Follow Up Email – The Wrong and the Right Way!

follow-up-emailRecently I received an email from a client of ours, passed on to them by a colleague of theirs. The request from my client was simple “What’s your opinion of my colleagues email?”

It was a follow up email, the sort of email you send after making an initial phone call. This type of email is sent at the request of the person you made the phone call to because;

1. They’re too busy to get into a long conversation but are interested in your proposition

2. They need you to outline some of the benefits so they can brief another colleague or superior

3. It could be a ‘brush off’

In this example the email was very detailed and very technical and most critically listed every single benefit you could expect.

‘The Follow Up Email ‘ – So ‘What’s the Problem?’

Well there were two problems;

  1. The email was too long and too technical
  2. Most importantly it listed the main features and benefits; it told the reader everything they needed to know!

It told the reader everything that the writer knew and everything the reader needed to know to make a YES / NO decision. The purpose of the email should have been the following;

  1. It should have sparked the readers ‘CURIOSITY’ enough, so they wanted to know more
  2. Created a compelling ‘CALL TO ACTION’, such as request for a meeting or follow up phone call!

Phrases such as we’ve been able to help ‘the ABC Company (e.g. competitor or similar company)’ to ‘increase turnover, profit or reduce costs and I’d like to see if we could do the same for you?’ It’s much better not to empty your entire ‘sack of knowledge’ but rather mention one or two ‘points of resonance’ followed up with a strong ‘call to action’.

The Follow up Email the Right Way

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David Doyle

David has spent 30 years in sales successfully building business from zero to acquisition. Having studied Electronics and Computer Science at DIT and Enterprise Ireland's Export Sales Development Programme, he has spent most of his time in selling technology. He is founder and Managing Director of B2B Sell and leads a small team of experienced business and technology trained sales professionals.

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