Follow-up Email Sending Pattern Explained for B2B Sales

10
Min
Created On:
June 30, 2024
Updated On:
June 30, 2024
Follow-up Email Sending Pattern Explained for B2B Sales

Many cold email senders believe that crafting the perfect opening message is the key to successful outbound outreach. While an engaging initial email is crucial, it's often not enough on its own.

If your first email doesn’t get a response, a follow-up is your second chance to turn a prospect into a ‘yes’.

This guide covers everything you need to know about follow-up emails

Research shows that even a single follow-up email can boost your reply rate by 22%. Surprisingly, many cold email senders neglect this step. Since not all cold emails are sales-focused, the overall rate of emails without follow-ups is likely even higher.

By sending follow-up emails, you join a small group of people who show genuine interest in building a relationship with their prospects. This sets you apart from the majority of cold email senders, making you more memorable and credible.

Why Do Follow-ups Matter? 

  • Stand Out from the Crowd: Simply by following up, you distinguish yourself from most senders. Prospects are more likely to notice and remember you.
  • Show Genuine Interest: Following up demonstrates that you care about the prospect’s response. It shows you’re not just sending bulk messages and forgetting about them.
  • Build a Personal Connection: Follow-up emails convey that you are a real person who values the prospect’s engagement, making them more likely to respond positively.

Will Follow-Ups Annoy Prospects?

You might worry that follow-ups will annoy your prospects. This is a common concern, especially when starting out with follow-up emails. However, in practice, if your emails offer value, most prospects will appreciate your persistence and interest.

By providing relevant and valuable information, your follow-up emails can be seen as helpful rather than intrusive. Prospects often admire the persistence and attention to detail that follow-ups represent.

Follow-Up Email Best Practices: Patterns and Examples

Crafting the Perfect Subject Line

When sending follow-up emails, it’s best to keep them in the same thread as the original email. This helps prospects easily refer to your previous message and maintains a logical flow. For the subject line, simply stick with the one you used in your initial email.

Writing the Follow-Up Email

Generic follow-up lines like “Just wanted to follow up on my previous email” or “Just checking in” are common but ineffective. These phrases don’t address why the recipient didn’t respond initially and often fail to re-engage their interest.

Here are five key tips to make your follow-up emails more effective:

  • Keep It Short: Aim for brevity, similar to your initial email, or even shorter if possible.
  • Make It Easy to Respond: Provide a clear next step or a simple question to facilitate a response.
  • Ensure Coherence: Your follow-up should logically connect with your previous message. Repeat the same call to action (CTA) as in your initial email.
  • Maintain a Natural Tone: Avoid sounding robotic or formulaic. Tailor your message to the specific style of your prospects to ensure it feels personal and authentic.
  • Add Value: Instead of merely reminding them that they haven’t responded, include additional value. Mention another benefit of your product, share a case study of its success with a similar company, or link to a video demonstrating its use and advantages.

Since you don’t know why they didn’t respond to your first email, use your follow-up to re-engage them with new, valuable information rather than just a reminder.\

How Often Should You Follow Up for B2B Lead Generation 

When it comes to following up with sales prospects, experts like Justin Chi, the founder of Cold Email Hackers, agree that persistence is key for generating high-quality SQLs. On average, it takes between five to eight follow-up attempts to close a sale, but most sales reps stop after just one or two attempts.

Frequency and Timing

1. Initial Contact: After your first outreach, whether it’s an email or a phone call, wait about 2-3 days before your first follow-up. This initial follow-up should be a gentle reminder or a nudge asking if they saw your first message.

2. Subsequent Follow-Ups: Plan your follow-ups with a gradually increasing interval. For example:

  • Follow-up 1: 3 days after the initial contact
  • Follow-up 2: 7 days after the first follow-up
  • Follow-up 3: 11 days after the second follow-up
  • Follow-up 4: 15 days after the third follow-up
  • Follow-up 5: 19 days after the fourth follow-up
  • Follow-up 6: 22 days after the fifth follow-up

This schedule spreads out your follow-ups over approximately three weeks, giving enough touchpoints to stay top-of-mind without being too aggressive.

Use a variety of communication channels such as emails, phone calls, and social media messages to reach your prospects. Different people respond to different methods, so diversifying your approach can increase your chances of a response. 

Each follow-up should offer something new and valuable. Reference previous conversations, address specific pain points, and tailor your messages to the prospect’s needs and interests.

According to studies, the best times to send follow-up emails are typically between 9-11 AM and 1-3 PM. Avoid sending emails late at night or early in the morning when they are less likely to be read immediately.

Sales engagement tools like Smartlead.ai can automate follow-up processes, ensuring that no prospect falls through the cracks. These tools can also provide insights into the best times to contact prospects based on their past behavior and engagement.

If after multiple follow-ups you haven’t received a response, send a final email to close the loop. This email can leave the door open for future contact by providing useful information and a way for the prospect to reach out if their circumstances change.

By implementing a strategic follow-up cadence and leveraging technology to optimize your approach, you can increase your chances of converting leads into customers. Consistency, personalization, and timing are critical components of an effective follow-up strategy.

Top 5 Tips for Effective Follow-ups for B2B Cold Emails 

Nail Your Subject Line

Your subject line is the gateway to your email. If you get it right, your open rates will soar. Get it wrong, and your message might never get read.

