Last October, I was hired to help close a pipeline filled with the who's who of the Fortune 1000: Google, AT&T, Toyota, etc.
I was consulting with a software as a service (SaaS) firm. I’ll keep their name private to protect the innocent - we'll call them Culture Company.
Culture Company had new software they wanted to pitch to go after all the big boys mentioned above. We built a list of 522 companies to work with. But ... they were really frustrated because they weren't closing sales.
So, before following up with these 522 companies, we analyzed the different follow ups they were doing - and, by the way, I went into this deeper on a webinar here.
Turns out they were following up at every stage of the process.
For each stage, the reps were typically following up 2-4 times. And most of them were in the danger zone --
To climb out of the danger zone, they needed a better template for emailing their prospects. At this stage, we're following up on a lead or initial contact. Our goal was to book a meeting.
Previously, Culture Company was sending out follow up emails that looked similar to this horrible example I received recently --
I helped them turn their emails around with three key changes -
Re-write the emails with customer interviews.
Rewrite the emails with phrases people respond to.
Send the emails with HubSpot Sales to track which ones got opened.
The end result looked like so --
But what happens if I don't get a response?
If we didn't hear back, we'd wait one week to reply. From what I've found in testing 15,000 emails, the optimal range is 3-8 days. At that time, I re-send an email like the one above.
If I don't hear back again, I wait one week and send the "permission to close your file" email. This email essentially says I'll be ending the relationship unless I heard back - I'll post about this next week.
With the re-done template above at our disposal, we sent out the 522 companies.
We saw an 80% response rate.
Out of these 428 responses ...
58% provided a referral or accepted the meeting 
23% asked for more information 
18% were not interested or working with a competitor 
Only a mere 18% of companies didn't respond at all. But what's more impressive is how the entire funnel progressed.
We ended up with $4,386,000 in revenue.
While this follow up email strategy worked incredibly well for Culture Company, it's limited to those who have issues following up to get an appointment. There's a wide range of follow up email best practices all along the sales funnel.
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Originally published Aug 18, 2014 8:30:00 AM, updated January 23 2018