Writing a follow-up email helps you establish stronger work relationships, leave a lasting impact and create more opportunities than a single-thread email. And that’s because a well-crafted follow-up email shows dedication towards achieving the objective.
Remember, in the age of digitalization, building and nurturing strong relationships has never been more crucial than now.
These connections serve as pillars for personal and professional growth, helping us navigate the intricacies of our fast-paced lives. As such, a well-crafted follow-up email is a powerful tool for lasting impact.
Whether you engage in critical business discussions, meaningful client interactions, essential job interviews, or simply wish to express gratitude, a follow-up email can hold tremendous potential.
In fact, emails with longer sequences (more follow-ups) yield a higher reply rate than shorter ones.
This article will be your ultimate guide on how to write a follow-up email.
We’ll cover the following aspects:
- The importance of follow-up emails
- Types of follow up emails
- Specific instances where follow up emails are necessary.
- When to send a follow-up email,
- Actionable insights and practical examples to help you navigate these crucial moments.
So, whether you're looking to secure that dream job, strengthen your client relationships, or simply maintain a positive presence in your network, get ready to master the art of follow-up emails.
Let's set you on the path to email success.
Start by Defining Your Follow Up Email Objective
It's important to acknowledge that conversion can mean different things to different people. That's why, before crafting your follow-up email, defining your objective is vital.
Ask yourself, "What is the end goal I want to achieve?"
Are you looking to secure a meeting?
Do you seek the opportunity to pitch your ideas to a potential client? Or you aim to obtain answers to specific questions.
Identifying your objective can tailor your follow-up email with the necessary call to action (CTA) to align with your intended outcome.
Benefits of Defining Email Objective
Whether scheduling a call, arranging a presentation, or seeking a response to specific inquiries, your objective guides the email creation process.
Defining your objective upfront helps you maintain focus and ensures your follow-up email is purposeful and targeted. It lets you structure your content, tone, and CTAs to serve your end goal best.
By clearly defining your aim, you can assess whether your email has effectively fulfilled its purpose. This evaluation process allows you to refine and improve your follow-up strategies, increasing the chances of achieving your desired conversion outcomes.
Essential Elements of a Successful Follow-up Email
A well-crafted follow-up email is a persuasive and effective communication tool.
You can significantly increase the chances of conversion by incorporating key components such as:
- A clear subject line,
- Email personalization,
- Identifying and highlighting the value proposition,
- Ending with a strong CTA (Call to Action),
- Writing concise content,
- Showing professionalism,
- And a follow-up plan.
Below are the top 5 recommended elements to incorporate in any follow-up email.
- Clear and Compelling Subject Line
The subject line is your first opportunity to capture the recipient's attention. It should be concise, specific, and compelling.
A well-crafted subject line sets the tone for your email and entices the recipient to open it. Consider incorporating personalization, urgency, or a benefit-driven statement.
To optimize your subject line, keep it under 50 characters to ensure your audience can read the subject line in whole and across various devices. Remember to pay attention to your wording as well.
Emails with "Quick" in the subject line were opened 17% less than those without. Conversely, subject lines with “tomorrow” were opened 10% more than those without.
- Personalization and Tailoring
One of the most impactful components of a follow-up email is personalization.
Address the recipient by their name and reference previous interactions or discussions to show that you value the relationship.
Tailor the content of the email to their specific needs, challenges, or interests. This level of personalization demonstrates your attentiveness and genuine interest in their success.
Begin your follow-up email by recapping the last conversation or interaction. This serves as a reminder and establishes a connection. Summarize the key points, highlighting any agreed-upon actions or commitments. Doing so refreshes their memory and demonstrates their attention to detail.
- Concise and Engaging Content
If you want a response, keep your follow-up email concise and focused.
Structure your content with short paragraphs and bullet points to enhance readability.
Use a conversational tone that is easy to read and understand. That’s because using engaging language that resonates with the recipient showcases your passion and enthusiasm. So to keep it simple, avoid excessive jargon or technical terms that may confuse the recipient.
- Value Proposition
Clearly articulate the value or benefit the recipient will gain by taking the desired action.
Whether it's a product, service, or idea, emphasize how it addresses their needs or solves their challenges.
