In order to close sales, you need to be serious about following up with your prospects.
Unfortunately, many sales reps struggle to send effective follow-up emails that grab their recipients’ attention without spamming their inbox.
It’s important to put thought into every component of your follow-up emails, including your subject line, what you say, and when you send it. An effective follow-up can re-open stalled opportunities, keep you on your prospect’s mind, and get the ball rolling on your next sale.
This article will show you how to write a sales follow-up email that gets a response and isn’t annoying.
Writing Better Follow-Up Emails Can Skyrocket Your Sales
Did you know that 80% of all sales require five follow-ups to close?
Unfortunately for the overwhelming majority of sales reps who fail to follow up five times (92% to be exact), there’s a small yet persistent group of reps landing most of the deals.
Even worse, 44% of all reps gives up after one measly follow-up attempt!
Here’s the exact breakdown according to research by Marketing Donut:
- 44% of sales reps stop following up after one rejection or ignored email
- 22% of reps stop after two attempts
- 14% of reps stop after three attempts
- 12% of reps stop after four attempts
The math works out to suggest that 8% of salespeople are scoring 80% of the deals!
Even if following-up isn’t your favorite part of the job, it’s absolutely crucial to your success. If you give up before that crucial fifth follow-up, you’re shutting down the bulk of your sales potential.
The key is to strike a balance between sending attention-grabbing follow-up emails and driving your prospect crazy with incessant messages.
How to NOT be Annoying When Following Up
Want to get someone’s attention without scaring them away? Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
- Make it easy for them to respond: Make sure your subject line and call to action are as specific as possible. The more emails your prospect receives every day, the less likely they are to read each one. If you send them a wall of text with no clear direction, they aren’t likely to reply. If you want them to take a certain action – tell them!
- Don’t flag your email as high priority: No matter what you’re selling, your follow-up message is probably not a matter of life and death. Rather than ensuring it gets read, marking a sales email as urgent comes off as arrogant and could get your message deleted. If you really want to stand out in your contact’s inbox, take the time to write a relevant, punchy, personalized subject line.
- Be respectful of their time: Give prospect’s a reasonable window of time before sending a follow-up message. Even if you have to follow-up five times (as is required by most sales!), you can avoid spamming your prospect by spacing them out appropriately. Sending a follow-up email too soon tells the recipient you don’t respect their busy schedule.
Timing is Everything: When to Send a Follow-Up Email for Best Results
If you’re not concerned about getting the timing right, you’re following up wrong. Exactly when you send a hit (or schedule your emails to send it) is one of the most important aspects of an effective follow-up.
So, here’s the big question: how long should you wait before sending a follow-up email?
The bad news is that there’s no easy answer. The best times and days to send an email vary greatly depending on who you’re contacting.
The good news is that, in most cases, you can confidently follow-up every three to four days without making your prospect feel overwhelmed.
The even better news? Technology makes following up easier than ever. You can write, format, and schedule follow-up emails in advance using a CRM like Propeller, so none of your opportunities slip through the cracks.
10 Sales Follow-Up Email Templates You Can Steal
Now, let’s dive into those email templates. We’ve provided ten follow-up email templates that you can use at different stages of the sales process, including when to send them and suggested subject lines.
1. Following Up After Your First Meeting
Subject: Are you ready to discuss our next steps?
I’d like to thank you for your time and find out how you’d like to proceed from here.
Are you ready to [SPECIFIC NEXT STEP]?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
When to use it? After your first sales call or meeting with a potential customer. Use this email as an opportunity to build a positive relationship, stay top-of-mind, and build momentum to drive the sale forward.
2. Following Up After a Sales Demo
Subject 1: Great talking with you today!
Subject 2: One more thing before I forget
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to meet with you today. Here’s a quick recap of the key points we covered:
- [BENEFIT A]
- [BENEFIT B]
- [BENEFIT C]
Do you have any questions about what our solution can do for [PROSPECT’S COMPANY]? When is a convenient time to chat about this over the phone?
When to use it? After a product demo when your presentation is still fresh in the prospect’s mind.
3. Following Up After a Phone Call or Meeting
Subject 1: I got your request approved!
Subject 2: Looks like we’re good to go
[NAME], I’m writing to say thanks for giving me the chance to speak with you on [DAY] – and to deliver some good news.
