Author
Vladislav Podolyako
Published
Jul 11, 2022
Reading duration
17m

When it comes to generating new sales, many sales teams focus on connecting with new clients and tend to give up on those prospects that got stuck somewhere at the beginning or middle of the sales process. ❗️ But, here is a thing to remember - prospects that you’ve already contacted before still have a chance to convert, even if they were not responding or showing more interest. All you need to do is to send them the right follow-up emails.

Often, the fact that you don’t receive a response is a problem with email deliverability. Therefore, focusing your effort on following up with such prospects can give you a chance to finally get noticed and convert them.

Another common problem is that you might’ve failed the initial expectations or needs of a particular lead. In any case, their silence or even a direct “no” don’t necessarily mean that you lost them forever. Often, all you need is to go the extra mile and give them more attention. And that’s where it is crucial to follow up.

But, how do you do this right?

Many problems with such emails can hold you back from converting more leads. This can include the wrong time 🕰, poor email content, and other mistakes. But, we have you covered!

In this article, we will give you a complete guide for writing a killer follow-up email that converts. After reading it, you will learn:

Interested in learning more? Let’s dive in!

What Is a Follow-Up Email?

Follow-ups play a huge role in email marketing. But, what exactly are those?

In a nutshell, a follow-up is an email meant for someone you’ve already contacted before. As a rule, it is sent after any significant point of the customer’s journey with one of the following intents:

  • To remind a recipient about the previous email that they didn’t read;
  • To collect the needed information or ask for a reply;
  • To remind a recipient about something important, for example, a scheduled meeting, call, event, etc.

All in all, the primary purpose of such an email is to make a reminder about something and initiate a conversation. Typically, such emails are sent with the help of autoresponders to streamline the process.

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Read on to learn more about the importance of such reminders and learn how to write a follow-up email yourself! 📖

The Role of Sales Follow-Up Emails in Your Pipeline

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📊 According to industry stats, only 2% of leads convert straight after the first interaction with a brand. Typically, it takes time and effort to close them. And that’s where sales follow-up emails step in.

The initial pitch is used to lay the foundation for building relationships and inviting leads into the buying process. And, even if they respond with a flat-out “no,” this doesn’t mean that the game is over. That’s when you send a follow-up email to keep them.

The kind of follow-up that you send will depend on the specific stage of the sales pipeline where a particular lead is currently at. Typically, it can be any of the following stages:

  • Lead Acquisition - When potential customers fill out a contact form or take another action to start a relationship with you, they hop on the lead acquisition stage. At this stage, they need to receive a quick response from you while their interest and motivation are at their peak. Also, you need to send a follow-up when new leads make contact with you but don’t confirm an appointment or another next step.
  • Lead Prioritization - When prospects visit your website’s feature or pricing page multiple times, that’s another clear sign that you must follow up with them. This is a stage where you want to do lead prioritization and the message you send will depend on what you know about a particular lead, as well as on the actions they take. Most often, you will want to focus your message on a strong call to action 💪.
  • Discussion - When the discussion stage begins, you want to focus your follow-up on who you are talking to. For example, senior decision-makers will likely expect you to give them more strategic insights, whereas other roles might want you to focus on technical aspects.
  • Opportunity Progression - When the initial conversation is up and running, your next goal is to make it progress. For example, you might want to schedule a pitch or presentation. Then you might want to book a meeting or call to discuss further details. Opportunity Progression is a final stage before closing when you want to take your prospect from one stage to another, which will often mean focusing more on following up with them.

As you can see, a solid follow-up strategy fits perfectly into every stage of the sales funnel. At every stage, such messages will help you attain a range of important goals, from getting your leads active to move them further through your pipeline and, eventually, making them want to close a deal.

When and How to Send Follow-Up Email

Before we will move on and share handy follow-up tips with you, you must know what types of such emails are there in the first place.

✉️ We’ve already mentioned that there might be multiple purposes for following up with your leads. Here are some of the most commonly-used follow-up types that you must be aware of:

