You’ve been there, you’ve failed it, and you don’t want to do it again. Yes, writing a follow up email takes both skill and knowledge. Follow up emails are the series of emails that correspond to actions performed by your customer. The type of email depends on that action. Creating a good follow up email is a complex process that requires a certain degree of understanding as to how people open their emails, how they view the information presented, and what things they might enjoy (or not).
When people say they worked hard to get a response, they aren’t lying. Today, when information is excess, encouraging email recipients to open a letter, let alone respond to it, takes draconian patience and real skill. However, there are ways to boost your odds of getting a response, and this is precisely what we will be discussing today.
From outlining the importance of knowing how to write follow-up emails to craft unique messages to templates, there’s a ton to cover, so let’s not waste any time and dive into the world of good email follow-ups. P. S. We also prepared some follow-up email samples, so make sure to read them till the end.
Why Are Follow-Up Emails So Important
Generally speaking, there are four reasons why successful follow-up emails are so important, namely, they increase conversion, they build trust, they allow you to filter the audience, and finally, they can automate email marketing. Let’s take a look at each of these in detail.
- Conversion Increases. If you analyze how you respond to emails, you will probably notice a few things. You don’t open emails when you are busy, you don’t want to scroll through hundreds of messages, and you certainly don’t want to waste time. Follow-up emails combat all of the above as it is a way to add value through assistance. After all, a fresh email is always at the top.
- Trust Building. One of the key aspects of follow-up emails is the fact that they can be used to build trust and good relationships with your customers. Whether it is outlining your mission or demonstrating your customer-centered approach, follow-up emails are perfect for such things.
- Audience Filtering. Another powerful characteristic of follow-up emails is they allow you to divide people that don’t care about your brand from the ones who want to actively engage in communication with you. Having this ability at your disposal will allow you to develop a more holistic approach to those customers that care.
- Marketing Automation. Now that you know the participating part of your audience, you can send out promotions on an automated basis. Doing so will most likely increase sales, as well as free up time.
There are other reasons why follow-up emails are so important. Take, for instance, your potential employer, letting them know about your intents will show your commitment and enthusiasm which is something your employer might value.
Things To & Not To Do
For someone to learn how to write a follow-up email, one must know what to avoid and when to avoid a follow-up message. Both content and context matter.
Not to - Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays
Plenty of people start their work organization on Mondays. They will sift through all their email accounts and delete stuff they deem as irrelevant or unimportant (after all, nothing urgent will be sent via email on weekends). You should avoid contacting your follow-ups on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays.
Not to - Avoid Late Fridays
It goes without saying, at the tail end of the week, most professionals start planning their weekends. They don’t want to deal with your follow-up messages, nor do they want to respond to you. It might even annoy them so if you absolutely need to send a message on Friday, do it early in the morning.
To - Midweek
Midweek, around 2 PM, most professionals return from lunch and are ready to proceed with their daily tasks. They will most likely sync up with the workflow and re-check all crucial communication channels, including emails. This is where they will notice your following up email.
To - Use Data
Sometimes sending out business emails midweek at 2 PM might not work as you might collide with other senders. In other words, you aren’t the only one who will send follow-ups and pitches after lunch. We suggest that you carefully study your Click Through Rate (CTR) to see how your prospects respond.
Best Time Frames to Dispatch Follow-up Email
The short answer is never but that is not quite true. In fact, it all depends on a number of factors. Timing is key because as little as 30-minutes late could mean a loss and a successful sale. The best way to determine what will work and what will not is to create a good A/B testing strategy.
Choose tools for measuring
Your primary mission is to study as much as you can about your prospect’s email habits. Employ all your analytics, all your tracking apps, and all your number-crunching machines. We understand that not everyone can afford to use expensive analytics systems, and that is a solid reason. They are expensive and can put a toll on the company.
However, if you are a Zendesk user you can try our Email Tracking app. It doesn’t cost a great deal of money but helps you to receive and analyze data with the exact time of email opens, see the best time for a reply or track how many times the email was opened. Also, you can determine the general time to send a reply to a great number of customers using the app statistics with charts and indexes. Automatic follow-ups are also a child’s play if you have Email Tracking. So, go ahead and check the add-on right now for free.
