How To Write a Sales Follow-up Email After No Response [24 Templates]

  • October 25, 2022

If the thought of writing a follow-up email makes you feel a little uncomfortable, you’re not alone. Our instincts tell us that if someone hasn’t replied to our previous email, they’re not interested and will not like it if we bother them again.

Unfortunately, in this case, our instincts are often wrong. Very few prospects say “yes” to the first ask – or, for that matter, to the second, third or fourth.

Jump-start your follow-up email strategy instantly with our proven email templates below.

How To Write a Follow-up Email

Now that you know how important it is to follow up and how long (give or take) you should wait before sending each email, let’s go through how to write the follow-up email itself.

Follow-up email video

Remember that it’s important to test for the best subject line when following up. Those tiny sentences can make or break you: 47% of people open an email and 69% report it as spam based on the subject line alone.

Give your email subject lines the time and effort they deserve.


Mailshake’s Email Copy Analyzer provides real-time feedback and suggestions for improving deliverability and readability.

We’ve split writing a follow-up email into five sections. To help you, we’ve included examples of what you might say in each section – the idea is that you can then link everything together into a custom follow-up email template.

template explaining how to structure a follow up email

1. Add Context

Try to jog your recipient’s memory by opening your email with a reference to a previous email or interaction. Even if your recipient draws a blank, they’re more likely to react positively to the follow-up if they’ve been reminded of the fact that they’ve heard from you before.

Openers you might want to try include:

  • I just wanted to follow up on the email I sent last [day of the week email was sent] about [subject of email].
  • I just wanted to follow up to see what you thought about [subject of email].
  • Hope this doesn’t sound weird, but I saw that you read my previous email.

2. Add Value

You should never send a follow-up without upping the ante and demonstrating your worth.

Avoid lazy follow-ups – ones where you’re simply “touching base” or “catching up” – that don’t add anything other than one more email in their inbox. Provide value at each interaction. Make it worth their while to open, click and respond.

Opportunities for organic, natural interaction and follow-ups arise from offering them something valuable, be it a relevant physical item shipped to them, or a webinar, case study, template or other digital resources.

“For a minute, I’m not a sales guy – I’ve given them something.”

~Dan Murphy, Culture Amp

You can easily get a number of follow-ups around these value-added offers. Make it high quality and relevant to your recipient. You want to be seen as an asset to them.

If you’re not providing some sort of additional value, there’s very little reason to contact them and even less incentive for them to respond or care.

“You have to provide value to the recipient every single time.”

~Matt Heinz

3. Explain Why You’re Emailing

Go on to explain the reason for your follow-up email in a manner that’s both direct and concise. Tell the recipient what you want. If this hasn’t changed since your previous email, remind them.

  • [product name] could really help you [element of prospect’s role] more effectively. I’d love to have a quick chat to find out if I’m right.
  • [product name] could really help you and I wondered if you’d be interested in trying it out for a month or so (completely free, of course).
  • We’ve just launched [product name], and it could make a big difference to [element of prospect’s role]. There’s a link to a resource that will tell you more below, but it’d be great if we could also discuss your current needs so I can figure out exactly how [product name] might help you.

Focus on the prospect here. Remove “I” statements from your text.

4. Include a Call to Action

Make it easy for the email recipient to respond. For example, if you’re trying to arrange a meeting, suggest a specific date and time (and place, if you’re arranging an in-person meeting).

  • Does 2:15 p.m. on Thursday work for you?
  • Are you the right person to talk to about this? If I’m in the wrong place, could you point me in the right direction?
  • Just reply “yes” if you’d be interested in getting some more information and I’ll send a couple of short docs over.

If you’re part of a marketing team or you’re a sales professional, try not to make the mistake of leaving it vague and ambiguous. Make your call to action crystal clear and hard to resist. What exactly do you want them to do? Did you provide a link to your website? Tell them so that you can get the best possible results.

5. Close Your Email

Wrap up in a way that feels natural to you and is sympathetic to your interactions with the recipient so far.

  • Let me know what you think! [Your name]
  • Let me know if you have any questions. [Your name]
  • Speak soon? [Your name]
  • I look forward to hearing from you! [Your name]


Once you’ve crafted an email you love, save it as a template so you and your teammates can use it again.

Response Rates: Ideal Number of Follow-up

Response Rates: Ideal Number of Follow-ups

Response rate statistics have shown a mere 18% response rate to the first email sent, all the way down to 13% for the fourth. However, the sixth email in the sequence received a massive 27% response rate.

A similar study from Yesware saw a 30% reply rate to the first email and 14% to the fourth. They actually sent 10 emails in total and even the very last one had a 7% response rate.

