June 23, 2016

Dear Contactually, How Many Follow-up Emails Should I Send?


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Dear Contactually...How do I send the best follow-up email after meeting an influencer? How many?

Dear Contactually,

I recently met my influencer idol at a networking event. We hit it off, had a great conversation (or so I thought) and at the end exchanged business cards.

This was two weeks ago and I've emailed them twice to check in, follow-up, and try to meet up for a coffee. I haven't heard anything back, and I don't want to continue to reach out and possibly annoy them, jeopardizing the potential relationship.

How can I continue to follow-up and get their attention without being a pain in the butt?

Dear Too Many Follow-Ups,

Your problem is a common one, and you're certainly not the first person to be worried about annoying their contacts by following up with them after meeting at an event. But those statistics you've heard are true, it often takes upwards of 6-7 follow-up emails just to get that initial response.

Some even say it's all about following up two more times than you think you should. Yes, we know it sounds a bit excessive and possibly annoying. But think about it this way, if that conversation went as well as you thought it did when you met them in person, don't you think that they'd want to hear from you again?

Chances are, this person is a lot of other people's influencer idol and it means they're probably a fairly busy person, can you imagine how packed their inbox is? Here at Contactually, we reach out to influencers all the time and more often than not, they thank us for sending them a follow-up email (or three) to get in touch with them and remind them to respond.

The influencers in your network are probably no different, and they need a prod every once and a while to act as a quick and friendly reminder. This is not an every day reminder. It's more like a once a week message that gives a little context as to why you're reaching out and offer a time to connect.

Now at this point, you're thinking that you're still feeling like a pest for the continual follow-ups. Our tip is to make sure your emails are as personal, short, and sweet as possible. Reply to your last email you sent so they have some context and background, remind them why you're reaching out and what your ask is. You met them at this networking event, you had a great conversation about XY&Z, and you want to connect with them over coffee or drinks, and offer a few dates that could work.

You don't have to sound like a robot and you don't have to be annoying by any means! Include a quick article that relates to what you two chatted about in one email or remind them of the conversation you had. Another subtle way to connect with them throughout the follow-up process is connecting with them on social media.

Connect on LinkedIn or follow them on Twitter and give their memory a little jolt. Check out what they're sharing on social and integrate it into your next email, keeping the content of your correspondence relevant to their interests.

If your follow-up emails have had no effect on your influencer and you're left feeling a bit like a sad puppy dog left out in the rain, it's time to send your 'breakup' email. Here's the thing, you don't want to just stop sending your follow-up emails, because on the off chance your influencer goes back through their inbox and discovers your slew of follow-ups and sees you just stopped sending them...they may think you're not interested anymore.

Instead, your 'breakup' email asks if you should stop sending follow-up emails and lets them know that you're still interested in connecting and gives them an option on how to best connect with you.

This should not be a sappy guilt-trip, instead it's a matter of fact acknowledgement of how busy they are and how you understand and that there's no hard feelings. If this doesn't catch their attention right away or trigger that immediate response, it will absolutely garner some respect once your influencer does get around to connecting with you. Our final bit of advice, if this is your influencer idol, then don't give up.

Having key influencers in your network can be a huge win for building your business, brand or even personally as a mentor. It's worth a shot and the future benefits will far outweigh the awkwardness you're feeling right now as you follow-up to no avail.

Good luck and keep following-up!



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Still a little nervous about sending that follow-up email? Download our follow-up cheat sheet below for something to keep on hand for all of your messaging needs...