I am all about engaging people for your business through email. (Literally that is what my book is about.) Throughout your relationships with your customers, prospective customers, and industry peers there are countless opportunities to reach out to someone and to push your relationship forward.
The problem with having so many opportunities is that it takes a long time to create all of those emails. Writing (and revising) a great email sequence takes time so to get a head start you can use email templates that sales and marketing masterminds have shared with us.
I have used each of the templates in this roundup in one of my businesses.
Educational Campaign Emails
Providing value to someone upfront is one of the best ways to turn them into a prospective customer. A great way to do that is to teach them something related to the product or service you sell. For example Home Depot does a workshop where they go over a different home repair each week. You can do the same via a webinar. However, an easier, and scalable, way is to create an email course around a topic.
The email marketing software Drip comes with a couple templates already set up for that: the “5-Day Email Mini Course” and the “4-Week Email Mini Course”. I like the daily course better for teaching a specific topic with the weekly course more when you are presenting more general content about your industry.
This is the first email:
Thanks for checking out my 5-day crash course on **TOPIC OF COURSE**
I’m **NAME**, the founder of **COMPANY**. My goal for this course is to provide you with new techniques and approaches for **MAIN BENEFIT OF THE COURSE**, while keeping them as actionable and succinct as possible.
And today, we start with a look at **TOPIC OF TODAY’S EMAIL**.
** PASTE YOUR EDUCATIONAL, NON-SALES CONTENT HERE FROM YOUR BLOG POST, WHITE PAPER OR EBOOK **
This email course will provide you with actionable tips on how you can **BENEFIT OF THE COURSE**. More on that later…
Tomorrow, we’ll be delving into **TOPIC OF TOMORROW’S EMAIL**.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please hit the reply button and drop me a line. I will respond personally to every email.
And if you’re ahead of the curve and want to get started, feel free to learn more about **PRODUCT_NAME** here.
Other email campaign blueprints they have are:
- Follow-up (Post-Demo)
- Follow-up (Sample Report)
- Follow-Up (Subscription Trial)
- Cart Abandonment Recovery
With their workflow feature it is easy to guide a customer through multiple email campaigns from the time they are a prospect to when they become a customer and to later upsell them based on their usage. Great for all businesses but particularly for SaaS businesses.
Steli Efti of Close.io has become something of a motivational speaker for startups. You listen to him give a talk and come out of it knowing that you can take the leap today and start selling. Key to his method is to stop procrastinating and to just start sending the emails, making the calls, and to never stop following up.
This simple cold email (his example is selling Dropbox to a law firm) can be modified for any software or service industry:
My name is [user.first_name] with [organization.name].
We help law firms store & manage all of their client data securely in the cloud. I wanted to learn how you handle data storage at [lead.display_name] and show you what we’re working on.
Are you available for a quick call tomorrow afternoon?
A great takeaway from the follow up emails is that you offer the lead a few specific times for a possible call:
Do you have a few minutes for a quick call later this week?
Wed @ 11 am PST
Thur @ 2 pm PST
Fri @ 3 pm PST
If you ask them to make the first move in scheduling a time you’re often going to wind up waiting indefinitely. Present them with a few times they can say yes or no to. If they come back saying that none will work then try three new times. And keep following up until you get that call scheduled!
A few more templates from Close.io that I use can be found here.
Customer Onboarding Emails
I love the “You’re In” Email from Groove as the first email in an onboarding sequence. I feel this one can be modified for use whether you are selling a product or a service. You’re engaging your new customer to learn a little bit about why they choose you which is very helpful when creating your customer profiles.
I really appreciate you joining us at Groove, and I know you’ll love it when you see how easy it is to deliver awesome, personal support to every customer.
We built Groove to help small businesses grow, and I hope that we can achieve that for you.
If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love it if you answered one quick question: why did you sign up for Groove?
