Whenever you’re sending a request to an influencer to take part in a campaign, always remember:
You’re not the only one!
So, you must write a note that makes a big first impression and separates you from other brands.
Need to know how to create such an irresistible influencer gifting note?
Don’t worry! We got you!
Below, we’ll give you all the tips and tricks for writing convincing influencer gifting notes.
You’ll also discover:
- The meaning of influencer gifting and how it works
- Why influencer gifting is important
- How to find the right influencer
- A template for writing an irresistible influencer gifting note
We’ll also give you some examples of successful gifting campaigns you can model.
Let’s get the ball rolling! 🏈
What Is Influencer Gifting?
Influencer gifting is when brands put their products in the hands of influencers or content creators for free, for them to use and promote to their followers.
Having tried the free sample, the influencer or content creator can create authentic and realistic content that their followers are more likely to believe.
Before we move on, there’s an important distinction we must make:
Product seeding vs. influencer gifting
Product seeding and influencer gifting, though similar, are opposite ends of the same pole.
Even though you don’t pay cash, influencer gifting is transactional—a free product for a post.
On the other hand, product seeding is organic—if an influencer likes your product, they’ll post about it.
The major goal is to build long-term influencer relationships. But if the influencer decides to promote the product after having a great experience with it, so be it.
If that sounds complicated, no worries! Here are two scenarios that better illustrate the difference between the two:
Let’s say company A, a beauty brand, sends out its new makeup kit to influencer X alongside guidelines for creating a post about the product.
That’s a gifting campaign in motion.
But if company A sends their makeup kit to influencer X as a gift, without nudging or incentivizing the influencer to post, it becomes product seeding.
You can use either influencer marketing strategy, depending on the goal you wish to achieve and your current needs.
For example, influencer gifting becomes a better choice if you’re launching a new product and need reviews quickly to promote it.
But if you've got a mature product and are cool with waiting for your influencer collaboration to yield results, a seeding campaign will be your best bet. Besides, seeds take time to grow to maturity.
Now that’s outta the way, let’s answer a critical question…
Why Is Influencer Gifting Important?
Sounds nuts to spend money to create a product only to give it out for free. But influencer content can easily convert people into leads since most people trust and buy from influencers.
Plus, it puts your product in front of a wider audience, which grows brand awareness.
That said, here are more reasons to consider adding influencer gifting to your marketing tool kit:
- It’s cost-effective: Influencer gifting costs a fraction of the amount it takes to sign an influencer as a brand ambassador or on a pay-per-post basis.
Small businesses can also use it as a launchpad for larger influencer marketing campaigns.
- Produces authentic user generated content (UGC): with gifting campaigns, influencers use the product themselves to learn how it works.
This makes it easier to create content people can connect to and believe.
- Validates your ideas pre-launch: Influencers know their niche pretty well.
And, since they've been creating content your target audience loves, they may know your target audience even better.
So, you can trust and use their feedback to improve your product before launching it.
Before moving on, let’s flip the coin for a minute:
Are there any drawbacks to influencer gifting?
Well, there’s one major one: the post may receive low engagement from the influencer’s followers.
And that could be because you didn’t work with the right influencer; you know, the one with the same vibe as your audience.
Or probably you chose to work with a big-time successful influencer, thinking a higher follower count equals high engagement. But that’s not always the case.
In fact, although large influencers charge high rates and have more followers, micro-influencers usually have higher engagement rates since they have a very niche, tight-knit community of loyal fans.
In fact, according to a survey by Hypeauditor, nano-influencers have the highest engagement rate (2.53%), followed by micro-influencers (1.06%).
But the engagement rate of mega-influencers and celebrities is much lower, at just 0.92%.
It’s perhaps why 90% of marketers prefer collabs with micro-influencers.
So, how do you go about finding micro-influencers for your gifting campaign?
No worries! We’ll cover that in the next section.
How Does Influencer Gifting Work?
Just like every influencer marketing campaign, picking the perfect influencer is the first and most important step of a gifting campaign.
Because not every influencer has followers who overlap with your target audience.
So, how do you know who the perfect influencer is?
Well, here’s a checklist to use:
- Do they align with your brand values?
- Do they match the vibe of your target audience?
