Like most small marketing agencies, we used to get 90% of new clients from referrals.
If we had more time, we’d generate leads through inbound marketing. If we had more money, we’d purchase $30,000+ in advertisements or sponsorships.
But we had limited time AND money. So we had to come up with a different solution.
As a result, we built a follow-up email system (using four highly-effective templates) that has generated $100,000 in new business in the past 30 days.
In other words, our revenue has increased by 215% since starting this system.
Our philosophy is similar to inbound marketing, generating leads by providing value, but it’s through warm emailing. You see, a lot of cold email involves spamming people, directly asking for something. Instead, we provide value up front, sharing articles or bits of information that might help our prospects.
And it works. Now we don’t have to sit around and wait for referrals to come to us. Instead, we proactively reach out to people, without being scammy or asking for something.
Here’s how it all functions, including the four email templates worth $100,000:
Step 1: Find prospects who are mentioned in the news (using Google Alerts and feedly).
We’re a branding agency in the healthcare industry, so the majority of our clients are doctors or dentists.
One of our favorite tricks for finding doctors to contact is finding out when they’re mentioned in the news … then reaching out to congratulate them. By saying “congrats” it warms up the initial email.
There are two methods we use for monitoring the news for when doctors are mentioned:
- Using Google Alerts
- Using feedly
Creating a Google Alert is incredibly simple. Just head over to Google Alerts and type whatever keyword you want to track. Then save an “alert” to send to your email address.
For example, a keyword that we track is “orthopedic surgery.” To set this up, I just type in “orthopedic surgery,” enter my email address, and click Create Alert:
Now I’ll get an alert when orthopedic surgey is mentioned in the news, which typically has a doctor tied to it.
Using feedly is also very simple. After you create a feedly account, you simply add websites into your “feed.” Thus, whenever a website publishes a new article, you’ll get them all in one place when you go to feedly.com.
For example, a website we follow in our industry is KevinMD.com. To add it to our feedly account, I click +Add Content, type in “KevinMD.com” and select it, click the green +feedly button, then click Add:
And just like that, KevinMD is added to my account. Other websites we’ve gotten new customers from are TEDmed.com, Ad Week, and Advertising Age. So I’ll add those to my feedly account as well.
To see all of them at once, I click on my Health tab, and all of them pop up as one feed:
Step 2: Send the first email.
As mentioned in the previous step we warm up the initial email by saying congrats. Here’s what that email template looks like:
If they say yes, I’ll propose time to chat on the phone for 15 minutes using my Calend.ly account. That’s where I say “Schedule 15 minutes here on my calendar” in the email.
Calend.ly automatically syncs to my Google Calendar, which allows people to pick an open time that works for them. This stops the annoying back-and-forth of finding the right time that works for both parties.
If they say no, I’ll send the second email 24 hours later.
Step 3: Send a second email, adding helpful content, personalized to their industry.
If we hit 24 hours of silence, we’ll send a second email that offers personalized content.
Except we use a feature called Sequences in Sidekick for Business that automatically sends a series of follow-up emails. That means we set this up once … and that’s it. Everything is completely automated. This feature alone has saved us HOURS of manually sending follow-up emails.
For example, if our current prospect is a physician, I’ll send him a valuable branding survey tool we use to help clients differentiate themselves.
Here’s what that might look like:
Since we started sending these brand analysis surveys with doctor’s names on them, our response rates have skyrocketed. It’s such a simple tweak, but it makes a powerful difference.
Again, if they say yes, let them schedule a time to talk using my Calend.ly account.
If they say no, I’ll send a third email 24 hours later.
Step 4: Send a third email of “Re: trying to connect.”
Next, I’ll send this as my third follow-up email if I don’t hear anything:
Again, if they say yes, I send them to Calend.ly.
If no, I’ll send one final follow-up email, 24 hours later.
Step 5: Send the fourth email template of “permission to close your file?”
If I don’t hear anything after the first three responses, I send this final email asking for “permission to close their file:”
Ironically enough, I actually got this template from HubSpot’s massive list of follow-up sales email templates … so I can’t take all the credit here. 🙂
We’ve seen a pretty big spike in responses by using this template. Perhaps because people start to realize, “Oh, I’m never going to hear from this guy again. Maybe I should look into their business …”
Step 6: Continuously optimize our follow-up email templates.
We just started using this email system and follow-up email templates, so we’ve just scratched the surface. I can’t even imagine what will happen when we start analyzing our follow-up emails using the templates performance tool available in Sidekick for Business.
The templates performance tool tracks the open rate and click rate of every template we send, which helps us understand what templates are performing the best.
However, if you’re not using Sidekick for Business yet, try using the Gmail canned responses feature (it’s free!). The only downside is you cannot see the best-performing template or automatically insert personalization tokens.
These templates have worked tremendously well for us so far, but we’re still early in the process. We’ll be continually testing.
But since it’s helped us close $100,000 in new business in just 30 days so far, you might as try these templates yourself.