Here at 2Shoes, our team is king of the followup email. Any of our users that have had contact with us (most of them have) know that we never leave things up in the air and followup often. This is mainly due to cold-emailing being our current sales method as well as a way to provide astounding customer service. We’ve learned many lessons for this process during our first year of business and here is a list of “Don’ts” that we have for the followup email.
1. Don’t leave them to find something they need. This is our #1 for a reason. As a startup, you are trying to convince users to get on board and even pay you for your newly created widget. When you send information to a new lead, make sure to not just tell them about it, send them links, documents and all the reference material they need to go from that email immediately to the place they need to be. We frequently attach informational documents, the 2Shoes wiki, how-to videos and text-link the hell out of our emails so they can go directly to the page we are referencing. Make everything as easy and seamless as possible for your users.
2. Don’t be impersonable. I don’t care how many times a user will not write my name as a salutation, never respond with just the body of the message without a “Hello…!” and a “Thanks!”. This is easy points and it reminds both parties that they are human beings, not just an email address without a face or soul.
3. Don’t be boring. Going along the lines of the first two points, you are trying to convince users to get on board with your product. Let your infectious enthusiasm do work on them. This will hopefully have the obvious effect of getting them to signup, but it will hopefully make their day too. Who knows, they may work a job they don’t like very much so why not brighten their day with a great attitude. Hopefully your brand will then be related to happy feelings!
4. Don’t be a lazy responder. I find that most emails only take a minute or two to respond to. This means that if you have follow up questions for the other party that they might still be sitting at their computer and able to respond quicker; speeding up the entire process. We are constantly being complimented on how quickly we respond to emails. This is great customer service and makes your users realize that they are highly valued- which is a must. I have a productivity rule that if a task takes less than 2 minutes to complete, I must finish it immediately. This helps keep the inbox clear and allows me to triage larger tasks.
5. Don’t leave loose ends. As I’ve mentioned before, uncertainty is the root of fear. While there shouldn’t be much fear involved with what you are doing, letting your users know what your plan for their on-boarding is will help them understand the whole process and put them at ease. Tell them when you will contact them next, set-up demo calls and give them your best means of contact so they can contact you in a pinch, in the event that something goes wrong.
6. Keep it simple. You are likely corresponding with a busy person. There is a difference between providing excellent customer service and wasting someone’s time. After following all of the points above, keep your email to a short paragraph with just the facts. Don’t send them a 4 paragraph email that says the same thing multiple times. Your users will quickly lose interest in what you have to say.