You know those emails you get that begin: “Hi there, I’m just checking in….” Don’t you hate that?
Newsflash: Your prospects hate it too.
- 80% of sales are made on the fifth to twelfth contact.
- But...only 10% of salespeople make more than three contacts.
However, that doesn’t mean they need to be horrible. Here are five guidelines for writing effective, non-annoying sales follow-up emails.
Introduce yourself and provide context
You probably aren’t the only salesperson trying to woo your prospect. You probably aren’t even the only salesperson pitching your type of product. Rather than assume your prospect remembers your name and what you talked about, provide a brief introduction and some background information about your conversation upfront.
Be relevant and personal
All of the same rules apply to a follow-up email as to any other type of communication. Personalize your message so that it is relevant to the person, the company, and the industry. Even if you are using an email template, this practice will make your prospects feel like you are speaking just to them.
Have a purpose and make it clear
One problem with “just checking in” is that it isn’t a clear purpose and it offers no direction. If you are going to send a follow-up email (and you should), have a goal in mind, such as sharing an additional resource or scheduling an appointment. Make that goal clear in both the email title and in the body.
Your follow-up email should not just recap the conversation or “just check in”; it should add value. For example, if the prospect had a question during your conversation, send a resource that answers that question. Or send an industry benchmarking report or a cost-analysis -- whatever your conversation indicates would be most valuable for that prospect.
Focus on the benefits
Like other sales communications, follow-up emails should be benefits-focused. Emphasize the business value of what you are offering, not just its features.
John Sherer of Appcues recommends three great strategies for sending the right follow-up email at the right time:
Set a Google Alert for your prospect’s company and industry. Use this information to customize your email.
Find a LinkedIn group in your prospect’s industry and be on the lookout for new content you can use as a reason to make contact.
Use an email notification tool like Sidekick so you can see when your prospect opens your previous email, which can be a good indicator that they are ready to receive another one.
By making more than three contacts with your prospects, you will instantly put yourself in the upper 10% of salespeople. Writing great follow-up emails will help you rise even closer to the top.