Sales Email Follow Up Strategy – 2019

Sales Email Follow up Strategy

The initial step of every aspect of work seems exciting yet intimidating, so does our first call, first meeting, and first email. This thought becomes more relevant when you are waiting for a follow-up response. At this point, all our thoughts seem to gawk us into the space thinking of writing a follow-up email. The first thought that comes to your mind when someone hasn’t replied to our email is the client is not interested and we regarding ourselves as being bothersome. Unfortunately, our instincts are wrong and it always takes more than the initial fears, maybes, and the first call/meeting/mail for one to prioritize your value that brings to them. So, it can take the second, third, fourth, or even more attempts for you to get a ‘YES’ from your prospects.

Strategies to Write a Follow-Up Email(s)

Surprisingly, studies back up our thoughts about follow up emails showing better response rates beyond the mark of the third attempt. According to iko system, there is 18% response rate for the first email, 13% response rate for the follow up on the 4th attempt and distinct increase of 27% response rate for the follow up on the 6th attempt. According to the Marketing Donut, there are some interesting statistics been provided – 80% of non-routine sales occur only after at least five follow-ups and 92% of salespeople give up after ‘FOUR NO’S’. So what can we conclude of these statistics is, only 8% of salespeople those following up for at least ‘FIVE’ times are generating all 80% of sales. Also according to Woodpecker, campaigns with 1 to 3 email sequence receive a lower rate of response of 9% whereas 4 to 7 email sequence receive a 3x response rate of 27%.

Now let us answer a few questions that would pop up in your mind –

First, How Long Is Too Long?

A quick answer to your question is not ‘too long’. Studies reveal the majority of emails are opened on the same day they are sent. If you are receiving a reply they are probably going do it the same day the email was spent. This means – if you don’t get a reply on the same day as you sent an email, you could never get a reply. Yesware users studied email open rates and found 90% of received replies are responded within one day from the time the email was opened.  

Typically, you wait for two to three days before sending the first follow up email. Subsequently, you extend the follow up by a few days with each following follow up emails. While there is no strong binding rules to follow this procedure, Steli Efti CEO of Close, advocates a sequence “Day 1: First follow up (+2), Day 3: Follow up (+4), Day 7: Follow up (+7), Day 14: Follow up (+14), Day 28: Follow up (+30), Day 58: Follow up (+30) … (from there on once a month).

You can always use the permutations and combinations working through the follow ups, and this schedule is not sure shot until proven. In Steli Efti schedule, he uses the advantage of the at least five follow up work of action including the initial email – 6 emails over the course of 30 days. We could recommend you to use this framework until it works for you and your audience.

Prepare for Success

We now have all the information on why follow up emails are important, how many, how long to wait and ballpark figure about how many messages to be sent.

Our next step is putting this framework into action and dive right in. But before that to maximize your success, you need to set yourself up by writing it all down. Writing down all your goals is beneficial than you can imagine for you and your team. You can have a track of all work done, creates visibility and transparency amongst your team, helps everyone to be on the same page, maximizes everyone’s strength to focus on the end goal. According to an article in Forbes, Neuroscience studies prove people who vividly describe or picture their goals are 1.2 to 1.4 times more successfully accomplish their goals. To maximize the team’s efficiency, have a set of ‘rules’ that focuses on time, frequency, quantity, messages, consistency, and automation.

Diversification of Channels

Another key value in the follow-up email framework is using the omnichannel approach that distinguishes the top guns versus the people who just go through the motions. Yes, here we are stressing emails as the best and preferred channel of communication. But we aren’t discarding other valuable channels of communication.

Jake Dunlap, Skaled says, “To me, social isn’t a ‘Should I do it?’ You have to. If your audience lives on LinkedIn or Twitter or Instagram, you have to be engaging them there.”

Explore all kinds of channels (omnichannel) that includes email, video, social media, and the telephone especially if you are not getting a response from one channel. Companies that have extremely strong omni channel customer engagement have 9.5% annual revenue year on year compared to 3.4% with weak omni channel customer engagement companies. You can significantly see 3x more than those who do not in addition to increasing the engagement itself. Also, strong omni channel companies see 7.5% year on year decrease in cost per contact, compared to 0.2% year on year decrease in cost per contact for weak omni channel companies. Having an omni channel experience will enrich your follow ups with good nurturing, prospecting, and retention.

