When to Send Follow Up Email for the Best Results

Apr 2, 2023

If you don’t ask, you don’t get. It’s an old saying that means that those who are bold to ask for something get rewarded.

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It’s no wonder then that email outreach has become so prevalent in the world of business. You’re one email away from your next business opportunity or job and all it takes is reaching out to the right email address.

Unfortunately, we’re all getting bombarded with emails daily. The average person gets about 120 emails every day and the one you’re sending them has to fight to get attention. This means that sending just one email is often not enough and it takes more than a catchy subject line for sales emails to stand out with your cold email campaigns.

What you can do is follow up and send a second (or third, fourth, and so on) email to remind the recipient about your initial message.

Today, we’ll talk about follow up emails – what they are, how and when to send them, and what to do to increase their chances of success. Let’s help you become a follow up email pro by the end of this article.

What are follow up emails?

Follow up emails are the emails you send after your initial cold outreach email. This is a type of email after no response is received from the email recipient from the first touchpoint.

They serve to remind the recipient that you reached out to them. The main reason you want to send follow up emails is that the original emails tend to get buried in your recipients’ inboxes and sometimes they forget to respond despite their best intentions.

There are different types of follow up emails, based on the intended results and use case. For example:

  • Sales follow up emails
  • Link building follow up emails (asking for a guest post or a link)
  • Meeting follow up emails
  • Cold emails for follow up
  • Follow up emails for job interviews sent to a hiring manager or some other person in the hiring process
  • And many other types of follow up emails

Why sending follow up emails is a good idea

You may think of a follow up email as borderline spam. In reality, they are a necessity for a handful of reasons. Here are some practical ones.

  1. Your original message was buried in a sea of promotional junk mail
  2. The recipient wanted to reply but got sidetracked by something else and missed your initial email
  3. They are simply more effective – follow-up emails have a 40% higher average reply rate compared to the first email you send out
  4. It takes about 4 times for a customer to say yes when reaching out. This means that just one or two sales follow up emails is not enough and follow-up is necessary, no matter what you’re selling and whom you’re reaching out to
  5. You want to try out different email subject lines, follow up sequences, calls to action and many other aspects that you couldn’t cover in your initial email

When to send follow up emails

The truth is, there is no single definitive answer to this question. It depends on what you’re sending the follow up email for, whether it’s cold emails or those for a warm audience, what your expected results are and much more.

However, the ideal time to send your first polite follow up email is three to five days after your first email. As for any emails after that, adjust the time between the follow up emails depending on the total number of emails you plan to send out. After the second email, you can space them apart between one to two weeks from each other.

For example, if you plan to send five emails total, this is how the schedule would look like:

January 1 – first email

January 4 – second email

January 9 – third email

January 15 – fourth email

January 25 – fifth and final follow up email

While following up and staying on top of mind is the ultimate goal, you don’t want to clog up someone’s email account with daily emails. Not only will this make your target audience ignore your emails but the recipient might also flag them as spam. One too many spam complaints and your sender’s reputation goes down the drain. So, factor in a waiting period in your cold email campaigns.

How many times to follow up with emails

You’re not going to like the answer, but it’s going to be another case of “it depends”. As we’ve highlighted above, it takes about four “nos” until you get a “yes” from a prospect, so five emails should be a good rule of thumb. How many follow ups you need depends on a lot of factors.

However, research shows that about 70% of all email sequences stop after a single email. This means that a huge portion of your competitors are not following up after a single interaction, which is your chance to shine.

Another research shows that email sequences with 3-4 emails get three times the responses compared to those with 1-3 emails. So, how many follow ups is good? And how many followups are too many follow ups for cold email campaigns?

So, it does depend on a variety of factors, but if you want the best results possible, aim for anywhere between 3 and 7 emails total in a follow up sequence. As it turns out, there is such a thing as too many follow ups and after email 7, your results will start to decline.

How to write the ideal follow up email – tips for success

You probably already have a great first email you’re sending out to prospects. Now, we’re going to find out how to write the follow up email(s) that will help you seal the deal.

Determine what your goal is

Why are you sending out emails in the first place? Most typically, marketers and salespeople create a follow up sequence to get more prospects interested.

Determining what you want to do is key as you’ll know how many follow up emails you want to send and what content to include in them.

Remember to add a call to action in your first email

One of the main reasons why the first email flops and requires a follow up is that you have not made it clear what you want in the first email. For example, this is not a good ending to an email:

“Let me know if you’re interested and we can schedule a call.”

Instead, try this:

“If you’re interested in our product, use this link to book a demo with our sales team in the next week.”

