The best time to send a prospective customer an email is immediately after they sign up on your list. This can be for a lead generating offer or even if they just went through the process of buying something.
Many businesses either just don’t bother with a followup email or they only send one. This is where a prepared sequence of emails can actually push a customer or potential customer further along the relationship path.
Having a prepared and well thought out email series improves your relationship with the customer by allowing them insight into you and your business offerings. It can also open your business to doing more sales with the same customer, thereby increasing the customer value.
A followup email series can simply turn what was just a curious person into a life-time paying customer.
Example of an Effective Email Follow Up Sequence
An effective followup email sequence can be a few emails to many. Some people have 4 or 5 day followups and others have 20 or more.
A series is where they are all connected by purpose or theme to produce a specific outcome.
The example below outlines
Email Followup Frequency
Don’t be afraid to send daily or even multiple daily emails to your prospect. Provided you are delivering a value and it is closely tied to why they trusted you with their email in the first place.
The frequency will depend on your audience and you need to test. It can be every day, every couple of days, maybe even twice a day.
Everything in business needs to be tested for response and this is no different. Just test your audience behaviour and the results. Maybe in your market you will find it most effective to send an email just a couple times a week. There is no real standard across all niches EXCEPT to note that people will forget who you are and why they got on your list. If you aren’t emailing them on a frequent basis they may just unsubscribe because they forgot who you are.
What Should the First Followup Email Content Be?
Your first email to a prospective customer or someone who just purchased should be a combination of “congratulations for getting the thing (whether they just bought a piece of furniture from you or just downloaded a PDF”) – and an immediate up-sell, or cross-sell, or “price-slack-adjuster” or similar.
Have your autoresponder set up to IMMEDIATELY send them to a thing to purchase.
It can be anything so long as it is related to their obvious interest and costs money. When a prospect give you money, regardless of the amount, they now are a “customer”. People who give you money are more valuable and need to be treated differently than a prospect.
The cost of what you offer them can be as low as a dollar to as high as you want it to be.
Consider a random person scrolling through your a Lamborghini car lot website. Are they looky-loos or a serious buyer? You have no way of knowing until you take them down the sales process. Just like if they walked into the show room, you don’t know if they can afford one or even if they can, if they will buy one.
In this Lamborghini example, imagine a person is on the website and there is an optin offer like “10 Lamborghini Owners Share How their World Changed the Day they Drove their Lamborghini off the Lot” PDF. Have a beautiful image of the Lamborghini brochure they will be getting.
The email followup could be something like this:
Congratulations on getting our PDF – please download it here.
Next, as soon as they download it they get directed to a sales page with a “Limited offer of a 1975 Keychain Replica of the Lamborghini ALtd. – Only 23 were sold. They now sell for a Zillion dollars and there are only 6 left in circulation. The keychain is yours for only $134.00. And just like the 1975 ALtd. there is only a limited number of these keychains available. Hurry before they are Sold Out Forever!”
Then, if they buy the keychain, you can offer them a ride in a brand new Lamborghini (if they qualify). IE; Thank you for getting the keychain, you are definitely a person who knows value. You should know that our new Lamborghini model will only have 35 made this year. This prime investment won’t last long and we’d love to see YOU in one. Make your appointment for a test drive here…
Regardless of what you sell, the main advantage to up-selling to a product offer includes the fact that if they do buy, you will now have ALL their contact information.
The point is, you have their interest RIGHT NOW – don’t waste it!
Email Followup Series General Content Ideas
Here you will read an overview of a general email series. You will see how some of what was described above is repeated here. This overview does not include adding the immediate upsell.
Email 1. Confirmation
The first email to your new contact should be queued up in your autoresponder to be sent immediately after signup. The purpose of this email is to welcome and acknowledge your new lead personally.
This email can be used to request they take one more step to receive what you have promised to deliver by clicking a link to confirm they want to be your subscriber. For potential customers that are not familiar with the double opt-in procedure it is a good idea to inform them ahead of time what they will need to do with the first email. Also ensure to include very clear instructions in their first followup email.