Response rate compared to number of follow up email sent

Despite this, a colossal 70% of email chains stop after just one unanswered email.

It gets worse, or better, depending on how you look at it: Roughly 80% of prospects say “no” four times before they ultimately say “yes.” But 92% of people give up after hearing “no” four times.

So, why does that matter? </spanIt means that only 8% of salespeople – those following up at least five times – are generating 80% of all sales.

Furthermore, other studies reveal that an email drip series with four to seven messages delivers three times more responses than those with only one to three (27% and 9%, respectively). In fact, even following up just once can convert 22% more replies.

Needless to say, sending follow-up emails is essential (unless you like missing out on sales!).

“You can’t follow up too much in the earlier part of an engagement.”

~Damian Thompson, LeadFuze

Did you know there are even more optimal times and days to send your follow-up emails? We found that, on average, Tuesdays are the best day to send emails, while 6 a.m. is the best time.

Best Days and Times to Send Emails

How Long Should You Wait Before Following Up?

The short answer here is not long.

The vast majority of emails are opened the day they’re sent, and if the recipient’s going to reply, they’re probably going to do that the same day, too. That means it’s pretty safe to assume that if someone doesn’t reply the day you send your original email, they’re not going to reply at all.

How safe? About 90% of recipients open and reply – if they’re going to reply – on the day they receive an email.

Responses peak the same day

So, How Long Should You Wait Before Sending a Follow-up Email?

As a general rule, two or three days is a good amount of time to wait before sending your first follow-up email. You should then extend the waiting period by a few days for each subsequent email following your first message, especially depending on the number of follow-ups you’re planning to send.

You can and should experiment with timing for subsequent follow-ups, but that schedule is as good as any until proven otherwise. You want to follow up without annoying your targets with daily blasts. 

Go with that until you discover that it’s not working for you and your audience.


Add drip messages to your campaign sequence by automating your follow-ups

Create an Email Follow-up Strategy for Success

OK, so you know why it’s important to follow up, how long to wait and have a ballpark figure on how many messages to send altogether.

Before you start, you need to set yourself up for maximum success. The first step? Write it all down.

Writing down your goals and workflows is beneficial on many fronts: It creates consistency amongst everyone on your team, it keeps everyone on the same page, and it actually helps you achieve your goals better than if you didn’t write them down.

To maximize your follow-up success, have a concrete set of “rules” regarding time, frequency, quantity and message. Be consistent. And automate.

Diversify Your Channels

Another key component that separates those rocking the follow-up game from those just going through the motions is an omnichannel approach.

Yes, email is your best bet and the preferred channel for communication overall. but that doesn’t mean the other channels aren’t worth the effort.

Diversify Your Channel
Another key component that separates those rocking the follow-up game from those just going through the motions is an omnichannel approach.

Yes, email is your best bet and the preferred channel for communication overall. but that doesn’t mean the other channels aren’t worth the effort.

“To me, social isn’t a ‘Should I do it?’ You have to. If your audience lives on LinkedIn or Twitter or Instagram, you have to be engaging them there.”

~Jake Dunlap, Skaled

Explore an omnichannel approach that includes email, video, social media and the telephone – especially if you’re not getting a response from just one of them. Companies with an omnichannel engagement process see a 9.5% year-over-year growth in annual revenue – almost three times more than those that do not – in addition to increasing the engagement itself.

An omnichannel experience delivers the goods on prospecting, nurturing and retention.

Which channels do they seem to prefer and/or where did you first engage with them and what do they do on each (just shooting the breeze on social, business on email, vice versa)? Take your cue from them. Engage with them where and how they seem to prefer.


Make cold calling part of your sequences with the built-in Mailshake Dialer.

Decide What You Want To Achieve

Before you do anything else, it’s mission critical that you decide what you want to achieve from this email (or emails).

For example, you might want to:

  • Get more information or a specific piece of information
  • Arrange a meeting
  • Close a sale

Every situation is unique, so exactly what you want and need to get out of a follow-up email will likely change with each campaign you work on and, potentially, even between each follow-up you send.

It’s imperative that you know, though. Never send an email – follow-up or otherwise – unless you know exactly what you need to get out of it.

Put Yourself in Their Shoes

Before drafting or sending, consider the user experience (UX). It’s a pivotal element of your business success. More than price. More than the product or service itself.

Think about the frequency and activity of your follow-up emails. Forget for the moment about what the experts say you should or should not do, and look at it only from the customer’s point of view.

Too many follow-ups are annoying. Too little loses momentum. Find the right balance for your targets.