Email Tracking app
Follow common standards
If you see that your company cannot afford such a system, take a look at these four timeframes that you can use to send new follow-up emails to win your customers, employers, etc. Keep in mind, this isn’t applicable all the time and they are not guaranteed to work (hence why A/B testing is so crucial). When using, experience careful judgment.
- Within 24 Hours: Just send out a thanks follow-up letter. Let your customers know that you value their time and that you care about them.
- Within 48 Hours: It is best to send a follow-up email within this time frame when you are applying for a job or have sent important papers. But be sure to specify the reason why you are doing so (i.e you can’t wait two weeks or have other opportunities arise on you).
- Within 1-2 Weeks: Send a follow-up email if you didn’t get a response or if you didn’t get a receipt of some sort. You can also request feedback as to what went wrong but don’t be judgemental or demanding.
- Every 3 Months: Just send them a “hello, long time no see” type of mail. Ask if things changed, what new developments are being introduced, and depending on the relationship with the individual, about personal life.
How to Write a Follow-Up Email
Alright, now that we have the basics under the belt, let’s take a moment and talk about how to do a follow-up email good and check out a polite follow-up email sample. Typically, an email consists of a subject line, the message itself, and the closure part. That remains unchanged in a follow-up email. Your objective is to do the following:
- Define the purpose of the mail;
- Create a proper subject of the email;
- Plan your next move;
Let’s discuss each of these in detail.
1. Defining the Purpose
Unless you have a proper sales funnel, this entire step will involve a lot of determination work. You need to know precisely what is the main purpose of the email is, otherwise it is just nonsensical data. To put this into perspective, let’s imagine that you met this really cool software developer at a conference and you’d like to offer him a position at your company for the upcoming project but the person went cold.
You need to spark his interest in the upcoming project and send him a cold email to build warm relationships and trust. This is what your effective email should be all about. Your key objective is to let them know exactly why they should join your company. In our particular case, sending out a leaflet or work description page might prove to be effective.
2. Creating a Subject Line
If your email subject line is generic, then you are losing on a lot of opportunities. Your subject line is one of your strongest assets as it provides a small glimpse as to what the whole email is about. Generally, there are four core types of subject lines you can use while creating your follow-up strategy.
Catered — If you know your audience, then there is no better subject line than the catered one. We suggest that you examine their demographic data, what kind of email client they use, and what kind of device they are using to view the message. Based on the info you’ve obtained, you will be able to identify what to write, and more importantly, how to write.
Short — Sometimes, it is best that you keep your subject line straight to the point. The golden standard is 7 words (roughly 41 characters long) so you should aim to hit the same mark. However, if you feel like you need more, feel free to do it as it just might be what you need.
Detailed — Just as you don’t like to waste time, your key demographic doesn’t like it as well. Make your subject line crystal clear as it will determine whether your recipient will open the message in the first place.
Engaging — If possible, make your subject line at least a little engaging but don’t go overboard as it might pose you in an unprofessional light. Or worse yet, the native anti-spam system might discard your message.
3. Plan Your Next Move
Email marketing is all about persistence. If you see that your current email is left untouched, then you should come up with an organic way to write the next one. Make your entire message chain feel natural and aligned with your funnel plan.
What to Say in a Follow-Up Email
Effective follow-up emails should have a clear structure otherwise the receiver may close it because of poor readability. Keep the following structure in mind while creating your email and be sure it will be read from top to toe.
1. Choose a concise email subject line
Saving readers’ time is a must-have in today's world. Include the user's name if it’s possible and try to avoid spam trigger words as the last thing you want to do is to get blocked by the email provider’s spam filter.
2. Provide a connection between sender and receiver
Tell about your previous cooperation, thank the reader for interactions or even ask how it’s going.
3. Tell about your goals and the main purpose of a letter
Create a short description of the reasons for your letter. Start the sentences with the main thing and avoid unnecessary adjectives.
4. Emphasize the benefits
Avoid talking only about your company, but highlight the benefits of cooperation with you and why it can be useful for both sides.
5. Include call-to-action
A quick response opportunity is a great chance to increase your response rate and make the most out of your email campaign. A good follow-up email example includes the following call to action:
- “Book a meeting” link.
- Just reply with “Yes” and we’ll contact you soon.
- The “Contact us” button.
- “Does 10.15 on Tuesday work for you?”
- “Visit our website to check out the details.”
6. End your email with a signature and a company name
Enhance your letter with a friendly closing such as “Best regards,” “All the best,” “Sincerely,” or “Thank you.” And include the company name.
