Emails represent a great mass communication tool for sales, marketing, and engagement, at little or no cost. That isn’t an excuse to use them with ill-conceived abandon.
In fact, the least effective and the blatantly unnecessary ones are the easiest to write. So, if you find yourself itching to whizz out a quick “check-in” email, you might want to read this guide first.
Consumers and decision makers are bombarded with information these days – a tsunami of marketing messages hits them from all angles, including their email inboxes. This makes them very easy to irritate and disenfranchise.
What’s a Check-In Email?
You’ve probably received a few “check-in” emails yourself. You had some sort of connection with a company, and soon after you receive a perky communication to say “hi” and remind you what they do.
“Just checking in to see if you are pleased with your recent transaction….”
“We’ve not heard from you for a while, so just to remind you what we do…”
“It’s been six months since you bought our goods, so we hope you are still happy.”
Good manners? Good practice? Little gentle nudges? Possibly, but some would argue that they can be at best ineffectual, and at worst counterproductive.
If you have recently made a purchase or connected with the company represented in the “check-in” email, such a lightweight form of communication can appear mildly superfluous.
The ones which seek to re-establish contact with leads that are going cold over time can sound blatantly desperate.
Make your communication matter
Let’s face it. If you haven’t heard from your prospects for a while, you have to give them a reason to get back in touch. Just the very fact you exist and you are “checking in” is not an incentive to buy again, or pop back in your store.
Your emails need to justify their existence and get the attention of your targets in a way that’s impossible to ignore.
Don’t waste hot prospects
Creating a prospect database that includes the email addresses of people offering authentic sales potential is the lifeblood of any business.
If you have captured consumers or decision makers who have opted in or who are already in a satisfactory relationship with you, then you need to nurture them.
How you deal with this rich mine of potential upselling should be part of a strategic, well-planned, carefully worded and professionally executed marketing campaign.
Anything fluffy or woolly will be greeted with skepticism. Your opt-out rates may well grow. Worse still, when you next send out a more meaty email with a clearer call to action, your open rates may have dipped.
Information and advice
One of the best replacements for the “check-in” email is one that provides your prospect database with relevant information or advice they will value.
Better still is if you can give them product/service intel, or general advice, that is shareable on social media and drives new traffic to your website.
It could contain, for example, a link to a “How To” video on YouTube, an update on a new technique, a case study, an idea for using your product or service in a novel or innovative way.
Browse through the online news and you may well find a contemporaneous piece that you can use as a hook. You are contacting your prospects to share a piece of important news – showing how responsive, on the ball and knowledgeable you are.
Offers and add-ons
Another great follow up (and wake up nudge) for prospects is to provide them with an “exclusive” offer or addition.
“Because you bought from us once, here is a discount for your loyalty.”
“You made an inquiry about this product, we now have a similar one available to you for less money”.
“You used our service for this, but we can now also do that, which makes it even better.”
Keeping prospects in the loop
Another alternative to a “check-in” email is one that keeps your prospects feeling like you are genuinely connected to them, and speaking to them individually.
A well-written email drawing attention to your recent blog, inviting them to a webinar or seeking feedback can make them feel valued. It could even simply highlight new information on your website, extended opening hours or recently recruited staff members in a personalized format.
This is all about building and maintaining a relationship with your prospects – so making them feel special is important rather than sending out a generic and bland “check in”.
Make the content as personal as possible in these communications – if your prospects feel you are talking to them as an individual it boosts open rates and measurable responses. This may involve some careful structuring of your database analytics – can you pull off the right information to individualize emails by geography, age, buying pattern and so forth?
Really up close and personal
Clearly, just how individual your emails are to potential customers or clients depends on the nature of your business and the size of your database.
The more you can segment your prospects the better. The time taken is an investment in emails which clock up actionable responses.
For example, if you can send birthday greetings, congratulations of business milestones or make responses to coverage of your targets in the media.
Flexible and responsive email systems vital
To maximize the revenue potential from prospect emails – including those that seek to reconnect you with your customers – you need the right systems in place.
The means of working with MarketJoy to collect and collate market research and qualified sales leads, then sort this into a usable form. We can also ensure your email campaigns are based on advanced project analytics, increasing their effectiveness exponentially. All of this will be firmly planted on an intuitive lead management platform, to drive fruitful prospect engagement.