Write a cold email to an influencer

Business Benefits

Craft an engaging and personalized outreach email.


Conduct research to find an influencer within your industry or whose followers align with your target audience.

Consider using a tool like BuzzSumo or Followerwonk to discover potential influencers to reach out to within your business’s particular niche. When choosing influencers to reach out to, consider their relevance to your own audience and the size of their following to determine who is a good fit for your marketing goals.

Keep in mind that smaller influencers have the added benefit of higher engagement within their niche communities, while larger influencers have a greater potential reach with their high follower counts.

Familiarize yourself with the influencer’s work, accomplishments, and values before you reach out to collaborate with them.

Researching the influencer you want to work with ahead of time will help make sure your values and messages align, and it will also give you specific information about them that you can use to personalize your cold email. Look through their social media content to get an idea of their personality and how they interact with their audience.

Search on Twitter, YouTube, or Google to see if their name has been associated with any PR scandals that could potentially damage your brand’s reputation by associating with them. If they’re not a good fit for any reason, you can begin your search again with another influencer.

Locate the influencer’s preferred contact method or agent by looking at their account bios.

Most influencers share their business email in their bio or about section on social media. Otherwise, they may have a contact email for an agent or manager who handles business inquiries on their behalf.

Don’t assume that the best place to reach out is through a DM on their social media. It could potentially hurt your first impression with the influencer if it appears as though you didn’t take the time to look for their business contact.

Write a subject line that is concise, personalized, and engaging to increase your email open rate.

To improve your email open rate, keep your subject line short, ideally no more than 50-60 characters, and use engaging language that will help your email stand out in their inbox.

To avoid having your message marked as spam, don’t mention promotions, collaborations, partnerships, or compensation in your subject line. You can use a subject line testing tool like ISnotSPAM, Email Subject Line Grader, or Spam Check to test your subject line for words or phrases that might trigger spam filters, so you can correct them.

Begin the email with a personalized, positive message about the influencer that shows them you’re familiar with who they are, what they do, and that you appreciate their work.

You want to create a good first impression with the influencer, and show them that you like them and what they stand for to set the stage for a mutually beneficial business arrangement. For example:

  • Compliment their values or a positive message they communicate with their audience.
  • Tell them a video or another piece of content they’ve posted resonated with you.
  • Compliment their business, such as a book or product line they’ve released.
  • Congratulate them on a recent achievement, like earning a creator award.

Write a concise message in the body of your email that explains who you are, specifies your offer, and provides a few details for your expectations of working together.

Your email should stay short and to the point to respect the influencer’s time and make your message easily scannable. The major points you should include are:

  • A quick explanation of what your business does and your mission.
  • What the offer requires on their end, such as creating a sponsored Instagram post, writing a guest blog, receiving a free product for review, or sharing a special discount code with their audience to sign up for a service you offer.
  • Details for what value will be offered for the influencer, such as a gift they can offer their audience, access to free products, cross-promotion on your own channels, etc. on top of discussing their rates for compensation.
  • Assurance that you won’t limit the influencer’s creativity for the collaboration if they accept.

Include a call to action that provides the next step to discuss the arrangement, and close your email with a professional signature that includes links to your website or social channels.

Ask when they are free to set up a call if they are interested in discussing the sponsorship or negotiating the offer in any way. Using a professional email signature is an easy way to reiterate who you are and provide a quick and convenient way for them to click through to learn more about your brand.

Follow up with additional emails to make sure they saw your offer and to keep your brand top-of-mind.

You can increase your chances of the influencer seeing your offer if you take the time to follow up. If you haven’t heard back within 24 hours, consider reaching back out within a week.

This really needs a point that explains the benefit for the influencer that is more than “it will provide great exposure”.

As somebody who gets dozens of such emails a week, I can tell you I bin all of them unless they clearly state how it will benefit me in some way.

Anything from your experience that works?

It’s a tricky one, to be honest. You either need to pay an influencer for their time and involvement, or you need to take the time to build a relationship with them first.

I have had some success with influencers where I have chatted with them via social media and helped them promote a couple of things before I ever asked them for help.

I guess you have to earn their time and attention like any other relationship. You cannot just walk up to a stranger in the street and ask for them to help you and expect a positive outcome. This is not different.

This playlist definitely covers all aspects of this process and a bit more.