In this post you’ll learn how to stay on top of your emails to close more deals and build better relationships.
Following up is one of the most important things you need to be good at as a business owner. For me, follow ups have turned into
- Closed deals – I’ve even been thanked by a prospect for following up on a proposal for the 5th time, because they got too busy
- Podcast interviews – by checking in with the podcast host
- Podcast guests – for the Agency Highway podcast
- Relationships with influencers
- Product feedback
- Friends – and no, I’m not kidding
Really, the art of follow up applies to ANY email that you want a response to.
Just looking through my follow up history I can see reminders for orders that we’ve placed, to make sure they went through on time, or an item we needed shipped by a certain day.
The thing is, people mostly just aren’t very good at email management and sometimes your email will get lost or buried under loads of others. Unless you’re being a douchebag and sending spammy crap, people likely aren’t ignoring your emails on purpose. So a reminder often goes a long way.
Email reminder tools
There are loads of different email reminder tools, like Boomerang, FollowUp.cc and there is even a basic one built into Gmail. But my favourite is FollowUpThen.
FollowUpThen is great because it does not need anything installed like browser extensions. It works ANYWHERE just using a special email address. That’s important because you can use it from your phone, Gmail, Outlook or anywhere you happen to be sending an email from.
It’s different to the others because it uses the to, cc and bcc fields.
I almost never use the cc field because it bounces the email back to both you and the contact. To me that looks a bit impersonal, so I use bcc which only bounces the email back to me. Then I simply reply to the previous email in the thread with my customized follow-up.
It’s as simple as writing the days and the period @followupthen.com as the email. So if you want to bounce the email back in 3 days, you write
You can use any of the following:
But you can also write something like email@example.com to bounce back on April 11.
If you upgrade to the $5/month plan, then you can also use response detection. When you include “-r” in the email like this firstname.lastname@example.org, then if the person replies it will cancel the follow up.
How I use it
Typically I use it like this:
- For emails I expect a quick response to, I’ll use 3 days
- Unless that’s a weekend, I use Monday
- Some things I’ll use a week, or 2 weeks – it just depends how much work the person needs to do to be able to reply to me
- But sometimes I just use it for myself. I go on holidays soon and there are some things I can’t do until I get back, so I have a bunch of reminders scheduled to bounce back to resume email threads when I return
For a more in depth explanation, watch this video: