Master The Secret Art of the Follow Up Email
Over 75% of the 2,000 deals I’ve landed over the years have come from sending follow up emails. It’s time you mastered the art of sending them as well.
For years I’d been doing something when sending (or responding to) sales or pitch emails that just came naturally to me. That thing was sending a follow up email. I recently realized that over 75% of the 2,000 deals I’ve landed over the years have come from sending follow up emails.
You read that correctly. Over 75%
First, let’s talk about why you should care about follow up emails
- Have you ever sent an email to a person or company, looking to partner with them in some way?
- Have you ever sent an email to a potential employer?
- Have you ever sent an email to a potential employee?
- Have you ever reached out to the media in any capacity?
- Have you ever been contacted by someone from the media?
- Have you ever tried to connect with someone influential via email?
My guess is that you probably said yes to at least one of those questions. My other guess is that you probably didn’t hear back after sending whatever email you sent (and you definitely didn’t send a good follow up email).
Follow up emails are your way of showing that you’re putting in more effort than everyone else. Don’t feel bad about sending follow up emails either, especially if you’re passionate about the thing you’re emailing someone about.
An example of your first follow up email, which should be a direct reply to your first email, could read something like this:
“Hey again NAME, [Show them you aren’t a robot]
I know your inbox is probably a busy place, so I just wanted to send a quick follow up email. I’d love to chat with you about having INSERT THEIR COMPANY AND THE THING YOU WANT. My original email is copied below for quick reference.
Would love to chat,
That first follow up is a gentle nudge. It’s not a hard sell, but it’s also not as simple as just saying “hey, I’m following up.” You’re showing more effort than probably 95% of the people that email that person. And I’m willing to bet that percentage is accurate based on how many people send me emails and never follow up. Ever.
If you don’t hear back after your first follow up email, or you just want to add more creativity to your follow up emails (which you should), you’ll need to invest a bit more time to grab the person’s attention. Getting more creative with your follow up emails can look like this:
- Your follow up email can include you holding up a photo with the product you’re trying to partner with it (put in effort, don’t take a poorly lit and blurry selfie).
- Your follow up email can include a short story that shows how much research you’ve done on the person you are emailing.
- And best yet, your follow up email can include specific ways you are going to provide value to the person you are emailing.
The idea of sending follow up emails might sound daunting and hard to keep track of. Don’t worry, it’s not! Here are three ways to make follow up emails easy:
1. Create a Google Spreadsheet (or Excel) and catalog all your email outreach efforts.
In your spreadsheet include columns for the person’s name, their company, their email address, when you sent (or received) the first email, when you sent your first follow up email, when you sent your second follow up email, etc. This document is crucial if you’re working on one big project. I created a Google Spreadsheet for my SponsorMyBook.com project and had over 1,200 emails catalogued in it (about 80% were follow up emails).
2. Use tools like FollowUp.cc or Boomerang to remind you to send follow up emails.
I probably use FollowUp.cc 2-3 times per day. It’s a simple (free) email tool that doesn’t require any software or installation. Simply put a time you want to send a follow up in the Bcc field of your email you’re sending and the service will send you a reminder email that you need to follow up. (You can set whatever time you want, example: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.)
3. Use virtual assistants.
For not much money, you can hire a virtual assistant to work hourly and help keep your follow up emails organized. One great virtual assistant company I’d recommend is Don’t Panic Management. They can help you plan, strategize, and get creative with your email pitches and subsequent follow up emails.
I can’t stress the importance of sending follow up emails enough. People are busy and get lots of email every day. I also know that when people have reached out to me via email asking for things, I tend to wait and see if they’ll send a follow up email. This shows me they actually care and really want whatever they emailed about. Following up doesn’t have to be difficult and shows extra effort.
Be diligent about your follow up emails and you’ll start getting responses!