One of the critical components to a successful follow-up program is the email template. Now, many people think that “template” is a dirty word. They might assume it will sound canned or not personal enough. Don’t get me wrong, the “form-letter-brochure-copy-800-word-email” templates are most definitely dirty. I would suggest you look at creating your email templates in a different way.
When you think about the emails you are currently sending, you will quickly realize that you use the same wordage and phrases over and over again. So in essence, you already have parts of your “templates” created. In working with many sales professionals, I have learned that with the follow-up program I recommend (5-7 contacts in the 1st month alone) if you don’t work from templates, you will burn out quickly or dump the follow-up process completely.
Let’s go through a couple of pointers that will help make the follow-up process easier and allow you to accomplish your goals more efficiently:
The template sandwich: I do recommend that every possible email be personalized to the unique needs of the customer. That doesn’t mean the entire email has to be personalized. Think of the template like a sandwich, your pre-written opening and closing are the buns and the personalized sentence or two in the middle is the meat. The template sandwich shakes the “form letter” feel and makes it all warm and fuzzy.
Build as you go: Trying to create your entire bank of 18 unique follow-up email templates in one fail swoop is like writing a term paper the night before it is due. Borderline impossible. I recommend is starting with your next follow-up email,. Spend time creating that template and save it for future use, within 2-3 months, you’ll have everything you need for the future.
Keep it short: People don’t read emails, they scan. Keep them short, personal and to the point. 3 total paragraphs, 6-8 sentences. You start going past that and it better be a pretty darn informative email or include information that they requested. Remember, we are not trying to sell a home over email – the goal is to invoke a response, call back or visit.
Change it up: Are your template sandwiches going stale? Revisit them every once in a while, add a new one into the mix and dump the old crusty ones. You need to think of 5-7 different ways to communicate with a prospect so you will be memorable.
At the end of the day, remember that the most important part of follow-up is just showing up. Template or not, most sales professionals quit after 2 follow-up attempts. By having a bundle of email templates ready to go, you will be able to fire those off faster and more often than your competition.