Why is it important that follow-up emails are sent?
There are approximately 245 billion emails being sent and received every day. This, combined with the truth that only 4 billion people use email, makes it clear that we all receive a lot of emails. No matter how great your email is, it can be forgotten. It is crucial to follow up.
You may think that if you are a salesperson and email is your main channel for prospecting and connecting with potential clients, it might be a good idea to explore other channels. This is not true. Email remains the undisputed leader. McKinsey’s research shows that email is 40x more effective in acquiring new customers than Twitter or Facebook.
Though email has a great “buzz,” it’s still one of the most fruitful channels you have at your disposal. What should you do with all this information? It’s simple: improve the quality of your emails. It’s as straight as: “Work smarter, and not harder.” The stronger you design your emails, the more chances are there to stay unique in the crowded inbox.
There is no magic bullet to make everything work. Your success in prospecting or email is largely dependent on your tenacity. This article will provide five tips for writing stronger follow-up emails.
Benefits of sending follow-up emails
Following up is just as vital as the meeting itself. A personalized follow-up e-mail or has many benefits and is critical to closing a business deal and consolidating long-lasting relationships. Here are a few of follow-up email benefits:
- Shows You Are Still Interested
- Reveals You Are Serious And Reliable
- Makes Them Feel Valued
- Sets You Apart
- You actually get your “professional” part completed
The Reasons for your Follow-Up Emails getting Ineffective
Now, if you’re already a “follow-up email believer” but not getting a positive response, then there’s no need to become a disbeliever. We’ve listed a few potential reasons for your follow-up emails getting ineffective:
- You’re redundant: Like any email, the majority of follow-up emails never work because they simply repeat things without offering any new information to the reader.
- You’re only following up once: If they skip your follow-up email once or twice, don’t consider that it’s going the negative way. You need to reach out to your receivers 4-5 times before they catch your email at the right moment, read it, and reply to it.
- You’re not honest: If you’re aren’t truthful about your intentions, your leads will never reach back to you for the reason that will be a lack of trust. Being dishonest in follow-up emails is directly proportional to fewer conversions.
- You ask for action way too soon: Asking for any action before the right occasion is a classic sales mistake. When you sell something and ask someone to take any action when it’s too soon, you’ll undoubtedly scare them away.
- You send them late: If you tell your receivers, you’ll send them an email soon and actually send it two or three weeks later, surely your leads will think they’re not that important to be a priority for you.
But won’t people get annoyed with your follow-up emails?
When you follow up, you’re actually reminding receivers about you and requesting them to take action. By action, we mean responding positively to your original email.
Chances are there that they also click the unsubscribe link or respond to you a bit, roughly asking you not to email them again.
Now, that is the true possibility.
Most importantly, something you shouldn’t be afraid of such thing.
Your follow-up email plays the role of getting them off the silence and making a decision, some way or the other. We’d rather have someone simply unsubscribe from our email list than do nothing. You need to aim at motivating your prospects to take action, no matter what action, but anything that anyhow gets them into the sales funnel.
Of course, we’d rather ask people to respond to our email so they can reap advantage from it, but the very first step in strong and successful follow-ups is eliminating the mindset that’s scared of bothering people.
They won’t file a case, though, so chill.
1. Plan your approach
You may be interested in following up with someone for many reasons. Perhaps you were busy when you first met this person. Maybe you wanted to ask a question or provide a quote.
Before writing your first sentence, you should know the type of message that you are sending. Is it a reminder? Are you following up on a specific issue? Are you looking for more information? It doesn’t matter what “it” might be, it is important to identify it first. This will determine how you approach the message. Too much information in one email can reduce the effect. Send two emails if necessary. Keep it brief.
When you send a Thank You message to someone, your attention will be on the emotion and not on numbers. Sometimes you need to send a follow-up to find out more or to clarify something that you didn’t ask. You’ll need to provide context so that you can ask for the information you want.
Last but not least, you might be trying to set up a meeting or call. You should have the dates and times you want to suggest in those messages. It is important to clearly state the reason for the meeting in your message. Each sort of message has its own shade, so planning is a compulsory first step.
2. Make a connection
Ever received an email from someone that you didn’t know who they were or why they were sending it? You may feel guilty, but it could also be a sign that they sent the email to the wrong person. In this case, you can delete the message and move forward.
You can avoid this by making sure you give context to your message. Be sure to mention any previous meetings. Make sure you include specific details. Mention the event you attended or the conference where you met.
It is possible to add a few sentences about the topic you were discussing. This will help refresh their memory and show they were listening during your last interaction. Mention any common interests you shared. Psychological research shows that people prefer those with common interests.
It should be the starting point of your message. It is possible for the recipient to become confused and stop reading if you don’t get started early. The first half of the battle is to get your message across.
