What makes a PR pitch email effective
Countless e-mails and messages are written every day in which these and similar formulations can be found:
- „I wanted to get in touch briefly and ask whether ... "
- “I just wanted to to ask, if …"
- “I wanted me inquire …“
These are typical formulations of Follow up messagesthat are sent to existing or potential customers to follow up on a previous exchange. They are especially popular in emails that are about converting leads, closing deals, or simply getting information. However, these formulations are not particularly effective and rarely arouse the interest of the recipient because they have no immediate added value.
The fact is that you (or the sender of such a message) actually do not "only briefly want to ask ”, but actually pursue a certain goal. You have a reason you are sending this email: to attract customers, close a deal, or inform or receive information from recipients. Hence, you need to make sure that you are with your recipients to arouse interest. Because if you succeed want recipients open and reply to your email.
So how do you write a successful follow-up email that sets your goal as well indeed to reach? In this guide, we explain the steps for a great follow-up email that can significantly increase your open and conversion rates.
Set a goal
You have already met with a potential customer, made a phone call or exchanged information via e-mail. Now you need to send a follow-up email. Before you begin, you should determine what your goal is for your message.
Only then can you incorporate a compelling call-to-action (CTA) that gets the recipients to respond to you so that you can achieve your goal (e.g. close a deal, strengthen relationships with your recipients, etc.) .
Let's look at four of the most common destinations for follow-up emails:
After your first conversation with a prospect, you may find that you forgot to ask something or that you need additional information in order to be able to help.
Perhaps you need more information about the company and / or the customer's challenges, want a status update on a deal or find out whether a contract will be concluded. Make it clear exactly what information you need so that the recipient can react quickly and efficiently.
You may want to set up another meeting or conversation with a follow-up email to delve into a topic, discuss a product or idea, ask for support, or get feedback. In doing so, you should state the exact reason for the desired meeting and explain the value of the conversation for the recipient. And to do that, you need to know how to help the prospect.
It's even easier if you include a link to free meeting scheduling software so your recipients can book an appointment right from your calendar.
To stay updated
If you haven't spoken to a contact in a long time, or if you've heard news from them or their company, it is a good idea to speak to them directly about the news. It could be that these changes open up new business opportunities for you or your company.
For example, a customer can now afford your support due to a company expansion or needs your services urgently. In this case it is important to familiarize yourself with a follow-up email to inform about the current situation. Ask specific information in your email - it shouldn't sound too vague or half-hearted. Show your recipients that you are genuinely interested in solving their problems.
With a thank you you often get ahead. A Thank you email does not always elicit a direct response from recipients, but leaves a good impression. It's a professional gesture that customers will remember later. Perhaps a customer would like to use your services again in the future or recommend you to a friend, colleague or other company.
Such an email is appropriate, for example, when a customer ...
... recommended you to others.
... writes a review for you or helps you with a case study.
... makes a deal with you.
... gives you his attention, chats with you or meets you personally.
So the prerequisite for a convincing follow-up email is that you have a specific goal in mind to have. That way, you can incorporate a CTA that clearly shows what you want the recipients to do. You may want recipients to provide you with certain information, schedule a meeting with you, report on news (personal or professional), or just take note of your thank you letter.
Setting a destination for your email will make your messages sound a lot more professional. You can also integrate a CTA more easily, which offers the recipients direct added value (depending on your specific goal) and provides an option for action.
Let's see one Template for a follow-up email with a clear goal. This example shows you how to formulate your goal and incorporate a CTA. This template falls into the "Meeting Request" category. However, you can adapt this template to your specific goal and specific recipients.
Thanks for the friendly conversation
Hello Mrs. Hildenberg,
Thank you for taking the time to tell me about Company XYZ and your goals and challenges.
If you would like to know how other companies deal with similar challenges, we are happy to make an appointment for a phone call. We could then also elaborate on your challenges to see if I can be of help.
Would you have time for a chat next Tuesday at 1 p.m.?
Thanks again for our friendly chat, I look forward to hearing from you soon.
With best regards
Introduction with context
How many emails do you receive each day? Probably a lot.
Due to the large number of e-mails that many customers receive these days, it is particularly important to allude in your messages to a personal connection, a common interest or other special feature. This will make it easier for your recipients to remember you. This context is especially important on your first follow-up email, or if you haven't yet established a close relationship with the recipient or if it has been a long time since your last contact.
Mention the context in which the first communication or email, conversation, or interaction took place. This is how you can help recipients so that they can classify and reply to your e-mail. This context belongs right at the beginning of your emails. The recipients should immediately understand who you are and why you are writing to them. It's about avoiding misunderstandings, because that would be detrimental to a possible deal.
You can use the following introductory sentences in follow-up e-mails to provide recipients with the necessary contextual information.
Effective introductory sentences for email
- We met last week at [event name or location].
- I was very impressed with your speech at [event name].
- Our mutual friend [name] recommended that I contact you.
- In our last conversation about ... [subject].
- I'll get in touch with you because I sent you an email on [subject] a few weeks ago.
Let's see one Template for a follow-up email with an introductory sentence that contains the necessary context information for the recipient.
Do you have anymore questions?
Hello Mrs. Hildenberg,
In our last conversation you asked me to get back to you in a few months to discuss how [company name] can help your company achieve [goal]. I may be a few weeks early, but I still wanted to get in touch with you.
