Let’s think about your potential clients or interviewers. When they receive your important email, they probably also have a full day of work still left to do, plus a hectic travel schedule. This can make you easily forgettable. However, you shouldn’t automatically assume that your interview or pitch went badly if you don’t receive a reply. Instead, always assume that they need to be reminded of your existence and your message. This will keep you fresh in their mind over time.
While running my company, I like to collect feedback and find out how we can better help their business with our products. I rely on a specific system to get a response: I email about ten prospective customers and ten existing customers everyday, and then I follow up with every single person that I attempt to contact.
People Fail—Systems Don’t
I too am busy; my inbox and to-do list are also overloaded. But it is still my job to remind my clients that I exist. There is no way that I could remember to email every person, and it is cumbersome to keep an organized list of these reminders outside of my inbox. That is why I created a simple system that reminds me to followup with potential customers three times over a six-week period—all from within my email.
I use a free service called FollowUpThen, a simple email reminder service. For example, if you send an email to “email@example.com” you will receive an automatic reminder in your inbox in exactly two days. When emailing a potential client or interviewer, just BCC “firstname.lastname@example.org” and you will be reminded to follow up with that person again in two days—even if you’ve forgotten about it as well. Include followupthen.com on email chains by adding it to the BCC email field. Only you will receive the reminder, not the recipient you should follow up with.
Also, if you use an email client that features conversation mode (such as Google Mail), the FollowUpThen reminder is sent in the same thread, making it super easy to find the email you need to follow up with!
Here is the schedule I personally use to follow up with my potential customers three times over a six-week period:
Send 1st Contact Email, BCC “email@example.com”
(FollowUpThen sends me a reminder in 2 days)
Send 1st Follow Up Email, BCC “firstname.lastname@example.org”
(FollowUpThen sends me a reminder in 1 week)
Send 2nd Follow Up Email, BCC “email@example.com”
(FollowUpThen sends me a reminder in 1 month)
Customers very rarely email me back on the first email, but after I follow up, I usually receive the reply I’m waiting for. Don’t miss out on your next opportunity simply because you didn’t follow up.
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About the Author: Rishi Shah helps people get customers. He is the CEO of Digioh, an easy way to sell PDFs on your own website, and Flying Cart, an easy way to create an online store. Join his newsletter here to download his eBook “10 Paying Customers in 10 Days” for free.
Rishi is a member of The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. The YEC promotes entrepreneurship as a solution to unemployment and underemployment and provides entrepreneurs with access to tools, mentorship, and resources that support each stage of their business’s development and growth.