There are different camps on whether or not you want to use double optin and you can read those arguments here: Double Optin
Now when they click the confirmation link in the initial email they should then be automatically sent the next email with the link to a web page where they can access what they signed up for. These two steps can be combined into just one step to avoid annoying a new prospect.
If they have also made a purchase then your autoresponder should have a separate email containing a thank you and their receipt.
Email 2. Encourage Their Consumption
The next email needs to remind your new prospect of who you are and why they are on your list. You can ask them what they think of your report or product so far. Include another link to where they can access their new asset and links to your social sharing networks. Invite involvement from your new contact by asking them to join you on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn etc. You can also move them into the direction of making an additional purchase by sending them to a different page that also includes more options to purchase.
Email 3. More Great Stuff
Remind them again who you are and how they ended up on your list. Give them the link again to get what they signed up for. It might be a good time to also include another free bonus that will help them further along their path of success.
Include in this email a success story of someone who previously took action by consuming what it is you are sending them. Show them how it will make a positive difference to them. Invite them to contact you for help or more information.
One way to encourage participation is to tell them about something life-changing they will find on [page 14] of the report.
To help to enhance your open rates, tell them to watch for a special gift in tomorrow’s emails. Maybe encourage opening the email by letting them know it is a time sensitive offer.
And again – move them into an upsell.
Email 4. More Success
Tell them another success story. Introduce your core product as the hero in the story. Give them free tips how they can get the most out of what they already have gotten from you in the first three emails. Refer to the materials using specifics like “on page 4 of the report you will see how you can…”
Make them feel special and reward them for taking action. “Very few people will follow through, but you are obviously an action taker and because of that I want to give you this.” Make this one more step in your buying funnel.
Maybe tell them about a new exclusive product that won’t be released to market for a few months. The price will be $xxxx but if they are interested in becoming Beta Testers – they can have it for half the price.
Keep being helpful, informative, and likeable so they will stay on your list. Keep pushing them along your buying funnel.
Email 5. More Information
Begin to really focus on selling your core product. They have already been introduced to it now so you can begin to tell them all the benefits of having it.
Relate these to the benefits they have already gotten from you so far.
Explain how your core product will do so much more for them. Send them to a video that will tell them more about it. Test how interested they are by offering another sign up form for video training on your core product.
Email 6. And beyond
Emails sequences from a specific lead generation effort are written to encourage a particular action on a specific product. If you have more than one product then you should begin a new sales sequence for each different product or desired action.
Email sales series can be repeated to the same customer over time. Depending on the market it isn’t uncommon to send out the same email series as soon as 6 – 8 weeks from last email sent.
General Email Blasts to a List
Even if your prospects haven’t bought anything you can still send updates and general information. For example; you can send them notices when you publish an article on your blog or even send helpful and useful information from other peoples websites.
Every email should allow them to buy something from you but it doesn’t have to be the target of each point of contact.
Follow Up Email Marketing Tips
i. Make sure you have a reliable autoresponder service. With this you will need to write your email sequences only once and then you simply put them in the automatic follow up series.
ii. It is important to segregate your lists. You want to ensure that the people who don’t respond to your emails are put on a separate list than your active subscribers and buyers. They need to be treated and spoken to differently. Likewise you can segregate for different core interests.
iii. Make sure your messages and call-to-actions are clear. If you want them to click a link and go fill out a form, then clearly state that in the email.
iv. If they aren’t responding; test and track different headlines, calls-to-action, and body messages. Track where you are losing them.
If your autoresponder service is a cheap one then there is a good possibility all your emails are going to SPAM
More on Separating your lists
Group your subscribers into buyers and non-buyers. Under those groups, separate again into openers and non-openers. Under the openers, separate into clickers and non-clickers etc.
You’ll be amazed to learn what headlines might work for some and not for others. Keep inventing new ways to make sure your people are happy to remain on your list.
Although most people will make their purchase within a short time from when they signed up for your list, other people will also buy from you 1 – 2 years down the road. If they are still on your list, keep sending them stuff.
If you still aren’t getting as much out of them as you’d like then try encouraging participation by sending a short survey . Ask questions designed to help you to find out what their interests are and why they haven’t made a purchase yet.