Cold Email Follow-up Guide: Increase Your Conversion Rates
Updated: 7 days ago
Are you struggling to get responses to your cold emails?
Sending cold emails can be tough, but sending follow-up emails is even tougher. That's why we've put together this guide on how to write and send effective cold follow-up emails that will help you break through the noise and get noticed.
In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know to craft compelling follow-up emails that will increase your response rates.
From research and preparation to crafting your email and optimizing your send, we've got you covered. We'll even share tips for effective follow-up strategies to help you stay top-of-mind and close more deals.
So, whether you're a sales professional, a marketer, or a small business owner, this guide is for you. Let's dive in and start sending follow-up emails that get results!
What is a cold follow-up email?
A cold follow-up email is an email sent after your first initial email to a customer.
But what is a cold email in the first place? In layman's terms, a cold email is an email that you send to a prospect with whom you haven't had any previous communication or connection.
After your first cold email, a follow-up with most of the same information is sent. Before the days of the Internet, sales teams would do ‘cold calls’, which are now the bane of every landline in America!
Unlike warm emails –which are sent to people who have already shown interest in your business or product– cold emails require you to start from scratch and make a first impression.
Why send cold follow-up emails?
Now, you may be thinking, "Why bother with cold follow-up emails when warm leads are easier to close?" While warm leads certainly have their advantages, there are several reasons why sending cold and cold follow-up emails are important:
1. Build relationships
By sending a well-crafted follow-up email, you can establish a relationship with a prospect, even if they've never heard of your business before. This can help build trust and increase the likelihood of a future conversion.
In fact, according to McKinsey, emails are up to 40% more effective as a marketing tool than social media.
With engagement rates that are too high to ignore, cold emailing and follow-ups are a must-have in your marketing strategy!
2. Increase response rates
While it is true that cold emails typically have a lower response rate than warm emails, following up can help improve your chances of getting a response.
Cold email campaigns with 4 to 7 emails per sequence get three times as many responses compared to campaigns with less than 4 emails per sequence.
Curious about what a good open rate is? Check out our post on marketing email open rates.
By taking the time to craft effective follow-up emails, you can leave a good impression and even get new customers or clients.
How to Write Effective Cold Emails
There are three important steps you should take before launching a cold email campaign: research, writing and sending the first email, and then the follow-up strategy. Following these steps will get you on the right path to increasing your open and conversion rates.
a) Research and Preparation
When it comes to writing effective cold follow-up emails, research is key. Before hitting send, you need to take the time to research your prospect and their company.
This will help you craft an email that's personalized and relevant and will increase your chances of getting a response.
So, what should you be looking for when researching your prospect? Here are a few key things to consider:
Pain points: What challenges is your prospect facing? Are there any areas that your product or service can help solve? By identifying these pain points, you can tailor your message to resonate with your prospect and demonstrate how you can provide value.
Company information: What is the prospect's company all about? What are their values, mission, and goals? Understanding these things can help you craft your message to align with their company culture and objectives.
Contact information: Who should you be reaching out to? Make sure you have the correct contact information for your prospect, whether that's their email address or social media profiles.
Once you've gathered this information, it's time to determine what value you can provide to your potential client. This could be anything from a helpful resource or article to a personalized demo of your product. By providing value upfront, you can demonstrate your expertise and build trust..
Overall, taking the time to research who you’re emailing and identify pain points and challenges can help you craft a personalized and relevant follow-up email that resonates with your prospect and increases your chances of getting a response.
b) Crafting and Sending Your First Email
Once you've done your research, it's time to craft your cold follow-up email. Here are some key elements to include:
Personalized greeting: Start your email with a personalized greeting, addressing the recipient by name. This shows that you've done your research and are not just sending a generic mass email ‘to whom it may concern’.
Purpose: Clearly state the purpose of your email in the first sentence or two. Let the recipient know why you're reaching out and what you hope to achieve.
Value proposition: Address the pain points or challenges that you identified during your research and explain how your product or service can provide value. Make sure to be specific and highlight the benefits that your prospect will receive.
Call-to-action: Include a clear call-to-action, such as scheduling a call or demo, or asking for a response to a specific question. This helps move the conversation forward and increases the likelihood of a response.
Polite tone: This may go without saying, but be sure to close your email with a polite, professional tone. Thank the recipient for their time and consideration, and let them know that you're available to answer any questions they may have.
Short and simple: While it may be tempting to write about how amazing your offer is and how your services can change your prospects’ lives, it’s important to remember that lengthy emails can scare people away. Keep your emails short and sweet.
Remember, your goal is to make a connection with your prospect and start a conversation, not to make a sale right away. By crafting a personalized and value-driven follow-up email, you can build trust and establish a relationship that will hopefully lead to future conversions.
Need an example? Let’s say you’re a company that provides SEO services to small to medium-sized businesses, and you have identified a prospect that has little to no SEO experience and seems to be trying to gain traction on Google. Here’s what a cold email could look like:
Subject: Improving Your Google Ranking Hello [Prospect's Name], I noticed your website and I wanted to reach out to see if you'd be interested in learning more about improving your Google ranking. As a company that provides SEO services to small to medium-sized businesses, we've helped many businesses like yours gain traction and visibility on search engines. I understand that you may be a beginner in the world of SEO, but that's where we come in. We can help you optimize your website for search engines, target relevant keywords, and create content that resonates with your target audience. Our goal is to help you increase your website traffic and drive more conversions. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, we’d like to invite you to try a 10-day free trial. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have and provide more information about our services. Best wishes, [Your Name] [Your contact information]
Naturally, you should change this to suit your needs, and a free offering isn’t necessary. Just make sure you have a clear call-to-action, and that it is appealing to your prospect and doesn’t require too much of their time or effort.
