The Importance of a Follow-Up

November 4, 2021
Business Development

As salespeople and marketers, we know that the first point of contact is always important. Second chances are not always certain. We often make the mistake of crafting the perfect email to make that effective first impression. However, the follow-up stage is one of the most important to the sales funnel. In this article, you will learn more about what makes a great follow-up email and why it is important.

What is a Follow up and Why is it Important?

A follow-up email is a message that salespeople send to their prospects after their first initial email. Follow-up emails are important because it allows you to engage or re-engage with your prospects, extend your conversations that might lead to a closed deal. With 70% of unanswered email chains stopping after just one message, following up is an important step in the sales process. Follow-ups also provide you an opportunity to restate your offerings and provide the value you are trying to bring to your lead.

What Are The Components of a Successful Follow-up Email?

1. Keep your message short and sweet

When follow-up with your prospect, one thing to keep in mind is they might be very busy during their day-to-day. You're reaching out to CEOs and directors who are tasked with running an entire business, they might not have the time to respond back to you right away. That’s why in follow-ups it’s important to keep things brief and get straight to the point. Follow-up emails should be no more than six lines in length. Statistics show that the response rates for emails are above 50% when it comes to short emails. Your goal is to grab their attention and make them want to take action.

2. Highlight the value you provide.

Along with your email being short and sweet, you want to make sure you are providing enough value as to why you are reaching out to them. Whether it’s the first email or the third follow-up, highlighting the value you provide is key. When writing your emails, remember that you are not selling a product, you are selling a solution to problems they might be facing. 57% of prospects consider a message to be spam if it isn't relevant to their needs. Providing a solution shows you have your prospect’s goals in your best interest, which can lead to a mutually beneficial relationship. Relationships with your prospects can lead to fruitful partnerships.

3. Space out your emails

If you’re looking to unsubscribe, the quickest way is by spacing your follow-ups closely together. Having back-to-back follow-ups can come off as pushy and inconsiderate. Although there are cases where your email is being ignored deliberately, there are various situations, where your prospect is out of the office or can be busy with their day-to-day activities.

While there isn’t an exact formula for how to space your follow-ups, sending follow-ups every day is too much, and sending one once a month is not enough. Think about your prospect. While I've seen successful responses from follow-ups 2-3 days after the first initial email, there are some cases where setting up calendar alerts can also help with setting up the best time for you to follow up with your prospect.

4. Don’t forget your call to action!

When sending a follow-up the call to action is the most important piece of your email. Generally used at the end of an email, A call to action is used to let your prospect know what they are to do next if they’re interested in your offering. A call to action can be a short and simple phrase to keep your prospect engaged. For example, a CTA can be used to connect for a demo (“Are you free to connect some time next week?”), sending a piece of content, (“Let me know if you have questions on our deck I’ve attached”) or to ask for a better time to reach out (“when’s a good time to reach back out to you?”). Personalized call to action performs 202% better than emails without CTA included. Don’t assume that your prospects know what needs to be done when you email them.  You’ll get greater results by clearly communicating what a prospect needs to do next.

Follow-ups are a key part of the sales funnel. If you don’t follow up with your prospect you are putting yourself in a position to lose out on closing a potential client. Follow-ups are important to the success of your sales process. Remember that you’re not following up with them to annoy or spam them. Instead, you’re being persistent because you believe you can provide a solution to their current problems. Following up is part of the relationship-building process in all walks of life. So get out there and follow up!

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