Following up on emails and leads isn’t typically difficult or time consuming, but it does require a bit of finesse to get it just right and in a way that encourages your clients to reply. In essence, the follow up is a way to seek engagement and there’s a lot of small writing tips you can use to make that more effective.
But there are also more practical tips regarding the timeframe, the language, attitude, and other smaller aspects that will increase your chances of success. You want to be direct, but not come off push-y or desperate. Let’s take a look at some great tips on how to follow up on emails and leads!
Strong subject and opening line
If you’ve subscribed to a number of newsletters, you’re probably aware of good subject lines and opening lines – those that, even when you read them without context, make you curious enough to click and see what the email is about.
Now, when it comes to follow ups, you don’t have to be avant-garde or particularly forceful in your approach, but it’s undeniable that a good subject line can get the right attention.
For example, you can reference exactly what the client needed on the opening lines, so you’re much more likely to grab the client’s attention when they skim through their mailbox – since they’ll know what it’s about right away. Here are a few examples:
- Regarding your [service request]...
- Are you still interested in [service]?
- I have an offer for you regarding [service]
- The importance of [service]
- Can we meet up about [service]?
Leave call-to-actions and questions
Call-to-actions are common terms in marketing and SEO. They’re essentially devices that encourage an immediate action from the visitor when they land on a webpage – whether that be making a sale, subscribing, clicking on a link, etc.
You can take this idea to your follow-up emails in a lighter tone. Try ending the email with a question or a request that encourages the reader to take immediate action. In this case, the action we want is for them to get in touch with you to resume the lead.
A good idea is to offer other ways to get in touch. Some people aren’t too hot on email communication, so be sure to make clear that you’re OK with resuming this conversation via video calls, Skype, WhatsApp, etc. And when you do, already leave the respective contact information with links so the client doesn’t have to reply once more asking for them.
You want to make it as easy as possible for them to get in touch, so make bridges wherever you can!
Use templates and simplify what to include
It’s almost impossible to have one template that is perfect for all projects, since you’ll always be dealing with different projects and clients, but having a simple template that you can edit is of great help.
You can even write down a number of relevant subject lines that fit your line of work and simply choose one for each situation – saving you the trouble of having to think of a new one every time.
Same goes for general contact info and email signature. Email providers always have the option to set up a signature that will appear automatically at the bottom of every email you send, so take advantage of that time saver as well.
Make it short and easy to read
There’s no reason why a follow-up email should be long and elaborate. Keep it short, simple, and to the point. People in general have a tendency to not read long texts anyway, so the more concise you can be, the better.
And if you’re feeling fancy, you can use emphasys with bold and italic to accent important questions or bits of information.
Let clients know when to expect a follow-up
In cases where you’ve just sent a client a project proposal or requested a number of important documents, it’s acceptable to wait up to 48 hours before a follow-up – maybe 72 hours if you’re close to a weekend. Once that time has passed, feel free to send a quick email so that you can get an answer faster and proceed.
At the same time, it’s wise to let clients know when they can expect a follow-up. This will make them more attentive to their mailbox if you have to send one.
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