In case you missed it, a couple of weeks ago I shared tips on how to find bloggers / influencers to collaborate with and now I'm following up with the second part of the series – how to actually connect and pitch bloggers for collaborations!
Know Who You Are Pitching
There's no good excuse to reach out to someone and NOT address then by their name. Like their actual name. It's INSANE how often bloggers get emails that are like “Hi Wonderfelle World blogger” or just “Dear blog editor” or even “Dear Wonderfelle” <– No. My name is Elle and like most bloggers it's clearly noted on my homepage, about page and on my social media accounts. Take the time to find the blogger's actual name and PLEASE spell it right. This is not Starbucks, this is your marketing outreach, and if you want people to actually read your email and respond, you need to address them properly!
Do Your Homework
Many bloggers have a page or section on their blog with information regarding how they collaborate with brands. If they don't, you can take a look around their site to see – do they have ads? Do they do sponsored posts? Do they list products as c/o or gifted? Legally they are supposed to mention when products are gifted or blog posts are sponsored (paid) so these details within their blog posts will give you a clue as to whether they are already working with brands.
Before you reach out to a blogger, it's a good idea to engage with them a bit first. Like and comment on a couple of their Instagram photos or reply to some of their tweets or leave a comment on their blog. Assuming you're not representing a huge company or well known PR firm (otherwise you're probably not reading this post!), you'll want bloggers to recognize your brand/name so they are more likely to read and respond to your email when you reach out!
Optimize Your Outreach
After you've done your homework, you have my permission to reach out ;) Unless they specify otherwise, I recommend contacting bloggers directly by email. I don't typically suggest reaching out via direct message on social media because not everyone checks their messages (especially if your message gets filtered which happens on instagram / FB when they are not already following you). Also, you will want to include relevant links in your pitch and make it easy to for them to keep track of your message, both of which are easier to do in email vs. a direct message. Beyond that, email is just more professional – and there's a reason why many bloggers have their email listed in their social bios or on their website – they want you to use it!
When it comes to your email, don't forget – your subject matters! Keep it short but include your brand name and a short phrase that will entice them to open the email. Examples could be “Collaboration with XYZ Brand” or “Invitation to partner with XYZ Brand” or “Feature in XYZ Publication” – make the point of your email clear from the start.
[click_to_tweet tweet=”There's no good excuse to reach out to someone and NOT address then by their name. Like their actual name. ” quote=”There's no good excuse to reach out to someone and NOT address then by their name. Like their actual name. “]
Make The Pitch
Obviously your pitch will be different depending on what your goals are, but your email should include a few key elements:
– Salutation: use their real name
– Introduction: 1 sentence that explains who you are / who you represent
– Personal connection: a sentence or two that demonstrates you've actually read their blog and have done your research to determine why you think they are a good fit to partner with
– Get to the point: tell them the reason for your email (gifted product? sponsored post? advertising?)
– What's in it for them: a successful collaboration will be beneficial for both parties – make sure you are making it clear what the benefits are for the blogger
– Include the details: mention if your proposed collaboration has a timeline or any special requirements and link to any relevant pages on your website or blog so it is easy for them to find any specific information
– Signature: include links to your website / social media accounts
You Should Also Know
Just because bloggers accept gifted items, that doesn't mean they accept them all. Some bloggers may choose to approve items before they agree to receive them (and hand over their address), and just because you gift a blogger that doesn't necessarily mean they will feature/review your product (unless you are paying for a sponsored post).
Speaking of sponsored posts, it's not a bad idea to have a contract for these. It doesn't have to be complicated, but having a 1 page document that outlines the terms of the sponsored post (required deliverables, due date, compensation) ensures that everyone is one the same page and expectations are clear.
If you want to collaborate with a blogger / influencer but you don't have something specific in mind, ask for their media kit. This will detail their relevant blog / social statistics as well as the ways in which they typically work with brands. If you have ideas for collaboration opportunities beyond what is stated in their media kit, don't be afraid to ask! Most bloggers are open to mutually beneficial collaborations even if they aren't specified in their media kits.
Finally, the more “popular” a blogger is, the more emails she/he probably gets – so you may not get a reply right away (or ever). Bloggers are busy so you may need to send a follow-up message, but I would give them about a week to respond before contacting them again – you don't want to be obnoxious! If you don't hear back after that, I would move on for now (you can potentially reach out again in a few months if you want) – there are plenty of bloggers out there, so don't get discouraged if you don't hear back from everyone!
Thank you so much for putting into words everything I want to tell brands that send me vague e-mails out of the blue! It’s all about the e-mail and how brands approach me so when you send me a regurgitated marketing/PR spiel about your products, the chances of me replying to you is very very low. I love collaborations and I love it when brands talk to me – just read my policies and be clear! Fantastic post, Elle! :)
Thanks so much Marcella! I wrote the post because I felt like a lot of the small businesses I consult for were asking for advice on how to approach bloggers but it’s crazy to see how many big brands / PR companies can get this so wrong too!
I love this post! Thank you so much! I have already contacted a few bloggers and heard back from one- who said she already had a lot of other jewelry designers. I always get so nervous trying to put my name out there and reach out to bloggers but I never know what to type! I will go over this and pre write my email for more bloggers I had my eyes on :)
Thank you for this awesome post–also, I’m crushing on your blog just overall! I’m PR intern at an agency, and have to draft my first pitch email to bloggers. I didn’t just want spit out template email after template email. This post was solid advice on getting past the fear of reaching out to them. Thank you!