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Follow-Up Emails - The Complete Guide

The follow-up email is a vital step in staying engaged with your leads. However, it’s not as simple as just writing a quick sentence or two to touch base.

There’s a strategy behind what you say, how you say it, and when you say it. A thoughtful follow-up email campaign is important in creating relationships with potential customers and growing your company. You don’t have to make it complicated, but you do need a plan.

Before you press send on your keyboard, read through our guide to make sure your follow-up emails make an impact on your audience and stand out from the rest. 

Writing Follow-Up Emails

Make your follow-up email original

A follow-up email needs to be more than just a repeat of the first email—and it definitely should not involve simply forwarding the original email. It’s important to show your lead that this follow-up email is important enough to be personalized from you. 

While you may be trying to relay the same information that you sent in your first email, you can always find a different way of wording it. And ALWAYS change up the subject line. No one is going to read the same email twice.

Be conversational

This actually applies to every email, not just the follow-up. Prospects are more likely to respond to an email that sounds like you are talking with them instead of at them. Avoid a lot of sales jargon. 

Instead, simply write what you would say in person if you ran into them on the street. A good exercise to do before you send out a follow-up email is to read it out loud. If anything sounds unnatural to you when you read it out loud, then rethink your wording and try to make it sound a little more natural.

Keep it concise

Think about the emails you actually take the time to read—they aren’t the long ones. No one has time for those. Instead of including a bunch of information in the email, direct the recipient to your website, blog, or some other link to learn more about your offerings. 

Avoid being too casual

There’s a difference in being conversational and casual. Don’t make the mistake of allowing assumed familiarity to distract you from the fact that you are writing an email to someone who has the power to change your business. 

No matter what your perception is of your relationship with your lead, never become so casual that your email recipient questions your commitment to his or her business, shared profits, future revenue, or the quality of your product or service. As you pursue leads and reach out to them, it’s best to present yourself as a colleague rather than a buddy. 

Read (and reread) your email before sending

Always read your email before you send it—and then read it again. Those few extra moments can give you time to reflect on your approach, rethink your word choices, and evaluate the email content. 

Make sure your sentences aren’t cut short and that you have caught any typos. 

  • Did you use punctuation properly? 
  • Did you restrain from using too many exclamation points? 

While you want to keep the email conversational, you also want to make sure it’s professional.

Include an easy “call to action”

While the call to action is vital in your follow-up email, the simplicity of that action is also just as important. 

Do you want the prospect to schedule a phone call with you? Invite them to click on your calendar link to schedule 15 minutes or less of their time. 

Would you prefer that the prospect respond to your email to show interest? Ask them to simply reply “yes” to show they would like additional information. 

Sending Follow-Up Emails

Be persistent

More than likely, you will not get a response from sending just one email to your leads. In fact, it usually takes a sequence of several emails in order to get that first response. But too often, companies assume that getting no response from the first email means a lead has no interest whatsoever in the product. 

That’s why many businesses don’t even bother with the follow-up—and that’s a big mistake. What those companies are actually doing—without even realizing it—is forcing that lead to take their business elsewhere. In short, persistence pays off.

Send sooner than later

In order to keep the momentum going with your email campaign, it’s best not to wait too long to send your follow-up emails. This is especially important for the first five or six emails in your campaign. 

If your lead didn’t open the first email, a follow-up two to three days later may catch their attention. Or maybe the lead did open the first email but didn’t have time to respond— or forgot to respond. A follow-up within a couple of days may jar their memory and cause them to reply.

Pay attention to your audience

Is your audience more likely to open new emails early in the week or later in the week? Or is it better to catch them on the weekend? If you have done your research and know your target audience, then you should have a feel for when they are most active with email. 

Take advantage of that information to make sure you are sending your emails at the right time. It may even take a little experimenting to see what timing seems to resonate most with your audience.

Don’t give up on your leads

People are busy, and while they may be interested in getting more information about your product, sometimes they just haven’t had time to respond to your email. Or maybe they don’t even know they are interested yet, and they need to hear from you a few more times before realizing it. 

Don’t give up on these leads. It’s that third, fourth, or fifth email that usually ends up being much more important than the initial email. Those are the ones that often open the door for creating relationships that result in conversions.

The Bottom Line

The follow-up doesn’t just happen—it takes time and thought to establish a plan. Funnelfly can simplify and streamline the process with our simple-to-use, conversational marketing and sales software built to help you convert leads to customers faster. Our email templates and suggested timetables take the guesswork out of following up. You even have the option to change up the format you use for your follow-up with SMS messaging in order to reach your leads a different way. With Funnelfly, you will consistently send the right message to the right person at the right time.

Try Funnelfly for free here. Need someone to write your email templates and be your coach? Check out Growth Coaching. Want someone to own your email communication and provide top of the funnel lead generation ideas? Check out Growth Genius

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