Follow-up emails can help establish a connection with your prospects. Not only are these emails a personal touch. They’re also essential to your sales operation.
Fifty percent of all sales happen after the fifth follow-up attempt, according to Inside Sales. However, writing a personalized, perfect email after every interaction can be time-consuming.
The solution: Automate your follow-up emails.
In this post, you’ll dive deeper into the benefits of follow-up emails and learn how to automate them.
What are automated follow-up emails?
Automated follow-up emails occur on a set timeframe or based on a person’s action. When a trigger point is reached, a pre-written email is sent to the recipient to follow up.
Automated follow-up emails serve many different purposes but share a common goal: They allow you to stay connected with recipients. Many sales representatives spend time following up with prospects along their buyers' journey. Other follow-up emails intend to assess user satisfaction, encourage additional purchases, or gather feedback.
Your team may be too busy to personally write every follow-up email. However, failing to follow up can have consequences. Research from Woodpecker found that forgetting a follow-up leads to a 9% response rate. With one follow-up email, the response rate rises to 13%.
That’s why automation is so important. You can reap the benefits of follow-up emails without spending hours on your keyboard. So let’s get into the best way to automate your follow-up emails.
7 Steps to Automate Your Follow-up Emails
Several tools allow you to automate follow-up emails. The process often includes selecting criteria to trigger a follow-up email, programming text into a workflow, and setting personalization options.
The CRM your team uses will often offer email automation and support to help you get started.
If you’re a HubSpot user, you can begin automating follow-up emails right away. Here’s how.
1. Start by creating your email.
Automated emails start out like any other message you plan to send with HubSpot. Sign in to your account and go to the “Marketing” tab in the navigation menu. Then, click on “Email.”
Click the “Create Email” button on the top-right corner of your page.
Three options will appear that determine your email type. Select “Automated.”
2. Select a template.
With HubSpot, you can start with a completely blank email, or you can choose a template to include images.
If you’re looking to follow up with a prospect after a call or email, consider a simple template. Your message will look most similar to the rest of your emails and keep that personal touch.
If your follow-up email is looking for feedback or to share an offer, consider the promotion template. Here you can feature images and easily rearrange modules into a unique design.
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3. Write your email.
Before you begin the automation process, it’s time to write the body of your email. You can use personalization options so you can feature the recipient’s name. Be sure to include important links in the body of your email.
Next, switch to the “Settings” tab. Here, you’ll specify the “From” field of your email as well as your subject.
If you want to see your email before you finalize your automation, you can send yourself a test. Just click the “Send a test email” option.
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Once you feel comfortable with your email, click the “Review and Publish” button.
For more tips on writing follow-up emails, see our full guide.
4. Choose between forms and workflows.
Hubspot offers two options for automated emails: Forms and workflows.
Form emails are sent after a visitor fills out a lead-generation form on your website. Once their information is submitted, they’ll receive this email as confirmation and an immediate follow up.
If you want to create this type of email, you can select a form from the dropdown menu to associate with your email.
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If you’re looking to send a follow-up email based on any other criteria, select “Workflows.” From there you can choose a pre-existing workflow that your team has already created in HubSpot from a dropdown menu.
Looking to create a new Workflow from your email? There’s an option for that too. If you click “Create a new workflow,” you’ll be given options of when to trigger your follow-up email. That can be based on a certain date, a contact’s property, or an action they have taken on your site.
From there, you can finalize your email.
For more on working with workflows, check out our complete guide.
Follow-Up Email Automation Best Practices
While email automation strategies vary by business, here are helpful tips to help you get started.
Create different workflows for customers and prospects.
While your follow-up email is automated, your writing shouldn’t be generic. Your customers, prospects, and leads should all get different types of messages.
Consider crafting different automated emails based on the various stages of your buyer’s journey. Over time, you can craft a more sophisticated journey based on different actions users take on your site.
Determine your goals.
Now you know what you want your audience to experience, but how will you achieve that? What’s the ideal result of your automated follow-up email strategy?
Start by creating a list of goals. That should include quantitative goals (like increasing response rate by X%) and qualitative goals (like improving how our follow-up emails are designed).
Next, put your goals in chronological order. Create a timeline to show which goals you intend to achieve and in which order you want to achieve them.
Create a roadmap.
When a customer takes an action on your site, what happens next? Consider taking a pen and paper and drawing out your workflows. This can help you understand how many emails you need to automate, when to send them, and the goal of each.
Establish a plan.
Consider what your automated follow-up email strategy needs to work. How will you deliver your message to customers and leads? You might need more content, incentive programs, automation software, or even improved website UI.
Separate these things into steps that you can tackle one at a time. Make sure each step is actionable, so the process and the results are clear.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for follow-up emails. Your business is unique and so are the follow-up emails you’ll send. Regardless, follow-up email automation can ensure that this important step doesn’t fall through the cracks.
Whichever route you choose, one thing is for sure: You can benefit from automating your follow-up emails. Your customers and leads will enjoy a cohesive experience from your brand. Meanwhile, you’ll save time. So what are you waiting for? There’s no better time to refresh your strategy.