How to write a follow-up email [9 examples to get more replies]

It's not always possible for your first email to generate a response from your prospect.

How to write a follow-up email [9 examples to get more replies]

Learning how to write the perfect follow up email template is an essential thing to master if you want to improve your reply and conversion rates.

In this article, you'll learn:

Sending a follow-up email after no response

Should you send a follow-up email after no response? There is a common belief that follow-ups are pushy, especially if a lead opened your email but didn't reply.

They showed you they're NOT interested, right?

Not quite.

Depending on your audience targeting, this might be true for some leads.

However, others may have forgotten to reply or were busy at the moment of reading your email. Your message could've been clearer or you didn't reach the decision-maker in the company.

As you can see, it doesn't necessarily mean that your lead wasn't interested.

In other words, you should DEFINITELY send a follow-up email after no response. To show you this statement in numbers, take a look at two of our campaigns and how many replies have follow-up emails generated.

follow up email after no response
Sales campaign from our Sales Rep
follow up email after no response
Marketing campaign from our Head of Growth

If Marouane and Vuk haven't sent follow-up emails, they would have received 19 replies instead of 33. Remember...

More follow-ups = higher reply rate = more opportunities

Follow-up email playbook

Any follow-up strategy that produces results is typically based on three decisions:

  • What strategy to use in the copy of the follow-up?
  • How many emails will the sequence have and how they will be sent?
  • Do emails need to go under the same thread in prospects' inboxes?

Let's answer each separately.

How to write a follow-up email

In general terms, there are two frameworks that you can master. Both will help you understand how to write a follow-up, no matter the objective you have.

The first follow-up email example is popularly known as a reminder. Essentially, what you're doing is reminding prospects about your previous message.

There are plenty of ways in which you can do it. You can sum up your previous email and rephrase the important stuff differently. You can also try to be funny and maybe add a meme or a GIF. You can be creative, as long as your email remains grammatically correct. An email with obvious mistakes like not using good transition words and phrases can throw off the vibe of your message.

My only advice is to avoid sending messages such as "Just wondering if you saw my last email" if you had no prior connection with the prospect. In most cases, it'll annoy people. Every email exchange should sound human and get you one step closer to a fruitful relationship between the prospect and you.

Another way to send a follow-up email is to add value with every new email you send.

Meaning, you don't reveal all your cards in the first email. Quite the opposite, you tease more as your sequence continues.

If you manage to nail the message and address their pain points accordingly, this strategy will help you make it "harder" for them to decide not to reply to you.

How to send a follow-up email

More precisely, how to create a follow-up schedule, how many steps to add in a sequence, and what should be the delay between each.

Keep in mind that a universal schedule doesn't exist as it depends on many factors.

Delays are essential as you don't want to overwhelm prospects on one hand, nor let them forget about you on the other. Here's one typical framework in our marketing team:

How to send a follow up email
  • 2-day delay between emails 1 and 2
  • 4-day delay between emails 2 and 3
  • 4-day delay between emails 3 and 4

Ultimately, you always want to figure out the delay that's working for your prospects and not be a victim of other people's data.

One to-do you don't want to forget is to stop your sequence once a prospect replies.

It isn't cool for a prospect to receive another follow-up if they've answered the previous email. To avoid this situation, go to your campaign settings and tell lemlist when to stop sending your sequence.

How to send a follow up email

Follow-up subject lines

There are two types of situations that require two different follow-up subject line strategies.

Keep in mind that your subject line is the first thing you see in the inbox. So, to maximize your open rate, it should always be short and sharp.

If we're talking about a follow-up after the first email in your sequence, the best way to proceed is to keep the same subject as in the previous email. This way, all the emails from that sequence will be going under the same thread.

To make this work in lemlist, you'd just have to leave the follow-up subject line blank and it will be done automatically.

Follow up subject lines

But there are cases where your step 2 email is actually the first one to get sent. Imagine you met your prospect at a conference and you promised to follow up.

In this case, it's a good idea to be straightforward as they already know you and it's highly likely they will open your message. Here are some cold email subject line examples to get you inspired.

9 follow-up email template examples

There are different types of follow-up emails. We can be talking about a kind reminder, Β you can be bringing more value to the table, or continue to leverage storytelling, etc.

As long as your cold email is personalized and relevant, you're golden.

Let's see some templates now.

Follow-up email sample after no response

For people operating in the marketing space, this is the perfect follow-up email framework if you're trying to establish a partnership with someone.

Follow up email after no response

Follow-up email teardown:

  • Reference the previous step to make a quick transition
  • Do your research and replace the {{strongArgument}} custom tag with a sentence that will be different and personalized for every prospect. Remember to focus it on the prospect, not you... which means a lot of "you" and no "I" in your copywriting

Results: 14 emails sent, 86% open rate, 71% reply rate

Follow-up email to book meetings

The cold email follow-up you're about to see was inspired by one our users who goes by the name of Jeff Wenzel. Great message to book more meetings.

Follow up email to book meetings

Follow-up email teardown:

  • Seeing his first email fail to generate replies, Jeff switched the subject line and decided to make this follow-up special
  • Custom image is there to grab attention, but also add that feeling of uniqueness as his team is on there looking sharp
  • A simple call-to-action to make prospects' lives simpler

Results: 87% open and 23% reply rates

Btw, this is a brilliant email outreach strategy overall, as the custom image can transform into anything:

  • Profile pick of your prospect
  • Screenshot of their LinkedIn profile
  • Black background with teasing custom text
  • Funny image

Needless to say, Jeff became a trendsetter with this one and we labeled this as a Zoom follow-up strategy.

