How to never forget to follow-up (so that you keep growing your business)

We explain the best way to follow up on your clients so you never miss a lead.

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By Tobias

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. Because we know how persistence can be an absolute game-changer when it comes to growing your business. Maybe you want to follow up because you:

  • Want to remind someone that you’re waiting for their reply
  • Promised a prospect that you’ll follow-up on their queries
  • Would like to get customer feedback after a successful sale
  • Plan to send a series of emails to a list of possible leads
  • Need to get clients to pay their invoices within your stated time period
  • Said you’d send a brochure to someone you met at a networking event

In an ideal world, you’d manage to do all those things – on time and every time. Whereas in the real world, business gets 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.

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 is… right inside your inbox. Below we explain why.

Solving the follow-up challenges

To get into the habit of following up emails, you need a system. 

Mailbutler 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.

Explore different ways to have perfect timing

This 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 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 27th 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 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 can also solve for you). Just remember that your follow-up emails act to:

  • Show your client that you value them
    Let’s say you go on a date with someone. You have a great time. You learned a lot about them, it felt like you connected, and you both said, ‘See you soon’ at the end of the date. Then what? You need to follow-up with them, to show you value them and want to take things further.
  • 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 good-bye.
  • Highlight your professionalism
    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.
  • 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.

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 with the Mailbutler community.

Have you already read this article on how our Mailbutler Contacts feature can help freelancers win more clients? Check it out now!

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