February 23, 2023
“Can we connect later?” I requested a LinkedIn acquaintance who had reached out to me for a networking call in January. I was busy juggling work, family responsibilities, and a friend’s wedding nearly 2000 kilometers away.
“Sure”, he replied. He checked in with me a couple of weeks later, when I was still unavailable.
I forgot about it till he followed up once more in February. We finally met, ended up discovering a lot of shared interests, and promised to stay in touch.
That’s the power of not giving up on follow-ups. And it isn’t just true for networking. The average customer also requires at least five continuous follow-up efforts after the initial contact, before converting.
Following up matters. Mastering the art of writing (and sending) follow-up emails has huge payoffs. This article will help you do exactly that. Let’s go!
A follow-up email is an email message that you send to someone to continue a previous correspondence. It is sent after you’ve already reached out to the recipient before.
But why? Ignoring an email simply means people want to be left alone, right? Well, not necessarily.
A lot of people, while having their emails handy, also suffer from inertia and email fatigue.
Knowledge workers, today, spend roughly a third of their day dealing with emails. They apply mental filters to triage their inbox, reduce their cognitive load, and defer replying to non-urgent emails.
This is why follow-up emails are important. The goal of a follow-up email is to remind the recipient of the previous interaction, and to request a specific action, by bringing the matter to the top of the recipient’s overcrowded mind (and inbox).
Does that mean you should send follow-up emails all the time? Unless you want to land directly in the Spam folder or, worse, get blacklisted, I’d recommend not doing this. Instead, know what the right times (and ways) to send follow-up emails are.
Before zeroing in on an ideal frequency and cadence of sending follow-up emails, it’s important to set clear expectations with your contacts, believes communications expert Mary Shores, CEO of Shores Communications.
That said, it may not always be easy to do this or to have a clear answer. In such cases, it’s best to resort to the standard wait time for your industry/line of work before following-up.
According to a study by Edison Mail, waiting two to four days before sending a follow-up email is ideal. Any sooner and you might come across as pushy. Any later and your prospects could forget about you altogether.
Now that you know when to send that follow-up email without being annoying, here are 7 more tips to help you avoid off-putting mistakes when following-up.
Email etiquette is a thing! Here are 7 mistakes that could destroy your follow-up game and how to avoid them at all costs.
The average office-worker receives 121 emails every day. The only way for your follow-up email to stay afloat in such a flooded inbox is by reinforcing the original message, making it easier for the recipient to respond.
Including the original message in your follow-up email also shows that you're organized and professional. This can build trust and credibility.
A follow-up email should be friendly and professional, not pushy and entitled. Don't demand a response or act like the recipient owes you something. Instead, show appreciation and gratitude for their time and consideration.
Avoid using the same generic email template for every follow-up. Take the time to personalize each email, addressing the recipient by name and mentioning specific details from your previous interaction.
Think of your email like a gourmet dish and of your recipients like established connoisseurs. Consider their individual tastes and preferences to leave a distinct flavor (read: impression) in their minds.
Using intentional subject lines is the simplest way to cut through cognitive clutter and get what you want from the recipient. Even if they don’t respond right away, a specific subject line can encourage them to revisit the email later.
Avoid vague and rambling subject lines, which make finding your email akin to looking for a needle in a haystack.
Recommended download: 50 top-performing subject lines for cold sales emails
Your follow-up email should be concise and to the point, but it also shouldn't be so short that it lacks substance. Strike a balance between being too long and too short, providing enough information to pique the recipient's interest without overwhelming them. The sweet spot we aim for at OSlash? Between 50-125 words.
Recommended reading: How to write cold emails that convert
Phrases such as "I'm sorry to bother you," "I don't want to take up too much of your time," and "I'm just following up" can make you sound needy, apologetic, or insecure. This can undermine your authority and make it less likely that the recipient will take your message seriously. Ditch them in your follow-up email copy to make it more direct, concise, and authoritative.
Surprisingly, only 20% of all sales leads are ever followed up when even following up once is not enough to get a response. Following up on the follow-up is an easy hack to skyrocket response rates.
