We are living in a world with constant texting, instant messaging, and emailing. In business, emailing is predominantly used, like any other forms of messaging.
In mostly all the cases, you’ll find that you will need to write follow up emails to your clients or prospective business partners in order to inform them about the progress of anything you had earlier discussed.
Many people will find writing a follow up email quite uncomfortable. In most cases, you will think that if a person did not respond to your first email, they might not be interested in what you are asking.
However, you will find that your instincts are often wrong. Not that many business prospects say yes to a business proposal or products in the first conversation. Most of them say yes in the 3rd or 4th ask.
This is why it is very important to learn how to write follow up emails after getting no response, to increase your conversion rate.
When You Should Write a Follow Up Email?
Before you even learn how to write a follow up email, you need to know the appropriate time to write a follow up email and the ideal frequency to do so.
Firstly you should know that studies show that people read 91% of business emails in the first 24 hours. Also, business emails receive responses in the first 24 hours.
However, this does not mean that you should send a follow up email 24 hours later. You have to understand you risk sounding and looking spammy if you do.
This is why, it is important to be cautious with the number of follow ups you send. A great way to keep up is through Email tracking, which is a good way to know if your contacts read your emails.
One to four follow up emails are ideal, depending on the nature of the campaign you are running and your target audience.
You should follow up on your emails based on the audience you are emailing and your questions.
If you send three follow up emails in three days, you will easily be flagged as spam, and this will ensure that your target audience will never give you their time.
You should send your first follow up email after several days of sending your previous email. For mostly all the campaigns, we recommend you to send a follow up email after five business days.
Make sure you space up your follow up emails by at least a week of the previous email.
How to Write a Follow Up Email?
To write an exceptional follow up email, you need to follow these steps:
- Set out an objective;
- Open your follow up emails with context;
- Clearly state the purpose of the follow up email;
- Create a subject line;
- Send your follow up email.
Set Out an Objective
In many cases, firstly you have to chat with your prospective clients over the phone or exchanged information through email, after which you have to send a follow up email.
Before you write your email, you have to clarify your end goals or identify the objectives of the message you need to send.
With a clear objective, you will come up with an effective Call to Action that will motivate your recipient to call you back or reply to your email.
This will ensure that you easily achieve your end goals. In some cases, it can be that you want to make a sale or build a better relationship with them.
Objectives For Writing Follow Up Emails
Here are the most common objectives when writing a follow up email:
Asking About Information
After having an initial conversation with a person, you may need to clarify some information about their business.
In some cases, you might need to clarify their pain point or get a status update on something you are working on together.
In other instances, you have to determine whether you made a sale or not.
When asking about the specific information, you need to give them clear directions on responding to your email. This will make it convenient for both of you.
Asking for A Meeting
When looking to set up a meeting to pitch your idea, try to get the feedback in order to write a follow up email.
In the email, you have to provide the details of what you want to talk about and why the meeting will be a good idea for the recipient.
You will find that most people are open to meetings if it adds value to them as well. You can add a link to a free meeting scheduling software to make it easy for your recipient to add it to their calendar.
To Catch Up
If you have not been in contact with a connection, you might need to catch up with them about something big that you have heard about. You may want to catch up with them to get the details of their achievement.
In most cases, you might need their assistance in a business matter that you might slip in when you meet up to catch up.
A great example is when their business might have expanded, and they would now be in a position to take up your services. The catchup email would be a great place to self-promote and stand a chance to close a lucrative deal.
When writing up your email, be sure to state that you hope to catch up with your connection and avoid being vague.
In your email, show your recipient that you care about them.
To Say "Thank You."
Thank You follow up emails do not necessarily get immediate responses, but they leave the recipient feeling good about you and your business or brand.
Showing gratitude is a great way to foster great business relationships.
It is a professional way to show that you appreciate their business.
Instances where you need to send a thank you email is when:
- They provide you with a referral;
- Write a positive review for your business;
- They help you close a business deal;
- When your recipient has helped you out in dealing with a business issue you have had.
