How to Integrate Influencer Marketing with Email Marketing

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As brands become more familiar with influencers, many marketers are finding ways to integrate their owned media channels with their influencer program.

Due to its consistent returns and affordability, email marketing is perhaps the most obvious channel that every brand should use. Not only do emails reach thousands of subscribers at a low cost, but it can bring together various digital tools for a more interactive customer experience.

That’s why combining your email marketing with influencers is a great next step for your business. Here’s how it works.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing occurs when brands partner with social media influencers to promote their products or services.

Influencers are social media power users that leverage their creativity to nurture online communities around a particular lifestyle or set of values. The best influencers build relationships with their audience by engaging post comments and proving themselves as trustworthy consumers or industry experts.

“74% of customers trust social networks to guide purchasing decisions.”

Smart Insights, December 2020

The great advantage of influencers over traditional marketing on social media is that influencer’s authenticity and authority. Consumers trust other consumers. Influencers fill a unique role between celebrity status and friend. As a result, their opinions and recommendations go a long way with those consumers.

What types of influencers can you work with?

Not every brand-influencer partnership is equally successful. Which influencers you choose to work with is the most critical part of your program. 

Aside from separating fake influencers from the real ones, you should also think about the types of influencers that are a good fit for your brand. Finding the right influencers will help you integrate your program with other marketing programs, such as your email marketing.

The Different Types of Creators infographic part 1 The Different Types of Creators infographic part 2 The Different Types of Creators infographic part 3 How to Integrate Influencer Marketing with Email Marketing 1 The Different Types of Creators infographic part 5 The Different Types of Creators infographic part 1 How to Integrate Influencer Marketing with Email Marketing 2

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The Different Types of Creators

Activists

  • Examples: Nonprofit supporters, politicians, social activists
  • Main medium: Varies
  • Additional media: Social media, mass media, blogs, newsletters, events
  • How they partner with brands: Showcasing ethical brands and sharing how using their products can be beneficial 
  • Goals: Affect positive change in the world 
  • How to appeal to them: Tell them how your business practices have a positive impact

Affiliates

  • Examples: Product-linking bloggers, discount code distributors
  • Main medium: Varies
  • Additional media: Social media, blogs, newsletters, events
  • How they partner with brands: Promoting products on their channels and earning a commission for each sale they influence 
  • Goals: Establish a strong community of followers and serve as an expert 
  • How to appeal to them: Show how your products/services will benefit their audience

Athletes 

  • Examples: Professional athletes, collegiate athletes, weekend warriors
  • Main medium: TV and social media
  • Additional media: Events
  • How they partner with brands: Promoted social media posts and sometimes serving as spokespeople for brands in traditional media
  • Goals: Be the best in their sport and build a loyal following 
  • How to appeal to them: Show how working with your brand can add to their prestige

Brand ambassadors 

  • Examples: Brand loyalists, employee advocates
  • Main medium: Varies 
  • Additional media: Social media, blogs, newsletters, events
  • How they partner with brands: Advocating for a specific brand with their followers over a long period 
  • Goals: Build a loyal following and a strong connection with a few brands they truly love
  • How to appeal to them: Partner with a creator already on your roster and offer them more benefits, higher pay, and/or additional perks

Bloggers

  • Examples: Travel bloggers, fashion bloggers, food bloggers
  • Main medium: Personal websites
  • Additional media: Social media, newsletters
  • How they partner with brands: Sharing detailed write-ups, tutorials, or reviews on products and services 
  • Goals: Grow their readership and increase time spent on-site 
  • How to appeal to them: Serve as an open source of info on your brand and products/services so they can add more content to their site

Celebrities 

  • Examples: Actors, singers, models, superstars 
  • Main medium: Mass media 
  • Additional media: Events, social media 
  • How they partner with brands: Promoted social posts and serving as spokespeople for brands in traditional media
  • Goals: Grow their fan base and promote their latest ventures 
  • How to appeal to them: Show how your product aligns with their persona and the needs of their audience

Craftsmen 

  • Examples: Chefs, muralists, DIYers, poets, artists
  • Main medium: Varies
  • Additional media: Social media, events, blogs, mass media
  • How they partner with brands: Guerilla marketing tactics and online content 
  • Goals: Share their vision and talents with the world  
  • How to appeal to them: Give them as much creative freedom as you can

Customers

  • Examples: New and returning purchasers
  • Main medium: Social media
  • Additional media: Reviews, word-of-mouth 
  • How they partner with brands: Sharing their thoughts in reviews and on social media 
  • Goals: Get rewarded by their favorite brands 
  • How to appeal to them: Offer them coupons or reward points for completing different actions (review, post, etc.)

