Like any other sales activity, some companies do follow-up emails better than their peers. Here, we'll take a look at some of the businesses that did them right. We’ll show you five follow-up email examples and what you can learn from them.
1. Twilio Covers the Follow-Up Email Fundamentals
There’s a lot done right in this email. First, Emerald is aiming as high as she can. Although the information is protected, we know that "Howard" is Howard Schultz — CEO of Starbucks.
She’s also writing this follow-up email with personalized information on why Starbucks needs Twilio. Emerald doesn't focus on highlighting the tool’s features; instead, she stresses how the tool can help Starbucks today. She clearly shows she did her homework and ties the information to strategies that Starbucks was already running.
The end product is a unique and valuable follow-up email that shows Emerald actually cares about helping Starbucks.
- Aim high. The CEO might not be the person making the decision, but if they forward the email to the decision-makers, it's bound to get some serious attention.
- Write a fully personalized and authentic message. Show them you understand they’re a person and not just an item on your to-do list.
- Offer value. Pack your follow-up emails with relevant information that speaks to their wants and needs.
2. Canva Re-Engages Its Audience
Every time you send an email with a link, you’re asking your audience, "Will you click the link?" If you want that answer to be "yes," you need to prime your reader beforehand.
Canva does this beautifully in this short but elegant email. In just one small paragraph, the email asks two questions that every reader would say yes to. If someone answers, "Yes, I do wonder if I make mistakes on social media," or, "Yes, I would like to make things better," they’ll be more inclined to click the link and follow through.
The email also ends with a human touch — with the sender signing "Tom" with no last name.
This email can be read in a few seconds and will easily re-engage users. Plus, it’s so simple and non-intrusive that it’s unlikely to generate many unsubscribes.
- Prime the reader. Catch their attention with the promise of something they could learn from.
- Keep it short and engaging. If your leads have gone cold, don’t try and force them to come back. Instead, write them short follow-up emails containing content they may find interesting.
- Keep it human. Consider an informal touch, like only signing your first name.
3. Apple Humanizes Itself
Apple’s customer support is legendary. While many tech companies come off as cold and inaccessible, Apple aims to humanize the customer experience.
Super Office's Steven MacDonald learned about Apple's commitment to exemplary customer service after writing to them about their iTunes store.
This is the first email Steven received from the company:
While Steven was impressed with the first message, it was the follow-up email that really wowed him. After Steven told them his issue was resolved, Apple replied with this:
Several other companies might have replied with something like, "Good to know. Thank you for choosing us. Please, let us know if there’s something else we can do."
Apple thought differently. Instead of a canned response, Jose from Apple told Steven he was the reason why he made an effort at his job, and he reminded him that he was always "just an email away."
With this email, Jose assured Steven that Apple's staff is a group of hardworking people who sincerely care about him and his experience with Apple products.
It means a lot that one of the top five largest corporations in the world can show that kind of commitment to individual customers.
- Stop using canned responses. If you can’t avoid pre-written responses, use the right templates — and make sure the tone is as friendly and personal as possible.
- Create a personal connection. Let recipients know the email was written by a person just like them, and not by a large, faceless corporation.
- Use your name. Instead of signing the email with the name of your company, sign with the name of the person writing it.
4. Salesforce Leverages CTAs After an Event
In this follow-up email, sent after the Connections conference in Chicago, Salesforce gives the reader a whopping four calls to action.
Although four CTAs may seem like a lot, it makes a lot of sense when you consider the context. The sender knows that these are warm leads, so it provides three quick routes to conversion. For any leads that may need a bit more convincing, the last CTA offers an informative keynote video instead of a direct conversion.
This email has the perfect CTA for every lead, wherever they are in their customer journey.
- Use multiple CTAs. If you’re following up with someone who already knows your product, don’t be afraid to go for a sale. Set up a couple of ways for them to convert right away, like a pricing link and the phone number of one of your salespeople.
- Include a soft CTA for colder leads. Avoid sounding pushy by giving them an option to learn more about your product. This might be a free ebook, webinar, or case study.
5. ReturnPath Follows Up with Ice-Cold Leads
All leads are worth a follow up, even your cold ones. This email asks one simple question: "Are you still interested?"
Two things can happen out of this: The cold lead could reply “yes,” making them a hot lead. Or they could reply "no," telling the sender they’ll never buy.
Whatever happens, one thing is certain — the readers who respond will no longer be cold leads.
- Never assume. Instead of deciding whether it’s worth deleting cold leads or not, let them tell you, themselves.
- Know when to let go. By allowing recipients to choose whether to stay subscribed, you’ll make sure you're only keeping your qualified leads to nurture. Removing the rest saves time and money.