7 sales follow-up emails that get better responses

Following up sales emails or calls with another email is something everyone in sales does, almost without fail, every week. It’s rarely a fun task, and often follow-ups are frustrating.

Every follow-up is hoping for a response, so anything you can do to improve response rates is worth the time and investment.

It’s also worth remembering that follow-ups are often a diminishing return on investment. There are only so many messages, emails, or calls you can make before giving up on any particular sales lead. Knowing how much one positive response can make a difference, we’ve put together a list of follow-ups that increase success rates. We hope you find them useful:

#1: After leaving a voicemail

#2: Follow-up after an initial meeting

#3: Follow-up to confirm a meeting/call

#4: Second, third and fourth follow-up

#5: About to give up

#6: Reconnect email

#7: After a trade show

7 follow-up emails you need to use

Let’s start with an email after a voicemail. Yes, you’ve just left a voicemail. However, this is a short reminder to indicate you want to connect.

According to Colleen Francis, owner of Engage Selling Solutions, this has an 80% response rate within 24 hours. It’s short, and so makes it easier to encourage a prospect to provide an answer.

#1: After leaving a voicemail

Here is a handy template to follow-up after leaving a voicemail.

Hi [prospect name],

Sorry I missed your call today. I was giving you a call because [ one/two lines about why ].

In my voicemail, I said I would call again on [day/time], and if you want to call me I’m available on [phone number].

Best,

[ name ]

Next, how do you respond after having one meeting with a prospect? If it went well, this is even more important because how they respond will move things forward.

#2: Follow-up after an initial meeting

Hi [prospect name],

It was great to talk today and I enjoyed our [meeting / call or demo], and learning about your role at [company] and challenges you are currently having. I understand those challenges [more about them] and the impact they are having on [you/the company].

As promised, here are the links [or attachments] I mentioned, outlining how we have solved similar challenges for [mention client names or relevant examples]. I am confident we could do the same through [compelling reason to buy].

Let me know if you have any questions? I look forward to speaking with you again as agreed on [day/time]. If you want to call me I’m available on [phone number].

Best,

[ name ]

Not every prospect will respond to the next one, but it could be a good sign that someone is interested.

#3: Follow-up to confirm a meeting/call

Hi [prospect name],

I’m looking forward to meeting you [at location/time / or doing on online demo on]. As I mentioned, we can go over how [product/solution] can help your company, which relates to your [challenge or goal].

Give me a call (on [number]) or email if you have any questions before we meet on [location/time / or doing on online demo]. Looking forward to discussing this with you further and answering your questions.

Best,

[ name ]

Now it gets tricky. How many follow-ups do you send?

#4: Second, third and fourth follow-up

Persistence always pays off in sales. But of course, it also depends where a prospect is in the sales cycle. Following-up is different when a proposal is out than when you are simply trying to get an initial call or meeting.

So be mindful of where you are, where they are, what has already been said and where you want to go from here.

When following-up after a successful meeting or two, and a proposal, be more persistent, and refer back to the proposal. If that isn’t the case, then leverage a range of tools: content your company creates, case studies, eBooks, and anything else that might be of interest.

At the same time, pay attention to the prospect. Make sure to mention in an email any recent successes you’ve seen published online and on social media; it could prove a useful talking point, to pick a conversation back up, especially if it relates to the prospects challenges/pain points.

And remember, don’t give up, unless you experience weeks or months or radio silence, or a prospect expressly asks you to stop. Which is where the next email comes into play:

#5: About to give up

Hi [prospect name],

I always aim to solve potential clients challenges the most effective way possible. This time, it seems we weren’t able to connect further.

When that happens, it usually means someone is too busy, or other projects have taken priority, or they aren’t interested. Could you let me know if one of those is the case? In which case, we will close your file as it’s towards the end of the month.

If, however, you would like to pick up our conversation where we left off, when we talked about [mention something relevant from previous email/phone calls], give me a call on [number], or let me know a good day/time for a [call / meeting / demo]?

Best,

[ name ]

What happens when you’ve stopped following up? Does it mean it’s game over? No, you can still reconnect.

#6: Reconnect email

When it has been a while, it’s worth going back over your contacts list to see who it’s worth recommencing with. To do that, you need a tailored email to attempt this.

Hi [prospect name],

I hope you are doing well. I recently saw on [your website or LinkedIn] about [something recent and topical that a prospect company has published, or PR], so thought I would see if you’d like to have a catch-up chat about [product or solution] for [make it timely, e.g. next month, year, etc.]

We have [mention something your company has done that might improve the chances or re-engaging], and it would be great to discuss further. Give me a call on [number], or we could arrange a meeting for [later this week/or next], and [include a book a calendar link or online demo if you’ve got that] to make it easier.

Looking forward to discussing further.

Best,

[ name ]

#7: After a trade show

Something that too many business owners don’t do with enough discipline: connecting after a trade show. And not every salesperson is as good as this as they should be. Trade shows are big investments.

Aim to get the most out of them by following-up effectively with every single person you meet, and to save time, have something ready you can share with them that should be of interest. Here is a template that should be useful:

Hi [prospect name],

It was great to connect at [name of show / mention place and date if it was more than a week ago]. I enjoyed discussing [whenever possible mention something you talked about].

Here is [link or attachment], which explains how we [key value prop] for clients just like [prospect name]. Would you like to discuss further how we could help [prospect name]? Give me a call on [number], or we could arrange a meeting for [later this week/or next], and [include a book a calendar link or online demo if you’ve got that] to make it easier.

Looking forward to discussing further.

Best,

[ name ]

Following-up successfully is a difficult game. But one that every salesperson needs to learn to play to stay persistent and keep those leads flowing through from an initial conversation to a conversion. We hope this list proves helpful.