How to Improve Your Follow up Emails

Avatar for Kat Garcia Kat Garcia
Avatar for Kat Garcia Kat Garcia

November 23, 2021

9 min read

How to Improve Your Follow up Emails

Today’s technological world consists of bings, boops, and zings all coming from text messages, emails, or voice notes. The phrases you may read the most maybe something like: “Just checking in”, “I want to see how things are” or “Just wanted to make sure you heard about”… and the list goes on.

These messages are typical of a follow-up message. They are common expressions or phrases for people to use, specifically in emails, when attempting to convert leads, close deals, or get the information they need. However, these phrases can have the opposite effect of your desires because they typically don’t appear to provide any immediate value.

As a business owner, who wants to grow their business, improving the quality of your work and building your client relationships is key. Did you know that 80% of deals need at least five touches before closing? Therefore, keeping the conversation alive and well is a very important skill.

Follow Up Emails

One of the easiest ways to connect with your clients is to send a follow-up email. By sending follow-up emails you’re still providing a service to your clients and make your business seem even more professional if done correctly.

You want to make sure that you’re catching your client's eyes and providing them with some sort of value with each interaction. You want to ensure that you’re not sending _too _many follow-up emails, they can become daunting and easily skipped over. The overused “just checking in” subject lines become background noise in your client’s inbox. If you want a response, you need to learn how to write good content and sales emails that actually matter to your reader.

In this guide, we will cover the most important and key steps to writing a successful follow-up email that will help boost open rates, conversions, and overall client retention. We will help you learn how to stand out from the crowd and use every contact as an opportunity to persuade.

Go From Overlooked to Unforgettable

It’s finally time to send your follow-up email. Before you begin writing your email, you must identify and clarify the end goal, or objective, of your message. This way you’re able to incorporate a clear and strong call to action at the end of your email that will make your recipient want to get back to you to achieve your end goal. First things first, determine why you’re writing a follow-up email.

Start by being clear and casual. Determine your objective right away. Your previous emails to a prospect could be fresh in their mind but never assume that they are equally focused on the exchange or that they’ve seen your other emails. When you begin your follow-up email make sure to provide information that reminds the recipient of who you are and what your services do. You should mention specific dates about the prior communication but avoid the redundancies of repeating yourself.

Determine Your Objective

  • More information needed
  • Meeting Request
  • A Quick Catch Up
  • Thank You

Get the Information You Need

Sometimes after having the first conversation with someone, you may realize you forgot to ask something crucial or need additional information to best help them. You can write a follow-up email about clarification about their business or pain points, status updates on the deal you’re working on, or determine whether or not the sale will be made. When you clearly state the need for specific information, you’re giving the client clear directions on how they can respond to you and take the guesswork out of the equation.

Request a Meeting

It could be you just want to pick your client's brain, talk about a product idea, ask for some help, or receive feedback, you will most likely be writing a follow-up email to request another meeting or chat. If this is the case, your email should give detail about what you’re looking to talk about and why the discussion will be of value to your customer. If you know how you’re going to help them, tell them this in your email and they will be more inclined to respond and set up a time to talk.

Catch Up With a Client

If it’s been a while since you’ve spoken with a client or connection or heard the big news about them, or learned of a major accomplishment, you will probably want to catch up with them and get more details or offer congratulations. After all these new advancements and changes, their situation may have changed and their needs may have changed as well.

For example, maybe a business has expanded and now a connection is finally in a place where they’re able to afford your business or extra services. They may need your services more than ever. Catching up with clients can be more useful than ever. A follow-up email shows that you care about how they are doing and that their business is growing. Be sure to explain what it is you’re hoping to chat about and avoid any vague or lazy-sounding messages. You can show how much your recipients care by sending a personalized follow-up email.

Say Thank You

A little goes a long way. By sending a ‘thank you’ email it shows you care and leaves your recipients with a positive impression about you and your brand. Showing gratitude, it gives a little something for your clients to remember down the road, especially if they think of doing business with you in the future. Or if they are thinking of who to recommend to a friend or a colleague, they will definitely think of you. Here are a few examples to send a thank you follow-up email:

  • When they provide you with a referral
  • Write you a review
  • Close a deal, make a purchase, if they do business with you

Now, we’ve covered the importance of why you need to define the objective of your follow-up email, your next step is to write with a clear purpose.

This way, you’re able to include your call to action (CTA) in a way that it’s clear for your customer to know what the next step is. This includes responding with information that they’ve requested, confirming a meeting time, and catching up with what’s going on in their life. Whether it be professional or personal, keep an open line of communication with your clients.