When you establish a clear objective for your follow up email, you will be in a position to create a purpose for your emails. It will help you to create a call to action that is easy for your recipient to understand.
When you state your objectives, you develop a more professional email that help your recipient to give you an immediate response, because they are aware of what is expected from them through the email.
Open Your Follow Up Emails with Context
To ensure that the emails you send are opened and replied to, you have to add an identifier of some kind, a personal connection, or a common interest to the message. This is a great way to ensure that your contact remembers you.
This is especially important when you write your first follow up email, especially if you do not have a close relationship with the recipient or have spent a lot of time without talking to each other.
Making sure you emphasize and provide context to your initial communication, interaction, conversation, and email will help remind your recipient how you relate and help them respond to your email much faster.
Be aware that you start your follow up by introducing yourself and what are your objectives.
Here are a few examples of how you can open your emails to give your recipient the context they need to give your email the attention it requires.
Great email openers:
- I am writing to you regarding… (Topic);
- We met last week at … (Name of event or location);
- You inspired me when we talked at … (Name of the event).
Make sure that you start your follow up emails with context to ensure that your recipient can easily remember you. This will guarantee a response from them, which is the goal you are looking for.
Clearly State the Purpose of the Follow Up Email
After having a clear objective and context for your follow up email, you need to state a clear purpose why you are writing this email.
Be sure to be straight with your intentions right off the start. This will help you not to sound spammy, vague or untrustworthy.
For example, instead of saying " I would like to grab lunch with you to learn more about your business." Be more specific with your writing as you say" I would love to grab lunch with you and go over how your business has managed even after the COVID crisis."
This way, your recipient is aware of the exact reason you would like to meet up with them. They will also be prepared to give you as much information as they can. If they cannot discuss what you have stated in the email, they will also let you know.
Common ways you can state the purpose of an email:
- I would like you to join me (Name of the Event). It would be a great opportunity for your (Company Name) and what you do;
- It would be great if we had an in-depth conversation about (Topic) since I am working on a similar nature;
- As we have earlier discussed, here is the (Contact) to the developer we talked about.
Create A Subject Line
We come up with the title of an essay after writing the body. This is the same case when it comes to emails.
When you are coming up with your follow up emails, first work through the content of the email. This includes the:
- Opening line;
- The body;
- The closing;
This is the best way to create a strong subject line that is inline with the body of your emails. Make sure you develop a strong subject line that will make your recipient want to open the email.
Here are some tips you can use to come up with a strong follow up subject line:
- Create a sense of urgency with your emails. For example, use the word "Tomorrow" on the subject line. Emails with the word 'tomorrow' are opened 10% more than those without;
- Use concrete time and numbers on the subject line. Emails with words like quick in the subject line were opened less. This means that you need to have a definite timeline on the subject line for your emails;
- Remove the subject line completely. Emails that do not have a subject line were open more by 8% than the emails with a subject line.
However, omitting the subject line is quite uncommon and works for any specific type of business. You can try A/B testing for the subject line vs. the non-subject line for your emails to see what works best for your contacts and subject audience.
Send Your Follow Up Email
You have created an objective behind your email, it has a clear purpose. All you will need to do is hit 'Send.'
You will be required to send the email at a specific time. You have to ensure that the email remains relevant to the recipient and retains the largest chance of getting opened and read.
Here are some time frames you can use for your emails depending on the situations you are in:
- 24 hours: Send a "Thank You" email after a conference, sale, meeting, interview or any other special occasions that require immediate follow up or gratitude;
- 48 hours: When you submit important documentation, such as a job application or a submission form. If your reason for follow up is urgent, you can follow up because there is no need to wait for one to two weeks to do so;
- 1 to 2 weeks: This duration is ideal for meeting requests, for example, when there is no receipt confirmation of the previous email or job offer, and you need feedback on it;
- 3 months: If you need to catch up with a past connection. In your emails, you need to look like you care about their lives. Ask about their business and look to learn if there are any new developments in their business or personal life. Only ask about their personal life if your relationship allows you to so that you are not overstepping.