I checked in with my [BOSS or WAREHOUSE] and they would be happy to arrange [SPECIAL REQUEST].
Please let me know how you would like to proceed.
When to use it? After you’ve had a sales meeting with a potential customer who needs a few days to think it over or an extra incentive to commit. Whether they specifically requested a custom solution or you’re going out of your way to secure them a specific offer, this template allows you to re-open the conversation on a very positive note.
4. Following Up After Leaving a Voicemail
Subject 1: Is there a better time we can talk?
Subject 2: Tried to call you just now
I tried calling but assume you’re busy at the moment. I know how it goes.
When you have a moment, please call me back at [NUMBER] or reply here to let me know if there’s a better time for me to phone you.
Hope to talk soon.
When to use it? As soon as you hang up the phone! Always pair a voicemail message with a quick email to reinforce the impact of your follow-up.
5. Following Up After a Trigger Event
Subject 1: Do you want more information?
Subject 2: Would you like to discuss next steps?
I trust that you’ve had a chance to read my previous message and check out our products online, so I thought it was a good time to check in with you again.
Have you had a chance to think over my proposal? I’m happy to chat on the phone to answer any questions you may have.
Are you free [SPECIFIC TIME] or [SPECIFIC TIME] for a quick conversation?
When to use it? If you’re using a CRM to track email opens and analytics, you can send this email shortly after a prospect has opened one of your previous messages or visited your website.
6. Following Up After a Networking Event
Subject 1: I’m glad we crossed paths today, [NAME]
Subject 3: You might want to see this
It was great connecting with you at [EVENT] on [DATE].
I was thinking about what you said about [PROSPECT PAIN POINT] and thought you might appreciate this case study on how we helped a similar company achieve [GOAL] in [TIMEFRAME]: [LINK to relevant case study or article].
I would love to discuss how we can make this solution work for you. Are you free for a phone call on [DATE] at [TIME A], [TIME B], or [TIME C]?
When to use it? Use this template to follow-up with prospects after meeting at a trade show or industry event. It serves the dual purpose of reminding the recipient of who you are and what your company offers, as well as finding out how serious they are about making a purchase in the near future.
7. Following Up When You Have the Wrong Contact
Subject 1: Can you help me?
Subject 2: I hope you can set me straight
I reached out to you a few days ago about [COMPANY OR PRODUCT] and it struck me afterwards that I may have missed the mark.
Are you the right person to talk to about this? If not, could you please tell me who I should contact?
Thanks for your help.
When to use it? If you realize the person you’re in contact with doesn’t have buying power or seems reluctant to commit to a purchase without checking in with a colleague.
8. Following Up After Radio Silence
Subject 1: A few things you should know about [COMPANY NAME]
Subject 2: This might be of interest to you, [FIRST NAME]
Hi again, [NAME],
I emailed you a while ago about [COMPANY OR PRODUCT] and how I think we could be a great fit for [PROSPECT’S COMPANY].
Did you know that our client’s report [ACHIEVEMENT] when they use our [PRODUCT OR SERVICE]? We also provide [BENEFIT A] and [BENEFIT B] to companies just like yours.
Would you like to hear about this solution in more detail? I’d be happy to fill you in!
When to use it? If you’ve sent a previous email or two and never heard back. Curate interesting pieces of content that you can send to potential clients when you need to recapture their attention.
9. Following Up After Multiple Follow Ups
Subject: Still hoping to connect
I’m sorry we haven’t been able to connect recently. The last time we spoke, you seemed quite interested in [PRODUCT OR SOLUTION].
I realize that you’re incredibly busy, so I’d be happy to schedule a call with you at any time that works for you – even if it falls outside of office hours.
I don’t mean to bother you, but would appreciate some indication of your decision either way.
When to use it? When you’ve already sent multiple follow-ups and still haven’t heard from the prospect. If you don’t get a response after following up on your original follow-ups, it might be time to send over a breakup email.
10. Following Up with A Breakup Email
Subject 1: Can I close your file?
Subject 2: Is this the end?
I’m in the process of clearing out my sales pipeline and I thought I should let you know that you’re on my delete list.
If you’re no longer interested, do I have permission to permanently close your file?
If you are still interested, what would you like to do as a next step?
Thanks for your help.
When to use it? Only resort to this type of message when you’ve followed up already five or more times and still haven’t heard back.