7 Powerful Email Follow-Up Tips That Demand A Positive Reply

By February 10, 2015Online Marketing
When was the last time you sent a follow-up email to a potential customer?

As marketers and small business owners, we share an ultimate goal when it comes to email marketing: to create a smashing blog and email copy that will get us leads and help our potential customers convert.

We usually put a lot of effort to our sales pitches, especially when we want our new products to do well. We study different email marketing strategies, we write an intriguing copy, we create stunning imagery, we include creative calls to action, we change the colors of our buttons, and a lot more.

But here’s a thought… when you don’t get replies, what do you do? Do you exert as much effort in following them up?

If you do, great! Keep it up. But if not, then you’re missing out on something big.

As someone who has been in this industry for quite a while now, I know how hard it is to get prospects. I also know that closing a deal does not happen overnight. In fact, it almost always starts with “this is impossible”.

Friends from Referral Squirrel echoes this concern. In the recent stats they release, it shows that:

  • 2% of sales are made on the first contact
  • 3% of sales are made on the second contact
  • 5% of sales are made on the third contact
  • 10% of sales are made on the fourth contact
  • 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact

Bottom line is, you HAVE to follow up or you could lose the lead. However, the challenge is… to do it without sounding too pushy.

So how do you follow up via email the right way?!

Let me share to you the tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years. I’ll be including tools as well, so make sure that you bookmark this page for easy reference. 🙂

Respect the Inbox.

First things first, it is very important for small business owners and marketers to acknowledge the inbox as the owner’s personal space. Although your product is great and what you’re offering to them is of great value, you just can’t push your emails right to their face. Never send one follow-up email after another.

Give them the benefit of the doubt.

Whenever I receive emails from marketers asking me why I have not replied to their email, I click on the spam button right away. As the one who is contacting, we have to give our contacts the benefit of the doubt. Never take it personally when you don’t receive a reply. Instead of asking them why they are ignoring you, start by saying that you know that they are busy and that you value their precious time, keep it light.

Write a specific subject line.

Don’t beat around the bush. Never just write “just following up” too. You have to make sure that you show how much the partnership means to you, by getting to the point right away. So, write what you want to say and start it with a specific subject line.

Address them respectfully.

Never send one follow-up email to all your contacts. Although they you have the same concern for all of them, it looks lazy when you don’t address them personally. And who wants to work with someone who is too lazy to add their name?

Reiterate your concern / Attach your previous email.

Most people get a swag of emails everyday, so never assume that your contact will always remember your concern. When following up, reiterate your concern or better yet, attach a copy of your previous email. This way, your contact will no longer need to search through hundreds of emails to find yours.

Be helpful.

Especially when sending sales pitches, it’s hard to get a reply from everybody. But a genuine offer to help always get results! So never only focus on your product. Ask your contact if they have any concerns or questions that you could help with to start a conversation — then move into the close and do the deal.

Ask whether you should stop.

If you have a feeling that you’re not getting any replies because the other party is not interested at all, politely ask whether you should stop sending them follow-up emails or not. Remember, you have to respect the fact that not everyone will find whatever you’re offering helpful.

How do you REMEMBER to follow-up?

I know what you’re thinking… following-up is HARD especially for busy small business owners wearing 17 different hats and wading through hundreds of emails yourself each day. There are a lot of tasks to do yet very little time. So how do you remember to follow-up without the need to hire one more employee to do this task?

  1. Create a Google Sheet / Excel File so you won’t be confused who and when to follow-up. You can easily create a Google Spreadsheet and label your emails accordingly. You can add this task to your schedule once a week. With the spreadsheet as your guide, you can easily send follow-up emails without spending too much time finding which email needs a follow-up.
  2. Download tools like Boomerang and FollowUp.cc. Both these tools are free and available to Chrome users. What these tools do is when you send your primary email, you can add a setting that allows them to send you a reminder whenever you need to follow it up. Other settings include only getting the notification when you don’t receive replies, setting the time and date, among others. (My personal favourite is Boomerang!)

Never be afraid to follow-up. Remember, something worth having is worth working hard for.

Also, I was wondering if you’d enjoy some follow-up email templates and examples on our next post? If you would, just leave a comment below or send us a message through the contact page.

What do you think? Share your comments below.

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