I’m asking because knowing what made you sign up is really helpful for us in making sure that we’re delivering on what our users want. Just hit ‘reply’ and let me know’
By the way, over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be sending you a few more emails to help you deliver awesome support to your customers. We’ll be sharing some tips, checking in with you and showing you how some of our customers use Groove to grow their businesses.
I now use the “hit reply and let me know a little about you and/or your business” in most of my email campaigns. Not everybody responds but you learn so much when they do.
This sequence of onboarding emails from Baremetrics is great for SaaS companies to use throughout a trial period. Days 1,2,3,5, 12, and 14 specifically. Some of the other days are pretty specific to their app. I also hesitate as it is a lot of emails over a two week period of time but you can check open, click through, and response rates and find what works best for your business.
Failed Payment (Dunning) Emails
This one is for SaaS or other businesses that bill a customer’s credit card monthly.
Patrick McKenzie (Patio11 on the Internet) gave a talk at MicroConf Europe 2013 titled, “Building Things To Help Sell The Things You Build”. In it he brought up “dunning emails” which are the emails that a user receives when their credit card charge fails which usually happens when somebody gets a new card but forgets to update their billing information.
He brings up the point that when a charge fails the language in the notification email needs to be gentle. Use terms like “pausing your service” rather than “cancelling your account”. From Christoph Engelhardt’s notes on Patrick’s talk:
- Everyone gets 3 dunning emails
- Get to the point ASAP
- Prominent link to capture updated CC data
- Extend a 3 day grace period, try daily within grace
- Don’t forget a “You didn’t update so we took the liberty of pausing your account” email
This post by Richard Felix shows what Drip itself does with their dunning emails. They use a series of three emails as Patrick recommended. You can see from the first email in the sequence that they don’t place any blame on the user (the card might have expired), use language that puts the blame on Drip (“will let you know if it’s still not working”), and don’t mention the possibility of disabling the account until the second to last sentence.
From: Rob at Drip
Subject: Uh oh, credit card fail – your emails will stop sending soon…
It appears we’ve run into a problem charging your credit card on file at GetDrip.com. We’d love to keep sending emails to your subscribers – so let’s get you back on track!
The most common two causes of card rejections are that your card has expired, or that your bank has rejected the charge.
So first, visit your billing settings to double check that your card has not expired (and just for kicks, go ahead and update it to see if that fixes things). We will attempt to charge again in 48 hours and will let you know if it’s still not working.
If you hear from us again about this, the most likely explanation is that your credit card company is rejecting our charge. Please call the number on the back of your card and ask them to allow charges from GetDrip.com moving forward.
As of now your account is still active, but it will be disabled if we aren’t able to get your card working. So let’s get your account back on track and serving up more tasty email goodness!
The Drip Team
Networking (Influencer Outreach) Emails
A quote I love from Charlie “Tremendous” Jones (a motivational speaker) is:
“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
Networking is a great way to learn and grow both your business and as a person. For many people it requires stepping outside of your comfort zone and reaching out to people with more experience than you and whom you respect.
I recommend creating a plan to reach out to ten people a month that you follow on Twitter, read their blog, heard them on a podcast, or are in your network on LinkedIn (or are one removed and you can ask somebody you know for an introduction). When you have a list of ten people for the month then drop them an email.
Number two and three of Groove’s email templates (they really do share a lot of great content) are emails you can use to reach out to influencers in your industry or people in your network (look at their profile for articles they have written, organizations they are a part of, and charities they support):
I loved your post about [subject + authentic reason].
I wrote a post about [compelling teaser]. I know you’re an expert on this, and I’d really appreciate your feedback.
Do you mind if I send you a link?
The Underdog Action Plan
Use one of these templates to create a new campaign of at least three emails for one of these stages of the customer relationship:
- New customer
- At-risk customer (somebody who is paying for your product/service but isn’t using it)
If you are struggling for ideas just drop me an email (will at the domain) and I’ll help you brainstorm.
Remember, at the end of the day, the more great content you have created the more you will be able to engage your audience and convert them into happy customers.