The Ultimate Guide to Writing Follow-up Email Phrases

follow up email phrases
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It is no doubt that emails are super effective in sales and marketing outreach. For many salespeople and marketers, emails can generate sales, support marketing efforts, enhance customer engagement, acquire customers, create brand awareness, and reward customer loyalty among many other benefits.

As effective as email can be, it can take a lot of effort, time, and dedication to get a response from the prospect after the first email. The reality of most emails is that you would most likely send emails to your prospect one to four times before you get a response.

Unfortunately, most marketers and salespeople these days assume that their prospect is uninterested in their email if they fail to get a response from their prospect. This preconceived belief makes them forgo the opportunity of closing a possible deal.

Several studies have supported the belief that you would have to send emails multiple times before getting a response only 2% of sales are made from the initial email whereas you would need to make about 8 email touchpoints before making a sale. This means that every time a salesperson or marketer forgo a prospect due to no response from them, they are losing out on possible deals.

There are many reasons why your prospect might not respond to your email – they could be busy, have a cluttered inbox, missed your email, or simply didn’t require your service at the time. This is where follow-up emails come in. Follow-up emails are perfect to remind your prospects about the initial mail and increase their chances of getting a response.

Interestingly, several studies have revealed that follow-ups improve response rates. A study by Backlink.io found that ’emailing the same prospect multiple times can lead to 2x more responses.’ With the understanding that sending follow-up emails can be tiring for many salespeople and marketers, we have compiled a full list of the steps, tips, and samples of follow-up emails in this blog.

Table of Contents

  • What is a Follow-up Email?
  • Why Send a Follow-up Email?
  • Why Don’t People Respond to Emails
  • Why are Follow up Emails Important?
  • How to Write a Follow-up Email After No Response?
  • 6 Steps to Write a Perfect Follow-up Email
  • When to Send a Follow-up Email?
  • Follow-up Email Examples

What is a Follow-up Email?

A follow-up email is a sequence of emails that are sent out to a prospect or recipient that you have already contacted once usually after a significant point or stage in the sales funnel to close a deal.

In most cases, a follow-up email is sent in response to the actions of a subscriber or prospect to stimulate them to take a sales/business-related action such as choosing a paid plan over a free trial, setting up a meeting with a B2B company, leaving feedback, or get them to buy another product.

Follow-up emails are a great source of valuable information. Depending on the previous interaction or communication you have had with your recipients in your previous emails, your follow-up email can be sent with different goals in mind.

For example, if your prospect downloaded your content, you can send them a follow-up email asking if they found it valuable, alternatively, you can send a follow-up email to people who are in the middle of a free trial of your service or request their feedback after an event. Irrespective of your goals, you need to plan your follow-up emails carefully to get the high engagement rates

Why Send a Follow-up Email?

According to Statista, 333.2 billion emails are sent and received per day worldwide in 2022. The implication of this for a salesperson or marketer using email marketing is that it’s going to get a lot harder to get a response from your recipient or prospect as the email could get lost in the shuffle.

Aside from this, professionals are increasingly getting busier and busier by the day, so much possibly goes on in the life of a prospect that your emails come secondary to them.

They would most likely respond to emails from a close contact, a friend, colleague, or an acquaintance compared to an email from a total stranger with whom they have no prior relationship – which makes follow-up emails very important.

Follow-up emails act as reminders to a recipient or prospect just in case they missed your email or forgot to reply to your previous email. In most cases, follow-up emails are not there to initiate a conversation but to reestablish a conversation, build a relationship with the recipient and generate a response from them.

It is important to keep in mind that every follow-up email sent must provide value to the prospect, hence you must keep them short, sweet, professional, and importantly, straight to the point.

Below is a good example of a follow-up email that shows how the sender provided extra value for the prospect. 

 follow up email
Wordstream
 how to write a follow up email
Wordstream
 how to send a follow up email
Wordstream

Why Don’t People Respond to Emails

Have you ever given deeper thought to why people don’t respond to your emails immediately beyond their busy schedules?

A lot of times, people check emails they get daily but choose not to respond to them for many reasons that are specific to them. According to research, when people receive emails, they quickly check them and then defer them until a time when they can be handled appropriately.

