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Email Productivity Tips: How to Easily Follow-up with Business Contacts

As a small business owner it's your job to remind customers that you exist and here's how to do it.


Last Update – December 23, 2014

Sometimes winning your “dream account” or client isn’t about having the best pitch or more resources. At times, you’ll find that your company won out above everyone else due to your team’s persistence, and what happens after the pitch.

To understand this better, let’s think about your potential customers and clients.

When they receive an important email from you, they probably have a full days work ahead and possibly a hectic travel or meeting schedule. By default, this can make you easily forgettable. However, you shouldn’t assume that your new business pitch went badly if you don’t receive a reply. Instead, assume that they need to be reminded of your existence and your message.

 

Why I Follow-up, Often

While running my company, I like to collect feedback and find out how we can better help our customers. To do this, I rely on a specific system to garner a response:

I email approximately ten prospective customers and ten existing customers everyday and then follow up with every single person that I attempt to contact.

I too am busy; my inbox and to-do list are also overloaded. But it is still my job to remind my customers that I exist. The dilemma is this: there is no way that I could remember to email every customer and contact. It’s cumbersome to keep an organized list of reminders outside of my inbox.

 

A Simple Follow-up System

My solution is simple. I created a simple system that reminds me to follow-up with potential customers three times over a six-week period—all from within my email.

I use a free productivity tool called FollowUpThen, a simple email reminder service. For example, if you send an email to “[email protected]” you will receive an automatic reminder in your inbox in exactly two days. The next time you email a potential client,  BCC “[email protected]” and you will be reminded to follow-up with that person in two days—even if you’ve forgotten about it as well.

Include “time-interval”@followupthen.com (i.e. [email protected], [email protected], etc.) on email chains by simply adding the email address (with the selected time period) to the BCC field. You will then receive the reminder, not the recipient, to follow-up with your contact.

For example, here is the schedule I personally use to follow-up with potential customers three times over a six-week period:

 

1. Send 1st Email and Follow-up within 2 days

Compose your email and add “[email protected]” to your BCC email field. FollowUpThen sends me a reminder in 2 days.

 

2. Send 1st Follow-up

Compose your email and add “[email protected]” to your BCC email field. FollowUpThen sends me a reminder in 1 week.

 

3. Send 2nd Follow-up

Compose your email and add “[email protected]” to your BCC email field. FollowUpThen sends me a reminder in 1 month. In my experience, customers rarely email me back at the first step, but after I follow-up (Step 2) I usually receive a reply.

Don’t miss out on your next opportunity simply because you didn’t follow-up.

 

Rishi Shah is the CEO of Flying Cart an easy way to create an online store. Over 12,000 small businesses use Flying Cart to run and manage their online store. Want more tips? Join his newsletter here and get business tools to help you grow your small business. Connect with Rishi on Twitter.

 

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