Did you know that 84.8% of marketers believe influencer marketing is effective?

Or that three in five planned to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2024?

An image showing marketing budget allocation

Impressive stuff.

But influencer marketing isn’t a guaranteed money-maker. To get it right, you need to find and engage influencers with audiences that align with your ideal customer profile (ICP).

In other words, you need to nail your influencer outreach.

Read on to learn how…

What is Influencer Outreach?

Influencer outreach is a form of cold outreach that involves identifying influencers with complementary audiences, then connecting and engaging with them so they’ll promote your brand, product, or service.

So it’s just like sales outreach — except your prospect is a potential marketing partner rather than a future customer.

Both B2B and B2C brands can take advantage of influencer outreach strategies. Just as an apparel retailer might collaborate with a fashion blogger to raise awareness of their new spring/summer collection. Or a project management app could team up with a business podcaster to showcase their platform’s key features.

The flexibility of influencer outreach is demonstrated by its wide-ranging objectives, with brands saying they use influencer marketing to:

  • Capture user-generated content (55.8%)

  • Boost sales (23.2%)

  • Grow brand awareness (21%)

How to Create an Influencer Outreach Campaign

We’ve discussed the theory behind influencer outreach. Now let’s set out the specific steps required to build your own influencer outreach campaign:

1. Define Your Outreach Strategy

As with any marketing strategy, the first step to executing a successful influencer outreach campaign is to outline your desired results.

For example, your objective could be to:

  • Get your product featured in five YouTube videos by influencers in your niche with at least 10,000 subscribers

  • Get your brand mentioned by three podcasts in your industry with 20,000+ monthly listeners

  • Get 20 micro-influencers in your niche to share your latest discount code on social media

Now, you can work backwards to identify the activities that’ll get you there. For instance, if you assume a 20% conversion rate (i.e. you reach an agreement with one-fifth of the influencers you targeted) and you want to team up with 20 micro-influencers, you’d need to identify and reach out to about 100 prospects with a personalized cold outreach message.

Depending on your budget and timelines, your outreach strategy might include several other “sub-goals”, like confirming influencer deals within 30 days of reaching out.

The clearer your strategy, the easier it becomes to focus your energies in the right place and assess your campaign performance.

Learn more: The Complete 2024 Guide to Cold Email Metrics 

2. Identify Relevant Influencers

You’ll never hit your influencer outreach objectives if you don’t find the right influencers: those with engaged audiences full of people who’d be interested in buying your product or service.

So how do you find those influencers?

The quickest, simplest option is to use an influencer search tool like…

…to track down influencers in your niche. You can narrow down the results with additional filters like budget, location, and follower count.

An image showing Collabstr website interface

The only small catch is that many of these tools charge you to use them.

Alternatively, you can simply Google “top [your niche] influencers”, then explore the results to track down relevant prospects.

Of course, the manual approach takes longer. Plus it’s harder to filter the results, meaning you might end up with a list of unrealistic influencers:

A screenshot showing top business influencers

Most of us probably can’t afford to work with the likes of Richard Branson and Simon Sinek, right?

Whichever method you use, long-list any potential prospects, then dig a little deeper to be sure they’re definitely a good fit for your campaign. 

For instance, you can run their Instagram handle through tools like HypeAuditor and Phlanx to check out their engagement rate and make sure they don’t have a ton of fake followers.

An image showing HypeAuditor website check results

When you finish vetting all those potential influencers, add the best of the bunch to your prospect list.

Learn more: How to Build a Prospect List For Cold Outreach 

3. Find Their Email Addresses

Sure, you can reach out to influencers by sliding into their social media DMs.

But the more channels you use to contact a prospect, the more likely they are to reply. So we’d strongly recommend taking the time to find their email addresses, too.

If you used an influencer search tool in the previous step, you might already have a list of valid emails. If not, you’ll need to use an email finder like Hunter.io or Snov.io to track down their address.

An image showing Hunter website search results

One other key step here: be sure to use an email verification platform like…

…to confirm those email addresses are legit.

Otherwise, you risk having a super-high bounce rate, which can have dire consequences for your email deliverability.

How QuickMail Can Help

QuickMail integrates with all the top email verification tools, so you can verify email addresses and send cold emails from a single platform. Nice!

4. Work On Your Pitch

Influencers receive a ton of offers from brands. That’s their whole business. If your pitch doesn’t stand out, don’t expect them to reply.

Your pitch should include all the information an influencer would need to make a call on working with your brand, like:

  • Free products you can give them

  • Campaign assets you can provide (like scripts or visuals)

  • Incentives or discount codes they can offer their followers

Don’t treat this as a one-and-done exercise. Instead, hone your pitch as you reach out to more influencers in your niche and better understand what an attractive collaboration looks like to them.

5. Write Your Outreach Email

Having planned the various elements of your pitch, it’s time to bring them together in your outreach email.

While it’s tempting to write a single email and blast it to everyone on your prospect list, the spray-and-pray approach typically produces low response rates. 

For best results, be sure to craft highly personalized emails for each and every prospect. Sure, it’ll take a little longer upfront — but you’ll get far more replies, helping you hit your campaign objectives faster.

