Once you’ve crafted the best opening email, your work is not done. To really send your ideas home and pick up any stragglers, you need to have a solid follow-up strategy. Following up with your prospects is one of the best ways to grow your business and gain new customers. Although it sometimes can get tough, it is well worth it in the end.
Done correctly, follow-up emails are a great way to build rapport and newfound trust with potential customers. It also gives you another chance to make a first impression (kind of), it gives you another opportunity to ‘sell yourself’ before they make a final decision about whether or not they should buy from you.
Creating The Best Follow-Up Email Strategy
Follow-up emails are messages that are delivered in response to a certain action a subscriber takes. Follow-up emails encourage subscribers to either upgrade to a paid plan rather than their free trial, schedule a demo, provides feedback, or purchase products, just to name a few. Many successful sales take more than a dozen ‘touches’ before the transaction is actually closed. A touch is anytime a potential or current client interacts with your brand. Such as visiting your company website, reading your newsletter, or clicking on one of your ads.
As of late, not many marketers value the importance of a follow-up email. However, sending a single email to a prospective customer typically won’t do the job on the first try. Almost 70% of sales are never completed on the first attempt.
If you haven’t noticed yet, it’s pretty important to send follow-up emails to those who don’t respond to your initial message. Especially if you’re trying to have a successful cold email marketing strategy. When in doubt, send a follow-up.
When we say follow-up we want to make it clear we don’t mean spam your clients. You are able to send follow-ups based on the action a subscriber takes. For example, if a client receives your message and then opens it to a webpage of features but then doesn’t go any further, try sending them a follow-up email with a link to your pricing page so they can see your costs and have more information to make a decision. When you set up an email based on a specific action of a client, you’re setting up a ‘trigger’.
Don’t go overboard with your follow-up emails. You don’t want to overwhelm your subscribers.
How to Write Follow-Up Emails
There are many ways to keep in touch with your clients. You can give them a call, send pamphlets in the main, or chat with them in person but email, even today, is the most effective approach.
Email is an easy way to send your message and allows you to monitor the feedback you receive while keeping it organized. Whether you follow up with thousands of clients or a few, you can do it all at the touch of your fingertips with email.
But how to write an effective follow-up email?
Set the Stage
Starting your follow-up, try to connect your reads to what you sent previously. If you’re talking about your newsletter, mention that in the first couple of lines. This helps spark a reader’s memory. Even if they have no idea what you’re talking about, they’re more likely to react positively to your follow-up email if they are reminded that you’ve reached out to them before.
With the seemingly never-ending amount of emails an average person receives, it’s crucial to add a personal touch, identity, or mutual interest in the message that will allow your email to stand out and give them something to hold onto in their memory. This is a great way to form a bond between you and the recipient if you don’t have a close connection with them or it’s been a while since you’ve spoken to them.
When you emphasize the initial email, discussion, or engagement you’ve had with them, you may just spark a recollection and make it easier for them to understand and reply to your email. By starting with the background context it’s easier for recipients to understand why you’re reaching out in the first place.
You can try one of these openers and see how they work for you:
- I’m writing to you to follow up on an email I wrote [Insert day email was sent] about [topic you wrote about]
- I want to clarify and see what you think of [topic of the first email]
- I’m sorry if this seems odd, but I saw you received my email earlier and I wanted to see what you think
Set the value to your email communication. Never write a follow-up email without adding some sort of value to what you’re saying. No one wants to just catch up with a company they buy from. With each interaction add value to your clients, and make it worth their while for them to pay attention to your communication.
Organic and easy engagement comes from users who find something useful from you. It comes in many forms such as a tangible item you’d like to mail them, a free webinar for them to learn more about how to use your product or service, case studies, free templates or any other online resource.
Without giving any value to your customers, there’s not any good reason to approach them because you’re not giving them any real motivation to reply, take an interest, or purchase from you.
State The Reasons for Your Email
Explain why you’re emailing them in the first place. A follow-up email is a perfect time to get to the point, and quickly. Be upfront about your objectives, this helps you avoid seeming pushy, untrustworthy, ‘spammy’, or unclear.
For example, instead of saying: I’d like to have a call and talk about what you do.
Try saying: I’d love to hop on a call and hear more about how you consistently reach your targets since I’ve been having trouble meeting mine.
Do you see the difference?
With this level of clarity, people are much more likely to reply and have a better feeling about why you’re emailing them in the first place. This helps increase the likelihood that you will receive some sort of engagement from them.
Are you using the call to action appropriately?
A call to action is a button or link that prompts your readers to click and go to a new phase of their customer journey. Typically a CTA will direct them to a landing page with price information or valuable information about your product or service.
When you think back on the emails that you’ve received from brands you subscribe to, how did they entice you to read further or find out more about their products or services? These could come in the form of tantalizing images or intoxicating copy, but what they all have in common is that they have a precise call to action button or link that shows you exactly where to click for more information or take a certain action.
Numerous marketers forget that a CTA is not just a button to add at the bottom of the text. Rather, it is a guiding point for your recipients and takes out any guesswork. It helps you remain clear and concise with your emails. Make your CTA difficult to refuse and give them an exact idea of what you want from them.
Your Sign Off
Your sign-off is just as important as your opening hook. Conclude your beautifully written follow-up email and wrap it in a nice bow. Do so comfortably, and in your own voice. A wrap-up is very personal and can give you the nice touch that some recipients are longing for.
A couple of examples are:
please let me know your thoughts or if you have any concerns!
I am happy to answer any questions you may have! I could talk about this stuff all day.
I really look forward to your response.
When to Send a Follow-Up
Typically, you should wait 2-3 days until sending out a follow-up email. Allow your recipients to go through their inboxes, read your email, and then if no response send them a quick follow-up. You should add a few days to the wait time for each successive email you send, especially if you have a long sequence.
Depending on the circumstances, you want to deliver your follow-up at a specific period to make sure you stay relevant in the eyes of your audience. You can test with the scheduling of follow-ups but this traditional timetable is as effective as any:
- First 24 hours: thank you for your subscription or welcome email
- 2-3 days later: Following the submission of any important paperwork
- 1-2 weeks: follow-up touchpoint after receiving no answer or to verify something sent from a previous email
- Every 3 months: send a reconnection email just so you can stay relevant in a client’s mind or send them congratulations on recent news or acquisition they’ve just completed
Think Like A Client
Make sure that you are putting yourself in the client’s shoes. Try to imagine what it would be like receiving an email copy from yourself and what the next logical step they would take is.
When sending email communication, you should always try to personalize your emails. Make each individual feel like they are unique and show you really care. You can do this easily by segmenting your email lists.
After cleaning your lists with an email checker tool, you can start to segment your lists by purchasing habits of clients, geographical location, or any decreased engaged customers. By doing so, you then will have different groups of people sharing similar likes and dislikes so you are able to tailor your email and copy to them. When people feel like something was specially made for them they are more likely to respond, pay more attention, or complete the desired action.
Your Follow Up Emails
Your follow-up emails can be a game changer for your overall email marketing. By following the steps outlined above you will start to see re-engagement from stale customers, see how your cold emails turn into warm leads, and watch your overall revenue growth. The little time you use to check in, provide value, and send personalized emails will go a long way with your clients and subscribers.