If only 2% of sales are made at the initial contact with a lead, then how do you keep your numbers up?
Quick answer: multiple follow-ups.
Ideally, once you get a lead, you stay in touch with them because everyone’s distracted by many things — emails, meetings, errands, kids, and maybe an ad of the last Amazon item you checked out.
But why are most of us guilty of not following up with leads?
Probably because follow-ups are just icky. Because they kind of feel salesy. Because it just takes a lot of willpower, discipline, and organization skills to send the right message at the right time…
The thing is:
When we don’t send follow-ups, the leads fall through the cracks.
In an audit of 2,241 U.S. companies, Harvard found that only 37% responded within an hour to their lead.
And Drift’s lead response survey found that:
- 7% of 433 companies responded within 5 minutes of contact
- 55% of the companies didn’t even reply within 5 working days
We all spend money to get leads, but once we get their attention, we fail to do everything we should do to convert them to paying customers.
One solution is automated email follow-ups.
So, how do you set automated email follow-ups so you don’t lose leads or lose sales opportunities? Stay with us, and we’ll discuss this in detail.
What are automated email follow-ups?
Automated email follow-ups are emails sent to recipients who didn’t respond (or in some cases click) a previous email. They can give different results depending on what email is being referenced.
An automatic follow-up email after a sales call can:
- help close the deal faster
- collect feedback on their objections
- use it to upsell to a higher package
- get testimonials and user reviews
Sending a follow-up email is a good way for salespeople to increase their chances of getting a response from potential customers.
How do you know when to send the follow-up messages?
Marketers follow the general rule that you should wait at least 3 days before sending a follow-up email. Once you’ve sent the first follow-up email, it’s now up to your sales and marketing automation strategy to decide how many more times you should send another if there’s still no response.
You could use this strategy in situations where you’re:
- Getting no response from cold emails (networking) sent to prospects.
- Asking for feedback from a recent purchase.
- Asking for a referral from a user.
- Or other situations that are not time-sensitive.
However, when we’re talking about time-sensitive events and user behaviors, the 3-day delay isn’t advisable. For instance, a welcome email or confirmation email with critical signup information that’s a part of your onboarding sequence.
In this case, your follow-up should be automated and triggered by the recipient’s activity (or lack of it, therefore). By not opening the original welcome email, you might want to re-send the same email with a different subject line a couple of days (or even a few hours) after the person fails to open it the first time around.
You can do this with Encharge, but we’ll share the details on how later. 🙂
First, let’s talk about the leads you need to follow up with and the type of email follow-ups you can send to them.
7 Leads who need automated email follow-ups
The leads below must receive the follow-up emails automatically:
1. Trial onboarding sign-ups
People who just signed up for your trial are those who showed interest in your product. They choose to experience your service for free first before deciding if it’s worth the purchase. You have limited time to fully capture and convert them, so you must maximize your opportunity.
Sending out the welcome email is critical. It can include the following:
- A “thank you” message expressing your gratitude for their trial.
- Unique selling points of your product or service.
- Describe what your most valuable product’s feature does and how it will help your users.
- What they’ll discover (or miss out) inside.
- The list of what needs to be done to get started
With this kind of content, you know that if the subscriber fails to read this welcome email, there’s a lot that they’ll miss. So, you must automatically follow up by resending it again.
2. People who signed up for your webinars
Okay, webinar follow-up emails are quite important, so we’ll break them up into two ― pre-webinar and post-webinar emails. Emails you send from registrants to attendees (or non-attendees) should be automatic.
First are pre-webinar reminders. Getting them right will improve your attendance rate. The pre-webinar emails are all about motivating your prospects to show up.
Your first automated pre-webinar reminder is the confirmation email. Send it immediately to anyone who signed up to attend. Include the link to the webinar so they can access it later. Or ask them to include it in their schedule.
Also, you have to set up automated email follow-ups within days, hours, and even minutes before the webinar itself. It’s a good idea to outline in your reminder what they’ll learn in the webinar so they’ll be motivated to tune in. This way, you get to nudge more people to attend.
3. Post-webinar attendees
These automated follow-ups are sent after the webinar event. There are 2 audience groups ― those who attended and those who didn’t.
Let’s talk about attendees first. Follow up with these automated emails right after the live webinar:
- Your appreciation of their attendance
- Closing notice for your offer
For non-attendees, don’t ignore them. You can set up new automated campaigns to win them back.
4. Those who are interested in a demo or sales call
Like in live webinars, sending automated follow-ups is essential for those who want a demo. Immediately send a confirmation email to acknowledge their interest. You can set this automated email follow-up to remind them of their appointment. The sequence can actually be similar to your automated follow-ups in the webinar.