Email recipients could tag or mark their emails, leave them unopened in their inboxes or simply just compile them for later. According to researchers at the University of Waterloo, email recipients ignore emails for the following reason. It suggests that “Email users are more likely to defer emails when handling them involves replying, reading carefully, or clicking on links and attachments.”

The researchers further identified five core reasons why emails get ignored. They include;

  1. The time or effort involved in handling the emails
  2. The identity of the email sender
  3. The number of recipients on the email thread
  4. The email recipients’ workload and context
  5. The urgency of the email message

In as much as follow-up emails are known to be efficient and effective in closing deals, getting a response, or building stronger relationships with prospects, you must also try not to abuse follow-up emails by bombarding the prospects with too many of them. Have a purpose in mind, make it relevant, and write a follow-up email only when it is necessary.

Why are Follow up Emails Important?

Follow-up emails are effective due to the following reasons;

1. Help in Building Trust with the Prospect

 interview follow up email template

Follow-up emails are super effective when it comes to building trust with email recipients or prospects. While it can difficult to build trust with just one or two emails, a full follow-up email sequence can do the trick by constantly sharing different information with the prospect/recipient, while solving a need, answering a question, or providing value.

2. It increases conversion rates

 follow up email template

It is popular knowledge that follow-up emails have a way of eliciting a response from the recipient and possibly getting them to take an action. For most follow-up emails, the goal goes beyond just getting the prospect to open and read the email.

You need to craft a value-driven email with a unique and compelling call to action and subject lines to get the prospect to do your desired goal. For people who are currently using your free trial, you can write them a compelling follow-up email to get them to switch to a paid plan or even get someone in the consideration stage to make a purchase decision. Check out the guidelines for how to increase email open rates.

3. It helps you narrow down on your real, legitimate leads

For most salespeople and marketers, it can be hard to determine who your genuine leads/prospects are in the initial stage.

The common rule is that you send an email to people who have indicated an interest in your product or service one way or the other. In most cases, this can be people who spend the most time on your website, regularly download your content, or are active subscribers, or other forms of a trigger event.

Irrespective of their initial sales-related actions, you might still find it hard to sell to these people. However, when you send value-packed follow-up emails, you can easily identify those that will most likely purchase their action – be it responding to your email, click on the link, or requesting a demo, etc. Check out the guide about sales prospecting.

4. They can be a credible source for future referrals

 how to follow up on an email

In the future when you need to contact someone you’ve previously been in contact with for sales, connection, or another purpose, you can refer to your follow-up email to start a conversation with the person.

Instead of starting the conversation from scratch or introducing yourself all over again, you can just refer to your previous email and get the conversation started from there.

5. Add value for the prospect with each interaction 

One of the biggest objectives of sending a follow-up email is to provide more value to the prospect/recipients through the emails. For every follow-up email you send, you get a brand new chance to tell the recipient something new and exciting about your brand, product, or service or even share relevant content with them.

A follow-up email provides you with an opportunity to make a new positive impression on your prospect and increase your chances of getting a response.

6. Builds your organization’s credibility

 follow up email example

In buttress to the previous point, sending a follow-up email provides you with the opportunity to build your organization’s credibility, and show your prospect what they could be missing out on if they don’t partner with you or become your customer.

You can bring them credible information about your organization and what you do and so much more valuable stuff to get them to buy your product/services.

7. Sets you apart from your competitors

 thank you follow up interview email

By now, I don’t suppose you believe you are the only one in the game trying to convert the prospect to a customer. Just as you are trying to get them to convert, your competitors are also doing the same. However, your follow-up email is a fresh opportunity to showcase your brand, and your unique selling points and talk more about how your brand and product can solve the need of the prospect/customer.

Take no chances at selling yourself while still making the prospect the center of your email. Show them why they should choose and use the follow-up email to set yourself apart from your competitors. Find the guide about sales opportunity.

How to Write a Follow-up Email After No Response?

Now that you know what follow-up emails are, how can they support your sales and marketing efforts, and the importance of follow-up emails, it is time to take you through the things to consider when writing follow-up emails.

