A salesman has to be aggressive. That is a fact.
If you ever tried to sell something, you know how hard it is to create a meaningful contact with a potential customer. It takes a lot of time and effort. This is why there are so many salesmen in the world and only a selected few make real money out of this profession.
One of your major tasks is being proactive and constantly probing. Oftentimes salesmen don’t close a deal because they don’t have an open line of communication. Even worse, they don’t know what their potential clients actually need.
Follow up emails are an important part of that communication.
“companies usually disregard these messages seeing them as redundant”
However, we can assure you they are not!
Do you want to increase your sales? Do you need another method of attracting and closing more customers?
Read this guide.
Types of follow-ups
When we mention follow-ups, most people think we’re referring to the second message sent on the same topic. These messages are sent when you initially don’t get a response so you send another one just to check whether the person has received the first one.
But there is much more to follow-ups. They can practically be sent for many reasons and their main purpose is improving the relationship with a potential lead or a partner. Don’t forget they can also lead to direct or indirect sales.
Here are some of the main types of follow-ups:
If you are waiting for an information or feedback
These are the worst situations. You are waiting for a potential customer to respond to the initial positive talk but it never happens. Unless you’re used to rejections, you will probably be curious as to what is happening.
Keep in mind that these messages are not that important; if a company wants to call you and tell you that you got a job, they will call you sooner than later. This only helps your impatience.
However, there are situations where, even though you might receive a negative answer, by sending a follow up you might reverse the decision. People love persistence and they will appreciate how you took the time to send them another email.
If you didn’t receive an answer to a cold email
Oftentimes, cold emails are a shot in the dark. We usually don’t know what to expect from the other side but still, we try to sell our products and services nevertheless.
In most cases, these cold emails will remain unanswered – the success rate is usually rather low regardless of what you’re offering. Nevertheless, you should always send a follow-up.
How does this help? If you’re sending an email to a brand new contact, the message might end up in the spam folder. The person may not even notice it. By sending a follow-up, you can reduce the odds that this will happen.
If you have a new information
You might have had a brief conversation with a lead but without any further success. There are numerous ways to interpret this: perhaps the person didn’t like you, your company or your offer.
Luckily, there is always an option of creating a new offer or providing new information. If you have something better the second time around, it increases the odds of a person saying “yes”.
If you want to say “hi”
A lot of people have a bad business etiquette. After finishing a project, they will go their own way without ever thanking the team or outside members that participated. Make sure to always stay in touch and thank the people who are worth thanking to.
These short follow-ups are a great way of building long-lasting relationships. They show that you care. Ultimately, small gestures such as these may lead to future sales.
Keep in mind that follow-ups can refer to any type of messaging and communication. Due to their nature, we will stick to emails as one of the most popular ways of contacting businessmen and leads. Still, you can also perform follow-ups through social media, Skype or even by phone.
Benefits of follow-ups
Strangely enough, most sales don’t happen during the initial pitch. They also don’t occur during the second one.
In fact, you might have to contact person several times until they say yes. As previously mentioned, this is the main difference between good and bad salesmen:
“Good salesman always pushes forward”
People who don’t have experience with sales may feel that this is excessive. For them, it might even feel like harassment. But in reality, this shark-like attitude actually works.
Regardless of what type of follow up you’re sending, there are some clear benefits to them.
Let’s check them out!
The person sees a message twice
This is an obvious one. If you send the same email twice, there is a chance that a person will read it twice. Even if a lead misses something, they may notice it the second time around. The second message can also serve as a reminder if a person actually wanted to buy your products and services but previously didn’t have the time.
It builds relationships
Everyone likes compliments. Some people also love when they’re contacted from time to time. These small things can make a big difference and leave a nice impression on your leads and current customers.
It shows character
If you’re dealing with businessmen, you’re probably aware of the fact that most of them have strong character and ego. If you wish to do business with them, you need to put yourself on the same level. Follow-ups show your spirit; they show persistence and relentlessness which will sway some people to order from you.
