“Fortune favors the bold” is a common adage—a succinct way to say that those who take risks often reap their fruits. But are you applying that maxim to your email communication strategy? Billions of dollars in potential sales are lost each year simply because many aren’t bold enough to send a follow-up email. Even if we work up the courage to write that email, we often write it the wrong way, which doesn’t lead to the results we want.
In this guide, we show you how to write a follow-up email the right way so you don’t miss out on a valuable sale or client relationship.
Do Follow-Up Emails Even Work?
Before we describe how to write a follow-up email message, it’s important to explain that follow-ups do have an impact. In fact, Woodpecker.co says that “a campaign with so many as one follow-up converts about 22% more prospects than the one without any.”
Stakeholders across industries agree with this notion that follow-up emails are essential in order to convert leads. For example, a study from Iko-Systems.com found that their consecutive emails benefited from the following response pattern:
- First email: 18% response rate
- Second email: 14% response rate
- Third email: 12% response rate
- Fourth email: 13% response rate
- Fifth email: 10% response rate
- Sixth email: 27% response rate
Notice that the response rate in this Iko-Systems study doesn’t significantly decline with the consecutive emails. What may be even more surprising is that the sixth email received a sharp spike in responses, up from 10% to 27%.
Another study from Yesware.com echoes the Iko-Systems’ findings—that follow-up messages are crucial. They said, “If you don’t receive a reply to your first email, you have a 21% chance of getting a reply to the second one. Still no reply? Take heart, and keep sending. There’s still a 25 percent chance that you will eventually hear back from the recipient.”
Based on these statistics, it clearly pays to send multiple follow-ups to someone who is yet to respond to your email.
Now, on to how to craft a follow-up message in a way that gets results.
Tips for Writing Successful Follow-Up Emails After no Response
While the most important piece of advice is to simply make sure to write and send a follow-up email, there are a few core strategies to apply to your follow-up messages in terms of content and timing. Adhering to these tips will boost the success of your emails.
- Time your follow-ups: For the 18% who do reply to your first message, most will do it on the same day. Therefore, when you don’t receive a same-day response, it’s likely you’re never going to hear from them without pursuing it. The general rule of thumb is to wait two to three days after no response to send your follow-up. After the second email, extend the wait time to four days, then seven days, then two weeks, and finally, schedule follow-ups on a monthly basis.
- Understand your goals: If you don’t get the right results from your follow-up messages, it could be a sign that you haven’t clarified your communication goals. Are you trying to make a sale, schedule an in-person meeting, arrange a phone call, or get more information? Or do you have another kind of goal? Understanding your goals and communicating them in your emails will improve your results.
- Explain yourself: Make sure your pitches are clear and succinct. People often gloss over their emails due to a clogged inbox, and a succinct pitch that quickly conveys the highlights of your email will help increase your email response rates.
- Know your customer: Getting to know your customer will also boost follow-up email success. When an email is generic and looks like one that is going out to several people, your recipient may not necessarily respond simply because they can see it’s the same approach for everyone. Since you know your prospects best, you’ll get to know the phrasing, sentiment, and approaches they relate to. Use that to tailor responses for them and get the best results.
- Stay consistent with your wording: Consistency helps your recipient quickly recall what your previous email was about. Make sure you fully test new follow-up templates before discarding old ones, and reuse what works. It might help to save multiple templates and keep them ready to send out to your client, depending on what kind of stakeholder they are. In fact, some email services, like Titan, enable you to save templates for repeated use, which you can then insert right into your compose window with a single click.That helps save time and effort since all your templates will be saved in an easily accessible location.
- Don’t forget the call-to-action: Sometimes the reason follow-up emails fail is that you haven’t told your clients what to do. Every email should end with a simple call-to-action. Tell your client exactly what you want them to do next so there’s no confusion. There will be a better chance that your client will follow the request.
- Tell them how they can reach you: Make sure your contact information is clearly visible in the email, along with the time you are available, if applicable, so you know you won’t miss their email reply or phone call. One easy way to ensure your recipient will remember you is to have a memorable email signature that stands out. It can be argued that signing off your email with a good signature is just as important as an attention-grabbing subject line. You can utilize Titan’s signature builder to help you build a signature that is clear, concise, and provides the most relevant, at-a-glance information for your recipient.
- Remember that timing is everything: Have a system in place to time your emails to your customers since the line between persistence and annoyance can be a thin one. Once you have a system in place for timing your follow-up emails, stick with it, and track the results. In time, you may choose to tweak your email timing strategy. Using Send Time Optimization will help you have past statistics to know if the new strategy works. It goes without saying that often it isn’t possible to sit down and send an email at the optimal timing for your recipient. The solution, in this case, is to use Titan’s Send Later feature that allows you to compose your email at a time that’s convenient for you and schedule it so it lands in your recipient’s inbox at the perfect time for them.
A Solution for You
We all know that a professional inbox is a busy place, so keeping track of the emails you’ve sent and remembering to follow up can be an exhausting, time-consuming process. But it’s an important one since failing to follow up on unreplied emails can lead to many missed opportunities. A good, professional email service should offer tools to assist you in this process. Titan, for example, has a Follow-up Reminder feature that gives you a nudge when an email you sent has gone unanswered. Titan also has Read Receipts that notify you once your email has been opened. By pairing these features with Email Templates and Send Later, your follow-up process can be effective, seamless, and stress-free.