Wondering how to ask influencers to promote your product? This post covers how to optimize the process, prep effectively, and reach out to influencers.
So, I’m assuming if you’ve landed here, you've heard about the magic of influencer marketing, right? It's a surefire way to boost brand awareness, engagement, and sales - no wonder 90% of marketers swear by it.
But hold on a second, getting those influencer partnerships to pay off isn't always a cakewalk. You can't just slide into their DMs and hope for the best.
Nope, it takes planning and a bit of finesse to persuade those influencers to promote your product. Luckily you’re in the right place. In this article, I’ll walk you through how to get influencers to promote your product.
Establish the reason you want influencers to promote your product
Before anything else, think about why you want influencers to promote your product.
Is it to raise awareness about that product? Is it to push sales of that specific product? Do you want to create content that will serve as social proof or show people how to use the product?
Knowing this will help you better plan how to get influencers to promote your product. For one, it will help you tune your outreach message.
Second, it will help you decide how to compensate influencers. If you want to drive sales, for example, you might want to offer a commission for each sale the influencer generates.
Understand the ways to get influencers to promote your product
Not all influencer campaigns are the same. There are lots of different collaboration formats.
For getting influencers to promote specific products, product seeding is a good strategy. This is when you send products to influencers for free and encourage them to share content about those products. The big difference here is that you don’t agree to a specific type/quantity of content before sending influencers the products. Product seeding can be an ongoing strategy, instead of being campaign-based.
One-off campaigns are another way to go. Here you identify influencers and offer to pay them for an agreed-upon amount of content featuring your product.
Long-term collaborations with brand ambassadors are another way to promote products. Brand ambassadors already know your brand, and their followers do too. This strategy might be better for new product launches, or if you want to reinforce awareness of an old product.
Finding the right influencers to promote your product
You can’t simply find an influencer on the fly and ask them to promote you. You’ll need to dedicate some time to planning and prep before you actually make contact.
An influencer’s content and values should align with those of your brand. And it’s even better if the influencer already knows something about your brand or products. If they’re already familiar with you, there’s a better chance that they’ll: (1) reply to you in the first place; (2) be interested in promoting you.
Therefore, you should prioritize influencers who already have a connection with your brand. Let’s look at what you should do to find the right influencers to promote your product.
Start by searching among your customers
When looking for influencers to promote your product, the first place to start is by looking at your existing customers. Are there any influencers among them?
There are a few benefits of working with an influencer who’s already a customer:
- They already know your brand, so you won’t have to spend time making introductions.
- You know they already like your products, so you could potentially collaborate with them in exchange for only free products.
- Since they’ve used your products and know what your brand stands for, any content they create will more likely be aligned with your values and aesthetics.
Of course, not any customer is an influencer. It’s fine to work with nano and micro influencers, who have relatively small followings. Just make sure that they create quality content, and that their audience is authentic (meaning it’s made up of real people, not bots) and fits with who your brand is trying to target.
To locate influencers among your customers, you’ll have to grab a list of customers and do an analysis of their social channels, content quality, engagement rates, etc. Or, use a tool like Heepsy that makes this easier (see the video below to see how it works).
Identify influencers among your brand fans
If your customers don’t work out for finding the right influencers to promote your product, turn to your brand fans.
Brand fans are the people who’ve shown interest in your brand on social media. They might not yet be customers, but they follow you or have liked/commented on/shared your content.
Brand fans, like customers, offer various benefits when it comes to promoting your product:
- They already consume your social content so they know what vibe you go for and what values you stand for. This makes them better positioned to create great content featuring your products.
- They’ve shown an organic interest in your brand, which means they’ll probably be excited to hear from you about collaboration.
- They might be waiting for the moment to try out your products, and you could capitalize on this by offering product-based incentives.
How do you identify influencers among your brand fans? One way to do this is to monitor the interactions with your account and content. As people tag you, like your posts, or follow you, you can check their profiles to see if they’re influencers.
Or, use a tool like Heepsy to do the same thing but faster. This video shows you how to find customers and brand fans to promote your product.
