Most businesses will at some point come to know the frustration of putting together an email marketing campaign which in turn delivers lackluster results. Non-opens and unengaged recipients can be incredibly disheartening for any company, especially when you know that you have a great product that would be of great benefit to your mailing list — if only they would take notice of your messages!
Though many marketers still balk at the idea of sending follow up emails, incorporating them into your sales strategy can lead to incredibly good results. In fact, in an article written for Inc.com, entrepreneur Jason Zook credited 75% of his 2000 business deals to the practice of sending carefully written second emails. Though these kind of results may not be realistic for every business, it is still worthwhile to try again after the first hurdle; persistence is king in the world of sales, after all.
Who to Target With Follow up Email
The generic term of follow up can refer to a number of different types of emails within the same vein. In basic terms, it is simply a message that you send to a customer or a lead after some kind of communication takes place between you. This could be the result of an enquiry made about your product or service, a message you sent informing your list about a new offering or promotion, customer feedback or some other form of interaction.
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When considering the use of follow up emails, it will be easiest to separate your contacts into cold and warm leads. Cold leads are those which you have contacted to tell them about your product or service without prior prompting, for example, if you purchase a or put together a new mailing list of previously uncontacted leads. The hope with these kind of contacts is obviously that once you have sent them some kind of communication they will engage with your brand and seek out more information, thus becoming warm leads in the process.
A warm lead concursely is someone who has shown an interest in your business, for example if they have asked a question about your product or service or have signed up for a free trial. These are the kinds of leads that you want to target with your follow up emails; they have already shown that they are intrigued by your brand but for whatever reason may have dropped off of the sales pipeline. With this in mind, it would be foolish to simply write them off completely, as in many cases a simple nudge in the right direction or supplying further information can turn them into buyers.
Types of Follow up Email
When it comes to sending a second email to non responsive leads there is a whole plethora of templates that can be utilized. If you haven’t had a response to your last email you can try sending a simple message to ask if they are still interested in your product or service, or if they need any more information or perhaps a clarification on something.
If on the other hand you are completing a more general follow up you could ask them their opinion on your current offerings or send them a blog post or article that outlines why they are missing out by not using your product or service. It may also be worth sending a simple message asking if they have time for an informal chat.
When to Send Follow ups
In order to get the most out of your follow up emails, you’ll want to make sure that you send it at the optimum time. Do it too soon after your original email and you run the risk of seeming like a spammer – a sure fire way to turn your potential customers off and even risk an unsubscribe or blocking. On the other hand, if you leave it too long the recipient may have simply forgotten who you are and what your business is about, or, even worse, may have already found an alternative option.
So when is a good time to send a follow up message? Well, if it is a simple ‘thank you’ for attending an event such as a webinar or meeting, 24 hours later is fine. If you are following up on another type of interaction however, it is usually best to wait around a week. Any less than this can seem desperate, and in fact many email marketing platforms such as Vertical Response will block you from sending second emails within three days after the first in order to prevent reports of spamming. If you are sending a generic ‘catch up’ email to your database, your best bet is to do so quarterly, so that you can keep your customers up to date on your business without them feeling hassled by you and therefore becoming unengaged.
Advantages of Sending Follow ups
Though it can seem bothersome and even pointless to get into the habit of sending follow up messages, they come with plenty of benefits. These advantages include:
Stand out From the Competition
According to Sirius Decisions, the average sales person only makes 2 attempts to reach a prospect. No doubt the majority of these people are worried about irritating and potentially alienating leads by being persistent, but in reality this is rarely the case. As long as you are sending carefully thought out messages that offer some kind of value to the recipient they will usually respect your hustle. What’s more, by perservering where these other businesses have given up means that you automatically stand out from the crowd and demonstrate to your leads that you value them more.
Build Relationships With Leads
Any marketer knows the importance of building good relationships with customers in order to drive sales, and this becomes particularly evident when it comes to email. Studies have shown that just 2 percent of sales occur when two parties meet for the first time. It is vital to build a trust with your leads so that they feel comfortable buying from you; and follow-ups are a great tool for this as they can feel much more personal than other emails; especially if you are asking the recipient their opinion on something or enquiring further about their needs. The statistics also support this theory; the Annuitas Group found that nurtured leads make 47 percent bigger purchases than non-nurtured leads.
Stay top of Mind
With so many emails being received every day it is easy to simply to forget about something that may have been of interest. Not only that, but according to Sign Up To’s 2017 Email Marketing Benchmark Report we only open around 25 percent of emails we receive. Therefore sending follow up emails gives you a much better chance of actually having your message read.
There is also the possibility that, although someone has a genuine interest in your brand, they are simply not ready to buy yet. Marketing Donut notes that 63 percent of people requesting information on a company will not actually purchase for at least three months, and 80 percent of sales require five follow ups after the initial meeting. This demonstrates just how vital it is to stay on the radar of a potential customer; they may simply need a few gentle reminders of how great your product or service is to prevent them from looking elsewhere.
How to Write a Good Follow up Email
Generally it is better to be honest and straight to the point when crafting your message; nobody likes to feel as though they are being duped, after all. Be respectful but confident in your email and don’t beat around the bush with the information that you’re trying to put across. It’s a good idea to be a bit more creative in subsequent emails if the first one or two failed to engage, for example you could try adding photos, a fascinating fact or an interesting or amusing anecdote. These small touches will not only get more attention from the recipient, but will also make your message seem more personal. The main thing to make sure is that your email holds some value to your customer, otherwise it is simply redundant and unlikely to garner a response.
If you are wanting to try and engage with recipients who have not actually opened your previous email, a simple shortcut is to just change the subject line of the original email and try sending it again. It could be that they missed it the first time around, or it may just be more likely to catch their attention with a different hook.
Stuck for ideas? Here are some examples of subject lines you can use to grab the recipient’s attention:
[Name], still interested in our services?
[Name] we’d like your opinion on this
Free for a quick call today?
Just want to clarify something with you
Our offer still stands
As for the actual email copy, here are a couple of templates that you can personalize:
Thanks for getting in touch today and sharing details about your goals at [company name].
If you’re available for a chat some time next week it would be great to hear more about the challenges you’re currently facing – I think we may have the perfect solution for you.
Feel free to give me a call at a time convenient to you and we can discuss further.
Look forward to hearing from you!
How are you? Following our chat last week I just wanted to see if you’ve found a solution to [problem] yet?
I would be happy to go over our services in more detail for you so that you’re able to see exactly how we can help – just let me know when you’re free for a call and I will schedule you in!
Hope to hear from you soon
When you have decided on a strategy for your follow up emails, bear in mind that it is always subject to change. As with any part of your marketing, you’ll want to keep a close eye on the analytics to see exactly what works for your business. In order to send the most successful follow up messages possible you may need to mix up the frequency, the content, the subject lines and when you send them out. Once you have this figured out you should see a real difference in just how advantageous they can be.
In need of some fresh leads?
Bear in mind that sometimes it is simply better to cut your losses and move on. If your follow up emails aren’t having the success you need, it may be time to reach out to a batch of new contacts. At Global Database we have company intelligence across 32 industry verticals in 195 countries worldwide, with an impressive accuracy rating of 93% – one of the highest in the industry. If you need high quality leads at an affordable price, contact us for a no-obligation chat on +44 203 640 6006 or [email protected].