How never to forget to follow-up so you keep growing your business
We explain the best way to follow-up on your clients so you never miss a lead and continue to grow your business.
After his studies in industrial engineering at RWTH Aachen University, Tobias co-founded Mailbutler GmbH together with Fabian in 2015. In his free time, he spends most of his time in the garden and with his son Timo.
For many businesses, success comes more from being persistent than from being patient. Persistence to start and build relationships. Persistence to keep trying new tactics and strategies.
Perhaps most importantly, persistence to carry on when facing the toughest market conditions.
That’s why we’ve been busy improving the Follow-Up Reminder feature for Outlook, Gmail and Apple Mail, because we know how persistence can be an absolute game-changer when it comes to growing your business.
And following up on emails is all about being persistent with your leads! But what's so important about following up, and how can you do it better? Mailbutler explains.
Why bother following up?
Following up is important for a number of reasons. Maybe you want to follow up because you want to remind someone that you're waiting for their reply, or you want to get customer feedback after a successful sale.
Perhaps you're planning on sending cold emails out to a number of leads and don't want to forget to send a second, bump email.
Or maybe you met someone at a networking event, and you need to remember to message them about that awesome opportunity they had.
Of course, it can be hard when you don’t get a reply.
You’re wondering if the recipient is ignoring you, whether they’ve chosen your competitor, or maybe if your emails are even being delivered.
(By the way – that’s something else Mailbutler for Outlook, Gmail and Apple Mail can also solve for you.) Just remember that follow-up emails have four main purposes:
Following up shows your client that you value them
Let’s say you meet someone at a networking event. You get a coffee and you chat about ideas. After having a great time and learning a lot from one another, as you're about to leave, you say, 'speak to you soon.
Then what? You need to follow up with them, to show you value them and want to take things further: by continuing working with them!
A follow-up helps to differentiate your business
You’re likely to be one of several options for a prospect. So whether they’ve heard your pitch, finished your free trial, or received your quote, it’s time to follow-up.
You can be sure that some of your competitors won’t, so the extra effort can be the difference between signing up or saying goodbye.
Highlight your professionalism by following up
Following up shows you’re organized, serious about doing business, and that you’re reliable. At the start of a potential business relationship, these are the qualities a prospect wants to see.
What’s more, it shows you take the initiative, are ready to get the ball rolling, and that you respect their schedules and timing.
A follow-up reminder lets you offer a positive experience
Taking the time and effort to follow up also shows that you’re sincere. Even a short personalized message can help spark further discussion. Try asking if they’re happy with an outcome, have a concern, or if they’d like extra help.
Sometimes it's difficult to follow-up
There are hundreds of reasons to need to follow up. In an ideal world, you’d manage to do all those things – on time and every time. In the real world, though, business and life get in the way.
Whether it’s a lengthy to-do list, a calendar full of meetings, or simply that your market and competitors are moving so fast that you’re busy keeping up, it can be easy to forget to follow up - and that's a bad thing.
All these demands on your time happen behind the scenes.
However, to your front-facing customers, missing follow-ups can look like bad communication. And that’s when you risk losing them to the competition.
After all, it costs a lot more to acquire a customer than retain them. This miscommunication can lead to losses for “smaller companies of 100 employees an average of $420,000 per year.”
The question is: what can companies do about it? The answer, thankfully, is right inside your inbox.
Solving the follow-up challenges
To get into the habit of following up on emails, you need a system.
Good news: Mailbutler for Outlook, Gmail and Apple Mail gives you that system, plus a whole load of tools to help you manage your follow-ups!
For example, when you have emails that need following up, you can get a reminder sent straight to your inbox in just two clicks. Instead of trying to remember all those people you have to follow up with, simply wait for reminders to come in.
You can set these reminders from right inside your inbox, and get notified when it’s time to follow up. Plus you can set a rule that marks your follow-up as done when you’ve received a reply.
These follow-up tasks are located under the Mailbutler Tasks feature, directly in the Mailbutler Sidebar, integrated right into your inbox.
You can also add notes to your messages with Mailbutler. This means when you get the follow-up reminder, you head to the email you need to respond to, and you can see immediately all the information you need to include, because you were clever enough to add a note to the message!
Mailbutler for Outlook, Gmail and Apple Mail makes it easy to add notes and tasks to emails and contacts, and on our Business plan, you can share these across your team, improving your workflow even more.
Timing is important, but so is the frequency
The Mailbutler system frees you to focus on being persistent. After all, you’re contacting people to help them in some way (as well as grow your business), whether that’s inviting them for a meeting, offering them a deal, or giving them the news.
That’s why it’s fine to send multiple follow-up emails until you get a reply.
Studies such as this one from Iko System found an 18% response rate to the first email, 13% to the fourth, and 27% with the sixth.
These sorts of patterns are common. Sometimes it’s down to your email arriving in the right inbox at the right time.
Or maybe your recipient doesn’t have a system (or Mailbutler!), and so they keep missing or forgetting your emails.
Of course, it could simply be that they aren't interested - but at least once you get a reply, you'll know that for certain, meaning you can focus your energy somewhere else.
How do you remember to follow up with clients?
The easiest and most convenient way to remember to follow up with clients is to set follow-up reminders.
Mailbutler is a feature-rich productivity extension for Gmail, Outlook, and Apple Mail that allows you to create follow-up reminders right in your email inbox.
All you need to do is choose the contact or email message you want to follow up on and specify when you want the reminder to appear in your mailbox (date and time).
What’s more, Mailbutler can notify both your computer and your phone so you don’t miss out on any business opportunity.
Finally, Mailbutler lets you sync your follow-up reminders with other productivity apps like Todoist, Trello, Jira, and Asana. By the way, you should compare Asana with Jira, for example, if you don't already have a project management tool.
Why is following up important in business?
Following up with your customers, leads, and partners is extremely important for your business for a number of reasons, including:
- It helps you show your recipients you value them
- It helps you demonstrate professionalism
- It helps you stand out from the crowd as not all companies keep up with their follow-up emails (this can be one of your competitive advantages)
- It helps you create a positive customer experience
- It helps you build strong, long-term customer relationships
Why is following up so important in sales?
Following up with your customers is important because it adds value to the product or service they bought from you.
It also helps you keep them engaged and show them you have more to offer.
This often leads to additional sales as well as referrals to potential customers.
How do you write a catchy follow up email?
To write a catchy follow-up email, you need to:
- Craft a short but enticing subject line
- Avoid using “follow up” in the subject line or the email body
- Open the email by reminding your recipient of your last interaction
- Add value by offering your recipient a useful gift (for example, a relevant case study)
- Include a clear yet irresistible CTA at the end of the email
Hopefully the above has given you ideas on how to always remember your follow-ups. Ultimately, it’s about establishing great communication channels, leading to great business relationships.
It just takes some patience – and a lot of persistence.
How about you? How has following up impacted your business?
Any tips or advice on creating reminders that get results? Please share your insights below in the comments section below, and if you've been convinced, click the button!
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