I’m pretty sure that we all know how important email follow ups are. It’s the bread and butter to closing a deal. I would say that it’s really rare that you can close a decent sales deal on the first email or contact. It takes multiple contacts because that’s what builds trust and what will help both parties in the long term.
Email follow ups aren’t just important for sales, but it is important for accomplishing a lot of other things in life such as looking for a job, trying to get in contact with a celebrity and more..
The focus of this article will be on sales and some tactics for getting creative with email follow ups. It’s a tough thing to do because this is where you have to get out of your comfort zone.
Rarely do I see any sales training programs teaching people how to do email follow ups. Too many traditional sales training programs stick with old school scripts, but when it comes to email follow ups, you have to think outside the box and that’s what this article is for!
What do I send after that first email?
Most sales experts recommend reaching out to people 5, 7 or even 10 times, so what are you suppose to send after that first email?
If you’re following up 10+ times, that might make you want to pull your hair out….
This is where the creativity kicks in..
Here’s a quick guide:
Email #2 (the first follow up):
We don’t like to get too creative for the first follow up. This is because a lot of times prospects will open emails on their phone and then forget about them.
You can also check to see if they’ve read your email…
Use a simple email tracking tool like Streak, Hubspot, or Yesware. It gets the job done for free..
A prospect might get up, check the email in bed, read and acknowledge how awesome your service could be for them, and mark as unread on their gmail.
What we recommend here is to remind them with a simple follow up.
“I sent you an email a few days about about xyz, and I was wondering — did you see it? Want to make sure it didn’t get lost in the shuffle.”
“I’m sure you’re busy and hope this didn’t get buried!”
Yep, you’ll be surprised how some of these basic follow ups work. If you’re in a good position, 50% of the ones that didn’t respond will respond to these simple follow up.
Email #3–5: Be professional
This is where we like to get a little more creative, but no worries NOT too intense yet.
The goal here is make the content personalized — don’t say the same thing again.
Never send a “just checking in” email on the third contact — it’s too generic and doesn’t work.
Take a minute and check out the prospect’s twitter. Then you can send something along these lines:
“Hey, I noticed you haven’t been tweeting too much lately, but I did like the last one you posted about zyx. I agree about what you were saying. Checking in to see if you received the last email.”
The common theme with all of these is — find something personal to reach out to contacts about, then reach out to them about it.
This can be a blog post that they just published, some company press mention, or just an older podcaster interview that you found on them. Do your research kiddos.
You want to keep emails 3–5 personalized and professional. Use these messages to see if they’re interested or paying attention.
One thing I love to do is to subscribe to their email newsletter and see if you find anything interesting. Companies release new updates, blog posts, mentions and tips in their email newsletter all the time. Take advantage of this!
I also like to subscribe to the company and see what their first subject line is. Here’s an example:
One company (who currently works with us) does SMS marketing. When you sign up for their newsletter, the second message had the subject “Can we chat?”
I took that email and said the same thing as the subject line of his fourth follow up:
“Can we chat?”
My first line in the email was:
“Hey, did it work? I got this subject line from your newsletter.”
The prospect responded and asked for more info on what we did before turning into a customer. He’s been with us for over 7 months now.
The goal with these emails is to be super personalized.
Keep in mind this lesson from The Art of War:
“Know yourself, and know your prospect, and you’ll win 100 battles.”
Email 5, 6, 7 and beyond: Get creative
If you’ve pinged a client 4 or 5 times using all of the tactics above and you still aren’t getting a response, then you have to get creative in order to force them to respond.
This is when we start sending animated gifs or elephants….
Try sending something that’s a little bit corny with a bit of humor.
Humor works in sales when done correctly. You don’t have to be old school and professional, in fact — that hurts you a lot of the time.
Putting in a bit of humor is a great way to show personality and get the prospect to respond.
One a friday, I will send an GIF with an elephant partying that says:
“I tried reaching you — this is probably my 5th time — and I know you’re super swamped, but maybe we can make something happen next week.”
You can go even more corny:
I used to send a picture of a different elephant with “I don’t bite” as the subject line.
“Hey James, I don’t bite :)”
A short message like that with a funny gif gets us responses 8/10 times.
The goal here is to get any response — a rejection means that you don’t have to worry about the prospect any more, and you’ll get solid feedback on the idea.
To find gifs, you can either search google or use a site like Giphy. There are also chrome extensions you can use with your Gmail to find funny pics and GIFs. No excuses!
Follow Up After A Month
Let’s say they haven’t responded at all even after the hilarious gif attack… what now?
Send them a quick email like this:
“Hey, I reached out to you initially about a month ago. Wanted to ping you again in case your mind has changed. Are you interested at all in zxy?”
We’re not a big fan of automatic replies, but feel free to use a tool that will bump the email up to the top like Followup.cc or Yesware or Boomerang.
You can also use the settings in your CRM for replies — we’re big fans of Streak or Base CRM. Pipedrive works well too!
The Breakup Email
Once you’ve gone through this whole process it’s time for a hail mary. It’s time to send the break up email.
Here’s an example:
“Hey, I tried reaching you 10 times now and I still can’t get through after a couple months. Maybe we’re not a good fit. That’s ok, please reach out if you need any help.”
It doesn’t work all the time, but you have no other options at this point.
A good breakup email triggers the prospect’s emotions, and sometimes you get a response.
I got an email from Hubspot after 6 months of not responding that went:
“r u ok? :(“
There’s no way not to respond to that.
That shows how well versed they are in sales as well :)
Thanks for reading! If you’re looking for highly qualified and targeted sales leads to grow your company 10x faster then reach out to us at GrowthOK