Don’t beat around the bush and close your first email with a strong call to action. There’s only so much time the prospect has to read your email, so get to the point quickly and drive it home. It’s a fine line you need to walk between overly salesy and polite, which is why it’s a great idea to test out different CTAs for better response rates – but more on that later.

Do not resend your first email

If you’re sending your follow up email from the same address as the first one, the recipient will see all of your emails in a thread. You should avoid the situation where you send the first email over and over again, no matter how effective it may be. Also, try to avoid using the same subject of email in your follow up email if you want better open rates.

The second (and each subsequent) email should be a reminder about the previous interactions you had with the recipient. Tell them what you messaged them about before and remind them that your offer from the previous message (from the call to action) still stands.

Most of the time, if a prospect has read your first email, they remember some of it. However, in a follow up email, they need a reminder of what you were offering and what specifically they can gain from it.

You can also add a sense of urgency and say that your offer will be valid for just a couple of days. Consider this a gentle nudge but don’t overuse it because it can be seen as a gimmick trick. It can ruin your chances of a positive response if not done correctly.

Validate your email addresses before sending out anything

There is nothing worse than hearing crickets when you send out an email follow up campaign. One of the reasons for this is that the emails you sent out went to addresses that are inaccurate or no longer exist.

Before doing any sales outreach, whether it’s a cold email or you’re reaching out to a known audience, verify the email addresses in Bouncer. In just a few seconds, you’ll know if the addresses still exist and whether you should hit “send”.

Remember, no follow up email will work if the first email didn’t even make it to a recipient’s inbox. This is where Bouncer comes in, making sure you’re sending emails to real addresses and always reaching the right person.

Keep it short and sweet

As we’ve explained above, your recipient already got the most important information in the body of the first email. For the first one, you can make the body longer to explain what the offer is about and how it provides more value to their business.

However, each sales follow up email should be short and to the point, with two or three paragraphs and not more than that. If they need more info, they can click on the email thread and read the first email from the interaction. The aim of a follow up is purely to remind them about the original message you sent.

Be nice and don’t try to be condescending

Have you ever received one of those emails where the sender is telling you that you’re obviously too busy so they won’t bother you with more emails? Or a follow up email telling you that this is the last time they’re reaching out (as they’re promising)?

No matter how tempting it may be to be snarky and condescending to your recipients, avoid it at all costs. You’re not going to get any more responses if you come off as someone with a bad attitude.

Moreover, don’t close the door and say you’re not going to send any more follow up emails. The specific recipient could be more open to your offer(s) a few months down the line so it’s worth trying again.

Change your subject line and call to action

Perhaps the offer is enticing but you’re trying to get the recipient hooked from the wrong angle with your follow up email. Or perhaps the offer is amazing but you’re sending it to the wrong person. There could be many scenarios, which is why it’s useful to have alternative calls to action in the body of your follow up emails.

For example, you can ask the prospect to get a live demo of a product instead of talking directly to sales reps. Or if you’re asking for links or a guest post in follow up emails, ask the prospect to recommend the right person in this particular company who is better suited to talk about this topic and hop on a brief phone call.

The same logic applies to writing subject lines in follow up emails, as they are the first thing each recipient sees. Make sure that the subject of email addresses the key pain points of your audience and test out different variations in length and topic for the best results.

Once you have a few successful email follow up campaigns under your belt, you’ll have a better idea of what CTAs work with what kind of audience so you can switch them up for the best results. At this point, you can build a successful sales follow up email template you can reuse in future email marketing campaigns.

Use a follow up email template

Coming up with new and amazing follow up emails all the time is exhausting. Once you’ve sent a fair share of emails, you’ll master the art of the follow up and build a swipe file with amazing follow up email templates.

These can significantly cut down the time it takes to run an email follow up sequence. However, make sure to keep split testing and trying out new things because a single tweak in a subject line or a call to action can make a massive difference in your email marketing metrics, such as bounce rate.

16 examples of follow up email templates you can use today

Want to send follow up emails but have no idea where to get started? Here are some hand-picked examples that you can use today. If not, they can be a great inspiration to help you get started. These follow up email templates work for a variety of use cases, such as sales, link building reports, meeting inquiries and more. All you have to do is change the follow up templates a little bit and you’re good to go.

Example 1:

Subject line: Quick Reminder: Feedback on Project Proposal


Hi [Recipient’s Name],


I hope this email finds you well. I just wanted to send a quick reminder about the project proposal I sent you on [Date] in my previous email. I’m eager to hear your thoughts and feedback so we can make any necessary adjustments and move forward with the project.


If you’ve already reviewed the proposal, please let me know your thoughts at your earliest convenience. If you need more time, that’s perfectly fine too – just let me know when I can expect your feedback.


