“Hi, hope you’re well. Just touching base to see how things are since we last spoke”
On a scale of 1-10, how excited would you be to receive that as an email? Would you take any action after reading it?
If I had to guess, you’d file it to the ‘should reply at some point but never will do’ folder.
Because the email is generic, easy to put off, and overall uninspiring.
The touch base email has a bad reputation. This reputation is not because following up with your prospect is bad. On the contrary, it’s a good thing to do! The touch base email has a bad reputation because a lot of sales reps and SDR teams send lazy follow-up emails like the example above.
We don’t want you to send bad follow-up emails. So in this article, we are going to cover:
- WHEN TO SEND a touch base email.
- HOW TO WRITE a touch base email.
- EXAMPLES of touch base emails & templates.
Let’s dive right in.
Why & when should you send a touch base email?
Scenario A: "Now's not the right time, try me later"
Your first pitch was cut short. The prospect was too busy to engage and asked you to try again on ‘Friday afternoon’ or ‘In about 3 months’. You schedule the callback, but in the meantime the prospect forgets all about it and when you ring back, you guessed it…no answer! After a couple of failed attempts ringing back, the ‘Touch Base’ email is sent.
Scenario B: "Now's not the right time, try me in [specific future date]"
The demo has been given, but the timing was wrong. The prospect expresses mild interest, but there’s no budget until later in the year. ‘We’ll re-consider in December when things are under review.’ December gets close, and you want to give them a friendly reminder. So, in November a ‘Touch Base’ email feels appropriate, before a phone call in December.
Scenario C: "I'll get back to you"
The prospect promises to, ‘Get back in touch when the time is right.’ And then you wait. For how long? Have they forgotten about you? Eventually, the touch base email is sent.
These scenarios are common, and unfortunately out of your control. But all is not lost!
Instead of waiting to send a touch base email you can find out their areas of interest and follow up with something to add value to their day. This will make the difference between standing out or being ignored.
3 steps to crafting a compelling touch base email.
Step 1 - Qualify interests before agreeing to get back in touch.
The goal of this question is to find out what’s personally important and meaningful to the prospect. That way you can do one of two things.
- Continue the conversation with the context you just received.
- Follow up with more relevant messaging.
If the prospect won’t give you anything you will have to send what you think will resonate and do a good job following up!
Example: “I’m happy to follow up, but I want to make sure it’s relevant. Give me some insight here. Regarding [topic], what is top of mind for you right now?”
Step 2 - Monitor topics the prospect is interested in
One of the best ways to write a strong follow-up email is to make it relevant to the person you are emailing. It may sound simple, but it’s often challenging to come up with something relevant on the fly.
Here are some tips on how to stay on top of the interests of your prospects.
- Follow the company & all employees on LinkedIn
- Follow relevant hashtags & thought leaders on LinkedIn
- Set up Google news alerts
- Regularly check industry press and trade associations
- Continue calling the company and speak to as many potential users/influencers as possible. Ask questions about their needs and current projects
- Follow the prospect’s competitor companies on LinkedIn
Step 3 - Send a short follow up email
When it comes time for you to send a follow up email, it's key that you include a reason why you are reaching out.
What you send will be directly related to the situation and the individual prospect. This should be a short email with something you think the prospect will find useful or interesting.
Write a touching base email with this template
Email subject: 2-3 words based on the email content.
Email content: Short paragraph (include a link or attachment if possible) focused on ONE thing.
Call to action: Give the reader a relevant next step.
The goal of your message is for the prospect to see value and reply or agree to a next step, depending on the scenario.
7 sample emails based on information relevant to the prospect.
Prospect: Asked you to reach out in December
Reason to Reach out: It’s December and you’ve found a recently published article on an area that the prospect is interested in.
Subject: Consumer Covid Demographics
Jessica - Last time we spoke you mentioned an interest in tracking consumer behavior during Covid-19. I came across this article in Retail Times and thought of you: (Link to the article)
We are helping Company A track consumer behavior and have seen a 14% increase in on-page conversion.
You asked me to reach out in December to set up a time to discuss. Are you available tomorrow at 1 pm PST?
Prospect: Wasn’t interested at the time and didn’t give you a good time to follow up.
Reason to Reach out: The prospects company just launched a new product offering.
Subject: IdeationBoard product launch
Nate - The IdeationBoard launch looks like it went fantastic! I would imagine there are more buyer personas who could use your solution, expanding your TAM. Is that correct?
One of our customers, [COMPANY], leveraged our tool for their recent product launch and it led to their most successful campaign to date.
By tracking engagement in webinars & demos you can identify buying behavior and focus your sales efforts accordingly.
Does this sound like something you’d like to explore?
Prospect: Asked you to reach out next year.
Reason to Reach out: The prospect just hired a new employee on their team.
Subject: Head of External Communications
Sasha - Congratulations on the new head of external communications joining your team! With your recent efforts in 5G I am sure this is a very strategic hire.
I thought it made sense to reach out because our monitoring tool delivers unique sentiment analysis on digital infrastructure like 5G.
I thought David would find it useful in his new role. Does this sound like something I should discuss with him?
Prospect: Has gone dark after the demo.
Reason to Reach out: The company just announced they are attending an industry event.
Subject: 2020 Eventname
Hi Jason! It’s been a while, how are things?
I saw that [COMPANY] is attending the [EVENT] in [MONTH] and thought it made sense to say hello.
We’re hosting a focus group lunch on Wednesday with the CIOs of [COMPANY B], [COMPANY C], and [COMPANY D].
Would you like to attend?
Prospect: Has gone dark after the demo.
Reason to Reach out: There is a change in industry regulation
Subject: 2023 regulation
Hey Kevin, it’s been a while and I stumbled upon this article about upcoming regulation that is going to impact our industry. Here's the article: [LINK]
Because of this regulation, our clients are using our tool to better track their shipments which keeps them in compliance.
Happy to show you how it works -what’s your availability this week?
Prospect: Asked you to reach out in 6 months, it’s been 3.
Reason to Reach out: The prospect posted something on Linked In.
Subject: Really enjoyed your post
Kelly, I loved your post about how to save money without losing customers. I shared it with our CEO and accountant; they loved it!
It’s been a while since we last spoke. How are things?
Prospect: Ghosted after the demo.
Reason to Reach out: The prospect has been interacting with you on LinkedIn and you think they might be interested.
Subject: How’ve you been?
Hey Lucas! Our Head of Development recently read The Programmatic Programmer and found it really inspiring. Being in the same role, I thought you would enjoy it too (here’s the link).
How are things going? Last time we spoke I believe you were working on a new product release.
I hope this post helped you plan, write, and send better touch base emails!
If you made it this far, I'm sure you're likely the type of person who's also curious about incorporating other channels into your follow-ups. Feel free to read our article on building sequences .
And here’s the thing.. We know these emails are a great place to start, but aren't a silver bullet. If you'd like additional feedback on your sales processes and workflows to make sure no prospects are slipping through the cracks, schedule some time with us.
Lastly, you can grab the download below to get 30 additional examples & templates!