Chapter 3: Campaign Launch

Now that you’re ready to reach out to some influencers, you need to know all about how to make contact, what information to include, and what to do and not to do.

The Definitive Guide to Influencer Marketing

Contacting influencers

Generally the best way to contact influencers is via email. There are two ways to do this: manually, or with automated outreach.

3.1. Contacting influencers

Contacting manually

This method is recommended for when you’re contacting a few influencers. Using the excel on influencer data that you created or downloaded from Heepsy, contact influencers at the email addresses on the spreadsheet. Create a message template that you can copy, paste and personalize to save you some time.

Automating your outreach

There’s no shortage of tools designed to help you automate your outreach efforts. These are perfect for when you want to reach out to many influencers at once. They’ll help you streamline the process and save a lot of time along the way.

One automation tool is Yet Another Mail Merge, or YAMM. YAMM is an add-on for GSuite, and it hooks up with Google Sheets and GMail to let you send many emails at once, as well as personalize and track them. The add-on is free if you only need to send up to 50 emails per day; if you need to send more, you can upgrade to a personal, GSuite or business account.

Here are the steps you need to take to get YAMM up and running:

1. Get your Google Sheet ready with the names and email addresses of the influencers.

2. Activate the YAMM add-on in Google Sheets.

3. In Gmail, prepare your template email. This will be the base email that goes out to all the influencers. Don’t send the email, but save it to Drafts. It’s important here to make sure you put an easily-identifiable subject, so that the email is easy to find.

4. In Sheets, select the column that contains the email addresses. Then go to Add Ons, and find YAMM.3.

5. To start the mail merge, YAMM will ask you to choose the Gmail template you created earlier. You’ll only see the subject of the email, so this is why giving it a name that clearly connects it to your campaign is important.

6. If you’d like to first see how your template looks once it’s sent, you can choose “Receive a test email”. If you’ve already tested or are sure you’re ready to send, click “Send X Emails” and YAMM will send your template to all the email addresses on your Sheet. If you have a paid account, you can also schedule the emails to be sent out at a future time or date.

7. With YAMM, you can also track the emails you’ve sent out. YAMM will automatically generate a new column in your spreadsheet, as well as open a pop-up window to show you the following:

  • EMAIL SENT - the email was delivered without problem
  • EMAIL OPENED - the recipient opened the email
  • EMAIL CLICKED - the recipient clicked on a link in your email
  • EMAIL RESPONDED - the recipient responded to you
  • EMAIL BOUNCED - the email couldn’t be delivered

To access your tracking at any time, click on “Open tracking report” under YAMM in Add-Ons.

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How to avoid becoming spam

Sending out your first mail merge is easy. But, there are some tips to keep in mind to make sure your emails don’t end up in influencers’ spam folders.

  • Be brief
    Keep your email short and to the point. Long-winded emails will be more likely marked as spam.

  • Personalize
    It’s easy to personalize emails in YAMM. Basically, all you have to do is add this marker {{Column Header}} to Gmail and make sure it’s named exactly the same as a column Sheets. So for example, if you wanted to personalize the email to greet the influencer by name, you could start your template like this:

    Hi {{First Name}},

    And then, make sure that your column in sheets is named exactly the same: First Name. Check that all capitalization and spacing matches exactly. You can use this technique to personalize many other things too, like meeting times, incentive amounts, or whatever information may change based on the influencer you’re contacting.

    If you’d like more information about how to personalize emails, visit the YAMM support center.

  • Use clear subjects
    Choose subject lines that explain the purpose and content of your email. This will make it for humans and AI alike to recognize its importance.

  • Brand your emails
    Everyone across your organization should be branding their emails consistently. Include the company logo in all emails, and make sure everyone is using a similar email format and signature. Always include the brand name in your email address, and try to avoid noreply addresses. The more consistent your company’s emailing is, the more trust it will build with potential clients, customers, and in this case, influencers.

  • Be mobile-friendly
    Considering how much time influencers spend on social media, it’s not unusual that they’d check their emails on mobile devices like phones and tablets. Make your emails easy to read on these, and you’re more likely to make your message stick.

And that’s it! In a few simple steps you can contact as many influencers as you want in just moments!

What to know before contacting influencers

Here’s some handy information to ensure you understand and effectively implement the process of reaching out to influencers.

Response rates

It’s important to understand that when you send influencers a first contact email, most will probably open it, but not all will respond. Our team usually sees the following rates:

Emails opened - 70-80%

Emails with links clicked - 50%

Emails that get answered - 30-40%

These response rates also depend on the type of influencer that you’re contacting. When it comes to micro influencers, the first factor that determines response rate is if the product is interesting to them and meshes well with their social media persona. If the product has a high perceived value, or if it’s an experience, micro influencers will usually respond at higher rates. The second factor is the type of publications that you’re asking for. If you’re only asking for stories, micro influencers are more likely to reply.

With mega influencers, you might find that the response rates are higher, up to even about 90%. These are full-time influencers with managers, and the response rate is so high because the manager will reply simply to provide the influencer’s fees.

Contacting influencers via DM

If you want to reach out to an influencer but can’t find their email address, the next best way to contact them is via a direct message (DM) on Instagram. Be careful: if the influencer doesn’t follow you, the DM won’t show up in their main inbox, but rather in another folder for messages from users who they don’t know. To make sure they open your DM, make the proposal as attractive as possible! If it looks interesting, most influencers will open it and even reply. But if your proposal doesn’t stand out, influencers won’t answer and you’ll never know if they’ve read your DM or not.

Sometimes, when dealing with mega influencers, it’s actually better to contact them by DM. Your product may be interesting to them without a fee, but if you send an email, it will arrive directly to their manager. Influencers’ managers will always ask for a fee, as they earn a percentage of it. So if you want to try to close a deal around a product without a fee, it’s better to go directly to the source.

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