You can get all the answers you want for the questions such as which channels do they prefer or seem, where did you engage them from, what do they do on each of these channels. Strategically collect all the cues that have been provided to you and engage with them in their preferred where’s and how’s.

Matt Heinz, Heinz Marketing – “If you diversify the channels you use, you’re much more likely to get someone’s response.”

What Do You Want To Achieve?

It’s important that you are aware of what you want to achieve from this email or emails. For example, you might want to get:

1. More information/specific information

2. Arrange a meeting

3. Close a sale

Every situation is unique and it does not apply for the scenarios. What you need and want out of a follow-up email will likely change with each campaign you work on and might even change between each follow-up emails. It is vital that you have all you need. Never send an email or follow up until and unless you know what exactly to get out of it.

Put yourself In Their Shoes

Before starting your drafts or sending it across, consider customer experience because it becomes a key factor than your product, price, or service itself. It is important to the factor of business success and will become the key differentiator in a year or two.

Think about the frequency and activity of the emails that you will send to your customers. Focus on your customer point of view and let the experts should do and don’ts wait for the moment. Find the right balance, because too much becomes annoying and too less is decreases momentum.

Pro Tip: Ask these questions to yourself – How are they feeling about your emails or follow ups? What do you they have in store from you? How are they feeling? What sort of experience are they having?

When you examine and answer yourself with these questions, you can easily come up with the follow up the framework that is built from scratch for them and not for you; which will make all the difference.

Be cautious about that all the follow ups cannot be created universally and so let the situation set the tone in the due course:

1. When the request for a call or demo, you are more aggressive with your follow-ups to fulfil their needs

2. When they have downloaded something, but haven’t reached out to you explicitly, this means you have illustrated them your value with different drips based on what they specifically downloaded

3. When you are sending a cold email, they haven’t requested anything from you so tread lightly

Strategies to Write a Follow-Up Email(s)                

Now that you have learnt how important follow-ups are, how long you should wait (give or take) before sending an email, and some information about preparation for success, let’s understand the basic and important aspect on How To Write a Follow-Up Email?

Since you have many prospects, remember to personalize your subject lines to test different email subject lines when following up. Well, 47% of people open an email and 69% of people report them as spam; this statistics is a proof that only email subject lines alone can make or break your chances of receiving a response. Give enough time and dedication for your follow up email subject lines.

Here, we have divided the follow-up template into five sections with examples on what might go into each section and as the whole template for the email. This division helps you put together all these sections and get a link for the whole template.

#1 Context

It is highly recommended that you send your follow up email on the previous thread or referencing your previous interaction by refreshing your recipient’s memory. Even if the recipient draws a blank, they would most likely react positively to the follow up because they’re reminded of the fact that they have heard from you.

Intros that you might want to include:

I just wanted to follow up on the email I sent last day of the week the email was sent and about the subject in the email

I just wanted to know what you have thought about the subject of the email

I hope this doesn’t sound weird, but I saw you read my previous email.

#2 Include Value

Never send you’re follow up email without upping your benefits and demonstrating your value. Avoid routine follow-ups such as simply ‘Touching base’ or ‘catching up’ ones which do not add value but just add emails to their inbox. Create value at each interaction and provide them with this value so as to open, click, and respond.

Giving value even if it’s physical values stem opportunities for natural or organic interactions. Valuable gifts can be webinars, case studies, digital resources or any other physical item shipped to them.

Dan Murphy, Culture Amp, “For a minute, I’m not a sales guy – I’ve given them something.”

With this you can easily get 3 to 5 follow up emails around these value added offers you provided them. Take this opportunity and make it high quality & relevant to them. Always provide them with a curiosity of asset acquisition for the company. If you are not providing them with value added services, there is very little reason to contact them and even more little reason for them to respond or care.

Matt Heinz, “You have to provide value to the recipient every single time.”

#3 Why Are You Emailing Them?

Go on explain the intent for a follow-up email in a manner which is concise and direct. Just be honest about what you want from the recipient and if your subject hasn’t changed since your previous email, this will remind them.

