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How to Write a Killer Email Campaign – Timing your Follow-up email

When it comes to cold mailing campaigns, the follow-up email is where you make the sale.Your first message can be pretty hit or miss, but your follow-up email is your best chance to show the value you offer and convert the prospect, so you need to make sure your email is a true masterpiece. But even the biggest effort can be wasted if you start on the wrong foot or are not be persistent enough.

To make sure that you squeeze the most out of each prospect you need to remember about three things: timing, follow-up emails, and outreach strategy. And here we come with the second installment of our email campaign series!

 

Follow-up email

Your first follow-up email should continue the chain of communication. As a good salesperson, you need to be persistent. You need to show your prospects that you believe in the value you provide and know they will benefit from it.

That’s why you must remember not to show your hand at the start. Here are a few successful follow-up strategies:

Pitch them. Show another angle of your product that answers another one of their problems. It should:

  • Be slightly different than the first message.
  • Show various benefits of your product.
  • Be short and to the point but stay relevant to your message.

Remind the prospect about your previous messages. Your emails might’ve gotten lost  in their inbox. Don’t let bad timing ruin your conversion.

  • Use a short message to move you up in your prospect’s inbox and remind them about your offer.
  • Be polite but assertive.
  • You can add a link to your article but be sure it is something  valuable for your recipient and relevant to your messages.

Tease & give them something they want. Show the potential value for your prospect by offering them a trial account or teaser of your services. Let them see how they will benefit from your solution before purchasing.

Not every contacted person will be up for your offer and most of them won’t even reply to your messages. That’s why you need to add a breakup email at the end of your thread.

  • Leave only two options – It’s a ‘take it or leave it’ situation. So ask the recipient directly whether they are interested and want to see your offer and if not, ask them to tell you so that you won’t message them again.
  • You can add one more killer pitch here (if you haven’t used it before).

show value you provide

Timing the follow-up email: delivery

It’s not only what you write that matters but also when you deliver it. This is crucial because you can still end up at the bottom of the pile of emails after all your painstaking effort to craft the perfect message .

Keep in mind a few facts:
  • Choose random hours – For example, 8:37 looks much more natural than 8:00. Remember that you want your email to look like they were sent to a friend.
  • Send in the morning – You’ll end up on top of their inbox when they check their email after arriving at work. Most people start their day reading emails, no why not add yours to their list?
  • Don’t send during lunchtime – Lunchtime is not a good idea, but sending after 2pm can get a decent open rate.
  • Don’t discount Sundays – It may seem counterintuitive but Sunday evenings work exceptionally well – the weekend is nearly over and most of us start to think about work and plan our next week by checking our inbox.
  • Try a few different approaches – In order to know which method works best for which target you must test different times of day. People have different working habits so try and think when they’ll be the most responsive (entrepreneurs  are probably online 24/7, people in big corporations may be only available 9-5)

Timing the follow-up email: Which day is best?

  • Monday – This is an okay choice because many people plan their whole week and may add you to their calendars. But they may also have a lot of things to run through to catch up after the weekend. You need to test this one out.
  • Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday – This is your best shot. People are most focused during the middle of the week and have gotten caught up on Monday.
  • Friday – Friday is for follow ups. People are already thinking about the weekend and focusing on closing things they planned for the week. Avoid sending first messages then, a soft follow-up email may be a good idea.
  • Saturday/Sunday – Saturday doesn’t seem to be a good idea, as the weekend has just begun, but Sunday evenings can convert well.

 

Just like in the first message, you need to take care of proper timing of your follow ups.

  • Instant follow up – Send a one-line addition a few minutes or hours after the first message. Make it casual, just like you forgot to mention something.
  • Keep at least two-day-gap between messages – You don’t want to end up being labeled as a spammer.
  • Try different days of the week and different hours – This way you give yourself better chances to hunt the prospect on their daily email checkup.
  • Think long term – Don’t bombard your prospect with five messages in one week and then stop. Plan the whole campaign for at least two to three weeks instead and if you still haven’t heard back, remind them about your offer a few weeks later.

 

Direct vs referral pitch in your follow-up email

That’s the question you need to ask when you’re defining your target and campaign approach. There is no universal answer for this- just like with everything else in cold mailing you need to test it until you see results.

  • Big companies – In many cases you can’t tell for sure who is responsible for a certain business function (i.e. in our case it can be Sales, Marketing or Business Development) and it’s good to ask for referrals (or intros from higher executives).
  • Startups and small companies – Most decisions are run through CEO and executives so you should try a direct pitch.

Wow, that was a lot. And yet it’s still just the tip of the iceberg to crafting a successful cold email marketing campaign.

Key takeaways:
  • Keep it casual
  • Don’t sell, get in touch
  • Stress Benefits over features
  • The shorter the better

And one last thing, don’t get discouraged by poor results early on. After a few attempts and continually testing, you will get to the point where you’ll  be able to read your prospects and answer their questions before they ask.
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Marta Zalewska

Marta Zalewska

Customer Success Manager at Growbots. Previously Sales Development Representative

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