Hey folks, welcome back to the Cold Email Podcast! This week we discuss writing follow-up emails and why it pays off to put some bloody effort into it. We will give you do’s and don’ts for following up, examples to inspire you and tactics to boost your email reply rate. Yes, there are secret skills to learn, so let’s dive in right away!
HERE IS WHAT WE COVER IN THIS EPISODE:
- Why should you bother with follow-up emails if all you got was silence after your first outreach?
- How many times do you need to follow up to get the positive response from your lead? (you’ll be surprised!)
- Two things to avoid in your follow-up emails so you don’t end up with a totally unproductive sequence
- What are “bump” emails and how to use them in your follow-up strategy?
- Two main elements of content that will set you up for writing a perfect follow-up email
- What are value propositions and why you need different ones in your sequence?
- How to know which value proposition resonates best with your market?
- What happens if you list all your value propositions in your first email?
- Different tactics you can use to inspire positive response from your prospects
Whichever follow-up strategy and tactic you decide to use, remember that your main goal is to start a conversation. At the end of the day it’s all about the value you’re providing to your recipients. People who continue to add value to their prospects, have winning campaigns.
Keep this in mind and you’ll be on your way to write a perfect follow-up email.
Happy cold emailing!
Jeremy and Jack
– [Jeremy] Hey what’s up everyone? This is Jeremy, founder of QuickMail.io.
– [Jack] And this is Jack from EmailsThatSell.
– [Jeremy] Episode six. We’re going to look at how to write the perfect follow-up email. Now before we do that, should I even bother sending follow-up emails in the first place Jack?
– [Jack] Yeah, you need to because follow-ups work. In fact, your follow-ups are going to count for a good chunk of your replies. And if you’re not sure about this, just know that it’s not uncommon to get positive replies. People saying, “Yes I’m very much interested, “thank you for contacting me.” Even after the eighth touch, so don’t assume that silence means you have the wrong audience or the wrong message.
– [Jeremy] Hmm, that’s pretty interesting. Why would someone need eight messages before replying that they’re interested?
– [Jack] Could be a couple different scenarios. Usually it’s as simple as they just didn’t open it in time and it got buried in their inbox. Maybe they got it when they were in the car and they couldn’t write back to you. Or maybe it was a timing issue. Maybe they weren’t experiencing the problem that you mentioned in your email when you first contacted them, but later on it was relevant. Or finally, and I know this happens quite a bit is they made a mental note to get back to you but first they had to sort out a few priorities before responding.
– [Jeremy] Alright, so assuming I’m talking to the right audience and my message is spot-on, I can follow up forever until I get a response then?
– [Jack] No, there’s a right and wrong way to go about following up. And sending messages forever probably means that you’re doing something wrong. Because at the end of the day, it’s too easy to follow up in an unproductive way. And by unproductive, I mean the follow-ups you send just don’t get positive replies.
– [Jeremy] How do I make sure I don’t send unproductive follow-ups since they’re so important.
– [Jack] You need to do two things. First, don’t repeat yourself in your follow-up emails. If it didn’t work the first time, simply repeating the same thing again in a follow-up is not likely to bring you a positive response. And second, don’t be rude. I know this may sound obvious but even if it’s after the seventh time that you’ve contacted them, you never wanna guilt somebody into replying. Because remember the goal here is to start a conversation. And check out episode 2 if you need a refresher on the goal of a cold email.
– [Jeremy] What’s worse, following up the wrong way or not at all?
– [Jack] Definitely not following up is worse because you don’t even give yourself a chance to get a reply that you may have gotten from a follow-up. It’s like a Wayne Gretzky quote that I like to come back to that says, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” So go ahead and follow up.
– [Jeremy] What about bump emails? Where you just have a one-liner asking if they read the previous message you sent. Does that still work?
– [Jack] It can work, but use it sparingly. Ideally you’d use it early on in your sequence because, think about this, throughout your email campaign, each email you send is either building the relationship between you and your prospect or deteriorating that relationship. And this bump email isn’t going to improve it, but it may deteriorate that.