When writing your follow-up emails, you must pay attention to the email format and layout from start to end. Create a clear purpose for your email (understand why you are sending the follow-up email and what you wish to achieve to guide the process.

Overall, be sure to get to your point quickly, keep the email body short, simple and value-packed and be sure to let your recipient know what you need them to do.

Before sending your follow-up email, you must understand the two key strategies that you can choose for your follow-up email – the time-based sequence and the intent-based sequence.

The Time-based Sequence: This follow-up email strategy involves persistently emailing the prospect with at least seven (7) to eight (8) touchpoints at various intervals. In this case, the emails are sent to all prospects on the contact list irrespective of their stage in the buyer’s journey.

The Intent-based Sequence: Instead of the prospect list, the intent-based sequence focuses on the prospect’s interest level or stage in the buyer’s journey. While time-based sends to everyone, intent-based sends the emails only to prospects that are in the stage of searching for a solution in the buyer journey. This is usually determined through ‘intent signals’ from the email campaign analytics.

The intent-based sequence is usually more valuable and drives more results since they are sent to people with the intent of buying or making a purchase.

The Perfect Follow-up Email Format

Irrespective of the follow-up email strategy you choose for your use, you must ensure that your follow-up email follows the universal formats to get your desired results.

1. Subject line

An email subject line is a single-line text that recipients see when they receive your email. In most cases, the subject line can determine what will happen to the email, if it will be opened and read, ignored, or sent to the trash folder.

Writing a subject line that gets opened can be tricky and challenging. The general rule when writing subject lines is that you keep them short, sweet, and simple, propose a value, and must be personalized. It only takes your email recipients a few seconds to decide after seeing your email subject line, hence you must make it count.

According to Backlink.io, “The Ideal Outreach Email Subject Line Length Is 36-50 Characters” as they have been reported to get a high response rate. In addition, “Personalized subject lines boost response rate by 30.5%.”

Below are some good examples of email subject lines.

 how to write a follow up email after no response

2. Email Greetings

In every business environment, formality is just as important as the message itself. Just as how you say things is important in real-world conversation, this is also applicable in emails. The key to creating a polite follow-up email is in your email greeting and body content.

Except you are on first-name terms with the recipient, you must always send your email with professional greetings in your follow-up email.

Below are some good examples of email greetings that you can select from.

 polite follow-up email sample for a request

3. Email Body Content

A follow-up email is a reminder email that offers salespeople and marketers a fast and effective way to call the recipient’s attention to a previous email sent and possibly get them to take an action.

To achieve success in your follow-up mail, you must provide context with the opening line of your email. Although your follow-up campaign can serve as a reminder, it is also a good medium to share more valuable information about the product or services and possibly get them to convert.

Your email body must be focused on helping the prospect/recipient to move further down the sales cycle. Your email body content must contain relevant facts and information about your product/service. You can include the following in your email body;

  1. Reference the initial email (as an attachment, or pasted below your follow-up email)
  2. Provide a reminder of the crucial points (meeting details, for example).
  3. Include an external link to the essential information (an event website or invite) 
  4. Reference a personal connection or mention their pain points.

To simplify the process, you can use a follow-up email template to increase your follow-up success. Below are some good examples of follow-up email bodies that you can select from.

 how to send follow up email

4. Closing (Call to Action) CTA

Your follow-up email closing is the last but very important part of your email content. The Call to action (CTA) is an instruction that guides your prospect/recipients and tells them what to do after reading your email.

You must understand that it is not enough to craft an amazing email body content, your closing must support the effort of your subject line, greetings, and body by telling your prospect what to do or informing them about the next line of action.

An important thing to take note of when writing your email call to action is to help your prospect progress on the sales funnel. Instead of outrightly telling your email recipient to buy or make a payment, you can include a meeting request, provide a link to more information or social proof or simply request feedback to help them move down the funnel.

Irrespective of the CTA you choose, ensure that you provide your recipient with the next step to eliminate confusion.

 follow up email subject line

5. Email Sign off/Signature

 follow up email sample
HubSpot

An email signature is an effective way of conveying your professionalism to your readers and providing them with the complete information they need to contact you. Usually placed at the bottom of an email, email signatures are mostly used in emails to leave a great impression and make you stand out from your peers.

