It is not always the situation where recipients revert to cold emails. This is when sending the follow-up email gets important. But writing these emails get awkward because professionals do not always know what must be included in these messages. Moreover, when the recipients do not reply to the emails, businesses need to second-guess their buying intent. Hence the engagement gets next to impossible.
But teams must not stop themselves from pursuing the follow up email strategies. According to various researches, 50% of the maximum conversions take place only after the fifth touches. Some studies have also revealed that it needs 6 follow ups to convert a closed lead.
So if you want to compose polite follow up emails to get good responses, follow our blog to know the best steps and strategies.
How Long Should You Wait Before Following Up?
Putting it simply, follow up emails should not be waited on for long. Most emails are seen to get opened on the very same day, and the chances are high that they might also reply the same day. So, if the emails do not receive any reply even after a day, it is good to assume that the replies will not come. So how should the teams know when to send a follow up email?
The general rules state that the best waiting period must be extending for two to three days before you opt to send the first follow up email. The subsequent mail must be sent after waiting for few more days. However, businesses should try and experiment with the waiting period to understand the best results. Sending six emails over a waiting period of 30 days each is a good suggested schedule that works the best without annoying the recipients.
Automate Your Follow-Up Sequence
If the business has targets to reach over a thousand prospects a week, it is nearly impossible to keep a manual track of sending follow up emails. So instead, businesses are now focusing on automating follow up email schedules. The automation helps to create very effective and scalable follow up email sequences.
Follow up email strategies get much simpler by using various paid tools that come with free trial offers and free tools with unlimited usage. These tools allow the businesses to merge the mail features, schedule the emails, and let the agency know when the emails are paused, triggered, get opened, clicked on a link, or replied to. Every data is recorded and shown analytically on the tool dashboards. Details like the time of the follow-up between two emails are also displayed, which can be changed and adjusted as per the business needs. The automation process also involves AB testing of the emails, testing different subject lines, body messages, and the campaign sequence.
The integration through CRMs can help automate the outreach process. In addition, the outreach further gets streamlined by syncing the social media into the campaign.
Diversify Your Channels
If the following up strategy of your business is failing time and again, try exploring and implementing the Omni-channel approach. This approach involves exploring channels like social media, phone calls, text messages, or video if the emails are not drawing any response. By incorporating the Omni-channel approach, businesses have witnessed a 9.5% year-over-year revenue growth. With this approach, the targets also receive a wholesome prospecting, nurturing, and retention experience. A bit of in-depth research would reveal the channel in which the prospects are most active. Then, you can utilize just that for sending a follow up text.
Decide What You Want to Achieve
Before applying and implementing the follow up strategy, you need to understand your goals and what you want to achieve as a business. You might:
- Want to acquire more information or certain information about something very specifically
- Want to arrange a meeting with the clients
- Want to close the sales ultimately
All of the above situations are unique and demand a specific approach for each of them. This is what is most important in the strategy. The process must be changed according to the need of the goals and potentially design the campaign. It is highly not recommended to send follow up emails unless the goal is very clear.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Designing and implementing the campaigns is easier when you understand your goals. But what businesses must also keep in mind is how their prospects would react to this implementation. The user experience forms a pivotal role in businesses achieving success. The user experience can be modified by understanding the ideal frequency of the follow up emails. The campaign must not be too much invasive and annoying. The following situations can determine the email frequency:
- A higher number of emails when the prospect has replied and requested a demo.
- A moderate number of emails when the prospect has just downloaded some of your attachments and shown a little interest.
- The lowest number of emails when the prospect has just sent a cold email.
How to Write a Follow Up Email?
With the purpose of the email getting understood, it is the time when the business and the professionals proceed towards writing the actual email. Here are the details that your email must accomplish to make the campaign a success.
Communicate Your Goal and Be Concise
You can achieve your business goals by writing a follow up email in the best possible way. Also, you must understand that the particular email might or might not convert your sales. But the business must be ready to nurture the lead further if a sale is not landed yet. So whatever the business goal is, make sure to communicate that clearly in the mail. For example, the message might hold a product demo, concept proof, feedback, or simultaneous steps. If the communication is clear with a powerful subject line and compelling call to action, the follow up email might receive a reply at the earliest. Above all, the language must be simple, and the message must be short and focused.
Provide Context and Clear Obstacles
The follow up emails are sent just because the last email did not receive any reply. So it becomes more important to clear the communication obstacles and help the prospect catch up on what you wanted to communicate. This can be done by starting the email with the point where you ended the last email. For example, the email might end with offering a solution to any obstacle the prospect is facing or creating responses through a custom subject line for better clarity. To help get better responses, try replying to the emails as and when you receive them.
Create More Value
There must be a lack of value that the prospect failed to perceive, and hence there has been no reply to the emails. If this has been the reason, simultaneous emails must be created to deliver values. This is how you can spark a conversation. You can ask prospects about their opinions on the pricing, features, and positioning. But this is a brownie point that you can utilize only when the prospects indicate giving their opinion. The next emails can be arranged in an order that would ask for a meeting, demo, or conference with them. They can also be asked for feedback in the next steps.
Use an Appropriate Subject Line
The follow up email strategy is not powerful enough without an impactful subject line. This is the factor that decides if your email is going to get opened. Catchy subject lines ensure that your email does get noticed in the sea of other emails. The subject lines that are crisp and short and which are between 3 to 6 words are the best effective ones. So never ignore a subject line.
