Influencer outreach strategy: My 5-step guide

by | Feb 29, 2024 | Marketing Tips

What if I told you that your campaign’s success depends entirely on how well you do influencer outreach? 

Influencer outreach isn't that difficult.

In fact, 59% of marketers agree influencer outreach is the most difficult part of their job. 🥲

I’ve learned that it’s typical to get 10% to 30% positive replies from influencers.

Don’t believe me? Check this out. 👇 

Graphic showcasing email campaign metrics with a 100% open rate achievement.

Join me at Click Analytic as I show you how to do influencer outreach. 

From crafting your first message to setting up a system that works, I’m here to ensure you don’t just reach out to influencers – you engage them. 

I’ll cover the following:

👉 What is influencer outreach?

👉 6 Pro influencer outreach tactics.

👉 How to find an influencer’s email.

👉 4 Free influencer outreach email templates.

👉 How to follow up on influencer outreach.

👉 3 Tips to improve your influencer outreach.


Let’s roll. 👇

What is influencer outreach?

Influencer outreach is all about contacting creators to start influencer collaborations with your brand. It’s the crucial first move in forging new connections.

The real question is, “How to do influencer outreach like a pro?”

6 influencer outreach tactics for better results

Here are my 6 easy influencer outreach tactics for guaranteed results. 👇

1. Always use emails instead of DMs

Always try to use emails for influencer outreach

When setting up influencer partnerships, think of it as a business-to-business (B2B) collaboration

👉 After all, creators are entrepreneurs in their own right. 

This is why I lean towards emails rather than sliding into DMs.


Because emails are the best form of communication with influencers.

Emails also add a layer of professionalism and ensure everything is documented and easy to track.

That said, I’m not entirely against using DMs.

DMs can be a great starting point, especially when email addresses are hard to come by.

DMs have a more relaxed vibe, perfect for initiating conversations, especially if we have mutual connections with the creator.

💡 My pro tip: I always use DMs when an influencer doesn’t reply to my email. It’s a gentle, easy way to follow up.

However, I always aim to transition these conversations to email. This way, we make sure no detail of the collaboration falls through the cracks.

2. Turn it into a sale

Honestly, I didn’t wear my sales hat early on during influencer outreach. 😣

👉 And that was a big oversight.

Here’s the thing: without a sales mindset, you’ll likely reach out less, get discouraged more quickly, and ultimately slow down your progress.

The thought of following up multiple times might make many marketers uncomfortable.

Silence after sending out personalised emails can feel like a personal rejection.

However, when I started thinking like a salesperson, those silent inboxes became less of a personal affront and more of a challenge to overcome.

Following up didn’t seem desperate—it became a necessary step. 😎

Low response rates?

They weren’t failures but opportunities to refine my messaging, offer, or strategy.

Here’s the kicker: embracing a sales mentality taught me the importance of volume.

💡 My pro tip: Always add one zero to the amount of influencers you contact vs what you need. For instance, if I need 10 influencers for a campaign, I’ll contact 100. This improves my response rate and gives me negotiating room.

More outreach also doesn’t just mean more potential connections; it accelerates the feedback loop, allowing for quicker refinement of tactics and, consequently, faster success.

The formula is simple: more emails sent equals faster feedback, which leads to better outreach strategies and, ultimately, quicker victories. 🤑

Also, don’t be afraid to use a CRM. They let you test every email (read: A/B testing) and automate the most tedious parts of your influencer outreach strategy. 

CRMs provide us with tons of valuable data. We can use this data to fine-tune our outreach strategies. So, in short, let the software show you what works and what doesn’t.

3. Add a great CTA

I’ve found that ending my outreach emails with a soft call-to-action (CTA) can really up my response game.

What’s a soft CTA?

👉 It’s like asking a simple yes-or-no question that doesn’t require the recipient to think too hard.

Questions like “Are you open to collaborations?” or “Interested?” have become my go-to.

This approach makes it super easy for creators to hit reply.

They don’t need to process a ton of information or make big decisions on the spot.

