How to Create Actionable Influencer Outreach Emails that Work

Influencer outreach programs have become the newest trend in content marketing, and for good reason. This is because working with influencers can be very good for your business.

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Research shows that content shared by these influencers generates 16 times more user engagement than owned or paid alternatives. It can also drive up your traffic to more than 25,000 unique visitors per month to your website and other social media platforms.

In short, an influencer marketing program can raise brand awareness and your digital reach in a very short amount of time.

Despite all these advantages, running a successful influencer marketing program can be one of the hardest things for a marketer to accomplish. It is not just about publishing a post, sending out a tweet, or crafting a killer post.

Here, a real live person is equally involved in your success maybe as much as you or your technologies are.

In addition, actually getting in touch with these influencers is quite a difficult prospect on its own. This is because many people who have a large social following are actually very busy.

They are also more likely to delete your outreach email without even opening it. For example, many online marketers say that only one out of ten influencers respond to their first outreach email. Such response rates will certainly not help you have a successful influencer outreach program.

In spite of this, there is hope for you. Incorporating lots of research and using well-crafted influencer outreach emails can help improve your efforts. This approach will also distinguish your influencer outreach program from spam, ensuring your business experiences an explosion of sales and great public response.

How to Create Actionable Influencer Outreach Emails that Work

Table of Contents

What is influencer outreach?

As an online marketer, you will have to do a lot of outreach to make new connections, ask for backlinks, or let others know about your content, service, or product. That is where influencer outreach comes in. This strategy refers to the use of social media influencers to help boost a company’s leads and overall sales.

As a result, you will also notice an increase in revenue. Today, influencer outreach has become one of the most affordable and fastest growing methods of gaining customers and growing new businesses.

Why is the influencer marketing program so effective? This is simply because customers are more likely to share content or buy a product when it is recommended by a friend.

In fact, these recommendations have proven to be more effective at closing a sale than other traditional forms of advertising. It may be the slowest method of acquiring customers, but it generates very high rates of return.

As a result, you will likely face a lot of competition as marketers tend to approach the same pool of influencers.  If you are a small-time marketer without millions of agency dollars behind you, this situation may be even worse. How do you stand out from the crowd? How do you ensure that your content marketing does not go unnoticed?

Working with the right influencer is the right answer to all these questions. However, you will only get one chance to make a great impression.

The good news for you is that many people do not know how to craft an outreach email that will get an influencer’s attention. If you do not want to mess it up too, this post will show you how to do it right.

What you will learn from this post

This post will show you the right way to contact a social media influencer, how to reel them in, and how to close the deal. Specifically, it will answer the following questions:

  1. What do you say in the first email you send to an influencer?
  2. How can you start a conversation that is meaningful to both of you?
  3. When should you offer value without expecting anything in return?
  4. What is the right time to ask for a chance to do a guest post on their site?
  5. What should you do if the influencer does not respond?

Armed with this knowledge, you will then be able to create an influencer outreach program that gives you the results you want.

How to do Outreach: Tips to help you Write Better Outreach Emails

As you start crafting your influencer outreach emails, it is important to remember that these influencers have become used to people selling all kinds of things to them. Often, this sales process starts with an outreach email that introduces the specific brand, service, or product.

Many successful business relationships have actually started from such emails. However, the majority do not have any hope of success because they are too generic, pushy and annoying.

The trick to crafting a great outreach email is putting yourself in the receiver’s shoes. Write something that you would not mind receiving. Try to craft something that would excite you, pique your own interest, and would drive you to respond.

While this approach might not produce “magical” emails, you will certainly notice a significant increase in your response rates.

Here are a few tips that will help you create outreach mail that will work miracles for your brand, service, or product:

1. Subject line

Ensure that you use a subject line that is brief and straight to the point. A lot of times, influencers will relegate outreach mail to the trash folder because the subject is too vague. You can also mention your website or the opportunity that is available for the influencer.

2. Greeting

Your greeting should also be very simple. You might be tempted to overdo on the formality and address your recipient as “sir” or “madam”: resist the temptation to do this. Going on a first name basis helps you establish open lines of communication that

Going on a first name basis helps you establish open lines of communication that encourage the influencer to respond. Unless they refer to themselves using those formal titles on their blogs, a more casual approach is the best option.

