Consistent Follow-up: How to and How NOT to

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Have you heard the phrase “a day or a decade” when it comes to converting prospects to clients? Or website visitors to opted-in leads?

While I don’t know where it originates from, I’ve been hearing it more and more over the past few years. Including while at Walt Disney World in Florida last week for an Agency Management Institute (AMI) workshop. 

It speaks to the power of consistent follow-up and to being of value.

One of the things we’re often asked around follow-up is “How much is too much?” 

The answer, as it often is, is “It depends.” 

It depends on HOW (what method you’re using) and HOW (the language you’re using) you’re following up.

How NOT to follow-up with prospects:

  • Send an email or LinkedIn message: “Have you watched our videos or read our case studies yet? Would you like to be maxed out with clients? We can help you do that. Schedule a call here.”
  • Resend in 3 days with the added note “Bumping to the top of your inbox.”

  • Resend again in 2 days with the added note “I know you’re busy. We can help you make more and take more time off. Just schedule a call at this link.”

Both “HOWs” (method and language) are basically the same, taking rinse and repeat too far.

Feeling icky yet? It’s even worse when what they offer doesn’t fit what you do. More than once, I’ve replied asking them if they even read my profile/website and to please unsub me.

How to follow-up with prospects in a way that honors you and them:

  • Offer an assessment and ask for email address if they’d like to receive results via email (most will). Use a system such as Assessment Generator (this is our referral link) to create assessment, collect email address and immediately send results.

    You can just as easily offer an e-course, e-book, template, checklist, etc. from your site — it must be helpful to your ideal prospect/client.

  • Once they’re in your email system/CRM, assign a team member to check the prospect’s website for a mailing address, add it on their record AND add it to your task system for you (or a team member) to send them a quick “Thank you for requesting X, we’ll be sending you weekly email updates and look forward to connecting with you.” handwritten note. If you have something you can include to make the envelope “lumpy”, include it.

  • Ensure there’s a follow-up email sequence for whatever it is they downloaded that had them opt-in to your list. This sequence is ideally 5-6 emails sent over 12 days. You’re providing value around the “thing/topic” they requested with these emails. After all, they’ve already told you they’re interested.

  • 1-2 times/week send out a value-add email to your list (less than once a week and you risk them forgetting about you). Some people email their list more often. You have to do what’s best for your business and audience — and note that the open rate and unsubscribe rates are two metrics that will help show if you’re on the right track. You can also give your list the option: “Get all my emails OR receive a weekly summary.”

  • Periodically, send something via snail mail — a holiday card, a birthday card, a “congratulations” card for something they shared on social media, a “thought of you”, etc.

  • Hosting an AMA (Ask Me Anything) or Open Q&A call? A webinar on X topic? Put up a new YouTube® video on a topic related to what they downloaded? Email them and invite them.

The above connection cadence, in stark contrast to the first example, feels honoring, collegial, helpful.

This may seem like a lot of work. It both is and isn’t. 

If you create the follow-up email sequence each time you create a new opt-in, that’s done as part of the original build.

1-2x weekly connection? Do it the way it works for you — set aside one day a week for writing or write each morning. There’s no wrong/bad way as long as you get it done.

And remember, these weekly connections are So. Incredibly. Leveraged! They’re going out to your full list. 

Have something special related to the opt-in you did? Awesome, this is why we segment our list, to only send what people are interested in so we’re welcome guests rather than annoying pests).

One of my favorite quotes is “Ordinary things, done consistently, create extraordinary and consistent results.”

There’s nothing extraordinary about the above, until it becomes consistent and compounds. 

This reminds me of a client I welcomed a few years ago. The “thing” that had him pick up the phone and say “I want to work with you”? 

When his Dad passed a year before I had sent him a condolences card. That was in addition to the opt-in follow-up and weekly emails. That card showed him I was aware of him and his life and cared enough to reach out, even before he ever gave me a penny.

I did, and still do. 

We’re people first, we all lead full and complicated lives. Remember that, be helpful and show your prospects and clients that you know that and respect them and their time.

A day or a decade…