Then, it’s time to hit send! The next step is to send a follow-up.
c) Sending a Cold Follow-up Email
After your initial email, it’s time to craft a follow-up. Your follow-up will look a lot like your first email and should include the same tone, personalized, greeting, and call to action.
However, while the first email was more of a casual introduction, your follow-up should be more direct with your offerings or call-to-action.
Here is what a follow-up to our previous example could look like:
Hi [Prospect's Name],
I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to follow up on my previous email regarding improving your Google ranking. I understand that you may be busy, but I wanted to make sure that my previous message didn't get lost in your inbox.
As a quick reminder, our company specializes in providing SEO services to small to medium-sized businesses like yours. We've helped many businesses improve their visibility on search engines and drive more traffic to their websites. We believe that we can do the same for your business.
If you're still interested in learning more about how we can help you optimize your website for search engines and drive more traffic, let's schedule a quick call. We can discuss your specific needs and goals, and provide more information about our services.
I look forward to hearing back from you soon.
[Your contact information]
That’s all there is to it!
There are some considerations you should take when sending follow-ups, though. It’s one thing to send some emails, but you must also go about it in the right way.
Things to Keep in Mind
Please note that not all of these considerations may be applicable to your business or your marketing strategy, but if you aren’t using some of these techniques, you may want to incorporate them and see if there are any changes in your open rates.
Timing is crucial when it comes to sending follow-up emails.
You don't want to send your email too soon after your initial contact, but you also don't want to wait too long.
A good rule of thumb is to wait 3-7 days before sending your first follow-up email. After that, you can follow up every few days to a week, depending on the urgency of the situation.
Your subject line is the first thing that the recipient will see, so it's important to optimize it to increase open rates.
Make sure your subject line is clear and relevant to the content of your email.
Avoid using spammy or clickbait-y language, as this can turn off the recipient and decrease the likelihood of them opening your email.
Many studies show that personalized subject lines can have a major impact on your open rates. According to Backlinko, adding a personalized subject line can increase open rates by more than 30%!
Email formatting and design
Keep your email formatting and design clean and simple.
Use short paragraphs, include only between 15 and 20 lines, and, if possible, include bullet points to make your email easier to read.
Avoid using too many images or flashy graphics, as this can make your email look like spam or a virus, which may land you on a blacklist.
Adjust your messaging
Adjust your messaging for subsequent follow-ups, based on the response you receive.
If the recipient didn't respond to your initial email, try to provide additional value or address a different pain point. Be persistent, but not pushy.
Follow-up automation tools
If you're sending a large number of follow-up emails, it may be helpful to use a follow-up automation tool to save time and increase efficiency.
These tools can help you schedule follow-up emails, track responses, and automate certain tasks.
Looking for some good automation tools that will save you time? Here are a few of the most popular ones.
Alternatives to email
Consider using other channels, such as phone calls or LinkedIn messages, as an alternative to email.
Depending on the situation, these channels may be more effective in getting a response.
Overall, sending a cold follow-up email can be a daunting task, but by following these best practices, you can increase your chances of success.
With the right approach, you can turn cold leads into warm prospects and ultimately, happy customers!
How Long to Wait Between Follow-ups
There is, unfortunately, no magic formula that will guarantee a response, but GMass recommends something similar to the following schedule:
1st follow-up: 1-3 days after your first email
2nd follow-up: 4-6 days after
3rd follow-up: 7-10 days after
4th follow-up: 12-15 days after
5th follow-up: 16-20 days after
6th follow-up: 25-30 days after
GMass also states that you will likely experience diminishing returns after every email, but other studies show that responses to later emails can be higher than the first few.
How Many Follow-up Emails to Send
Like with how long you should wait between follow-ups, there is no definitive right number of follow-up emails to send.
But, consider the following when you’re creating your cold email marketing strategy.
Studies revealed that the optimal number of follow-up emails to send is 2-3.
48% of salespeople don’t follow up even once, and 44% give up after just one follow-up call. Meanwhile, 80% of sales require at least 5 follow-ups.
In general, it’s a good idea to send at least one follow-up email after your initial email.
However, the optimal number of follow-up emails may vary depending on your specific situation and audience.
Why Do Your Follow-up Emails Get No Response?
There are many reasons why you may not be getting a response, and it could be that it’s not even your fault, and the prospect just isn’t interested.
Before jumping to that conclusion, however, check to see that you aren’t making one of these common mistakes that can put off potential customers:
Too self-centered: Do your emails only talk about your company and what you’re offering, without recognizing your prospect’s pain points? This can make your emails look copy/pasted and easier to ignore.
Too long and asking too much: Is your email more than a few short paragraphs? Are you asking your prospect to take actions that require too much time? Remember that your prospect is a busy person, and make your emails short, and your call to action simple.
Lack of trust: Without evidence or social proof, accepting an offer from an unknown company or person is unwise, as it could be a scam. Provide links to case studies, websites, or social media to show that you’re the real deal.
Typos and grammar problems: Two of the biggest indicators of a scam email are typos and simple grammar mistakes. No matter what language you use, it’s important to spell and write properly. If writing isn’t your strong suit, you can use services like Grammarly or Quillbot to help!
Writing at the wrong times: It’s also possible that you’re following up too frequently, infrequently, or at the wrong time altogether. For example, if you provide tax filing services, sending cold emails right after tax season has closed won’t get you many replies.
Your offer is not relevant: If you’ve bought an email list, it’s likely that you’re not getting replies because the people you’re emailing have no use for your services. Put in some research and find prospects who will be interested in your offers.
Prep Your Account Before Email Follow-ups
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