How to Send Follow-up Emails?
When the emails are smoothly written, the next step that needs attention is how to send a follow up email. If the business has been sending individual follow up emails, here is how you can automate the process and send emails in bulk. Then, it will be easier for the emails to get responses.
Introduction to Automated Follow-ups
Previously, a good amount of time was spent in organizing and sending the follow up emails. That consumed more time than was expected and lowered the efficiency of the team too. Besides these, several emails were missed out on getting followed up.
Hence today, the system is automated, and schedules are created that send the emails at their stipulated timeframes.
Steps to set up automated email follow-ups:
- Sign up on the automation platform- The automation platforms are free to sign up and are on a free trial period of 14 days. Businesses can sign up using their Gmail, G Suite, or Microsoft accounts. With having signed in, the user account will be redirected to the dashboard.
- Create a New Campaign- Once the dashboard is accessible, the user can head directly towards the “Email Campaign” option and start a new campaign. This is where the sequence drafting takes place. You can name the campaign here and a CSV file can be uploaded that contains the name of the email recipients, besides other details. Updated CSVs would prevent high email bounce rates and will help improve your email reputation.
- Drafting Stage 1 Email- This section allows the businesses to create the content of the email. It will be the very first email that would go out and needs careful drafting. This is where automation can be utilized to increase personalization. This also increases the email’s open rates.
- Draft Follow-Up Stages- Once the first stage has been drafted; it is time for the next stages to fall in line. After drafting, you can set it on a queue or a sequence with a schedule for the send-off. This might follow adding up more sequences until the number of emails you want to send off is reached.
- Test Each Stage Emails- Before sending the emails, make sure that it is a good follow up email and test its deliverability. Testing by sending the emails would help you understand their visual appearance and how they look in the recipient’s inboxes.
- Set Intervals & Schedule- Once all the tests have been conducted, it is necessary to check the trigger conditions for each follow-up email. The right schedules can then be set and follow up sequence can be added likewise. The sequence can have information like date and time, time zones, and the interval between the emails.
How to Optimize Your Follow-ups for Responses?
Knowing the best practices of writing and sending follow-up emails lets us now understand how best to optimize your emails to increase their response rates.
Scheduling the follow ups
Knowing the best time to send the emails is crucial because this is a factor that too decides the success of your cold email outreach campaign. If the recipient resides in a different time zone, the emails must be scheduled according to that zone specifically. This will ensure both the deliverability and the open rate of the email. The chances are high that they would too draw responses out of the emails.
Sending the emails too early or too late in a day would also bury them in the pile of other emails. If the recipients tend to open the emails at a particular time, the schedules must be planned to send emails just then. All of the above factors cannot be handled manually, and hence the right automation for the business follow up emails is very important.
Follow up persistently
As was discussed above, responses are only drawn in after following up quite a good number of times. Research reveals that 9 follow ups have observed an aggregated rise of 54% open rates and 43% response rates. Therefore, businesses must understand that more closures only come after more methodical follow ups. This always means not to overdo the emails.
No added time should be wasted with unresponsive leads, and instead, utilize that time in nurturing the moderate or highly responsive leads. Sending meaningful follow ups would help you resolve their issues and increase their engagement with the brand. Here, the content of the email plays a very pivotal role.
Optimizing follow up intervals
When the business is involved in sending a lot of emails, they must ensure that they are sending it right. Regular emails annoy the recipients and might also invade their personal space. Hence, sending emails at shorter and perfect intervals would give them the privilege of replying and possibly converting as a customer.
Following up across channels
There is no success of the follow up email strategies if other simultaneous channels are not utilized.
You can use this platform for sending connection requests and direct messages to your prospects mentioning the email conversation. You can then ask them for their valuable feedback and inputs.
If your prospects are active on Twitter, do not hesitate to message them there. You can also like their tweets and retweets and start interesting conversations.
Personalize offers and discounts
You can update your prospect’s buying experience through better customized and personalized offers and discounts. If any specific objections might have prevented them from buying till now, these offers might clear the way. This will also prevent them from getting into further engagements and the deals will get closed sooner.
B2B Sales Follow-up Email Templates
These email templates not just saves time but also helps you with quick personalization.
- Following up after no response- When the prospect does not reply to the emails, it is better not to send them plain emails. Instead, the emails can contain some value in the form of case studies or resources. This will help them resolve the issues and pain points in their business. These emails must also specifically contain information on how you can help them and how your product is the best fit.
- Following up asking for a referral- The emails do not always reach the decision-makers. Hence, when sending the follow up emails, try recounting your previous emails and reiterate your product. Also, highlight how they would be benefitted from the same and end the email by requesting the recipient to connect you with the decision-maker.
- Following up after a trigger- These emails are sent to turn the prospect interest strongly into considering your product. When the previous email contains interest from your prospect, the follow up email should seize the opportunity to impress them to the maximum limit. This email can include requests for signing up for a demo.
- Following up after networking- These follow up email templates are mostly sent after a conference or an event, and these are sent based on the prospects' interest levels. These emails generally take their interest forward through arranging meetings, free trials, or demo. These emails foster more of an already existing relationship and add value to it.
The best practices for sending follow up emails are not only composed to get responses solely. They also ensure that the email gets delivered in the right inbox and does not land in the spam folders. Also, every good email following up practice help improve your email reputation scores that help the recipients trust you. So it’s time to write follow up emails that count and harness their true power to step up the success ladder.