Email marketing has been the popular guest at the online marketing party for a long time now. Regardless of what people say, email is definitely NOT dead.
It’s hard to write great emails that cut through the clutter of our inboxes, but at the 2016 Digital Commerce Summit, Brian Clark shared some stats indicating that using email is a constant part of our lives, and millennials are no different. This 2015 post from Marketing Land says the same thing: young people are using email just as much as the rest of us.
So, when you want to reach out to people in a way that feels intimate and gets responses, write awesome emails.
But, once you write that email to a prospective copywriting client and actually hit send…then what?
You need to follow up, right? But how?
How you follow up on your email marketing can determine whether you get the business or the cold shoulder (or worse, the spam and block).
This post outlines some considerations and strategies for when you’re planning how to follow up on your email marketing campaigns.
Email marketing follow-up strategies
Before you start stepping your reader through the ins and outs of your services, you must make sure you’re talking to the right person.
After all, your email campaign could be targeting:
- the wrong audience altogether.
- the right audience but the wrong person.
- the right audience and person but at the wrong time.
- the right audience and person at the right time. SCORE!
Let’s go through each of these scenarios and some lines you can use to quanlify your audience as part of your follow-up strategy.
Before we jump in, this process assumes that you have written an awesome email that identifies the challenges your readers are facing and gives them a good reason to talk to you.
The wrong email audience
I recently got an email about some IT services. My name wasn’t used in the greeting (SPAM flag #1), it opened with the line “You create SEO strategies for your clients.” (I don’t; SPAM flag #2), the spelling and grammar weren’t great (SPAM flag #3) and it was full of technical jargon that I didn’t understand (overall FAIL).
I got three follow-up emails from this person before I replied explaining that I was clearly not the client he was looking for and asking him to take me off his list. This sender was genuinely surprised. He was not a deliberate spammer, but he was clearly targeting the wrong person, making his emails a wasted effort and an annoyance to me.
I suspect most people would have just marked his email as spam and blocked him as a sender. That result is a lot worse for your business than an ignored email!
Email follow-up strategy
When you email your prospective clients, ask them the following questions:
“Is this a challenge you’re facing right now?”
“Is this something you’d be interested in chatting about some more?”
Consider including this line:
“If not, just hit reply and let me know, and I’ll be sure not to bother you again.”
This will help you ascertain if you are targeting the right audience and help your audience feel empowered enough to stop you before you annoy them. And, it’s all very friendly and polite.
The right email audience but the wrong person
If you’re targeting someone within a corporation, it’s not only possible but likely that you won’t get the right person on your first email. It all depends on how well you researched your target reader.
Finding the right person to talk to is essential when you’re promoting your services, as the wrong person won’t know about the challenges being faced and won’t care about your solution.
Email follow-up strategy
In your follow-up email, ask “Are you the best person to discuss this with? If not, could you perhaps let me know who is?”
Simple and to the point.
The right email audience and person at the wrong time
With any luck, you’ve done your research before emailing someone about your services. You’ve pegged him or her as being in your ideal customer audience, you’ve got the right person and you’ve greeted him or her by name.
GO YOU! #marketinghighfives
But, he or she may not be ready to talk to you.
He or she may be busy or may need to build a stronger relationship with you before being ready to commit.
Remember that hiring a copywriter (like you) to write the words that present a business to potential customers is a big deal. It requires trust, and building trust can take time.
Email follow-up strategy
After ascertaining your recipient is the right person, offer to chat with him or her about specific challenges and how you can help. But, leave an easy way to put you off for a while:
“If I’ve caught you at a bad time, just let me know, and I’ll check back in a month’s time.”
Or get to know you a little more first:
“If improving the way you talk about your business (your copywriting) is on your radar, you might like to read some free copywriting tips on my blog. I also have this helpful page with tips on how to get the most out of working with a copywriter like myself.”
And when you follow up in a month’s time, you can say,
“I’m looking at my project calendar for the next month, and it’s filling up pretty fast. As we’ve been chatting about your copywriting needs, I want to make sure you are a priority booking.”
This works well when you’ve already sent a copywriting proposal, but it can also work to give people a little nudge to have that first chat with you.
The right email audience and person at the right time
When this happens, you’ve struck GOLD! It’s time to take action!
That action might be sending a proposal (which requires its own follow-up strategy!) or sending a deposit and getting a copywriting brief!
Whichever it is, don’t dilly-dally! If your awesome email marketing has worked and your potential client is ready to become a client, you cannot let them go cold on you.
The point of it all
Effective email marketing campaigns are well-researched, well-targeted and well-written. But, one email is rarely enough to encourage meaningful action.
An email follow-up strategy is essential, and it doesn’t have to feel like a hustle.
Be willing to give your reader the space he or she needs to say yes.
I hope these tips have been useful. Let me know if they have been. Or, perhaps you have your own follow-up ninja tricks. If you do, share them here!
The Copy Detective