Writing successful sales follow-up emails is a skill that can increase profit and (probably) get you a promotion. Thankfully, writing great sales follow-ups is easier than you think. The core of how to write a successful sales follow-up is to stick to a format, focus on building a rapport and be realistic about what you can achieve. You can understand the fundamentals of how to write a sales follow-up email and find 11 examples you can use for your campaigns.
How to write a sales follow-up email
Selling successfully by email involves being persistent and professional without being pushy. You’ll need to keep targeting messages at prospects – and core to that are sales follow-up emails.
A sales follow-up email acts as a reminder after your first email, pitch or proposal – and they play a huge role in sales success.
Writing successful sales follow-up emails is a skill that can increase profit and (probably) get you a promotion.
Thankfully, writing great sales follow-ups is easier than you think. The core of how to write a successful sales follow-up is to stick to a format, focus on building a rapport and be realistic about what you can achieve. You can understand the fundamentals of how to write a sales follow-up email and find 11 examples you can use for your campaigns.
What is a sales follow-up email?
Wouldn’t it be great if every sales email you send gets a response, the first time, every time? Absolutely, but in the real world, it’s not going to happen (no matter how great your sales email game is).
Once you accept not every sales email will hit the spot, you’ll understand why sales follow-ups are important.
A sales email follow-up email is part of strengthening your funnel. The purpose of a sales follow-up is to get a response – whether that’s positive, negative or non-committal. You’ll know whether to persist with a lead or save your efforts for another day.
Sales follow-ups can be cold (to someone you don’t know) or warm (to someone you do). In both cases, they follow the same format, but the content and the context are different. You’ll see what we mean in our examples below.
Sales follow-ups usually follow the same format. They’re short and get to the point because you’ve already provided information in the initial pitch.
Every sales follow-up email must be:
- sent at the right time
- relationship building
- actionable – with clear instructions about the next steps
Before we go into how to construct sales emails, here are 9 critical sale follow-up email best practices that everyone should understand.
9 best sales follow-up email practices
1. Determine the objective of your sales follow-up email
Do you want to invite your prospect for a demo call? Is your goal to request another meeting? Do you need more info on them?
Before rolling up your sleeves and drafting your email, you have to determine your email's specific goal.
The objective of your follow-up will shape the tone and the overall structure of the whole email. What's more, it will make it easier for the prospect to provide an answer.
Let's take a look at some of the possible follow-up objectives.
- To appoint the next meeting
- To reach after leaving a voicemail
- To reach after the first follow-up
- To get a reply after several follow-up series with no response
- To continue a discussion after a networking event
- To get more information needed to continue a sale
Pick the one that works for your situation and plan your email copy accordingly. It all should play towards this end goal. From the greeting to sign-off.
2. Do your homework
Even though it is not your first encounter with a person, it will never hurt to keep an eye on their business's latest updates. You can also take a deep dive into their industry to share some insights or recent news the lead may find useful.
No matter the situation, making an effort to keep tabs with the recipient and personalizing your follow-up will add extra points and will make you look more appealing in their eyes.
3. Use psychology to your advantage
Depending on your follow-up's objective, you can use some simple mind tricks to achieve your goals.
Add social proof
Got a testimonial from a happy client? Mention it in your follow-up email to make your business look more trustworthy.
FOMO stands for 'the fear of missing out and is a powerful psychological trigger. 60% of millennials make purchases based on FOMO. Use this to your advantage and create a feeling of scarcity.
Limit your options
When faced with too many options, people struggle to make any decisions, so they end up not buying at all. Make it easier for them to move forward by cutting down your options. For example, if your company has five different plans, you can pick just two of the options that will be suitable for your specific lead.
Echo your prospect
Echoing is picking up on your potential customer's phrases or analogies. If you noticed a specific communication pattern during your initial talk, go ahead and repeat it in your follow-up message. It also works the other way around – if the customers start to echo you, it's typically a sign of flourishing and healthy communication between you two.
Make percentages work for you
In case you mention promotions in your follow-up email, you can play with dollar amounts and percentages. For products under $100, using a percentage discount instead of numbers is always a winning option. For example, a 10% discount on a $50 product will entice your customer more than a $5 offer simply because 10 is higher than 5.
4. Choose the right font
Is your font easy to read? Campaign Monitor claims that email readers typically prefer the following fonts:
Use one of these fonts or the standard option in your email client to make sure, and your message will be visually pleasing for any reader instead of catching their eye negatively.
Typos and poor grammar will inevitably create a negative impression in professional emails. Make sure to go through both your email body and the subject line at least a few times.
It's also good to double-check the recipient's name before rushing into hitting the send button.
