A followup email that actually works

by test test in

I've never done this before, but I'm reprinting a product followup email I got recently because it’s probably the only one I’ve ever received that actually made me want to use the product. The email was from Planscope, a quote  & invoice drafting web service I’m trying out for my own consulting & freelance needs. More specifically, the email was from Brennan Dunn, “the guy behind Planscope,” as he puts it.

What really struck me about Brennan’s email was the amount of social consideration he put into it — a level of let-me-put-myself-in-your-shoes thoughtfulness that, incredibly, turned what could have been a stale, repellent sales tactic into a fresh, delightful one.

Low-pressure, value-based marketing is a beautiful thing

In the Planscope followup, Brennan made an offer I’ve heard many times before (and usually run screaming from): the “let me give you a tour of our product” offer I’ve come to expect everytime I test enterprise software.

In refreshing contrast, Brennan's email was nothing short of charming (and disarming!). Here it is (readable copy follows the image):

Planscope's followup email

Planscope's followup email

Hey there, I'm Brennan, the guy behind Planscope. I hope you're enjoying your trial, but more importantly, that you've begun to see how Planscope can positively boost your consulting business!

For the next few weeks, I'm offering a one-on-one guided tour of Planscope. The fact is I'm a product owner, but I'm first a consultant. I've freelanced for five years now, and I wanted to build a product that would make my life easier (and hopefully make me more money.)

And it's paid off. My latest contract is at TWICE the rate I had a year ago, and my client loves that they can login to Planscope and see exactly where their money's being spent at any time - even though I'm not the cheapest guy on the block.

Are you interested? If so, simply reply to this message, and we'll figure out a time where I can learn more about your business and walk you through Planscope and it's features. I prefer Skype, but I'm open to alternatives.

Cheers, and have a great day!

Brennan Dunn at Planscope

The main thing to note is that the goal of Brennan's followup wasn’t to make me actually buy, commit or promote anything.

The goal of the email was to open the door towards an opportunity for low-pressure-but-useful education & value-based selling. Brennan recognized that the only way to actually open this door is to first and foremost make it clear that he’s a nice, helpful, no-pressure kind of guy.

In other words, that Skyping with him one-on-one wouldn’t be uncomfortable or annoying in any way.

This email, though an automated one, put me at ease and even made me like Brennan, though we’ve never met.

Such is the power of concise, well-crafted, personable web copy.

-Momoko Price is a web writer, editor and content strategist based in Vancouver, Canada. (Does your email marketing kind of, well, suck? Shoot me an email anytime for advice. I'd be happy to help!)