Keep following up until you get a response or until it's clear that the recipient is not interested, just as a basketball player who doesn’t give up after one unsuccessful shot at the basket.
Circumventing these mistakes will up your follow-up email game for sure. But this is far from enough.
Laura D Adams, award-winning author and host of the 'Money Girl' podcast, advises including the following ingredients in your follow-up email to improve the chances of getting a response:
Other experts also argue about the positive impact of including a value proposition that explains how your request can benefit the recipient. Lastly, you shouldn’t underestimate the soft power of polite greetings and signatures in convincing the recipient to respond to your follow-up email.
Curious about how it all comes together? Let’s dive into these follow-up email subject lines and templates to find out!
Studies have found that subject lines account for up to 50% of email opens and clicks. Additionally, shorter subject lines (3-4 words) generate higher open rates than longer ones, and personalizing subject lines with the recipient's name can also increase open rates.
With that in mind, here are some click-worthy subject lines for your follow-up emails.
Did You Miss Me, [First Name]?
Look Who's Back!
Ready For Round Two, [First Name]?
Picking Up Where We Left Off
Still Here, Still Waiting, [First Name]
Ready, Set, Follow Up!
Still Interested in [X]?
Long Time No See, [First Name]
[First Name], One More Chance?
Tried to Reach You, [First Name]
[First Name], Is This It?
Ready to Talk, [First Name]?
Following Up on [Our Call]
Got 2 Minutes, [First Name]
[First Name], can you point me in the right direction?
Hi Again From [Your Name]
[First Name], I’d hate for you to miss out on [X]
Quick Recap of Our Last Meeting
Shall I Say Goodbye, [First Name]?
We’ve also included some bonus subject lines within the following email templates for you.
Whether you’re in the process of wrapping up a job interview or closing a deal, these 15 easy-to-implement templates will have you writing perfectly polished follow-up emails in any situation in no time.
Goal: To re-engage with a prospect who has not responded to your initial email
Subject: Quick question about [topic]
I hope you're having a great week so far! I wanted to circle back on the email I sent last week about [topic]. I know you're busy, but I wanted to touch base and see if you had a chance to review it.
I'm passionate about [topic] and really believe that [company] could benefit from [product/service]. I'd love to discuss this further with you and hear your thoughts.
If you have any questions or would like more information, please let me know. I'm happy to hop on a quick call or send over additional resources.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon!
Why it works: By keeping the tone of your cold email follow-up friendly and casual, you can create a connection with the prospect and increase the chances of a response. Additionally, following up shows persistence and determination, which can impress the recipient and demonstrate your commitment to your message or product.
Goal: To keep the sales process moving forward and demonstrate that you're proactive. By reaching out to prospects quickly, you show your attentiveness and interest in their business.
Subject: Quick follow-up on our call, [First Name]
Hi [First Name],
Thank you for taking the time to speak with me earlier today. It was great to learn more about how [company name] [achieves specific outcomes in business] and how we can help you with [list of benefits].
I am writing to see if you have any further questions or concerns. We'd be happy to set up a demo of [product name] if that would be helpful.
You can also explore our detailed [FAQs] and [help center] for more information.
Please let me know if there's anything else we can do to assist you. We look forward to working with you and your team.
Why it works: This email works because it's short and sweet. It acknowledges the recipient's time constraints and emphasizes that you're willing to go the extra mile by offering additional information or a demo.
Goal: To reinforce the initial request, ensure the recipient does not miss it again, and make it easier for them to respond.
Subject: Still here, still waiting, [First Name]
Dear [First Name],
I hope this email finds you well.
I’m checking in to see if you received my email regarding [topic] sent on [date]. In case you missed it, here’s a quick summary of my request.
[insert details and resources to clarify the request]
I'm confident that my request could benefit both of us, so I'm hopeful that you will have a few moments to respond soon.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you!
Why it works: This email template is brief, to the point, and very clear about the ask from the sender. It’s polite, states the value proposition, and encourages the recipient to take action sooner rather than later.
