Want to amplify your brand’s product seeding efforts? Influencers can help! Here are eight influencer seeding strategies and tips for earning amazing...
How to Send PR Packages to Influencers Step-By-Step
Sending PR packages to influencers is a brilliant way to build awareness and earn repurposable content. This post breaks down how to ship products to influencers.
Should your brand be sending PR packages to influencers?
It’s no secret that people love discovering products on social media. Fact: 77% of consumers claim that social posts inspire them to buy from brands they hadn’t heard of before.
The popularity of trends like unboxings and hauls says it all. We've seen firsthand how brands benefit from promoting products by sending PR packages at scale.
Authentic user-generated content. More positive reviews. Greater visibility in social search.
Sending PR packages to a high volume of creators can make all of the above happen faster.
This post breaks down step-by-step how to send products to influencers. We'll also share lessons from working with 400+ brands to get products into thousands of creators' hands.
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The Planning Phase of Sending Influencers Products
If you’re itching to get your products into the hands of influencers, we get it.
But the importance of PR package planning can’t be overstated.
Before shipping a single item, you have to spell out your campaign goals. Also, you’ll need to brainstorm which products make the most sense to ship out.
Trust us: answering these questions now will set up your campaigns for success in the long run.
Step #1: Establish the Goals of Your PR Package Campaign
Ask yourself: what will you achieve by sending free products to influencers?
As with any marketing campaign, it's important to start by defining the “why” behind it.
Think about your business objectives. Sample goals of PR package campaigns include:
- Building your network of brand advocates and ambassadors
- Earning more agency partnerships
- Creating hype for your next product launch
- Sourcing influencer-generated and user-generated content
- Supporting your social media sales strategy
If some of your goals overlap, that’s okay! What matters is justifying your time and energy spent sending products to influencers. If you want to reach 100+ creators, you really need to consider whether you realistically have the bandwidth to make it happen.
Step #2. Define a Target Audience For Your PR Packages
No matter how much you love your products, they won’t be a fit for every influencer.
And so the more focused your audience targeting, the better.
Because relevant influencers are more likely to produce authentic, high-quality content.
In terms of targeting, keep the following in mind when researching and vetting creators:
- Demographics. For example, a beauty brand might primarily target Gen Z women.
- Income. Notable if you’re shipping high-ticket, luxury products.
- Location. Important if you’re compensating influencers to buy items in-store.
- Interests and content. For example, a curly hair brand might send products to hair influencers creating curly hair tutorials.
Translation? Your outreach candidates should reflect your brand’s specific target audience.
That's the benefit of sending products to influencers with a platform like Statusphere.
Our software programmatically matches brands and creators based on 250+ unique, first-party data points. This includes all of the data points above (and then some). Granular matchmaking ensures that you only partner with influencers that authentically want to promote your products.
And hey, that leads us right to our next point!
Step #3: Pick the Right Products to Send to Influencers
“Uh, why did they send me this?”
Not exactly what you want to hear from your influencers, right?
Putting together a meaningful PR package requires thought and effort on your part. Unfocused and random assortments of items don’t result in great posts.
Consider how influencers get pitched by brands all the time. Free swag alone doesn’t always “wow” creators like you think it might. Brands need a thoughtful combination of products if they want to stand out from the crowd.
Below are a few considerations for products to include in an influencer PR package:
- Product value. A freebie worth $10 isn't going to cut it. Again, your delivery needs to be enticing enough to "wow" crowds via social media. If you primarily promote budget products, consider bundling items that add up to a higher dollar amount.
- Ease of shipping. Is your product fragile? Bulky? Does it need to be kept at a certain temperature? If “yes,” consider sending items that are less of a hassle. Damaged or broken products are bad news for PR packages.
- “Cool factor.” Influencers love showing off flashy or visually striking products to their followers. Ask yourself: is what I’m sending really worthy of an Instagram selfie? Is it easy to talk about on TikTok?
For brands sending products to influencers, the concept of value exchange is crucial. The more value you put into your packages, the higher quality content you'll earn.
PR Package Product Examples and Inspiration
Now, let’s look at some examples of how to send a PR package that ticks the boxes above.
Here’s an example from Perfume.com. Note how they gifted an influencer with a Versace perfume. Totally worthy of Instagram, right?
This is an example of how a “smaller” PR package can boast a high dollar-value product. Likewise, items like this make creators feel like VIPs.
