What do you do when your first email outreach receives no answer? Ask any successful sales expert, entrepreneur, or business owner, and they will give you the same answer – you don’t give up after the first attempt.
Follow-up emails are no one’s favorites. If you think that the person on the other end will find you annoying, you’ve got it all wrong. They might have overlooked the email or didn’t have the time to read it carefully. A little reminder in the shape of an email-follow up cannot harm.
An impressive follow-up allows you to take a second shot. So, you should use it wisely.
Are you ready to boost that response rate with a cleverly written follow-up? Let’s dive into the ins and outs of writing effective follow-up emails.
1. Don’t Wait Too Long
Timing is everything. A big part of writing follow-ups is when you decide to write them.
You want to give the recipient some time to get to your email. On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long until they forget all about it.
The typical (and most successful) approach is waiting a few days. To be more precise, waiting 2-3 days is ideal.
To make things easier, you can use an email management tool that features the option to send automated emails in the form of an email drip campaign. Doing so, lets you follow-up with potential customers automatically, but still keep it personal.
2. Invest Effort into Crafting the Subject Line
The subject lines can be the trickiest part of writing emails. They are responsible for making that first impression, so you need to get it right.
Try to be more unique than the general “Follow-up” subject line. You want to catch the recipient’s attention.
Here are a few ideas that can spark your creativity:
● I forgot to mention…
● Let’s give it another try
● Can I change your mind?
3. Give Some Context
An average business professional receives around 121 emails daily. Don’t expect that the recipient will remember the content of your initial email. Instead, make a clear reference.
Concisely explain what you were writing about in the past email. The point of providing context is to jog their memory about who you are and why you are reaching out.
4. Don’t Scold the Prospect for Not Answering
Don’t try to guilt the recipient into answering with the "you didn't respond to my last email" type of follow-up. You can seem resentful, which is not what a professional should be.
A more appropriate opening sentence can be something like this:
● I just want to follow up on my previous email and let you know that…
● Did you get a chance to take a look at my previous email…
Another great way to start the follow-up is to share information that the recipient might find useful. Something like this:
● I came across this post/e-book/advice, and I thought it might interest you.
This gives you a good reason for writing again while also allowing you to naturally start the conversation again.
5. Stick to a Short Text
Keep in mind that the purpose of a follow-up is to remind – not to rephrase the first email. If the recipient opens your subsequent emails and sees a block of text, you can guess what they will do. Ignore the email is the right answer.
Think about the key information you want to mention in this follow-up. Outline them and reshape them into simple and concise sentences.
6. Write in a Friendly Tone
You’ve broken the wall of formality with the first email. Now, you can get more personal.
The initial email covered the introduction, which means that it has taken you to the next level. You are no longer a stranger. Use that to your advantage. Write in a friendlier tone, and your email will seem more appealing.
7. Put Yourself in the Recipient’s Shoes
Why should the recipient read this email? What will they get from getting in touch with you? Come up with the answers to these questions and include them in your follow-up.
Clarify to the recipient how your services can benefit them. Stating a single advantage of your services can be more than enough to inspire the recipient's curiosity. For example:
● If you want to increase your conversion rate, we can help you with that. I would love to get a chance to explain how.
8. Provide Value
Do you want to step up your follow-up game? Then, you should read this tip carefully. Your follow-up will be much more successful if you provide some value.
What kind of value, you ask? Well, it can be useful information, content, e-book, webinar, or anything free and highly relevant to the recipient.
Let’s say that you want to share valuable posts. You can write something like this:
● I recently came across this super helpful post, so I wanted to share it with you.
Even if you don’t have anything at this moment, the internet is a wonderful and resourceful place. You can find something. You can visit this site and browse for valuable essays on a topic that the recipient will find intriguing or helpful.
9. Include a Call-to-Action
You want to make it as easy as possible for the recipient to respond. How? All you need is to craft a CTA (call-to-action) that doesn’t demand much writing.
You can propose a question that asks for a simple “yes” or “no”, like:
● Can I give you a call on Tuesday?
Another option is to provide numbered responses allowing the recipient to hit you with a number that best suits their decision. For example:
● Would you please reply with the number that best describes your response:
1. I’m interested and I want more details.
2. I would like to arrange a call.
3. I am not interested.
Don’t leave the recipient any excuse not to answer.
10. End Off on a Friendly Note
Ending the email with “Respond to the email as soon as possible” is yet another common pet peeve. No one likes the pressure. What people do like is approachable and friendly business professionals.
To round up your engaging follow-up, you can wrap up with a friendly and personal goodbye such as:
● I’m looking forward to your response!
● Let me know what you think!
● Thank you for your time and consideration. I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Writing follow-up emails after not hearing back from the recipient isn’t the most enjoyable task. However, if you don’t want to lose potential clients, follow-ups are a must. They might not work every time, but if you invest effort into writing effective emails, you will get that second shot.
Kristin Savage is a writer, editor, and digital marketing specialist. She successfully creates content that helps companies upscale their business and attack new clients. Her main fields of expertise are copywriting and email marketing. In her free time, Kristin likes to read and jog.