It’s a familiar feeling to most marketers: you’ve sent an awesome campaign and you’re eagerly awaiting the flood of responses, only to receive nothing at all.
Your next step is, logically, a follow-up email, but that can feel a little daunting. If people weren’t interested in your initial email, why would they care about a follow-up?
Let’s look at how to send follow-ups the right way.
Marketing Email Follow Up: Examples and Tips
Why Follow Up?
It might seem counterintuitive, but sending follow-up emails can be critical to your success. Especially when you’re not getting responses!
We tend to imagine that a lack of replies comes from people being uninterested in our message. That’s sometimes the case, but the explanation is often more simple than that: people are busy.
That goes double, if not triple, for email lead generation campaigns. Cold contacts have, of course, never heard of you. That means that they’re less likely to take time out of their day to read your message, even if it does end up in their inbox.
It’s an uphill battle, which means your cold email copywriting skills need to be razor-sharp. However, sending follow-up emails can be extremely effective in keeping your brand top-of-mind. A well-placed follow-up email isn’t an annoyance; it should spark the thought “Oh, hey, I didn’t have time to check this before but it looks valuable!”
Don’t Pretend Your Previous Email Didn’t Happen
This is a fairly common practice among email marketers, and it’s a bit silly. If you send a campaign, acknowledge that in your follow-up. People won’t magically forget that you emailed them before just because you don’t mention it.
In fact, receiving follow-ups that seem like standalone emails can lead to more unsubscribes and even spam reports, because it feels more like you’re flooding them with campaigns instead of following a thread.
Instead, acknowledge it openly. Work it into your subject line and/or email body. “Following up on my previous email” is a good way to start, and as an added bonus it conveys more of a sense of personal investment. You noticed that they, in particular, didn’t take action on your previous email and they’re valuable enough that you reached out again.
Add More Value
I’m a big proponent of providing value in every email, just for reading it. That means that they should get something out of your message, even before clicking your CTA. That might just be “Hey, here’s a solution to this problem you might have,” or it might be more concrete like a link to a case study, white paper or something else.
Step that up a little in your follow-ups, or change it around. If you only provided some info about your product and how it solves their problem, add a link to a case study in your next message. If you asked them to download a trial of your product, try asking them again – but with 10% off if they decide to purchase after trying it.
Don’t forget to make it obvious in your subject line that you’re tacking on something extra, otherwise they’ll have little reason to open the email if they ignored the previous one.
Provide Relevant Content
One of my favorite tricks with follow-up cadences is to add links to relevant free content. You can do this in your signature or in specific modules in your message, but make sure that it’s not placed in a way that will distract from the main message.
The idea is that in addition to your actual email campaign, you’ve got links to blogs/white papers/case studies that are directly relevant to the topic of your email/offer. That way, assuming you’ve dialed in your buyer personas accurately, you’re giving your contacts extra value while also generating some site traffic.
If you send an email about your awesome new ergonomic office chairs, that’s great, but it won’t be relevant to every business – not everyone needs new chairs. If, however, you’ve also got a link to your blog entitled “How Better Chairs Lead to Better Sales” or something like that, that person who would have deleted your email might instead click through to your blog.
Think of it as sort of a safety-net to catch some of the contacts that might otherwise slip through your fingers.
Send Multiple Follow-Ups
It might surprise you that it’s entirely possible to see better results from, say, your fourth follow-up email than from your initial campaign. It’s true, though.
A big part of it is that there’s no guarantee any given contact will see your email and have time to read and respond to it. Professionals are busy, and many tend to have inboxes that regularly get packed with new messages. That means it’s very easy for your campaign to get overlooked, even repeatedly.
It also keeps you top-of-mind. In addition, more people will end up clicking your CTAs, sending them to your website and setting that all-important cookie that enables remarketing to be so effective. Remember, all your marketing efforts should work together – don’t just think of email as its own siloed channel.
Marketing Email Follow Up: Examples and Tips