Thank you for your attention, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 2:

Subject line: Checking In: Meeting Request Follow-Up


Dear [Recipient’s Name],


I hope you are doing well. I wanted to follow up on our meeting request that I sent on [Date] in my previous email. I understand that you are quite a busy person, but I believe our discussion on [Topic] would be greatly beneficial for both our teams.


If you haven’t had a chance to review my previous email, please take a moment to look it over and let me know your availability for a meeting – if it is not too much trouble. If you have any questions or require further information, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


Thank you, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 3:

Subject line: Friendly Reminder: Outstanding Action Items


Hi [Recipient’s Name],


I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to follow up on the action items we discussed during our last meeting on [Date]. As a quick recap of my previous email, the outstanding tasks include:


[Action Item 1]

[Action Item 2]

[Action Item 3]


I understand that everyone has a busy schedule, but it would be great if you could provide an update on the progress of these tasks. This will help us stay on track and ensure the success of our project.


If you have any questions or need assistance with any of these items, please feel free to reach out. I’m here to help.


Thank you, and I look forward to your response.


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 4:

Subject line: Touching Base: Networking Event Follow-Up


Hello [Recipient’s Name],


It was a pleasure meeting you at the [Name of Networking Event] last week. I enjoyed our conversation about [Topic], and I wanted to follow up on the resources and contacts you mentioned during our discussion.


If you could kindly provide the information, I would be very grateful. Additionally, if there’s anything I can help you with or any resources I can share, please don’t hesitate to ask – I am attaching my calendar link below.


I hope we can stay connected and find opportunities to collaborate in the future. Thanks again for your time.


Kind regards,

[Your Name]

Example 5:

Subject line: Our Chat Left Me Buzzing 🐝: Following Up on Our Conversation


Hey [Recipient’s Name],


Remember that stimulating conversation we had at [Event Name] about [Topic]? It’s been buzzing around my head like a caffeinated honeybee ever since! I couldn’t help but send you a follow-up email to express my appreciation for our engaging chat.


I’d love to pick your brain further about [Specific Detail] and explore the possibility of collaborating on a project or bouncing more ideas off each other. If you’re game, please let me know your availability for a quick call or video chat – my meeting link is below.


In the meantime, if you stumble upon any fascinating articles or resources related to our discussion, feel free to pass them along so I can get started thinking in the right direction. I’m always eager to learn more and stay ahead of the hive. 🐝


Looking forward to our next buzzworthy conversation!


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 6:

Subject line: Let’s Taco ‘Bout That Report 🌮: Checking in on Progress


Hi [Recipient’s Name],


As you know, we’ve been cooking up the [Project Name] report like a delicious batch of tacos, and I wanted to check in on how the salsa – I mean, progress – is coming along. We’re nearing our deadline of [Date], and I’d hate for our taco to be missing any key ingredients!


Just a quick refresher, the remaining tasks we need to complete include:


[Task 1]

[Task 2]

[Task 3]


If you could kindly provide a status update on these items, it would be muy apreciado. If you’re feeling the heat or need help with any of these tasks, please don’t hesitate to reach out – I’m happy to lend a hand or provide a dollop of encouragement.


Let’s wrap this report up like a perfectly rolled burrito and keep our momentum going. I’m confident that together, we can create a final product that’s as satisfying as a plate of freshly-made tacos.


Thank you, and looking forward to your response!


Hasta luego,

[Your Name]

Example 7:

Subject line: Seeking Clarity: Following the Paper Trail 📄


Greetings [Recipient’s Name],


In the thrilling world of paperwork, I found myself on a quest to review our recent [Project/Document Name], only to realize that your valuable input is still pending as per my previous email. As we march towards the deadline on [Date], I’m reaching out to request your expert commentary and feedback.


To refresh your memory, here are the key points we’d like your insights on:


[Point 1]

[Point 2]

[Point 3]


If you’ve already navigated the labyrinthine depths of our document and have feedback in hand, please send it my way. If not, there’s still time to embark on this page-turning adventure!


Should you require any assistance or have any questions, I’m here to help. Together, we’ll ensure our [Project/Document Name] is a bestseller!


Kind regards,

[Your Name]

Example 8:

Subject line: Great Chat! Let’s Take the Next Step


Hi [Recipient’s Name],


It was a pleasure speaking with you during our sales call today. I appreciate your interest in [Product/Service] and believe it could truly benefit your business.


To help you make an informed decision, I’ve attached a detailed product brochure and pricing options. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.


Looking forward to your response and potentially working together!


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 9:

Subject line: Following Up on Our Meeting: A Quick Recap


Hello [Recipient’s Name],


Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. As we discussed, our [Product/Service] has the potential to enhance your business operations by [Key Benefit].


