How to Craft the Perfect Follow Up Email
Think about how many people you meet at a typical conference or networking event. Do you remember most of them? Of course not. Chances are they aren’t going to remember you…unless you create a follow up email. It’s important to make an effort to stay in touch with those contacts once you’re back home. Here are a few ways to make sure your follow-up email gets noticed by prospects and industry partners alike.
1) Know What You Want
Before you even set foot on a tradeshow floor, it’s imperative to know what you want to get out of each networking opportunity. Do some research on the audience and frame your goals accordingly. Are they decision makers in the buying process? Informers? Tailor your networking efforts to the outcome you want.
If you want to identify customers, set an achievable goal for the number of contacts you’ll make. If you want to increase brand awareness, prepare the right materials and elevator pitch to set the stage for a memorable follow-up to boost brand recognition. Networking isn’t one-size-fits-all. Design a strategy that works for you.
2) Make Yourself Memorable
You have a limited amount of time at every event to have meaningful conversations with potential customers. As you’re having conversations and discussions, plant some memorable seeds to help ensure that you’ll be remembered in your follow up email with prospects. Make a mental (or written) note about interesting personal details you can include in your follow-up to demonstrate that you were paying attention when you spoke to the recipient and to float your email to the top of the list.
Most importantly, do NOT forget to ask for their email address. You’ll need a way to contact them after the event, and while you can usually find contact information online via social channels, it is much easier to ask up front. This also sets the tone for your contact to expect a follow-up email after meeting with you and to be more likely to respond when they get it.
3) Contact, Nurture, Repeat
The worst thing you can do is come out of the gate in your email with a sales pitch. While it takes time, building an authentic rapport will go a lot further toward converting a contact into a customer than a cold sales pitch. Your first couple of follow-up emails should be very conversational, open and friendly. Position yourself as a resource, rather than a salesperson. If there is an opportunity to offer complementary information or a simple service to help the contact, do it.
Loyal customers are created before they even become customers. It’s worth the investment of your time. After you’ve made your first ask, or given your first pitch, step back and give the contact time to digest it and respond before you send another email. A good use of a follow-up email after no response from the client is to simply ask if you can add them to your blog subscriber list. It will keep you, your content and your products or services top of mind. Even if you don’t close a sale from your initial follow-up, by keeping your name in front of a prospect, they’ll be much more likely to reach out to you (or recommend you) in the future.
Follow-up strategy is equal parts art and science. By ensuring that you’ve done your due diligence before you start the networking process and then taking the time to build a solid foundation of trust, you’ll reap the benefits and ensure a wider reach from your email strategy.