Experts

  • Examples: Key opinion leaders, medical professionals, scholars
  • Main medium: Varies 
  • Additional media: Social media, mass media, blogs, events, newsletters  
  • How they partner with brands: Explaining product benefits and brand claims to build trust around a product 
  • Goals: Educate people on their area of expertise 
  • How to appeal to them: Show how your product aligns with their expertise and the needs of their audience

Influencers

  • Examples: Popular Instagrammers, TikTokers, Twitter users
  • Main medium: Social media 
  • Additional media: Events, blogs, newsletters 
  • How they partner with brands: Promoted social media posts and attending brand events 
  • Goals: Increase their fanbase and build lucrative connections with brands 
  • How to appeal to them: Promote their branded content on your channels to help them increase their follower count

Journalists

  • Examples: YouTubers, Twitch streamers
  • Main medium: Video hosting and streaming platforms
  • Additional media: Social media, newsletters
  • How they partner with brands: Sharing video tutorials or product reviews 
  • Goals: Grow their viewership and increase watch time 
  • How to appeal to them: Serve as an open source of info on your brand and products/services so they can add more video content to their platform

Performers 

  • Examples: YouTubers, Twitch streamers
  • Main medium: Video hosting and streaming platforms
  • Additional media: Social media, newsletters
  • How they partner with brands: Sharing video tutorials or product reviews 
  • Goals: Grow their viewership and increase watch time 
  • How to appeal to them: Serve as an open source of info on your brand and products/services so they can add more video content to their platform

Podcasters  

  • Examples: YouTubers, Twitch streamers
  • Main medium: Video hosting and streaming platforms
  • Additional media: Social media, newsletters
  • How they partner with brands: Sharing video tutorials or product reviews 
  • Goals: Grow their viewership and increase watch time 
  • How to appeal to them: Serve as an open source of info on your brand and products/services so they can add more video content to their platform

Vloggers  

  • Examples: YouTubers, Twitch streamers
  • Main medium: Video hosting and streaming platforms
  • Additional media: Social media, newsletters
  • How they partner with brands: Sharing video tutorials or product reviews 
  • Goals: Grow their viewership and increase watch time 
  • How to appeal to them: Serve as an open source of info on your brand and products/services so they can add more video content to their platform

Influencer Type by Follower Size

The most common way to segment influencers is to identify them by the number of followers:

  • Nano influencers have 1,000-10,000 followers.
  • Micro influencers have 10,000-100,000 followers.
  • Macro influencers have 100,000-1,000,000 followers.
  • Mega/Celebrity influencers have more than 1 million followers.

Another influencer type – brand ambassadors – typically operate with a much smaller online community. But even in the case of ambassadors, they usually have at least a few hundred engaged followers.

Influencers by Lifestyle

When choosing an influencer, you need audience alignment to make your campaign success. That is, your products or services need to be highly relevant to that influencer’s audience.

It should not be “a stretch” for your influencer to fit your brand into their routine content. Your products and services should be able to solve problems for that influencer’s audience.

Influencer Type by Social Channel

Influencers exist on nearly every social media platform you can think of, from Facebook and LinkedIn to TikTok and Twitch. Currently, Instagram remains the most popular influencer channel, but brands are successfully reaching audiences with the help of influencers on YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and blogs.

Understanding how each of these platforms work differently can help you choose the right influencers for your email marketing program. 

The Current State of Email Marketing

Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective ways to engage customers and prospects. Advances in email management platforms have allowed recipients to better organize their emails, making it easier for recipients to avoid spam and engage only those emails with which they prefer to interact.

