How follow-ups impact your warm response rate
There is a general belief that sending more email follow-ups will have a positive impact on the overall effectiveness of an outbound campaign. To evaluate this statement we checked the warm response rate of each email follow-up sent in a sequence.
While sending additional email follow-ups brings in more warm leads overall, there are diminishing returns. Meaning — each subsequent follow-up results in fewer positive responses than the previous one.
For example, while the first follow-up has a warm response rate of 1.28%, the warm response rate of the fifth follow-up drops to 0.62%. This trend is clearly demonstrated in the graph below.
Since the warm response rate decreases with every next follow-up sent, how do you decide when to stop? And should you actually stop if every message brings in new leads, and as a result enhances the effectiveness of your campaign?
How follow-ups impact your negative response rate
To resolve this dilemma we evaluated another metric – the negative response rate. After all, we want to ensure we do not burn too many bridges.
A negative response includes all prospects who say they are not interested in your product or do not want to receive any further communication from you (unsubscribe/opt-out). These prospects leave your sales funnel.
Look at the graph below to see the results.
We have observed that the negative response rate drops but less drastically than the positive response rate, which is why we have decided to compare these two metrics.
The negative to positive ratio
We have decided to compare the negative and the positive response rate to check how many negative responses we had to receive to generate one positive response at every stage of a sequence.
The above graph clearly shows that in relation to the positive responses the number of negative responses increases steadily with every subsequent follow-up.
What does it actually mean? Even though every new follow-up you send generates additional warm replies, an increase in the negative to positive ratio means you will have fewer prospects in your sales funnel to contact in the future.
Let’s take the sixth follow-up as an example. Is it worth risking getting eight unsubscribers just to receive one positive response?
“Sending too many follow-ups can seriously damage your sender reputation.”
Bear in mind that your negative response rate does not include spam reports, so in reality, this number can be even higher. Sending too many follow-ups can seriously damage your sender reputation. It’s not worth the risk.
Worth keeping in mind
Outbound sales is all about timing. Just because a prospect did not respond to your email does not mean they are not interested in your product, or that they will not need it in the future. There might be dozens of reasons why they did not get back to you:
- They might be under a contract with your competitor
- They might have no budget for any additional products/services
- They might be overloaded with work
- They might be even going through some personal issues…
…and, most importantly, they might not be ready to resolve their problem just yet. Remember that your prospects need to be aware of the problem, be willing to fix it, and have the means to do so – these factors may not have lined up over the time period that you sent out your email sequence.
What you have to keep in mind is that things change. And we do not recommend beating a dead horse with a stick. Instead of sending tons of follow-ups, try waiting a couple of weeks and reaching out again once the situation has changed.