It All Begins with a Hook

Like the first sentence in a creative paper your first words to a potential influencer must feel as enticing as possible. Being enticing can have different meanings depending on the segment. For some an enticing message may be purely informational while others prefer it to be emotional. Keep in mind that it is common for influencers to receive a multitude of requests from agencies and brands. It is likely that their entire inbox contains emails with product pitches and collaborative ideas similar to something that you are asking of them. Just like how a recruiter may pay the most attention to the first few sentences on a cover letter, or how you are more likely to give your fullest attention to the opening scene of a movie; influencers will designate most of their attention on how you begin your interaction.

Your initial outreach is your biggest opportunity to catch the big fish, but only if you use the proper bait. Keep these following 5 tips in mind to help you draft a successful outreach message:

1. Do your homework

Never ask for anything without having done proper research on an influencer’s background first. You’ll want to know the basics first. Such as their real name, influencer personality or blog name, and most importantly: what they are passionate about. Initiating a conversation about something that is irrelevant will likely bore or disinterest them.  Your research will allow you to discover if the influencer is someone who enjoys the information to be laid out in a technical way or is someone who likes to be conversational.

2. Be brief when introducing yourself and the brand

Less is more in this case. To be able to give an introduction about yourself and your company in less than two sentences says that you can be appealing even when it’s short and sweet. Unless your company’s history includes turning rainbows into an alternative energy source, there is no need to give an entire brief about your history with the company, its founding principles, what its logo stands for, etc.—too much reading will tire the eyes before they get to the important parts. Hyperlink your company name to its website so that the influencer can easily click through and learn more on their own.

3. Break items down with bullet points

In a world where there is a constant sense of urgency there is a lot of skimming while gathering information. Nobody’s eyes will adequately be able to quickly break down long paragraphs while collecting all information. Make it easier on the eye by using bullet points or numbered points when you are explaining a list of items.

More effort to read: I think cats are the cutest because they like to chase around laser points for hours, enjoy sitting in boxes of different sizes, and are fluffy.

Easier to read:

I think cats are the cutest because they:

  • Like to chase around laser points for hours.
  • Enjoy sitting in boxes of different sizes.
  • Are fluffy.

4. Avoid sounding like a salesman

Influencers are well aware that most of their emails contain pitches to work together. You will have a higher success rate if you avoid sounding too sales-y in your initial outreach. Swap out “I think you should work with ______ because…” and be more conversational. Through your background research you will be able to leverage what they’re most passionate about.

5. Triple-check your spelling

Use the spellcheck tool or have somebody proofread before you send out the initial outreach (and any other outbound messages). Spelling errors are easy to dodge and should always be avoided.

By using the 5 tips mentioned above, you will be on the right track to gain your potential influencers attention. Remember that first impressions in email do matter when it comes to working with online personalities because in most cases, you may not have the opportunity to meet and impress them in person. Most importantly, sell them your idea with out coming off as sales-y. Hook them with your best (and most non-robotic) bait and them reel them in!

About: Hawke Media is full service outsourced CMO and digital advertising agency with clients in Santa Monica, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Chicago and New York.


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