Email marketing – if done right – can be a powerful business tool helping explore customer behavior, increase sales, and build strong customer relations. At this point, regular communication is vital. Engaging a lead can’t be enough – you might want to maintain contacts and encourage conversion. One of the ways to do it is by email follow-up.
In this article, we’ll observe some marketing follow-up strategies and best practices you might want to consider.
What’s a sales follow-up?
A marketing or sales follow-up is communication, usually emails or phone calls, that happens after a customer’s encounter with a business. Whether it was a product demo request, leaving contact information on a website upon a free guide download, asking a question on a Facebook business page, or even a purchase (sometimes people just come and buy something from you right from the start) – any activity where people showed their interest in your business (leaving you their contact data) could be this encounter. And it’d be pretty unwise of you not to use this information to engage more sales.
At this point, marketing follow up is a strategic instrument for you to build communication with customers, keeping their attention or leading them to purchase your goods or services or get back to buying from you again.
Why is a marketing follow up email so important?
A proper marketing follow up helps close deals, which impacts revenue growth due to the increasing sales volume and size of deals. And it should be the number one priority component in any marketing strategy.
While sometimes overlooked, a well-elaborated marketing follow-up strategy can visibly add to business growth. As mentioned, regular communication is the key. If a sales manager follows up on a lead once or twice and gives up, it won’t bring any profit or sales boost. The most successful sales managers are those moderately persistent in establishing contacts. This consistent way makes your prospects feel appreciated and important, and this is the key to building success in a long and lasting relationship. Let’s look at some ways marketing follow-ups can power your business.
Follow ups do help increase sales
We’ve mentioned it already, but this one is worth repeating. A timely and well-elaborated email can help encourage more sales from a client in the future.
People appreciate good service, and diligently following up sometime after a purchase might help customers feel cared about, especially if you show your thoughtfulness, offering goods or services that might resonate with them (based on their previous purchases with you). So, be it upselling or cross-selling, reaching out to customers with something that might improve their experience with what they already purchased is just as helpful because your customers’ interest can dramatically increase your chances of securing a sale (and contribute to customer loyalty).
Follow ups help retain customers
People are more likely to buy from a business that they are already acquainted with rather than some company reaching out to them out of the blue. At this point, returning customers are gold for a business. Converting a sale with a returning client usually requires less of your effort and comes at a much lower cost (compared to acquiring new customers) because they already bought from you and were satisfied with the purchase (hope they were). A follow up might be a great tool for keeping in touch with existing customers, reminding them about your business, informing of new arrivals, seasonal sales, etc., with a higher probability of making a sale.
Follow ups help acquire new customers
Satisfied customers are more likely to recommend a business they had excellent experience with to their acquaintances. Word of mouth is still a great marketing channel even in the era of digital business and e-commerce. Marketing follow-ups can be not just an attempt to sell more to people but a way of showing your care about your customers, thus leveling up their loyalty. It’s not difficult to email a client asking about their experience with your product or service, politely pulling a question about what kind of things they might be interested in the future, and so on. As a payoff, loyal customers might bring you more customers by simply sharing their experience with your business, thus encouraging people to turn to you. At this point, following up absolutely makes sense.
Follow ups help stay on top of customer service
Often we speak about customer service only meaning reacting to some issues or answering inquiries. However, marketing follow ups make a part of the overall customer service experience. We mentioned already that by following up the right way you can create the image of your business like a caring and thoughtful one, adding some personalized approach to customer communication.
Definitely, those are not all the benefits of having a marketing follow up strategy implemented, however, they’re the most significant ones directly influencing your business revenue as they affect your interaction with customers and their decision to buy more from you. Needless to say that a marketing follow up might be the most efficient if people get it at the right time, of which we’ll speak in more detail right away.
When to follow up?
So, a big question: what’s the right time for following up?
Many studies name the best time to follow up as being from three to five days on average after your first email. Not giving enough time for a person to respond will be a mistake.
Multiple studies report that any weekday is accessible for mailing, but Tuesday and Thursday stand out from them. For example, a Hubspot report stands for Tuesdays and confirms that sending emails on weekends is not productive, and people should avoid this strategy.
Speaking about the time of the day for opening emails, it’s most likely between 10 and 11 AM in the time zone of a recipient, the worst time being noon.
Although that’s kind of a helpful theory, it still doesn’t allow you to find out when your customers are ready for being followed up. And knowing that is crucial for the success of any email campaign, considering the time and effort you put into it (especially in the e-commerce sphere where email marketing can be one of the biggest sales channels if done right).
Another approach is to look for the answer in the data your business possesses. You might be surprised how much your business data (in this case, your customer data) can reveal. You might want to turn to business intelligence as a great tool to make sense of the data a business usually gathers about customers, sales, products, etc.
|Just to recall, business intelligence (BI) implies analyzing data to retrieve valuable insights into a business’s performance. It helps a business understand how well they are doing and what can be improved in sales, product management, and customer experience.|
Usually, you might need to use BI tools to analyze your data and present it in digestible reports answering specific questions. There are many BI solutions on the market, and you can profit from multiple reports that show the efficiency of your sales channels and inventory and reveal invaluable patterns of your customers’ behavior: what they buy, how often they return, how much time it takes between purchases, etc. Understanding these patterns enables you to elaborate highly efficient, personalized email campaigns that reach the customers at the right time – when they are most likely ready to make another purchase from you.