Consumer privacy laws in many states and countries are protecting recipients from marketers that abuse email marketing. Brands that take compliance seriously gain a competitive advantage in customer inboxes.

Lastly, brands and marketers are getting smarter about the kind of messages that they send. By putting yourself in the shoes of their email recipients, marketers better understand the kind of emails that consumers are most likely to engage.

Bar graph of share of adults in the United States who have used digital communication services to connect with others during the coronavirus outbreak as of March 2020
Image via Statista

Share of adults in the United States who have used digital communication services to connect with others during the coronavirius outbreak as of March 2020

Used e-mail or messaging services to communicate with other: 76:%

Searched online for information about the coronavirus: 70%

Used social media to share or post information about the coronavirus: 37%

Used video calling or conferencing services to attend a work meeting: 25%

Used the internet or e-mail to connect with doctors or other medical professionals: 16%

Source: Pew Research Center

Additional Information: United States; March 19 to 24, 2020; 11,537

The economic effects of COVID-19 have prevented customers from in-person shopping, consultations, and events. As a result, customers are on their smartphones and are using social media, text messaging, and emails to engage brands and one another.

Bar graph of click-to-open rates of marketing e-mails worldwide as of June 2020, by industry
Image via Statista

Click-to-open rates of marketing e-mails worldwide as of June 2020, by industry

Publishing: 19.36%

Sports & activities: 13.22%

Financial services: 12.92%

Technology & high tech: 12.63%

Communications: 12.35%

Arts & entertainment: 12.22%

Non-profits: 11.67%

Retail: 11.54%

Health & beauty: 11.52%

Legal services: 11.37%

Health care: 11.19%

Internet marketing: 11.10%

Average: 10.12%

Restaurants & food: 9.94%

Automotive: 9.91%

Agencies: 9.84%

Education: 8.73%

Real estate: 8.52%

Travel: 7.17%

Source: GetResponse

Additional Information: Worldwide; July 2019 to June 2020

Finally, email marketing strategy is efficient. Platforms can send thousands of emails in seconds, and marketers can use these platforms to segment their lists, schedule emails to go out by certain times of the day, and track performance.

How can influencers boost your email marketing?

Influencers can connect brands with consumers that have never heard of the brand before. And because consumers trust their favorite influencer, they are more likely to trust the brand recommendation.

Influencers are also talented at helping consumers convert. Whether your goal is sales, subscriptions, or email sign-ups, influencer campaigns call followers to the action you desire.

Referring to influencers in your emails can also add credibility to your brand and program. For example, featuring an influencer blog that showcases your product or service exposes your recipients to relevant third-party mentions. All of these techniques demonstrate that your brand is reliable and trustworthy.

Brands can also repurpose influencer content and incorporate them into their email campaigns:

  • Images
  • Online reviews
  • How-to videos
  • Online event invites
  • Promo codes
  • IRL (in real life) brand stories

5 Common Types of Emails Used for Email Marketing

Used correctly, email can be a compelling “foot in the door” with your customers and prospects. The key is sending messages that customers love. That means delivering value through relevant information, enticing offers, and personalized messages. Here are the most common types of successful email campaigns. 

1. Claim an Offer

Few things in commerce generate as much as engagement as a special offer, discount, or clearance event. If you don’t want to discount your products or services, you can urge recipients to claim a gift certificate.

When giving customers a special offer, consider asking them for something simple in return, such as their mobile number (for SMS messages) or a quick survey. Either way, this method is great for driving sales and engagement for leads at the bottom of your marketing funnel.

How to Integrate Influencers

Influencers frequently promote discounts or special offers to their followers. Having your influencers promote email subscriptions is just one more way to help followers convert.

In your campaign brief, make sure to provide the relevant link for followers to sign up. You can either create a unique affiliate link (email sign-up) for influencer attribution or create a coupon code unique to the influencer. When followers sign-up for emails, they do so to receive their first (welcome) email which includes the special offer.

