How to write a follow-up email? Follow up email strategy and templates

When you don’t get a reply to the first email, it’s obvious to think that the other side isn’t interested. And if you are following up with them even after that, intuition says they will be left irritated. Fortunately, the given context denies such perception as leads hardly give a nod in the initial stage of communication. On the contrary, they tend to get convinced in the follow-up email, be it during the second, third, or fourth time.

Findings say 70% of email threads stop after it goes unanswered initially.

But, things can be better or worse based on how you look at them. While an estimated 80% of leads neglect emails four times before agreeing to them, 92% of salespeople give up their efforts after the 4th time. That said, only 8% of sales professionals generate 80% of total sales.

Either way, email drip series with 4-7 messages reward 3x more responses than those with 1-3 messages. Indeed, a single follow-up can generate 22% more replies.

What is a follow up email?

After a subscriber takes any action in a business, the sales team follows up with him over a sequence of emails concerning the same called follow up emails. Once the line of communication is established, the follow up stimulates further activities on the leads’ side in various forms. It aims to convince them to become paid members post completion of a free trial session, schedule a B2B meeting, ask for product review or persuade them to make another purchase over ecommerce sites.

How long should a sales professional wait before following up?

90% of people open and reply to the emails on the same day they’re sent.

In general, you can wait up to 2 to 3 days before sending a follow-up email. For every subsequent email, extend the waiting period to a few days. In that case, you’ve to prepare a plan- how many follow-up emails should be sent to each prospect.

You should check the span of follow-ups as there are no hard and fast rules for success. Up to five follow-ups can be sent in a month. But again a sound strategy needs to be put to work to determine success (audiences are never the same). Therefore, it’s important to consider the follow-up message apart from other factors.

Deploy more than one channel

Another approach that creates a difference in the follow-up game is the diversification of channels. While email is one of the most effective channels for communication, you shouldn’t rely on it solely. Instead, dwell on other platforms where your audience serves. It can be over social media like Twitter or Instagram, videos, telephone, or professional networks(LinkedIn). Your only motto would be to drive engagement in such channels. 

Once the response follows, know that you’ve set the stage for the big game. Businesses catering to omnichannel strategies witness 9.5% growth in annual revenue every year i.e 3 times more than others which boost overall engagement too. Exploring more than one channel imparts results in every aspect be it prospecting, nurturing, or retention of leads. Meanwhile, it’s crucial to identify the preferred channels of your leads, the platform where you engaged with them in the very beginning, and lead activities on each platform. It will give a sketch of where and how to engage with different sets of leads. 

Fix your goals

Until and unless you are aware of your goals of follow-up emails, things won’t fall into place. Firstly, you need to uncover the agenda of the mission: 

  • Derive further info or particular details 
  • Schedule a meeting 
  • Close a deal

Pay attention to the user experience

Before you draft or send the email, focus on the user experience which will take over as a key differentiator in the upcoming years(more than price or the offering). Consider the frequency(has to be balanced) and activity of your emails. Analyze your strategy from the customer’s viewpoint- What is relevant in it? How are the leads feeling about the message? What kind of experience is it imparting? Is there any reason to follow up?

The answers to such questions will help cater to the lead’s concerns, unlike anything. On the other hand, the tone of every follow-up will vary according to the given situation. For instance, if leads have asked for a call or demo, be aggressive to meet their needs. Now, if one has downloaded an asset without requesting to be contacted, you should demonstrate the value proposition of your business by sending various drips. Lastly, in case of cold emails, be amicable enough to build a bond since your leads haven’t expressed an interest.

Strategies to write follow-up emails

In the first place, testing the best subject line plays an integral role. 47% of people open emails and 69% of them report them spam by going through the subject lines. Hence, devote your time and effort to frame it rightly. The following tips can help you write attractive short liners to lure leads-

Mention the context

Help your leads recollect their memory by opening your follow-up email which refers to the previous conversation. Even if your prospects don’t remember such threads, they will respond positively when reminded of past interactions.

You can write like this: 

  • I just wanted to follow up on the email sent on(date) about (subject)
  • I just wanted to check if you’ve thought about(subject)
  • Hope this doesn’t seem absurd, but I saw that you’ve read my last email 

Add value

Never think of sending a follow-up email if you haven’t demonstrated your core value. Sending lazy emails(touching the base or simply reaching out) for the sake of it doesn’t make any sense. It will rather crowd the recipient’s inbox being the most unwanted item. On the other hand, if you seek to offer value with each interaction, leads are more likely to open, click and respond to your follow-ups. 