- Do their followers belong to your target audience?
- Are they using the same channels your target audience frequents?
- Are their posts receiving high engagement?
- Have they already collaborated with a brand like yours in the past?
The last point is crucial. Besides, the whole point of a gifting campaign is to increase the reach of your product. This can't happen if you collab with an influencer with low engagement rates.
That’s why we advised you to use micro-influencers.
How do you find them?
You can run a search on social media channels like TikTok and Instagram, using hashtags like #sponsored, #fashion, #lifestyle, #gifted, and #branding.
For example, if you’re looking for an influencer on Instagram for a lifestyle product, you can use the hashtag #lifestyle and you’ll get something like this 👇…
But if you want to escape the toil of manually searching for the right influencer, you could use a tool like Insense.
Insense is an influencer marketing platform with 20k+ vetted influencers and UGC creators.
You can use search filters like demographics, ethnicity, and niche to find the perfect influencer for your campaign.
Wanna try it out?
You can hop on the platform right away!
So, what’s next after finding the right influencer?
It’s influencer outreach time. That’s reaching out to the influencer. And if it’s successful, you can then send the free gift across to them.
You could also include a discount or affiliate code or personalized links for the Influencer to share with their followers.
This makes it easier to track the success of the campaign, especially if your goal is generating sales and finding an influencer or creator worthy of a long-term contract.
Tip: If the influencer says no, you could still go ahead and send the product, and request feedback instead to get an idea of how customers will receive the product.
Influencer Gifting Examples to Inspire You
We can’t move forward without showing you some fantastic influencer gifting campaigns!
We all love a great success story, right?
Stories where a small brand uses a brilliant marketing maneuver to grow.
Well, Gymshark is a great example!
It’s a great story of influencer gifting that people tell at fitness conferences and influencer marketing roundtables.
The activewear brand, now valued at a whopping 1.2 billion dollars, needed to grow its global presence among fitness enthusiasts worldwide.
So, they gifted products to influencers across the globe.
In exchange, these influencers dropped comments about the apparel on social media and wore it to pop-up events.
In no time, the company has become the gym wear of choice for many fitness enthusiasts.
The major takeaways:
- Pick influencers who match your brand's vibes.
According to Gymshark's founder Ben Francis, they only pick influencers who align with their culture.
It's perhaps why their influencer marketing campaigns have been such a massive success.
- Take advantage of your influencer's feedback.
Influencers know their stuff. They know the audience. So, they can point out areas where your product is lacking.
For example, when Gymshark first started female gym wear, they used feedback from Nikki Blackketter to improve the product's quality.
This also gave Nikki the boldness to endorse the product after it launched.
- Use influencers closely related to the audience you're targeting.
Aside from working with influencers who are popular worldwide, Gymshark has small regional teams.
These influencers may not be popular with foreign audiences.
But they have a closer connection to their local audience since they speak the same language, know their challenges, and sometimes meet up at local events.
- Use indirect connections to get a yes.
Know someone who knows the influencer? Reach out to them!
This increases your chances of a ‘yes.’
According to Ben, they sometimes connect with influencers through someone they know.
But they needed influencers who truly loved the product.
So, they turned to Insense to find influencers in love with their products and then sent their products to them.
The influencers promoted the product on their social media channels like Happyearthtourist does in this Instagram post…
They also have an extensive library of 180 UGC items to use for other campaigns.
The campaign was a huge success. Their popularity and brand awareness have grown.
In fact, the product has now gone viral, with even celebrities like Madeline Cline adding it to their skincare routine.
Here are the major takeaways:
- Find influencers per your requirements.
Solawave easily found 200+ Influencers who matched their needs using Insense.
Plus, 85% of the creators they collaborated with sent content back.
- Drive sales with discount codes.
Send discount codes with your gift.
The commissions the influencer is to receive will encourage them to post about the product.
Plus, it drives sales — most consumers buy from influencers — and makes it easier to get qualitative data for picking those influencers to lock in with long-term contracts.
BabyQuip has grown to become a global brand with the help of influencer gifting campaigns.
Here's a little backstory:
As a Baby equipment rental service provider, BabyQuip wanted to expand its reach and brand awareness to countries across the world.