Goal: The goal of the value-addition follow-up email is to provide additional information or resources that can help the recipient and strengthen your relationship with them.
Subject: Additional resources to help you with [topic/issue]
Hi again [First Name],
I wanted to follow up with you regarding our recent conversation about [topic] where you mentioned that you were struggling with [specific challenge or issue]. I thought I'd share some additional resources that might be helpful to you.
[Include a brief summary of the resources you are providing, along with links or attachments if applicable.]
Please let me know if you have any questions or if there's anything else I can do to help.
I look forward to continuing our conversation and will share a few time-slots for you to choose from, super soon!
Why it works: This follow-up email shows that you are genuinely interested in helping the recipient, beyond just trying to close a deal or make a sale. By providing valuable resources and information, you are demonstrating your expertise and building trust.
Goal: To find the appropriate person within a company who can help you achieve your specific goal. By following up with the initial contact, you demonstrate your professionalism and persistence in wanting to make a connection with the right person.
Subject: Asking for a favor here, [First Name]
Hello [First Name],
I’m guessing you’re tired of seeing my name crowd your inbox by now, so I thought I’d stop bothering you. Before you jump in joy, though, I’d request you for one last favor.
Could you please direct me to the right person at [company name] to talk about [topic/product/service]? I’m ideally looking for someone in [role] with a background in [field] to help me with [specific goal].
I'm confident that our [product/service] could be a great fit for [company name], and I would love the opportunity to discuss this further with them.
Please let me know if you can help or if there's anyone else I should reach out to. Thank you for your time.
Why it works: This email works because it's polite, direct, respectful, and uses an element of humor to keep the ask friendly. By asking the recipient for a favor, you’re activating the Ben Franklin effect which makes people feel good about you, after they’ve helped you.
Here’s another sample of an “appropriate person” follow-up email from HubSpot that landed in my inbox recently.
Goal: This template will let you easily reach out to the appropriate person in an organization, after obtaining a successful referral from your previous point of contact.
Subject: [Mutual Connection] suggested I get in touch
Hi [First Name],
Hope everything’s great!
I just spoke to [Referrer Name] who advised me to reach out to you.
I’ve learnt that your team is currently looking for a solution to [specific challenge] which we hear is a major hurdle in achieving [given set of objectives].
Coincidentally, [your company] has an excellent track record with helping [similar companies] tackle the issue with [set of benefits].
[Referrer Name] suggested we have a conversation and explore if our goals align.
Do you have 15 minutes this week to discuss how [their company] could leverage [Your Company]? You can find a slot that works for you on my calendar.
Looking forward to speaking soon!
Why it works:
This template shows you’ve done your homework and are diligent about reaching the right person. You also make the email more personable and important by acknowledging the referral.
Goal: To remind the recipient of a voicemail you left and to ask for a chance to connect via phone or email. The ultimate goal is to schedule a meeting or call to discuss your product or service.
Subject: Quick follow-up on [topic] from [Your Name]
Hi [First Name],
I hope you're doing well. I recently left a voicemail for you regarding [topic], and I wanted to drop a brief email just in case this is more convenient.
As I mentioned in my voicemail, I'm interested in [specific goal] and would love to discuss how our [product/service] might be able to help you achieve this.
If you have a moment, I'd be grateful for the chance to chat with you. Please feel free to call me back at [your number] or book a slot on my calendar directly.
Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear back from you soon.
Why it works: This follow-up email works because it's respectful of the recipient's time and attention. By reminding them of the voicemail you left, you demonstrate that you're persistent and want to connect. By offering to connect via phone or email, you provide flexibility and let the recipient choose the best way and time for them to connect.
Goal: To create a sense of urgency and encourage the recipient to take action by highlighting the benefits of the opportunity and leveraging FOMO.
Subject: Don't miss out on [benefit]!
Hi [First Name],
Hope everything’s well!
I’m writing today to bubble this up to the top of your inbox. I know you're busy, but I’d really hate for you to miss out on [benefit or opportunity].