On the other hand, giving good quality, valuable offerings to the leads(physical tokens, case study, webinar, template, or digital resource) can present your business as an asset to leads, resulting in organic interaction. The matter is all about delivering additional worth to the prospects and changing their life.

State the reason for reaching out

Explain the reason for the follow-up email briefly and directly. State your motif rather than beating around the bush. If you are behind the same thing as the first email, remind them about it. You can state- (Offering) can help you and I thought if you’d be interested in trying it for (specific timeline at free of cost) 

Meanwhile, don’t use ‘I’ in the sentences.

Incorporate a call to action

It’s not enough to persuade leads in follow-up emails that should include a compelling call to action. For instance, if you want to organize a meeting, suggest a date, timing, and location. Ask if they are the right person to discuss the matter. If not, request them to help you get hold of the prospective individual. Check with the leads if they need any info on their industry. 

Many marketers and salespeople leave a vague message. In short, a call to action has to convey the meaning in real terms. Then only leads will show curiosity. Think about what you want them to do by reading the follow-up email. Also, attach a link to your website. 

Close the conversation

Conclude your write-up in a sympathetic and natural flow. This part is completely personal for both sides. If the ending is impressive, the outcomes have to be positive and vice versa.

Draw inspiration from templates

You must be receiving cold emails now and then. Or say, you might have got surprised by coming across a particular format of cold emails on any channel. Use them as your inspiration. Don’t just copy and paste it. Take it as a successful format to promote your ideas.

Personalize your follow-ups categorically

Invest your time in LinkedIn to uncover the key facts about your leads in batches. Later on, use them in your emails for a personalized approach. For instance, an industry with a certain amount of revenue will have similar problems. Your job would be to address them in the follow-ups.

Tips to curate follow-up emails

  • Send a calendar link mentioning the date, timing, and relevant details in the notes.
  • Attach videos within the body to boost your clicking rate by 300%. You can try a couple of simple and user-friendly tools for marketing purposes.
  • Drawing details like the location of the prospect, micro-industry, and its notable competitors can personalize emails meticulously.
  • Stick to the point and ensure a mobile-friendly pattern.
  • Don’t use phrases like “If it’s too much of a trouble” or ‘I apologize for bothering you, but…”
  • Personalize the experience from a human perspective. If you’re visiting their city anytime, get yourself recommended to a restaurant.
  • No matter what, develop a helping mentality above all.
  • If you’re unable to generate any response, get through someone else’s email within the company.

Keeping your brand at the top of prospect’s minds will make them turn to you when they are ready for purchase. 

Additional considerations to write follow-up email

Things to be written in follow-up emails

After you’ve sent the first email to the lead which rewarded no response, follow-ups can come to the rescue. Again, if you just want to check in after the initial meeting or reconnect with existing clients, the strategy will undoubtedly serve such goals.

When should you send follow-ups?

Tuesday and Thursday(in between 10-11 am of the lead’s timezone) can give the best responses to follow-up emails while weekends don’t weigh as a valid option. Shooting follow-ups in the midweek can avoid the chances of ending in the Monday morning pileup in the inbox.

Parameters to perceive audiences better

Consider the demographics: The principles of email marketing says one shouldn’t send aged audiences as many emails as the younger population. While the former will perceive the tactic as troubling and hurried, the latter especially teenagers and youths will appreciate its frequency. 

Analyze the available data: If you rarely know about your audience, fall back on previous engagement metrics to extract the important information. Other than that, adding a custom survey to the emails won’t be a bad alternative. The methodology will provide exclusive insights into your target audience. 

Avoid technical jargon: Resorting to industrial jargon can confuse leads to take any decision. You as a sales rep should speak with them on a layman’s terms so that everyone can understand the USP of your offering and make meaningful interpretations of the same.  

Send clear messages: Speaking about multiple products or offers in one email can distract leads rather than attracting them. Therefore, you need to be very particular about which offer has to be included with a single call to action. Don’t stuff more than one link and image in your follow-up as people won’t like to figure out the point of action. Instead, frame your narrative, led by the desired call to action.

