Influencer product gifting can help brands build awareness and encourage sales. Here’s how to send products to influencers step-by-step.
How to Send PR Packages to Influencers Step-By-Step
Sending PR packages to influencers is an awesome way to build brand awareness fast. This post breaks down the process of shipping products to creators.
Is it time for you to start sending PR packages to influencers?
It’s no secret that people love discovering products on social media.
Fact: 77% of consumers say social posts have inspired them to buy from brands they hadn’t heard of. The popularity of trends like unboxings and hauls says it all.
And as a brand, you’re in a prime position to promote products through PR packages.
Eager to do all of the above? Good! This post breaks down step-by-step how to send products to influencers yourself.
Skip to Section 👇
The Planning Phase
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 Campaign
Ask yourself: what goals 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 that you can justify your time and energy spent sending shipping products to influencers.
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 target audience.
Step #3: Pick 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. On the flip side, unfocused and random assortments of items don’t result in great posts.
Consider how influencers get pitched by brands constantly. 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. The products you’re sending should have a value of at least $20. Again, your delivery should be enticing enough to share via social media. Don’t have a product worth $20 in your line? Send out bundles adding up to that value.
- 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 worthy of an Instagram selfie? Is it TikTok-worthy?
Note: If all of your products are difficult to ship, you still have options! For example, you can send coupons to purchase items in-store or at a third-party retailer.
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 helps these posts “pop.” This highlights the value of presentation when it comes to putting together PR packages.
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.
The Outreach Phase
By now you know what you’re sending to influencers and why.
But now the tricky part: finding and pitching creators to post about your products.
Chances are you have a big-picture idea of who your brand’s “ideal” influencers are, right?
Still, getting their attention and actually coordinating a PR package isn’t guaranteed. You have to be mindful of who you reach out to 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.
- Search a database. Although influencer databases don’t handle outreach, they can narrow down a list of creators to contact.
- Influencer marketing platforms. Full-service platforms (like Statusphere!) manage influencer matchmaking from a handpicked network of creators.
Let’s assume you’re doing things the DIY way, though. 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 provides an email address is a nice added bonus.
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
Assume you’ve come up with a curated list of influencers that align with your brand.
Nice! But just because a creator seems perfect for your brand doesn’t mean they’ll say “yes” by default.
Getting ghosted? Lukewarm replies? If you’re not getting positive responses, 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 for 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 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. Nice!
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: This step of the process is where many brands realize they’re in for more than they bargained for. In our experience, handling communication takes anywhere from 15 to 20 hours for just a handful of influencers.
The Shipping and Tracking Phase
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 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 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.
And showing that you’re willing to go that extra mile will remain in their minds when creating posts about your brand.
Step #8: Ship Your Products Out!
No surprises here. Whether from your warehouse or totally DIY, you’ll be ready to:
- Gather the necessary products
- Pack individual boxes (plus any bonus goodies and packing materials)
- Mail them out!
Shipping 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.
As a courtesy, make sure to let influencers know when their PR package is on the way. Share any necessary tracking information with them, too.
A quick reality check before we get into our final step. In our experience, about 25% of influencers ghost brands after receiving a product to promote. With no contract, there’s no guaranteed content. Don’t take it personally! Just keep this expectation in mind.
Note: If you want to eliminate ghosting and not worry about shipping, consider a full-service gifting platform that does it all for you.!
Step #9: Engage with Posts Once They're Live
Don’t expect posts to roll in 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. This is important if a creator goes viral or earns an overwhelmingly positive response from their followers.
How to Launch Your Influencer PR Package Campaigns Faster
There’s no denying the legwork that goes into sending PR packages to influencers.
That said, doing so is an effective way to build buzz and get people talking about your products.
If you want to streamline and scale the process, sending products yourself can only take you so far. Consider how outsourcing the steps above to a scalable influencer marketing platform can speed things up. Not to mention help you earn more posts.
That’s where Statusphere comes in. Our full-service platform handles everything when it comes to sending products to influencers. This includes matchmaking, fulfillment and tracking results. With years of experience handling PR packages, our team can tailor a campaign to fit your needs.
Want to learn more about how the process works? Get in touch with our consumer-to-consumer marketing specialists to see how we can get more people posting about your brand ASAP.
This article was first published in October 2020. It was last updated August 19, 2022.