Blog/How to write a follow up email to get a response

“Stalking is a long romantic walk that the other person isn’t aware of” 

People are busy these days. We’re all busy, busy bees, our minds consumed by informational noise and notifications. That’s why it’s really hard to get through to our minds (and inboxes). And that’s why follow up email is a powerful weapon in business. 

Because I know you might say “I do my best to reach potential clients”. But do you really do your best?

Or are you too worried about being a stalker to take real steps towards reaching more potential clients? 

Worry no more – here are 5 ideas that you can use for follow up emails next time someone takes too long to email you back.

Follow up email ideas – TL;DR

  1. “I forgot to tell you about…”

  2. “This is really cool, thought it might interest you…”

  3. “Are you not entertained?…”

  4. “I’m emailing you again because…”

  5. “Just pick a number that best describes your response…”

Follow up email #1 – “I forgot to tell you about…”

I only email a few people for feedback on my articles. It’s important to me, because I want to publish articles on a regular, weekly basis. But it definitely isn’t as important to them – understandably.

The deadline is getting closer and there’s still no response! I send an update with new ideas, changes, or things I forgot to mention before. New notification in their inbox, the information is relevant and there’s a much bigger chance that they’ll eventually respond

Sometimes it’s good to forget about including things in your emails. A less important file, the title of your article (or the last paragraph), a bit of data that isn’t crucial. But don’t overdo it.

Follow up email #2 – “This is really cool, thought it might interest you…”

I just wrote a cool article regarding SaaS business ideas, or heard interesting news from someone’s industry, or I’m going to this great event that’s happening near someone.

Why not use it to follow-up when they’re not responding for too long? Be thoughtful – if you can’t think of anything relevant, don’t force it

Each week we send a piece of sales-related content to all our leads and each time several people tend to update us on their situation and take next steps in the sales cycle.

Follow up email #3 – “Are you not entertained?”

If nothing works, humour can greatly increase the chance that people will respond quickly. Business gets pretty dull. Take a moment to craft a great email, spice it up with a relevant GIF. A lot of people really appreciate humour in everyday situations and will write you back afterwards.

A follow up email, like one of the best converting ones we’ve sent in our campaigns, can include a joke (cheesy example, worked great though):

I tried to get through to you but no success so far. I hope you haven’t been trampled by a wild herd of rainbow unicorns.

Which is only proof that it doesn’t take much to make people smile, and it has a fabulous (get it? unicorns, fabulous? right?) effect on response rates.

The downside is that not all people enjoy humour in business communication. German or Swedish recipients prefer it when you keep emails professional. Same goes for representatives of certain industries – like medicine, law, finance. Know your boundaries, do your best not to offend.

Follow up email #4 – “I’m emailing you again because…”

I’m doing a weekly cleanup of my CRM. I really need to touch base. My deadline is coming up and I need this to wrap up my project.

Use a real event in your life as a reason to send a follow up email. In some of the hardest cases, we send a highly converting follow up email about a monthly CRM cleanup. Really helps qualify potential sales leads quickly:

Hi there,

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. 

A lot of people respond and the outcome is 0-1. 

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

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

Side-note: Our interpretation of the breakup email from Sidekick.

Follow up email #5 – “Just pick a number from 1-2-3 that best describes your response…”

When everything else fails, give people an extremely simple and quick way to email you back. Write 3 responses, like in this example:

Hi there,

I see you’re too busy to reply at the moment. Could you please just hit me back with a number 1-2-3 that best describes your response?

1. Please leave me alone!

2. Too busy, email me again in a month please.

3. I’ll write you back in a week.

Super-busy people will appreciate you making it easier for them to respond. So keep in mind that someone might actually not be able to respond to you. If you need their reply very much – don’t hesitate to write, but make it super easy for them to provide the information you need. 

Send follow-up emails reasonably and consistently

On average, 50% responses to our campaigns come from follow up emails. No joke!

This means that if you don’t follow up, you will get a lot less email responses than all your competitors who aren’t afraid of following up relentlessly.

Thanks for reading! Just want to let you know that you can now subscribe to RightHello’s first ever, 4-day email course –Hacking Business Growth or check our case studies