Hands on computer to write a follow up email
Training & Learning

Three Ways to Master the Sales Email Follow-Up

You write a fantastic sales email and you send it out. It was the perfect length, just under 125 words. It was personalized, genuine, and relevant. And you chose a killer subject line that is bound to elicit a response.

But it’s been three days, and you’ve heard nothing in response. How did this happen?

It takes a lot more than writing a single great email to get a response. In fact, studies suggest the optimal number of emails to send to prospects is five.

This means there could be some low-hanging fruit available if you change up your follow-up game. In this article, we’ve got three ways to mastering the follow-up, depending on the situation and relationship with the prospect.

But first, the golden rule.

The golden rule: shape your follow-up to suit your objectives

“Just checking in…”

“I wanted to follow up….”

These are the most dreaded words in the world of sales emailing. They scream neediness and pushiness. Creating a sense of urgency is a delicate art, and using phrases like this won’t do it.

Why? Messages like this provide no value. And every time you touch a prospect you should be adding value.

Instead, ask yourself what your purpose and intention are in your email before you write it. Are you looking for a decision, whether it’s a yes or a no? Are you hoping to give them more reasons to buy from you? Are you trying to book a meeting? Are you promoting a webinar?

By asking yourself these questions beforehand, you can shape your followup emails in a way that will help you get what you’re after.

Here are three ways to shape these emails, but you should always remember to tailor them to reflect your objectives.

#1: Sales email follow-up: When you want to book a meeting

Your first cold email should have introduced yourself, explained why you think they should meet with you, and finished with proposing a time to meet. Now it’s time to follow up!

Here’s what to say:

“Hi_______ ,
Recently I sent over an email about why 360Learning might be able to add value to your team, did you get a chance to take a look at it?

By partnering with 360Learning, {client in the same industry} was able to increase their learner engagement and deploy 3x the number of courses within their first three months.

Do you have 10 minutes this week for a quick call?“

In this email, you gently remind them that you reached out two days prior, but instead of immediately asking for the meeting you offer a different reason for why they should take your call.

In this case, you reference another company that uses your product, which is an example of social proof.

#2: Sales email follow-up: When they told you to call back later

Send this email when you’ve spoken to your prospect but they told you it wasn’t a good time. You can get caught in a cycle playing this game, so it’s important to provide as much value as possible in your follow up email, less you risk following up for months.

Here’s what to say:

“Hi _______,

Last we spoke you asked that I reach out in the fall. We’re entering October so I hope this a good time.

As you’re most likely gearing up for the new year, I thought now would be a good time to discuss how 360Learning can add value to your learning strategy by driving your course completion rates. What does your calendar look like next week to schedule a conversation?“

In this email you reference their request for contact, to iterate that they were the ones who wanted you to reach out. Next, you empathize with them regarding their busy schedule and suggest that perhaps now is the best time to meet.

#3: Sales email follow-up: After you’ve already sent a follow-up email

You sent a great email, you sent a follow-up email. And still, no reply. Now what?

Remember, the average sale requires a minimum of five touches, but the average rep gives up after just two (source). Perseverance is key here.

People get busy, it’s a part of life. And frankly, responding to Joe Salesman’s solicitation email probably isn’t at the top of the priority list for your prospects. So don’t take it personally if you don’t get a response yet – I’ve closed deals where the first meeting wasn’t booked until after my seventh email. Yes, seventh.

Here’s what to say:

“Hi ______,

I hope the last few resources I sent to you were helpful for you! I know you have a busy schedule, so here’s what I propose: why don’t we take 10 minutes this week to hop on a quick call and see if it makes sense for us to talk.

Are you able to take my call at 7:50 tomorrow morning?“

There’s a lot of different approaches you can take with this email, but I like this one because it’s very “cut to the chase.”

Executives have a lot on their plates and emails that require too much thought or decision making will automatically be ignored.

In this email, you make it very easy for him to decide whether or not to take the call, and it’s positioned in a way that says “if we decide it’s not a good fit, I will leave you alone.”

Who wouldn’t take that call?

Know how to follow-up your sales emails

Not all sales emails follow-ups are created equal. You need to shape your follow-up to suit your purposes, reflect what makes the prospect unique, and recognize any previous communications. Don't forget to keep the copy conversational if you want to capture an email recipient's attention.

Related: Need to send a bulk email to contacts? Check out this comparison of the best mass email services and make sure to use an email checker.

Fortunately, practice makes perfect. If you can keep at it, and keep applying these sales techniques, you and your reps can turn prospects into customers in no time.

Want to make this learning part of your reps onboarding? Check out a collaborative learning platform like 360Learning to help you reach 100% of your quota while decreasing the ramp-up time. Take a look and see what it can do for you.