How to Write a Follow up Email That Clients Will Respond To
Nothing in your inbox. The fear starts to set in. Now what?
Do you leave it and chalk it up to experience? Drown your sorrows and move on?
Or do you send them a follow up email that brings them round. An email so great that you close the sale? Well what have you got to lose?
Key ingredients of a follow up email
What is the end goal of the email? Well obviously it’s a response but not just any response – you are looking for a positive response that then turns into a sale and voila you have a new client or customer.
- A summary of who you are
- A very brief description of your brand/product or service again
- A super catchy email subject line
- A hook within the main body of the email
- A tactic that is different from your original email fail
So after adding those bits in you will start to see that your email is a little sparse. But why?
Well you’ve tried your original tactic and frankly it didn’t pan out too well. So now you can try something new and bring them back around.
Next we will go back over the steps.
1. A summary of who you are
This is pretty straightforward – you are essentially reminding the client of who you are. Nothing too long or long winded. Succinct is best.
Cover the basics such as your names, your business, a little bit about how you were put in contact with them ie LinkedIn and that should suffice. Links baack to your website, social media channels if applicable will also do well and round it off with a quick introduction reminding them of your previous email.
2. A very brief description of your brand/product or service again
What are you selling and why?
As a consumer yourself you will be familiar with how many emails your poor inbox gets daily. And you can empathise with having to process or discard emails on any given day. So make yourself instantly more likeable, make it very easy for your proespecitve client to see who you are and what you are selling.
Give your intended recipient clear summary of your product or service.
So, to marry the first and second follow up email components, we find ourselves with this:
“Hi there, It’s me, David, maker of the World’s Best Office Chairs. I just wanted to drop you another line, as I think our office chairs really are the superior product on the market, and I believe your office could benefit from their ergonomic construction, beautiful aesthetic design, and extremely reasonable price point.”
See? Easy. A quick, brief introduction, that repositions who you are, that you’ve already reached out, and what you have to offer your prospective client. Stick to a clear value proposition, where you illustrate exactly what your product or service does best, and how it can help your prospective client or customer.
(As a side note, please refrain from naming your business something that clunky—you’ll probably get even fewer responses that way. I take full responsibility for fictional David and his poor choice of a business name.)
3. A supremely catchy subject line
Here is where things start to get interesting—and also more complicated.
A quick side note about your sales emails—including follow up emails:
It’s a good idea to be tracking the metrics related to your sales emails from the get go, with a tool like Hubspot (my personal favorite) or something similar. Did your prospective clients ignore your email entirely? Did they open it, but not respond? Did they click any links within your email? Get a clear sense of where you lost them, and pay extra close attention to trying something new at that stage.
So, if they didn’t engage with your email, period? You’re going to want to pay extra attention to a catchy subject line. Maybe they opened, but didn’t take any further action? Component number four, the hook within the body of the email, is probably going to be your main area of focus. If they clicked but didn’t respond, you might want to do some further digging as to why you lost their interest that late in the game (are your services priced too high? Is the page you linked to confusing? Are you not tailoring your service to the prospective client well enough? There are many things you can test here).
Okay—back to subject lines. How did you title your email? Was it something super generic and snooze-worthy? You might want to spice things up a little.
There is a wealth of knowledge on the components of a great subject line—but the problem is, people often apply this knowledge to things like blog posts, but forget to think about it in terms of their sales emails. While straightforward and to the point is often a good sales strategy, if you really want to boost your sales email open rates, make sure your email subject lines are catchy.
So, your email needs a catchy, attention-grabbing subject line. For some inspiration, Hubspot has some great articles on the best subject lines (and being email marketing experts, they are a great source to draw inspiration from).
4. A hook within the body of the email
In the same vein as a catchy title, consider how you can hook your prospective client back within the body of your follow up email.
Was your initial email too dry and to the point? Consider taking a humorous approach. Did your first contact just include a wall of text? Maybe some images of your product or service, or photos of other happy, satisfied customers will help make your sales emails feel more engaging. Perhaps you could leverage a current (keyword: current) meme or funny industry-related joke within the body of your message, to get your prospective client laughing and encourage them to keep reading.
Which brings me to the final component…
Do something different. What have you got to lose?
If you stuck with the facts and a formal tone with your initial email, consider a bolder, more lighthearted approach. Remember, you’ve already heard radio silence from your prospective client—your follow up is a chance to get them back, so don’t waste that chance doing the same old thing you did the first time.
We often hear it quoted that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”; while I wouldn’t call it insane to stick to your original sales email strategy when following up, it is definitely not outside the box thinking, which is what you really ought to be employing right now. Again, what do you have to lose? You might just stand out from the crowd of boring emails enough to snag a new client or customer.
For inspiration here, look to Hubspot’s list of funny, unconventional sales email formats—I particularly love number two. It’s cheeky, different, and memorable, and it might just make the difference between a follow up email that gets ignored, and one that actually helps you make the sale.
Have you successfully hooked a prospective client back in by following up? What strategy did you employ? Leave a comment below and share how you did it!