The power of follow-up

In Email Marketing, Tools by Xu CuiLeave a Comment

When I started email marketing, I was struggled with very low reply rate, which was typically 0.01% to 0.1%. It was a lucky day if 1 contact (out of 1000 recipients) replied. Very frustrating!

Then I did an experiment – what if I send a follow-up email to the recipients who opened my first email? And what about a second follow-up?

The result was a huge pleasant surprise – we got 5 times more replies from the follow-ups than from the main email (Fig 1)!

Fig 1. Number of replies (averaged across 3 experiments)

Specifically, we first sent a graphic email about a reagent product to ~4,600 recipients; then 2 days later we sent a follow-up (#1), which is a short text email to ~150 recipients who opened the first email; then 1 week later we sent another follow-up (#2), which is again a short text email, to the same 150 recipients mentioned eralier. We repeat this 3 times. In total we got 22 replies from the follow-ups and 4 from the main email.

One of our follow-up emails is something like:

Dear XXX,

This is MYNAME from MYCOMPANY and I reached out to you earlier this week about our MYPRODUCT. We offer a very competitive price. Are you interested in a focused conversation?

Best regards,

Not every follow-up has such a huge effect. In a different campaign, we got ~2 times more replies in the follow-ups (Fig 2). But it was still much better than just sending the first email.

Fig 2. Number of replies (averaged across 3 experiments)
A different list

Later I know this type of strategy is commonly used by sales, and they call it drip marketing (sometimes called email automation, or leads nurturing). I just wish I knew that earlier.

I definitely encourage you to follow up your contacts, and your own email marketing program might already have the capability. If you need help in implementing drip emails, our “Email Marketing Frontend & Followup Automation” app can help. Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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