2. Special Announcements

Did something new happen with your brand, such as a product launch or upgrade? If so, send an email announcement to let your fans know. Announcement emails are great for nurturing connections with your customers at each stage of the marketing funnel. It also keeps your brand front-of-mind for all prospects.

Your email list can double as a press release opportunity. Even though you’re not reaching local media, you’re still connecting with your audience to tell them “the big news” about your brand. Plus, it keeps your customers informed.

How to Integrate Influencers

Any milestone between you and your influencers is worthy of a special announcement. A great example of this is letting followers know about an influencer product line collaboration. 

You can also use this email to promote an influencer product review or FAQ video/blog. Make sure to include preview content within the email with a link to a landing page or the influencer’s original content.

3. Newsletters

If your industry changes frequently, or you cater to an audience that likes the latest news and alerts, then you might want to try email newsletters.

With email newsletters, you can showcase events, product/service updates, relevant news, announce new content, and more. Newsletters are great for drip campaigns and nurturing leads at the top and middle of your marketing funnel.

How to Integrate Influencers

If you use influencers regularly, including influencer product stories and reviews work great in your email newsletters. Include the influencer’s social handle (name) and an image will add life to your newsletter entry. Or feature their social posts featuring your product to emphasize a message within the newsletter.

4. Event Invites

Email is perfect for sending event invites. If you’re planning a live or virtual event, you can use your email list to increase participation. Make sure you include all relevant information for the event, including costs and links.

How to Integrate Influencers

If you use influencers to promote your event, you can repurpose your influencer content for email. Doing so works similarly to repurposing influencer content for your social media page or sponsored ads. Make sure that you have permission from your influencer before repurposing their content.

5. Confirmations

It’s possible to send a confirmation email for nearly anything.

Did a web visitor fill out a form? Send a confirmation email. Did a customer make a purchase? Send a confirmation email.

You can do the same with appointments, shipping, and even relevant correspondence, “We sent an important announcement to your inbox last week and just wanted to confirm that you received it.”

Confirmations help you keep in contact with your customers, especially those that have purchased from you in the past. This tactic also grabs the attention of recipients and will come across as proactive.

How to Integrate Influencers

In every confirmation email, you can add additional calls to action, such as making another purchase, taking a survey, etc. It’s perfectly appropriate to include additional sections below the confirmation message. These sections could include influencer reviews and stories about your brand.

How do you integrate influencer marketing with your email marketing strategy?

Leverage your influencer’s connections.

How It’s Done

Influencers can help you grow your email marketing list by encouraging their followers to sign up for email marketing and special offers. You can also incentivize your influencers by compensating them for the number of followers they can get to join your email program. They goal is to get your audience to take an action

Why It Works

In a successful brand-influencer relationship, an influencer’s followers are a part of your audience. Integrating your influencer with your email program can increase your lists and improve the quality of your email content.

Let your influencers tell a story about your brand.

How It’s Done

You can feature a blog or post from your influencers in your emails. If you know that you plan to repurpose influencer content for your email program, ask your influencers to build content that is relevant, such as how-to videos, product reviews, etc. 

Within the body of your email, include a brief description of the content, and encourage readers to follow a hyperlink to the influencer’s content.

Lume Cube Before and After
Image via Lume Cube’s email newsletter

Why It Works

Influencers are master storytellers. In a picture, video, or blog, they can bring your products to life in a way that your own content team can’t. That’s why many brands use emails to publicize influencer content showcasing their brand. 

Use the power of product reviews.

How It’s Done

If you have a lot of positive reviews to choose from (whether or not those reviews come from influencers), you can showcase a different review in each email. Make sure to headline the key statement from the review, as well as include any relevant details, such as what the buyer purchased, the influencer’s social media handle, etc.

Lume Cube customer review
Image via Lume Cube’s email newsletter

Why It Works

Positive reviews build trust with consumers. If your positive reviews are detailed and authentic, those reviews can move your prospect through the buyer’s journey faster.

Oberlo infographic saying nearly nine out of ten consumers read reviews before making a purchase
Image via Oberlo

Create product collaboration campaigns.

