The Key To Writing a Good Follow-Up Email
One of the most effective ways to communicate with people are email campaigns and as surely as you’ve got one established, your subscribers are interested in what you have to offer. You’re half way there. You’ve captured their interest now all you need to do is harness their attention. A follow-up email is fail safe, direct and it lends that all important personal touch. You’re reaching out to people as a real person. Doing it this way shows you’ve got what it takes to express yourself as one. But there are some unspoken rules that should be followed. We’ve got five reasons why you should send follow-up emails, we’ll reveal those rules to send them by and show you how to create them.
Why Should You Send Follow-Up Emails?
Firstly, why must you send follow-up emails? They are a personal touch after the initial contact is made and they indicate an interest in what your audience is after. They’re perfect when you’re following up results after a job interview or networking opportunities and they lend themselves in a way that distinguishes you from the herd. They’re also perfect for opening up the lines of communication. This is your second opportunity to entice your subscribers to come closer with a view to potentially converting them into customers. However, if your follow-up is an attempt to reel them in with a sales carrot, you’ll be out on your bum the moment your email is read.
So here are a few things to remember before you start sending out your follow-up emails.
3 Rules For Follow-Up Emails
1. Follow-Up at the right time.
A successful follow-up email is right on target time-wise. Wait too long after your initial contact and you’ll find yourself way off base. Your subscribers will likely have forgotten who you are. However, if you’re too quick to send that follow-up you’re probably going to be viewed as desperate and pushy.
So where is the middle road?
As a rule of thumb, it is generally perfect timing to wait for a week. Then send off your follow-up campaign email. However, if you’re getting in touch with someone who has just signed up to your list, you’ll want to follow-up as soon as you can. Split Testing made simple can help you to figure out when that perfect time is going to be to get back to your audience. If you can, segment your subscribers into groups so that you can test their responses to the same follow-up email you send out at different times. You can use a week as your base-line and work your way down until you find that place that indicates you’re on target.
2. Use a friendly tone – one that doesn’t sound desperate or pushy.
Pushy is guaranteed to push your prospect to the point of no return when your email lands in the rubbish bin. And don’t be apologetic to the point it gets soppy either. You want to be taken seriously, not having your potential customers wondering why on earth they signed up in the first place. Keep in mind that there isn’t one single tone that is fool-proof. That is, not one is going to satisfy every person you send your follow-up email to. But, when you keep your email friendly, you’re always on safe ground. An example is an email that sounds like:
” Hello X,
It’s nice to have you here.
Welcome to the Y email list. My primary goal is to provide you with the most relevant guides and tools to increase your productivity. I work hard to dig up only the best content, so each time you open one of these emails, you’ll know you’re in for a treat.
If you have any questions about this mailing list, of if there’s any kind of content you’re interested in seeing, reply to this email and let me know. ” The above is a friendly, non-pushy email to a subscriber who has just joined your list. Notice how we advised how we would be providing benefits in future emails and how we highlighted our product, out content. When you know you’re providing what they initially came for, there’s no need to hide your expertise.
3. Give your Subscribers an ‘Out’
The occasional email after the follow-up is the way to operate, however, if you intend on or have already sent a barrage of emails, you’re going to irk your audience. And no matter how much you might wish to convert certain subscribers, follow-ups for them are a waste of yours and their time. In that moment, it’s time to accept the fact they’re no longer interested and it’s time to move on. This kind of realisation is an indication that your campaign might just need a polish up. The best way you can deal with moments like these is to provide your subscriber with an easy out which is usually positioned at the bottom of your email and says a single, unsubscribe. This kind of approach shows your subscriber that you’re not looking to cause them inconvenience, in fact, just the opposite, but you understand their wanting to leave if they wish to.
A way, however, to maybe turn them around is to leave a little message that says something along the lines of:
” Hello X,
We’re sorry to see you go. ”
You still have x number of days to change your mind. Give it some thought. Alternatively, you can leave a message along the lines of, ” Feel Free to contact me directly and I’ll carry out the necessary steps to ensure you only receive the relevant content you’re interested in. ”
We’ve offered both an ‘out’ and a change of mind option which gives people more freedom to choose what they’d like to do. It just ensures our customers come first and that is often the turnaround. You can segment your subscriber list into several groups as mentioned earlier which enables the creation of unique lists so that your subscriber can opt out of any deals you might send their way. You get to retain your customer on a mailing list which allows you to contact them again some other time.
