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How to Reach Out to Influencers for Your Brand (A 2024 Guide with Strategy, Tools, and Templates)

By Liza Shuttleworth Last updated: 16 minute read Influencer MarketingMarketing Tools

Imagine running an influencer marketing campaign with a celebrity on Instagram.

The content gets thousands of views and likes. Everything seems to be on the right track. But there’s a problem. You’re not selling anything. 

“What’s going on?” The most common reason is you’re running an influencer campaign with the wrong influencer! It probably started with a poor engagement strategy.

In this post, you’ll find everything you need to successfully engage influencers, including strategies, tactical steps, and tools and templates.

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    Strategies for Effective Influencer Engagement

    First and foremost, it needs to align with your influencer marketing strategy.

    Your Influencer Marketing Strategy

    Influencer marketing is predicted to reach $15 billion in value by 2024. According to a recent survey by Tomoson, 59 % of digital marketers are planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets.

    It is one of the fastest-growing marketing channels for a reason – when selected well, your potential influencers are highly effective in delivering your marketing messages to your target audience with authentic content that resonates well.

    Your influencer strategy should include target customers, budget, campaign message, guidelines for user-generated content, and a list of social channels. Refer to these highly effective influencer campaigns for inspiration. 

    You can then formulate your strategy based on your target customers and the products or services you are promoting.

    1. Select the Type of Social Influencers

    Here are the four influencer types based on follower counts:

    • Mega Influencers are celebrities and other very famous individuals followed by over 1 million subscribers. They can reach millions in one post and make a brand look exclusive. However, it comes with a hefty price. They are best for quickly raising awareness of a new product or service, particularly for luxury brands. They have been historically used extensively by fashion and beauty brands.
    • Macro Influencers have between 50,000 and 999,000 followers. Typically, these are individuals interested in a specific subject, so their content is perceived as more authentic. They usually have a large loyal fan base and are often interested in cooperating with brands. They are best for reaching a certain audience for a relatively low budget.
    • Micro-Influencers have between 5,000 and 50,000 followers. They are the source of growth in this marketing channel. They cost less, are more trustworthy, and generate higher engagement compared to the previous types. The downside is it is very hard to find someone legit. You have to watch out for fake followers and bots. It is best to utilize the tools or agencies we mention below to help verify audience quality.
    • Nano Influencers are those with less than 5,000 followers. They boast a high conversion rate and are perfect for local promotions at a cheaper cost. However, they are often poorly experienced with driving conversions and creating content. Not to mention the time-consuming process to identify, verify and connect with them.

    2. Ensure that the Influencer’s Values Align with Your Brand.

    This could include personality, style, tone of voice, etc. This is done by researching:

    • The content they create, share, and promote
    • Brand collaborations they have previously participated in
    • Engagement level (do they engage with followers? What kind of responses do they write? etc.).

    3. Check an Influencer’s Image and Reputation.

    Would you be willing to work with an influencer whose every third post on social media is sponsored? Of course not. Even though this suggests that the person is popular among brands, a high ratio of sponsored content also means lower trust.

    Check what kind of comments the influencer’s followers write about them. For a broader search, use a social media listening tool.

    Dive Deeper: 6 Social Media Listening Tools

    Tips on Connecting with Influencers and Building Relationships

    1. Ensure your strategy is solid – once you have done some hard work and clearly defined your goals, you can start by standing out to influencers.
    2. Start fostering a relationship with your influencers as soon as possible – it’s never too early to start getting to know them. Relationships and real connections are at the core of outreach marketing, so this is always a good place to start.
    3. Start small – begin by engaging with them on their social media posts, showing them a genuine interest in who they are and what they do. Start by showing your respect for them. Then when it comes to offering them a formal partnership, it will be a lot easier and will come from an existing connection.
    4. Use message templates – these are always helpful and will make messaging a whole lot easier. Just make sure you personalize the templates as much as possible for each influencer and include something specific that you pulled off one of their posts.
    5. Then follow up – if you haven’t heard from them within 5 – 7 days, it will be worthwhile to follow up with them. Here are some more pointers to keep in mind:
      • Let them know what you both have in common.
      • Tell them why they stood out to you and why you would value working with them.
      • Present them with your partnership idea, but leave it open-ended, allowing them to also share their ideas with you.
      • Send one or two follow-up messages, but rather leave it if you don’t hear back from them. It will start to seem desperate if you follow up too much.
      • See it as a networking opportunity. If they are not interested now, they may be in the future, so keep that in mind.
    1. Provide your influencer with creative freedom – this will show that you trust their vision and creativity and will help foster an authentic and lasting partnership. An influencer might also come up with some other ideas that you may not have come up with yourself.
    2. Build long-term relationships – it will be beneficial to keep in touch with your influencers even once the partnership after to an end. This will make it easier for you to contact them in the future if you want to work with them again and will continue to strengthen an authentic relationship.