Know when you should stop the follow-ups: If your leads want you to stop sending follow-ups, do it right away. Because every bit of action counts in a business, which is not a matter of spoon feeding leads. Its wise to accept the no as no and move forward.

Be polite: Nature holds the mirror to one’s character. That said, even if something goes wrong, a person’s reaction holds the key to reconcile the matter in a submissive note. The principle is effective over a follow up email ads well. If you’re not getting a response even after 5 follow-ups, don’t turn aggressive. Keep it as polite as it was in the first go.

Inform your leads about the next step: Ask your leads how much time will they need to give a thought to the offer. Accordingly, schedule your next follow-up. When you sign off writing “talk to you soon”, leads feel a sense of authority in the communication and revert in less time.

Don’t forget to thank leads: Saying thanks leaves a good impression in every circumstance. Therefore, whenever you get any reply from the prospects, thank them for their efforts. It would extend a hearty gesture to the other side. 

Types of email subject lines

Email subject lines can be categorized into three types based on purpose:

No response

  1. Still interested in our service?
  2. Is there any update?
  3. It takes two to tango
  4. Let’s end the chase 

Trigger event

  1. Discussing your long term goals today
  2. Ideas for your business launch
  3. Queries about the features of the new product
  4. Thoughts about(title of the blog)

General follow up

  1. How to work on your goals?
  2. 10 tactics to boost(objective)
  3. Let’s have a 10min call on(topic)
  4. (name), quick question
  5. (name), recommended to help you with this

Best strategies for follow-up emails

Reminder emails

Reminders work great for specific campaigns when you know the lead’s demand. No matter what, send them a reminder to trigger thoughts.

Video cold emails

Personalized video thumbnails can fetch enormous click rates. Firstly, both the first email and follow-up should be interesting enough to spare a moment. Next serves the video to contribute a funny and engaging element to the intended message. That doesn’t necessarily mean, you have to create individual videos. Segregate the batches and target them across verticals. Simply focus on delivering value in such clips.

Contextual emails

It keeps the audience in suspense triggering further interest and excitement. That said, you don’t have to reveal the offer early. Let your targets wade through the waters. Connect to their pain points by showing you understand them or have faced their problems before. 

Meanwhile, don’t write salesy messages like “the offer expires in 3 days”. Rather come up with meaningful messages. Address the challenges within the context.

Real-time marketing

Here, you need to identify the popular events and things across the globe. Accordingly, match them with different cold emails and lead categories. For instance, if your prospects are fans of a particular show, speak about it in the email. It will urge curiosity on their side to take up the issue further.

  • Decision-maker search

Rather than sending follow-ups to one and another inside the same company, identify the decision-maker. It will help channelise the entire thread of communication with the prospect. You don’t need to change the subject line with every follow-up as it can be referred easily.  

  • Free trial signups

When you get leads into free trial signups, the mission doesn’t get over. You have to switch them into being premium customers of the business. As the trial begins, send follow-ups on each day(provide new benefit). Project the leads’ expectations supported by a good UI. Take the audience through the buyer’s journey from checkout to upsell.

  • Lead magnet opt-ins

It’s something valuable given in exchange for a web visitor’s email address. You can include them as ebooks, free checklists, whitepapers, or reports. They are called by different names whether it be opt-in bribe or content upgrade. 

Here the motive is to present upgraded educational content such as tips, tricks, guides, how-tos, case studies, resources, and generate leads’ responses via direct engagement.

  • Promotional 

If you’re worried about static ROI even after sharing good quality content, it’s due to a lack of promotion to your potential audience. That said, asking the leads in the follow-up about whether they would like to see great content or need any help from you can break the barrier and hook relationships with influencers in the industry.

Follow up email templates

  1. Compliment and deliver value 

Hey {{Name}},

I saw on Twitter you’ve been sharing some awesome posts on conversion rate optimization.

Recently I spotted these two super helpful posts and just wanted to share them with you:

{{Link 1}}

{{Link 2}}

Would also be happy to share a little about our conversion rates at Sumo if you’re up for it?

Cheers,

{{Your Name}}

  1. Pave way for reply in one stroke

Hi {{Name}},

I constantly review business relationships in my CRM. Typically if I don’t hear back from someone for 30 days, it means they’re either really busy or just not interested.

If you’re not interested, please let me know and I’ll promptly close your tab in our CRM to never bother you with {{company}} sales emails again.