3. Introduction

Ensure that the first part of each outreach mail is dedicated to introducing yourself. Give the influencer a brief rundown of who you are, the company you represent, what you do, and your title.

Furthermore, you can also attach a link in the email to help the influencer gauge the possibility of working with your brand. The main point here is reducing the amount of work influencers have to put in to decide whether or not to collaborate with you.

4. Outline your goal

This simply means defining exactly what you are looking forward to in the future.

5. How will the influencer benefit?

Take a moment to show what is in it for the influencer and why they should collaborate with you. Outline what is in for them in on sentence. If you are not going to be offering a cash compensation, then you must outline innovative ways on which a collaboration will boost the influencer’s reputation.

6. Outline why they should be working with you

You should give a short explanation here of why the particular influencer would be a great addition to the brand. The key to doing this is by personalizing your email. Avoid sending the same generic text to many people because this reduces the chances that one of them will reply.

However, mentioning their blog and how a well-written post could help them too will increase your chances of landing a significant social media influencer.

7. Lighten their involvement

Influencers are busy people.  Therefore, it is important to recognize how you can make their work easier. They do not want to do your job on top of theirs, therefore reduce the amount of homework they have to do on your brand. Putting all the relevant information in one place will significantly increase your chances of success.

8. What are the benefits?

While you do not have to mention the incentives again, highlighting your achievements is a great idea. You can do this by pointing out how you helped increase another influencer’s traffic, or boost their reputation.

9. Give a deadline

Some marketers try to pressure influencers to give them an answer within a couple of days. This is a terrible approach that never works out well for them! Instead, give them enough time to think about the offer. Also, never give deadlines that are close to important holidays like Thanksgiving or Christmas.

10. End well

Keep your ending short, straightforward, and friendly.

11. Read it again

Review the email at least once before sending it out to the influencer. This will help you correct any basic grammatical mistakes that will make you look less than professional. Furthermore, you will also see if the message flows naturally or if the text is lumped together.

The latter will make your email hard to read and increase the chances that the influencer will simply delete it.

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The First Email: Touching Base

Why do so many people fail at online marketing and networking? It is because they do not grasp a simple but important rule: you should never, ever start off with an ask. Never!

You do not want to be the person sending out outreach emails to people who do not know who you are but asking for a social media collaboration right from the start. This is especially true for those who are just starting out.

Apart from just being plain rude, these types of emails do not go over well because they violate so many social rules. You will come off as cocky, arrogant, and a little too full of yourself. Why should you assume everyone is dying to know about your new product or service?

Furthermore, such emails also show that you underestimate just how much the influencer cares about their audience. Recognize that you must prove how good your brand actually is, and establishing that kind of credibility takes time.

Instead, here is a sample outreach letter that shows how this very important first email should look like:

Hey (Influencer’s name),

Just wanted to drop a line to say I have been a huge fan of (influencer’s channel) for a while.

I think I really got hooked into your site when you posted about how to (relevant take away). I had been trying to do it on my own but could not “get” it, you know?

Anyway, I used your tips to rewrite a couple of reviews I already had up on my site. The good news is I have already noticed a significant difference in how they are performing. So thank you!

Since that post helped me out so much, I wanted to ask if you are planning to put up any more (relevant subject) tutorials soon.

If not, no worries. That one was already really helpful. But I would love to know more if it is in your posting schedule in the near future.

Keep up the great work!


(Your name).

This sample outreach letter is a much better option for the first contact. You do not have to market your brand right away. Instead, approach the influencer with gratitude for their hard work, show that you can tank advice and that you are worth having a conversation with.

Furthermore, make them feel great about the work they are already doing. From a psychological standpoint, this approach is more likely to prompt a response from the influencer. Do not forget to ask a question as this almost always ensures a response.

However, make sure that the question does not need a lot of time or commitment to answer.

Lastly, remember that the whole point of the first email is to start a conversation off on the right foot. It might take a longer time and more effort to write this kind of email, but the payoff for your business is certainly worth it.

The Second Email: Establishing Rapport

Chances that the influencer will respond to this first email are pretty high. They will most likely go on with the same conversational tone you have already established, which is great news for you.

Now, the next step is establishing more rapport to make the influencer more invested in your brand. Doing this is very important because it will get them to feel like they are starting to trust you. Here is another sample outreach letter to show you how you can do this:

Hey (Influencer’s name),

Thanks for responding so quickly!

