Influencer marketing has become a hot topic for marketers, social media figures, and entrepreneurs. It comes as little surprise given this context that the scope of influencer marketing has grown exponentially over time, with influencers dictating an increasingly larger share of consumption decisions. But when we talk about email marketing, one important and vital question arises: how can influencers penetrate email communication genuinely and authentically? Is there any possibility to use them when sending out newsletters? And if the answer to this question is yes, then how would such a strategy look like?
While we are conditioned into thinking about influencer marketing as strictly related to social media, video, and TV ads, there are no rational arguments for restricting it to just that. Email marketing can be considered as a more personal approach to engaging customers and prospects than social media or television. With that in mind, wouldn't it make sense to try and figure out how influencers can play an active role in our email campaigns?
As we are going to show in this article, there are various tactics and best practices that email marketers have at their disposal to increase the reach and engagement of their campaigns, while preserving the benefits that make emails feel timely and relevant.
4 tactics for using influencers in email marketing campaigns
1. Direct product recommendations
Influencers are a great way to help build trust in your brand and encourage conversions. After all, they are known to their followers, and their followers are looking at them for recommendations and suggestions, even when it comes to products they should use or services they should try. So when you're launching a new product, why not take advantage of the status of your influencers to help promote it? Not only can you benefit from their reach, but also their expertise. For this example, let's look at Vogue US, which sent out a newsletter to its subscribers announcing the launch of a new collection of jeans. The newsletter also included a direct link to the product on the brand's website. If they have also included an influencer relevant for their subscribers, someone not just endorsing the products, but describing them in an authentic way, that would have helped the company increase trust.
When working with an influencer for marketing a new product, they can immensely expand the reach of a campaign while also potentially helping companies attract new email subscribers. Sure, people are already used to getting their information from social media and they might not see an incentive in subscribing to a newsletter, but having the endorsement of an influencer might actually change their minds.
Another way to leverage influencers is to ask them to recommend products or services in their own words. You already know what your product is and how to position its benefits. But the rise of influencer marketing suggests that marketers are not as agile in adopting the tone of voice customers are inclined to expect. So why not use an influencer to write the copy of your email for one campaign? That way, you're making sure that the product launch has the largest impact that it possibly can have. Of course, we are not suggesting that you limit the collaboration to just email. You can increase purchase intent by allowing your influencer to share their favorite products and services with their followers in a genuine, authentic way, while also engaging your existing subscribers. It can only be a win-win situation.
2. In-product promotion
Influencers can also help promote your brand or product to their followers during their live streams or stories. For example, if you're thinking about starting a new marketing campaign for an existing product, you can use an influencer's live stream to introduce the product to a new audience and make influencers do the selling for you. This approach is similar to a direct product recommendation, but it's more engaging and interactive since live streams are a two-way communication between influencers and their audience. Stories, on the other hand, also encourage interactivity, so do not rule them out. But how does all this tie into email marketing?
By sending an email update regarding an upcoming live stream, you connect your subscriber base with the influencer you are working with. This approach is also great for encouraging engagement. In the example that we have started with, your brand will work closely with an influencer to create content on their own platforms. In terms of email marketing engagement, a collaboration with an influencer can also have a positive impact. They could encourage people to subscribe to your email list, they can spark interest for your existing recipients and help you diversify the types of content you send out regularly. This way, you can broaden your reach and generate more engagement for your product, by using an omnichannel approach for your campaign.
3. Product placement
Another way to leverage influencers is to create a more personalized feel to your emails by incorporating influencers in your copy and assets, as well as in your product pages. One way to do this is to use product placement in your emails.
Product placement is a marketing technique in which brand products and services are integrated within the narrative, plot, or elements of the setting within media. And it's a great way to build trust and credibility in your brand while still maintaining a genuine tone of voice. Including influencers within email campaigns and product pages is a great way to show your audience that your products or services are endorsed by real people that they look up to.
When employing a product placement approach for your influencer collaboration, you are not just increasing engagement for your communication, but are also likely to increase conversions. For B2C companies, focusing on conversions is probably the most important aspect, especially for e-commerce businesses. Product placement allows you to deliver a more personalized experience to your audiences.
4. Thought leadership
We have talked about product-centric businesses up to this point, something that might be relevant mostly to B2C brands. But influencer marketing can also be used by B2B companies, in a multichannel strategy. Here, we are focusing almost exclusively on email marketing, but we are also going to touch on how an influencer can use their platforms to increase visibility and exposure.
The first and most obvious way a B2B brand can work with an influencer is through thought leadership. Thought leadership is defined as one’s ability to persuade and change the mind of an individual or group. It is the ability to influence others to see things your way. On LinkedIn or Medium, you will be able to find such influencers. Having a thought leadership influencer that is able to work with you to promote your services or products.
Such a collaboration with an influencer will help you expand your reach, talk to experts in your field and transfer credibility and trust towards your brand.