How to construct the perfect follow up email
The follow up email can be one of the most challenging emails to write, especially if you are following up to an email that was not responded to. Getting the timing right and using appropriate words and phrases can make or break a deal. If you are or you have ever been nervous to send a follow up email, then have a look at the steps you can take when crafting one.
Step One: When should you send one?
The time frame for sending a follow up email varies for different things and it is important that you do not badger people too soon after your last correspondence! If you are trying to get hold of someone very urgently then rather give them a call – emailing is not the fastest way to get an answer. Here is a guideline for how long you should wait before sending a follow up email:
12-24 hours to send a follow up email after a conference, meeting a new prospect or just to say thank you after an event.
1-2 weeks to follow up on a request to meet or no response to an email.
When sending follow up emails make sure it is essential to actually send an email otherwise you can come across as spammy.
Step Two: Explain who you are
Always start a follow up email by re-establishing who you are and what your connection to the person is. This saves the receiver having to try and remember who you are if they don’t immediately recognize your name and it will get you a quicker response time. If you met at a conference, try not to email later than a week as it makes it more difficult for people to remember who you are. If you were at an event and you heard the person speak then mention what they spoke about why you enjoyed it and where it was. You want to make it as simple as possible for them to answer you.
Step Three: The subject line
We don’t know about you, but we have spent many minutes deliberating over the matter of what to put as the subject line for your email. Simple is always best in this regard: keep it short, sweet and to the point. If it is an urgent email, then adding the word “tomorrow” or “ASAP” as it alerts people to the urgency of the email without using that horrible word. Using the word reminder in an emails subject line if your last one was not responded to can also be a helpful but polite way to getting a response.
Step Four: Why are you emailing?
Before sending a follow up email you need to define what it is you need from the person to make the email as succinct and clear as it can be. Here are some of the main objectives included in a follow up email:
Information - Getting an update on an application or get clear a piece of information.
Asking to meet – Meeting with a client or prospect either to get feedback, catch up or close a deal.
Keeping in touch – A follow up email just to catch up with an old colleague or client to see how they are.
Thank you – For hosting an event or conference.
State the purpose of your email immediately, for example, “I am emailing because, I would like to continue our chat about your work at X company because I am doing similar work at my company and would like to maybe compare note with you…” The less ambiguous the better. People are less likely to answer when you say things like,” Can we meet for a coffee to chat about work…” It is not clear why you want to meet, and the person cannot gather the information they need to prepare for the meeting with you. If it is in response to an unanswered email then be sure to say something like, “I just wanted to confirm that we are still meeting” or perhaps “In my las email, I mentioned that we were having an event, I am just emailing to confirm whether you will be attending. The same rules apply, state the purpose of your follow follow up email (again).
Hopefully these tips help you on your next follow up email and if you want to stay in the loop on all the latest trends and tips on sales and lead generation please click subscribe!