Check out the example from Andalou Naturals below. The company sent three product bundles to influencers in small, travel-friendly packages. Colorful and themed packaging really helps these posts pop.
Let’s look at another example! The Brow Trio sent its brow stencil for influencers to try out and introduce to new audiences. This product has a “cool factor” because it’s presented as a life hack for your everyday beauty routine.
Source: @juliya.yasminThese examples all highlight the value of presentation when putting together PR packages.
The Outreach Phase of Sending Products to Influencers
By now you know what you’re sending to influencers and why.
But now the tricky part: finding and pitching relevant creators to post about your products.
You already have an idea of who your brand’s “ideal” influencers are from past campaigns, right?
Getting those creators' attention and actually coordinating a PR package is never a guarantee. The outreach phase is easily the most time-consuming aspect of sending products to influencers.
This is also the biggest barrier keeping brands from working with influencers at scale. That's why brands are turning to influencer platforms to streamline the process.
You have to be mindful of who you approach and how. That’s what the next steps cover in detail.
Step #4: Find Relevant Influencers to Promote Your Products
When it comes to finding influencers, you have a few options:
- Uncover influencers yourself. The DIY way involves digging through hashtags, @mentions or your follower list. Time-consuming but possible if you're working with a handful of creators.
- Search a database. Although influencer databases don’t handle outreach, they can narrow down a list of creators to contact.
- Influencer marketing platforms. Dedicated platforms represent the fastest way to get products into creators' hands. Statusphere's vetted network and matchmaking algorithm immediately eliminate tasks like researching, reaching out to and coordinating communication with creators.
Let’s assume you’re still doing things the DIY way, though. When looking for influencer profiles, try to spot creators with values and an audience that aligns with your own. You can figure out these details at a glance through social bios, content previews and captions.
The influencer profile below is a good example of what we’re talking about.
Based on the creator’s bio and content previews, it’s clear that she has an established audience and promotes specific brands. The fact that she’s “PR/Collab Friendly” and shares an email address is a nice added bonus.
But even if a creator ticks all of your boxes, it's crucial to audit their profiles before moving forward.
Again, you want to send PR packages to people who will actually use your products. When combing through influencers and their content, ask yourself:
- Do they need your product?
- Do they promote a similar product already?
- Does their aesthetic match your brand?
- Do they post content similar to what your brand or audience posts?
Note: this all highlights why many companies send PR packages to existing customers. That’s because customers are already familiar with your products. As a result, they’re legitimately delighted to see your products on their doorstep. This increases your chances of success during outreach.
Step #5: Craft and Send Your Collaboration Pitches
We'll assume you have a curated list of influencers that align with your brand. Nice!
But again, just because a creator seems perfect doesn’t mean they’ll say “yes” by default.
For brands getting ghosted or receiving lukewarm replies from creators, chances are there's a problem with your pitch. Our advice? Be clear on who you are and what you’re asking for.
Many brands tiptoe around what they want from influencers. Being indirect doesn’t do you any favors, though. We’ll say it again: influencers get pitched constantly. Unclear or vague outreach messages are easy to gloss over or ignore.
On the flip side, sending someone a novel’s worth of instructions is a good way to get left on read. This is true whether you’re reaching out via email or DMs.
Here’s exactly what you need to say when pitching a PR package to influencers:
- A brief introduction (assuming they don’t know you)
- What about the creator stood out to you
- Why you think they’re a good fit for your brand
- The product(s) you’d like to send
Below is an example of an Instagram collaboration email template that sticks to these points:
|Subject line: Loved your recent [Product/Industry] post, [Influencer Name]!|
Hi [Insert Influencer Name],
I’ve been following your profile on Instagram for a while and love your posts on [insert topic here]. [Insert another sentence relating to their feed that adds a human element]!
My name is [insert name here] and I work for [insert company name]. We [insert what you do or your mantra].
I’m reaching out because [insert what you saw in their feed, posts, and what they are passionate about that relates to your brand]. We want to send you a personalized package featuring our [product(s)]. We'd love for you to share your honest thoughts on [social platform].
Please let me know if you're interested and I'll send more details.
[Insert name here]
Personalizing your outreach is much of what makes this phase so time-consuming.
That said, personalization is arguably the easiest way to set yourself apart from competitors. Maintaining a professional, positive and genuine tone will also help your pitches land.
