What To Do Next: Steps to Take After an Interested Party Responds to Your Cold Email

Cold emailing is usually a long, challenging, and frustrating process. You spend a lot of time identifying the right prospects and researching each of them to create a personalized email. A lot of time also goes into finding their email addresses and making regular follow-ups until you get a response. 

More important than selling your services or products to a prospect, the primary goal of any cold email is to get the email recipient to reply. Yet, this is the hardest part of the entire process. When you get a reply, you will be excited and happy to make it to the 5% of reply rates to cold emails.  

While getting a reply makes cold emailing worth the time and effort you put into it, it is only the beginning of the sales cycle. This is why you need to know what steps to take following a reply to your cold email. 

This article gives you more insights into solidifying your prospect's trust to create an open line of communication between you and the prospect. Only then will you be able to invite them to the next course of action, eventually leading to a sale. 

1. Research The Responder 

Once the excitement of getting a reply from the prospect dies off, it is time to get down to work. Start by reading the prospect's reply to understand what they expect from you. Your next step of action will depend on the answer you get. For example, suppose the prospect schedules a meeting with you. 

The next best thing to do will be to look at what the company does. Their website is an excellent place to get started, where you can check the product or services pages, blog posts, press releases, and reviews about what other people say about them. It's also essential that you take note of the decision-makers in that company. 

All these factors combined will give you a good idea of how to position your products or services. In addition, doing your homework will impress the prospect, setting you apart from the competition. 

Don't ignore the prospect's personal details. If you find something you share in common, it will give you a great starting point and a way to break the ice. 

In doing your research about the prospect's business, remember to establish the following:

  • Does the prospect have all the information they need?
  • Have they been to your website looking for more information?
  • Do they know exactly what you are offering them?
  • Do they have questions they would like to ask you or issues they would like you to clarify?
  • Is the prospect currently using products or services from your competitors?
  • Is this your ideal prospect?

While these questions seem many, they are crucial in your journey to converting a prospect into a long-lasting customer. The questions will help you put yourself in the prospect's shoes, enabling you to create the answers you need to make your cold email helpful and relevant. 

2. Reply as Quickly as Possible

Once you have the information you have gathered in your research stage, it is time to send a reply to your prospect. This should happen as soon as possible after the prospect responds to your initial cold email. 

The first important thing to do is to ensure you include a reply-to address. This is the "From" address that allows recipients to receive and reply to your emails. Having a reply-to address goes a long way in eliminating customer frustration and confusion. It also improves email deliverability. Email Service Providers (ESPs) identify reply-to addresses as legitimate and, therefore, don't mark them as spam. 

Once you've set up your reply-to address, keep in mind that time is of the essence. Try to avoid making your prospect wait for days on end before you get back to them. An excellent practice to consider is to respond within 24 hours or as soon as possible after you hear from a prospect. 

If you can respond within a few minutes, you will earn some extra points with the prospect. It will create a sense of in-person communication, assuring the prospect that there is someone on the other end of the screen ready to talk to them. 

Replying as soon as possible also shows your email recipient that you are interested in having a meaningful, long-term conversation. It's also an excellent way to create some dynamism and build on the attention the prospect has just accorded you. This brings you to the importance of sending your cold email messages during working hours. 

3. Make it All About Your Prospect 

Upon getting a positive reply to your cold email, your overall goal should be to help the prospect achieve a specific business goal with your product or service. Your research should entail discovering the prospect's: 

  • Business goals
  • Product or service offering
  • Target market
  • Company culture
  • Workflow 
  • Anything else relevant to your mission. 

Don't immediately get into the finer details of your product or service. Instead, you should listen and learn as much as possible from the prospect. Learning from them will help you know how to best respond to their needs. As such, create an opportunity for the prospect to build a context for you to ask questions. 

Keep Your Emails as Personalized as Possible 

If your initial email was personalized enough to attract your prospect's attention, the emails that follow should also be personalized. Avoid the temptation to use templates that you copy and paste for a response. Even if you have some fabulous templates, don't just use them as they are. Ensure you add a personalized touch to make your contact feel like they are communicating with a living and breathing person. 

Don't Overwhelm the Prospect with Information 

You can easily overwhelm the prospect with too much information without realizing it. Resist the temptation to send all your service or product features while attaching an in-depth PDF, a PowerPoint presentation, or an infographic. Doing so will only lead to more harm than good in your cold emailing efforts. 

While a positive response is an encouraging sign, going too far with too much information sends the message that it is all about you and not about the prospect's needs. 

Your job here is to identify the exact context where your product or service meets your prospect's needs and tailor your email to that. This way, you can pick the most relevant features, highlighting the benefits most applicable to the prospect's business. 

Answer All Questions from the Prospect

Another way to ensure you make the process all about the prospect is to answer all their questions. Their first reply email will likely have some specific questions about your pitch. Your subsequent email should have answers to all the questions. In some cases, you may need to ask the prospect for clarification on any of their requests. 

Not answering some questions to corner the prospect into a call or meeting may work against you. Pushing a potential client into a call when they are not ready for one is not a good idea. Consider keeping the email conversation going for as long as the prospect needs without trying to force anything. Remind yourself that the prospect needs to know that it is all about them and not so much about you. 

4. Give a Clear Call to Action

Like in every relationship, it is crucial that both sides clearly know what to expect and when. This means that in every email, you should clearly define the next step. For example, tell the prospect what they should do before the next email communication, or tell them what you need to do. This way, there will be better control of the communication flow and relation. In addition, the prospect will know what is coming next. 

A mistake you should avoid is just giving them a link to your free trial. Also known as "self-service," it will make you lose control of the relationship. You might also never hear from the prospect again, since you have just abandoned them to find their way around your product or service. 

It will be a complex task trying to win them back. To be on the safe side, ensure that your prospect is never surprised that you sent another email or called them. Don't wait before taking the next step you promised, and gently guide your prospect into buying your offering finally. 

Final Thoughts 

The key to successful cold emailing is to know how to respond to your email recipients at every step of the way. It takes a lot of hard work to keep prospects talking to you and convert them into customers. Remember to make the process all about them and their business needs and less about your product or service. The better you understand your prospects, the better placed you will be to create a pitch that works. 

We know that crafting an outreach email that speaks to the recipient can be a lot of hard work. That is why Sendlio wants to help you create great messaging that turns email addresses into customers. Check out our easy-to-use platform designed for cold outreach.


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