Ask yourself: What’s in it for them? How are they feeling? What sort of experience are they having? Do I have a reason to follow up (other than just to follow up)?

Ask and answer these types of questions, and you’ll design a follow-up campaign from the ground up built for them, not you. And that can make all the difference.

In terms of your approach, all follow-ups are not created equal, so let the situation set the tone:

  • If prospects have requested a call or demo, you can be more aggressive to fulfill their need.
  • If they’ve downloaded something, they have shown interest but did not explicitly ask to be contacted, so you’ve got to demonstrate your value (different drips based on what specifically they downloaded).
  • When you’re sending cold emails, you’ve got to tread very lightly because they’ve requested nothing from you.


Our integrations allow you even more power – initiating outreach based on page visits, document downloads and more.

Need some tips? Here are 25 follow-up email templates that you can steal.

Sales Follow-up Email Templates

If the suggestions above aren’t enough for you to work with, here are a few samples from the selection of sales email templates we offer our users at Mailshake.


Templates provide you a framework, but personalization is still key. Use a mail merge to personalize your cold outreach.

1. Give a Quick Compliment and Add Value

Hey {{Name}},

I saw on Twitter you’ve been sharing some awesome posts on conversion rate optimization.

Recently I spotted these two super helpful posts and just wanted to share them with you:

{{Link 1}}

{{Link 2}}

Would also be happy to share a little about our conversion rates at {{Your company}} if you’re up for it!


{{Your Name}}

This template is an example of a simple, polite follow-up email – it gives a relevant and innocent explanation of why you’re reaching out, while also throwing in an easy compliment. After that, it’s a quick win of sharing another piece of content or two that might interest them or their followers. Instead of following up for the sake of following up, this email attempts to pivot the conversation and provide value.

Finally, the sign-off is a simple request that can be answered with a yes or a no. A simple formula like this works because it doesn’t take much time to skim, provides immediate value and comes off as conversational instead of salesy.

2. Make it Easy to Reply With a Yes or No

Hi {{Name}},

I constantly review business relationships in my CRM. Typically, if I don’t hear back from someone for 30 days, it means they’re either really busy or just not interested.

Send a simple “yes” if you’re interested or “no” if I should remove you from the list! 


{{Your Name}}

You’ve probably seen something to this effect before, but that’s not to say you shouldn’t use it yourself. This format is popular because it works. And it works because it makes it incredibly easy for prospects to reply. Just bear in mind that if you use it, you’ll need to pay extra-close attention to how much you adapt it.

3. Acknowledge Their Interest

Hi {{Name}},

I noticed that you opened the email I sent you on Friday and checked out our site {{Your URL}}, but I never heard back from you.

I was simply wondering if these actions mean you’re interested in learning more about {{Your business name}} and how we can provide value to online businesses similar to yours at {{Their business}}.

As someone who is constantly reaching out to numerous prospects up and down {{Your location}}, I wanted to follow up today to see if you have any questions about {{Your business name}} or any of our products. I think you’re the perfect person to discuss {{Your business name}} with.

Do you have 10 minutes for a brief phone call next week?


{Your Name}}

This email revolves around a trigger event. If you’re using software like Mailshake, you can track things like email opens and clicks to links provided in the email. Since they clicked something, you know they were at least somewhat interested, so this follow-up email is perfect for starting that conversation.

4. Show Absolute Belief in Your Product’s Fit for the Prospect

Hi {{Name}},

I understand your position, but I wouldn’t follow up with you if I didn’t strongly think that {{Your company}} can help {{Prospect company}} solve {{challenge}} by {{Product benefit #1}] and {{Product benefit #2}}.

Let me know if you want me to jump on a call so I can walk you through what we do.


{{Your Name}}

In the event that a prospect provides a specific objection to your product or service, don’t give up just yet. This template addresses the concern and allows you to continue the email thread by demonstrating your absolute confidence in your product or service, while simultaneously reinforcing how recipients will benefit.

5 & 6. Provide Value

Sharing wisdom, social proof, statistics or any other kind of relevant content is always a great practice to deploy in sales, and makes for an effective follow-up email. From your first interaction, you want to position yourself as a trusted advisor – not just a salesperson waiting to close a deal. The email examples below do just that.

Example #1: Share a quick tip

Hi {{Name}},

You likely deal with {{Industry pain point}}, so I thought I’d share a quick tip many of my clients have found helpful: {{1-2 sentence actionable piece of advice}}.

I have a few more ideas around {{Improving X}}. Let me know if you’re interested in hearing them.