1 – “Sorry, I was really swamped but I’m still interested…”

0 – “Please close my tab, I’m not interested…”

Thanks,

{{Your Name}}

  1. Acknowledge the leads’ interest

Hi {{name}},

I noticed that you opened the email that I sent you on Friday and checked out our site {{your URL}}. But, I never heard back from you.

I was simply wondering if these actions mean you’re interested in learning more about {{your business name}} and how we can provide value to your online businesses similar to yours at {{name of the business}}.

As someone who is constantly reaching out to numerous prospects up and down {{your location}}, I wanted to follow up today to see if you have any questions about {{your business name}} or any of our products. I think you’re the perfect person to discuss {{your business name}} with.

Do you have 10 minutes for a brief phone call next week?

Cheers,

{Your Name}}

  1. Give away a quick tip

Hi {{name}},

You likely deal with {{business pain}}, so I thought I’d share a quick tip many of my clients have found helpful: {{1-2 sentence actionable piece of advice}}.

I have a few more ideas around {{improving X}}. Let me know if you’re interested in hearing them.

Cheers,

{{Your Name}}

  1. Add value after meeting

Hey {{Name}},

You mentioned you love trying new foods. Saw this group organizing food tours around New York. Here’s one where they take you to a few ethnic restaurants: Original Multicultural Bar Hopping Tour

Sounds like your taste buds will be pleased!

How’s the project coming along btw?

Cheers,

{{Your Name}}

  1. Persistence is my middle name

Hi (First Name),

I’m not ready to give up just yet because I believe that we could achieve some great things together.

Our call will take up only 15 minutes of your time, so let’s talk and see if we can work something out.

Here’s the link to my calendar, so find a time slot that suits you:

[calendar link]

Warm regards,

  1. I respect your time. You should too

Dear (First Name),

I just want to check how you’re doing and whether you had the time to take a look at our new [feature/features]. I know that must be super busy, and that’s exactly what [your product] can help you with! The whole idea behind the latest feature upgrade is to help business professionals like you work less and achieve more.

Here’s the link with all the details: [link to new features]

All the best,

Your Name

  1. Do we need anything else?

Hi (First Name),

As you know, we did everything previously agreed upon. This means that we:

1) say what you accomplished

2) say what you accomplished

3) say what you accomplished

Is there anything else that you need us to do before we move on to the next step this week?

Cheers,

  1. Last call [First Name]

[First Name] I noticed you never scheduled a time for our chat and wanted to try one last time. As you can see, I’m pretty persistent.

I really hope we can jump on a call this week to discuss potential synergies. If I don’t hear back from you, I can’t promise I won’t try again 🙂

You can use the link below to book the time that works for you best.

Stay well,

[Your Name]

  1. Don’t you feel bad for me yet?

Hi [First Name], I emailed you 4 times, called you once, but never gave up like Tom Brady in the second half of that famous Super Bowl. I hope you can appreciate my persistence as I believe I can be of assistance.

All I need is 15 minutes of your time, and I actually booked off the entire week for you. 🙂

You can use the link below to book the time that works for you best.

Have a great day,

[Your Name]

  1. (First name), you can’t fault me for trying

[First Name], you are a salesperson.

I’m sure you’ll agree with me that persistence is the key to success. The reason I’m insisting on this 15-minute meeting is that I’m convinced both you and I could create a great, profitable synergy.

Click on the link below to pick a free slot in my calendar, and let’s connect this week.

Best regards, [Your Name]

  1.  After A Trigger Event

Update?

[Name], two of your teammates were looking at our product page this week. The product page they’re all viewing is focused on helping reps close deals at an accelerated rate.

Do you have 10 minutes to discuss what tools your team has been researching? Would they like to join the call? If so, what does your calendar look like?

Key takeaways:

  • How do you write a follow-up email template?

A no-response follow up email template should qualify three parameters:

  1. Emphasize the context of the original mail and value proposition
  2. Have the explicit ask
  3. Include additional resources for review by leads
  • How do you write a follow-up email after no response?

“Hi (name), I wanted to check if you’ve got the time to unbox my email regarding (topic) and would be looking forward to helping you with questions if any.”

  • How do you write a follow-up email to a prospective client?

Begin with a catchy subject line, refer to the previous email, mention the name of the prospect, and detail every bit of info. 

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