When it comes to marketing or sales, follow-up emails are your new best friend. They play a key role in building relationships with customers or partners, helping you stay on top of the conversation and ultimately converting leads into buyers.
If you're thinking of the definition, follow-up emails are exactly what they sound like: letters you send after an initial contact or meeting. For example, say you meet someone at a networking event and exchange business cards. A follow-up letter would be a message you send to this person a day or two later, introducing yourself and hoping to set up a meeting.
While such emails may seem like a small thing, they can make a substantial impact on your business. In fact, recent research states that follow-up emails are one of the most effective marketing tools available since 8 of 10 prospects want to contact sales representatives through email rather than any other communication channel.
Why is sending a follow-up email crucial?
According to one study, published on Woodpecker, if you don't send a follow-up email after the opening email, you might only get a 9% response rate. But after you add at least one follow-up message, it goes up to 13%! Moreover, according to other studies, the more follow-ups you send, the higher your open rate is and, consequently, the success rate of the deal.
As you can see, a follow-up letter is a great way to keep the conversation going after meeting someone. It allows you to stay in touch with people, build relationships with them, and keep customers updated.
What are some other reasons why these messages are so important?
- Demonstrate to the recipient that you're organized and that you value their time.
- Allow you to provide additional information that may interest the recipient.
- Give you the opportunity to upsell or cross-sell your products. By sending such an email to your clients, you can offer them a discount on a new product or service that you think they'll love.
- Help you stay in the spotlight. When you email someone, you keep your name and your business in front of them. This is extremely helpful when they're ready to make a purchase or when they need your services.
- Show you're willing to keep working at the client's time and opinion and that you're not afraid of a little back-and-forth.
- Give you an opportunity to build a professional relationship with your clients and nurture them through the sales process.
- Finally, the most important reason to send a follow-up is that it provides you with a possibility to close the deal. By following up with a buyer, you're giving them one last chance to say yes to your offer. And in many cases, that's all it takes to seal the deal.
What essential parts to include
If you prefer to contact your clientele via email, following up can be the key to getting the response you want. Whether you're sending a message concerning a business deal or a job opportunity, there are a few essential elements you should include in your email.
You've done the hard work of landing a new lead. Now it's time to seal the deal with a follow-up email. But before you hit "send", you need to make sure it has a strong subject line.
Subject lines are crucial because they're what get your email opened. Did you know that 33% of email recipients decide whether to open an email or not just by looking at its subject line? And if your email isn't opened, it can't achieve its purpose. So how do you craft a great subject line?
Here are a few tips:
- Keep it short and sweet
- Use keywords that are relevant to your industry
- Make it catchy and curious by using impressive words, puns, or jokes
- Use personalization
- Use a call to action to encourage the recipient to open the email
In your email, you should briefly summarize what you discussed earlier and mention any next steps or action items. This will help the person remember who you are and why you're worth staying in touch with. It's also a good opportunity to mention any new developments or ideas that you may have had since your last contact.
A question or two about the conversation
When you write a follow-up email after an initial business meeting or phone call, it's a good idea to include a couple of questions. This will show you're still engaged and interested in continuing the discussion. It may also encourage your conversation partner to respond.
So what kind of question should you include? It depends on the situation and the target audience, but here are a few ways to get you started:
- What are your thoughts on what we discussed?
- Are you considering any of the options we talked about?
- What other questions do you have about X?
It's always a good idea to include words of thanks in a polite follow-up email, whether you're thanking someone for their business or their time. Gratitude shows that you appreciate what the other person has done, and it can also help to build goodwill and strengthen relationships.
There are a few different ways you can go about adding a thank you into a follow-up email. You can either thank the person right in the subject line, or you can thank them at the end of the letter. You can also thank throughout the email, which will help break up the text and make the letter more readable.
Whichever method you choose, be frank, and take the time to personalize the thank you to a specific person. A generic thank you will not have the same impact as a sincere, personal one.