It gives you a chance for a redo
Everyone is different. Something that will work for one person may not work for another. Although you might think that you have a winning template on your hands, there is a chance people will not respond well to it. When you send the second message, it gives you an opportunity to redo things; to try a new approach. Perhaps the second time around you strike a nerve and seal the deal.
Even if a person hasn’t responded to your initial email, there is a good chance they will respond to your second, third or even fourth. These odds are between 10% to 20%. That is a big percentage, especially if you are doing a cold email outreach and you’re sending hundreds of emails.
Just imagine getting 1 or 2 responses to every 10 unanswered emails! This is a big conversion!
Tips that will help you write a follow-up
As previously mentioned, every follow up is different.
They are different in nature, in content and ultimately, goal. However, no matter what type of an email you’re sending, there are certain elements which can be always used.
Here are some tips that will help you create awesome follow-ups!
1. Wait time
The first thing people ask themselves is “How long should I wait until I send another email?”
Always remember that if a person doesn’t respond within a day, there is a low chance they will respond at all. In other words, after the initial day of outreach, you will already know where you stand and if you need to create a new email.
According to our knowledge and based on various tests, you need to wait for 1 day until the next follow up. This way, you will still be in communication with a person and it will not be too aggressive.
This is especially true when you create an email which will have new information or changed offer – there is no need to wait for too long as a person may forget you altogether.
Each subsequent email should be sent after longer and longer period of a time. For example, second follow up will be sent after 3 days, fourth after 7 and so on.
2. Change the message
Each time you send a new follow up, you have to change the message (at least a little bit).
Like any other email, your follow-ups have to be personalized. If your second and fifth follow-ups are completely the same, this shows a lack of effort. In other words, if you’re going to do outreach like that, don’t even bother!
You can add a small tweak; the new messages do not have to be revolutionary as you will probably talk about the same subject. Still, when a person reads it, he or she needs to notice something different.
3. Friendly approach
The content will vary based on your message and intent.
No matter what, you have to have a friendly tone. This is especially true if you’ve sent several follow-ups in a row and still haven’t received a response; the last thing you wish to do is annoy a person.
Most follow-ups are meant to be friendly. You will use them to congratulate a birthday or thank someone. This doesn’t change even if you’re selling a product or service. In this case, you need to be even friendlier and try to be smooth.
Here is an example: Hey (NAME) I hope you’re doing well! I’ve sent you an email the other day and you still haven’t responded. Hopefully, I’m not too intrusive. I really thought that we can do business together. Your company is the perfect fit for our service and I hope you can also see that! Perhaps we can discuss things during the next week? Again, thanks for your time! (YOUR NAME) Every follow-up will be different. It all depends on what you wish to accomplish with it. Please note that follow-ups also need to have a call-to-action. Be straightforward and try to set up a meeting right away.
4. Catchy title
Like any title ever, your subject line has to be catchy and to cause intrigue. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve sent this email, each time it has to feel fresh and there are several reasons for it:
Each message needs to feel different. The best way to do it is with the title. It is the first thing people notice and even if they’re not opening your email, the title will always be noticeable in the inbox.
If you tried everything and nothing works, you can try being witty. Try something completely different and unexpected. What is there to lose?
Businessmen get dozens of emails each day. Oftentimes they forget what they received during a course of a week. If you keep using one and the same title, they will remember you for sure but for a negative reason.
The title gives you an opportunity to quickly tell a story. You can tell a person what changed; whether you have a new offer. Although this is a short line, lots of valuable info can be placed in it.
The title is always crucial and the worst thing you can do is simply putting “Follow up to my previous email”.
Follow-ups are meant to show your fighting spirit, the fact that you like a client and are prepared to do whatever is necessary. It is something that people appreciate and the best way to do it is by personalizing each message to a high degree.
Follow-ups are a powerful tool for a savvy internet marketer.
Most people lose faith or interest after a while. They feel their communication is going nowhere and they’re not getting what they need from the other person. Marketers forget that an occasional message can build a relationship and it can persuade a person to buy from you.
Don’t be discouraged if something went wrong or if a person hasn’t responded to you. This is a sign that you should proceed even stronger! In the end, the numbers don’t lie and after enough repetition, you will get what you need!