Outreaching is the ultimate weapon for marketers. If done correctly, it can be just like waving a magic wand and seeing great results.
Despite starting a potentially successful email outreach program, many people make the mistake of failing to send a follow up email.
Follow-up emails are mostly used in sales and in outreaching an influencer or brand.
However, crafting a good sales followup email is somewhat complicated. Here I've outlined 13 tips to make writing follow-ups easier.
1. Determine your objective – What do you plan to achieve out of this follow-up email? Perhaps you need to clarify some information.
Maybe you’re writing to schedule a meeting. Or, maybe you’re just catching up. To write a good follow-up email, you must first determine your objective of the email.
Then, you'll be able to write an effective call-to-action.
2. Pick the right subject line – According to Convince and Convert, the subject line alone is enough to convince 33% of email recipients to open an email.
Whether it’s your customers or influencers, everyone is busy. Most people don't have the time to open every single email filling their packed inbox.
Your subject line is the first thing that people will see. Therefore, you need to make it as interesting as possible.
Write something that’s short and direct, yet piques their interest and makes them want to open your sales followup email.
3. Write for mobile – Informz has reported that 38.07% of emails are read on mobile devices first.
This means that you need to write your subject line with mobile users in mind. On an average smartphone, only four to seven words can fit across the screen.
So, you’ll need to keep your subject lines shorter than three words to get a better open rate.
The study showed that subject lines with fewer than nine characters had the highest open rate at 53.95%.
At the same time, Retention Science found that subject lines with six to 10 words had the best open rate at 21%.
Subject lines with five or fewer words also performed well with an average of 16% open rate.
4. Create concrete urgency in your follow up email – A study conducted by Hubspot discovered that emails with “quick” in the subject line had a 17% lower open rate than those without.
On the other hand, emails with “tomorrow” in the subject line had a 10% higher open rate than those without.
This shows that when you're creating urgency, you need to be more specific.
Use concrete numbers and times to express importance.
5. Personalize follow up email's subject lines –The same Hubspot study showed that emails with “you” in the subject line had a 5% lower open rate than those without.
Rather than use the ambiguous “you," it's a better idea to use the recipient's name and truly personalize the subject line of the follow-up email.
The Retention Science study mentioned earlier also found that subject lines containing the recipient’s first name had an open rate of 18.3%.
Emails where the subject line does not contain the recipient’s first name had an open rate of 15.7%.
6. Give offers – Sometime users don't respond to your follow-up email because they might be confused by your price or quotation.
It's possible they're looking to your competitors to get the same service or product at a lower price. It's smart to give a unique offer with scarcity of time.
A follow-up email like this can expect a high response rate.
7. Always open with context – It's common for marketers to get too carried away with the act of following up that they completely forget to remind recipients about their connection.
It’s especially important to re-emphasize your initial interaction, especially if you don’t already have a close relationship with them.
Open your follow-up email body with a line about how the two of you are connected.
For instance, writing “I’m an avid reader of your blog” or “We met at [event]” could work wonders in jogging their memory.
8. State your purpose clearly in your follow up email – Avoid beating around the bush. A good follow-up email should get straight to the point and clearly talk about the purpose of the correspondence.
For example, if you want to schedule a meeting with the recipient, let them know about the purpose of the meeting.
Instead of saying “I’d like to chat with you about what you do," try something along the lines of “I’d like to chat with you about how you’ve been consistently reaching your sales quota."
9. Keep your follow up email short – A long-winded email can result in information overload, thus making your email easily forgettable.
Whether you’re reaching out to an influencer or a customer, keep your email brief. Review your draft to eliminate all unnecessary sentences and details.
Make certain the email's body contains only the most important information you want your contact to remember.
10. Get the timing right – The time of day or week when you send out your follow-up email plays a huge role in its effectiveness.
The Hubspot study also revealed that emails sent over the weekend are 10% more likely to be opened than those sent during the week.
This is likely due to the fact that 80% fewer mails are sent over the weekend.
The Informz study showed that messages sent at night were more likely to be read with a 38.06% open rate. While this is the case, messages sent midday had the highest click rates at 16.44%.
No matter what the studies say, it's wise to test different timings with your contacts. See which works best for you before altering your strategy.
11. Highlight the benefits – What’s in it for your recipients? If you’re expecting an influencer to set aside their time and work with you, what are you offering in return?
Or, what will the customer get out of this particular follow-up email?
Even if you’ve already talked to them about what you can offer, make sure your follow-up reminds them of these benefits in concrete terms.
12. Use the right tone – While being blunt and concise may benefit you in your follow-up emails, you also need to select the right tone to write in.
It’s important to avoid sounding too blunt as this can affect how the contact receives the message.
The key is to be friendly without being too casual. Look at the two sentences below:
- “Hi, I want to set up a meeting with you so we can talk about your upcoming project.”
- “Hey, I’d love to do a quick interview with you regarding your new project.”
You can see how there are subtle changes in the tone of the sentence.
The first one seems a bit more formal while the second one shows enthusiasm about the interview. Your tone should be inviting without rushing the recipient.
13. Be consistent with following up – Consistency is crucial for every successful marketing strategy. When it comes to writing follow-up emails, it’s important that you reach out to your existing contacts every once in a while to catch up. Check out the following chart for Hubspot’s guidelines on when to follow up.
So, now you've learned some important lessons on how to craft a follow-up email for influencers, customers, and anyone else.
Below are a few follow-up email templates that you could personalize for successful results.
Follow Up Email Template #1: Schedule a meeting
This template could be used to set up a meeting.
I’m […] from [company]. I’d mailed you last week regarding [topic], which I think would be great for the both of us to partner up on. I’ve been acquainted with your work through [connection/friend] and I really admire what you’ve done with [project].
I thought you might be interested in working on this project because [benefits]. I’d love to discuss the details over coffee. Let me know if you’re interested so we can arrange a meeting.
Follow Up Email Template #2: After a meeting
This template would be for following up after a meeting with the influencer.
I really enjoyed meeting you earlier today and learning more about your work. I appreciate you taking the time to chat with me.
As discussed earlier, I’ve attached some useful resources and information about our project. I hope these can demonstrate how you can help our brand and what we expect out of the project.
Feel free to call or email me if you have any questions. I look forward to talking again.
Follow Up Email Template #3: Reminder email
This template can be used in a follow-up email when you haven’t received a reply.
My name is [name] from [brand]. I’m an avid reader of your blog and especially love your post on [topic]. I sent you an email last week regarding [topic] and I thought it would be great to work with you on this.
I haven’t heard back from you and would like to know if you’re interested. Just a reminder that I think you’ll be interested in the project because [benefits].
Let me know if and when we can schedule a meeting to discuss this further.
Shane Barker is an established name in the social media biz. He has worked with celebrities including Angela Bassett and Stan Shaw to build their media profile, establish their brand and improve their careers. As a start-up consultant, Shane will take your idea and help you run with it. He can source fund, consult with the government agencies and create partnerships designed to improve the long term prospects of your business.