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How to write a follow up email to get a response

Piotr Zaniewicz in

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” 

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 your business arsenal.


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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 templates 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.

Hi {{FIRST_NAME}}, I know you must be busy as {{TITLE}}. Just wondering if you received the email I sent you – I was very much looking forward to hearing back?

Maybe it would be better if I contacted you next month?

Kind regards,

I sent this message to quite a number of people and they respond on average 12,5% of the time. It works pretty decently as you can see.

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…”

There are many things you may write that constitute as a good follow up message material. For example:” I wrote a cool article regarding SaaS business ideas SaaS business ideas, “I heard interesting news from someone’s industry”, or “I’m going to this great event that’s happening near someone”.

Why not use a similar message idea for a follow-up e-mail 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 template, 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…”

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 template 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…”

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 of template:

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. But 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.

Here is another example of an e-mail follow up you can send to busy people. This one is for you if you feel more comfortable sending a more traditional kind of messages :

Subject: Re: mobile dev for {{COMPANY}}

Hi, {{FIRST_NAME}}. Looks like you were too busy to reply to my e-mail. 🙂 I’ll keep this one short then:
I took a look at {{WWW}} again. I think I have an idea on how we could help you.

Let’s talk about it – a short Skype will do. Are you available this Friday?

Best,

This follow up message had a very solid 14,5 % response rate. It means that even busy people may find some time for you if try hard enough to reach them.

As you have seen, even simple follow up messages have on average a response rate above 10%. You can get new customers with a relatively low effort, so there is no reason to not try it.

Getting rid off your shyness to send follow up messages is good for your company, so even if you find it challenging at the beginning, you definitely still should do it.

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 and feel free to use our follow up email templates! Check out also our case studies.

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Piotr Zaniewicz

Founder and CEO at RightHello. Believes that the most important validation of business ideas is to find paying clients. That’s when you know you’re going in the right direction.

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  • Hey Piotr,

    Great ideas and it’s a way to be a bit more human on all sides, showing empathy to your subscribers. I know for me time is limited and I usually only answer email from people I’ve made a great connection with.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Piotr Zaniewicz

      Hi Sherman,

      Being more human is the main direction salespeople should be going in these days. Time is always limited – and there’s a universal understanding in business, that if someone isn’t willing to follow up, then whatever their message is, it’s just not important. (“because if it isn’t important for someone to really get through to me, why should their message be important to me at all?” kind of thing)

      When you follow up in a cool way, you push all negativity aside and simply increase your chance of getting a response.

  • great idea, thanks for sharing such useful information

  • Amazing work man!!! I like your idea and i will use this in my future email campaign.