Search for other influencers who align with your brand
If you can’t find enough influencers among customers and brand fans to promote your product, I next recommend searching for influencers the old-fashioned way.
This means using an influencer search tool to filter for influencers who meet your brand’s requirements. Think about:
- Where are they located?
- What categories do they work in?
- What type of content do they create?
- How many followers do they have?
- What’s their minimum engagement rate?
- What is their audience like?
Plug those criteria into a search tool—like Heepsy's, which is free to use—and find influencers who look like good matches.
These influencers don’t necessarily know your brand. But if you curate your search to find influencers who align with your mission and values, you can hope that they’ll be interested in discovering and promoting your product.
Bonus tip about influencer search tools
Some influencer marketing platforms allow influencers to opt-in, or register their profile on that platform. For example, on Heepsy, you can tell which influencers have registered by looking for the blue checkmark badge next to their profile picture.
The benefit of opted-in influencers is that they’ve proactively shown that they’re looking to collaborate with brands. Reaching out to opted-in influencers who match your brand’s criteria can lead to higher response rates.
Set the stage for good relationships with influencers
This step might seem like a waste of time, but trust me, it isn’t. Before you straight up ask an influencer to promote your product, you should do a bit of work to set the stage.
Connect with them on social media
So to start, follow them on social media. For your customers and brand fans, this will probably be a welcome surprise. Seeing that a brand you like follows you on social media can deepen the connection you feel with that brand.
For influencers who don’t already know you, it could pique their curiosity and lead them to check out your brand. This will help them feel familiar with you by the time you reach out.
Do a bit of research
It’s also a good idea to keep notes about influencers so that you can later use these to personalize your outreach messages. This is a bit similar to what’s typically done by PR experts when pitching to journalists. PR people try to connect with journalists on some personal level, perhaps by mentioning a past article of theirs.
Do the same with influencers! When you reach out, you want to try to connect by referencing their work, or some personal details about their life. For example:
- What type of content do they do best?
- What are their hobbies or recurring interests?
- Do they love any specific movies or TV shows?
- What’s their pet’s name?
Preparing some notes now will help your outreach go smoother later.
How to ask influencers to promote your product
Now that you’ve identified influencers and set the stage for striking up a relationship, it’s time to reach out. Here are some tips to help you do this correctly.
We also have some influencer marketing email templates if you need a bit more inspiration. But remember, you can’t just copy/paste! Personalizing any template is key.
Choose a catchy, clear subject line
Subject lines have one single purpose: getting the influencer to open your email. Below I’ve included some examples to give you an idea, but feel free to get as creative as you want.
Just make sure to continuously ask yourself: will this email subject stand out in a crowded inbox?
Some examples to get you started:
For paid collabs: Paid collaboration opportunity with [Brand]
For product seeding: We’d love to send you [product] to try! 🎁
To cut to the chase: We’d love to pay you [value] to promote [product]
To compliment: We loved your [specific content they created, e.g. birria recipe] and would love to see what you could create for [Brand]
To relate: Hey [Name], I love [specific interest, e.g. The White Lotus] too! 💗
Fact-check and double-check everything
Before clicking send, double-check that everything is correct. For some of us who are prone to anxiety and perfectionism, this goes without saying. 😅 But for those of you are who are more carefree, let me remind you.
Don’t just check your spelling and grammar, but check that the details you included are correct. Did you copy/paste in the notes for the right influencer to personalize the email? Did you correctly cite any incentive amounts?
30 seconds of time to double-check now can avoid problems that will cost you much more time in the future.
Use your notes from before to build a connection right away
Okay, they’ve opened your email. You now have, according to experts, 7-8 seconds to capture their attention. So make it count.
Connecting with them on a personal level is a good way to ensure they’ll actually continue to read what comes after. So use those notes you prepared during the last phase here.
Here are a few examples of how it could go:
I’m a big fan of your dog Peter, I also have a shiba inu and know how funny they can be. 🐕 I’m Kate from Pet Parade and we’d love to speak with you about a collaboration.
