Email subject lines
Keep it simple. Make your subject short, crisp, and have a recall value. Your goal is to interest your reader and keep them interested in more. Don’t keep pushing your products, because they’ll get back to you with a simple “OK. So what?”
Here are some examples of great subject lines:
Avoid including potentially in-your-face spammy words like:
Last day for sale
Reminder to purchase
Email opening lines
When you’re writing your email’s opening line, avoid stating the obvious like, “Hi, my name is George…”
Get to the point, right from the beginning by talking about something impactful.
I came across your profile on LinkedIn…
We have a mutual connection, who mentioned…..
Your post on (mention post) was incredible and I wanted to reach out to you with some doubts….
Give your salespeople a clear pathway to take action. End with a question or statement such as:
Do you have some time to discuss…?
Let me know how we can take this forward
Are you available for a quick chat?
Again, keep it simple. Don’t distract your prospects and don’t go with cliches. Stick to the standard in most organizations, which is:
Short and professional
Mention your official number
Include a link to your LinkedIn profile so that your prospects know you’re for real, plus they can connect with you
You would’ve seen many emails from different sources in your inbox, beginning with the phrase “Checking in…”, “Wanted to check in with you…”, or “Just wanted to check in to see…”. These emails usually enter your inbox when you have not opened, or responded to a previous email.
If it’s not obvious yet, these are follow-up emails and these expressions are a typical characteristic of them.
How to send a follow-up email
The repetitive phrases mentioned before are highly ineffective because they sound ‘needy’, generic and as a result, don’t always catch the attention of the recipient nor provide any value.
The truth is, you aren’t ‘checking-in’ are you? You’re looking at an end-goal, which is to generate some business, or at the very least, some intent like making them accept a demo request. To do this, you need to ensure that your follow-up email catches their attention and provides them with value.
Here are some key steps involved in writing the perfect follow-up email.
Identify the purpose
What is the reason you are sending this follow-up email? That’s what you need to ask yourself even before you start writing one.
Here are some common purposes for sending a follow-up email.
It is not uncommon to forget to ask the prospect something crucial or be in need of some additional information.
Some things you can ask them are information about their business, their pain points, status updates, etc. Clearly state what you need and you’ll provide them with a clear direction on how they can respond to you.
Scheduling a meeting
There may be instances where you need to get on a call with your prospect or get them over to your office to pick their brain, pitch your product, or get some feedback. So, in this type of email, provide some crisp points on what you will be discussing with them in the meeting and how this discussion will provide value to the recipient.
You can even go one step further and add a link to a free meeting scheduling software so that they can block some time on your calendar.
Sometimes, your prospects can go AWOL or you may get notified on a personal milestone for them or their company. This serves as a perfect time for you to enquire about these things directly from them.
For example, if their business has recently grown and they are in a comfortable position to afford your product or service, send them a quick catch-up follow-up email. Again, it’s important to state what you’re hoping to catch up with them regarding, and avoid generic and lazy sounding messages as much as you can.
Thank you follow-up
Personally thanking them for something can go a long way. You may not get an immediate response with these emails, but it leaves your recipients feeling positive about you and your company.
This is something that they’ll remember down the line, especially when they need to refer you to a colleague or someone important in the industry.
Here are some examples of situations where you might want to send a “thank you” follow-up email:
Provide you with a referral
Write a review for you on a software review website or give you time to complete a case study
When they help you close deals
As you can see, once you've determined the objective of your follow-up email, you can begin writing your note with a clear purpose. This way you can incorporate your CTA in a way that's obvious and easy for your recipients to understand and act on. This includes responding with the information you've requested, scheduling a meeting time with you, catching up on what's happened in their life — whether it's businesses or personal — since you last spoke, or simply reading and acknowledging your thank you note.
By identifying and stating your objective in your follow-up email, you'll be able to provide your recipients with a professional message and CTA that gives them some type of immediate value (depending on your specific objective) and a way to act on it.
Opening lines for follow-up emails
Everybody receives tons of emails every day, and with this high volume, it is important to make your email stand out in front.
Include a personal connection or identifier that’ll help your prospect remember you the next time.
Emphasizing and providing context around your initial communication, email, conversation, or interaction will jog their memory and make it easier for them to understand your email and respond. Be sure to start your email with this context so that your recipient knows who you are and what you're following up about — the last thing you want to do is confuse the person (or people) you're looking to impress and do business with.
Here are some examples of strong email openers for you to consider using in your follow-up to provide your recipient with the context they need.
Effective email opening lines
I was inspired after you spoke at the [Name of Event].
Our friend, [Mutual Friend's Name] suggested that I reach out.
Last time we spoke about... [Topic].
I'm reaching out in regards to the email I sent a few weeks ago about [Topic].
Now, let's take a look at a follow-up email template with an email opener that's sure to provide your recipient with the context they need.
Stating the purpose
Next, state the purpose of the follow-up email. The trick is, if you’re straightforward with what you want to achieve from the email right from the get-go, it’ll prevent you from sounding pushy, spammy, or generic.