    Best Outreach Agencies

    1.Acceleration Partners

    Acceleration Partners Logo

    Acceleration Partners


    Our Score



    Founded: 2007

    Location: Global, with hubs on three continents and employees in over nine countries.

    Number of employees: 201 – 500


    • Influencer Marketing
    • Affiliate Marketing
    • Partner Marketing
    • Customer Acquisition
    • Publisher Development
    • Full Program Management
    • Global/Regional Management
    • Program Design
    • Partnership Optimization
    • Partner Recruitment
    • Compliance & Fraud Monitoring
    • Data & Analysis
    • AP Vision


    • TikTok for Small Business
    • Udacity
    • Vividseats
    • P.Volve


    Acceleration Partners is an award-winning global partnership marketing agency with extensive expertise in influencer marketing. Their in-house Publisher Development teams actively find and verify the perfect strategic partners for your brand and your campaign.

    Acceleration Partners takes a collaborative, client-centric, approach to develop customized influencer campaigns that align with your unique needs, and are data-informed and continually optimized for performance.

    They can handle everything from influencer selection, to creative input, compliance and monitoring, and advanced analysis and optimization.

    Screenshot of the Acceleration Partners Agency Homepage


    Ubiquitous Influence Logo without Background


    Los Angeles, USA

    Our Score



    Founded: 2020

    Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

    Number of Employees: 11 – 50


    • Influencer contract
    • Influencer matching based on proprietary data
    • One point of contact for all influencer campaigns
    • Influencer campaign strategy – full creative services
    • Influencer campaign execution, optimization, and management
    • Measurement, tracking, and analysis
    • Content creation and management


    • Lyft
    • Target
    • Amazon
    • Popeyes
    • TurboTax


    Ubiquitous is a full-service influencer marketing agency that offers a database of over four thousand vetted and verified influencers. They also offer a full set of influencer marketing services, including in-house creative, content management, and data-informed campaign optimization. 

    With a database of over four thousand verified influencers, their services are streamlined to find you the very best match for your brand. 

    They’re experts in influencer marketing, especially for TikTok, their specialty, alongside Instagram and YouTube. Ubiquitous is also an expert agency for data analysis and ongoing program optimization to drive real results as efficiently and easily as possible.

    Screenshot of Ubiquitous Influence's Homepage

    3.The Influencer Marketing Factory

    Influencer marketing factory Logo

    The Influencer Marketing Factory

    Miami, USA

    Our Score



    Founded: 2018

    Location: Miami, Florida; and New York City, USA

    Number of Employees: 11 – 50


    • Influencer identification and search
    • Influencer recruitment & contracting
    • Influencer campaign strategy
    • Tracking, reporting, and analytics
    • Content management
    • Target audience identification
    • Content guidelines


    • Google
    • META
    • Amazon
    • Sony Music
    • FOREO
    • Ren Skincare
    • Chobani
    • High Key
    • Envato
    • HarperCollins,
    • Basic Fun! (Care Bears)


    The Influencer Marketing Factory is one of the best full-service influencer marketing agencies. They’re experts in influencer marketing on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. Finding and recruiting the best influencers for you to work with is a key element of their approach. They can then handle every other aspect of your campaigns from end to end, including content creation and management.

    With an impressive client list and a great track record, they’re one of the best, especially if you’re targeting Millennials and Gen Z influencers and audiences.