{{Your Name}}

Example #2: Provide value after a meeting

Hey {{Name}},

You mentioned you love trying new foods. Saw this group organizing food tours around New York. Here’s one where they take you to a few ethnic restaurants: Original Multicultural Bar Hopping Tour

Sounds like your taste buds will be pleased!

How’s the project coming along btw?


{{Your Name}}

Email #2 continues the conversation from the meeting, while also adding a personal touch of value. (Customize it to any hobbies your recipient has shared with you.) Doing so keeps the follow-up short and ends the conversation with a casual, non-intrusive CTA.

Follow-up Email Templates for Your Next Cold Email Campaign

7 & 8. Keep it Short and Sweet

All sales emails should be short, but follow-ups should be even shorter. (Yes, this includes your subject lines.) However, this doesn’t mean you must do away with all the pleasantries. You can be polite, friendly and, most importantly, human in a quick email while respecting their busy schedule, as this template shows.

Example #1: Get permission to reach out later

Hey {{Name}},

I’m reaching out because I have several ideas for how you can bring in more leads and ultimately close more deals every month.

Would it be OK for me to reach out next week to share those ideas with you?

Kind regards,

{{Your Name}}

Example #2: Give a quick compliment and add value

Hey {{Name}},

I noticed on LinkedIn that you’ve been sharing some super helpful content covering {{Industry}}.

Recently I spotted these two amazing guides and just wanted to share them with you:

{{Link 1}}

{{Link 2}}

Would you be down to chat a little about our delivery rates at {{Your company}} if you’re up for it?


{{Your Name}}

These examples offer a personalized approach while respecting the prospect’s time.

The first template aims to add value through sharing ideas, while the second template gives the prospect a couple of helpful guides, while opening up the door for a potential helpful exchange, 

9 & 10. Make Replying a One-stroke Task for Recipient

You’ve probably seen something to this effect before—or I’d guess that you have, since this type of email pops up in my inbox pretty often. However, that’s not to say you shouldn’t use it yourself. This format is popular because it works. And it works because it makes it incredibly easy for prospects to reply. Just bear in mind that if you use it, you’ll need to pay extra-close attention to how much you adapt it.

Example #1: Hit me back with a number


n style="font-weight: 400;">Hi {{Name}}, I’m sure you get a ton of emails every day, so I don’t want to bother you if I can avoid it! Hit me back with a number that best describes how you’re feeling:
  1. Never contact me again
  2. Now’s not the right time – but I am interested!
  3. I’m interested and I can respond soon
Talk soon,

{{Your Name}}

Example #2: I’m emailing again because…

Hi {{Name}},

I’m emailing again because I haven’t heard back from you and I just want to gauge your interest to ensure I’m not bothering you.

Press “1” if you’re just busy but still interested…

And “2” if you’d like me to leave you alone…forever. 


{{Your Name}}

Example #2 is refreshing because it shows complete transparency into the salesperson’s process: They use a CRM and, after so many days, circle back to gauge interest. The email subject is intriguing to encourage them to open. The sales email also sets expectations and gives recipients an easy out with the promise of not bothering them anymore – all with a simple keystroke of 1 or 2. It’s a win-win for sales professionals and email recipients. 

11. Be Brutally Honest

Few people look forward to cold contact from a sales rep, but we accept it as part of our professional lives. This follow-up email template and email subject recognize that, and it works thanks to its simple, brutal honesty. Just because your prospect hasn’t responded to your previous messages doesn’t mean they’re not interested.

Example: Am I bugging you yet?

Hi {{Name}},

Salespeople are the worst…so I get it if you’d like me to stop bugging you.

That said, l’d hate to think that you missed a valuable piece of content because I didn’t send just one more email.

{{Content link}}

Let me know what you think!


{{Your Name}}

12 & 13. Acknowledge Their Interest

Prospects know you’re tracking your emails. You know that they know you’re tracking your emails. So why pretend that you’re not? Templates that acknowledge their interest, whether it’s a marketing campaign they viewed or an email they engaged with, can work because they compel prospects to own up to the fact that they’ve shown interest.

Example #1: I see you opened my email

Hi {{Name}},

I saw that you were able to check out the email I sent last week and was wondering if you had any questions. Would you be interested in a follow-up today to discuss how {{Your business name}} could help {{Prospect company}} with {{Industry pain point}}?

Let’s chat at {{Provide two options}} tomorrow!

Talk soon,

{{Your Name}}

Example #2: I see you’re interested in X. Would you like to chat about it?

Hi {{Name}},

I saw that your team was checking out our {{Product}} page and was wondering if they were able to get all the info they needed…

Do you have a few minutes to I can show you how it works? Seeing how {{Product}} works in real time can be really helpful.