[Include a brief description of the benefit or opportunity, such as a limited-time offer or exclusive access to a new product.]
In the [last week] alone, [1000+] people have [leveraged the benefit/opportunity] in order to [achieve specific outcomes].
Here’s what they said:
[Insert social proof including testimonials, reviews etc.]
I’m confident you’ll feel the same once you experience [product/service]. Whatsay?
Grab the offer here while it lasts :D
(And just reply to this email if you need more info.)
Always happy to help,
Why it works: FOMO is a powerful psychological trigger that can compel people to act quickly to avoid missing out on something important or valuable. By emphasizing the potential value of the opportunity and framing it as limited or exclusive, you can increase the recipient's motivation to respond to your email.
Goal: To remind the client about the proposal sent and to get their feedback.
Subject: Checking in on Proposal [proposal name]
Hi [Client Name],
I hope you had a chance to look at the proposal I sent over on [proposal date].
I am eager to hear your feedback and answer any questions you may have. Are there any areas that need more clarification, or are there any concerns you would like me to address?
I am available to hop on a call at your convenience to discuss this further. I remember you saying this month will be particularly busy for you, so please choose a slot that works for you here on my calendar.
Thanks and I look forward to getting in touch again!
Why it works: Overall, this email works because it balances the need for prompt follow-up with a respectful and non-intrusive approach, while offering the client an opportunity to provide feedback in a way that suits them best.
Goal: The goal of sending a follow-up email post a sales meeting is to keep the deal moving forward as quickly as possible.
This email template comes straight from Kyle Coleman, SVP of Marketing at Clari, a leading revenue-ops platform. So, you know it’s really, really good. Take a look!
Why it works: This 3x3 format provides prospects a quick summary of the discussion, reminds them of key value points, and lays out the next steps in a clear and actionable manner.
Goal: The goal of this follow-up email is to engage with potential leads who have expressed interest in your company's products or services.
Subject: Glad to hear from you, [First Name]
Hi [First Name],
Thanks for stopping by [company name]’s website. I wanted to touch base with you about your inquiry regarding [issue/product/service].
First of all, congratulations! You’re at the right place.
Helping companies like yours solve [issue/challenge] with [specific benefits] is what we do best. I’m sure our [500+] happy clients would agree!
I would love to discuss this further with you and see if [company name] could be a good fit for your business. Please let me know if you are available for a brief call [this week] on [day 1] or [day 2]?
In the meantime, you can browse through our Resource Library for helpful content on [topic/issue/challenge].
Looking forward to hearing back from you.
Why it works: The email quickly acknowledges the lead's inquiry, reminds them of their interest in your products/services, and offers them helpful resources together with a potential solution. The call-to-action also encourages a response and opens the door for further communication.
Goal: To follow up with a prospect who has gone quiet after initial conversations or meetings. The objective is to keep the conversation going, remind them of the previous discussions, and schedule a follow-up call or meeting.
Subject: Following up: [topic of the discussion]
Hello [First Name],
I hope you are well. I wanted to circle back on our conversation about [topic]. I know things can get busy, but I wanted to check-in and see if you have any updates or questions.
As a quick reminder, we discussed [key takeaways from the previous conversation]. I'm confident that our [product/service] can be of value to your organization and help you [benefit of the product/service].
Please let me know what’s a good time for us to reconnect. I'm available [time and date options].
Have a great day!
Thanks and regards,
Why it works: This email works because it is polite, professional, and non-intrusive. It shows that you respect the prospect's time and schedule, while also highlighting the value your product/service can provide.
Goal: This email template seeks to close the conversation gracefully, albeit after prompting the recipient to take action with a powerful pitch, one last time.
Subject: Guess this is goodbye, [First Name]
Hi [First Name],
It’s not you, it’s me. I really believed [your company name] and [their company name] could achieve [outcome 1] and [outcome 2] by working together.
But maybe some things aren’t meant to be.
I understand that we may not be a great fit right now, but am hopeful that you’ll reconsider evaluating the partnership in a few months.