Step #6: Keep in Communication With Your Influencers
Let’s say an influencer says “yes” to your pitch.
If you’re purely interested in gifting products for a one-time post, you’ll need an address and contact information for starters. Proactive influencers might ask about benefits or what to say in their posts. For free products, expect to give influencers near-total creative freedom.
But if you’re hashing out the details of a full-blown partnership? Be prepared to carve out some serious time from your schedule. That’s because you’ll need to:
- Negotiate rates
- Communicate expectations and brand guidelines
- Finalize contracts (if you do have a formal agreement)
Note: In our experience, handling communication takes anywhere from 15 to 20 hours for just a handful of influencers. Shipping products to a high volume of influencers (100+) DIY is next to impossible.
The Shipping and Tracking Phase of Sending Products to Influencers
If you’ve gone through the legwork to get to this point, pat yourself on the back.
It’s finally time to send products to influencers. Posts aren’t far behind, right?
Almost there! While sending packages themselves might seem straightforward, there are a few key details to note.
To wrap things up, consider how you send your products impacts the quality of content you earn.
Step #7: Create a Meaningful Influencer Unboxing Experience
Presentation is huge when it comes to PR packages for influencers.
One of the best ways to make your products worthy of a stellar social post? Go the extra mile to create an awesome gifting experience. This means:
- Including a personalized or handwritten gifting note that thanks your recipients
- Sending PR packages in branded packaging (think: color scheme, logos)
- Personalizing which products you send to creators
Taking these steps is a subtle way to improve your relationships with influencers. If nothing else, you highlight how much you value your partnership.
Below are a couple of examples of our own past PR packages that tick these boxes.
Branded packaging helps influencers instantly recognize when your products are at their door. Meanwhile, personalized notes show that you really appreciate the creator’s time and effort.
Showing that you’re willing to go that extra mile will remain in their minds when creating posts about your brand. The more you prioritize the creator's experience, the better content you'll earn.
Step #8: Ship Your Products Out to Your Influencers!
No surprises here. Assuming things are in order at your warehouse, it's time to:
- Gather the necessary products
- Pack individual boxes (plus any bonus goodies and packing materials)
- Mail them out!
As a courtesy, make sure to let influencers know when their PR package is on the way. Share any necessary tracking information. Your influencer packages should be sent in a timely manner and creators should never be left wondering "Where's my stuff?"
Fulfillment is yet another time-consuming step of sending products to influencers. This is especially true if you’re sending a variety of products and package sizes to hundreds of influencers.
This all circles back to creating a top-tier creator experience.
For example, Statusphere's solution offers influencer fulfillment technology that delights creator and makes your brand look like a million bucks. That's because we set up automatic tracking on shipments through both our platform and text notifications. We also create a seamless, repeatable checkout experience where all orders are shipped to influencers within 48 hours.
Step #9: Engage with Influencers' Posts Once They're Live
Don’t expect posts to roll in automatically as soon as your products go out.
Shipping takes time and influencers have to fit you into their respective schedules.
The key here is not to just play the waiting game. Be proactive about the following:
- Confirming that influencers have indeed received their PR packages
- Answering questions from influencers about your products (if necessary)
- Following up with influencers that haven’t posted
- Engaging with posts once they’re live
- Tracking comments, interactions and engagements on your influencer’s posts
The last point here is crucial. A thoughtful comment and “Like” on your influencers’ posts puts a positive stamp on the process. Likewise, doing so can encourage you and a creator to work together again in the future.
How to Launch Your Influencer PR Package Campaigns Faster
There’s no denying the legwork that goes into sending PR packages to influencers.
The reality, though? Sending products yourself can only take you so far. Earning meaningful results is possible when you partner with hundreds of influencers. Not just a handful!
After all, so much of social media marketing today is a numbers game. Getting your products and content in front of your target audience means having a high volume of creators backing you up. More creators yield more content and more of a social search presence.
And that's exactly where Statusphere can help.
Our micro-influencer marketing platform empowers brands to partner with creators at scale. We built our software specifically to streamline the most tedious and time-consuming tasks of influencer marketing campaigns (including fulfillment). We've already helped 400+ brands do exactly that.
Want to learn more about how our platform works? Get in touch with one of our experts to see how Statusphere can scale your influencer marketing efforts in a fraction of the time.
This article was first published in October 2020. It was last updated June 26, 2023.