3. Be direct
Nobody wants to appear like a salesperson for cars. Putting it another way, no one wants the stereotypical image of a car salesperson. Fake smiles, pushy nature, and all that stuff are a big turnoff for many. However, it is important to not overcorrect your message to the point where it becomes unclear or ambiguous.
Once you have introduced yourself, get to the point about why you are sending your message. It’s an opportunity to show respect for their time and be busy. The average office worker receives 121 emails per day. You need to ensure that you get to the point, as yours is one such email.
It isn’t enough to just exclaim that you would like to arrange a meeting. You must also explain why. Give specific dates and times for meetings. Although they may not be able to make your suggestions work for them, it will help them think concretely about the matter instead of abstractly. Research shows that people are more likely than others to choose the less option choice. So, don’t bombard too many options in your email…
Directness can be uncomfortable and pushy at first but it becomes more natural as you practice it. It is common to overestimate how assertive we are. Relax, get straight to the point and let your intentions be known by the follow-up email.
4. Strengthen your Subject Line
The subject line is what your recipient first sees. Your subject line is your first impression. It should be strong.
There are endless articles that are dedicated to writing a strong subject line. With this in mind, we offer these tips.
- Personalize – There are many ways to personalize your subject line. For a follow-up email, it is best to include the recipient’s name in the subject. This lets recipients know that it isn’t a mass email, and increases their chances of opening it.
- Be direct – Yes, I’m a broken record but I keep repeating it. Everybody gets a lot of emails. It is better to be concise and clear. Specific information helps the respondent make it easier to sort through messages.
- Keep it Short – A research says that, the most optimal subject lines are just around 38 characters. Now, that translates roughly to seven words. However it doesn’t need to be 100% exact, the majority of email clients stop showing text at around 110 characters. It should feel more like an introduction than a plot summary.
- Take into account your audience – How you write to your parents will likely be very different from how you write to your friends. Each situation will require a different tone and word choice. You should not do this differently. While a funny subject line or emojis might be appropriate in certain cases, it is not worth the risk of causing alienation. Keep it professional and simple. You can always change a relationship once you have established one.
5. Consider the timing
Do you recall the Dire Straits song “Romeo and Juliet”? The last line of the chorus, the most powerful one, though, says “When are you gonna realize that it was just that time was wrong, Juliet?” Your follow-up email may not contain all the drama of young star-crossed lovers and the stakes may be lower, but timing matters.
After sending your first message or introducing yourself at an event you want to find out how long it takes to follow up. Hard and fast rules don’t exist for the best. Each situation is unique and requires different considerations. You might want to communicate sooner if there is a deadline or promotion that ends.
These guidelines can be followed.
- Day of the week – High-level researchers explain Tuesday to be the best day to send an email in the whole week. Similarly, Thursday is ranked second and Wednesday third.
- Time of day – Now that you know what a day looks like, there are some times to think about. The best time is generally 10 am. The best time for action is at 10am. These are just guidelines. You should also adjust your time zone if you are not near someone.
- What time should you wait? Most people recommend waiting for three days to follow up on the initial follow-up. This isn’t an exact rule. However, it is a good guideline. The recipient shouldn’t feel overwhelmed and they should not be too distracted by your initial interactions.
- Frequency – You may need to send additional emails after the initial follow-up email. It may seem strange to continue following up, but persistence could pay off.
We recommend a nicely narrated follow-up email instead of a phone call
See, calling the leads has worked out for many because it’s much more personal than an email. However, the downside is very steep. When you directly call your leads, the person may not be in the proper concentration of asking you questions. Also, they can’t ask them all. However, an email gives them time to think, and they can clear their doubts more comfortably.
Besides that, very few people feel ok with phone calls from salespeople, while most feel annoyed or consider them spam. If you frequently call your prospect and hope to get them on the phone and dream of generating sales, this way is actually an over-aggressive way, which may backfire. It may even shorten your email list due to unsubscriptions.
Yes, your number may get blocked, and then dreaming about consolidating relations after that point of time will be just a “daytime dream.”
It is not easy to build a strong relationship. It doesn’t usually happen in one meeting. You have to put in the effort. Communication is an important part of building relationships. No matter your profession, it’s a common occurrence to need to send a second message.
Planning is the best place to begin. Plan what you want to communicate and why. If you feel overwhelmed, this can give you direction. Next, provide context and establish a connection. Remind your recipient of how you know them and they will be more responsive.
Once you have established some background, it’s time to get to the point. There are many emails we receive, so it is important to get to the point quickly. Next, your subject line is what you need to be focusing on. This is the first impression of your message. It should be positive. Be aware of the time you are sending your message. Take into account the time of the week, the date of the week, and the time since your first meeting.
Although there are guidelines to follow, there’s no exact formula for creating the perfect follow-up message. You’ll get better at it with practice. It’s a great time to get started (except on Tuesdays at 10 am). You can find out more interesting and helpful guides at MyEmailVerifier Blogs.