And to do that, they needed TikTok influencers who were:
- In the kids and parenting niche
- Traveling on vacation
- Residents of the market they wanted to expand to
- Open to creating content on baby gear rentals using BabyQuip
…since they resemble their ideal customers.
Within a month, they used Insense and found 25+ influencers in the kids and parenting niche, who created and posted 20-90 second fully edited reviews, testimonials, and how-to's regarding the BabyQuip app, on their TikTok feeds like this one…
Their videos received 40k+ views. And more people now know about BabyQuip.
Plus, their social media brand awareness has grown greatly. Currently, their accounts on TikTok and Instagram have 11.4k+ and 300k+ followers respectively.
So, how can you replicate this?
Well, here are the major takeaways:
- Target only relevant influencers.
BabyQuip's campaign cleverly leveraged influencers with followers who were their ideal customers.
- Consider performance data when picking influencers.
To increase the chances of success, take a look at the performance data for the influencer’s previous posts.
This way, you can predict if the influencer can help you meet your campaign objective.
For example, BabyQuip used only TikTok influencers with 2k-200k followers, 1,000+ median views, and an 8% engagement rate.
To grow its brand awareness, ZitSticka sent its skin care products to several micro-influencers.
And the result was several posts, showing before-and-after results of using ZitSticka.
What's worth noting, is how each influencer goes into deep detail about how the product works.
Take for example this post by an Instagram influencer:
The influencer mentions how she used the product, gushes about its effectiveness, and remains honest about the pricing.
Judging from the comments, you can be sure that ZitSticka got customers from this post because of its authenticity…
And this is just one of the several on Instagram.
Now, imagine the customers they're getting from posts like this from several other influencers. Many, right?
How did they get influencers to share such honest and authentic reviews?
Well, here are the major takeaways:
- Target micro-influencers.
ZitSticka used mainly micro-influencers for its campaign. The reason isn't far-fetched.
Just take a look at the engagement on the post above: it's a massive 376 likes and a host of comments!
Plus, small influencers tend to go above and beyond for products they fall in love with.
- Let fly the creative ability of the influencer.
You can include specific points you want them to cover.
But they should be more like suggestions and less of an instruction manual.
Put it in one sentence, gift them the product, and let it do the convincing.
This explains why brands like Ulivary send influencers beautifully packaged gifts to create excitement and generate buzz for their products.
Ulivary is a clothing brand that designs luxury sleepwear for women to feel comfortable in.
The brand recently sent its sleepwear to different female influencers, who tried them on and posted about it on their socials, to hype up their product.
And one thing that’s worth noting, is the excellent packaging!
Check out this example:
The packaging makes anyone seeing the video perceive the product as one of high quality.
So, they're likely to buy it using the discount code, regardless of the price.
Some major takeaways from this campaign:
- Ensure your product packaging pops.
Put creative designs that catch people's attention on your pr packages.
You could even include a personalized note with the influencer's name and a reference to a recent life event.
For example, you could congratulate them on the birth of their child or even graduation from college.
This is why research is such an important stage of every influencer marketing campaign.
- Interact with the post.
When an influencer posts about your brand, try to drop a comment.
It can help build long-term influencer partnerships. Plus, you can also reach their followers, who will see your comments.
To model the successful campaigns we’ve mentioned above, you shouldn’t forget one thing: influencer gifting notes.
This will help you stand out from the gifting crowd and show you appreciate them, increasing your uptake rate — the percentage of influencers who go on to post.
It can also create an emotional connection between your brand and the influencer, which increases the odds of them speaking positively about your brand.
Below, we’ll go into detail about how to write an effective gifting note.
How to Write an Effective Influencer Gifting Note [Template]
There are key elements one must include when writing effective notes.
But before we cover them, here's a template to give you a sneak peek into what a gifting note is supposed to look like:
Hey [Influencer name]!
Our team spotted your recent [content type] for [brand name and channel] and was blown away!
Your style and our brand seem like a match made in heaven!
So, we want to gift you something a little special.
It's a gift basket filled with some samples of our [product name].
Here's a quick glimpse of what you'll find inside: [names of everything in the box]
We hope you love them as much as we do!
We'd love to see what you think of our products after you've tried them out.
