80% of prospects get converted after saying no four times, provided you strike the right chords. Writing effective follow-up emails is a combination of art, science, and strategy. When people write follow-up messages, they mostly end up sending “Just checking to hear about ….”, and the email hardly ever catches the recipient’s attention. What you need is an optimal mix of must-haves and best practices that drive engagement. From my experience of working for nearly a decade at an email agency here are a few tips for creating effective follow-up emails:
Art Of Effective Follow-up Emails
To begin with, you need to understand prospects’ needs and then offer relevant solutions. A follow-up email should project a win-win situation for the customer and you, where their need is satisfied, and you achieve your sales objective. Your email copy, offers, and overall tone play a large role in setting the reader’s expectations. Now let’s dig deeper into the art of writing effective follow-up emails.
Asking Is The Key To Effective Follow-Up Emails
When you are writing the copy of a follow-up email, you should have two things clear in your mind:
- When writing an email copy and creating the offer, you are extending an opportunity with mutual benefits, and the copy should not reflect any guilt or annoyance.
- Readers should feel that you are adding value to their buyer journey.
In case you have incomplete customer data or an unclear inquiry, ask for the same in your first follow-up email. You can also refer to these professional email examples by our email marketing company.
Be Expressive About Purpose Of Follow-Up
As discussed earlier, “Just checking to hear about ….” type of emails aren’t going to bring in conversions. You must highlight all specifics about the email’s agenda. You also need to introduce yourself, your organization and state how you can help prospects.
You should deliver more value with every follow-up. If you feel that the customer is stuck in their buyer journey, offer common solutions. As Brian Tracy writes,” At least eight out of ten first purchases from a new supplier take place after the fifth call or visit.” He also adds, “Half or more of all salespeople make only one call before they give up.” So express your desire to be helpful, and that’s halfway covered. You can also take help of professional email examples if needed
Science Of Effective Follow-Up Emails
Because 80% of the sales don’t happen until the fifth email, it doesn’t mean that four previous follow-up emails were ineffective or 5th mail did some magic. Conversion is a cumulative effect of all five emails. You will need to target different aspects of the buyer journey based on time since the first contact and add cascading value in your messages accordingly. At my email marketing agency, I specifically design the follow-up campaign to filter out dormant leads as it may skew my efforts, something you might want to do.
Ins And Outs Of Writing An Effective Follow-Up Email
At our email marketing company, we find that a well-crafted follow-up email is a combination of the following considerations:
- The subject line should be short and state the purpose of the follow-up.
- Preheader text should complement your subject line.
- Communicate only through warmed-up IP addresses.
- Keep context at the focus when writing copy and using hero images.
- The purpose should be explicitly conveyed in the email copy.
- Send at the right time.
- Use Responsive Html email templates.
- Don’t start offering incentives too early.
Things That Must Be Avoided When Writing Follow-Up Email
You need to follow the best practices discussed above, but there is more to it. Let’s discuss what things that you need to stay away from while writing a copy of a follow-up email:
- Avoid being too persuasive.
- Do not yield more incentives than required.
- Don’t send incomplete information or vague information.
Strategy Of Effective Follow-up Emails
When you conceptualize your organization’s follow-up email campaign, you will need to align with the “Five NOs strategy” to maximize your success rate. I find that you should emphasize building a relationship with your leads as you may get a chance to convert them sometime in the future. The first message should be a reminder; the second one should solicit additional information; you can send an incentive-based offer in the third and fourth one but call it a day after the fifth attempt.
How Often Follow-Up Emails Should We Write? Balancing A Tightrope
This is an important aspect since you shouldn’t appear desperate or show up too late. The schedule for ecommerce brands is relatively shorter, while consultancies need to align their efforts with a longer sales cycle. You need to carefully craft a schedule based on product or service and location. Generally, you can follow the below schedule but avoid sending emails on Mondays and weekends:
Identify And Recreate The Process That Works
We have gone through many useful tips to build an effective follow-up email campaign, but you will need to keep improving your strategy and realign the processes to trends prevailing at that time. There are no hard and fast rules, but you will need to find what works for your business and recreate your campaign to maximize results.
The purpose behind follow-up email campaigns is to convert missed opportunities. These leads landed on your website, provided you with their email address, and made a basic inquiry- that’s enough reason to put in persistent efforts, or else you will end up leaving a lot of potential leads unattended. I hope that this article helps you understand the art, science, and strategy for creating effective follow-up emails.
Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, HTML emails He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.