Showcase the unique selling points and highlight what sets you apart from competitors. And to sell it properly, provide concrete examples, case studies, or testimonials to support your claims and build credibility.
- Call to Action (CTA)
Lastly, a strong and persuasive call to action is critical in guiding the recipient toward the desired outcome.
Make the next steps clear and specific, whether scheduling a meeting, purchasing or requesting further information. Use action-oriented language and create a sense of urgency to prompt immediate action.
You can also provide multiple contact options, such as email, phone, or a link to an online form, to make it convenient for them to respond.
When to Write a Follow-up Email
Knowing the right timing for sending a follow-up email is crucial to maximize its impact and effectiveness.
While it is important to stay top-of-mind, only send follow-ups occasionally or become overly persistent, as it may have the opposite effect and alienate the recipient.
Understanding the appropriate instances to write a follow-up email and incorporating these moments into your communication strategy can enhance your chances of success in various personal and professional endeavors.
To help you out, here are some instances when writing a follow-up email can help:
After a Job Application or Interview
Send a follow-up email within 24 hours to express your continued interest and gratitude for the opportunity. You can also use this opportunity to reiterate your qualifications and highlight any additional relevant information.
In Business Negotiations or Proposals
Send a follow-up email after a meeting, negotiation, or proposal submission to reinforce your points and keep the conversation moving forward.
Use the email to address any outstanding questions or concerns and express your eagerness to proceed.
After Networking Events or Conferences
Connect with individuals you met at networking events or conferences by sending a follow-up email within a week.
To add value, mention specific points of discussion or shared interests to jog their memory and strengthen the connection.
With Potential Clients or Customers
Follow up with potential clients or customers after an initial contact or sales pitch to nurture the relationship.
Ensure you send a personalized email emphasizing the value your product or service can provide. Also, don’t forget to add any additional information they may need to decide.
Regarding Important Deadlines or Deliverables
Send a follow-up email as a reminder for upcoming deadlines or to ensure deliverables are on track.
Use a polite and professional tone to communicate the urgency and importance of the matter.
After Sending a Request or Inquiry
If you have yet to receive a response to your initial request or inquiry, sending a follow-up email after a reasonable waiting period is appropriate.
In this email, remind the recipient of your initial message and express your continued interest in their response.
Send a follow-up email to express appreciation after receiving assistance, advice, or support from someone.
Remember to express gratitude for their time and guidance, and let them know their help's positive impact on you.
Types of Follow-up Emails (with templates)
In this section, we will explore specific scenarios and provide practical tips on how to write impactful follow-up emails for different situations.
Whether it's after an interview, in the absence of a response, for job inquiries, after a meeting, or following a networking event, we've got you covered.
If you send emails through Outlook, you can use Outlook plugins like Secure Mail Merge to create a mail merge template for sending context-specific personalized emails.
How to Write a Follow-Up Email After an Interview
Here are a few tips on how to write a follow up email after an interview.
- Express gratitude for the opportunity and reiterate your interest in the position.
- Mention specific highlights from the interview and how your skills align with the job requirements.
- Address any outstanding questions or concerns that may have arisen during the interview.
- Emphasize your enthusiasm and eagerness to contribute to the organization.
- End the email with a polite request for an update on the hiring process or next steps.
Here’s a template for a follow-up email after an interview.
Subject: Thank You For the Insightful Discussion Today
Dear [Interviewer's Name],
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to express my gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. It was a pleasure meeting you and the team, and I remain incredibly excited about the prospect of joining [Company Name].
During our conversation, I was especially struck by [specific highlights from the interview, i.e., the company's unique approach to strategy]. It aligns perfectly with my experience in [relevant skill or experience] and long-term vision for my career. The collaborative team culture further reinforced that [Company Name] is an ideal place for me to make meaningful contributions.
During the interview, I wanted to address a question regarding [specific concern or query]. After carefully considering it, I believe that [provide a thoughtful response or solution]. I am confident in my ability to overcome challenges and adapt quickly to contribute to the team's success.
I want to reiterate my enthusiasm for the opportunity to join [Company Name]. I am eager to bring my [mention specific skills or qualities] to the table and collaborate with the talented individuals on your team.
Please let me know of any updates or insights you can provide regarding the hiring process or the next steps. I understand your busy schedule and genuinely appreciate any information you can share. Please feel free to contact me if you require any additional materials or references.