    They offer a full set of services to handle your whole campaign from a to z, including content management and ongoing campaign management and optimization.

    Influencer Marketing Factory website

    Best Outreach Platforms


    Afluencer is an all-in-one platform that specializes in connecting brands and influencers. The platform is designed to make reaching out to influencers as simple and efficient as possible.

    You can create a collab, set out your requirements, and then use the Influencer Directory of 15 000+ influencers to filter, sort, and invite your ideal influencer(s) to apply to your Collab directly.

    Using Afluencer’s ‘save and subscribe’ feature, you can save your criteria and get notifications of new influencers who match your needs. This means you don’t need to repeat searches to find new influencers that have joined since your last search! The same feature notifies well-matched influencers of your offers, so they can come to you too.

    You can use Afluencer to handle all your influencer campaigns from one place and keep track of invitations, relationships, and more in a single platform.

    It integrates with all the top social media platforms – Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook – and accurately verifies every social media influencer’s data directly from their platform.

    You can post multiple collabs for multiple brands and work with many influencers at the same time. It is an excellent choice for a platform that connects you to thousands of authentic, verified influencers that meet your specific criteria and are actively looking for collaborations like yours.

    Influencer Outreach Platforms - Screenshot of the Afluencer Homepage

    Afluencer’s Pricing

    • Free Version: Lifetime
    • VIP: $49/month
    • Concierge: $99/month
    • Boss: $199/month


    2. Heepsy

    Heepsy is an easy-to-use influencer search engine for brands and agencies. With Heepsy, you can access 11 million real influencers on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch. It also provides a lot of useful data to help you choose the right influencers to work with.

    One of Heepsy’s strengths is its advanced reports on each influencer’s audience and authenticity. The reports contain the authenticity score calculated based on an influencer’s profile data, which includes audience growth rate, engagement rate distribution, and follower evolution.

    This means you can find influencers who are a great fit for your campaign and who can drive real results for your brand, as they have a legitimate and verified audience.

    Heepsy is a great platform, but remember that you will need to use a different platform to manage your influencer marketing campaigns. Heepsy functions solely as a platform for finding, verifying, and connecting with influencers.

    Influencer Outreach Platforms - Screenshot of the Heepsy Homepage

    Heepsy’s Pricing

    • Free Trial: Up to 500 results and 3 influencer reports
    • Starter: $49/m
    • Business: $169/m
    • Gold: From $269/m


    Outstanding Direct Message Templates

    When it comes to approaching an influencer, it all comes down to making a personal connection with them, and often sending them a direct message (DM) is the best first point of contact.

    Here are some helpful DM templates to get you going, and remember to make them as unique as possible for each of your influencers.

    Generic Collab DM Template

    Hey [insert influencer name], My team and I loved your recent post regarding [insert description of related post]. We at [insert company name here] sell or provide [insert what you do/sell]. We would love to send some of our products your way so you can give them a try and share them with your audience!

    If you’re interested, let me know! We’d love to hear from you.

    -[insert your name here]

    Brand Ambassador DM Template

    Hey [insert name here], We’re getting ready to launch a new marketing campaign for our [insert product here] and would love for you to become a brand ambassador for our company, [insert company name here]! We really loved your post on [insert a reference to a topic they post about], and would like to talk more in depth with you about our brand and how you could partner with us.

    If you’re interested, please send me an email at [insert email here].

    We’re looking forward to you joining our team!

    [insert your name here]

    Giveaway Collab Pitch DM Template

    Hey [insert name here], We really liked your [insert topic] content and thought you would enjoy our [insert company name and products]. We would love to send you a package of our products for you to try out. If you’re interested, we would love for you to host a giveaway for your followers! Let me know and I’d be happy to chat with you about the details!


    [insert your name]

    Outstanding Email Templates

    Alternatively, cold email is another effective approach. You can either go straight to your target influencer’s social media channels or website and find their email addresses under “about” or “profile” or utilize an influencer marketplace or management platform to generate an email list based on your criteria.

