The first of January has been mobilizing many people for years to start something new, and among the New Year’s resolutions, there is no shortage of those related to language learning. The beginning of the year is therefore a very hot time for many schools. This is a moment when the interest in language courses is increasing, and schools are preparing for enrollment for the new semester and putting all their marketing potential to get the news about their courses to as many people as possible. However, the process of registration does not live by the promotion itself. It is also the organization of trial lessons, calling, and sending emails – here very much depends on the way of building relationships.
One of the most important moments occurs after the first interaction with a potential student. This is when the first message is exchanged and the so-called follow-up email is sent. What exactly is the follow-up? How to write it to bring the expected results and what you should do when the customer goes off the grid? I invite you to continue with the article; you will find all the answers here 😉
What is the follow-up?
This common phrase for organizing work means to continue, check, „refer to”, or pull a specific thread. Most often, this is an email after a customer meeting where you send a summary of the arrangements made. However, it can also be:
- a reference to a previously sent e-mail, e.g. with an offer of language courses,
- contact during the sale,
- inquiry about content that the customer downloaded from your website, e.g. a free e-book about how to successfully learn the language,
- inquiry into impressions from the trial lesson.
In summary, in one sentence, this is the email that you send to the customer when something particularly important happens on her/his shopping path, which may affect the decision to start learning a language in your school.
Challenges of follow-up writing
This is an inherent and very important part of the sales process, but many people immediately encounter internal resistance when they think about writing an email of this type. What is the reason for this? Most often, it’s because we don’t want to be seen as too insistent. On the list of concerns we still have the belief that the mail will disappear in the thicket of other offers and the fact that we simply do not know what to write so as not to „kill” the subject that is important to us.
When it comes to the fear of being insistent, it should be remembered that many people are mistaken in believing that purchasing decisions are finalized at the first meeting. However, research clearly shows that the largest amount of transactions is concluded only at the third or even fourth customer interaction. It is also worth following the rule to send follow-up messages only if you need specific information. There are other tools and channels to keep in touch and mark your presence on the web 😉
Are you afraid that your email will be lost in the maze of other offers? Well, it’s a risk inherent in the sales process. But what I’m more concerned about is not being afraid that another school’s email is capturing the attention of your potential student. Remember, it’s your loss and not your customer’s. Think about how many times you’ve heard someone say „we’ll be in touch” and how many times they’ve ended up with just those assurances. I suspect you don’t want your school to be in that kind of box.
As for the content of the message, I am in a hurry to help you below. However, before we look at the content, we first need to think about what it should contain…
This is the thing your recipient sees in their inbox first. This means that the subject must attract enough attention for the customer to read the content of this message. What is worth considering when creating it?
- The subject should be brief – remember that the way of displaying the subject differs depending on the device on which the message is read. Ideally, it should not exceed 60 characters, otherwise, it can be truncated by the email provider.
- Do not use so-called click baits – if the content of the message differs from what is contained in its subject, and only provokes to open the message, then at best it will leave a bad taste. In the worst case, you will burn valuable contact, and your domain will be marked as spam and will go unnoticed to a folder that nobody is looking into. So avoid insinuating the value and urgency of messages where they are not.
- The value of the offer – do you offer the course that your customer has been looking for on social media? There’s now a free space in a group she/he’s been interested in? Answering a specific need is an important value that is always worth including in the subject of the message.
- Naturalness – instead of looking for examples like „40 titles that sell best”, rely on naturalness and conversational tone. This will make you more authentic and stand out among the messages shouting „This is the last moment for…”.
- Personalization – to increase the likelihood of reading the sent email, it is worth adding the recipient’s name or company name to the title.
Protip: Also, take the time to personalize the portion of the message that appears right next to the subject line in the recipient’s inbox view. Few people remember this, but this snippet is displayed even before the recipient reads the message. Personalization will increase your chances of messages being read.
Examples of subjects you can use in the follow-up email:
- „I forgot to mention…”,
- „Next steps to…”,
- „It was great to meet you, I’d like to share something else”,
- „I’m sending you the information I promised you.”
Such constructed subjects of messages will not only arouse curiosity about the content of the sent email but also remind the recipient of the already-held conversation.
How to write a follow-up?
It is worth remembering that during this hot period, which is the new year and thus the beginning of the new semester, customers will be bombarded with similar offers.
It would be good to stand out among the emails referring to the maintenance of the New Year’s resolutions in the form of enrollment in the language course. Try to refer to something that brings context and reminds your customer about the last meeting. This could be a conversation that took place in a trial lesson at your school or a reference to a specific need that the customer has requested. If you mention it at the beginning of the message, you will not only show that you pay attention to its needs but also can answer them. You can also personalize the message by referring to a private issue that was raised at a joint meeting.
Collect all data
Take a look at how you’ve been interacting with a customer. Perhaps there have been some questions that have not yet been answered.
Summarize what has been discussed so far and what you can offer.
Even if at the meeting your potential student received a leaflet with an offer or she/he listed all the information her/himself, it is worth collecting all the key information in one email. Perhaps she/he has missed some important details that will be decisive in making his decision.
Call to Action
The most common error encountered when sending follow-up messages is the absence of a specific call to action. Don’t be afraid to make your expectations clear concerning the actions of the recipient of the message. Think about what information you want. Write clearly and concretely, but keep a polite tone of communication.
What if the customer does not respond?
1. Make sure what happened to your message – it sounds rather banal, but sometimes messages end up in spam for reasons we don’t understand. Don’t be afraid to ask why there was no response and use other channels of communication. Preparation of course offers, whether group or individual, is your time and hard work.
2. Find an excuse to contact the customers – if it still seems awkward to send a reminder email, then find another reason. This could be a crowded group and the last two vacancies, or the need to determine the number of people to get textbooks and educational materials for them in time.
3. Set a final date – if your customer is still silent, set a specific date by which you need a final decision. Often, students wait until the last minute to decide, because they think they still have time. Setting a specific date will motivate them to act.
Sample follow-up email templates
Hello (First name),
Thank you for the meeting and the time you spent on (date) and the conversation on the subject (the subject you raised). I would like to start working on a process (a kind of course/preparation of a contract) so that you can (the benefits the customer wants to achieve). Below is the form that you need to fill out so we can get started. The next step is (information about the further progress of the process).
Fill it out please and send it at the latest by (date) so that we can start (period of time).
I hope your day is successful. I would like to remind you of (the subject). Last time we talked you mentioned that (customer needs/arrangements). Would you, therefore, be able to (call to action)? If you have any questions or need more information, I am at your disposal.
Follow-up company courses
have you had the opportunity to look at (offer) sent on (date)? Since it was quite extensive, I have collected the most important issues below:
1. (Key Data #1) A great way to solve (the need reported by the customer)
2. (Key Data No 2) You asked how you could (e.g. check the progress of employees)
3. (Key Data #3) Effects and Opinions of Our Customers
I would like to contact you on (date) and present solutions for (company name). Do you have time for a 20-minute call on (date and time)?
The above templates are just examples of what a follow-up email can look like to your students. You can take inspiration from them, you can transform them, and you can be inspired by them. I hope that this information will help to communicate effectively with the students and that the groups in your language schools will be filled in no time. Or do you already have your tested ways to follow up? Let me know in the comments!