Design your follow-ups and sequences

Design your follow-ups and sequences

The objective of this exercise is to practice crafting effective follow-ups and email sequences that increase response rates and engagement with your prospects. You will explore best practices for follow-ups, understand the difference between content-led and bump follow-ups, and learn how to bring value to your messaging while avoiding common pitfalls.


Importance of Follow-ups:

  • Understand that a significant portion of your success in outbound sales comes from effective follow-ups.
  • Acknowledge that completely cold prospects typically require around 6 follow-ups before generating a response.
  • Emphasise the significance of follow-up steps spread across email and LinkedIn (and maybe phone outreach if you have numbers (not recommended in the UK)).

DOs for Follow-ups:

  • Ensure your follow-ups can be automated or customised, preferably combining both approaches.
  • Maintain a logical continuation of the narrative from your initial outreach.
  • Utilize the flexibility of follow-ups to include links, images, and other rich media content.
  • Make it easy for prospects to respond by providing clear and concise call-to-action prompts.

DONTs for Follow-ups:

  • Don't worry excessively about the length of your follow-up messages. Focus on delivering value and maintaining relevance.
  • Avoid using phrases like "never heard back," "just called," or "following up." Be more subtle and engaging.
  • Refrain from being aggressive in your follow-ups and avoid taking rejection personally. Maintain a professional and respectful approach.

Two types of Follow-ups:

Understand the difference between content-led and bump follow-ups:

Content-led Follow-ups:

  • Content-led follow-ups focus on providing value to the prospect through relevant and engaging content.
  • The goal is to showcase your expertise, industry knowledge, and the solutions you offer by sharing valuable resources.
  • These follow-ups typically include case studies, customer success stories, industry insights, blog posts, or other content assets.
  • Content-led follow-ups aim to establish credibility, build trust, and demonstrate how your offerings can help the prospect overcome their specific challenges.
  • The focus is on providing valuable information that educates and guides the prospect towards recognising the benefits of your product or service. It can also break down your value proposition into smaller chunks and drip them out in your follow-ups.

Bump Follow-ups:

  • Bump follow-ups, also known as a reminder or nudge emails, refer back to the initial email in the sequence.
  • The purpose of bump emails is to re-engage the prospect and bring attention back to the conversation.
  • These follow-ups are shorter and more concise compared to content-led follow-ups. Consider using the following examples for bump emails:
  • "Any thoughts considering {{Insert relevancy}}"
  • "Thoughts on this, knowing that {{Insert relevancy}}"
  • "Is {{pain point}} a challenge for you, {{first name}}?"
  • "With you {{Insert relevancy}}, any thoughts?"
  • Bump emails serve as gentle reminders, prompting the prospect to take action or respond to your previous message.
  • The content of bump follow-ups can vary, but they typically include a brief reference to the initial email or a question related to the prospect's pain points or challenges.
  • The goal of bump follow-ups is to keep the conversation alive and encourage the prospect to continue engaging with you.

Adding Less Engaging Steps:

  • Incorporate less engaging steps in your email sequence, such as visiting the prospect's LinkedIn profile, to act as subtle reminders for your leads.

Practice Writing:

Design your sequence

  • Once you’ve written all templates, then set up the sequence using a tool like Smartlead, Reply, Lemlist, or Instantly. Here’s an example sequence:
Step Day Channel Message/Notes
1 1 LinkedIn I viewed your profile and followed you
2 1 Email Introduction: Introducing our solution
3 4 Email Gentle follow-up: Checking if you received my previous email
4 4 LinkedIn Sent a connection request without a message
5 7 Email Value-driven follow-up: Sharing a relevant resource
6 10 LinkedIn Connected: Sending a personalized message
Not connected: Engaged with your recent posts (if any)
7 14 Email Engaging: Introducing new features of our solution
8 18 Email Reminder: Revisiting our previous conversation
9 19 LinkedIn Connected: Sharing industry insights
Not connected: Liked your recent posts (if any)
10 20 Email Follow-up: Addressing specific pain points
11 24 Email Further value: Offering a free consultation
12 28 Email Follow-up bump: Last chance to explore our solution
13 28 LinkedIn I viewed your profile and followed you
14 35 Email Nurturing the relationship: Sharing a success story
15 35 LinkedIn Connected: Providing insights on industry trends
Not connected: Liked your recent posts (if any)
16 42 Email Break Up Email: Reaching out for the last time
17 42 LinkedIn Withdrew connection request

Review and Refine:

  • Review your sample email sequence and assess the effectiveness of each follow-up.
  • Make adjustments to improve the value delivered, clarity of messaging, and engagement potential.
  • Seek feedback from colleagues or mentors to further refine and optimise your email sequence.

By completing this exercise, you will enhance your ability to create effective follow-ups and email sequences that improve response rates and engagement. These skills will contribute to more successful outbound sales efforts and help you build stronger connections with your prospects.

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