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Crafting the Best B2B Follow-Up Emails

Posted by IndustrySelect on Tuesday, September 28, 2021

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6 MIN. READ

Whether you’re chasing down a lead or eagerly anticipating a response from a recent prospect, waiting for a reply that never hits your inbox can be frustrating. If you want to turn a lead into a recurring client, your follow-up tactics are essential. Keep reading to learn the best practices for crafting the best follow-up email responses for non-responders.

Why Following Up is So Essential

People are busy, and it is easy for marketing emails and other promotions to get swept under the rug. Sending a friendly, noninvasive reminder is a great way to nudge a lead or prospective client into taking action.

Keep in mind that your follow-up attempts can make or break a deal with a lead. In fact, the first follow-up email with a prospective client has a 40% higher response rate compared to the first email.

Following up also shows persistence in justifying your product or service to the client. Consistency with this is key to closing a sale. Your prompt follow-up with a client may very well make the difference between them choosing your business over a competitor’s.

Related: 85 Email Marketing Statistics for B2B Success

What a Non-Response Really Means

A non-response is not always indicative of a client’s disinterest in your business. More often than not, many sales and marketing professionals render this type of response to mean that the lead needs an extra push. However, this is not always the case. A client might not respond for a number of reasons:

• Other business priorities and daily operations can get in the way of prompting action.
• They might be waiting for a more opportune time to make a decision on your product or services.
• They might need additional time to think things over before making a final decision.
• Your contact may be waiting on other executives' input and buy-in to move forward.

Timing: When to Send a Follow-up Email

The best time to send a follow-up with a lead is after the first contact. Ideally, this should be within a few days after the initial conversation, or as soon as possible. At most, only wait up to three days for non-responders. This sense of urgency is due to the nature of how a prospective lead will view your confidence in your product or service. In other words, if you wait a week or more, it will have been too long since the initial contact, and the prospective lead may have a skewed perception of your business - most likely in a manner that is not in your favor.

After the initial contact is complete, you can modify your follow-up system to suit the particular client and their needs. Subsequent follow-up emails should be strategically spread out throughout the coming weeks ahead in your calendar. Your strategy should be refined over time depending on the response rate of your follow-ups.

How many Times to Send a Follow-up Before Calling it Quits

While you want to be persistent, you do not want to bombard a recipient with too many emails. That will just annoy and likely dissuade them from further communication. For the best long-term tactics, find a balance between staying in contact with the client and becoming spam in their inbox. The optimal balance will depend on your situation, but HubSpot indicates that 5 follow-ups are needed to make 80% of sales.

Also, consider implementing a variety of techniques. Reach out at different times of the day to gauge the best time to reach the prospective lead. In like manner, consider making contact with different members of their organization. This will enable you to cast a wider net.

What Your Follow-up Email Content Should Contain

Your follow-up email should be as specific as possible. After all, you want to get directly to the point with a prospective lead. With this in mind, the best approach to take is to leave the door open. This strategy doesn't give the lead an ultimatum or break-up email, and instead leaves ample room in the conversation to entice a client to want to learn more about your product or service. Best of all, an open-ended close leaves the client on a positive note wherein they can reach out if and when they are ready to do so. This type of follow-up email is more likely to elicit a positive response from prospective clients, as they won't feel pressured to make a decision.

Additionally, your follow-up email content should be specific and include a call to action. This is what prompts a prospective client to respond to an actionable request. Avoid ambiguity and choose questions or comments that ask for a close. From there, the client will do all the leg work on their own and reach back out to you about next steps.

Here are some examples of stand-out follow up emails:

• “It seems like our goals are not aligned at the moment. I’ll get in touch in a few months to see if anything has changed.”
• “Let’s reconnect in a few weeks. In the meantime, feel free to reach out if you get the urge!”
• “I think I can really help you. Are you free for a demo this Friday?”
• “I’d love to learn more about your company. Where’s the best place/who’s the best person for me to contact to learn more about Project XYZ?”
• “I know many clients are eagerly anticipating your XYZ service/product heading into the upcoming season. Is this a priority for your team right now?”

Follow-up emails are critical for closing deals with your clients. Give these strategies a try and see what works best for you and your team.

But before you think about follow-ups, you need to make sure your email list is optimized. IndustrySelect is an interactive data platform, containing detailed profiles like this of 460,000 industrial businesses and one million executives for your sales, marketing, and business development campaigns. Learn more about how IndustrySelect can help you with your follow-up email tactics. Or try a free demo today!

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