What Are the Pro Tips for Writing Follow Up Emails?
Follow up emails are great for any business and that includes eCommerce businesses. Here are some pro tips that will get you responses in your well-crafted emails.
1. Use Templates For Creative Inspirations
In most cases, you have received cold emails, and you have ended up ignoring them sometimes. A good example is the emails that are posted on LinkedIn, but do not brush them off.
You can use these emails as templates to create your own. You can also get creative ideas from emailing software, but make sure you personalize your emails to get the best results.
Template email: Canva
When sending business emails, ensure that it makes sense to send a follow up offer template.
Share discount offer via email: Southwest Airlines
In business, the most successful follow up emails are those that offer special discounts and free trials. You have to make sure that your email has a compelling offer to make your recipient purchase your services.
Email template sketch
If you send an email with a less compelling offer, it might not make sense to your recipient so make sure it does.
2. Do Your Research In Batches When Personalizing Your Emails.
When sending follow up emails in business, make sure that you know enough about your prospects. This will help you customize your emails with your recipients in mind and increase the chances of getting a response.
Make sure that you personalize your emails by category rather than on an individual basis. You can categorize individuals with similar pain points and experiences and determine which category they all fall under.
When you scale your personalization, you will increase email productivity and see better results in a campaign.
3. Test Your Subject Lines
Make sure you test out different subject lines to see what you do best. There are subject lines such as "Quick Question" that are now falling out, but we're doing better a while back. Other trigger spam filters, especially if the recipient does not recognize the sender.
However, remember different audiences, different rules. What might work for one business might not work for you and vice versa.
4. Send A Calendar Link With Your Follow Up Email
Include notes with the specific time and location, so when your recipient saves it on their calendar, they are easily reminded of an engagement they have with you.
5. Keep Your Emails Short And To The Point
Make sure that your emails are straight to the point and are mobile-friendly. Research shows that more than 50% of emails are opened on a mobile phone.
If you are reaching out to a company and getting no response, look for someone else's email address in the same company and reach out to them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is a Follow Up Email?
A follow up email is an email or sequence of emails you send after sending the original email. This is usually after a few days of sending the original.
When Is The Right Time To Send A Follow Up Email?
You should not send a follow up email too quickly. A general rule of thumb is to wait anywhere between three to five days before sending the first follow up email.
It is polite to give enough time to your recipient to respond.
For the subsequent emails, you should wait for five working days.
How Can I Follow Up Without Being Annoying?
You have to add value to the person receiving your email for you not to sound annoying while following up.
Ensure that you do not follow up on consecutive days to avoid being sent to the spam list.
How Do I Politely Ask for A Status Update?
A polite way to ask for a status update is to give your recipient context on why you are asking for an update. It is also advised you give them context about the initial email to help jog their memory.
Make sure your emails are not too long or too short when asking for a status update.
Should I Send a Follow Up Email?
Yes. Most people receive tons of emails daily. So if you haven't heard back from your prospect, you should follow up. If you are confident that there will be a successful collaboration between you two, do not hesitate to follow up.
How Many Follow Up Emails Are Ideal?
There is no specific number of follow up emails that will guarantee you a prospect. However, it is considered that more than five follow ups are the least that you should do.
Where Can I Get Examples of Follow Up Emails?
Perform a quick google search, and you will find plenty of follow up email templates that you can choose from. There is software available online that offers the same. You can choose the one that works best for you.
Can I Automate Follow Up Emails?
Yes. Email marketing platforms offer an automated follow up feature to help you improve your engagement and productivity with your prospect.
How You Can Get More Customers With a Follow Up Email Strategy
Sending follow up emails is for the long game. In most cases, you will find that your prospect might not be ready to take up what you are offering immediately.
This means that you have to be consistent with your follow up and maintain a great relationship with them.
You also have to ensure that your follow ups provide value to them to ensure that you are on top of their mind. Having a great relationship with your prospect will guarantee successful future collaborations.