Utilize Follow-Up Emails To Increase Engagement

Follow-up emails are a simple but effective way to boost response rates of your email marketing campaigns. A follow-up email is an email sent to a segment of the initial dataset a few days after the first email.

Here are the follow-ups that we have had success with that you can implement today:


Text-only email to non-openers

This follow-up campaign involves sending a text-only email to the recipients that did not open the email in the initial campaign. Sending the email as text-only content makes it more personable and as a result recipients who did not open the first email are more likely to engage. Also, being text-only allows you to quickly create, test and send this type of message.

You should also change the subject line as the original one did not encourage the recipients to open the email the first time around. I recommend sending two or three days after the first email was sent.

We have seen this type of follow-up email increase engagement by 5% per campaign.


HTML 'lite' follow-up email to clickers non action.

This follow-up campaign involves sending emails to recipients that did engage with the first email, but didn't complete the desired action; a purchase or web-download for example.


I like to make this email what I call HTML 'lite' which is a stripped down version of the first full-HTML email. Nice and easy to create, test and send, and it has a good balance of brand-imagery and HTML-copy.


Again, changing the subject line is a must and I recommend sending two or three days after the first campaign.


Post action/purchase

A post action email is a simple and effective campaign that is rarely implemented. Why? Because we forget about emailing customers once we have the desired action. However it can be highly effective for up-sell and cross-sell and is very important to build brand loyalty.

The post action email campaign doesn't have to be complicated and can contain the following information:

  • Links to useful information, product guides or shipping information
  • Guides on how to use the product or service
  • Links to social networks
  • Links to forums with other product users
  • Review encouragement

All of the above is ‘non-selly' and educational; informing your customers and building brand loyalty.


A word from the boss - a surprise follow up email

Another power-house follow-up campaign is sending a personal note from the Managing Director or CEO of your company a few days after the action. This is highly effective in building your brand and highlighting your company’s values.

Colin from explains this type of email, which he calls ‘surprise personal email’, in his great post.


In Colin's example the surprise follow-up email produced a 17% reply rate. Colin uses the example of app signup and I believe this kind of tactic can be used for all email marketing verticals.


What other follow-up emails have you used?

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