What to Include in a Follow-Up Email
Use active expressions
Of course, you want your email to be memorable and attractive to recipients. However, some expressions can seem aggressive on a subconscious level. Saying “Per my last email” is the wrong approach as it is passive phrasing. You can use other direct words to express your reference to the original email. Try the following:
- “I’m following up on the below” or “Following up on the request/question/assignment”
- “I’m circling back on the below” or “Circling back on the request/question/assignment”
- “I’m checking in on the below” or “Checking in on the request/question/assignment”
Express your expectations about time, reply, and result by asking questions and drawing the reader’s attention.
What do you think about…?
Do you have time to contact us…?
Are you interested in further cooperation…?
Some Follow-up Email Templates
What good this guide would do if it didn’t have any templates to use? We prepared three email templates of our own. Feel free to use them or modify them to power up your email shenanigans.
Short Follow-up Email Template
|Hi, [First Name],|
I hope your weekend was amazing. I’m just checking in to see what your colleagues think about my recommendations. If I can help at all, let me know.
All the best,
Now what is great about this template is that it is straight to the point. No water, no long introductions, no nothing. Just business and clarity of intentions. Something that busy business people will appreciate.
CTA Email Template
|Hi [First Name],|
We’ve noticed that you didn’t respond even though [X] amount of days have passed. We don’t want to be of annoyance to you so just hit us back with a number from the list that best describes your response.
What is great about this email is it shows your prospects that you value their time and that you don’t want to bug them for no reason. Another good thing about this email is that it already offers an easy way to respond which might not be everyone’s cuppa coffee but an option nonetheless.
Post-Event Email Template
|Dear [First Name],|
What an event it was! I hope that you learned as much as you had fun.
We are positive that [increasing your sales objective] is your number one priority. So here are the [sales recommendations] we’ve discussed. If you feel like these are not enough, or maybe you need a more thorough look, I’m more than happy to spend the next 30 minutes discussing your questions.
I’m here to help, so don’t hesitate to drop me a message or two.
This follow-up email is a good way to not only remind the person about the meeting but to remind them why they attended the show in the first place. The fact that you didn’t forget about recommendations is also a massive plus. And then there’s the organic CTA which is perhaps the hallmark of the entire message.
Follow-up email after no response
First, wait a few days after you’ve sent a previous email. We recommend waiting at least 3 days to avoid being annoying. Then, you can use the following template.
Hi [First Name],
We hope you are doing well. It went several days after our last reply and we’ve got no response from you. We think you may be busy finding our offer in your inbox. So, maybe, you would like to take a look again at what [your company’s name] offers.
[A copy of non-responded letter]
We are waiting for your reply.
How many follow-ups to send?
You should send up to 5 follow-up letters if you get no response from your client. Each time giving the receiver more and more time to response.
How long can I wait before sending a follow-up email?
In general 2 or maybe 3 days is an appropriate time to wait before sending follow-up letters. Then double the time period for the next follow-up and keep it within 4 and 7 days. Keep extending the time between campaigns so as not to be intrusive. However, there are no strict rules and you can experiment with the timing.
Can you recommend an automation tool for sending follow-up emails?
There are lots of tools to send follow-up in a few clicks and your choice should depend on what email provider you are using at the moment.
Proactive Campaigns app
If you are a Zendesk user we recommend trying Proactive Campaigns as there are many positive reviews from our clients. Proactive Campaigns brings benefits to your Zendesk instance and helps you to run follow-up campaigns in bulk, by creating a list of non-replied tickets. Also, Proactive Campaigns helps:
- Send as many mass outbound emails as you need directly from Zendesk;
- Assign campaigns to specific groups, agents, or brands;
- Share contact list and campaigns between agents;
- Create a list for launching follow-up campaigns;
- Reach out to customers at the right times;
- Keep all replies in one place - Zendesk;
- Import CSV files with data or choose from the already created list;
- Add formatting to your email body;
- Integrate with analytics tools;
- Schedule campaigns and set up triggers;
- Create Zendesk tickets with any status automatically.
Making a good follow-up message takes time and effort but if done right, can have a transformative effect on your email marketing efforts. Hopefully, our guide will help you in writing your best follow-up email sample. But in the meantime, thanks for dropping by. Be sure to come back for more useful content as we post stuff like this all the time.
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