Tips for crafting a follow-up email
When you're just about to start a follow-up campaign, you want to do everything perfectly. But it can be hard to know what to say. You want to sound interested and engaged, but not desperate or pushy. You also want to ensure you don't seem too sales-y.
Here are a few practical tips to help you reach follow-up success and get the response you're looking for:
1) Personalize your message
The key to a great follow-up letter is to make it personal and relevant to the person you're corresponding with. Don't just copy and paste the same generic email to everyone you meet. Instead, take a few minutes to write a letter with a personal connection that includes information about the conversation you had and the reason why you're writing again.
2) Keep your email short and to the point
No one wants to read a long, drawn-out email, and chances are that the person you're emailing is busy and doesn't have time to read a novel. So in your letter, briefly remind the recipient who you are and what you talked about. Thank them for their time and let them know you're looking forward to hearing back from them.
3) Be polite and courteous
Polite follow-ups are essential in the modern workplace. After all, you never know when you might need to connect with someone you've already interacted with.
Here are a few tips to sound professional and courteous:
- Use a professional email signature that includes the company name
- Use appropriate solutions (e.g. "Dear Mr./Mrs. [last name]")
- Use polite language throughout the email
- Avoid using abbreviations or slang
- Re-read your letter before sending it
5 best examples of follow-up emails
If you're not sure how to follow up with a potential customer or client, you're not alone. It can be daunting to reach out and try to continue a conversation, especially if you're not sure where to start.
Don't worry - we've got you covered. We've compiled a list of 5 of the best follow-up examples to help you get the ball rolling. Whether you're following up after an online meeting on Whoosh, after a sales call on RingCentral, or after sending a proposal through Gmail, each follow-up email template will help you continue the conversation in a way that feels natural and organic.
1) After a cold call
Hello [first name],
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me yesterday. It was great to learn more about your company and how you help your clients achieve their goals.
I wanted to follow up with you and see if you would be interested in learning more about our services. We specialize in [area of expertise] and I think we could be a great asset to your team.
If you're interested, I would be happy to schedule an appointment to discuss our services in more detail. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
2) Dealing with pain points
We hope you're doing well and enjoying your [product/service]. We wanted to reach out and let you know we're here to help if you ever have any questions or need assistance with anything. We understand that [problem/challenge] can be tough, and we want you to know you can always count on our support team.
We also wanted to let you know about some of the great resources we have that can help you [solution/benefit].
If you have any questions or need help, don't hesitate to reach out. We're online 24/7!
3) Meeting request
Hello [first name],
Thank you for taking the time to meet with me yesterday. I enjoyed our conversation and I am excited about the potential of working together.
I would like to schedule a follow-up meeting to discuss the next steps in the project. Would you be available for a meeting on [date]?
Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
4) Follow-up after follow-up
I was just wondering if you had a chance to check out the resource I sent you last week. I think it will be really helpful for you and would love to hear your thoughts on it.
If you haven't had a chance to check it out yet, no worries. I'll just follow up again next week.
5) Thank-you email after a conference
Thank you so much for coming to our conference! We were thrilled to have you there and we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. We would love to stay in touch and hear your thoughts on the conference.
If you're interested in staying updated on our work, please subscribe to our mailing list. We promise to only send you relevant and interesting information.
Thank you again for your time and we hope to see you at our next conferences!
Bonus: other handy templates for meetings and conferences
- Handy minutes templates for fruitful meetings
- Best templates for agendas
- Effective examples of simple announcements
Even if you don't land the job or get the sale, following up after a meeting is a critical step in networking. By sending a well-crafted email, you can stay top-of-mind with influential people in your industry.
This article provided some templates for follow-up emails that you can start using immediately. However, the best template is the one that you tailor to your own needs. Remember what you talked about in the meeting and how you can help the other person. Be genuine and professional and you'll take your networking to the next level before you know it.