What are follow-up emails?

In sales, it's important to be on top of your customers' minds and keep showing them how your product can solve their problems. And this is possible via multiple touch points. A call every day, or a meeting every week might not be possible, but it's possible to send a series of emails.

These emails should remind them of your product’s benefits, add value, reiterate how good the offer is, etc. The emails in this series are called follow-up emails.

When to Write Follow-Up Emails?

Follow-up emails should be sent once you know that someone can be your potential customer or when you want to connect with potential customers to retain them.

If someone doesn't display any need for your product or services, it will be hard to convince them over sales emails. Your marketing should identify people who have a problem your product can solve. Then you should come in and try to get these 'leads' to convert into 'sales'. A follow-up email series can be sent after the first outreach.

Possible scenarios when you should send a follow-up email:

  • After a demo of your product,
  • After a conference or networking event,
  • After you get an inquiry,

You should also send follow-up emails to current customers if they have contacted you regarding feedback, discount, or guidance on how to use your products. It will show that you care about them and will help you retain them (even if your prices are higher than competitors!)

How many follow-Up emails should you send before giving up?

Emails are not expensive to send. Especially when you have services like SendX offering unlimited emails at a starting price of $7.49/mo. But that doesn't mean you bombard your subscribers, potential clients with emails. You might be marked spam or get unsubscribed. That's worse than not getting a sale or lead.

But at the same time, people like to be followed up to get reminded about the product opportunity you have to offer. They might need more information or convincing.

But when should you stop sending your follow-up emails?

The number of follow up emails depend on three factors:

1) Complexity & price of your product: If your product needs approval, decision making, and budget allocation on your client's side, then you should have a longer follow-up sequence (more than 14 days or a month). If your product is simple and you are offering demos and free trials without credit cards, then it can be a shorter email sequence.

2) Competitors of your product and services: It might be a good strategy to figure out how successful companies in the same domain as yours are operating. Sign up for their follow-up sequences and try to identify what's working, what's the gap between emails, and when do you receive those.

3) What has worked for you in the past: If you are looking for a specific number, there is none. However, you can figure out what that number is for you by looking at your data.

Start by sending emails for a month in regular intervals, until you get a response. Now look at the data at the end of the month and identify the point where most of the customers responded. Did most of them respond between 7-14 days? Then your sequence should be 14 days.

who respond in your ideal range. If you think customers who respond after 20 days are more valuable, then keep your sequence to 20 days.

If I absolutely have to give you a number, here is a report that says that you should send at least 5 follow-up emails.

Here is a sample sequence you can follow for 5 days

  • Outreach cold email
  • Gentle reminder (2-3 days after the first email)
  • Reiterating your value (3-4 days after the previous email)
  • Stacking your value, providing some credibility (3-4 days after the previous email)
  • Last, closing email (4-5 days after the previous email)

Tips for a successful follow-up email sequence:

Determined the goal of your emails

Create an email strategy depending on past context and what you want this email series to do.

For example, if you are creating a follow-up sequence after your first meeting with a potential client, then the goal of your follow-up emails is to educate them a bit more about your product and then signup.

If you are following up with a lead that was really interested in closing the sale but has gone cold for a while, then your objective is to answer any objections they might have or inquire what their hurdle is.

Time Your Follow-up Emails Right

With follow-up emails, you have to take care of the cadence and the time of day when you are sending the email.

Let's talk about cadence first.

We already mentioned above that you should send at least 5 emails per follow-up sequence. But don't send them all back-to-back. It won't give someone enough time to think about their decision and reply back. A flood of emails will only make you sound desperate and annoying.

But that doesn't mean you shy away from following up and send emails only after 14-20 days of the previous email. It's possible that in the meantime some competitors might take the opportunity by keeping in constant touch with your customers.

Keep a gap of at least 3 days between two emails and avoid weekends. If a weekend is coming, postpone sending your email on the coming weekday.

When should you schedule your emails?

The good part is that you don't have to take a guess at it. Email marketing softwares like SendX are sophisticated enough to send emails at the time when a particular contact opens their emails. This increases the probability of your email getting opened and read.

Catchy Subject Lines are Crucial

No matter how valuable your email content is or how good your product is for your potential customers, none of that would matter if they don't open your email.

So the only job of the subject line is to get someone to open your email. Make it catchy, curiosity-based & intriguing.

Include a well placed CTA

A follow-up email should not sound like a monologue where you deliver your content and then stop. In every follow-up email, ask the person reading it to take an action.

That action can be booking a call with you, signing up for a free trial, or reading your blog. Make it clear with actionable CTAs such as 'Click here to book the call' or 'Schedule a call here.'

Be polite with your ask but don't forget to include it.

Ditch the separation email

This might sound like unpopular advice but we advise against writing a separation email. Don't explicitly say that you have closed doors to any conversation.

Your last email should tell that the door to the conversation is still open. Instead of saying that you won't be emailing them anymore, tell them that you will follow up within a few months to check again if your requirements have changed and if you need any help.

This will make you approachable and it's possible that the customer might reach out to you.

Conclusion: It's a balancing act

A follow-up email sequence that gets you the sale or highly-qualified lead is both art and science.

There is art in how you craft your emails, how well do you know your customers. And there is science in how you understand the data and get actionable insights to keep improving your emails.
But above all, it's just a form of communication so treat your recipients respectfully with whatever you write in your emails and don't get mad even if they don't respond back.