The dreaded followup email is the bane of every marketer’s existence. Even people who are pretty successful with their efforts have a hard time reaching out more than once.
Why? Well, because we always feel that we are bothering somebody, but the truth is that if that person gave you their email address – they want to hear from you!
What do the numbers say?
A business that sends a single email without a followup can likely expect a 16% reply rate. That sounds okay, but did you know that if the same business were to send a followup email that they could expect a 27% reply rate?
That’s a huge increase, and it could mean the difference between being a struggling business that barely makes ends meet or one that has to turn clients away. However, you should know that if done the wrong way you’ll be turning away subscribers, so how do you do it right? Keep reading.
So, how do you create a followup email that really works?
Well, that likely depends a lot on your customers, your business model, and you. However, there are a few key principals that you can generally stick to when creating your followup emails, regardless of your particular business.
- Choose an appropriate time frame
- Provide value
- Be concise
- Have a clear call to action
How to choose a time frame
Let’s start with the first item on our list, choosing an appropriate time frame for sending. Depending on the product or service that you’re selling, you could send out a weekly email or emails based on the user’s activity.
For example, Chewy likes to sometimes send out emails based on when they think pet parents might be running low on food. This isn’t as hard as it sounds, as they have all the data from the customer’s last order and a pretty good idea of how much their pet eats!
Even a small pet shop running on Woocommerce could accomplish this with the right plugins and an afternoon spent setting it up. (If you’re interested in doing this for your own pet related eCommerce store, then check out Jilt!)
However, you could apply this idea in different ways to other pet businesses too. For example, let’s say that you’re a dog walker or that you run a kennel. When are people most likely to need your services?
Probably during holidays or popular vacation times right? Well, how about setting up an email to remind your previous customer about your sitter or walker services near the holidays? You could even throw in a coupon to sweeten the deal.
Likewise, if you were running an eCommerce or brick and mortar pet shop, then you might want want to have a weekly email of deals and coupons, but that’s not the only way to go here, as you’ll see in our next section.
One of the most important parts of list building is maintaining your relationship with your customers and leads. If all you do is take from them and send out a hundred emails per day asking them to buy things they will quickly unsubscribe.
Instead, you must provide value, but how do you do that?
There are many ways that people can find value in having a relationship with you (and in staying on your list!)
So, take a moment to think about what you have to offer.
Are you a great dog trainer? Do you know a thing or two about canine nutrition? If you know something that other people want to know that relates to your business, then you could probably find a way to turn it into a followup series of emails. (This also goes a long way in establishing you as a pet expert, which can be very good for your business.)
For example, I get emails from this site whenever there is a recall on pet food. I like to stay informed to keep my fur babies safe, and they also send out some marketing related emails to me in the form of coupons and deals from their sponsors, which is an even trade-off in my opinion!
Everything comes in a neat little concise email. I can quickly see if my pets are impacted by the recall, and if I need more information there are little tables of the recalled goods and a link to get more information.
By the way, this information is freely available at the FDA’s website. However, the value is not really in the information itself, it’s in the convenience of having the site email me about new recalls so I don’t have to constantly check myself.
Likewise, even if you don’t have any skills to pass on you can certainly provide value to your list, improving your relationship with them.
A followup email is not an excuse to ramble on for days. It’s not your blog, and it’s not where your novel goes. The email should just be a teaser to get people interested in what you have to say.
You can, of course, link that to a much longer guide, blog post, or other resource on your website, but for the email itself, keep it short and sweet!
If you look at the above example for the pet food recalls I linked, you’ll see that this email does just that. The headline tells me whether my brand is affected, and the contents of the email give me everything I need to know without going overboard. Then there’s a link for more information straight from the source if I’m inclined to learn more.
Want to know what happens if you send out a novel in your followup emails? Best case scenario, they close the email, having never taken action. Worst case scenario? Subscribers leave your confusing email list in droves and you waste your time and money.
Have a clear call to action
Not only should your email be concise, but it should also have a clear point. Many small business owners make the mistake of trying to shove everything that they can into their email, and that’s a recipe for disaster.
This approach confuses your audience. So, try to keep your desired action to ONE task. Otherwise, they may end up getting frustrated and doing nothing.
If you have more than one goal in mind, relax. You have their email address, and you can always call on them later for more actions!
It’s also a good idea to make your CTA (Call to action) match the email. That means you don’t need to stick with something boring like “click here” on your button. Instead, you can customize it to the offer. Here’s some ideas.
- Get 10% off dog walking
- Save 20% on dog food
- Reserve your place now
- Read the full story at our blog
- Claim your coupon
PS. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find the best CTA for your pet business.