You don’t want to let a customer, potential or actual, out of your control as that way you’ve lost them. If they’ve contacted you, for whatever reason, you want to pull them in. It’s the only way for successful email marketing. All you need is a valid reason to send an email.
You might have got the contact through a trade show, or where a phone call, or voicemail, has not been replied to. Perhaps they phoned you and you were unable to take the call. A follow-up email should follow.
As with all things email marketing, it should be personalised. Yet you might have little information. Don’t despair. You will have some details. You can use their name, maybe their first if you feel it appropriate. You will also know their origin. They might have asked for specifications, or they left their contact details at a conference. Work on the few details you have.
Many people are casual in their design of follow-up emails, yet the normal rules of email design apply. Ensure the subject line gains their attention. Give them a reason to open it, and, the essential bit here, to continue reading. Be as brief as possible.
For instance, say you phoned and left a voicemail they’ve failed to respond to. Don’t be judgemental. The classic, if bland, heading is ‘Sorry I missed you’ rather than ‘You haven’t replied to my voicemail’. Work on a compulsive heading to the email, perhaps your logo at the top where it is seen immediately. Why put it at the bottom?
There’s nothing wrong with traditional openings such as Dear Ms Thompson, or Hi Alan, depending on what personalisation suggests. Go straight in with the reason. ‘Sorry I missed you when I phoned yesterday’ is much better than ‘You were out’, as you are taking the blame. Whatever message you left on the voicemail should be repeated. Include contact details, especially email address. It’s on the From Line, but no one wants to copy from there. Short and simple is essential.
If you met the contact, say at a trade show or conference, refer to your common experience. Be positive to infuse good memories. ‘I hope you enjoyed the talk by the marketing executive on [something you can help with]. You mentioned that . . .’ You ease them into the subject of the email. Perhaps you mentioned joining your email marketing list.
The difficult question is how many follow-up emails is too many. Some suggest ad infinitum. This risks your email being sent to the spam folder. What is reasonable depends to a great extent on the nature of the first contact. Did the person appear enthusiastic? You’d try longer with them than the casual query.
For final, make or break, email use the same tactics as you would with an unresponsive subscriber to an email marketing list. ‘We are spring cleaning our email addresses and we found . . .’ sort of email.
Remember these suggestions go for all follow-up emails, even the appointment confirmation. Be professional at all times. It works.