The Power of an Email and the Art of the Follow-Up

6 Min Read Written by: emerged

Email. In the era of Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Snap, it can seem a bit, shall we say….dated. The tried and true Honda Civic pulling up next to the brand new Tesla. The mercury thermometer to the infrared. The skilled surgical team before robotics was introduced.

Would it shock you to learn that emails are 40x more effective than social media when it comes to acquiring new customers? That mercury thermometer’s starting to look a bit more appealing now, isn’t it?

We know what you’re thinking – nothing is more effective than a personal phone call, right? Sadly, according to some recent research from MarketingSherpa, you’d be wrong. Cold emails and email marketing campaigns have twice the ROI than cold calling. And when you consider the fact that only 2% of cold calls result in appointments, is this the most efficient way for your sales team to be spending their time? We’re certainly not discrediting it, but time is money.

Now that we’ve helped you to check off your “learn something new every day” box, we pose the question – are you maximizing your emailing potential?

Here are some of our tried-and-true best practices when it comes to augmenting your cold outreach strategy.

Cold Email B2B Best Practices

Tailor the Message to your Recipient

This can’t be said enough – nothing beats authenticity. In a world of automation, nothing stands out like a personally crafted message – especially from a stranger. It shows that you put in the time to research them, consider their obstacles, and provide a solution you think can genuinely help them. While a basic template can be helpful in staying on point, we recommend it’s always customized with a few points unique to your prospect.

Focus on the Person

Think about the last networking event (whether in person or virtual) you attended. Were the most beneficial conversation ones where people asked you questions? Or ones where people jumped right in touting the values of their product? Most likely, it was the former. Your emails should be much of the same. If you were in their shoes, what information would compel you to continue reading the email? Remember, there is a person at the other end.

Keep It Simple

We know your product or service is great and the list of ways it can add value to your potential prospect is pages long. But think of this first email as more of an amuse-bouche. Give them enough to pique their interest in your product, to understand the problem it can solve for them, but leave them wanting more. We recommend keeping your initial email to two to three short paragraphs max.

Spend Time on Your Subject Line

You’ve heard us say this before and you’ll hear it from us again. Invest the time coming up with a pertinent subject line that will catch your prospect’s attention. For 35% of your potential clients, this is the key determinant of whether they open your email or not. It does not have to be award-winning or exceptionally witty, just brief, to the point, and personal to your prospect.

Don’t Forget a Call to Action

Make it clear and easy for your new prospect to move forward with the next step if they are interested. While you can ask for a simple yes or no reply, there’s other options as well for calls, signups and content. If you want to set a call, you can include your Calendly link. If you’re inviting them to attend a seminar, include the registration link. Or highlight a case study they can download immediately and review. The fewer steps they have to complete, the more likely they will be to respond.

Ensure it’s Compliant

Finally, before clicking send, make sure your emails are compliant with the CAN-SPAM act. If you need a refresher, we just happen to have one here for you: Why Cold Email isn’t Spam. Once all the boxes are checked, there is nothing left to do other than to hit send.

Congratulations! You sent an award-winning email that’s sure to land you your next big sale. This is the stage where even the most seasoned professional leaves the cold email campaign process – full of potential that’s never fully realized.  

The key to a truly successful cold email: the art of the follow-up.

How to Write a Follow-Up Cold Email

70% of traditional sales teams stop attempting to reach new prospects after one email. For those that do follow up, 92% of salespeople give up after four “no’s” while 60% of prospects say “no” four times before saying yes. So why are sales teams stopping after just one email – or even rejection?

Nurturing properly is key. When it comes to mastering the art of the follow-up, we recommend following these simple five steps.

Continue to Add Value

Sending the “following up” or “just checking-in” email one-to-many times is the quickest way to find yourself on the blocked list. Instead, we recommend continuing to share additional ways your product or service can add value to their (work) life. The first email was the teaser, the next few emails can reveal more about all the ways your service can remove their obstacle and help solve (multiple) problems. You can even send industry news, recent clinical research, or even an article you love.

Not all “Touches” Need to be the Same

Varying your approach each time is a great way to keep your prospective client interested and engaged. Rather than simply sharing talking points about your product or service, invite them to a seminar where your CEO will be speaking. Send them a recent article of your product being reviewed by John Hopkins.  Connect with them on LinkedIn and congratulate them on a recent milestone or success story. Introduce them to an expert they’d likely enjoy connecting with.

Create a Strategic Schedule

Finding the delicate balance to staying on someone’s radar without being overbearing requires some skill. We recommend waiting for a minimum of 24-hours between your first email and the follow-up. Ideally, we suggest aiming for the 36 to 48-hour window. From there, you can extend the cadence and eventually move to monthly touchpoints when you’re focused more on nurturing the relationship.

Personalization is Key

Just like in your initial cold out-reach, authenticity is key. Even in a virtual world, people want to work with people, not robots (except maybe in surgery, robots do raise the game when it comes to surgery). In planning your follow-up strategy, spend some time thinking about the person, why you believe your product or service can truly make their lives more efficient, and the different ways you can share that with them. This applies to both the subject line of your email and the content.

Utilize your Marketing Automation Services

Spend more of your time engaging on a personal level with hot leads and let automation services help with the time-consuming nurturing of cold prospects. Did you know you can partner with an automation platform like Emerged to warm leads with automated, personalized journeys targeted to key audience segments?

If you’re going the manual route, make sure to set reminders and plan your follow-ups in advance. If your CRM offers it, monitor valuable metrics like opens, link clicks and replies. These provide helpful insights that allow you to further personalize your follow-up campaign.

If you stick to these best practices when it comes to cold emailing and follow-up strategy, you’ll be years ahead of your colleagues and your calendar will be booking up before you know it.  

And should you have questions, our team at Emerged is made of people passionate ready to help you create successful email campaigns that deliver results.


McKinsey & Company: Why marketers should keep sending you e-mail

Salesforce: Is cold calling still effective?

Convince & Convert: 13 Email Marketing Statistics That Are Shaping 2019 and Beyond

Marketing Donut: Why you must follow up leads

Invesp: The Importance of Sale Follow Ups – Statistics and Trend