I believe the gist of the difference is the "service mentality" of the best companies. If you are serving the recipient of the email, you would not be "checking it." You would be calling to help in some way - that's a service mindset.
Think service every day. How can I help this person? It serves well.
Jeff Ogden, the Fearless Competitor
President, Find New Customers "Lead Generation Made Simple"
These are great tips Matt. If I I'm the customer reading this email, it's like getting a reminder overview of what I need - it's, clear, concise and to the point. http://bit.ly/ayeen
Personally, I find the email followup by Aberdeen to be a bit pitchy & congested. It feels disingenuous in nature, because although the script implies the email was personally crafted for the recipient, the opposite is rather obvious.
I think it comes down to a matter of scale. Aberdeen's email may be more successful with larger-scale companies (as it creates the appearance of a personal touch & can be delivered en-masse without much template change), but to be considered a great "follow up" it is too broad-scope and wide-targeting. I wouldn't even call it a "follow up". I would call it simply a targeted sales email.
My approach to follow up emails is to focus on staying minimalistic & sincere. The need for a follow up implies the recipient has not already been moved to action. Therefore, there is the notion that your follow up email is an intrusion. It should be crafted with acknowledgement to this intrusion by sticking to the point, asking a couple of questions and (most importantly) generating a sense of sincerity. These strategies help to cultivate a feeling of genuine interest in the potential client, which can help drive a response and start the process of rapport-building.
This example seems to be overloading the recipient with links, colors, banners and bullets. It would be more appropriate for a requested (and therefore expected) email vs. an obtrusive follow up.
The Aberdeen letter claims it is following up to "gauge (the recipient's) interest". But the VERY next sentence begins with "Here is why I love.....", thus losing the previously attempted sense of sincerity. If the sender was truly interested in gauging the recipient's interest, he/she would not have immediately jumped into the what the sender likes about the tool. He/she would have stuck to assessing what the recipient's needs may be, asking questions on how better to help.
My strategy on follow ups is the following:
Don't assume you know what the customer is looking for. Don't overload his or her senses with a wealth of links and excellent-sounding sales points. Those are great for the website, but for a follow up email they are alienating and disingenuous. Be shorter, ask questions, generate a feeling of sincere interest in solving the potential client's problems.
Aberdeen's email is fine for an automated salesforce, but for a human sales team the goal should be pushing towards sincerity, generosity & a genuine interest in helping.
Just my thoughts. Hopefully I wasn't too critical.
I think follow up emails are great way to connect after a job interview and
also with business prospects. A personal email can really show high
interest and bridge a relationship with that person. I wrote article and
video about it also. for more info you can look at it here