Apart from writing decent reviews, I would say the part I have lots of difficulty with is creating videos for my website.

I have done some before, and I like their ROI, but I always freeze up in front of the camera. Even if I’m just by myself sitting in front of my laptop!

It’s crazy, I know. That’s why I would love any tips you would have for me.

And – if you don’t mind me asking – you mentioning your audience got me curious about how much your audience and mine would align with each other.

On my website, (mention your site), I help people who want to build their personal brands on their websites in a professional way.

I thought I’d be serving mostly career professionals at first. But today my audience is made up of 50 percent webpreneurs, 30 percent professionals, and a 20 percent demographic that is still kind of undefined.

Since your main focus is on niche sites, have you found that most people, like my webpreneurs, respond more to niche site work? Or are they still mostly the 9-5ers?

Again, I don’t mean to probe. But I love your content and have already recommended some of it to my audience.

In particular, the webpreneurs love what you have to say on (mention specific subject). I just wonder if there is a potential for overlap there.


(You name),

(Your title and business name).

Again, the tone here is conversational and does not sound forced at all. Furthermore, notice how mentioning that you share the influencer’s content keeps the benefits of this conversation focused on them.

Plus, you can casually introduce the idea of how your separate audiences intersect. As long as you do not get pushy, and the influencer does not get ten more emails like this every day, they are bound to respond.

The Third Email: The Ask

We must offer a disclaimer here: go either your gut. If going for the ask still does not feel right, do not do it. You can keep up the friendly communication and even offer help. However, if the ask feels natural or the influencer brings up a chance to work together or guest post, go for it.

Keep the focus on offering value to their audience, not you or the influencer. The recipient will love you for this because that is exactly what they are trying to do themselves.

Keep the focus on offering value to their audience, not you or the influencer. The recipient will love you for this because that is exactly what they are trying to do themselves.

If you have followed the formula we have outlined here, the influencer will most likely open the floor for your ask. While you can certainly proceed without it, letting them lead the way here will bring you more success. In case that happens, here is a sample outreach letter for this stage:

Hey (Influencer’s name),

That sounds like a great idea.

I do not have any ideas off the top of my head, but maybe we could start off with something like a social media collaboration?

It is both mutually beneficial and low risk. Plus, we could gauge the response to see if we could do something bigger together in the future.

For your audience, I think they would love:

  • First idea
  • Second idea
  • Third idea

How does that sound?

It would be next to impossible to ignore this kind of email. It shows you are prepared to offer value and have put a lot of thought into how to do so. It also shows you have considered the risk the influencer would be taking by trusting you with their audience.

Backup Email: The Follow Up

At any point in this process, you might not get a response from the influencer you are trying to reach. That is when a great follow up email would be really useful. You can do this without seeming annoyed or annoying to them. Here is a great follow up email format you can use:

Hey (Influencer’s name),

I know you are super busy and this email will probably get buried in your inbox. But, I just wanted to give it a little “push” back to the top of your email list.

Hope you are doing well.


(Your name).

It really is that easy. All you have to do is keep the email non-threatening. Furthermore, do not try to make the influencer feel guilty for not responding to you.

How to React When People Politely Decline or Do Not Respond

In case this happens, the first rule is to not take it personally or lash out at the influencer. If they decline, simply thank them for their time but do not take it as a sign to take them off your contact list.

Get in touch with them a month or so later. However, do not ask for the same thing. You can simply share an article that made you think of them. You might never get the chance to guest post, but they could still be a great addition to your network.

Obviously, this is not the case if the recipient never responds. That is the only time to assume that they are not interested. Here, you can just thank them for their work and leave it at that.

Taking this first step shows influencers that you are serious and helpful. In turn, they will be much more likely to reciprocate by sharing your content in the future or making some very useful introductions that could boost your brand.

Conclusion: Write your First Email and tell us how it goes

After reading this post here is some homework for you. Choose one influencer within your niche and write them an email. Use the tips in this post as a guide to creating a great, authentic, and personalized email.

After doing this, let us know how it goes in the comments below. Did you have any epiphany while crafting this email? We would love to know how the process of communication went with this influencer.

Just keep in mind that not all influencers will respond. Should that happen, just select someone else and start the process over again!

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