rate alone can be confusing to analyze. You must compare it to the average engagement rate for other influencers in your industry to see if it’s good enough.
There are many ways to calculate engagement rates, and it’s a good idea to check them out.
Look for high-quality, authentic content. Influencer marketing works because influencers give out genuine recommendations. So it’s a good idea to look for influencers who create mainly non-commercial content because they inspire greater trust among followers.
You should also look out for high-quality influencer content. How professional are creators’ videos? How well-written is their content? Do they use stock photos or create their visuals? All of these matter.
You should try to find around 10x the number of influencers you want to work with. That’s because not every influencer you reach out to will respond positively.
Once you finalize a list of influencers, you can use email-finding tools like Voila Norbert to find their contact information. But before you do that, try visiting their social profiles because most influencers leave contact details for business queries on their profiles.
Once you have a list of influencers you want to contact, use these principles to write a good outreach email.
Personalize each email. Blanket emails don’t work when it comes to outreach. It’s a good idea to use the influencer’s name and mention why you want to work together in your email.
If you’ve been following the influencer’s work for a while, make sure to acknowledge and appreciate it. People tend to positively respond when they feel exclusive and unique.
Build your authority. While most of your email should focus on the influencer and their work, it’s a good idea to mention some of your achievements and success as well. People like to associate themselves with authority and win, so mention it if you have either of those.
It’s also a good idea to mention a mutual acquaintance that you might have with your recipient, which is an excellent way to avoid the “stranger” label.
Write clearly. When writing an outreach email, the worst thing you could do is leave influencers confused about why you’re contacting them and what you want them to do.
So make sure to be clear about your proposition and leave a clear call-to-action (CTA).
Try to come up with a specific CTA, so you don’t place the burden of planning on the influencer. For example, instead of saying, “Let’s schedule a call later this week,” try “Can we get on a call next Wednesday?”.
Also, make sure to mention the influencer compensation model you’re willing to follow.
Keep it short. No one has the time to read long, confusing emails. So it’s better to keep your emails as concise as possible. But don’t forget to validate the influencer and build your authority to make your email quick.
The same applies to subject lines. Aim for 6 to 8 words max. Try to be as specific and straightforward as possible and minimize the use of filler words. These include things like “Hi” and “Thank you.”
Below is a good outreach email template by NinjaOutreach:
I suggest looking through their list of outreach email templates for inspiration.
Notice how the email talks about “bringing value to both our audiences.” Remember, collaboration is a two-way street. It’s a good idea to consider how the influencer can benefit from a relationship with you and mention this in your email.
4. Create templates using Gmail’s canned responses
Gmail’s canned responses (now known simply as templates) are an excellent feature for saving time on email outreach.
As we’ve already discussed, you want to reach out to 10x the number of influencers you want to work with. The gist of each outreach email (your proposition and compensation details) will remain the same, so it’s a good idea to create a template for it that you can use in each email.
Reach out to influencers directly within the HypeAuditor platform with the easy-to-use Influencer Outreach tool.
You’ll only have to fill in the personalization details like your recipient’s name, acknowledgment of their work, and a CTA.
Here’re four steps to create a template in Gmail:
Click on the Settings icon on the top right corner. Then click on “See all settings.”
2. Go to the “Advanced” tab and check “Enable” in front of Templates. Then click on Save Changes at the bottom.
3. Create an email template:
4. Use your template while writing an email.
Notice that the template name becomes the email subject automatically. If you set the template name as your actual email subject line, you don’t have to enter each email manually.
Another way you can save time on email outreach is to send mass email in Gmail, which allows you to send up to 500 emails per day. However, sending out mass emails might create deliverability issues if you don’t follow sender guidelines.
Plus, mass emails don’t leave much room for personalization, which is why your first-line method to make outreach easy should be canned responses.
5. Remember to follow up
According to Yesware, prospects reply to the first email they receive only 30% of the time.
Plus, it takes around five touches to close a deal, according to SalesFolk.
This means follow-up emails are essential for your influencer outreach efforts. Experts recommend waiting at least 2-3 days before sending your first follow-up email. You can space out the remaining emails as follows:
Things to keep in mind when writing a follow-up email include:
Keep it short. Like the opening email, your follow-ups should be as brief as possible.
Connect it to the previous email. Again, state clearly that this is a follow-up to an earlier email. Don’t leave your reader confused.
Personalize it. You don’t want your follow-ups to sound like automatically written, annoying reminders. Instead, try to offer something new (and valuable) in your follow-up emails and personalize them as much as possible.
Final Words About Influencer Outreach
Remember, influencer marketing is a crucial marketing strategy today, and you shouldn’t ignore it. It’s a quick way to build trust, gives you access to a dedicated audience, and has a good ROI.
Before reaching out to influencers, identify your goals and the type of influencers you want to work with. Next, work on perfecting your outreach emails.
You can then use Gmail’s canned responses feature to save time writing (and sending) emails. Finally, don’t forget to send follow-up emails, something you’ll need to land a successful partnership.