  • Welcome email - First and foremost, businesses must follow up with leads that have just joined their marketing lists. Typically, such leads will either hit the subscribe button or even fill out a subscriber form. In both cases, by joining your mailing list, they indicate their interest in your brand and you must follow up to greet them and keep their interest.
  • “Thank you” email - Another reason to get back to a lead is to thank them for interacting with you. For example, they might’ve taken part in your event or bought your product. In such cases, you want to follow up and thank them. Such thank you emails will help you improve the customer experience and get valuable feedback.
  • Outreach follow-up - When you connect with a prospect and don’t receive any feedback, that’s one more reason to follow up with them. However, it is crucial to do this right. Many people make a huge mistake by following up too soon. Ideally, you should wait at least several hours (if you need an answer ASAP) or, even better, several days after the last message. And it is also crucial to refer to the previous message in your follow-up so that the recipient knows what you are talking about.
  • Free-trial/demo email - If your company provides a free trial or a product demo for potential customers, this is also a great opportunity to follow up with your leads. Feel free to get back to customers who have tried your product to receive their feedback, answer their questions, and encourage them to purchase a product/service.
  • Product campaign follow-up - Typically, when you launch a promo campaign to introduce a new service or product, you will track metrics to assess its success. And that’s one more case when you can send follow-ups. Check which of your leads have clicked on the link and visited your landing page after seeing your campaign and connect with them to encourage them to close a deal.
  • Satisfaction survey - If you feel like you should only follow up with new clients or leads that haven’t converted yet, you are wrong. It can be very beneficial to follow up with your existing clients, for example, to ask if they are satisfied with your product and ask if they are having any questions or challenges ⚡️. Such an approach will help you improve customer experience and, thus, boost retention and loyalty.
  • Event follow-up - The next type of follow-up is especially helpful in the B2B customer journey. It is sent after interacting with a prospect during an event. The main purposes of such an email are to remind a new contact about you, ask if they have any additional questions, and initiate further dialog.
  • Customer feedback - One more way to use follow-ups to your benefit is to connect with clients who have recently purchased your product and ask for their feedback. First of all, this tactic will provide you with valuable insights. And, secondly, it is a great way to show your customers that you care about their experience and, thus, make them trust you more.

These were the main types of follow-up messages that you might need to deal with. Now, let’s move on and discover what common mistakes are there.

How to Write Follow-Up Email: Mistakes to Avoid

Creating a well-defined follow-up email sequence will take you ahead of the game. But, some issues can keep you back from success.

Here are the top-five common follow-up mistakes that can make your leads slip through:

  • Not Keeping a Focus on the Company - Often, when following up, sales reps put all their energy and effort to focus on the prospect. But here is a thing - if you are dealing with large companies, you will likely have to engage with a large number of people. Therefore, instead of focusing on each particular person, you should focus on the prospect’s company.
  • Not Keeping an Eye on Your Metrics - Measuring your metrics is the key to understanding if your follow-up sequence works. To measure your sales team's productivity and the performance of every follow-up email, use different customer relationship management and email tracking software.
  • Now Following Up Promptly - One of the most important things about follow-up emails is that they need to be sent out quickly. When prospects show interest, you have to connect with them quickly, otherwise, they will become cold leads ❄️. The longer you make them wait, the more likely they will be to slip through.
  • Not Following Up Often - According to studies, over 90% of leads that eventually convert do this after the sixth attempt. Therefore, your reps must follow up often enough to convert those leads into actual customers.
  • Not Using the Right Channels - Finally, the success of the follow-up process depends a lot on the channels you use. Ideally, reps should focus on utilizing the channels preferred by their prospective clients. According to stats, 90% of leads will prefer to hear back from you via email. However, some of them may also prefer a phone call. To make things right, feel free to ask your prospects what is the best time and channel to reach them.

5 Tips for Writing a Perfect Sales Follow-Up Email

So, you already know about some of the most common mistakes to avoid. What’s next?

If you want to create sales emails for a follow-up that will have the desired result, here are a few simple tips that reps have to keep in mind:

1. Know Your Goal

First of all, every good follow-up email example should have a well-defined purpose. So, before writing every email, you need to identify your goals first.

What kind of information do you need to get? What do you want your prospects to do?

Answering these questions will determine your CTA. And a CTA will determine the rest of the content in your email that will lead the prospect up to it. So, before writing every sales follow-up email, be sure to have a clearly stated goal first and keep it in mind when writing your message.

2. Focus on the Subject Line

Sales professionals should know that subject lines play a crucial role in marketing through email. First of all, lines are an important element of email marketing personalization. Inserting the recipient’s name into it is a good way to indicate your professionalism and show that you know who you are trying to reach.

Secondly, subject lines are used to ignite interest 🔥. They should be very specific and hint at the topic of your email. But, at the same time, they should stand out so that prospects notice your emails and don’t leave them hanging in the inbox unread.

How long should it be? Often, marketers and sales representatives overlook the length of lines. However, this is a big mistake.