How QuickMail Can Help

With QuickMail, you can use custom attributes to personalize practically everything in your outreach emails, including basic elements like…

  • Prospect name and job title

  • Company name, location, and industry

  • Your own email signature

…as well as more sophisticated customization, such as crafting a unique email introduction for individual prospects.

A Google spreadsheet screenshot showing Opening line samples for email

6. Follow Up

Successful influencer outreach is all about being persistent.

If a prospect doesn’t respond within a few days, don’t just shrug and move on — reach out again with a follow-up email.

We analyzed 65 million cold emails and found that 55% of replies come from follow-ups. Not only that but sending three follow-up emails produces the highest response rates.

A graph image showing the benefits of sending Follow-up emails

Writing effective follow-up emails isn’t about hounding influencers until they reply or unsubscribe from your campaign — it’s about adding value with every new message you send. For instance, try sharing an interesting article or statistic to spark the conversation to life.

Learn more: How to Write a Follow-Up Email With 9+ Templates & Examples 

How QuickMail Can Help

QuickMail makes it quick and easy to build email sequences so you can automatically follow up with non-responding prospects after a set period (say, three business days):

campaign steps in quickmail linkedin and email automation

Or, if a prospect responds within that time frame, we’ll remove them from your follow-up sequence so you can reply yourself.

3 Killer Influencer Outreach Email Templates

Need a little inspiration for your influencer outreach campaign? Check out these templates:

1. The Introductory Cold Email

Subject: Collab with [your company name]?

Hi [first name],

Heard you recently on [podcast name] — you shared some great tips on SaaS lead generation!

We run a SaaS platform with a similar ICP to your followers. We’ve already worked with other influencers in your niche, like [influencer name] and [another influencer name], who saw 5%+ engagement rates on their posts about our product.

Interested in a quick chat about working together?


[your name]

2. The Referral Email

Subject: Collab with [your company name]?

Hi [first name],

I was just catching up with [name of mutual connection] about SaaS lead generation and your name came up. They said our target audience would love your insights and suggested I reach out — so here I am!

We run a SaaS platform that offers various lead gen tools for startups. You might have seen [name of mutual connection] post about us here.

Interested in a quick chat about working together?


[your name]

3. The Follow-Up Email

Subject: Collab with [your company name]?

Hi [first name],

When we worked with [similar influencer] on a recent campaign, they earned $15,000+ in sales commissions from product signups.

Would you be interested in finding out more details about our influencer collaborations?


[your name]

Best Practices to Follow for Influencer Outreach Success

Naturally, every influencer outreach campaign should be tailored based on your overarching objectives and the types of influencers you’re trying to reach. 

But some best practices are true for pretty much every campaign type, such as…

1. Strive To Build Long-Term Relationships

Influencer marketing isn’t a shortcut to success. Don’t expect to sign up a bunch of influencers and immediately triple your sales.

Fact is, the best influencer partnerships take time to bear fruit. The more you understand an influencer’s audience and personality, and the better they know your product and brand guidelines, the more effectively you’ll work together.

For that reason, we recommend treating influencer outreach as the first step toward building a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with your prospect. Explain that you ideally want to collaborate on multiple campaigns, not just on a one-off basis — and that you expect to see better results the longer you work together.

You might even promise more attractive terms for your most regular collaborators.

2. Run Multichannel Influencer Outreach Campaigns

As we’ve already noted, contacting influencers through multiple channels can increase your reply rates.

That’s why QuickMail isn’t just about cold email outreach. We also let you add LinkedIn campaign steps so you can: 

  • Connect with influencers and thought leaders on LinkedIn

  • View their profiles

  • Reach out to them via their LinkedIn inbox

This is an easy win for optimizing your influencer campaigns, given that LinkedIn messages generate four times higher open rates than email.

3. Choose the Right Influencer Outreach Tools

From building a prospect list to verifying addresses to personalizing your cold emails, influencer outreach involves a bunch of moving parts. 

But you can cut out all the low-value busy work by choosing high-quality tools like…

ToolWhy You Need ItPrice
QuickMailBuilding highly personalized, multichannel influencer outreach campaigns.From $49/month. Offers a 14-day free trial.
HeepsyFinding influencers on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Filter by category, niche, location, engagement, followers, and more.Get proposals from creators for free. Paid plans start at $59/month.
Hunter.ioFinding and verifying influencer email addressesGet 25 searches and 50 verifications per month for free. Paid plans start at $49/month

Learn more: 24 Best Cold Email Software - Pros, Cons, Pricing (2024)

Level Up Your Influencer Outreach With QuickMail

Ready to build your first influencer outreach campaign? Your first step is to sign up for QuickMail

With QuickMail, you can:

  • Reach out to influencers via email and LinkedIn

  • Automate everything, from pulling in prospects from a Google Sheet to personalizing outreach emails to sending follow-ups

  • Get free inbox auto warmer access on all QuickMail plans (so you can stay out of the spam folder)

  • Easily scale your outreach campaigns by adding more inboxes

  • Run A-Z tests to optimize your messaging

And that’s just for starters!

Put us to the test by signing up for your free QuickMail trial today.