Not generating enough responses from prospects? You may need to tweak your email follow-up sequence.
You just spoke to a potential client on the phone. Your conversations seemed promising; they’re looking for a new insurance policy and the two of you hit it off talking about your dogs. What comes next, though? Do you wait for them to call you back? Do you call again tomorrow, or does that seem desperate? It sure would be good to have a winning email follow-up sequence right about now.
Five years ago, ExactTarget’s 2012 Channel Preference Survey found that 66% of users made a purchase as the result of an email message. More recent research suggests the trend has continued; the 2015 Client Email Report from DMA UK and Hubspot indicates that email has an average ROI of $38 for every $1 spent—a return of 3800%. However, what these reports don’t tell you is that 80% of sales require five follow-ups. For those follow-ups to be effective, every insurance agent should have a sturdy email follow-up sequence.
Think about it. When you receive a follow-up email, do you respond immediately? Probably not. After four or five follow-ups, though, you might be more likely to answer back, especially if the follow-up email sequence doesn’t come across as pushy or annoying.
But what does a successful follow-up email sequence look like? What are some ways you can ensure a maximum response rate and sell more insurance?
Know your mission
If you create generic email follow-ups that don’t have a clear goal, you’re less likely to land a sale. Messages with a mission give an email purpose, which brings with it urgency. Prospects will see such emails as driven and objective, which makes them feel more comfortable about buying.
Before you even begin crafting your email follow-up, write down a thoughtful, thorough mission statement. You won’t include this statement in the actual email itself, but it will guide you in crafting your message so that your prospects know and believe in what you have to offer.
Another key to an email follow-up sequence is to make sure it’s personalized. That doesn’t just mean including the prospect’s name. Include information relevant to their industry, refer to your initial outreach, whether it was by phone or otherwise. Make your prospect believe that you’re interested specifically in their business and that they’re not just a number.
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A sequence for success
If it’s true that 80% of sales require five follow-ups, then it makes sense to have five templates in your email follow up sequence.
Your first email should restate the things you discussed and perhaps provide just a tidbit more information that might help the prospect in their buying decision. As with all of these emails, keep it short and to the point and be sure to include a call to action, so they know what you want from them for a next step. Send this email within an hour of ending your initial contact.
If the prospect hasn’t responded within 48 hours, send an email with helpful and informative content relative to them. Somewhere in there, you’ll want to connect the content to your offering, but it’s okay to include content that may not be directly related to your product or service. Success stories and other narrative forms will work better here than statistics.
If a week has passed, and you still haven’t heard anything, send a short check-in email asking if the prospect has given your pitch any further thought. This one should be very brief to avoid sounding pushing. Maybe include another statistic or two that they haven’t seen before, but don’t overwhelm them on this one.
The fourth in your email follow up sequence is the testimonial email. Send a few examples of what clients are saying about your product, whether they come from online reviews, emails they sent you, or other avenues. When possible, choose clients relative to your prospect’s regarding demographic information as this will make the prospect feel more connected to the message.
Finally, if thirty days or more have gone by and you still haven’t heard anything, send the closure email. In this email, you will ask the prospect if you can close out their file. What this does is create urgency in the prospect because they may not hear from you again. If they’ve only been putting off your offer because they’re busy, this might be the one that gets their attention. Remember, however, to leave the option for them to get in touch with you. Ask them what you can do to help move the process forward if they are interested. (Of course, if they aren’t, it’s time to move on.)
What to avoid
There are a few things you’ll want to avoid in your email follow up sequence. First and foremost, don’t be longwinded. State your purpose, provide supporting information, and close out.
On a similar note, keep images to a minimum. Using a couple of pictures is helpful, but research shows that as the number of images increases, the number of click-throughs decreases. Remember, brevity is key, even with images.
Finally, don’t send all your emails in close succession to one another. The first one or two in the sequence should be within 48 hours, but after that, give the prospect some time to breathe.
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