Guide to Automated Email Follow-Up

Whether it’s social media or email marketing, when it comes to lead nurturing and closing sales, timing is everything. That’s why mastering the art of the email follow-up is so important. This guide for business owners will show you how to automate your email follow-up in a way that saves time and leads to more closed sales.

The Importance of Execution & Timing

If you don’t get a response to a sales email, don’t fret: it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve been rejected. It could just be a case of bad timing! That means you haven’t lost your chance just yet. Lots of times, sales inquiries simply get lost in the flood of emails that show up in a prospect’s inbox.

This is where automated email tracking can make all the difference. Not only can you see all in one place when emails were sent and to whom, but you can have visibility into who opened them and which links, if any, the recipient clicked in the body of the email. You can also use triggered email to send a pre-created email template to users who complete a certain action, like reactivation of an account, or an abandoned shopping cart with items still in it.

All of these email types can be tracked. By looking at which recipients opened and/or clicked links within your email, you can gauge levels of individual interest in the content and change how you approach emails at different parts of the sales funnel. From there, you know how to best focus your follow-up efforts, prioritizing prospects that showed the most interest in your pitch.

The longer it takes a prospect to reply, the more likely it is that the lack of response was more than just a matter of bad timing—it could be lack of interest. You might adjust your pitch and send a new email that uses a different angle. Email automation systems can send you follow-up reminders so you always know when you sent emails, who you sent them to, and who you have and haven’t followed up with yet. Automation tools can also send you reminders that a follow-up is due according to where you are in the sales funnel and marketing workflow.

Don’t Worry About Being Liked. Worry About Being Clear

When it comes to email follow-ups, you shouldn’t worry about being annoying. What you should focus on instead is being as clear as possible in terms of what problem you are solving for the customer. In other words, what are your objectives? Is your product or service going to save the customer time on their product development cycle? Is it going to get them more customers? Is it going to save them money on payroll? What are your objectives for this prospective client?

Being “popular” won’t increase sales. Being clear about what value you are going to bring to the customer will!

Know When to Stop

How do you know when to stop reaching out, and leave a prospect alone? A good rule of thumb is that if you don’t get a reply after reaching out five times, it’s time to stop emailing and take it as a “no.” At this point, your efforts are better spent working on other clients who are more receptive. After five follow-ups, you can still reach out, but only do so about once per month so that you don’t spend lots of further time on it.

For a general guideline on how to time your five follow-up emails, here is a recommendation: Start with the strongest language and pitch in the beginning, and make each follow-up less strong than the last. Here is a good standard schedule to follow for email sequences:

Day 1: Send first follow-up

Day 3: Send second follow-up

Day 7: Send third follow-up

Day 14: Send fourth follow-up

Day 25: Send final follow-up

After Day 25: Follow up once per month

Once you begin your once per month emails, you can stop if the customer replies and requests that you not follow up again. Automation tools liberate you from having sales reps send the same emails over and over. Just make sure that, when using templates, emails are personalized so that they feel like recurring emails are unique, and are intended for only one email recipient rather than feeling generic.

Always Include a CTA (Call to Action)

A call to action is a request to get the customer to engage with your email and respond by clicking or buying. To design a winning CTA, you should have a specific idea for what the customer wants to achieve, and create a CTA to support that. Does the customer want a better product? Do they want a more affordable one? One that is easier to use? Can you offer them a freebie or discount? Consider their primary goal, and how you can help them reach it, and then create a CTA accordingly.

Some examples of good CTAs include offering a free eBook download, a free trial of your service, or an invite to join a Facebook group. The CTA could also be a button to schedule a time to chat that automatically adds it to your calendar software. Automated email follow-up systems can help you set up these CTAs and then track how many people click or open them.

Final Thoughts

Email automation software makes it easier to get the art and science of email marketing just right, every time. You can pre-craft follow-ups using email templates for each stage of the process. You can then set up your automation software to send these follow-up email templates at predetermined intervals. These are called “drip campaigns.” As you activate your software to send drip campaign emails, using built-in analytics tools and email tracking, you can see what’s working and what isn’t. With that data, you can make adjustments to your email drip campaign by changing the follow up schedule, CTA, or pitch.

Let the automation tools do the hard work of your email marketing campaigns, and let the data show you how to improve your approach. You’ll save time and money while creating more effective follow-up emails that lead to closed sales.