How to follow up: best practices
To make your follow ups as efficient as possible, you might consider applying the right eye-catching messaging. Moreover, it’s better to find a perfect time, or else an email might get lost in a dozen or a hundred other emails. Below, we’ve gathered tips that might help close a good deal.
Prick the pain of your potential client and provide value, demonstrate the worth of what you suggest. Preferably, the worth should be provided for each interaction.
Giving something valuable as a gift like a webinar, a useful case study, or any other digital resource is a nice way to start a natural interaction with a potential customer. Make sure everything you send is relevant to the companies you are reaching out to. If the content isn’t in line with a company’s interests, it’s unlikely that anyone will respond or even check.
Use email templates
If you’re struggling with words or have no idea what to start with when you try to write an email, you might want to have pre-set email templates. You can either create them yourself or use those available on the market – many of them have already proved their efficiency. There are actually templates for multiple cases, so you can use them depending of your marketing goals:
- After a purchase;
- After a certain period post purchase;
- After a meeting;
- After an event;
- After leaving a voicemail;
- After a trade show or a conference;
- After the first discussion;
- After a follow up email;
- After several follow up emails.
Using templates will make you sound professional, helpful, and confident in what you’re saying. You only need to decide on your case, choose an appropriate template, and send emails to potential clients. Mind the day and time that we mentioned earlier.
Follow the tips
When you decide on the content, templates you send, here are some things to double-check before you send emails. Remember: the better quality you have, the greater the chance to close a deal. Make sure you follow all or at least most of them.
- Start with engaging subject lines.
- Use eye-catching visuals.
- Be positive and persistent.
- Add call-to-action buttons or links.
- Send sales emails on best days and times for your potential client.
- Keep emails short and brief. Use an AI email generator for this purpose.
- Make emails as personalized as it’s possible.
- Focus on the needs of your customers during your campaigns, not your products or services.
- Double-check everything before sending it.
- Include signature.
- Enable DMARC record.
Expert follow up strategy: an example of an effective follow up flow
Here’s an amazing example of an effective follow up strategy.
Alex Berman, a founder of the Experiment27 company that has generated over $10 million in B2B sales, shared a four-emails follow up strategy that he applies at his work and that helps people to engage clients and close deals. Let’s dive into it step by step.
Step1: Cold email
There isn’t much information or research about cold emailing, and the task gets even more complicated because of two factors. Number one is that you don’t have any relationships with the people that are going to receive emails, and number two is that you have a lack of non-verbal communication.
But here are some tips on how to write a cold email:
- Include your real name.
- Leave your contacts like your website, social media profiles, phone number, and don’t forget to mention your job title.
- Make sure you customize content for each prospect.
- Create a conversation starter, not a request to take quick action.
And if you want, you can use templates for cold emails. But you need to consider that not everyone may like it. The success of such emails can be judged by their open rate.
Step2: A quick bump
This email is sent to a prospect three days after the first one. It’s done via a reply to the previous message because it brings the first message up as well. It shouldn’t contain any information or call to action, just a reminder that you tried to contact the person.
This email is sent as a reply to eventually make the person read the first email. The first email can be lost in many other emails that the prospect receives if it was sent at the wrong time. Sometimes people forget to reply and reading the first email makes them remember you.
Step3: Two ideas email
To successfully implement this step, remember that the Two ideas email should be based on your expertise that can help potential clients solve their issues. Choosing this variant of an email, you should be creative and offer your leads something that no one has before.
A big win announcement transfers your experience into a win for a prospect. Most often it’s sent as a case study highlighting the main problem, the solution, and the result a business achieved by approaching that solution. No matter how long ago you had this experience, make it sound like it’s a recent one. Another important thing is that the information should be relevant to a business you are trying to contact.
Step4: A move on email
Make this email polite and leave an option to contact you when it’s needed for a client. It’s simple, short and to the point in the content. Showing that you’re not going to flood your prospect’s inbox with your emails can make a good impression. Knowing that it’s the last chance to contact you or it’ll be lost makes a call to action that may work.
Marketing follow up strategies: conclusion
Now you know the tips on how to follow up, when is the best time for it, and an example of a working follow-up strategy. You have everything to make your first follow up and know what to do. All the tips will help you engage qualified leads faster and boost your business by increasing sales. The launch of a marketing follow up campaign might seem difficult (but that shouldn’t stop you from doing it). But once you know what to do and why you’re doing it, things get much easier. Besides, it’s the point at which marketing automation makes sense. There are many automation software in the market, so you can choose the solution (even a free one) to fit the bill. Don’t forget to check the open rates of emails you send to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of what you send.
Happy following up!