Don’t know how to create the perfect email signature that impresses your prospect? Try using our free email signature generator to create an email signature that suits your profile.

6 Steps to Write a Perfect Follow-up Email

Here are some of the important steps to follow to write a perfect follow-up email.

Step 1: Determine the Objectives of Your Follow up email

You must have a clear objective for sending a follow-up email to your prospects. In most cases, a follow-up email is a reminder email that is sent to call the recipient’s attention to the previous email subject. You must send your follow-up email with a goal in mind and stay true to this goal.

If you are sending a follow-up email, there is a high possibility that the first email has failed to get you a response from the prospect, for this reason, you must decide what you wish to achieve with every follow-up email you send. Your goal could range from getting a demo booked to having a prospect sign up for a free trial, getting a meeting scheduled, closing a sale, etc.

Whichever goal you choose for your follow-up email, clearly communicate and mention it in the email. Be as specific as possible and try not to waste your prospect’s time and show them early enough why you need their attention and make it worth it.

Check out a good example of this below;

 no response email follow up
Wordstream

Step 2: Craft a clever subject line

 send follow up email
Neil Patel

Your subject line is the first part of the email that attracts the attention of the prospect. More than you would even expect, the subject line must be given more importance than the actual body content of the email – this is mainly because the subject line determines whether the prospect will read the email or not.

According to a study by Harvard Business Review, 47% of all emails are ignored or discarded by the recipient as a result of their uninteresting subject lines. Pay attention to the content of your subject line and ensure that it is personalized and has important points that would interest the prospect.

For best performance, avoid using ‘spam triggering’ words that can trigger the spam filter and send your emails to the spam folder.

Step 3: Provide prospect with context

 sent follow up email
Hunter.io

An average email user receives over 121 emails per day. This high volume of emails makes it hard for anyone to remember your email or who you are, which is why it is important to include a personal connection, unique identifier, or common interest in the email to help them remember you.

You must always include a clear context in your opening line to jog their memory and call their attention to the previous email and increase their chances of getting a response.

Step 4: Strengthen the value

 no response to follow up email

Although you must have heard so many people talk about the importance of value proposition in your follow-up email. As an email recipient yourself, imagine getting an email that does not add value to you or has no connection with what you do, there’s a high possibility that you will ignore or discard the email.

One of the main reasons why your emails are not eliciting responses from your prospects is that they lack value. For this reason, you must ensure that you don’t send a follow-up email without adding more value that the previous email.

You can provide value to your prospect by doing the following;

  • Share customer testimonials/reviews
  • Share links to Blog posts, Social proof, E-books, How-to guides/videos, Case studies, Webinar, Attractive offers/discounts, and Extended free trial 

Step 5: Add a Call-To-Action At The End

 follow up email when no response

As highlighted above, a call to action is a text that prompts an immediate response or action from a target audience. For your follow-up email to generate your desired results, you must make it easy for recipients to respond to the email – i.e it has to be actionable and tell the recipient what exactly they need to do after reading the email.

CTAs are very important to the success of your follow-up email sequence, hence you must not overlook your CTAs under any circumstance and make them compelling. A quick tip for writing a catchy and effective call to action is by doing the following:

  1. Avoid asking for too much from your prospect in the early part of the follow-up email. Instead of pushing them to buy more or subscribe to anything, focus on building trust and relationships with them first. Give them a chance to know you better before committing to any big deal.
  2. Don’t leave room for ambiguity, be clear as possible, and be sure to tell what exactly they need to do next.
  3. Make your CTA easy and simple to read and understand so that the prospect can either review or respond on time.

Step 6: Automate your Follow up sequence.

 no response follow up email

Although follow-up emails have proven and tested to be effective in closing a deal or converting a prospect, it can be very tiring and challenging to send follow-up email sequences manually to the contact list. Irrespective of how good and passionate you are about seeing follow-up emails, you can burn out easily if you don’t automate the process.

