Andy Crestodina once told me that you should never let a private conversation go to waste. In other words, what starts as a Q&A in your inbox is a great opportunity for a podcast, blog post, or Youtube channel.
Here’s a question I got in my inbox this week:
“What Are Some of the Biggest Challenges Brands Face When Doing Influencer Marketing?”
One challenge I think many businesses starts with the right mindset.
For some, they believe that influencer marketing is “spammy” or “weird.” Part of that is that the term influencer marketing has become abused, like many other trendy topics like SEO, “growth hacking,” and social media.
That doesn’t mean it isn’t effective or can’t be done right.
Is building relationships spammy or weird? At its core, that is what great influencer marketing is all about. With the right influencer strategy in place, building relationships won’t feel like you are pushing a boulder up a hill.
Following up with someone isn’t necessarily spammy either.
Typically, people don’t respond because they are busy: they’re on vacation, just had a baby, or they saw the email and forgot to answer. An inexperienced marketer would assume they weren’t interested in them and would hate to “bother” them with a follow-up email because it would be “spammy.”
Manuel Medina, CEO of Outreach.io found that spam rates did not increase with more follow-up responses for sales emails (which tends to be more aggressive than influencer marketing emails). Just be sure to find the right influencers to work with and reach out to them in an appropriate way and you’ll find your spam rates are less than 1%.
If you are looking for cold outreach benchmark numbers, here’s some numbers based on my personal experience:
- Open Rates: 40-60%
- Response Rates: 10-30%
- Bounces/Unsubscribes: <1%
If you are above those numbers, congratulations! You definitely “get” influencer marketing.
If you are below those numbers or looking to be above average, here’s some quick action points if your outreach email stats are too low:
- Low open rates? Change your subject line. Try adding their first name, use informal language (e.g. “wanna, gonna, ain’t”), or using a question. You might also need to do more follow up emails.
- Low response rates? Change your email body. Keep it short. Make your ask clear, but get their permission before making a direct ask (e.g. don’t say “would you link to this?” on your first email, but instead ask if they’d be interested in reading it).
- High bounce rates/unsubscribes? If you didn’t have a good email collection system, this can cause a high bounce rate. For too high unsubscriptions, you probably asked too much, too soon. Additionally, you may have not asked permission before making a bigger ask.
Naturally, if you don’t do enough research and target the wrong people, all of these metrics will be worse.
Need more help? I’d recommend reading “A Simple Influencer Outreach Plan Every Serious Marketer Needs to Know.”
Do know that benchmark numbers will vary based on:
- Your industry.
- The clout of the influencer.
- Your previous relationship with the influencer.
- What you are asking for the influencer to do.
- How often you follow up.
But keeping a close eye on these numbers will help you know whether you have the right mindset.
What challenges have you experienced doing influencer marketing? Got any wisdom of what you’ve seen work? Drop me a comment below!