Feel free to connect with us or give us a shoutout on Instagram [@handle] or TikTok [@handle] when you share your thoughts! We can't wait!
Thanks for allowing us to share our cherished [product] with someone as remarkable as you!
Best, [Brand Name]
You can rewrite and edit the template so it matches your brand voice and tone. Just ensure you keep it brief and concise.
Now, let’s reveal the secret tips we used to write the template above.
Tip #1: Email them first
Influencers get bombarded with several gifts, to the extent that it's sometimes hard to keep up.
So, some parcels may remain unopened. Or worse, end up in the garbage can.
To avoid this happening to your product, it's advisable to reach out to the influencer before sending the gift.
Send an email or DM to the influencer or their manager.
This way, they'll know that the gift is from you when it lands on their doorstep.
It's also an opportunity to confirm their shipping addresses and the correct spelling of their real name (which is important since they mostly use pseudonyms on social media).
Tip #2: Personalize your gifting note
Here's an important fact:
Several brands send gifting notes alongside their products to influencers. But few take the time to tailor it to each influencer.
Maybe it's because it takes time.
However, we've found that the result is always worth the effort.
How can you personalize your gifting note?
- Mention their name: Always use their name in your gifting notes. It's even better if you sign off the gifting note with your name (not the brand name).
- Handwrite your message: In a digital world where papers and pens are old-fashioned, handwritten notes work magic! It shows you put them on a high pedestal and enhances their perception of your product.
Still unsure of the effectiveness of personalized gifting notes?
Here’s an example from Typsy Beauty:
Notice the way the Influencer appreciates the handwritten note (circled pink in the image).
This proves a personalized gifting note, no matter how short, makes an influencer feel appreciated.
And once that happens, they'll prioritize your product above others.
Pro tip: Use high-quality stationery that matches your brand elements to create a consistent brand identity.
Tip #3: Let the influencers know why you love their content
Did you find any recent content they did for a brand? Or did they tag you on one of their posts?
Great. Make reference to it.
This shows you're not treating them like every other influencer or mass-sending your product to every influencer.
It also tells them that you’ve done your research and decided to pick them specifically.
Tip #4: Share insights about the products you send
It’s disappointing when an influencer uses your product wrongly and ends up with a negative experience as a result.
Even though it was no fault of yours, they may drop negative reviews of your product.
You wouldn’t want that, right?
So, include some simple guidelines on how best to use the product and the features they could try out that ensure they get maximum value from it.
For example, if you’re selling a skincare brand, an instruction as simple as, "Leave to stay on the skin for 2 minutes to achieve the best result," is perfect. This also indirectly tells the influencer what you want them to say in their content.
Also, mention why you sent that particular product to them.
Still sticking with the skin care example, you could add:
"We noticed you complained of dry skin in your recent video. So, we decided to send you the dry skin variant of our moisturizer."
Little gestures like this can convince the Influencer to accept your request and promote it on their socials.
Now, last but not least…
Tip #5: Say thank you
It may seem like you're the one doing the influencer a favor.
Besides, you're the one with the gift.
But that's not the case. Because they can choose to accept your gift and still not post since they're not obligated to do so.
Plus, their posting benefits you to a greater extent.
So, always add a sincere "thank you" to your gifting notes.
But don't put so much pressure on them to post, by thanking them for the content they've yet to create.
Instead, thank them for:
- Supporting your brand (especially if they've been customers)
- Taking their time to learn the product
- Being a great help to the industry in general through the content they've created before
Bonus point: Don’t leave out the manager or assistant
Every other brand sends gifts and gifting notes to the influencers themselves.
But how many brands send to their manager or assistant?
None. Absolutely no one.
Guess who influencers typically consult before choosing a brand to represent?
You guessed right…it's their assistants and managers!
So, reach out to them too. And if they share similar interests with the influencer, send them a gift and note.
Improve Influencer Gifting With the Right Tool
You've learned quite a lot about gifting notes and are now ready to set up successful influencer gifting campaigns.
Who knows, your campaign might even get featured in an article like this!
Before you go, remember:
Every successful influencer marketing campaign starts with finding the right influencers.
If you need help with that, book a free demo today to pick from a list of 20k+ influencers and digital creators across different niches, demographics, and geographical locations.