6. Send your follow-up at the right time
Timing your email right is crucial to getting it opened. To know when to send your follow-up email, you have to know the person you are trying to reach. It also depends on the industry you operate in.
For example, Superoffice found that most of your prospects and leads will be enjoying family time on the weekends if you sell software. That means reaching out to them on the weekend will lead to fewer opens if any at all.
So, when should you send your follow-up communication?
Research by Get Response found that Tuesday is the best day to send emails if you want to get the highest open rate.
When you have selected the weekday, your next thoughts might be:
What about the time of day?
The same research proved that subscribers are most likely to read your email at 10 am, after they arrived at work, or at 1 pm, when they are checking their inbox after lunch.
Obviously, there's no all-size-fits-all approach when it comes to the sending time. Many variables may impact the most suitable timing, so you should experiment with it to find what works best for you.
7. Determine the sending frequency
Did you know that 80% of sales occur only after at least five follow-ups?
In other words, you should send follow-up emails a minimum of five times, each time giving your recipients more time to respond. By extending the time before your next follow-up email, you reduce the chance of being intrusive.
Here's a recommended structure for follow-up emails:
- Follow up 1 on day 3
- Follow up 2 on day 7
- Follow up 3 on day 14
- Follow up 4 on day 30
- Follow up 5 on day 60
After you've determined that the prospect has gone cold and there's no point to continue following up on them, give it another go with a breakup email. These Hail Marys of sales emails are used as a last resort to bring the prospect back to your sales cycle. If there's no response, you have effectively moved them from your pipeline but left a positive impression.
8. Monitor your progress
Do you just send your emails and call it a day? Of course, not. The spray and pray tactic does not work when it comes to sales follow-ups. You should constantly be monitoring the progress of your work to develop your approach.
Here are different ways to do it depending on how big a role sales plays in your day-to-day.
Launch the Gmail extension for tracking opens
If you're just getting started with sales or it's one of the many thing on your plate, use this browser extension to follow up with more accuracy in Gmail. You can find out when your emails have been read, track the number of clicks, and how many times a recipient has opened your follow-up message.
Use a CRM system
Typically sales teams use a CRM tool to manage their pipeline. In case sales is a crucial part of your work, but you are still on the lookout for a CRM system, here are a few suggestions.
The leading CRM's are:
Utilize free project management tools
Low on resources and can't afford a CRM tool yet? Not to worry, there's a bunch of free project management software at your disposal that you can use to create your own CRM.
The top-notch project management tools are:
9. Focus on one industry to nail it
With each follow-up you create, you are closer to perfection. However, each industry or vertical has its own caveats. In a nutshell, a good way to cut your teeth on crafting follow-up emails is to focus on one industry first.
Suppose you have the luxury of dedicating some time to a specific vertical, even better. By sending messages to people working in similar businesses, you can learn the customer segment's ins and outs. Use it to your advantage in your future emails.
Sales follow-up email format
1. Sales follow-up email subject line
The simplest way to send a sales email follow-up is to use the existing subject line. But if they’ve ignored your email once, it’s easy to do it again
So instead, you should come up with a new subject line. The process boils down to several options:
- Make it personal – “Olivia, we’ve got a great offer for you!”
- Make it funny – “Are you ignoring me?”
- Push a pain point – “Are you leaving savings on the table?”
- Make it boring – “Did you miss my last message?
- Provide a time limit – “You’ve only got one more day to get our best price”
How you approach your subject lines will depend on your relationship with the customer, your industry, and your personality.
It’s essential to test-run sales follow-up email subject lines and see what works. You can alternate between 2 or 3 as part of any campaign and see what happens. Never stop learning and testing!
2. Sales follow-up email body
Remember, this is a follow-up email – so the assumption is that the person will have received (although perhaps not read) your first message. This is important, as it means you don’t need to do the hard work of explaining everything again.
Start the email with context about why you’re messaging, and referencing previous meetings and deals (if you’ve done them). This creates a personal connection that makes them more likely to read on through the rest of your message.
Once you’ve explained the email and why they should care, explain the outcome you want. This is the core of your message and should be clear and straightforward. You can see examples of this below, but the basic principle is to explain what you’re messaging them about and why they should care.
Here’s an example:
3. How to end a sales follow-up email
Every sales email must have a solid call to action (CTA). Your CTA is a clear and actionable instruction that everyone can understand. It could be asking for an email reply, a click on a link, or a request for a call.
The key to successful sales is making it as simple as possible for the recipient to do what you want. It’s essential to be specific in your CTAs, to avoid misunderstanding. For example, instead of saying: “Can we chat?” say, “I’ve got a slot at 4 pm next week for a call. Can you do that?”