Once again, thank you so much for considering me as a candidate for the [Job Title] position. It was a pleasure meeting you and the team, and I look forward to the possibility of contributing to [Company Name]'s continued success. Thank you for your time and consideration.
[Your Contact Information]
How to Write a Follow-Up Email After No Response
If you sent an email and didn’t get a response, it’s best to send a follow up email after a week or 5 business days.
Here are a few tips on how to write a follow up after no response.
- Begin by acknowledging the recipient's busy schedule and express understanding.
- Politely remind them of your initial message and the importance of the matter.
- Reiterate the purpose or request from your previous email concisely.
- Offer any additional information or context that might be helpful.
- Close the email with a friendly and open-ended question to encourage a response.
Here’s a template for a follow-up email after no response.
Subject: Following Up on [Specific Subject]
Dear [Recipient's Name],
I am following up on my previous email regarding [specific subject] as I am still waiting to receive a response. I hope this email finds you well amidst your busy schedule. I’m sure you receive numerous messages daily, so I genuinely appreciate your time and consideration.
My initial email was regarding [summarize the purpose or request concisely] to provide a quick recap. Given [briefly mention any time-sensitive or critical aspects], I wanted to ensure that my message reached you and inquire if there are any updates or if I can provide any additional information to move the process forward.
Should you require further context or details, I am more than happy to provide any additional information that may assist in addressing the matter effectively.
Please let me know if there are any specific aspects you would like me to elaborate on or if you have any supporting documents I can provide.
I understand your schedule is demanding, but I would be incredibly grateful if you could let me know your thoughts or provide an update at your earliest convenience.
I look forward to hearing from you and further discussing [specific subject].
Thank you for your attention.
[Your Contact Information]
How to Write a Follow-Up Email for a Job
Have you recently applied for a job?
If you haven’t heard from your recruiter or the manager you applied through, you can send a follow up email using these tips:
- Start by expressing appreciation for the opportunity to apply for the job.
- Highlight specific qualifications that make you a strong fit for the role
- Reiterate your interest and enthusiasm for the position
- Mention any additional relevant achievements or experiences not included in your initial application
- Include a polite request for an update on the status of your application or next steps.
Here’s a template for a follow-up email for a job.
Subject: Excited about Opportunities at [Company Name]
Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],
I hope this email finds you well. I am writing to inform you of my application for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. Learning more about the opportunities at [Company Name] was a pleasure, and I am keen to explore them further.
There is a strong alignment between my qualifications and the role's demands. Specifically, my experience in [mention specific skills or qualifications] has equipped me with the necessary expertise to excel in this position. Additionally, my [note other relevant skills or experiences] would enable me to contribute positively to the [Company Name] team.
I am reiterating my interest and enthusiasm for the [Job Title] role. The [Company Name] culture and values and the opportunity to [mention specific aspects of the job or company that excite you] truly resonate with my career aspirations. My skills and passion would enable me to make a valuable contribution to the team.
I understand that you receive numerous applications and that the selection process takes time. Nevertheless, if possible, I’d greatly appreciate any updates you can provide on the hiring timeline.
Thank you again for considering my application and for the opportunity to join the [Company Name] team. I look forward to further discussing my qualifications with you.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
[Your Contact Information]
How to Write a Follow-Up Email After a Meeting
When you have important meetings with a client or a different department within the company, you must send a follow-up email to address any questions.
Use these tips to write a follow up email after a meeting:
- Begin by expressing gratitude for the meeting and thanking the participants for their time.
- Recap the key points discussed during the meeting to show your attentiveness.
- Highlight any action items or commitments made during the meeting.
- Address any follow-up questions or additional information requested during the meeting.
- Express your willingness to provide further assistance or clarification if needed.
Here’s a template for a follow-up email after a meeting.
Subject: Appreciate your time today, [Name]!
Dear [Meeting Participant's Name],
I hope this email finds you well. Thank you for meeting with me today and discussing [meeting topic] —I saw your insights and perspectives as precious.
Our meeting was quite productive. I appreciate the open and engaging discussion, which allowed us to delve into the key points surrounding [meeting topic].