Product name could really help you with the element of the prospect’s role effectively. I could love to have a quick chat if I’m right

Product name could really help you and I wondered if you could be interested in trying it out for a month or so (completely free, of course)

We have launched a new product (name) and I think it could make a big difference to the element of prospect’s role. There’s a link to a resource that will give you more information, but it would be great if we could discuss your current needs so that I can figure out exactly how our product might help you

As previously stated, focus on them here. Remove all the ‘I’ statements from your text. Honestly, they don’t care about you or what you think or believe.

#4 Include a Call To Action

Take this opportunity to make it easy for your recipients to respond. For example, if you are arranging a meeting, suggest a specific date and time and if you are arranging an in-person meeting suggest a place.

Does 11 AM on Wednesday work for you?

Are you the right person to talk to about this? Or you could you connect me to the right person?

You could reply to a ‘yes’ if you are interested in getting more information and I could send you further documents.

Do not leave it vague and ambiguous. Make your call to action crystal clear and captivating. Tell them what exactly do you want and what exactly do you need them to do?

#5 Close Your Email

Wrap the email in a way that is natural and is sympathetic well authentic of your interactions with your recipients so far.

MailShake suggests you use these wrap-up lines, yet suggest you to also be in your comfort zone.

1. Let me know what you think! (Your Name)

2. Let me if you have any questions! (Your Name)

3. Speak Soon? (Your Name)

4. I look forward to hearing from you! (Your Name)

Sales Follow Up Email Templates

Here are a few samples that MailShake are providing from the selection of sales email templates that they offer.

1. Hey (First), can we hop in for a quick call (Date & Time)

Cheers, (Your Name)

PS: thought you might find this article interesting (Link)


2. (First),

I’m writing to follow-up on my email. I didn’t hear back from anyone on the team. If it makes sense to talk, let me know how your calendar looks. If not, who is the appropriate person for me to talk to?

Thanks for your help, (Your Name)


3. Hi (First),

I have tried to get in touch with you to see if there is a mutual fit between our company’s expertise and your goals around [Business_Driver].

If you are not interested or there is another person you would like me to follow up with, please let me know.

Would it make sense to invest 5-10 minutes to determine if there is a mutual fit? If not, who do you recommend I talk to?

Thanks, (Your Name)


Pro tips

You have got more information about cold email templates to create a campaign like a pro. Here are some tips from the expert, we recommend you to add these to strengthen your email.

1. Test different subject lines in addition to your main body. Some subjects like “quick questions are being ignored, looks unprofessional and generally be triggered under spam filters.

2. While it seems a risky business but you can also test your subject lines on your audience. This might be an exception and work for you

3. A popular invitation by Calendar with the right date and time with specific details under the note section

4. Using a video in the email is gaining more popularity which can increase your click-through rate by 300%. Tools like Soapbox and Govideo makes it easy and user-friendly.

5. Plan for follow-ups

6. As mentioned earlier, personalization is the key factor. Include a few quick and relevant facts with data about their industry, location, or competitors

7. Try a technique called Double Tap: send an email afternoon/early evening, then another the next morning with a link or resource you ‘forgot’ to include in the first one. This omission shows humanize you and your brand and get your name in the front

8. Keep it clear and concise and mobile friendly, because more than half of all our emails are opened on mobile

9. Remove expressions like “if it’s not too much trouble” and “I am sorry for bothering you” from your message

10. Empathize with your customer, then just simply leading in business ways. Visiting their city one week from now? Ask for a restaurant recommendation, for example

11. Develop a helping nature to build a genuine relationship with them

Consistent follow-ups are always time-consuming. The ideal prospect may not be prepared to answer to you at this moment, so the key is to remain consistent with follow-ups that offer some incentive and keep you top of the game. Build the relationship, and they’ll swing back to you when they’re prepared to pull this deal.

“All strategies aside, if you aren’t actually following up, then you’re missing out on big opportunities.” Rex Biberston, The Sales Developers

You can use email marketing without a follow-up strategy. You could, but why would you? The follow-up is a huge part of what makes email the king of acquisition and retention.

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