When a prospect deletes your email thinking “I don’t have time” they actually mean “This isn’t worth my time.” Because you just tried to convince them; just like all the others before you.
Instead, help prospects feel an urge to consider if you are worth their time.
Whether you’re using the “bubble up” follow-up technique — or one of the other popular email follow-up templates — stop. Here’s what to do instead.
Let Your Outbound Email Strategy Drive Your Follow-up Technique
The three options are:
- Tailored: You conduct research on a specific person or company and craft multiple, highly-personalized messages to the decision-maker.
- Targeted: Segment contacts based on similar characteristics and develop messages that focus on broad priorities, issues or challenges.
- Template: create cut-and-paste, mass marketing style templates about your solution and blast messages out to everyone on a list.
The latter is not recommended in a sales context.
With a tailored (one-to-one, personalized email) approach, your email follow-up technique demands personalization. If it’s not personalized to the decision-maker it’s instantly seen as cut-and-pasted spammy junk.
Below is an example of how to apply primary research you’ve conducted in a follow-up context. This tends to earn higher response rates — mainly as it proves you are not cutting-and-pasting templates to the decision-makers.
Noticing that homes in your area are selling for $450,000; however, I recently sold a home for $525,000 — $75,000 above the asking price.
I can use my real estate techniques to help you get a higher price for your home.
This provides a customized, personalized feel to the follow-up. It’s not spammy, it’s not a template.
Avoid Making Follow-Ups Feel Campaign-Like
Human beings don’t delete emails anymore. We junk/spam bin it. Think about your own behavior. We mark inbound solicitation email as spam when we don’t want to see it again.
The challenge is to avoid making email messages look like a campaign. The moment your emails feel like part of a mass emailed sequence; It’s over. You get marked as spam. Not to mention not getting replied to.
Plus, robo-calls and robo-emails are becoming increasingly ineffective. If your tailored (one-to-one) and/or targeted (one-to-many) message feels like part of a campaign, you will not get a reply.
Avoid ‘Adding Value’
We hear a lot about “adding value” when writing follow-ups in sales outreach. Theory behind this technique is simple: Each message adds value to the prospect. (or you don’t send it!) This tactic is all about helping prospects feel an urge to respond — by providing valuable, new information. But in practice the “add value” technique encourages you to work against yourself.
This tactic usually results in pushing information at prospects. Even if information you’re putting into email follow-ups IS truly valuable you are pushing it. You’re trying to persuade rather than amplifying the provocation within your original message.
Think about it: If your first email didn’t provoke the prospect why would you think follow-on messages would? Here’s the challenge.
Push is push. Value or no value. When you follow-up trying to add value in every follow-up message, 90% of the time it comes across as pushing information at prospects. This also tends to promote 3 writing habits that work against you:
- It lengthens your message.
- It gives a feel of your prospect being subscribed to a marketing list … like they’ve been subscribed to a list without opting in.
- It risks customers marking your email as spam.
Bottom line: Think twice about adding value. You might be adding yourself to the spam bin. Here is the root of the challenge.
Avoid Follow-up Spam Trigger Words
Use of spam filter trigger words (such as “bubbling up”) is a no-no. Even if you pass the technical spam wall you’ll get deleted by the human being you’re trying to converse with.
Other Spam Trigger Words include:
- “I reached out to you”
- “I had written to you”
- “bubble up” or “bubbling up”
- “just wanted to circle back”
- “follow-up on my”
- “I imagine your inbox gets filled”
- “wanted to follow-up”
- “I was hoping to introduce my”
- “following up from my previous”
- “I know you are busy”
- “I’ve been trying to reach/get a hold of you”
- “just reaching out to see”
Most sales follow-up emails fail to earn replies because they struggle to convince prospects to take an action. Instead, help prospects feel an urge to talk with you to get their issue resolved.