Cold Email Follow Up Strategies - Steps To Success

What is the #1 killer move when sending cold emails to optimize conversion and closing sales? Can you increase the chances of the recipient opening your initial email if they take too long to respond to the previous email

Many marketers end up snapping and losing it after sending the primary sales email, especially if they smell it didn’t catch the recipients' attention.  

They end up doing so little afterward and unknowingly lose on prospects who, with a little bit more seduction, would end up being customers. But a follow-up email can do wonders. 

Also, sending a follow-up cold email is a breeze as long as you take care of the perks that we’ll highlight in this guide. Master the art of cold email follow-up with these proven strategies. Unlock success by implementing these step-by-step techniques.

Why Should You Follow Up On Your Cold Emails

Here’s an interesting stat; only approximately 24% of excellently written cold emails are opened, meaning that the scenario can be even worse for starters. 

Out of these, the response rates are so significantly low that they can be heavily distressing in the least if you track this parameter. 

So why go the extraneous follow-up mile? 

Large Messaging Volumes 

Thousands of companies are increasingly sending marketing email messages, meaning people likely get disgruntled at the number of unexpected emails they receive. 

Everyone craves the customer's attention, which underlines the colossal barrier salespersons should overcome to close a sale. Cold email marketing is not for the faint-hearted, but with a little more effort, a marketer can get more steps ahead of the pack. 

This is why you should follow up on the previous email sent to your prospects. It sounds like too much pestering, but only an insignificant chunk of conversions happen after the first mail. 

Your Prospect is Busy

Probably the prospect saw you’re email but forgot to respond to it. Everyone often experiences this with mobile device messages. You receive a message, see it, then postpone opening it, and ultimately forget to read it. 

There’s a big chance that the same happens when you send cold emails, so reaching out for the second time should do the trick. 

Prospects Respond Late

The wonders may begin as late as the fifth follow-up, so you should never give up on your cold emails, even those with whom you’ve yet to have prior contact

By this time, most marketers are too exhausted, and therein lies your moment to pounce on the long-time elusive client. 

We don’t expect you to be so determined to go to the five times ceiling, but again avoid the thought your follow-up emails may not work. Of course, not all will convert to sales, but a good number will, which is all that matters. 

When Should You Follow Up With Prospects?

Are all your business prospects worth your persuasion, or is there a specific group you should focus on? When does your follow-up qualify as a wild goose chase that you should halt to focus on others? 

Facts first, according to Harvard Business Review, more than half of prospects actually would like you to follow them up. 

But how soon/frequently is it most appropriate to reach out so that you won’t be branded a nag or, worse, be put in the spam folder by an annoyed prospect? 

Here are tips that leave the prospect feeling that you have a personal touch with them and increase their chances of opening your initial email

First Email

First draft and send a great, personalized, interesting first email. It should ideally feature a catchy yet communicative email subject line and numerous well-explained perks for the prospect. 

Second Email

The next day, do a follow-up cold email that builds up on the previous email. It may be similar to the first one but slightly more precise. You don’t have to repeat what you fully covered in the first email. 

Another important highlight is that you should send it at a different time of the day from your previous email. Otherwise, the prospect may consider it an automated generic email and quickly redirect it to the spam folder

Third Email

Don't give up yet if the prospect remains mum even after your first follow-up email, as you’re now edging closer to convincing them to take the first action. Do a second follow-up, but this time, change tact and focus on asking the prospect to reach out. 

You will have to include a compelling call to action (CTA), but most importantly, don’t sound like you’re forcing them to respond. Instead, you can do a simple CTA that asks the recipient to reach out for more details on the perks you have been offering them in the previous emails. 

Ideally, you should do this two days after the first follow-up cold email

Fourth Email

This is the final email you should send, so it should have a touch of subtle finality to communicate that you’re not sending additional emails. It aims to engage the prospect to decide and reach out, especially if they’ve had quite some interest in your previous messages. 

The rule of thumb is that you shouldn't come out as frustrated that they are not responding, so you’re stopping to email them. Rather, you should once more focus on the benefits and ‘what is in for the prospect.’

They may have been too busy and have yet to prioritize reading your email as they have been receiving others they consider more important. So this final email heightens their curiosity; if they are genuinely interested, you can be sure to obtain a response. 

Also, this breakup email compels the recipient to feel that they are missing out now that you will no longer reach out. So to ensure they’re not losing on a great deal, they’ll most likely at least open the email. 

When Should You Not Follow Up On A Cold Email?

Although there's definitely no harm in doing as many follow-up emails as possible, doing too many is wasteful of your time and the company’s resources. You should consider looking for other prospects or engaging in other income-generating tasks at some juncture. 