    Email Template I: Let’s Connect and Start a Relationship

    Notice how the title says a “relationship,” not something like “business partnership”?

    With most influencers ready to endorse brands and products they’ve tried personally, you need to be cautious about the language and tone of the email.

    Businesses typically use writing tools like Grammarly BestEssayEducation TrustMyPaper GrabMyEssay to create multiple templates and respect these requirements. They also help clarify and focus the email.

    Here’s how to word the first influencer collaboration email:

    Subject line: (Influencer Name), Let’s Work Together!

    Hi (Influencer Name), My name is (name), I work for [name of the brand].

    I’ve been following your profile at (social media name) for quite a while now, and I’m impressed. Your content is great, and your ability to provide value is simply amazing.

    Is there any way we could start a relationship and work together?

    We have a product that we think your followers will love. Would you be willing to test and review (product name)?

    Please reply if interested.

    Warmest regards.

    Why this template is good: 

    • It’s friendly
    • It gets straight to the point

    Be sure to know what you’re talking about in your email. If you say you have been following the influencer’s profile for some time, it is best to be honest.

    Email Template II: Someone Introduced You

    Send this template to influencers who were recommended to you by someone you know.

    Hey (Influencer Name), My name is (name), and I’m a friend of (mutual connection’s name).

    He/she mentioned you recently when I talked with him about (marketing, promotion, social media, etc.). I became interested in your experience as an influencer because I think we can collaborate. (Mutual connection’ name) told me to get in touch with you and ask if you’re interested.

    Would you be willing to consider this opportunity?

    Regards, Why this template is good:

    • It has a friendly and open tone
    • It grabs the attention of the reader by mentioning the mutual connection right away. 

    Email Template III: We Share a Passion/Interest

    This is a great technique to use for influencers interested in a specific topic.

    Hey (Influencer Name), I’m (name),from (brand name).

    We’ve been following your (blog, social media profile, etc.) for 6 months now, and we’re thankful.

    We share the same passion for sustainable living (or any other topic).

    At (brand name), we’re on a mission to encourage more people to live sustainably, so we thought that your followers would like our (product). We have package-free shampoo bars, reusable food wraps, and environmentally-friendly deodorants (relevant characteristics of your products).

    Would you like to test some? We’ll be happy to send them to you for free in exchange for a mention on your (blog, social media profile, etc.).

    Please let me know what you think.

    Regards, Why this template is good: 

    • It has a friendly tone and conversational language style
    • It focuses on a mutual interest to attract attention

    Please keep in mind these are recommendations. Be sure to add more details to personalize every influencer collaboration email.

    If you decide to go with cold emailing, you should check the following tools:

    Important! Follow up after a few days if you don’t get a response. Influencers are busy people, so there’s always a chance they simply missed your email.

    Putting it All Together

    Putting it All Together

    Now, you know enough to engage the right influencers to make your next campaign a success. Be careful, though. It’s important to remember that finding the right influencer will take time, so it is best not to rush the process.

    With proper preparation and patience, you’ll find an awesome partner to tell the world about your brand in a way your customers like.

    About the Author: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of words. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin is gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at Wowgrade. Kristin runs her own FlyWriting blog.  

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are Nano-Influencers?

    Those influencers that range from 1K to 5K followers. They are new to this business and they are growing an audience that is interested in their content. More on Influencer Marketing in the full article.

    What are Micro-Influencers?

    Micro-influencers are always a great resource because they have from 5K to 50K followers. They have a very committed audience and they are experts on their field. Read the full article for more details.

    How to choose the best influencers for your brand?

    To select the right influencers for your brand, you need to focus on three things, your marketing goals, your preferred marketing channels, and your target audience. Read more on selecting influencers in the complete article.


    Insider: An Instagram Star with 2 million Followers Couldn’t Sell 36 T-shirts, and a Marketing Expert Says Her Case Isn’t Rare 

    Business2Community: Influencer Marketing: 2020 Trends & Stats 

    Tomoson: Influencer Marketing Study  

    Forbes: Can We Trust Social Media Influencers?

    YESMarketing. Data: Personalized Email Subject Lines Boost Open Rates by 50 Percent