5. Cold email recipients
Marketers know that cold emailing is a hard outreach. By far, you neither have a relationship with your audience nor do you get immediate feedback if what you did worked.
So, what makes cold emailing time-sensitive?
If you’re trying to connect, mentioning an upcoming event makes it timely. It is a great opportunity to convert them to leads fast. You can then send automated follow-ups before the date. A quick tip is to make your subject lines sound urgent.
6. Subscribers of gated content
Do you think you have good content that your audience will love? Then make the most out of it. You can use this to hook visitors into giving their contact details. Just like that, you’ll get new leads.
Send automated follow-up emails about the lead magnet they just submitted a form for. What’s even better? You just entered them into a new sequence (nurture sequence) that might convert them into users of your product. So, yes, these follow-up emails are one of the best ways to generate leads.
7. Renewal follow-up
If you’re a subscription-driven company, you depend on your customers to renew their business with you. Their recurring transactions must be acknowledged at all times. So, set up an automated email follow-up with your paying subscribers.
When your marketing automation tool detects that your client’s account has been renewed, it should send an automated follow-up email that stresses how much you appreciate their partnership and that you look forward to working with them again.
Bonus: Your users may re-purchase because of a follow-up email. It’s an opportunity to upsell or cross-sell.
When someone buys, it’s a courtesy to thank them. Use post-purchase emails to confirm their order details and even beyond. The automated email follow-up can be helpful in letting them know what they’ve ordered, its unique features, and its specialty.
It’s a free opportunity to suggest a product that goes well with a recent purchase (cross-sell) or why an upgraded package is way better (upsell).
You can also use them to share more information about your brand and products and know why they chose you over others. Vice versa, customers will learn more about who you are and you about them. At the same time, those already familiar with your brand can become even more loyal.
CRM and marketing automation platform: keys to automated email follow-ups
Now that you know the leads who need automated email follow-ups the most let’s talk about how you can make a system for this.
When you don’t follow up with potential and current customers, you miss out on opportunities to increase sales.
So if you have a large customer base, a customer relationship management (CRM) tool comes in handy. You can see who needs a follow-up immediately.
A CRM streamlines your email follow-up process, so you can focus on what’s important — nurturing relationships with your customers and closing sales.
To be more effective, go for an automation tool such as Encharge that integrates with your favorite CRM tools like Hubspot and Salesforce. That way, you sync user data like form submissions from Encharge to CRM and the other way around.
How to set up an automated follow-up email on Encharge
As promised, we’ll show you how to set up automated follow-up emails here in Encharge. For us to be on the same page, we’ll use this case as an example:
You have a scheduled webinar for all your week-old trial users about maximizing the use of your product. So, you’ll send invitations to your current trial users.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it with Encharge:
Step 1: Choose a trigger
Start with a trigger for the Flow. The trigger we’ll use is the External Form Submitted step which adds people to a flow when they submit your webinar form.
Step 2: Add the first email ― your invitation
Connect the trigger to a Send Email step, and select the first email you’d like to send. In our example, we’ll send an invitation to the segment.
Step 3: Put a Wait step in
We want to wait for 1 day before sending a follow-up email. For this particular case, it will be a resend of the initial email but with a different subject line. It is our goal to reach as many trial users as possible, so if they haven’t opened the invitation even after a day, we’ll follow up.
The Wait step will give time for people to digest the email before we check their activity.
Without this step, the email activity check is done instantly, so make sure to add it!
Step 4: Add Check Email Activity step
Let’s add a step for checking email activity. Step 4 allows us to send follow-up emails based on your audience’s response. Check first if the first email was opened. Then, add another step to check if they have responded.
Step 5: Send the follow-up email/s
It’s time to decide what follow-up email to send. In our example, you should prepare 2 emails:
- One for those who responded to the invitation email.
- And a resend of the invitation email to people that have not opened it.
Users who confirmed their attendance will enter a new flow where they’ll further receive automated follow-ups like reminders before the webinar begins.
Start with this flow in just 2 clicks. Copy the flow to your Encharge account by clicking on the image below:
Leverage automated email follow-ups ASAP
We’ve talked about the importance of following up with your leads and who they are. Automating the process can ensure that you don’t lose them anywhere in their journey. That’s a plus in their customer experience and possible conversions for you.
Automated email follow-ups are the most convenient medium to stay in touch at every level of your funnel. If you enable them to fire based on the individual’s email activity, they will run without you having to intervene.
Encharge is the perfect solution if you’re looking for this kind of follow-up or resending. Reach them with more personalized emails tailored to their specific scenarios at the right time.