Kind regards,

{{Your Name}}

The second email example discusses a trigger event. If you’re using software, emails can be tracked to see how many times they were opened and which links in those emails people clicked on – this gives insight into their interest level for starting the conversation with sales follow-up material that would entice them further down your path of conversion!


Native and third-party integrations give you even more power, letting you push data from your CRM and other tools into Mailshake and vice versa.

14. Show Absolute Belief in Your Product’s Fit for the Prospect

Example: Putting your business at risk

Hey {{Name}},

That’s understandable! But hey, I wouldn’t be following up if I didn’t feel like {{Your company}} can help {{Prospect company}} solve {{Industry pain point}} by {{Product benefits}}.

Let’s jump on a call and I’ll show you exactly what we can do!


{{Your Name}}

I’ve modified this email template (and email subject) slightly from the original source to work as a sales follow-up email after you’ve been rejected. Now, it demonstrates your absolute confidence in your product or service, while simultaneously reinforcing how recipients will benefit.

15 & 16. Walk Away Gracefully

Sometimes you’ve hit the end of the road with a prospect, and it doesn’t make sense to keep wasting effort on them. Rather than just simply giving up, it’s worth throwing a “Hail Mary” email out there to see if it’s enough to wake them up. Make it clear in the email subject that you’re giving them an out if they want it.

Example #1: Is it time to part ways?

Hey {{Name}},

Sometimes it’s just not meant to be…I get it.

Before I close your file, I just wanted to follow up one last time to ensure that you’re absolutely positively not interested in the slightest.

If you are….drop me a line. If I don’t hear from you…I’ll close the file!


{{Your Name}}

Example #2: Perhaps the timing just isn’t right


Just giving you one last email concerning {{value proposition}}.

If I don’t hear back from you, I’ll close your file and assume the timing just wasn’t right.

Please know you’re always free to send me an email or give me a call if you decide that you’re interested in learning about how {{Your company}} can help you tackle {{Pain point}}.

Goodbye for now!

{{Your Name}}

The second example is a little softer and shows empathy that they might be too busy or that the relationship isn’t a great fit anymore. It gives respect and reiterates that you won’t reach out anymore. A last-ditch effort closes the email requesting to connect if they’re still interested or will be in the future.

There’s no rule that says a follow-up email’s focus should be that you’re following up. The follow-up email template above doesn’t do that, and instead tries to increase the response rate by adding value in the form of a piece of advice the prospect may find useful. If you swap that advice for a link to a resource, you’ll achieve the same effect.

Follow-up Email After Sales Call

Following up after a sales call is a must. You don’t have to be formal. Showing gratitude and giving a little extra detail can be enough. The email below does exactly that. The template expresses appreciation for the meeting, then jumps right into delivering on a promise to share extra resources. It comes off as purely transactional and far from salesy – even though it’s still essentially a sales message.

Following up after a sales call is a must. You don’t have to be formal. Showing gratitude and giving a little extra detail can be enough. The email below does exactly that. The template expresses appreciation for the meeting, then jumps right into delivering on a promise to share extra resources. It comes off as purely transactional and far from salesy – even though it’s still essentially a sales message.

17. Share helpful resources

Example #1: Here’s all the goodies from our call

Hey {{Name}},

Amazing chat this afternoon! 

Wanted to give you a quick summary of what we discussed:
  1. I’ve attached the slides from the presentation just in case you wanted to share them with your team.
  2. Below you can find a full transcript of everything we discussed.
  3. Here are a couple of reports relating to the issues we discussed: {{Link }}& {{Link}}
Let me know if you have any other questions!

Have a great day,

{{Your Name}}

It’s not always easy to remember everything that was said on a phone or video call. Providing your prospect with a full rundown of what you discussed with some visual aid and even a little added value sprinkled in can really help cement your message in the prospect’s mind.

18. Stroke their ego

Example #2: I learned so much from our meeting

Hi {{Name}},

It was amazing chatting with you earlier. Your role at {{company}} seems incredibly interesting! 

I can definitely see how difficult it can be to tackle {{Pain point}} in your position. 

As we talked about, I’ve attached a couple of fantastic guides that may help you address some of these issues. If you’d like to know a bit more about how we can help you implement some of these ideas in order to take care of {{Pain point}}, let me know!


{{Your Name}}

This example starts strong with a polite introduction that shows gratitude. From there, it gracefully acknowledges the pain points the recipient is facing, proving that you were really listening. There’s also a bonus line where you can include more reasons your solution is a perfect fit, before wrapping up with an invitation to continue the conversation. If you don’t yet have another meeting scheduled, modify this template to include a call to action inviting them to one.

