Think email is outdated? Think again – most of us are tied to our mailbox for essential tasks like banking, so your leads might be more attentive to their emails than you’d expect. Use this fact to master the follow-up process.
Effective growth hackers know how important email can be, and they use it to create a fully automated digital follow-up system. This prevents prospects from falling through the cracks and allows them to allocate time elsewhere. You can do the same.
Naturally, things can still go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. To improve your chances of converting leads, be sure to follow the advice below.
When to Tackle the Follow-Up
The first question in your mind is probably: when is the right time to send a follow-up?
This is a great opportunity to remind you of the wider framework we’re using to guide you through growth hacking, the Automated Sales Process (ASP)™. The ASP™ breaks growth hacking down into six steps; we’ve previously examined Attraction, First Impression, and Engage & Educate. The next stage is – you guessed it – the follow-up process.
What does this tell us? If your prospects have engaged with your educational materials and alluring branding but they’ve still not bitten your bait, a follow-up is in order.
Fortunately, as a growth hacker, you’ll be doing everything the easy way by creating an automatic system that starts as soon as you capture a lead’s info.
Capturing Information From Leads
Clearly, it’s impossible to send a follow-up email without having the details of whoever you want to contact. The standard way to get their info is by including prominent calls-to-action (CTAs) throughout your website. This lets prospects sign up to your email list quickly and easily – possibly in return for a lead magnet (e.g., an eBook, booking a free consultation, getting a sequence of insightful electronic newsletters) or another incentive.
When you create these sign-up forms, you face a crucial dilemma: quantity versus quality.
Asking for more information from prospect results in fewer sign-ups – but the sign-ups you do get are likely to be of a much higher quality.
Which should you choose?
That depends on whether you currently have an oversupply of low-quality prospects that you’d prefer to whittle down, or if your sole aim is maximizing leads. Ask for more information (such as name, email, phone number, zip code, etc.) to improve on the quality of your prospects or decrease the amount of info you ask for more opt-ins.
You can also take a hybrid approach by only asking for an email and name initially, then collecting more information throughout the follow-up process (granted, this is more complex).
The Role of Retargeting
At this point, you might be worried about what happens to the people who don’t give you their contact information.
Luckily, there’s an alternative solution for that. You can still target them through retargeting, which will show ads to your past website visitors as they browse the web. It’s surprisingly low-cost but very effective.
The Advertising Rule of 7
Provided that following up is necessary to make the most of your sales process, a common question that naturally follows is, “How much follow-up is appropriate?” The answer is around seven.
Seven times is what the Advertising Rule of 7 recommends – follow-up with a prospect (at least) seven times, give or take.
Why? The average person can hold seven objects in memory. If you won’t take it from us, take it from the 1956 Princeton University study by cognitive psychologist George A. Miller.
Once upon a time, following up seven times would have taken some serious horsepower, but digitalization has made this level of repetition more accessible. There’s really no excuse! So stop being scared that you’re annoying your prospects. Repetition is necessary.
When deciding how far to space out those seven emails, we recommend mapping the follow-up to your average sales cycle length. The longer the sales cycle, the more spaced out the emails should be and vice versa. It’s absolutely okay to send an email each day as long as your emails are valuable and not all salesy messages.
You should also keep in mind the following two effects:
- Primacy effect: The first touchpoints are the most memorable and important, so put more (or more effective) follow-ups at the start of the sales cycle.
- Recency effect: The most recent correspondence carries more weight.
Clearly, it makes sense to put your strongest CTAs in the first Follow-Up message(s), but to maintain some pungency throughout all seven to account for the recency effect.
Crafting Your Follow-Up
Now you know when, how, and to what extent you should be following up, there’s only one element left to cover: how to actually craft that follow-up. It’s harder than it sounds.
We recommend using the following framework to structure your writing:
- Opt-in/hook: Talk directly to the reader by teasing what’s to come, emphasizing with a pain point, or stating a shocking statistic.
- Hook delivery: Avoid arousing disappointment by giving the reader what you promised.
- Sellucation: Sell through education by providing your leads with great materials.
- Social proof: Give testimonials or namedrop past clients.
- Promotions: Offer discounts and limited-time special offers.
That’s the broader picture – but when it comes to follow-up emails, every word matters.
In last week’s article, we talked about the importance of copywriting to engage your leads, and this is just as important when it comes to the follow-up.
To help, follow the 4 E’s of copywriting, which state that your writing should be:
- Engaging – make it intriguing and relevant
- Educational – make it useful
- Entertaining – make it interesting, fun, or humorous
- Emotional – make it relevant to the lead’s needs, desires, and challenges
Next time you get a follow-up email to your inbox, analyze the structure and language used. Can you replicate anything for your own follow-up purposes? Or why not sign up for existing follow-up campaign specifically for the purpose of analyzing their content so you can borrow some of their tactics?
Time to Follow Through on the Follow-Up
Our next blog concerns sales technology – the pillar behind the entire ASP™ framework. All our methods rest on having the right digital tools to create a “fully automated version of your best salesperson,” so this isn’t an article to be missed.
But if you feel like you’re out of your depth already, that’s okay. Sometimes, it’s best to outsource the fiddly parts of marketing so you can focus on whatever it is you do best. For help implementing your automated email follow-ups and retargeting campaigns, contact Deviate Labs.