Here are some tips to craft the perfect subject lines every time for higher open rates:
Be Human: Your prospects aren't interested in more marketing jargon. Write like a real person. Avoid using urgent gimmicks or over-the-top promises. Instead, be genuine and relatable.

Keep It Short: An overflowing inbox means your subject line needs to stand out. Keep it concise to avoid being cut off and ensure your message is clear. This clarity will help recipients decide to open your email.

Ask Relevant Questions: Personalization is crucial. Including your prospect's name is a good start, but asking a relevant question can make your email irresistible. Understand their pain points and address them directly in your subject line.

Use Sentence Case: Avoid capitalizing every word. It makes your email look like generic marketing. Instead, use sentence cases to appear more natural and approachable, which can increase your open rates.

Examples of Effective Subject Lines

What works best can vary, but here are some tried-and-true examples:

  • "Quick question"
  • "Trying to connect"
  • "Hi [Name], [Your Company] <> [Their Company]"

Personalize Your Messages

Personalization is the key to successful follow-ups. But it doesn't stop at the subject line. Every part of your message should be tailored to your recipient. Here's how to do it effectively:

1. Research Your Recipients: Before you start writing, take some time to get to know your prospect. Who are they? Do you share any common interests or experiences? What challenges do they face, and how can you help? Don't just use their contact information—use what you learn about them to craft a message that resonates.

2. Look for Trigger Events: Trigger events are significant occurrences that can provide context for your message. These could be awards, new funding rounds, or competitive changes. Mentioning these events in your follow-ups shows you’re paying attention and positions you as a partner who understands their situation.

3. Choose the Right Level of Personalization: Personalizing emails can be time-consuming, so focus your efforts where they’ll have the most impact. For smaller deals or lower-level contacts, basic personalization might be enough. But for high-stakes opportunities with decision-makers, go all out. Tailor your message to address their specific needs and interests.

Why Personalization Matters

Personalization might seem like a lot of work, but it pays off. Studies show that personalized emails can boost revenue by up to 76%. By taking the time to craft messages that truly connect with your prospects, you’ll build stronger relationships and close more deals.

By implementing these strategies, you can make your follow-ups more effective and increase your chances of success.

Give Your Emails a Unique Spin

Your prospects get flooded with emails every day. To stand out, your follow-up messages need to be unique and engaging. Here’s how you can make your emails more interesting and increase your chances of getting a response:

1. Offer Free Stuff: Instead of pushing a sale, start a conversation by offering something valuable for free. This could be a free consultation, an eBook, or access to a helpful resource. People are more likely to respond if there’s something in it for them.

2. Present a Killer Deal: While you shouldn’t always try to sell in follow-up emails, making an exception for a special offer can be effective. Consider offering a limited-time discount or a special promotion. A one-time five percent off coupon, for example, can create urgency and prompt a quick response.

3. Include a Video Message: A video message can set you apart because it’s personal and engaging. Write a compelling message and include a link to a short video you’ve recorded. This approach shows that you’re serious about connecting and makes your email more memorable.

By giving your emails a unique spin, you can capture your prospect's attention and encourage them to respond. This approach not only differentiates you from the competition but also builds a stronger connection with your recipients.

Use Automation to Follow Up Faster

Streamlining your follow-up process is essential to maintain efficiency and consistency. Here’s how you can leverage automation to make following up with prospects easier and more effective:

1. Email Templates: Utilize email templates to avoid typing out each follow-up message from scratch. By copying, pasting, personalizing, and sending, you can save time while maintaining a personal touch in your communications.

2. Automation Tools: Automation tools can take your follow-up process to the next level. These tools allow you to set up follow-ups on autopilot, ensuring you never miss a touchpoint. You don’t have to remember who to message and when—the tool does it for you.

3. CRM Integration: A robust CRM like Smartlead offers extensive automation features. For example, Smartlead's workflow capabilities let you specify who to follow up with and which templates to use. The platform can personalize your emails based on your database and schedule them to be sent at optimal times.

By using templates and automation software, the follow-up process becomes much simpler and more manageable. This efficiency ensures you stay consistent with your follow-ups, helping you build stronger relationships with prospects and boosting your sales success.

Conclusion

Follow-up emails are a game-changer in B2B sales, boosting reply rates and setting you apart from competitors. By implementing a strategic follow-up pattern, personalizing messages, and leveraging automation tools like Smartlead, you can enhance engagement and close more deals. Don't let missed opportunities slip through the cracks—start optimizing your follow-up strategy today with Smartlead and watch your sales soar.

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Author’s Details

Sattwik Das

Sattwik is a Digital Marketing professional at Smartlead. He is a dedicated content writer who focuses on juggling words to bring out meaningful content. He is experienced in well-researched and SEO-optimized content creation, content editing, and copywriting for various businesses throughout the globe. His expertise in SEO, SMM, and SMO with a touch of creativity helps businesses grow and maximize their credibility and sales.

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Edited by:

Sattwik Das

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Smartlead, the best cold email marketing tool, ensures your emails reach the intended recipients' primary inbox rather than the spam folder. 

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No. Smartlead distinguishes itself from other cold email outreach software by focusing on limitless scalability and seamless integration. While many similar tools restrict your outreach capabilities, Smartlead offers a different approach.

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