To make the process a lot easier, consider using a cold email automation tool that allows you to create automated follow-up sequences with many advanced options.

 sent a follow up email

For a start, check out Sloovi Outreach to create personalized, scalable, and automated sales outreach and also get access to more advanced features that will help you save time, and money and increase your follow-up email success.

Here are some of the features of Sloovi Outreach that can aid the success of your follow-up campaigns.

  1. Automated Follow-ups
  2. Mass Email Personalization
  3. Built-in VoIP
  4. Email Tracking
  5. Meeting Booking via calls, emails, and SMS

When to Send a Follow-up Email?

 sending follow up email

There is no exact rule on the best time to send follow-up emails, however, most sales experts recommend sending your follow-up email two to three days after you fail to get a response from your initial or first email.

After this first follow-up email, you can then increase the number of days that you will be sending subsequent follow-up emails to your prospect. Whichever you choose for your email sequence, take note that an ideal follow-up email sequence contains seven (7) follow-up emails.

Follow-up Email Examples

 follow up email no response
SuperOffice

Here are some of the good follow-up email examples that you can use to create yours.

1. The “First Follow-up Email’ template

Subject line – {First name}, can you spare some minutes?

Email body

Hi {First Name},

I am following up on the {subject of the email} that I previously sent to you last week. I know you must have been busy with (Insert personalized task that prospect could have been busy with).

I would sincerely appreciate it if you could review the email and revert to me at your earliest convenience. Alternatively, If you would like to discuss this further or have any questions, you can reply directly to this email.

Looking forward to your response.

Best Regards,

{Your Name}

2. The ‘request for more information template

Subject line – Great News, {First name}, I have the information that you requested.

Email body

Hello {First Name},

I’m writing to thank you for allowing me to speak to you on {day}.

I have checked with our accounting department/my boss/our warehouse and they would be very happy to arrange {insert the special request}.

Please let me know how you would like to proceed from here.

Best Regards,

{Your Name}

3. The ‘Complimentary and Value-focused email’ template

Subject line: {First name}, I have a helpful resource for you.

Email body

Hi {First Name},

I recently stumbled upon your post on LinkedIn about {Insert the topic} and found it very insightful and value-packed. I particularly enjoyed reading about your experience {share the experience/subject matter}.

This is why I am sharing some of the interesting posts on {Similar topic} that I came across and feel would greatly interest you.

  • {Link 1}
  • {Link2}

If this interests you, I would also love to further discuss how {name of your product} can help your organization achieve your {Insert goals your product can help them achieve} for this year. Let’s schedule a quick meeting to discuss this further.

Best,

{Your Name}

4. The FOMO (fear of missing out) template

Subject line: 24HRs Black Friday Deal! Don’t miss out on this, {First name}

Email body

Hello {First Name},

I reached out to you a few days ago about the {product/service} and how your company could benefit greatly from using it.

So far, we have recorded a tremendous increase in conversion rates of our existing clients using our {product/service}. After you sign-up, we provide you with a free personalized demo of our product/service showing some of its advanced features and how your company can benefit from using it.

We are currently running a 24Hrs Black Friday deal & Discounts on our products, If you want to learn more about this, I would be happy to discuss this further over a short meeting.

Looking forward to your response.

Best Regards,

{Your Name}

5. The Breakup email template

Subject line: I think it is time to say goodbye!

Email body

Hi {First Name},

Apologies for flooding your inbox!

I assume you are not interested in {the topic} or are not the right person to contact on this matter. If you know someone else who could benefit from {the topic}, please direct me to them.

Thank you and let me know if I can be of any assistance in the future.

PS – this will be my last email, don’t worry!

Best Regards,

{Your Name}

Follow-Up Email Phrases: The Conclusion

Cold emails are effective emails in sales and marketing outreach that can bring you tremendous results but requires patience and persistence to make it work. Cold emails work but you just need to be persistent and dedicated to making it work.

The key to successful cold emailing is follow-up emails. A follow-up email is an email to a recipient you’ve already contacted once before. They have the power to generate high conversion rates, bring in new business, create strong business relationships, and close deals. Check out the guide about sales follow-up email.

To get these results from your follow-up emails, you must ensure that the content of your follow-up emails is attention-grabbing, relevant, and of value to your recipients.

All the best.