I loved your last videos about eco-conscious summer dresses in plus sizes! I have a summer wedding this year and you’ve given me a few ideas. By the way, my name is Angela, writing from Sure Beauty.
Thanks for posting that volcano kids' craft the other day. I tried it out with my own daughter and it kept her occupied for a good while on a rainy afternoon. 😀 Because of your expert knowledge of kids’ activities, I’m writing you from Craft Cabin to see if you’d be interested in collaborating with us.
Be transparent about what you want / what you offer
What the influencer most wants to know about any collaboration offer is what you’re offering as compensation.
How much you’re offering will directly affect your response rates, so be clear about what you can offer.
Keep in mind that various factors can affect what an influencer is willing to accept, such as:
- Whether they’re customers/brand fans already
- Their follower count and engagement rate
- What type of content you’re asking for
- Their location
Here are a few examples of how you can express what you’re offering:
We’d like to offer you $500 for 1 Reel and 1 story.
We’ll send you a gift package valued at $100 of products of your choice, plus pay a $100 fee for your time and services creating content.
We noticed you love running, so we thought you might love to try out our newest sustainable running sneakers (valued $150).
We’re looking for someone to create 1 Reel and 1 post, and we’re willing to pay flat fees for this service. Please send us your fee proposal here, and we’ll get negotiations started.*
*This last message can be used with platforms that facilitate negotiations, like Heepsy. Basically, you invite the influencer to collaborate and let them tell you how much they want, jumpstarting the discussion while letting them lead on incentive.
Being upfront shows you mean business and aren’t trying to get one over on the influencers. You’re also showing that you value their work and the audience they’ve built. This helps you stand out from brands who try to get free promotions.
Finish with a CTA
Don’t assume the influencer will know what to do after reading your email. Be very clear so there’s no miscommunication.
Here are two examples:
If you’re interested, just reply to me here and we can set up a quick call to discuss.
Does this sound good? If you’re interested, please fill out this quick form and my team will get back to you to set up a call.
Including a CTA takes 1-2 more sentences and eliminates any doubt on the influencer’s part.
After asking influencers to promote your product
Getting influencers to promote your products isn’t just a simple ask and receive. Influencer marketing revolves around relationships, not just transactions. And like all relationships, these too need a bit of attention.
Follow up if you don’t hear from them
It’s unfortunately common that influencers don’t reply right away. They’re busy, emails get lost, things go to spam, they open them and forget to reply, you get the idea.
Send a simple follow-up message to remind them that you’d love to have them promote your product.
Use tracking software to get a better idea of your outreach
Email tracking software will help you see who’s opened and clicked your email. A good free tool to try here is YAMM, Yet Another Mail Merge. It integrates with Google Sheets and Gmail. Below is an example of YAMM results from a real campaign I ran.
YAMM also lets you personalize templates by pulling variable data from spreadsheet cells, which saves you time.
Keep track of the different templates you use too, so that you can see which one works the best. Then, the next time you do outreach, you can use what you’ve learned to optimize your message and get even better results.
Keep stoking the flame
When you close a deal with an influencer to promote your product, don’t just let your attention drop off. Work towards maintaining the relationship until at least the collaboration ends, and potentially after that, too.
During the life of the collaboration, check in with the influencer periodically. Let them know when you’ve shipped out products and when they can expect to receive them. Staying on top of the relationship will help both of you stay on track.
After the collaboration ends, if the experience has been positive, consider working with the influencer again. If you started with product seeding, you might now ask them to do a paid campaign. Or maybe you want to convert certain influencers into brand ambassadors.
You now have a basic framework for how to get influencers to promote your product. To sum up:
- Know your goal
- Understand campaign types
- Find influencers that align with your brand (and ideally know it)
- Set the stage for good relationships by doing your research
- Send out personalized and transparent outreach
- Follow up throughout the duration (and after!) the relationship
And if you’re still not sure how to get influencers to promote your product on your own, Heepsy can help guide you. Just click the “Get started” button at the top right of this page to create your free campaign and start reaching out to—and getting applications from—influencers.