For your reference, here’s a brief recap of our discussion:


[Key Point 1]

[Key Point 2]

[Key Point 3]


Please let me know if you require any further information or if you’re ready to move forward. I’m here to assist you.


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 10:

Subject line: Missed Our Sales Call? Let’s Reschedule


Hi [Recipient’s Name],


I noticed we weren’t able to connect during our scheduled sales call today. I understand that unforeseen circumstances can arise, so I wanted to offer the opportunity to reschedule at a more convenient time.


Please let me know your availability over the next week, and I’ll be happy to arrange a new call to discuss how our [Product/Service] can benefit your business.


Looking forward to speaking with you soon!


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 11:

Subject line: Trial Run Success? Let’s Discuss Next Steps


Hello [Recipient’s Name],


I hope you’ve had a positive experience during your trial of our [Product/Service]. It was a pleasure introducing it to you during our recent meeting, and I’m eager to hear your thoughts and feedback.


If you’re ready to discuss the next steps or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help you make the most of our offering.


Looking forward to your response!


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 12:

Subject line: Let’s Keep the Ball Rolling ⚽: Following Up on Our Conversation


Hello [Recipient’s Name],


It was great talking to you about [Topic] during our last conversation. I’ve been giving our discussion some thought, and I believe we have a real opportunity to collaborate and achieve something fantastic and create additional value for both of our businesses.


To keep the momentum going, I’d like to propose a follow-up meeting or call to discuss potential next steps. Please let me know your availability over the next week, and I’ll be happy to arrange a suitable time.


Looking forward to keeping the ball rolling together!


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 13:

Subject line: Unlocking Potential 🔑: A Quick Follow-Up


Hi [Recipient’s Name],


Our recent conversation left me feeling inspired and excited about the potential for growth and success within our respective businesses. I believe that by working together, we can unlock even greater opportunities.


If you have any additional thoughts or ideas since our last exchange, please don’t hesitate to share them. Let’s schedule a follow-up call or meeting to continue exploring the possibilities.


Eager to unlock our potential together!


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 14:

Subject: Let’s Catch the Next Wave 🌊: Following Up on Our Collaboration Ideas


Hey [Recipient’s Name],


Our last conversation about potential collaboration ideas left me feeling energized and optimistic about what we can achieve together and the additional value we can provide for each other. It’s clear that we’re both passionate about riding the wave of innovation and success.


To keep our ideas afloat, let’s schedule a brainstorming session soon. Please let me know your availability, and we can dive deeper into the details of our potential partnership.


Excited to catch the next wave with you!


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 15:

Subject: Rekindling the Spark: Revisiting Our Previous Discussion 🔥


Hello [Recipient’s Name],


I hope this email finds you well. It’s been a while since we last discussed the potential of [Project/Partnership/Initiative], and I wanted to touch base and see if you’re still interested in exploring this opportunity.


I believe that rekindling the spark of our previous conversation could lead to a mutually beneficial outcome. If you’re open to it, let’s schedule a call or meeting to revisit the topic and discuss any new ideas or developments.


Looking forward to reigniting our conversation!


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Example 16:

Subject: Building Bridges 🌉: A Friendly Follow-Up


Hi [Recipient’s Name],


In the spirit of building strong professional connections,


I wanted to follow up on our previous conversation regarding [Topic or Project]. Your insights and expertise in this area left a lasting impression, and I believe our collaboration could lead to valuable outcomes for both parties.


If you’re still interested in pursuing this opportunity, let’s schedule a follow-up call or meeting to discuss next steps and any new developments. Please let me know your availability, and we can start building bridges towards a successful partnership.


Looking forward to strengthening our professional connection and creating additional value for both of us!


Best regards,

[Your Name]

Wrapping up

Following up truly is an art form of email marketing. It takes an in-depth knowledge of your target audience, your offer, timing and striking the right balance of emails. As demanding as it may sound, do it right and it will turn into an invaluable marketing and sales strategy for any business.

Speaking of which, every business starts their email marketing strategy with a list of contacts. Make sure your list is clean and validated with Bouncer so you only send emails to real people who might purchase from you.

 Sign up today and clean up your email list for better follow up email results!

Frequently asked questions

What is the biggest mistake you can make with follow up emails?

Probably not realizing the recipients’ pain points and trying to shoot blindly and guess what their actual problems are.

Which is the best sales follow up email template?

There is no “one” template that works best. The ones listed above are a great starting point, but you’ll have to change and adapt each template for your use case and audience to get the maximum results out of it.

What is the best way to write a polite follow up email?

Be professional and courteous and assume that they’ve overlooked your previous email. Be short and to the point. Don’t put the blame on them for not responding the first time around and thank them for their time.

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