Following up with buyers is a crucial part of any salesperson’s job.
Rarely will a new prospect get back to you after your first cold email, and even your best clients often need multiple touches to draw them back into a sales conversation. Both situations take time and persistence.
Buyers want to know that you care about them and their needs, and following up is a way to show that you care.
But how many emails should you send before you call it quits? At some point, following up too much will annoy your prospects and customers, and it will be a waste of time that you could have otherwise spent on buyers who are actually interested in your product or service.
To uncover the perfect number of follow-up emails to send, we’ve compiled the available research and reached out to a few sales experts to help us solve this riddle.
What Do the Stats Say?
Everyone has their own opinion on how many emails to send, but let’s look at some data first.
On the importance of email communication (and how difficult it can be to break through the noise):
- Email marketing generates an ROI of $44 for every dollar spent (source).
- Eight in 10 prospects prefer talking to sales reps over email (source).
- However, at any given time, only 3% of your market is actively buying; 56% are not ready, while 40% are poised to begin (source).
- The average person deletes 48% of the emails they receive every day (source).
- Only 24% of sales emails are opened (source).
On email follow-up:
- 44% of salespeople give up after only one follow up. (source).
- Additionally, 92% of salespeople give up after four “no”s, but 80% of prospects say “no” four times before they say “yes” (source).
- In high-growth organizations, sales teams make an average of 16 touches per prospect, within a 2-4 week span (source).
- In one study by Woodpecker.co, campaigns with 4-7 emails per sequence received 3X more responses than campaigns with only 1-3 emails in the sequence (source).
- Lastly, according to a report by Velocify, the optimal number of email messages is five (source).
From looking at this data, it’s clear that following up is important and many of us don’t seem to make it enough of a priority or we give up too soon.
However, data and stats can only tell us so much. Keep reading for some real-world advice…
Write less email, get more replies.
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What Do the Experts Say?
We asked 10 sales professionals about their follow-up strategy and how many emails they send before giving up. Here’s what they had to say:
So How Many Sales Emails Should You Send?
According to the data, five emails appears to be the magic number. The feedback from the sales professionals quoted in this article seems to back this up too, with many citing three to five as the number of follow up emails they send.
However, some stated that they never give up, and will continue to follow-up until the prospect specifically tells them they’re not interested or asks them to stop emailing.
Ultimately, the magic number for your business will depend on your specific product or service, the life cycle of your customer, and how interested potential buyers may be. In any case, crafting a follow-up email sequence and continuing to test your strategy will be the key to closing more deals.