Writing Effective Cold Emails and Follow Up Email in 2022

how to write a follow up email

Did you know that people receive an average of over 100 emails per day?

As a digital marketer, it’s your job to figure out how to get people to read your emails and, ultimately, make the sale. With so many demands on people’s attention, though, how do you get your message to cut through the noise? The answer is simple: write good emails.

Okay, but how do you do that? How can you ensure that people will read your cold emails? How do you write an effective follow up email if a prospect doesn’t respond to your first attempt to connect?

Here, we answer all these questions and more.

Your Overall Goal

A successful email marketing strategy starts with clear, specific, measurable goals. Before you even begin writing the copy of your email, you need to figure out what your ideal outcome is. What action do you want your prospect to take as a result of this email?

Your answer to this question should be informed by the needs of your customer as well as where they currently are in the buyer’s journey. A customer in the awareness stage will need something very different from you than someone in the decision-making stage. Keep your goal in the forefront of your mind as you move through the rest of the steps to write a cold email.

The First Moments

Email users spend an average of ten seconds reading brand emails. If you want your reader to stick around, you’ll need to give them a strong reason to stay in the opening moments of your email.

The “From” Line

Your email recipient’s first impression of your communication is made as soon as they read who your email is from. Taking a few minutes to tailor this to your message may make all the difference as to whether or not people even open your email.

Use a “from” line style that fits with the style of your email. Is the tone of your email body formal? Stick with your first and last name and company title.

Have a more conversational approach to the copy in your email? Maybe just your first name and company name will do.

The Subject Line

The subject line needs to provide enough context so that your readers know what they’ll find when they open your email, but it should also be intriguing enough to get your prospects to actually open your email.

Asking a question of your reader or offering a statistic relevant to their pain point are both great tactics to use when developing your cold email subject line. And don’t be afraid to experiment! A/B testing can help you figure out which kinds of subject lines are most effective with your target audience, helping you to create more effective subject lines in the future.

Above all, make sure that your subject line accurately describes the content that can be found in the body of your email. Nothing will destroy consumer trust more quickly than “promising” a specific kind of content in your email subject line, only to provide something totally different upon opening the email. Also, avoid spammy subject lines that may land your email in the trash before your prospect even has a chance to see it.

The Email Body

Keep your message brief and personalize it as much as possible.

If a prospect is confronted with a wall of text upon opening your email, they likely won’t even begin reading. Best case scenario, they’ll save it for later (and may or may not remember to come back and actually read it later on). Worst case scenario, they dump it right in the trash.

Keep your paragraphs to 2-3 sentences max. Use bullet points and bold text to help your readers digest the information and identify key points, but don’t overuse these tools. Be friendly and personable, but avoid flowery language that will add fluff to your text.

When you can, personalize your emails. Many marketing add-ons and mail services support personalization options for mass emails. Even a small touch like addressing the recipient by their name helps them to feel like the email was intended just for them.

When writing a truly personal email, use your CRM to your advantage by tracking relevant updates in the career of your prospect. For example, congratulate them on an award they’ve just received. If you’ve had a meaningful point of connection with them in the past, call back to that moment to help them remember who you are.

No matter what your formal call-to-action is in the email, your goal should always be to develop a deeper relationship with your prospect.

Choose one call-to-action per email. If you ask your prospect for too many things in one email, they’re likely to get overwhelmed and not follow through on any of them.

You can include the call-to-action more than once in your email. Maybe you include a button to sign up for a meeting on your calendar as well as including a link somewhere in the copy that will take them to the same webpage. As long as you’re asking for the same action both times, it’s okay to make the request more than once.

Make it as easy as possible for your prospect to take the desired action. If you want them to sign up for a webinar, include the link to sign up in the copy of your email. If you want to schedule a meeting with the prospect, offer a specific date, time, and location.

As much as possible, request an action that provides benefit to both you and your prospect.

Don’t overthink your footer, but do use the opportunity to build customer trust and brand recognition by developing a professional and consistent footer for all your emails. Legally, you must include the name of your company, its physical address, and an unsubscribe link in the footers of all of your marketing emails.

The Follow Up Email

It’s okay to send follow-up emails to a prospect if you haven’t heard from them. However, be intentional with your messaging to avoid coming across as overly aggressive.

As much as you can, provide something new that’s of value to your prospect with each of your emails. Wait a couple of days between each follow-up email to give your prospect the time to respond. If you’ve sent several emails with no response from your prospect, take the hint and move on to the next person on your list.

Refine Your Cold Email Strategy Today

Now you know the main things to keep in mind when developing your cold email strategy. Define your goal, develop trust, stick to your ask, and time your follow up emails well. With this framework, writing emails to your prospects will feel easy and intentional.

Need assistance with filling up your email lists? Connect with us today to figure out how we can help!