By identifying and clearly stating what your objective is in your follow-up email, you’re able to give your recipients a professional-sounding CTA, immediate value, and how to act on it.

Open With Context

Think about how many emails you receive a day. Most people would say “a lot”. With the high volume of emails that are being sent and received daily, it is imperative that you’re able to break through the noise and get your messages seen. It’s important to open with a personal connection, something that makes it clear who you are and why you’re contacting them. Give context to your reader. When you do so, it helps open the door to building a clear line of communication and a closer relationship with your recipient, even if a long time has passed since the last conversation.

Emphasize and provide context around your initial communication, and help them jog their memory of who you are. Start your email with something that immediately identifies yourself, this helps them not only remember but are more likely to respond if they’re familiar with you. The last thing you want is to leave your reader even more confused than when you started. Some strong follow-up email openers include:

  • Service delivery confirmation
  • We met last week at (date, function, or location)
  • I was inspired after we spoke about
  • Our friend (mutual connection)
  • Last time we spoke (reference the conversation)
  • I wanted to reach out about the last email I sent about (topic)

Set a Clear Purpose Of your Follow Up Email

It is time to clearly state the purpose of why you’re even emailing them in the first place. You need to be straightforward and to the point. This helps with seeming more genuine, personal, and less spammy. For example, you never want to give half the picture. If you invite someone to meet and chat, specify what you’d really like to discuss. This gives your recipients a clear idea of the topic and the more information they have the more comfortable they feel. With this level of specificity, your recipient will feel like their time is also valued and you’re not giving them the ‘ring around’ of trying to get something more out of them. This also gives you a better chance of response versus being ignored.

Your Subject Line Matters

Remember when you were in middle school and your teacher was explaining the importance of the body of your essay? Well, I do.

But in email marketing, your email flow is just like the opening, body, closing, and sign-off. So try to work through all of those aspects first before crafting your subject line. When you write your subject line, look back to the entirety of the email and what is the main purpose of why you’re writing. This way, you can ensure that you’re writing a strong, to-the-point, and eye-catching subject line that actually aligns with what you’re writing about.

Some strong subject lines can help you improve your email open rates, as well as a better follow-up email.

  • Use concrete numbers or times. Did you know that emails with “quick” in the subject line are opened 17% less than those without?
  • Create a sense of urgency by using ‘tomorrow’.
  • Try even skipping the subject line all together. Sometimes users will see this and think they’re receiving a message from a friend or colleague instead of a brand.

Test out your various subject lines with A/B testing and see which works best for your clients and how they react.

It’s Finally Time to Send Your Follow Up Email

You did it! You wrote your follow-up email in its entirety. There’s an objective behind it, you can open with a clear context, your purpose is easy to understand and you’ve landed on a subject line that you know will knock the socks off them. Now, it’s time to determine when you’re going to hit ‘send’.

Based on your specific brand, scenario, and season you’re going to want to send your follow-up email at a certain time depending on your recipients. This helps with open rates as well as response rates. Here are a few suggestions for the best time to send a follow-up email:

  • Within 24 hours, make sure you say ‘thank you’ after a meeting, sale, conference, interview, or any other special occasion that would warrant a thank you.
  • Within 48 hours, this is a great time to submit important documentation or any type of submission form such as a job application.
  • 1-2 weeks. This time frame is good for following up on a meeting request or after hearing nothing from a job offer or to confirm something from a previously sent email.
  • Every 3 months: this is a great time to send an email if you want to catch up with a recipient, notify them if anything has changed, learn about a new development or say something about their business.

To Recap

You have gone through your contact list, you’re ready to send a follow-up email. Your first step was to have a clear objective, then you are able to start writing. How you open the email is important, what are you really looking to achieve after sending this message? Make sure that your words are clear and concise and leave no room for confusion.

Have a clear call to action at the end of your email so the recipient knows what next step they need to take. Then you are ready to craft your subject line. This is how you are going to stand out from the crowd and get noticed, clicked, and read. Then you must determine when is the right time to send your follow-up email.

Remember the rule of thumbs that we specified above. Lastly, before sending anything to anyone make sure that your emails are actually valid. Using an email checker such as Emailable will help improve your deliverability and ensure that your messages are getting to the right inboxes.

There is no use of a follow-up email if it never gets delivered. And there you have it folks, the best way to craft your follow-up email, send your follow-up email, and make sure that it gets delivered.

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