Marketers can quickly become disenchanted with influencer work soon after starting due to one overwhelming factor: the lack of response. While they may observe an influencer to be perfect for their campaign, the influencer receives dozens of approaches every day and might not have the time or inclination to reply to them all.
Our advice to clients is always persevere but change your approach. Rather than resending the same email to dozens more influencers, question why the people who would align so well with your campaign are simply not interested.
The biggest mistake made in a first approach is detailing too much information. Ideally, this email should include who you are, what your brand does, tease the campaign and indicate budget. Really, a few sentences will suffice – do not be tempted to send your entire brand story.
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Instead, opt for economical charm over numerous paragraphs. Introduce yourself immediately, note that you love the influencers’ work and say briefly why your brand is drawn to them, perhaps referencing one of their recent posts or campaigns. Share a couple of lines on your upcoming campaign, your budget and state a clear deadline for response.
If you are contacting their manager, it is smart to include how many assets you require and the deadline for these. When will the campaign run? As experts in logistics, they will be able to deliver a definitive answer simply through having this information as the influencer’s calendar and conditions of existing brand deals either will or will not allow their participation.
In your approach – more important than anything else – it is imperative you communicate an understanding of the influencer and your passion for their work, as well as a solid comprehension of their brand. For example, Bryony Gordon – a journalist, broadcaster and campaign who has written at length about her struggle with addiction – noted on Instagram Stories she is still approached by alcohol brands. Many pregnant influencers have also flagged this, and it can burn bridges before they are even built, not to mention lead to naming and shaming.
It all comes back to doing research and understanding who you are attempting to work with. In short, your first approach should include the key information. Tease your campaign by sharing the top line – the thing that demands attention. These details will deliver a yes, no or tentative interest, which are all infinitely preferable to no response at all.
By Sara McCorquodale, CEO and founder of CORQ, author of Influence: How Social Media Influencers Are Shaping Our Digital Future.