Follow-up emails are important, but not always easy to write. About one out of every three people on your sales team may find follow-up the most challenging activity.
But it’s a fact that you need to send a follow-up email when your earlier email didn’t get the response you wanted.
The question is: what kind of follow-up email should you write after you’ve sent cold emails?
There isn’t one answer that’s correct in all situations. However, there are a few features that all successful emails share.
And one of them is brevity: Short emails perform well.
But how short?
Will a single-word follow-up work?
The answer, surprisingly, is yes, and here are five reasons why a single-word follow-up works with prospects.
Respects time for both parties
With a single-word email, you show how you respect the time of your prospect. And while that’s very important too, there’s one more thing. It shows you respect your own time too. It shows you respect productivity and don’t waste your time in writing long-winded emails when a single word or phrase will do.
It gently conveys that efficiency is built in the core of your own business processes. It shows you value efficiency and therefore whatever you’re trying to sell – a course, a product, a consultancy service, anything – is more likely to be efficient.
Can certainly get a response
Answering an email, no matter how small, gives people a certain satisfaction of having done something, like a task off the to-do list.
Responding to a long email is a task that doesn’t appear to be worth the trouble. The prospect thinks, “Now here’s a long email and I’ll need a lot of time reading it and replying. Naah!”
An extremely short email is different.
It doesn’t rob people of their time. The moment they click ‘Open’, they’ve read the email! They could still delete it without replying, but that wouldn’t feel like having done something.
They’d think, “Oh, that’s all? I can quickly reply to this one.” Could be ‘Yes’, could be ‘No’, could be ‘Next week?’. But there’s a response that helps you qualify the lead.
Is to the point
Doesn’t beat around the bush.
A short, single-word email expresses everything that’s important at that point. Nothing else. No meaningless sales pitches, nothing.
Let’s say you received a positive but inconclusive response from your prospect about a telephonic meeting. You don’t have to write a long email, showing how you look forward to the call and what’s the agenda and all that.
You only need to remind them that the two of you had meant to speak and here’s what you propose.
Monday 10:30 AM?
That’s it. Day and time.
The email conveys a subtle confidence: We’ve already agreed to meet; now all we need to do is fix up the time. Kind of takes away the haggling about whether to meet.
Packs everything in a single word
Look at the following email:
Here, the sender only asks one question: Interested?
Because the prospect has the context from the earlier email, the sender asks just one question: is the prospect interested in whatever the earlier email offered?
The single word or phrase is unique. It poses a simple question. Because it’s simple, the prospect will probably feel it’s important to respond.
Also, there’s a hidden CTA (Call To Action).
There’s nothing else in the email, so your prospect will understand that you’re simply looking for a quick answer. Without using a long statement like “If this is something that interests you, don’t hesitate to let me know so that I can fix up…” you’ve led the prospect into engaging.
Is simple enough to understand
Emails that are lengthy run a risk of being misunderstood.
When your email runs into several lines, your reader loses you – their mind wanders off.
A short, single-word email gives no opportunity to your prospect for any confusion or misunderstanding.
Mostly, it’s a straight question: “Interested?” “Tomorrow 3:15 PM”? “Updates?”
By writing an email that’s easy to understand, you’ve achieved a major goal: clarity of communication.
One-word emails can stand out as unique.
There’s a good chance that among all the emails your prospect receives, your follow-up email stands out because it’s minimalistic yet fully functional.
That doesn’t mean you can ignore the quality of contacts or the subject line. It’s just that short, one-word emails work well.
Less is more, remember?