– [Jeremy] Okay. I know what to look at for now. So tell me, how do I write the perfect email then?
– [Jack] So anyone that’s put a cold email campaign together knows that writing the perfect follow-up email is a lot easier said than done. But here’s what you need to know. First, you need to add a different value proposition in each email. And second, make sure to change your call to action throughout your follow-up each time.
– [Jeremy] I get what you mean by different calls to action, like asking for time, asking for the right person to talk to, telling them to hit reply and type, “Yes”, to send you some times, but what do you mean exactly by different value propositions?
– [Jack] Simply put, you’re just proposing something of value to your prospects. The trick is, and what a lot of people get wrong is you aren’t the one who gets to decide what is of value to your prospects or not. That’s why you need to experiment with a lot of different value propositions in your follow-up emails. Because eventually one of those follow-up emails is going to strike a nerve with them and inspire them to hit reply.
– [Jeremy] Can we get some good examples of value propositions so I can get inspired to write the next eight follow-ups of my sequence?
– [Jack] Sure. Let’s imagine you have a really simple product that just does one thing. Save people time entering data. So there’s two ways I would go about using this one simple benefit of saving time and turning that into an almost endless list of different value props you can use in your follow-up emails. First, seeing this benefit of saving time is connected with a whole lot of other benefits. So for example, if you can save someone time, you’re likely also saving them money. Because they probably have to hire fewer people in the future and that means they’re going to have a lot less HR headaches to deal with and so on. The second way has to do with how people are going to value that benefit they get from you. So for example, what are they actually gonna do with this extra time? It could be they want to spend it with their family or take a longer vacation so they can reduce their stress, or maybe just get a promotion because they’ve become a lot more efficient at work.
-[Jeremy] How would I know what value proposition will resonate best with my market?
– [Jack] You may have some ideas, especially if you’re a new business, but your prospects are the ones that matter in this decision. For example, you may think that your customers value saving time above all. But after sending a few emails, you could realize that they’re a lot more concerned with a new way to avoid having to hire a second employee that they have to train and trust and pay and so forth.
– [Jeremy] What if I just add all the value propositions I can think of to my first email and just let my prospect decide what’s more attractive to them? Will that work?
– [Jack] So, a long list of vale propositions isn’t likely to work. At the very least, it’s gonna overwhelm your prospects. I mean, just think about when was the last time you read an entire book in one go, just to find out which chapter was relevant to you? Most of the time you just glance at the table of contents and go from there. But, here’s what you could do, pay attention to which follow-up email performs best and move that up in the sequence so that your early messages are the ones most likely to start your conversations for you.
– [Jeremy] Okay I think I’m clear on value proposition now. I know we already covered briefly the bump email but are there any other tactics I should be aware of that might help me boost my reply rate?
– [Jack] There’s a couple tactics that you might wanna try in your next campaign. First, I would use, or attempt to use humor in some of your follow-up emails. This does two things, first it’ll help your reader break up the monotony of their work inbox, which will help your email stand out from the rest. But it’ll also allow you to come across as a lot more human, much more conversational which has been shown to increase reply rates. Next, if you haven’t done so already, try using a case study to support your value proposition in your follow-up email. Stats and testimonials do wonders to help back up any claims that you use in your emails. Finally, using a breakup email will help add a sense of urgency to your sequence. Because it will allow you to put the ball in your reader’s court and essentially let them know that it’s the final time you’ll be offering this to them and it’s almost a now or never option for them and that’s been shown to get a few more replies. But, at the end of the day, you can use all the tactics you want. But it’s always going to be about the value that you provide to your recipients. It’s the people who continue to add the most value to the their prospects that have the best campaigns out there. So just remember to be helpful and add value in each follow-up.
– [Jeremy] Awesome. Thanks a lot Jack.
– [Jack] You bet Jeremy.