The odds are that your carefully crafted prospecting email won’t generate responses from all recipients.
But that doesn’t mean that you should give up on them and leave all those business opportunities on the table. You should reach out to them again.
I know that most people feel uncomfortable when they have to follow-up after their previous message resulted in noting but crickets.
There are different reasons for this – your recipients might be busy, they maybe wanted to reply but forgot to, or your email simply didn’t resonate with them enough to engage.
Don’t make a rookie mistake believing that since they failed to respond to your first email, they’re not interested and that receiving another message from you will be perceived as bothering and annoying them.
The very fact that they didn’t unsubscribe or tell you to stop emailing them means that you still stand a chance, so make sure to take it.
The best way to achieve your goal and improve your response rate is by scheduling an entire email sequence. So, the trick is to be persistent!
Here are some tips for crafting your follow-up email after getting the cold shoulder.
1. Analyze Your Initial Message
The truth is that many sales reps and marketers tend to soften their approach in order not to come off as too pushy, believing that being direct and to the point will scare prospects off.
This can result in their message being vague, as “I’d like to hear from you,” isn’t a question that calls for an answer. In other words, prospects sometimes don’t understand what you want them to do.
To prevent this misunderstanding from happening, it’s important to include a close in your first email (and every subsequent follow-up.)
You should understand that closing doesn’t refer only to the final instance of signing a deal – every step leading to that moment is one micro-close. Getting your prospect to respond to your email, booking a demo with them, engaging them for a couple of minutes longer – all these achievements are closes.
So, instead of being ambiguous and vague and saying something along the lines of “It would be great if we could catch up soon,” go for firm questions that are more likely to elicit an answer from your prospects. “Are you free for a 15-minute call this Friday?” is an example.
Make sure that you prompt your prospects to take action.
2. Determine How Long to Wait Before the Next Follow-Up
If you wait for too long, you risk that your prospects will forget about you, but if you follow-up to quickly, you’ll reek of desperation, which is annoying.
We can safely assume that if someone doesn’t respond to your email the day they receive it, they’re not going to respond at all. Of course, we should take those who might really be busy and those who forget.
So, hitting that sweet spot between being persistent and annoying is crucial, but at the same challenging.
It’s best to wait for 2 to 3 days before following-up. Having the right follow-up strategy in place will help you with this. Just make sure to monitor your metrics and adjust your campaigns accordingly.
3. Tweak Your Close Every Time You Don’t Get a Response
We’ve already discussed the necessity of including a close, but if you already did that in your initial email, it’s a good idea to revisit it and see how you can improve your odds of generating a response.
Your next step should be removing any potential friction and making lowering the bar a bit. What this means is that your close should be easier to accept. So, if your initial CTA revolved around asking for a meeting, this time, you can ask your prospect to refer you to the right person in their company who could be interested in your offer.
The more follow-ups get unresponded, the more general your close should be. You can even take things to a personal level and disconnect from work. By asking them a personal question, you’ll be more likely to elicit an answer. Besides, this way, you’ll humanize the entire conversation and show that you’re a real person and not just someone trying to hit numbers.
After receiving a response, you can subtly go back to business topics.
4. Use Different Channels for a More Diversified Approach
We love email as it’s very effective, but there are other channels that should be included.
Your email outreach is more likely to be successful if you start warming up your prospects by reaching out to them on social media or via telephone calls or video. This is particularly important if your response rate isn’t satisfying.
Social selling is a popular strategy that should be among your top priorities. Your prospects are on LinkedIn, and you should use this platform to find out more about them and their business endeavors, as well as to connect with them there. This way, when they receive your cold email, they will already know who you are.
Besides that, video is a powerful format that can achieve an almost 1:1-meeting effect. So, when you’re sending a cold email, it’s a good idea to personalize it by including a video of yourself. Autoklose makes this possible and easy with a GoVideo feature by Vidyard. This means that you can record a video and edit it without leaving your campaign editor.
5. Set Your Goals
Before you start composing your follow-up, make sure to reconsider your goals and decide what you want to achieve.
Don’t let this confuse you – it’s true that your ultimate goal is the same, and that’s to sell, but in order to achieve it, other smaller goals within your campaigns will most probably change.
As every situation is unique, you need to adjust your follow-up based on how the performance of your initial email.
So, have a clear idea about what you want from every individual follow-up before you start working on it.
Tips for Composing a Follow-Up Email
Here are a couple of important rules that will help you come up with a follow-up email that will generate a response.
1. Put it into context
Remind your recipient about your previous email or interaction that you had with them.
As you can’t be sure that simply mentioning this will ring any bells, you should offer a short reminder that will tell them what your email (or interaction) was about.
Don’t elaborate – a simple: I’m reaching out in order to remind you about my previous email that I sent on Monday about (say what it was about) will do, or: Have you had a chance to read my email in which I asked you (repeat your question.)
2. Don’t touch base just for the sake of it
Your follow-up email will work only if you add value.
Always have something useful and relevant to offer or provide to your recipients. Make your email click-worthy.
This can be information about a free webinar, your latest e-book, or a consultation that you won’t charge. Show them that you can be a helpful asset.
Here’s an example of that:
Interested in a solution to the problem you asked about?
I saw your post in which you asked about the best way to generate leads during social distancing, and I decided to reach out to you because I came across this cool and informative resource on the topic: LINK.
Check it out, and if you’re free next Monday, we can jump on a call to discuss it in more detail because I’d like to share my ideas on the topic with you.
3. Make it fun
Receiving a fun and personal email in our stuffy, B2B world is like a breath of fresh air.
And you can be sure that your recipients will take notice of it.
In order to elicit at least some kind of answer and find out where you stand, it’s a good idea to resort to a little joke. For example, you can say something like:
Pick a number
I’m aware that you were too busy to respond to my email, and I get that. I’d appreciate if you’d take time to type a number in front of a response that best describes your current situation:
1. I don’t care about your product. Leave me alone.
2. Too busy ATM. Reach out to me in 2 weeks.
3. Tell me more.