Follow-up Email Templates for Alternative Situations

19. Link Building Follow-up Template

How do you approach link building?

You often send an email that links to an outdated article or a broken link, and then tell the site owner you’ve published a fresh, updated article, which could be a great addition to their content. Sound familiar? It’s a tried-and-true method.

But most of the time, that’s not enough to guarantee a response.

If your email is met with deafening silence, here’s a follow-up email template that might help

Hey {{Name}},

I know you’re busy managing {{business or website name}}, and removing a broken link is something that may take too much of your precious time.

But still, here’s why you should remove bad links from your content:
  • According to Moz, if you have a 404 error, you’re losing out on a huge chance to get your content ranked.
  • BlizzardPress recently removed all of their 404 errors, and almost instantly climbed up 1,713 spots. It won’t take much of your time. I have a spreadsheet that includes all the broken links. It will make the process 100 times easier for you.
  • I would love to share the spreadsheet and help you with this process. Are you interested?

Talk soon,

{{Your Name}}

20. Sales Outreach Follow-up Template

Let’s say you’re a freelance designer and pitched a client for your design services.

In your outreach email, you listed all the companies you’ve helped in the past, plus you’ve also shared an idea about how you can help them with their branding.

While there are other ways to get on their radar, digital magic can happen with this follow-up email

Hey {{Name}},

A few days ago I shared a design idea with you. Did you get a chance to look it over?

To illustrate how effective it could be, I’ve gone ahead and taken the time to create a wireframe for your website. It’s designed around the core value of your business. I’ve had a lot of experience with projects like yours, including {{Previous client’s}} {{Project or asset}}.

I have a very solid foundation in communicating the creative identity of a brand through {{Project deliverable}}, and I’m looking forward to helping {{company name}} deliver even more unique value to your customers.

Are you available for a quick chat this week?


{{Your Name}}

21. Guest Post Follow-up Template 

How do you secure a guest post on a bigger publication?

Normally, you do this by writing a great outreach email that contains every important element: introduction, headline ideas for the guest post and links to your previously published content.

But sometimes, even all that isn’t enough. In those cases, you can use this follow-up email that’ll instantly show you as the brilliant, hard-working writer you are.

Hi {{Name}},

I sent you some headline ideas last week. Have you had a chance to look at them?

I’m really excited to write for {{website name}}, so I outlined the first post this morning.

See it here: {{outline link}}

What do you think?

Let me know if you’d like me to add/remove something.


{{Your Name}}

22. Event Follow-up Template

Following up after an event is a great way to keep you at the top of your new contact’s inbox. But remember that many people walk away from a conference or networking affair with a ton of new contacts, meaning they could be facing a flood of emails when they next log in.

Sometimes emails get lost – it happens. Usually, it’s nothing personal. 

A successful follow-up is easier than it may seem. Try a new subject line and mention some key details from your in-person interaction. Maybe you were wearing an unusual-colored shirt or shared a common favorite artist…mention it! 

Here’s a quick template to reignite that spark:

Hi {{Name}},

Remember our conversation on {{Subject}}?

I’ve been thinking about it a lot and I’d love to hear your opinion on {{Industry pain point}}.

Are you free for a call tomorrow?


{{Your Name}}

23. Invoice Follow-up Template 

Listen, this is one of the most uncomfortable emails you have to send. But it has to be done.

Following up after you’ve sent an invoice to a client can be awkward for both parties, though it doesn’t have to be.

The key is to be both respectful and straightforward.

Hi {{Name}},

Just wanted to send a gentle reminder about the invoice I sent on {{date}}.

I’ve re-attached the invoice in case it got lost in your inbox.

Please let me know if you have any questions! 

Kind regards,

{{Your Name}}

24. Interview Follow-up Template 

Always follow up after an interview. And always follow up after your follow-ups. This can be the difference between getting a job and sitting around wondering what may have happened.

Not only will it keep your name at the top of your potential employer’s stack of interviewees, but it also shows that you’re appreciative of the consideration and excited about the job. 

In fact, there’s really no real downside to following up after an interview. After all, what’s the worst that could happen?

The key to a successful interview follow-up email is to express your gratitude while highlighting your expertise and confidence in your ability to perform the role.

Here’s a template that you can use after your next interview:

Hey {{Name}},

Thank you so much for the opportunity and consideration for {{Position}}. 

After reflecting on our conversation, I am confident that {{company}} has exactly the energy and culture I am seeking. 

I particularly enjoyed learning about your work in {{Industry segment}}. 

