A follow-up email is referred to as the email that is sent for checking in. It can be sent to anyone from whom you expect a reply but have not yet received it. Applicants applying for a job often send follow-up emails to the hiring managers to remind them of their presence, and most companies send them to customers as part of their email marketing process and to increase conversion rates.
What is a follow-up email?
As per research, only 3% of the organizations send follow up emails to their customers, and it is a sad state of affairs. For these companies, the customer service ends when they have dealt with a disgruntled customer. They fail to realize that it is an opportunity to keep their customers happy and satisfied so that they can retain their loyalty.
Follow up with customers is possible via a letter, directly as personal contact or phone, but the most simple and effective way is through emails.
How to write a follow-up email is a significant query as it is now considered the best way to make viable connections with the customers. The email can be sent to innumerable customers with a single click of the mouse and is a blessing because of scalability. The companies can keep track of the comment section as well as feedback to know the thoughts and expectations of their customers.
Importance of a follow-up email
Why has the question of how to write a follow-up email suddenly become so important? Well, organizations are trying to look at the reason why some companies have managed to stay on top during competitive times, and they realized that follow-up email has served as a boon for them.
The importance of how to write a follow-up email is
- The follow-up email helps to build trust with customers by making them feel all-important.
- Some people will not associate with your brand, whatever you do. The follow-up email helps to filter the audience by separating loyal customers from the ones that are not interested in your brand.
- It boosts the rate of conversion.
- The follow-up email shows that the brand cares about its customers and have adopted a customer-centric approach
- Most emails get lost in the inbox, and a follow-up email acts as a reminder that the company had tried to reach out to them at earlier instances also.
Follow-up email formats
Some standard follow-up email formats are as follows
1. “The anything else” follow-up email
How to write a follow-up email when you have not heard back from the customer even after solving the issue at hand. “The anything else” follow-up email is one of the best ways to act as a reminder that their problem is solved and whether the customer is satisfied with the response.
Add the context of the original subject line so that the customer knows in what regard he has received the email. This helps to close the customer conversation with dignity rather than cutting it off abruptly.
2. “The Survey” follow-up email
This type of follow-up email is common when you want to get a high volume and quick response. Include a link to the offered survey for feedback and insight about the customer service team and products.
3. “How did we do?” follow-up email
This type of follow-up email is common when an issue has been solved successfully by the support team, and they want to have feedback regarding it. Include a rating scale if possible so that it encourages the customers to respond.
4. “The nice to meet you” follow-up email
How to write a follow-up email when you want to start a mutual conversation with someone, most possibly a stranger. Well, “the nice to meet you” follow-up email can be a blessing in these circumstances.
Just keep in mind to suggest a time but keep the request flexible so that there is not any undue pressure on the other person.
5. “The just checking in” follow-up email
How to write a follow-up email when the purpose is to surprise the customers in the right way. “The just checking in” follow-up email is one of the best ways to create a fruitful and long relationship with the customer.
These types of emails are not the general ones with any address. They are often written by customer service people so that the customer can feel the personal bond and appreciate the gesture
Some companies add context by including the service or the product the customer has chosen within the email as it encourages the customers to reply directly to the team that is sending them the follow-up email.
6. “The join us” follow-up email
How to write a follow-up email is apt when the customer has not communicated recently, and the customer service team is waiting for his response.
After a point, it becomes imperative to make contact with the customer, and it is possible through “the join us” follow-up email.
The right time to send and avoid a follow-up email
Timing matters a great deal in sending a follow-up email. A small window can be the reason why your email is opened by a click of the mouse or sent to the trash. Some tips about the timing of the email are as follows
1. Avoid the Monday blues
Monday mornings are the toughest for the professionals as they are swamped by excessive work. At such a time, if they receive a follow-up email, the chances of deleting it without being read are highest.
2. Avoid the weekends
The sender should also avoid sending emails on the weekend as no one is interested in reading them in their free time.
The emails keep on piling up for Monday, which in most cases is thrown in the trash as unimportant.
3. Avoid Fridays
Friday is the last working day of professionals. After a tiring week, everyone wants to finish their work early so that they can get out of the office mode. Friday is simply the worst day you can think of for sending a follow-up email.
The chances of it being ignored are as high as 90% to 95%.
4. Midweek afternoons
The best time to send a follow-up email is midweek in the afternoon when the workload is a bit lighter, and people have the necessary time and inclination to go through such tasks. As per the experts, the best day is Tuesday, although you can also expect results on Wednesday and Thursday.
But the rest of the four days are a strict no for a follow-up email.
How to write a follow-up email?
An email has become the ultimate modus operandi in communication, and this is the reason why a person, on average, receives many emails daily. Sometimes even the important ones get lost in the crowd.
How to write a follow-up email that will cut through the unnecessary chatter and reach its target successfully is something that every company is thinking about.
