Have you ever spent what seemed like an eternity crafting the “perfect” email only to receive nothing but silence in return? If you’re like most people, you’ve probably done it. After all, according to recent research, the typical person receives 141 emails each day but only sends 40.
After all, sending the first email is only half the battle. Even if you follow all of the guidelines, you may not receive a response. When that happens, it’s all about the follow-ups.
First Things First: It Isn’t Personal
Before we get into the meat of the matter, there’s something I’d like to emphasis. Don’t take it personally, if you don’t receive a response to an email you sent, it doesn’t define that the communication is over. A lack of response does not always imply that something went wrong with your email or that the other person deliberately ignores you. That is rarely the case in my experience.
The fact is that the recipient most likely saw your email and intended to react. Just a little later. When everything started to slow down, the trouble is that, despite their best efforts, they had forgotten by the time things eventually calmed down – hours (or even days) later. This is something I’m sure I’ve done, and you may have done as well.
The First Follow Up Email
This first follow-up letter should be sent three-five days after your original email, and it has just one goal: to get your name back to the top of their inbox. It must be brief, low-stress, non-salesy and guilt-free. From a content standpoint, all you’re doing is condensing the substance of your first email into one or two sentences. You can even include the original message at the bottom of your follow-up email so your recipient doesn’t have to rummage through their inbox to locate it.
The Second Follow Up Email
Seven days after the Friendly Re-Ping follow-up message, send the second follow-up email.
The aim here, like the previous, isn’t to convict or blame the other person. In reality, this email should have the opposite effect. Assume your communications are merely being misplaced and give your receiver the benefit of the doubt.
“I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to check in after my last note.”
Then you can proceed to simply sharing why it is you are contacting them, how they could benefit from a conversation and request for a time to meet.
The Final Follow Up
Ten to Fourteen days after the welcome, check-in, follow-up, and second follow-up (which can be optional), comes the last follow-up email.
It’s been over 30 days at this point, so it’s time to switch things up a little. By removing your offer off the table, you hope to generate a sense of urgency with this message. Alter your course and inform them that you have left them a voice message, showcase your work by providing links, and make the messaging brief.
The truth is, even with the proper initial message and the follow-up email strategy outlined above, you won’t get a reply to every single email you send (particularly when it comes to cold emails).
If you haven’t received a response after sending these five emails, it’s reasonable to conclude they aren’t in the right frame of mind right now. I propose putting your outreach efforts on hold for 3-6 months, depending on the connection and circumstances, before attempting again. After all, you can always presume they’re still interested until you get a firm “no.”
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