And once they’re interested, that’s my cue to dive into the nitty-gritty details.

I use this strategy especially when I’m genuinely excited about the possibility of working with a creator and am flexible about our collaboration.

Here are a few soft CTAs I often rotate between:

💡 “Does this sound like a project you’d be interested in?

💡 “Can we send you our product to try out?

💡 “Are you currently open to collaborations?

💡 “May I send over more details?

💡 “Interested?

⚠️ However, I steer clear of soft CTAs when my project has a fixed budget and specific requirements. 

In those cases, I lay all the cards on the table in my initial email and close with a more direct CTA, like “Let me know if you’re interested” or “What are your rates for these specific deliverables?

Here’s another tip. 👇

Lately, I found that link CTAs work really well! Especially if you want the influencer to join an affiliate program or book for an event.

4. Learn as much as possible

Let me share a story. 🤓

In the early stages of my influencer outreach journey, I decided to do things that seemed downright unscalable.

Yes, I’m talking about making phone or video calls with every single creator I want to collaborate with.

And spending hours personalising each outreach email to see which approach resonated best.

And yes, I even sought out feedback on my messaging from peers and influencers alike.

These tasks?

👉 They can’t be automated.

They’re the kind of hands-on, energy-intensive efforts that many would shy away from.

Yet, these are exactly what propelled me miles ahead in my influencer marketing game.

Let me explain:

Phone/Video calls: These conversations sped up the communication process and allowed me to dive deep into understanding what each influencer genuinely sought in a collaboration.

Personalised emails: Tailoring each message helped me quickly identify which calls to action, offers, and personal touches led to the most enthusiastic responses.

Seeking feedback: This gave me invaluable insights into my outreach strategy, offering a fresh perspective on what was working and what needed tweaking.

As someone just starting in influencer outreach, my advice is to lean into these unscalable practices.

Why? 😯

👉 The immediate feedback and rapid learning curve they provide are priceless.

And here’s another valuable lesson I learned: The power of A/B testing.

If you’ve got a list of 100 influencers, split them into groups and test different outreach strategies to learn what works best. 

In my experience, combining multiple channels, like email, Instagram DMs and TikTok DMs, often works the best.

5. Save time with partial influencer outreach templates

In my quest to streamline influencer outreach, I’ve discovered the power of partially templated emails.

👉 They’re my secret weapon for being both efficient and personal.

Chatting with over 50 influencer marketing pros taught me I’m not alone. We all use partially templated emails to keep things speedy without sacrificing that personal touch.

Here’s the deal: I have a go-to section about me, my brand, and what we’re all about that fits into any email.

The rest?

I tailor it to fit the influencer I’m contacting, ensuring it resonates with them and their audience.

This is my icer-breaker, and it adds an unrivaled personal touch.

Here’s a quick peek at how I do it:

Influencer Outreach email template

Fully templated emails come into play under a few conditions.


Only if:

✅ Your brand is a big name that influencers are jumping to collaborate with,

✅ if your offer is super specific and non-negotiable,

✅ or if you’re already seeing great responses without customisation.

Then, by all means, go for the whole template.

But in my experience, a little personalisation goes a long way.

6. Start with a great subject line

And finally, an epic influencer outreach email starts with an eye-catching subject line.

Here’s what I do.

⚙️ Add personal touches:

I always personalise my subject lines with details like the recipient’s name. This technique has been proven to boost open rates.

⚙️ Opt for clarity: 

Being straightforward and clear can often be more effective than attempting to be catchy. Aim to highlight the value of your offer as soon as possible.

⚙️ Keep it short: 

I found that shorter subject lines resonate more, especially with users reading emails on mobile devices. Aim for a maximum of 9 words and 60 characters to keep your message concise.

⚙️ Use punctuation but sparingly: 

Limit yourself to no more than 3 punctuation marks in a subject line. Excessive punctuation, particularly special characters, can give your email a spam-like appearance.

⚙️ Avoid caps

Caps only make it sound like you’re shouting. Don’t be that person. You don’t want to come across as desperate or rude.