Sales follow-up email

Personalized video thumbnail strategy is the perfect solution. It will ramp up your click rate and if the content delivers, you'll crush it.

Sales follow up email

Follow-up email teardown:

  • Quick reference to connect the sequence
  • Make your prospect feel special because you made a video for them
  • Use personalized video thumbnail to show prospects that you are a real person and send them a unique video thumbnail so they have to see what's behind it.

Results: 40+ sales meetings during a week

There's an additional hack that will help you decrease friction when prospects are wondering whether to book a meeting with you.

It's called a dynamic landing page and it looks like this.

dynamic landing page
Create unique landing pages for your prospects in lemlist

What happens is, as soon as your prospect clicks on that thumbnail, they are redirected to a unique page that's made for their eyes only.

It contains their company logo, custom text, the video mentioned in the email, plus an embedded Calendly so that, as soon as you finish the video, it's super fast for them to book that meeting.

Of course, the process is fully scalable as all pages are automatically updated for every prospect. Here's a quick tutorial on how you can create your dynamic landing page.

Follow-up email after a meeting

When you finish a meeting, a demo, or any type of pitch, you should always follow up right after the call.

Follow up email after a meeting

Follow-up email teardown:

  • A light intro line so the prospect doesn't spend too much time reading it
  • Precisely defined next steps in bullet points for their convenience
  • Add extra value by sending them something that will help you convince them to buy your product/service... goes without saying it needs to be really good. Personalized image with creative custom text can help you drive click rate

Results: 20 emails sent, 85% open rate, 64% reply rate

Follow-up email after an event or a conference

Since this is typically the first email in the sequence, even though it's at the same time a follow up after meeting someone face-to-face, you ought to treat it carefully.

Follow-up email after an event or a conference

Follow-up email teardown:

  • Make sure not to wait too long to send it and refresh their memory with the {{topic}} custom tag
  • During your face-to-face, if you managed to tease the prospect without revealing your best secrets, this will give you the perfect opportunity to add a link that goes into details
  • Tailor your call-to-action to invite the prospect to reply and continue the conversation

Results: Tested after SaaStock 2019, 3 conversions from a total of 9 emails sent.

The last follow-up template

This follow-up email works great when you notice that the prospect hasn't replied to a few of your emails yet. Since they are probably not the right person to talk to in the company, perhaps they'll connect you with someone who is.

follow up template

Follow-up email teardown:

  • Deliver kindness by showing you understand you might have send too many emails and that you appreciate they haven't unsubscribed still
  • Use the {{topic}} custom tag to make it absolutely clear to what your email is referring to, so you make sure that it's easy for your prospect to connect you with the right person

Whether they answer or not, this message helps establish good relations for the future. You're sending a signal that you are not too pushy and that you are only trying to address the right person.

Networking follow-up email template

This is a follow-up email sample inspired by Cam, one of lemlist's first users. (link to sample query). In this case, Bri has used it for her networking campaign.

follow up email template

Follow-up email teardown:

  • Connecting your follow-up to the first message in a funny way is always a good idea because it resembles how humans tend to talk in real life
  • A personalized image to capture prospects' attention
  • Come back to the point in a straightforward way

Results: 45 emails sent, 100% open rate & 60% reply rate in the original example from Cam.

Webinar follow-up email template

One of the easiest ways to follow-up, yet incredibly important.

Webinar follow up email template

Follow-up email teardown:

  • Be quick to send a replay of your webinar to everyone
  • These emails are a great way to connect and expand your network on LinkedIn or any other platform
  • Andrei also added a cool custom image to continue raising his brand awareness and added the prospect's website screenshot to make it more personalized
  • If you have an engaged audience in your list, promoting your top content or next webinar can both be good ideas too

Results: 53% open rate, 42% reply rate... campaign example by Andrei

Interview follow-up email

If you want to follow up with your interviewer when chasing a job, here's an interesting idea for you.

Follow up email after an interview

Follow-up email teardown:

  • Always open the conversation by showing appreciation
  • The objective of this type of email is to stand out and confirm you're the right fit for the company. You want your {{launch}} and {{deliverable}} custom tags to become content that proves you understand what's at stake and that you'll get it done. Show your expertise and passion... this is how to send a follow-up email after an interview

Results: To be honest, we haven't tested this template as a follow-up. However, Vuk (our Head of Growth) and Simon (our B2B sales expert) have both used a similar cold email strategy to land jobs at lemlist.

Bottom line

Follow-up success depends on the same factors as any other cold email. You can either provide value, share useful information or entertain prospects.

Keep in mind that just because you send your follow-up email template and don't get a reply, it doesn't have to mean that prospects are not interested. Sometimes, they forgot to reply because of the million things that were going on in their life at that moment.

Finally, always remember the golden rule of cold email outreach. More follow-ups mean more replies.

Btw, we'd be proud to be your go-to cold email tool and should you decide to give lemlist a go, you can start for free.

Btw, we'd be proud to be your go-to cold email software and if you decide to take lemlist for a test, you can start for free.

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