After learning more about {{company}} and the details you shared about the {{Position}], I’m even more confident that my background and experience are a great fit for the role.

I know you’re busy, but please let me know when you would like to schedule a follow-up! 

Kind regards,

{{Your Name}}

Expert Tips on the Follow-up Email

You’ve got the data and cold email templates to design killer cold email campaigns. Sprinkle in a few of these tips from the pros, and supercharge the entire thing.

  • Don’t forget to test different email subject lines in addition to the main body. Some subject lines like “quick question” are falling out of favor, while others may trigger spam filters, especially since the recipient likely won’t recognize the email sender. That said, take the advice with a grain of salt and test your subject lines on your target audience. There’s an exception to every rule.
  • A popular alternative: Try sending a calendar link with a specific time and date with specific details in the notes section.
  • Using video within an email is gaining popularity and can increase your click-through rate by 300%.
  • Plan for follow-ups.
  • Personalization is key. A few quick and easy “cheats” include mentioning their micro-industry, location and/or relevant competitors.
  • Try the double tap: Send an email in the late afternoon or early evening, then another the next morning with a link or resource you “forgot” to include in the first one. The omission humanizes you and gets your name in front of them twice.
  • Keep it short and to the point, and be absolutely certain it’s mobile-friendly. (More than half of all emails are opened on mobile.)
  • Eliminate phrases like, “If it’s not too much trouble” and “I apologize for bothering you, but …” from your messaging.
  • Personalize in human ways, not just business ways. Visiting their city next week? Ask for a restaurant recommendation, for example.
  • Cultivate a help-first mentality to build a genuine relationship with them.
  • If you still aren’t getting responses, find someone else’s email address within the company to reach out to.

Follow-ups are a long game. The perfect prospect may not be ready to buy right at this moment, so the key is a consistent number of follow-ups that provide value and keep you top of mind, and make sure that your message isn’t lost in a pile of unanswered emails. Build the relationship, and there will be a better chance that they’ll turn to you when they’re ready to make a purchase.

“All strategies aside, if you aren’t actually following up, then you’re missing out on big opportunities.”

~Rex Biberston, The Sales Developers

Follow-up Email Subject Line Best Practices

Every sales and marketing channel comes with its own set of challenges, so as you experiment with the 16 follow-up email subject lines below, keep the following subject line best practices in mind:

Sound Natural and Conversational

Subject lines that are overly sales-driven or come on too strong are off-putting and are easily ignored or marked as spam. Having a friendly, conversational tone that shows you’re human, on the other hand, will seem genuine and be more likely to elicit a response.

Be Brief

Because 56% of people open their email on mobile, lengthy subject lines will get cut off. The sweet spot is six to 10 words, but less than five also works well.

Personalize by Adding the Subject’s Name

In some cases, this has been shown to boost open rates. You can also experiment with adding the company name or mentioning a mutual connection or shared experience you found during your research.

Optimize the Snippet

The snippet is that short length of text to the right of the subject line that appears in recipients’ inboxes and gives them a little preview of the email content. If you take a moment to get it right and make it feel personal, you boost your chance of getting your email opened. Neglect it, and your campaign suffers.

Optimizing the snippet pairs well with keeping your subject line short, because if you make your subject line too long, it will overflow and completely replace your snippet.

Your snippet can be anything from an intro that includes the recipient’s name, a thought-provoking question, or even just the first line of a story. But a pro tip here is to ditch any unsubscribe links, whitelist requests or housekeeping verbiage at the top of your email that might unintentionally show up in the snippet. Push that information to the bottom of your emails so that you can take full advantage of this area.

Think Like a Scientist

Experimenting with your subject lines is an absolute must. People won’t always open the same subject lines, and little tweaks to your campaigns over time can increase open rates, responses and conversions.

Keep the sender, the snippet and the email content all the same and send anywhere from 100 to 1,000 emails. Then, send a separate batch with another subject line. Keep track of opens, clicks, replies and more using a tool like Mailshake.

Ultimately, you’ve got to run your own tests, read up on the latest email findings, and check out the tests others are doing. Getting past the noise of the inbox is no easy feat, which is why knowing how to write effective follow-up email subject lines is crucial. To help your follow-up emails rise to the top, here are 16 follow-up email subject lines you can use to set yourself apart from other salespeople and start more conversations.

Follow-up Email Subject Line Examples for Every Situation

Follow up from a call or meeting

“Next steps”

Why it works: It’s short, conversational and to the point. People are inherently curious and often can’t resist learning what those next steps are. It also works well as a tactic to re-engage prospects that may have gone cold.