⚙️ Use questions

Open-ended questions are more direct and piques their curiosity. I’ve found they often work best to increase my open rates.

Here are some of my best subject lines:

💡 Paid collab

💡 “Name”, join our exclusive launch event

💡 Brand Name <> Creator Name

And here’s a bonus pro tip. 👇

Use AI-powered email software like Instantly

With Instantly, you can run A/B tests. The cherry on top? The AI will automatically use the winning subject line on the rest of your mailing list.

How to find an influencer’s email?

As I mentioned earlier, email is king for influencer outreach.

But the million-dollar question is, how do you find a creator’s email address?

You’ll often find it right in their social media bios.

Instagram influencers might have a handy “email” button in the app or include their contact in the bio.

The instagram profile of a Vale Genta with an arrow pointing to it.

💡My pro tip: Check out my handy guide on 9 easy steps to find someone’s Instagram email.

TikTok creators usually put theirs in the bio, too.

A phone with a pink arrow pointing to a TikTok bio.

💡My pro tip: I wrote an epic guide on 5 easy steps to find someone’s TikTok email.

And YouTube channels list emails under the “About” section.

Influencer Outreach - Finding emails on youTube

However, manually searching each profile and jotting down emails is not exactly what I’d call time-efficient. 🥲

I’ve found tools like Click Analytic to be game-changers for scaling this process.

Yes, I’m 100% biased, but the truth is the truth.

Platforms like Click Analytic streamline the hunt for influencer emails, whether you’re starting a new search based on specific criteria, importing a list to bulk search emails, or looking up a particular @handle.

In fact, Click Analytic can unlock an email in 2 seconds!

A list of emails of TikTok influencers on Click Analytic.

What makes Click Analytic stand out is its efficiency and that it doesn’t just stop at finding emails.

It’s a comprehensive influencer marketing platform that aids in discovering relevant creators, analysing their profiles, and tracking campaign success.

And the cherry on top?

👉You can give it a whirl for free.


Now that we’ve covered how to do influencer outreach like a pro let me share some free influencer outreach email templates.

4 Free influencer outreach email templates

Ready to send your first influencer outreach email?

Excellent. Grab these 4 free email templates.

Customise them to fit your brand and goals. 👇

1. Sending products (seeding campaigns)

Here’s my first email template.

Use this email template If you want to send a creator some of your products.

Subject: Hi [name], looking for a [Brand Name] partnership opportunity?

Hi X,

Hope you are doing great! 

I work as a “Position” at “Brand”, and I absolutely love your content. I feel that it would perfectly match our brand aesthetic.

Let me tell you a bit more about “Brand Name.”  It is a skincare line specifically formulated to treat the depleting and damaging effects of stress on the skin using ingredients from “Country”. We would love to send you a customised box of our most successful products to introduce you to the brand. 

Would you be interested in joining our PR list?

To opt-in and receive a set of products, simply fill out this form.

Once you receive and test the products, we would love it if you decide to share the products (review or any content) with your audience and/or let us know of any feedback. We will have more seeding gifts monthly and also opportunities for paid partnerships.

Please let me know if you have any questions!


Company website + logo + phone number

2. Affiliate programs

You can use this influencer email template If you want to invite them to your affiliate program.

Subject: [Name], you’re invited!

Hi X,

I work as a content manager at BRAND, and I absolutely love your content! I feel that our brand could perfectly speak to your audience.

We currently have +200 creators in our affiliate program, getting an average of $500 per month from our beauty products via our Amazon page.

I believe that you could be a great fit to join our program. 

Benefits include: 

– 20% commission on each sale through your unique referral link,

– Invited to exclusive events with our community of partners,

– Unique discount codes for your audience,

– Early access to new products.


To opt-in, you can apply to our affiliate program here.

Please let me know if you have any questions!


Company website + logo + phone number

3. Paid collaborations

What if you want to do a paid collab? Then, this outreach email is your template.