Have you had a chance to consider my proposal? We can also explain any questions you may have over the phone.
Do you have time this week?
With best regards
Make the purpose clear
The next step is to make the purpose of your follow-up email clear. You should make it clear to recipients why you are writing to them from the start. Otherwise your e-mails could appear dubious, too vague or confusing and be considered spam.
For example, don't write something like, “I'd like to talk to you about your company over coffee”. It would be better: “I would like to talk to you over coffee about how you can achieve your quota. Because I have problems achieving my goals. "
So be as specific as possible so that recipients know immediately what you want from them. This gives you a more serious impression and is more likely to get the information or answers you want.
Now let's look at a few examples of how you can make the purpose of your follow-up emails clear.
Possible approaches to address the purpose of an email
- I would like to invite you to the [name of the event], which I will also be attending. I think it might be of interest to [company name].
- As discussed, I am sending you the information from the developer [insert link] who may be able to help you with your new website.
- I'd love to learn more about [Subject] as I'm working on something similar at [Company Name].
Now let's look at an example template in which the Purpose of the email is clearly stated. You can use these as a basis for your own follow-up e-mails:
Would you be interested in meeting [Name]?
Hello Mrs. Krüger,
Thank you for taking the time for our chat today. I was pleased to learn more about your experiences in the [professional field]. Many thanks also for the advice and tips on how to best gain a foothold in [industry].
You mentioned that your team at [company name] is looking for new employees in the field of business development. I just spoke to [contact name]. She is responsible for the corporate development strategy at [company name]. I think she would be a great fit for your team. May I introduce you to each other?
Thank you again for your time and advice. I wish you every success in developing your beta program. I would be happy if we would keep in touch!
With best regards
Formulate an appealing subject line
Did you also learn in school that you should write the essay itself first and then the introduction?
The same applies to follow-up emails. First compose the e-mails yourself (introductory sentence, e-mail text, final sentence and signature) and then formulate the subject line. This will make it much easier for you to write a meaningful, compelling subject line that engages recipients. The subject line should also accurately reflect the content of the message.
The following statistics are from a study by HubSpot of 6.4 million emails sent by HubSpot sales reps.
Tips for creating meaningful subject lines in follow-up emails
- Use specific numbers and times. Emails with the word “quick” in the subject line were 17% less likely to be opened.
- Use the word "tomorrow" to convey a sense of urgency. Emails with the word “tomorrow” in the subject line were 10% more likely to be opened than emails that didn't use the word.
- Leave out the subject line. Emails without a subject line were 8% more likely to be opened than emails with a subject line. (It is rare for emails to leave out the subject line, and this approach will not work for all businesses and in every situation. It is therefore a good idea to A / B test emails with and do it without a subject line to find out what will resonate better with your target audience, customers, contacts and buyer personas.)
Now let's look at an email template with a meaningful subject line that catches the recipient's attention and reflects the content of the message.
3 reasons why I would fit perfectly into your team
Hello Mrs. Krüger,
my name is [your name]. I am writing to you because I saw that [company name] has a vacancy for [function].
- I am very eager to learn. I enjoy studying and reading a lot of books and blogs, or listening to podcasts (my favorite podcast right now is [podcast title]).
- I am [listing special qualities].
- I like [company] and your mission, that [reflect mission].
I think I would be a great fit for your team for the following reasons:
I'll attach my résumé and a video explaining why I would be a great fit for your team. You will also find attached my website address and work samples from projects I have worked on as [previous relevant role or function].
I am happy to hear from you.
With best regards
Send the follow-up email
A completed follow-up email should meet the following requirements: It has a clear goal, the introduction contains contextual information, the purpose is made clear to the recipient and the subject line (if available) reflects the content. Now all you have to do is decide when you want to send the email.
The When to send follow-up emails should be based on your specific situation. After all, you want to make sure that your messages are relevant to the recipients, and Increase the likelihood that the emails will actually be opened.
Depending on the use case, HubSpot employees have had good experiences with the following time windows for follow-up emails.
- Within 24 hours: This time frame works well for thank you emails after a meeting, deal, conference, conversation, or any other special occasion.
- Within 48 hours: After you have submitted important documents (e.g. an application or a form) or if you have a specific, urgent reason for a follow-up (which cannot wait 1–2 weeks).
- Within 1–2 weeks: Is suitable e.g. For example, to follow up on a meeting request if you have not received a response to an application or to inquire whether the recipient has received a previously sent e-mail about which you need feedback.
- Every 3 months:This rhythm is recommended to inquire about existing contacts whether something has changed in your situation or in your company. You can also find out more about professional or private circumstances (depending on your relationship with a contact).
And that was about it. This means you have everything you need to write meaningful, compelling follow-up emails that your recipients will be happy to read and respond to.
With compelling follow-up emails, you can convert leads, attract new customers, strengthen relationships, and close deals. The crux of the matter is getting the recipients to take your emails too open and answer.
Think about which aspects are particularly important in follow-up emails. They need to be relevant to the recipients, add value to them, and give them a reason to contact you. You can use the steps above to compose follow-up emails that have a specific goal, provide contextual information, and have a purpose and a meaningful subject line (if you want to use one). Finally, all you have to do is determine the best time to send to make sure your emails are opened. Then all you have to do is wait for hopefully numerous answers.
Originally published September 13, 2019, updated 09 August 2019
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