To recap our discussion, we covered [briefly summarize the main topics or critical points discussed]. We made significant progress in [mention any decisions, agreements, or actions taken].
I am fully committed to fulfilling my responsibilities and contributing to the project's success. We identified several action items and commitments during the meeting to move forward. I will update you on the progress of the following action items: [list of action items].
It was a pleasure to engage in such a stimulating conversation, and I am excited about the potential outcomes of our collaboration. I look forward to our ongoing communication and working together to achieve our objectives.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
[Your Contact Information]
How to Write a Follow-Up Email After Networking
Networking is essential in today’s business world. Because of the remote work culture taking over the creative industry, keeping in touch with the people or companies you network with is essential.
So to stay on their radar, send them a follow up email using these tips:
- Start by mentioning the networking event or how you were connected with the recipient.
- Express gratitude for the opportunity to connect and mention something you appreciated about the interaction.
- Reference any shared interests, discussions, or potential collaborations.
- Express your desire to maintain the connection and suggest a future meeting or follow-up action.
- Offer any assistance or resources relevant to their work or interests.
Here’s a template for a follow-up email after networking.
Subject: Hey, it’s [your name] from [Networking Event]
Dear [Contact's Name],
I hope this email finds you well. It was lovely meeting you at [name of the networking event]. Thank you so much for your contact details and what I felt was a meaningful conversation.
During our discussion, I particularly appreciated [specific aspect or topic]. Learning more about your experiences in [mention relevant shared interest or industry] was inspiring. Given our shared interests, there are potential opportunities for us to collaborate or support each other's endeavors.
I would love to explore these possibilities and discuss how we can contribute to each other's professional growth.
I’d like to schedule a meeting in person or virtually to delve deeper into our shared interests and opportunities for potential collaborations.
In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to let me know of any relevant contacts, articles, or insights that might be of value to you.
Once again, thank you for the inspiring conversation and your willingness to connect. I look forward to hearing from you and exploring the exciting possibilities.
[Your Contact Information]
How To Set Automatic Follow-up Emails for Outlook?
In Outlook, setting reminders for yourself on when to follow up on specific messages is a helpful feature.
When you send a message that requires a response and want to ensure you don't forget about it, you can flag it for yourself.
You'll see a to-do item in Tasks, and the Tasks peek by adding a flag. To flag a message, click "Message" and select "Follow Up."
You can choose from options like "Today," "Tomorrow," "This Week," "Next Week," "No Date," or "Custom." Additionally, you can add a reminder for yourself by clicking on "Follow Up" and selecting "Add Reminder."
Enter the date and time for when you want the reminder dialog box to appear.
For recipients, you can also flag a message to add extra emphasis. A flag appears in the message list, and text appears above the From line in the message.
To flag a message for recipients, follow the same steps as flagging for yourself, but select "Custom." In the Custom dialog box, check the "Flag for Recipients" box and enter a description or action for the flag.
You can include a reminder for recipients by checking the "Flag for Recipients" box and entering the date and time for the reminder dialog box to appear.
It's essential to use discretion when adding a reminder to a flag for recipients, considering whether interrupting the recipient with a reminder dialog box is necessary or if a flag alone is sufficient.
Streamline Your Follow Up Emails With Secure Mail Merge for Outlook
If you're an entrepreneur, an email marketer, or managing multiple correspondences, Secure Mail Merge should be your #1 plugin for Outlook.
With SecureMailMerge, you can send multiple messages tailored to various contexts by creating specific templates and incorporating personalization tokens.
You can also send emails directly from your Microsoft 365 account, ensuring they appear as you sent them. This not only improves deliverability but also boosts response rates.
Moreover, you can easily send campaigns to recipients from your personal or shared address book, including their personalized information like name, company, or department.
Secure Mail Merge also supports various spreadsheet types for recipient selection, such as Excel, CSV, TXT, Numbers, OpenDocument, and more.
There are no message or attachment size limitations, allowing you to send large files, lengthy messages, videos, or multiple images as needed. You can add individual attachments, such as personal invoices or custom reports, by including the filenames in your spreadsheet.
SecureMailMerge is the best way to achieve faster results while streamlining your email communication process.
Download free follow-up email templates
Enjoyed this article?
We have a whole library of useful articles for you to readShow me the library of Outlook articles