Subject: [First name] & [Brand name]

Congratulations, [Name]! 🎉 

I noticed that you are among the fastest-growing “beauty” creators in NYC.

I feel that your audience could engage quite well with our product. “Brand Name” has immediate paid collab needs in “Month”. To give you more details about our brand, we are a skincare brand focusing on the damaging effects of stress on the skin using ingredients from “Country.”

We are looking to partner with a content creator like yourself to create ongoing content for our Instagram & TikTok social media pages.

Could you please share your pricing for a piece of content (Reels format)? 

Or, please feel free to send us your media kit.

Looking forward to potentially working together!

Kind regards,


Company website + logo + phone number

4. Event invites

And my final influencer outreach email is this event invite template.

Subject: Invitation to “EVENT” by “Brand”

Hi X,

I work as a content manager at “BRAND”, and I would like to personally invite you to our latest event in London for the launch of our product X. The event will take place at “LOCATION” with 300 guests, including X, Y and Z. etc.

We’d be honoured to have you join us for this special event. 

If you are available – simply reply yes. 

I would be happy to schedule a quick call with you and share more information.

Kind regards,


Company website + logo + phone number

How to follow up on influencer outreach

In my experience, nearly every marketer admitted to following up with creators at least once or twice.

It might feel a bit pushy, but remember, influencers are juggling a lot. They get around 50 to 100 emails daily! 

And yes, your well-crafted email could easily get lost in the shuffle.

Just like in sales, you must always follow up.

Influencers are keen on collaborations that resonate with their audience, so a gentle reminder can be just the thing they need. Here’s what you need to know.

Let me show you how to follow up on influencer outreach. 👇

How often should you follow up?

👉 One to two follow-ups are standard.

But honestly, you can go beyond that without being a nuisance if you keep it courteous and considerate.

⚠️ Timing your follow-ups is crucial.

If the initial attempts don’t get a response, try spacing them out—think 3 days, then 1 week, and maybe 15 days after your first couple of tries.

It’s all about finding the right moment without overwhelming their inbox.

How to write a follow-up email

What’s the secret sauce for follow-up messages?

👉 Keep it short and personalise it.

Make it clear you’re not just sending out a mass email. And don’t waste their time.

So, keep it short and sweet.

How do you do this?

You reference their recent work or mention something specific that shows you’re paying attention.

For instance, here’s how I might reach out:

My first follow-up email

Hey [Name],

Just me again, hoping you’re doing awesome. 

I saw your latest post on [specific topic]—incredible stuff!

We’re gearing up for our campaign next month, and I’d love to see if we could collaborate.

Did you get a chance to check out our app or the info pack I sent over?

Here’s the code again ([code]) to unlock everything. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

Cheers, [Your Name]

And if it’s time for a second or third nudge, keeping it simple and straight to the point works wonders. 

Add some FOMO (fear of missing out) by mentioning a deadline. This creates urgency and prompts them to reply faster.

My next follow-up email

Hey [Name],

Quick reminder: we’re finalising our campaign list in 5 days. I wanted to circle back before it’s too late.

Excellent either way; just let me know 😊

Best, [Your Name]

As you get to the tail end of your follow-up efforts, make it easy for them to skim through.

You could even try a different CTA, like a link or an open-ended question.

My final follow-up email

Hey [Name],

Hoping this message finds you well!

Just touching base one last time about our upcoming campaign.

If you haven’t had a chance to review our app, no worries at all. I’d love your feedback or a quick note on your interest level. And if you need more time, that’s cool too.

Looking forward to any thoughts you have!

Best, [Your Name]

👉 Remember, the goal is to be respectful and understanding, not pushy.

Keeping your tone friendly and open makes follow-ups feel less like a chore and more like an opportunity.

3 Tips to improve your influencer outreach

Now you know how to find an influencer’s email and write an epic outreach message.

But there’s still more to learn! 😁

Here are my 3 secret tips to improve your influencer outreach success rate.

1. Pre-vet your influencers

Before diving into outreach, it’s crucial to pre-vet influencers. 


