After deciding on the story you want to convey throughout your campaign follow-ups, the next step is to start writing each email individually to form the sequence.
You will come up with your own ideas depending on the market or industry you are targeting, but here are the most common examples of follow-ups in B2B email campaigns to give a nudge in the right direction:
- the inquiry of fit
- the reminder
- adding value
- the right contact person
- the goodbye/breakaway
- the “I see you opened” (note: this one should be avoided)
Let’s break them down one by one.
The inquiry of fit
Even though typically the ‘inquiry of fit’ touchpoint is used as the first in the campaign, it can be partially repeated inside any other follow up type. Very useful at any stage to verify if there is any fit between their needs and your product. It can be introduced in any part of the email, but it commonly appears in the CTA when the sender asks to schedule a meeting.
e.g.: “Having stated the points above, if you resonate with any of them, would you like to plan a call next week to discuss xyz?”
Applicable to: all emails; all situations
The reminder is a very versatile follow-up type that serves as a way to reconnect with the recipient on the main topic of the reach out. If done professionally and without being pushy it will successfully keep you fresh in the mind of the prospect. The reminder usually refers back to the previous message and brings up the same points and arguments, with some adjustments.
Do note that the reminder should not sound/read like a nag. Every follow-up you do needs to be valuable on its own.
e.g.: “I’m messaging you to see what are your thoughts on the pain points I shared in the previous message and if you identified with any of them. What we have seen is that ABC is amongst the top strategies to deal with issue XYZ.”
Applicable to: from the 2nd to the last follow-up; best against read but not yet convinced and didn’t read
Every email you send to prospects should be adding value to the conversation and the adding value type follow-up really drives the point home. Think here about a more practical increase in value, the inclusion of links to detailed articles or videos that will help your prospect understand their own needs better.
e.g.: “At our company, we believe that the best way to show you the value of our product is to share the experience of our customers, so here is a customer story exhibiting the impact we had in their growth.”
Applicable to: from the 2nd to the last follow-up; all situations
The right contact person
When you have thrown everything you could at the prospect, yet you feel that you are pushing it too far with the follow-ups, you can send one last email that takes the weight off the shoulders of the recipient.
Ask them if they are the relevant person to discuss the topic with, and if not, ask them to kindly connect you with the relevant person. Do not use this type of follow-up too early as it will expose your content to scrutiny for targeting prospects who you yourself do not believe to be most relevant.
e.g.:“…However, I totally understand that you might not be the right person to talk about this. If that is the case could you kindly connect me with the right decision maker?”
Applicable to: last follow-up; best against did not read and read but had no time to answer
Another typical last follow-up is the goodbye, a breakaway message, expressing that you respect that they don’t want to talk due to being very busy so you just want to give them an easy out. Basically, a quick one-two word reply from their side or even selecting an option from a list.
e.g.: “I respect that you are not interested to engage in a dialogue. So I thought I could provide you an easy way to reply. Should you feel inclined to do so:
a) I am not interested
b) This is not a good time, check back later
c) I have not had the chance to read your previous emails
d) I have read them but I have not had the chance to formulate a reply”
Applicable to: last follow-up; all situations
A bad example: the “I see you opened”
The “I see you opened” is a very tricky strategy that can prove unsettling to the recipient due to privacy reasons. It can look like you are rushing the prospect and not allowing them to show interest at their own pace. More often than not, this tactic has a negative impact on your company’s reputation and doesn’t accomplish the number one priority which is to bring more value to the recipient.
The only situation in which the ‘I see you opened’ might work is if you offered value in the previous emails and they downloaded/opened the content you shared, which would indicate some sort of interest from their part.
Applicable to: only if the last follow-up was value added; best against read but not yet convinced