Another way to encourage a response is to add some peril. Instead of “Contact me to get this great offer”, say, “I’m only able to offer this price for 24 hours, so let me know if you’re interested”.
P.S. Another great tip from the pros is to add a PS. A P.S is a postscript at the end of the email where you can be playful, funny, or add more value. “P.S. Thanks for reading this far; here’s a code to get 10% off your next order for being the best.”
11 sales follow-up email examples
We’ve provided tips and best practices; now it’s time to show you how it’s done with our 11 sales follow-up examples.
These sales follow-up emails cover many situations you may find yourself in. But, like all our samples, examples and templates should be adapted before sending.
Let’s get started.
1. Follow-up email for sales leads sample
Sales professionals are experts at using email follow-ups to create connections and build relationships. They’ll use all the tricks and tips outlined above to get a click, call, response or reply. Here’s an example of a follow-up email for sales leads.
2. Follow-up sales email sample after no response
Sales is often a numbers game; the more messages you send, the better. But successful salespeople know that following up a warm lead is often a better strategy than trying to engage a cold one.
This is an example of a follow-up sales email after no response that can help you create a connection that could benefit your business.
3. Follow-up email for sales proposal sample
Nobody sends a sales proposal without some previous conversations, so we’re assuming the person knows who you are and why you’re messaging.
These follow-up emails for sales proposals aim to get the information you need as quickly as possible.
4. Follow-up email after sales meeting sample
Again, a follow-up email after a sales meeting is a warm message to someone you have a relationship. That means you can get straight to the point and be positive, polite and friendly.
But don’t forget to push for what you want – a meeting, a message, or a green light to get started.
5. Follow-up email after sales call sample
A sales call and a meeting are similar, so this follow-up email after a sales call sample should be familiar. But, again, always push to progress your relationship.
6. Follow-up email after a sales presentation sample
Delivering a sales presentation is a significant step in your relationship. You’re so close to the sale, but how long before sending a follow-up?
Leave it too long, and the prospect could have cooled down. But, be too eager or aggressive, and then you could turn them off. This follow-up email after a sales presentation provides a clear CTA but is wrapped up in a friendly message.
7. Sales interview follow-up email sample
This example flips things a little bit and is about responding to a sales interview you’ve been on. If you want a career in sales, you have to be hard-working, and committed and never take no for an answer. This sales interview follow-up email sample demonstrates all these traits.
8. Follow-up email after sales rejection sample
Sometimes, a sale doesn’t go your way. Sure, you can take in on the chin and focus on the next customer, but the best salespeople seek to understand why.
Learning why someone chooses not to buy can help you refine the process, removing any barriers. This is at the heart of continuous improvement, ensuring you get better every day.
9. 2nd follow-up email sales sample
How many times should you follow up with a sales prospect? It’s up to you, but you should try at least two or three times. Your potential client or customer may be busy, your messages may have been blocked, or they may not have been in a position to buy.
So you need to send a 2nd follow-up sales email, but you can’t send the same message. Acknowledge your previous messages, but do something different – as we do in this example.
10. 3rd follow-up email sales sample
After the second message has been ignored, you may think that all is lost – and you could be right. But an email takes seconds to write and costs nothing to send, so give it a go!
In this 3rd follow-up email sales sample, we provide a lighthearted way to engage a prospect. If it works, it works. If not, move on to the next one.
11. After-sales follow-up email sample
Good salespeople sell. Great salespeople provide support throughout the entire process, listening to their customers and learning from them.
This includes after-sales follow-ups about what’s working and what could be improved.
This after-sales follow-up email sample is a simple but effective template you can use with all clients.
Sales follow-up email template
We hope you’ve found our 11 sales follow-up samples useful. You can edit, adapt and update them for your business, customers and clients.
Below, we provide a template layout that you can use to create all types of sales emails. Fill in the gaps, follow the format, and you won’t go far wrong.
Best sales follow-up app
With Flowrite, you can turn your knowledge of the prospect into a personalized sales follow-up email on the fly.
Just provide a few bullet points based on the tips you learned in this article, select the sales follow-up email template, and let our AI writing tool do all the leg work for you, like this:
We are obviously biased, but you can try Flowrite for free for 30 days to see for yourself!
The sales process is complicated, with several steps to turn a prospect into profit. The best salespeople are persistent but not pushy.
They build relationships based on respect and aim to win customers, not bully them into submission. Those attitudes influence their emails with simple structure, clear content, tangible benefits and a compelling CTA.
If you can manage all that, you’ll smash your sales targets. The easiest way is to follow our tips, or use the power of Flowrite.
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