If you’d like to try [product/service] out sooner and join our list of [100k] happy subscribers, I could set up a [demo/pilot/trail] for you and your team right away.
It’s been a pleasure; thanks so much for your time.
Why it works: Loss aversion implies that human beings dislike potential loss more than they enjoy potential gain. By walking away and highlighting what they could be missing out on, you can drive a higher, more instant response rate.
Goal: This email template is meant for customer support executives to follow-up on the status of a customer’s grievance and acknowledge their positive feedback and reassure them that you’ll be working on the negative feedback.
Recommended reading: 25 phrases, power-words, and empathy statements for providing excellent customer service
Subject: We appreciate your feedback, [First Name]
Dear [First Name],
Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. We deeply value your opinion and appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts with us.
Your satisfaction is our top priority. And we will use your feedback to make improvements to our products and services.
If you have any further questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Why it works: This email template tells customers that their feedback—as well as the time they invested in interacting with your company—is valued. It can lead to higher customer satisfaction and positive word of mouth for your brand.
Goal: This follow-up email template aims to acknowledge the interaction you had with your interviewers and position you as a top candidate for the role.
If Harvard Law School is to be trusted, everyone should send a thank-you note within 24 hours of an initial job interview. According to them—as well as Dan Mian, Performance Marketing Manager at British Telecom (BT)—this note should:
Subject: Thanks for a great interview experience!
Hello [Interviewers' Names],
I wanted to take the time to thank you for taking the time to meet with me for the [position] role. I must admit this interview was unlike any other I’ve attended in recent times.
Your kindness, curiosity, and openness is inspiring and will stay with me as I navigate my career journey.
I am grateful for the opportunity to discuss the position and I am very excited about the potential of applying my skills and experience to contribute to the success of [Company Name].
I am confident that my qualifications make me the ideal fit for the position and I am very enthusiastic about the chance to work with you.
Thank you again for the exceptional guidance, as well. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Why it works: It shows the interviewers your human side and your capacity to go the extra mile, makes you stand out from your competitors, helps cement the relationship, and influences the outcome of your interview.
Goal: To follow-up on a conversation you had with a prospect/recipient at a networking event and explore opportunities for collaboration.
Recommended reading: 13 foolproof introduction email templates for every use-case
Subject: Following up on our conversation at [networking event], [First Name]
Dear [First Name],
It was a pleasure to meet you at [networking event] yesterday. I enjoyed our conversation and am grateful for the opportunity to connect.
While thinking back on our conversation and your challenges with [pain point], I realized you might be interested in checking out this case study on how we helped [similar company] accomplish [outcome].
I’d love to talk more about this and see if working together is a good fit. Do you have time [this week] to jump on a 15 minute call? I’m available [this Tuesday and Wednesday].
Regardless, it was great talking to you. I hope we can stay in touch and also look forward to connecting at future events.
Why it works: Email templates like this one build on a personal connection by referencing the conversation you had with the recipient when you met.
No matter what your use-case for writing a follow-up email, these templates will help you automate your writing and make the task less daunting, one subject line and signature at a time.
Did you know you could write and send follow-up emails 30x faster?
Here’s a quick how-to:
OSlash lets you insert variables (dynamic placeholder text) such as [Name], [Company Name], [Date], [Topic of discussion], [Issue ID] etc. which you can customize for each recipient, without needing to type the whole email from scratch.
Using a text expander can save you a significant amount of time when writing and sending follow-up emails, especially if you send a lot of them. Just be sure to review and customize each email before sending to avoid any errors or miscommunications.
Join us in a critical examination of AI cyber security. This blog outlines what AI is about in cyber security, its multi-dimensional benefits, and real-life implementation situations.
AI can be used for product development in multiple ways, such as automating tasks and testing prototypes. Learn more about AI in this space with use cases and examples.
After an exhilarating three-year journey building OSlash, we have made the difficult decision to wind the business down. But you can continue using your OSlash shortcuts. Here's how. Here's how you can continue using OSlash shortcuts