Timing is everything. I am sure you have heard this plenty number of times. Timing is a significant factor when you send a follow up email. It can decide if your message receives a positive response or ends up in the trash. The secret for perfectly timing your emails, is knowing your audience.
Most commonly, sales and marketing people wonder about what is the best time to send follow up emails? You want your follow up emails to get someones attention, without showing any signs of desperation at the same time.
So how do you achieve this seemingly difficult feat?
The answer comes in two parts –
The time of day you send follow up emails can make or break the relationship with your audience.
Send your emails at the wrong time, and your unsubscribe rates will skyrocket. But send them at the right time, and you’ll convert prospects into paying customers and first-time buyers into repeat customers.
The time of day is just as important as the day itself. You don’t want your follow up email to linger in your customer’s inbox, waiting to be read and replied to.
According to SEOpressor, For your follow up email to get a response, you should send it at a time when people are not too busy. You also want to catch them when their mind is fresh and uncluttered. The best time for this is in the morning at 10 am
Afternoon, at around 2 p.m., also seems promising. It’s toward the end of the workday, at a time when people are getting restless and looking for distractions.
Another high success rate occurs in the evenings, from 8 pm to midnight. With so many internet distractions these days, many people like to try and keep their mornings open for productivity and will avoid marketing emails in the mornings. The evening then becomes the perfect time to check their inboxes for other, non-work related emails.
While everybody’s work schedules are different, here are some general observations regarding how people work through the week.
Mondays – Monday mornings are often reserved for internal meetings, planning out your week and dealing with anything urgent that happened over the weekend. It’s not the best day to send a follow up email and expect a reply.
Coschedule says that, Tuesday has the highest open rate and click-through rate, as well as being the most popular day to send emails.
The second-best day to send an email is Thursday. If you’re going to send an initial email and a follow-up, you could consider sending the first on Tuesday with a follow-up on Thursday.
Wednesday ranked as the third best day for sending email, clinching a win for the middle of the week.
Weekends seem to be the worst days in terms of follow up email open rates, Klaviyo research demonstrates that the number of emails sent during the weekend is significantly lower than the weekdays.
Now we already know when should we follow up and what our follow up email should look like. Next, let’s look at how often you can follow up with someone. Where is the line between persistence and stalking?
According to Zoominfo, 44% of salespeople give up after only one follow up. Additionally, 92% of salespeople give up after four “no”s, but 80% of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes”.
If you reach out completely cold and never had any interaction with the prospect, follow up a maximum of six times. You really don’t have the type of relationship that gives you permission to do much more than that.
If you already had some kind of interaction and that interaction was not a clear, definite NO, then follow up as long as it takes to get a response. Never stop till you get a response.
Steli Efti proposes a email follow up sequence like the following:
First follow up on Day 1 (+2)Second Follow up on Day 3 (+4)Third Follow up on Day 7 (+7)Fourth Follow up on Day 14 (+14)Fifth Follow up on Day 28 (+30)Sixth Follow up on Day 58 (+30)… (from there on once a month).
While everyone is different, and no one likes to generalize, entrepreneurs and people at the top of an organisation work to a different schedule than other people.
They are more likely to check their emails frequently, every day of the week. No matter what they are doing, their email is their window to how their company is functioning. They’ll open every email they receive, even if it is just to check there hasn’t been a disaster.
But at the same time the attention of CXO level people is very likely divided into multiple important things happening simultaneously. So if you follow up with them too many times, you may very well come across as annoying.
Accordingly, find a balance in your follow up timings. Ask simple, meaningful questions in your follow up emails, make it easy for them to answer you.
If your customer is not a Founder or top-level executive, maybe they do not check their work email at home in the evenings or at weekends. They may not even have access to their emails when not on work premises. For the biggest impact, you are limited to emailing during regular working hours.
You can follow up more frequently with them, since they are most likely working on projects or activities directly related to your offer. So they would be less likely to be distracted or annoyed.
These are the guidelines for when and how often to send follow up emails. Remember to analyze your audience and run A/B tests to find what works best for them. While doing that, don’t forget to use these data as a starting point.
If you want to make sure that you never absolutely miss sending follow up emails you can switch to email automation tools, where you can set up a drip sequence of emails and automated follow ups based on how someone is engaging with your emails.
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