5 Steps to Create Engaging Follow-Up Emails
1. Set a Clear Goal
What is it you’re after? A conversion, welcoming a new subscriber? An abandoned shopping cart? Here are some basic examples to guide you.
- A potential customer abandons their cart with several items in it on your eCommerce site. Your follow-up email will have the explicit intention to get them to complete their purchase.
- Conversions are lower than you expected after sending out your email campaign. So your follow-up email needs to inform your subscriber of the benefits your company is offering.
- You’ve attained a new subscriber and now you want to promote your products and services.
Having a clear goal gives your own mind-track clarity which then gives you the opportunity to track your success. You’ve then got a template on which to work with next time. A great way to track the results of a follow-up email is through Mailchimp. You can set up goal tracking and if you’re sending a follow-up to a new subscriber you check the open and click rates. These little tools allow you to polish your campaigns and get them moving toward a more positive result if they’re not impressing you at the moment.
2. Write An Enticing Subject Line
Set the tone for your approach and the rest of your follow-up email. It matters as far as opening rates are concerned. Generic subject lines sometimes give a subscriber the impression that your mailing list has nothing of value to offer. Spam email often spruiks of “Click for a Great Deal!” or “Huge Discount – 24 Hours Only!” Follow-Up emails need to be more personable and more personal. Your goal is to strengthen the ties between your subscriber and you. It’s a new relationship and it needs to be handled with care.
For example why not think about writing to your subscribers with:
- “Hello X. I’m writing to you about Y.”
- “Hi X, I hope I can assist you with Y.”
- “Hello X, I am offering Ways to help you with Y.”
The last of these examples is a classic follow-up to new subscribers letting them know you’re thinking about them. You’re providing value. Your email is concise and to the point. It’s here you can create a sense of urgency by talking about due dates. You can also use split testing with follow-ups and when your list is substantial you can try out different headlines to see which follow-up emails get opened.
Providing context engages readers and lets them know you’re approachable and that you’re aware of the way this relationship began. Kick off your follow-up emails with context that has a natural transition. For example:
” Hello X,
Welcome, and thank you for subscribing. Since this is your first time … ”
With the rest of your content short and to the point, you don’t need to recap every step of your relationship. Your subscriber should remember the details however, intuition plays a huge part here so follow your instincts.
Your text will have provided the context. Now you need to state the purpose of your email. Why are you writing to your subscriber? Be up front about your intentions and you’ll save everyone a heap of time. This approach enables your subscriber to decide whether your content is something he cares about.
To follow on from Step 3’s example:
” Hello X,
Welcome, and thank you for subscribing.
Since this is your first time hearing from me, I want to tell you about the purpose of this list. My goal is to provide you with the information and tools you need to accomplish Y. ” It’s clear in black and white and it’s self explanatory. And because you wrote a compelling subject line, your subscriber knows what direction you’re taking him in.
5. Compose a Solid Message
The body of your message needs to touch base with your subscriber. When following up with an email to a new subscriber, expand upon your message by providing additional information. You could also offer a downloadable guide to support yourself as an authority on the subject they care about and you’re conveying.
” Hello X,
Welcome, and thank you for subscribing.
Since this is your first time hearing from me, I want to tell you about the purpose of this list. My goal is to provide you with the information and tools you need to accomplish Y.
To get you started on the right footing, I want to give you access to a private guide I’ve written on the topic, completely free of charge. All I ask in return is that you let me know if it helps you or if you think it is missing any key steps.
All the best. ”
We all face difficulties at one point or another but with the steps set out above, you’ll make a difference to your subscriber rate and conversions.
Remember, you need to:
- Define Your Goal
- Write a Compelling Subject Line
- Provide a brief line of memory jogging text
- State your intentions
- Create a solid message
Nothing is impossible and even if getting email subscribers to engage is not as easy as it seems, we’re confident with adherence to the care factor, you’ll land and convert.