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According to experts, the ideal length is 60 characters or 9 words. Such length is rather short. However, its biggest perk is that it will be displayed correctly on all types of devices, including mobile. Thus, by keeping your lines within that limit, you will ensure that all recipients will see it fully, even if they are reading emails from their mobile phones.

What other tricks will help you make your subject lines flawless? It is always a good idea to test your lines. With the help of A/B testing, you will be able to test the effectiveness of your lines and see which options work best for your audience. So, don’t neglect to test your lines.

3. Be Personal

These days, there is a huge trend toward natural language. Even when interacting with brands, prospects want to feel like every email they receive was sent from a real human. And the same applies to sales follow-up emails.

We know that the majority of you will put the follow-up process on autopilot, using various auto senders. 🤖 However, just that you automate the process doesn’t mean that your emails should sound robotic. Trust us, this won’t get your recipients engaged.

So, if you want to get a response and, hopefully, close more deals, you want to stay personal in your emails. Write them in natural language and a conversation-like manner. This will show your recipients that there is a real person behind your email. Also, feel free to attach a real person’s name under every email. And, consider sending plain-text emails.

If you follow all these tips, your emails will never read like they were sent by a robot. As a result, you will get more attention and interest from your prospects.

4. Find the Perfect Length

Some reps believe that follow-up emails always have to be short and straight to the point. This might be true in some cases. But, not always. In fact, some situations will require you to write longer emails.

Ideally, you should define the right length based on the following factors:

  • The type of email you are writing;
  • The audience you are appealing to;
  • The specific stage of awareness that your recipients are currently at.

Depending on these factors, you might want to tweak the length of your emails. But, there are a few other important things to always keep in mind. First of all, it is your goal - regardless of the length of your email, you have to ensure that the goal is very clear.

Secondly, you have to keep in mind the formatting. Even if your email is long, you want to keep it easy to read. Don’t write long paragraphs or too tricky sentences.

🔮 Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment. In the follow-up process, there is no one-size-fits-all strategy that will work for everyone. Therefore, you should not be afraid to try different approaches to see what works best for your audience.

5. Make It Interesting

Regardless of the purpose, length, and other features of your email, don’t forget the most important thing - your message should engage the customer. Find an effective way to ignite the recipient’s interest and keep them engaged all the way to a CTA. This is the main rule for reaching your goals.

5 Follow-Up Email Templates to Try

Now that you know everything about writing and sending effective follow-ups, you are probably looking for a good follow-up email sample to see what such messages should look like.

💌 In this part of our guide, we are going to share with you five follow-up email templates that you can use in your sales process:

1. No Response Template

If you’ve already sent an email to a particular client and didn’t hear back from them, you can try the following template.

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2. Demo Template

If a particular customer has tried a demo of your product but never got back to you, sending the right follow-up can help move them further in the sales process. Below is a simple template that you can use for this purpose.

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3. Missed Call Template

Did you try to call the prospect and didn’t reach them? That might be another reason to follow up with them. Here is a good template to use in this case.

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4. Sales Inquiry Template

When prospects send you a sales inquiry through your website, this basically turns them into hot leads and you want to reach them ASAP to move them further down the sales cycle. This template is meant just for that.

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5. Quote Template

Typically, when prospects demonstrate a genuine interest in the services or products you offer, they will request a quote from you. As a rule, quotes are also being sent via email. And, if you don’t receive any answer after sending one, it is crucial to follow up to move the sales process further. Below is a sample template that you could use for this.

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The Bottom Line

Creating the perfect sales follow-up email that can get the sales process off the ground is a real art. It requires a well-defined goal, a clear CTA, perfect timing, and a whole bunch of other moves on your side. But, if you can get it right, it can make a real difference for your business.

Luckily, after reading this article, your sales team should be well equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to make the follow-up process work. Now you know what types of follow-ups are there, what most common mistakes should be avoided, and have handy tips for setting yourself up for success. Also, you have a list of great templates 📝 that you can tailor to your needs and use to achieve set goals.

Use the tips and templates from this guide to master the art of following up effectively. And don’t forget to keep an eye on your key metrics to ensure that your strategy works as you want it to. Good luck!

Vladislav Podolyako
Author:
Vladislav Podolyako
Founder & CEO
Vlad’s decades of entrepreneurial wisdom and business building experience have allowed him to successfully mentor a diverse group of business owners, entrepreneurs in growing their companies. A recognized expert in the areas of transforming organizational culture and leadership development, B2B Sales, Marketing, spent more than 10 years building technology products, with a background in communication networks and electronic device engineering.

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