Is anything more frustrating than sending a follow up to a prospective customer only to get nothing back in reply?
Use these ten tips for sending emails to your customers and I guarantee you’ll get more replies and more follow up meetings, and close more deals.
1. Always end your email with a question.
- “So can we plan for a call on Wednesday next week – would that work for you?”
- “Would you please reply back with Sally Jones’s contact information so that I can give her a call?”
2. Suggest specific times in your email for a meeting.
Hi John, Per our conversation last week, you wanted to set up a time to talk with your IT team about configuration planning.
Here are a couple of times that work for me (all times US Pacific): Tues (7/21): 10-11 am, 1-2 pm, 3-4 pm PT Wed (7/22): 9-10 am, 4-5 pm PT Thur (7/23): 10-11 am, 2-3 pm, 3-4 pm PT
Anything in there work for you and your IT manager?
3. View a draft of your email on a mobile device.
Send a draft to your personal email and see how it displays on your mobile phone.
Remember: Even when your customers are in the office, they’re in meetings or walking around, checking email on their phone, not on their computer.
4. Use specific subject headings.
Craft these based on the situation and where you are in the sales process. For example, once I’m in a good cadence with a prospective customer, I use email almost like text messages – asking specific questions or confirming.
- “Can I give you a call this afternoon?”
- “Confirming for our 2 pm call this afternoon”
- “Did you receive the WebEx info I sent over?”
- “Should I give you call?”
- “What’s the best time to reach you?”
- “Are you attending the XYZ Conference next week?”
5. Use “RE:” in your subject line, even if it’s the first email in the chain.
This signals to the customer that this is a continuance of a conversation. Even if the “conversation” was as simple as their filling out a lead form on your website or from a meeting you had with them last week at a conference.
- “RE: setting up a call with the team”
- “RE: info security requirements”
- “RE: heading to the MBA conference next week”
6. Send a LinkedIn connection request the day after your email.
- Do this ONLY if you’ve made contact with the person and have developed a relationship with the person.
- Then, PERSONALIZE the LinkedIn connection request
- DO NOT use the “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” standard message. Use something like:
Hi Amy – Many thanks for the time and call this week. Looking forward to scheduling our next call with your Product team. Thought we might connect here on LinkedIn in the meantime…
7. Copy (“cc”) someone else on the email and mention the person you’ve cc’ed.
Hi Roger – Really glad we met last week at the conference. I enjoyed the conversation and I’m looking forward to introducing you to Jonathan Marks, our VP of Engineering (cc’ed here).
You mentioned that next week would be best for a call. Here are a few days/times that work for us: Tues (7/21):
Any time 10 am-12 noon PT Wed (7/22):
Any time 2-5 pm PT Thur (7/23): 10-12 am or 2-4 pm PT
Anything in there best for you?
8. Give yourself permission to follow up with a call in two days.
Hi Roger – Thanks for the time this morning on the phone. I appreciate you sharing more about your company and the challenges you have ahead on the mobile side of your business.
Per our conversation, let me know what works for putting together a call with your engineering team so they can ask questions about our platform.
Just reply back to this email with a couple of times. I’ll give you a buzz on Thursday if I don’t hear back from you by then.
Talk to you soon!
9. Send a separate email with a news article, blog post, video, or some other content related to the discussion.
This adds value to the person while nicely prompting them to get back to you on your previous email.
Example: “Hi Ben – I just came across this article on…”
- ProTip #1: Sign up for Newsle. It scans the news every day for you and notifies you if any of your LinkedIn contacts are mentioned in news articles and blog posts.
- ProTip #2: Set up a daily Google News alert for the company and key topics within your industry.
- ProTip #3: Sign up for 3-4 daily newsletters from industry publications. All three take the work out of researching and finding articles to send to your prospects.
It takes just a few minutes to scan the headlines delivered to your inbox. Then you can copy and paste into a new email to selected prospects.
10. Email 1-2 days after your first email with a follow up question or a mention of their work.
- “One more question…”
- “Something I forgot to ask…”
- “Do you know [insert name]?”
- “Forgot to ask…”
- “Just talked to [insert name]”
- “Just watched your presentation at the Tech conference”
- “Just read your guest article on WSJ.com”
Awesome! Now you’ll get more replies to your emails, set more next meetings, and keep moving your sales opportunities forward. What now?
- So how do you prep for those meetings?
- How do you achieve the optimal outcome from your product demos?
- How do you know you’re talking to the right person?
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