Pre-vetting ensures you’re only connecting with those who truly align with your brand, saving you time and increasing the likelihood of a positive response. 

Here’s what I look for:

A Brief Overview Of Kendall Jenner's Stats

📊 Influencer size: This is all about matching your budget and campaign needs. Bigger influencers mean bigger budgets. But sometimes, smaller, more niche influencers offer better engagement for less money.

📊 Niche and audience: It’s essential that the influencer operates within your industry and their audience mirrors your target market. This includes factors like location, age, and interests.

📊 Performance metrics: I set benchmarks for engagement rates, authentic followers, and growth trends to identify the most promising collaborators.

📊 Content and style: The influencer’s content should naturally resonate with my brand’s tone. No matter how influential the person is, a mismatch here can do more harm than good.

Tools like Click Analytic are a godsend for quickly gathering this information. 

But even without such tools, taking a few minutes to review an influencer’s profile can make a world of difference in crafting effective outreach messages.

2. Choose your hook and bait

Before hitting send on any outreach emails, it’s essential to have a crystal-clear understanding of what I’m bringing to the table. 

Even when I use a soft call-to-action, I need to be prepared to spring into action if a creator shows interest. 

Here’s how I break down my offer:

🎯 Deliverables: I get specific. For instance, I might be looking for 1 Instagram Reel, 2 Stories, and a few posts. This clarity helps set expectations right from the start.

🎯 Timelines: I outline how often I’d like content to be shared for ongoing partnerships. This could mean a set number of monthly posts or videos, ensuring we’re both on the same page.

🎯 Budget: Knowing how much I can allocate to each collaboration allows me to negotiate effectively and manage my marketing spending wisely.

🎯 ROI expectations: I always have a goal in mind for what I want the collaboration to achieve, whether it’s boosting brand awareness, driving sales, or increasing social engagement.

Flexibility is critical, though. 

I’m always ready to adjust my approach if an influencer has a great idea that could resonate even more with their audience. 

However, understanding my limits in terms of budget, timeline, and desired outcomes ensures I start negotiations from a position of strength.

3. Design an outreach funnel

Once a creator agrees to collaborate, it’s crucial to have a smooth transition process in place. 

This is where knowing the ins and outs of our communication and workflow becomes vital. 

Here’s what I focus on:

🎯 Influencer contract: What terms will our agreement include? Having these details ironed out beforehand is essential to ensure both parties are clear on the expectations.

🎯 Point of contact: Who can the influencer contact if they have questions or need clarification on the brief? Assigning a specific team member as their go-to contact person streamlines communication.

🎯 Deliverable submission: How and where will the influencer submit their content? Whether via email, a shared drive, or a content management system, a transparent process makes collaborations smoother.

Setting up these steps for onboarding creators and assigning roles within my team ensures we’re all ready to spring into action as soon as we get a “yes.” 

While we might not get everything perfect from the start, having a basic framework allows us to adapt and refine our approach as our influencer marketing efforts grow and evolve. 

Starting with a structured plan in place definitely makes the journey smoother and more efficient.

A man in a lab coat is holding a clipboard with social media icons.


And there you have it: my secret to epic influencer outreach that succeeds. 

What’s next? 

Grab this free trial of our influencer marketing platform. Use it to find influencers and improve your influencer outreach campaigns. Quick and easy.

FAQs about influencer outreach

Still here? Got some burning questions about influencer outreach?

Check out these answers.


How often should I follow up with an influencer if I don’t get a response?

Follow up 1-2 times, spacing your emails a week or two apart. Persistence is crucial, but respect their space.

What’s the best way to find an influencer’s contact information?

Check their social media bios for email details or use influencer marketing platforms like Click Analytic for a more streamlined search.

Should I offer payment or product exchange to influencers?

It depends on your campaign goals, budget, and the influencer’s preference and reach. Be clear about what you can offer from the start.

How can I ensure my influencer outreach is successful?

Personalise your outreach messages, clearly articulate your offer, and ensure the influencer aligns with your brand’s values and audience.

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