But how do you know when you have sent enough cold emails and any additional ones are futile and may never generate clicks? 

  • There’s no ultimate number. However, ideally, by the time you send the second follow-up email, the prospect should have got wind of your intention to do business with them, and they will respond. 
  • Also, you will receive the highest response rate after the initial two emails. Everything else after that is on a downhill path, and the more message you send, the lesser the chance of the prospect responding. 
  • Still, you can actually convert a prospect even on the seventh follow-up as long as each additional email provides more value to them. So the messaging of your follow-up emails matters greatly if you’re to make any conversions on subsequent emails. 

Don’t be too focused on numbers lest you annoy the recipients, and they relegate you to the spam box. Others will simply archive or delete your messages; in either case, you have no chance of closing the sale.

Cold Email Follow-Up Do’s And Don’ts

We have elaborated on the top hacks to deal with cold emails that don’t receive a response. Now let's explore the main dos and don’ts to educate you further on optimizing the response rates and sales conversions. 

Keep It Short

This is not the first time you are engaging the prospect, and you don’t want to come out as repetitive and be labeled a nuisance. So now that you already sent the first email, you need to reemphasize it, and the recipient will connect the dots.

What are some of the stand-out features of a great cold email? In a nutshell, it should have the following components; 

  • Don’t beat around the bush, or prospects will tire of the fluff before they get to the main points. Speak directly to the recipient as if you know them and quickly let them know you’re there to help solve a certain problem. 
  • Ensure your cold email is as personalized as possible so the recipient feels you know them the first time they read it. Many make the mistake of making cold emails that sound like so, and the prospects blank them the first time they receive them.   
  • Include the company name in your ‘From’ line and write a compelling email subject line. It should be so attractive that the client can’t help but open the email to read your presentation. 
  • Focus on what the prospect will gain from the deal you’re selling them. They are dealing with you from a stranger’s perspective, and nothing will arouse their curiosity more than a presentation that dwells on the positives.
  • Make a social proof and back it up. Don’t just make big claims about what you can or have done to other customers without providing evidence. Prospects want to feel safe first before they can buy your products.

Always Provide Value

A value proposition is arguably the most effective way to tickle prospects into accepting your offer. Remember, they were leading their lives normally, focusing on what they deemed important and convenient. So why should they take up your proposal and leave their comfort zones?

Provide truthful insights into the product you’re selling them and back it up with research data, testimonials, and info graphics. Most importantly, let your case studies be from trusted and verifiable sources, as serious prospects will go to lengths to confirm if your claims are true. 

Also, let the prospects know that you’ve done your homework on what you’re selling. Share insights on your research on the effectiveness of your products. 

Do Not Follow Up On Negative Responses

Did you get a negative response after the primary cold email or later on the follow-up cold email? These details matter a lot as there are two main approaches to the problem depending on the case you’re dealing with. 

Negative Response on First Cold Email

For instance, think of a scenario whereby a responder replies by cautioning you to stop spamming them with further emails. First, you need to consider how frequent are the negative response to know if there’s a need to take corrective measures such as altering the messaging. 

If there are too many, you must return to the drawing board and create something new that is customer-centered and engages them to start a conversation with you. If they are quite insignificant, simply ignore the negative response. 

But you cannot resend a new cold email to a formerly uninterested prospect who warned you not to email them again because they will not respond again too. 

Negative Response on Follow-Up Emails

Now here lies the main problem, especially if you receive a negative reply the first time you send a first follow-up cold email

Probably this prospect was angered that you sent them the first email, and they are now fed up that you keep bugging them to appreciate a deal they never warmed up to the first time. 

The solution- Stop sending further emails to the prospect as they have most likely decided not to buy your products.  

But what do you do when receiving too many negative replies from your follow-up cold emails? Probably, you have set a frequency that makes the prospects feel like you’re trying to push them to respond very fast. You sound desperate. 

The solution is- Alter the sending frequency and the format of your follow-up emails. Ensure they don’t sound like intrusive follow-up emails, but instead like a solutions package with a deal the customer shouldn’t miss out on. 

Once again, don’t keep sending more emails to a customer who didn’t respond positively, as they will subsequently get more agitated and block you. 

Wrap Up

With cold emails, you can reach out to clients you may have never had a better way of connecting to, but getting a response is the main challenge. The prospect on the other end of your email must have sufficient reasons to respond to your email. 

The ideal way to get them to talk is via a follow-up email. But this is not the ultimate panacea, as it comes with many challenges. It requires tact to write, and worse of it, you need to do it more than once. 

Nonetheless, this guide has highlighted some of the key tips to follow for a good conversion rate, and all you need to do is put every tip into practice. The results will eventually show up, so don’t give up. 

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