How It’s Done

If you’ve developed a product or service with input from one or more of your influencers, emails are a great way to unveil your product collaborations. You can share the story of how you and the influencer worked together. If there are relevant links to influencer content that reinforces your email, encourage readers to check them out, too.

Why It Works

Particularly in sports, fashion, and B2B, influencer collaborations generate excitement and credibility. Aligning your brand with an industry expert strengthens your brand and builds greater trust with your audience.

How to Measure the Success of Influencers in Your Email Campaigns

In email marketing, your goal is to drive readers to take action. When your readers take the desired action, they convert. 

Conversions can be sales, but they can include other actions, such as:

  • Link clicks
  • Submitting a form
  • Subscribing
  • Claiming an offer
  • Joining an event

One of the best ways to track conversions is through click-through rates, or CTRs. CTRs track every time a reader clicks on a link in your email. When a reader clicks on your link, you know that they didn’t just open and read your email – they took action.

What is a good email CTR?

Every industry works a little differently, but as a general rule, CTRs 2% and above are considered good. You can use benchmark data (such as the graphic below by Campaign Monitor) to show you what is considered a good CTR for your industry.

Email marketing industry averages table
Image via Campaign Monitor

Industry:

Advertising & Marketing

  • Open Rates: 20.5%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 1.8%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 9.0%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.2%

Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Hunting

  • Open Rates: 27.3%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 3.4%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 12.5%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.3%

Consumer Packaged Goods

  • Open Rates: 20%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 1.9%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 11.1%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.1%

Education

  • Open Rates: 28.5%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 4.4%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 15.7%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.2%

Financial Services

  • Open Rates: 27.1%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 2.4%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 10.1%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.2%

Restaurant, Food & Beverage

  • Open Rates: 18.5%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 2.0%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 10.5%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.1%

Government & Politics

  • Open Rates: 19.4%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 2.8%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 14.3%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.1%

Healthcare Services

  • Open Rates: 23.7%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 3.0%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 13.4%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.3%

IT/Tech/Software

  • Open Rates: 22.7%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 2.0%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 9.8%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.2%

Logistics & Wholesale

  • Open Rates: 23.4%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 2.0%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 11.7%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.3%

Media, Entertainment, Publishing

  • Open Rates: 23.9%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 2.9%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 12.4%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.1%

Nonprofit

  • Open Rates: 26.6%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 2.7%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 10.2%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.2%

Other

  • Open Rates: 19.9%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 2.6%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 13.2%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.3%

Professional Services

  • Open Rates: 19.3%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 2.1%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 11.1%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.2%

Real Estate, Design, Construction

  • Open Rates: 21.7%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 3.6%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 17.2%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.2%

Retail

  • Open Rates: 17.1%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 0.7%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 5.8%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.1%

Travel, Hospitality, Leisure

  • Open Rates: 20.2%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 1.4%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 8.7%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.2%

Wellness & Fitness

  • Open Rates: 19.2%
  • Click-Through-Rates: 1.2%
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 6.0%
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.4%

Average Totals

  • Open Rates: 21.5% (+3.5%)
  • Click-Through-Rates: 2.3% (-0.3%)
  • Click-To-Open Rates: 10.5% (-3.6%)
  • Unsubscribe Rates: 0.1% (-)

You should also examine your current open rates and CTRs to help you establish a baseline set of metrics. By tracking ongoing performance, you can gauge your improvement. You’ll also be able to see how well adding influencers to your email marketing improves your bottom line.

Conclusion: Influencers are powerful partnerships that can fit into all your marketing strategies.

Influencer marketing has more use beyond the initial influencer campaign. Marketers are repurposing influencer content for all of their paid and owned media strategies. Email marketing is just another medium wherein influencers can empower your brand to increase engagement and revenue.

Updated: November 2022

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Written by GRIN Contributor

GRIN is the pioneer behind the world’s first Creator Management platform built to support every brand’s journey to connecting with consumers through authentic creator relationships. Thousands of the world’s fastest-growing brands—including SKIMS, Warby Parker, Allbirds, Mejuri, and MVMT—use GRIN to make creators feel like trusted, empowered partners and work with them to build their brands into household names.