For example, instead of sounding vague like, “Hey, I’d like to have a quick chat about what you do”, you should go with something like “Hey, I’d like to have a quick chat with you regarding how you consistently reach your quota because I have been struggling with my targets.”
With a line like this, you would be specific and not make your prospects feel as though they were wasting their time reading the email. They will also understand why you ask for their attention.
Let's take a look at a few ways to clearly state the purpose of your email in your follow-up message.
Some ways to state your purpose
I want to invite you to join me at [Name of Event], I think you'll find it helpful for what you do at [Company Name].
As we discussed, here is the developer [insert link] I think who could help you with your new website.
It would be great to hear more about [topic] as I'm working on something similar at [Company Name].
The follow-up subject line
It’s a good practice to come up with the subject line of your follow-up email after you write its body. Why? Because you already know what your email is about and you just have to shorten it into a strong subject line. Otherwise, you’d just be spending too much time on the subject line of your email and lose focus on its content.
Here are some other ways to write a strong subject line that will help you improve your email open rates.
Tips for strong subject lines
Use concrete numbers and times
Create a sense of urgency by using “tomorrow.”
Try omitting the subject line.
The last one is more uncommon and may not work for all kinds of businesses and scenarios. Try this — A/B test your emails with a subject line, and without, to understand what works for your target audience, prospects, customers, and buyer personas!
Send the follow-up email
So, your follow-up email has been written. Your opening line is perfect, your purpose is stated clearly and you’ve decided on a strong subject line (or not). Now, you need to determine when you’re going to send it.
Depending upon the type of follow-up email you’re sending, you need to send it at a particular time to ensure that your message is relevant to your recipients and also that it has a high chance of being opened.
Here are some time-frames for various kinds of follow-up emails:
Within 24 Hours
Send them a "thank you" email after a meeting, sale, conference, or other special occasions like a case study collaboration that warrant immediate gratitude in the form of a follow-up.
Within 48 Hours
If your reason for following up was fairly urgent like a sign up , then follow up within 48 hours.
Within 1-2 Weeks
Follow up on a meeting request, after no response regarding a job offer or to confirm receipt of a previously sent email you needed their valuable feedback on.
Once in 3 Months
Catch up with someone you’ve connected with in the past and see if anything has changed for them in their business environment or see if there’s been a new development in their business or personal life (this depends on your relationship with them).
Your email campaigns should have rich and engaging content. But its effectiveness is measured on its timing and their sending patterns to subscribers. You have to strike the right balance between these two attributes.
Your subscribers will definitely opt-out of email lists if you send them emails often. This is why you need an optimal email cadence to ensure it doesn’t.
Email cadence best practices
Understand what you want to achieve
Do you want more open rates or click rates? Do you want to reduce the number of subscribers? Or do you purely want to retain them to influence sign-ups? Narrow down on what you exactly want to do and stick to it.
Try to categorize your customer’s mindset
If you have different email lists, understand what stage of the funnel they are on. If they are a blog subscriber, chances are their intent is lower than say somebody who has subscribed to product updates.
Personalize emails from time to time
You don’t have to go all-out on your personalization, but this is important. If it’s your prospect’s birthday or a special occasion, for example, go ahead and customize that email.
Don’t hold back too much or push too much
Strike a balance between mentioning your product and mentioning how much you want them to buy your product. Don’t push or hold back. Adopt a strategy that is right in the middle that gets them just enticed enough to care about your product or service.
Set the right frequency
Analyze the trends of your previous cadences. Are your subscribers opening or clicking emails more when you send them on a bi-weekly basis? Stick to that. If not, experiment with another cadence of say four weeks once.
Your subscribers have to be in control of what they want to see and what they don’t. Allow them to unsubscribe from your emails. Don’t get disheartened if they do. You’re just one great email away from winning them back.
What if you could keep your prospects and customers interested without working too much? Is it possible?
According to McKinsey, the average order value of a purchase from email is 3x higher than a purchase from social media. So, what if you can get the right balance of multiple emails when you can sit back, relax, and focus on your selling strategy?
When your email sequence is trigger-based, they are sent based on actions such as:
Your prospect’s browsing behavior
If your prospect subscribes to your list
Abandoning their checkout cart (for ecommerce websites)
Reading specific content
Purchasing your product or service
On the other hand, time-dependent email sequences work at preset time intervals such as:
With email sequences, you only have to set them up once and they’ll work effortlessly.
Since email sequences are automated, there’s no room for bottlenecks and can take people from not knowing anything about your product to becoming an ardent follower or an enthusiastic supporter of your brand.
Email sequence best practices
Here are some tips you can follow to optimize your email sequences and engage more prospects. Bucket them into different categories such as:
Nurture email sequence: A nurture sequence introduces the prospect to your company.
Engagement: Get some information about your prospect and use a sequence of emails to build a relationship with them.
Conversion email: Use this sequence when you need something from your prospects such as a call, meeting, or a demo.
Follow-up email: You can use this sequence to follow-up with your prospects when they don’t respond after a few outreach attempts.
Email sequence tools
Here are some of the best tools you can use to set up email sequences: