How to Follow-Up the Right Way

We live in a time of information overload. Let’s face it–your email may just be glanced over if not sent directly to the spam bin. If you want to convert your spam to sale, you have to write follow-up emails that work.

Repetitive language and email templates aren’t going to get you any closer to success, especially if you’re using phrases like “just seeing how you’re doing.” Language like this is overused like the words “very” or “good.” 

Now, there’s nothing wrong with these words; but there’s a time and place. Starting an email with “I’m very excited. Have you seen this very good discount?” is going to send anyone into snoresville.

Enough about the wrong ways, let’s go over how you can send a follow-up the right way. Just keep these ideas in mind: Define, Clarify, and Time.

Define

Like starting a road trip, you won’t get far if you just hop in the car with no destination in mind. If you’re writing a follow-up email, you have to understand what your purpose is. This is one of the biggest mistakes people make.

man sending a follow-up email at his desk
Defining your email is the best place to start. Make sure you know why you’re sending the message in the first place.

The point of defining your follow-up is like setting your GPS. These are the most common types:

  • Reminder- Prompting someone to respond to an earlier email.
  • Thank You- Showing appreciation for a sale or otherwise.
  • Request- Asking for more information or another sales push

Knowing which one you’re writing is going to give you the parameters for your call-to-action.  A reminder follow-up has a completely different tone than a thank-you. 

Define clearly what your objective is for your email. We’ll take the reminder as an example. You’ve spoken with a client, and the conversation went well. It’s been longer than necessary for a callback, so you decide to reach out and send a follow-up email.

Your needs are not to congratulate them or request anything; you simply need to remind them about your earlier conversation. Your call-to-action is similar to what you’ve spoken about before. Now that you understand this, it’s time to clarify.

Clarify

The immediate message your client takes from your email shouldn’t be “hey, you forgot about me trying to sell you this.” It has to be something human. It’s difficult, but you have to catch their eye with something emotional, something that makes them want to read more.

Your opening line can be the same as your subject line. It has to hook the reader, make them feel something about your connection (or make them regret not connecting earlier). This can involve some homework.

Involve information from the last time you spoke. You can open with “Remember [topic] we spoke about last week?” or “Congrats on [achievement].” Remember to keep these openers professional. While humor is a good way to connect with people, maintaining a professional air during written correspondence is always in style.

After the opening paragraph (and their hook for caring), you must deliver a clear purpose. Be as straightforward as possible without coming off as rude. For example, instead of stating “I’d like to call you sometime this week,” write “I’d love to chat with you about [topic] we covered last time. How does Wednesday afternoon sound?”

The more concrete you sound, the better. People respond well to clear, concise phrasing, especially if it concerns their finances. No one wants to be confused when it comes to their money.

sending a follow-up email with a cell phone
Bonus tip: if you’re sending emails with your phone, make sure they’re still formatted correctly!

Time

So, now that you’ve defined what your follow-up is for, including the call-to-action, and you’ve drafted an email with a clear purpose, there is one last thing to consider. Before you hit the send button, make sure you have the email timed correctly.

This means to be mindful of the situation you’re responding to. For example, if your purpose is to prompt another conversation, like an interview, you’d likely wait a week or so. Nothing irritates a prospective employer more than constant proddings. 

However, if it’s a thank-you note or something similar, that is perfectly acceptable within a 24-hour period. The point is to make sure the email’s purpose aligns with how much time it takes up. If someone just needs to read it quickly and can continue with their day, then a shorter time frame is fine. If your email has more of a time commitment attached (like a new meeting or more tasks), then wait longer to send.

Follow-up emails have major power for your business. If you’re looking to drive up conversion rates, nothing works faster than proper communication. People will not only respect you as a reliable source, but they’ll also trust you with their business, valuing your relationship.

Keep Things Simple When Designing an Email Marketing Campaign

Email marketing campaigns are valuable to both the insurance agency and their clients or potential leads. Through such a campaign, an agency can provide useful and essential information about various insurance topics. However, the topic of insurance can get complicated and complex. Therefore, it is important to remember to keep these campaigns simple and easy to understand.

Sometimes an insurance topic needs to be boiled down into something simple and easy to digest. This is the time for agents to ensure that the information in the email marketing campaign is understandable to just about everyone. Make sure that the information in the email is easy to comprehend and is consistent with the information in the subject line of the email.

The relationship between the subject line and the content of the email marketing campaign is important to any successful email campaign. A subject line that does not correspond with the information within the email is an annoyance to readers. Therefore, the subject line is no place for promises of something and then have the email body content say something entirely different.

In other words, the intention of the subject line should match the content of the body of your email and vice versa, the content of the body of your email should match the subject line. Congruity is important. The subject line should be the lead to your email content.

Leverage timely topics in the insurance industry and make sure the subject line is your lead. Remember to measure the results of your campaigns for opens, click-throughs and opt-outs. Testing is an essential part of all email campaigns and once you get used to it, your campaigns are going to be more successful.

Email Marketing Campaigns Need to be Relevant

Email marketing campaigns are essential growing any insurance agency. When done right, email marketing can trigger new leads to express interest in getting insurance. Here are some tips on creating relevant email marketing campaigns.

The first thing to consider when creating an email marketing campaign, is the information put in it. The first goal of any insurance agent is to educate their potential and existing leads on insurance policies. Email marketing is about education and not as much about selling. This is because the recipients need to know about a product or policy before they buy it, hence educational marketing is very valuable in making sales. To educate is to build a rapport with those reading the emails, a crucial element in any email marketing campaign. In fact, rapport, or relationship marketing, is one of the key elements in gaining new leads and eventually selling insurance. Any agency that sends out blanket emails about a new product or new pricing faces greater numbers of opt-outs and complaints about spam from recipients and the recipients’ ISP.

Once you have composed a relevant and well-informed email marketing campaign, you need to think about crafting the subject line for the email. Most emails, are left unread therefore, it is important to pique interest in email marketing campaign recipients. A captivating email subject line should ensure that the open and click-through rates increase.

Lastly, email frequency is an important factor to consider. Frequent emails will be regarded as nuisance emails or spam. Instead construct marketing campaigns that provide useful and new information. Limit the number of campaigns to one a quarter. The focus of you campaign is to build a reputation as an informational and educational agency. That is the ticket to more sales and building a solid customer base.

Targeting Email Marketing Campaigns to Audiences

Email marketing campaigns, just like all marketing, need to be targeting various segments of your insurance agencies’ audience. Any and all information you put out there needs to be useful to the clientele you want to focus on.

Targeting email marketing campaigns by population segment is important. You cannot send out a general, blanket email because some or all of the information will not interest all of your clients and potential leads. Emails that are too general will fall flat on those who are not interested in what you are selling. Therefore, both the content of the email and, most importantly, the subject line need to be composed in such a way as to entice the segment of your audience that you are targeting.

So, if your target audience includes seniors and the elderly, subject lines like, “New Medicare Deadlines Coming into Effect Soon” or “Medigap is now Offering More Choices than Ever” are going to be a good fit. These subject lines tackle topics that impact the older segment of the population. Titles like these clearly indicate the point of the email. In other words, those are relevant subject lines and those targeted are likely to open the email.

Marketing Email Subject Lines Should be Catered to the Audience

Subject lines are the introduction and invitation for your audience to read the information you are sending them. Just like with speeches, marketing emails and subject lines need to be written for the audience you are targeting. Subject line length is the first place to start when trying to cater to any audience.

Marketing email subject lines should ideally be under 50 characters, but it is even better if they are 35 characters long. That said, subject line length can be variable depending on your mailing list and the relationship you have with your readers.

Catering to the needs of your audience can have a huge effect on subject lines of marketing emails. For example, if you and your insurance agency are well known by those on your emailing list, then your subject lines can be longer by revealing complex topics of interest. If, however, your marketing email is to be sent to potential leads, then the subject line would be changed accordingly. Maybe, have a shorter subject line that is a call to action. The trick is to craft your subject line around the important topic contained in your email and add in a bit of a teaser to make readers want to click to open the email.

Like with anything, creating enticing subject lines takes practice. It is a good idea to test possible subject lines with co-workers and staff to see which one captured their interest enough to open the email and read it. With practice, choosing an eye-catching subject line will become easier. However, do not forget to closely follow email analytics to see what is performing and what is not.

If you find yourself stuck on creating an appropriate subject line try talking to an email marketing pro and see what they suggest. You may also check out your competition for subject line ideas.

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