The fortune is in the follow up. If you’re not following up, you’re leaving money on the table. LOTS of money. Following up is PART of pitching. Only 30% of pitching is what you do with the cold pitch. The rest is in the follow up.
When I first started pitching and following up on the regular, I increased my income by 50%. This means my close rate increased by 50% simply from staying on top of my emails!
Number of Times To Follow Up
For cold pitch emails that have gotten at least ONE response, follow up as many as 10-12 times. Yes, really! As a general marketing rule, it takes an average of 7-10 touches to get anyone to buy from you.
For cold pitch emails that have gotten ZERO response, follow up 3-4 times. If you don’t get any interest in your pitch at all, they’re clearly not interested. Wait to pitch them again in a few months.
Just like pitching, the more you follow up – the more creative, more playful, and more fun you have – the better chance you’ll have of getting someone to respond and convert.
What To Say In Your First Follow Up
First of all, never do anything that comes across as passive aggressive. “Hey, did you get my email?” “Hey, I saw you opened my email.” “Where are you?” are all a no go! You never want to do anything that paints you in an insecure light.
Instead, keep your follow ups POSITIVE. Remind them that you’d love to get them on the phone to discuss something valuable about their business. That’s a one-liner. What’s the valuable thing that you want to discuss about their business?
Be SPECIFIC about what that value is. For example, “I’d love to jump on a call to talk about how blogging can drive FOUR TIMES the leads to (Company’s Name) website.” It’s really as simple as that.
Follow Ups For Zero Response
First: Short & Sweet Your first follow up email if you’ve gotten no response should be short and sweet and should not be a reply to the initial cold pitch email, but a new email. Remind them that you’d love to schedule a call and discuss what you pitched. This is 4-5 lines max, not a second pitch!
Second: FOMO The second follow up if you haven’t heard back is the FOMO (fear of missing out) follow up. The entire point is to entice potential clients with what they’re missing out on.
One solid way to construct a fomo follow up is to point out a recent win you’ve had with one of your clients who is (or isn’t!) in the same industry OR who you offer the same service to. If you don’t have a win yet, just remember that ideas are what sell!
You don’t need it to be YOUR win. If you can point to what one of their competitors is doing, how they’re succeeding, and how you can do it 10x better, you have a value point to get them interested and inspire that fomo.
Third: Gush The third follow up to a zero response email if they ignore the fomo is to GUSH.
Go back to your casual tone (and remember that you haven’t even hit the average number of touchpoints it takes to make a sale!) and use some humor or talk about what you love about their business.
ALWAYS make it about them. You can compliment what they did recently on their social or blog and relate it to what you do. Let them know you’re persistent because you have good ideas, you can help their bottom line, and THAT’S why you’re reaching out. You’re not stalking them, you’re offering them value!
Fourth: Quick Last Note The fourth follow up to no communication is a quick last note.
Whether your emails are or aren’t getting opened (if you’re tracking, do not obsess!), this is a last short and sweet attempt to make contact that returns to the flavor of the original pitch. Go back to that consumer-based reminder of why you love their company. If you use their products, this is a good time to remind them of that as well.
Mention briefly that you are really great at what you do and mention a different benefit than what you’ve already mentioned in previous emails. You’re just trying to reach them because you see the effort they’re making and know you can knock that effort out of the park. We’re talking ROI here people!
Use tasteful humor! Loosen up and be playful. The more humorous, playful, and valuable you are, the easier it is for them to WANT to respond to you!
If your lead never replies, just know that this entire process is intuitive. You could let it go completely, follow up in a few months, or re-cold pitch them in 3-4 months.
How you handle your business is up to you. Do what you have the most energy around and make a note in your calendar for what you decide. Following up on your follow up game is definitely a thing!
Stay tuned for Part 2 in our Follow Up Game series on how to follow up with the Reply & Ghost! And if you just CAN’T wait, come join us over in the Academy where all this info will be AT YOUR FINGERTIPS! See you there, Sixers!