The follow-up emails should yield the desired results; otherwise, they are a waste of time, effort as well as a company resource. If you are looking for how to write a follow-up email that has the best chance of getting a response then go through the following steps-
1. Define the objective or end goal of the follow-up email
Identify the objective or end goal if you are looking for how to write a follow-up email. Having clarity will give your email the decisive edge over the other hundreds the recipient is regularly receiving.
Moreover, being clear about your objective will help in framing a good CTA or call-to-action email that will ensure that the addressee gets back to you as soon as possible. Think about the objective. Do you need more information or status update as the initial conversation is not enough for your purpose? In this case, your email should mention the specific information you are looking for.
If it is a meeting request to ask for assistance, pitch an idea, or a follow-up meeting, it becomes essential to provide detail about the relevance of that meeting for both the parties.
A follow-up email can also be sent to someone with whom you have not been in touch for a while and want to renew the connection lest he forgets it. Mention what it is you are hoping to catch up on so that the email does not sound vague. Show your recipient how much you care about meeting him if you are looking for how to write a follow-up email.
In some cases writing a follow-up email can be a thank you note that ensures a positive feeling between the sender and the addressee. People will remember this follow-up email that is showing gratitude and can prove useful later on.
A follow-up email can also be for someone who has given you a letter of recommendation or have helped with a case study or something else. As you can see, there can be several objectives for writing a follow-up email.
It becomes necessary to identify it so that you can frame your email accordingly if you are looking for how to write a follow-up email.
2. State the purpose of the follow-up email
How many of you have not opened an email because it sounded vague, spammy, or confusing. Well, most of us. Be straightforward and state a purpose at the onset if you are looking for how to write a follow-up email.
When your intention and purpose are clear, the chances of response simply goes up.
3. The timing of the follow-up email
The timing of the follow-up email is critical if you are looking for how to write a follow-up email. The timeline is 24 hours if it is after a sale conference or a meeting that you have attended as it demands immediate response.
It is 48 hours if you have submitted some vital documents and within 1 – 2 weeks if it is a meeting request. If you are you sending it to the hiring manager to inquire about your job prospects, then send it within a week. If you are going to contact a candidate, then it is better to send one within the first few days so that the lead does not get cold.
If you are trying to catch with past connections or learn about new developments, then it can be within a time frame of three months.
4. Pay special attention to the subject line in the follow-up email
Are you aware of the fact that most people only read the subject line of the email and decide whether they should make an effort to open the email or not.
A tacky or non-relevant subject line results in the email being discarded. Pay special attention to the subject line and create an effective one if you are looking for how to write a follow-up email.
Make it short because the subject should not be more than one line with an optimal length of seven words or 41 characters. Although the subject is short, it must have quantifiable data and provide an apparent reason for the contact. Remember the aim and then engage with the customer through an innovative subject line if you are looking for how to write a follow-up email
5. Open with the context in the follow-up email
Are you sure that your follow-up email is going to be read by the recipient Well, no one is, and that is why people generally include a personal connection.
Open with the context in the follow-up email if you are looking for how to write a follow-up email. Providing context will help the recipient to remember you, understand the reference of the email, clear confusion about your identity, and ultimately answer back.
6. Use clear language in the follow-up email
It is believed that on average, a recipient receives more than one hundred emails per day. Sometimes it even exceeds. In such a case, it becomes challenging for a person to read all the emails.
The recipient will open only the ones where the subject line looks relevant. It becomes essential to pay attention to the body of the email, just like the subject line, if you are looking for how to write a follow-up email that will be considered reasonable by the addressee.
Use precise language in the follow-up email so that it can hold the attention of the reader. An email that is too flowery or lengthy is simply a waste of time and can eventually harm the relationship.
According to the advice of the experts, make sure that the email has a clear and defined objective that will take the reader directly to the point. The receiver of the email will no doubt appreciate that the sender values time and the chance of a response will become more significant in such a case.
7. Take professional help in a follow-up email
Most organizations have marketing teams or sales representatives that create their personalized version of a follow-up email and keep on sending it to the customers. It becomes repetitive after a time and loses its charm.
Take professional help if you are looking for how to write a follow-up email that is considered simply the best and is of top quality. You can also enlist the help of a copywriter for writing a valid email.
8. Plan the next follow-up email
An organization should be persistent in its approach if it wants to create a difference and increase its customer base. As per a study, it is the sixth email that has the maximum chance of getting a response from the customer.
Keep on planning the next one if you are looking for how to write a follow-up email that has a chance of high response. Structure your emails in the best possible manner, and remember diligence is the key to increase the response rate.
The recipient might ignore your first few emails, but your doggedness will ultimately force him to answer sometime or other.
How to write a follow-up email is not just a simple question as every company wants the emails to be read by the customer. Consider it as a window of opportunity to grab the interest of the recipient and get the most out of the situation.
Remember, a follow-up email can build relationships, bring new business, convert leads, and close deals. Make sure that you are providing a reason for the addressee to open the email and respond to it constructively.