Yesware compared the reply rate of “Next steps” as a follow-up email subject line to their average reply rate and found it can achieve up to a 70.5% open rate and a 49.6% reply rate. They found that subject line especially useful as a direct follow-up to leaving voicemails with another short sentence about “trying your line” to show added commitment and persistence.

When you don’t receive a reply

“I forgot to mention…”

Why it works: It showcases that you’re human and made a mistake. Oftentimes people forget that there’s a person on the other side of the message. Showing a more personal side of yourself can help create a better first impression – one that doesn’t come off as salesy, but rather genuinely earnest. It shows you’re prone to mistakes, just like everyone else.

It’s best to pair this subject line with some sort of provocative statement, useful content or another resource the recipient might find valuable. For example, in the body, you could tell them about an event you’re co-hosting that they’re invited to, or share an exclusive piece of content that can help them achieve their goals or overcome a particular pain point.

You made a connection and want to stay on their radar

“Pleasure chatting with you, [prospect name]”

Why it works: It reminds them that you aren’t a complete stranger, while also showing sincerity. A bit of gratitude makes you more memorable. It also makes sense to add the recipient’s name here for added personalization. As Josh Slone at LeadFuze says, “The more you personalize your subject line, the more benefits you can reap. Good contact data is key.”

Good contact data stems from asking the right questions during your first engagement, as well as doing your initial research to find common ground, possible pain points and other areas you can use to create a connection.

They gave permission to circle back later

“Let’s take another look”

Why it works: If someone gave you the go-ahead to contact them in the future, this subject line conveys that you’ve talked to them before, while still sounding conversational and friendly. It’s always best to come to the conversation with new information or something else of value for your prospects.

It’s also a great alternative to overused subject lines such as, “Checking in” or “Touching base,” which have zero value. Not only do they come off as wasteful and inconsiderate of the prospect’s time, they simply don’t work. In fact, “Touching base” was found to fail 50% of the time. Bottom line: Always have a reason for following up.

Add a touch of urgency and specificity

“Tuesday meeting at 10:00”

Why it works: The ultimate goal of a follow-up email is typically a call or meeting, so why not simply ask for one? If they haven’t responded by now, then there’s a good chance the emails aren’t being opened, so this added urgency could grab their attention enough to read your email.

An approach like this exudes confidence and can be especially useful as a follow-up email subject line. Similar to the powerful sales approach of assuming the sale, assuming the meeting can also catch the prospect off guard. It’s easy to dismiss someone asking for a potential meeting “sometime soon,” but when someone asks you for a meeting at a specific date and time, the typical response is to check your calendar.

You need their help or direction

“Can you help me with this?”

Why it works: People inherently want to be helpful, even if they’re busy. Dan Vanrenen, the managing director of Taskeater, believes that when it comes to writing compelling subject lines, you should “write a subject line that encourages them to respond and clearly signals your interest in what they have to say.”

This request for aid and empathy shows you’re not just following up for the sale, but for their advice or direction. To be clear, this subject line only works if your request is sincere, and you’re likely to follow their direction or advice. Turned into a follow-up, use this email to ask for connections to the right person at the company you’re prospecting.

You just left an in-person meeting

“Great meeting you today! I wanted to share something else”

Why it works: Research suggests that 92% of all salespeople give up after just four “no’s,” but that 80% of prospects say “no” four times before saying “yes.” That doesn’t mean you can get too confident after the fourth touch and assume the deal is done. Instead, continue to follow up in a timely manner to show gratitude and stay on their radar.

The subject line above shows that you’re grateful for their time and sticks out in their inbox, since it highlights the recent meeting you shared. On top of that, it piques their interest by showing that there’s one more thing you left out.

That last bit is crucial because, during the decision-making process, your prospects are always hungry for more. They want to know they’re making the right choice – and to do that, they have to cross a certain threshold of information. Not only that, but the word “share” here could create a subconscious feeling that they should reciprocate and reply.

Last-ditch effort before you give up

“Getting tired of salespeople who don’t give up?”

Why it works: Honesty is attractive, and being candid can often elicit a response and start the conversation off on the right foot. While some may not want to lead with a subject line like this, it can work wonders after four to five failed touchpoints, so long as you follow up properly in the email’s body copy.

For example, in the body copy, you can test something along the lines of:

“Me too. This is why I pledge to stop contacting you if you aren’t interested.

Just let me know if you [see, deal] with any of these common pain points people in your [role, industry] typically do:

  • Issue or pain point 1
  • Issue or pain point 2
  • Issue or pain point 3

After a rejection

“Would anything change your mind?”

Why it works: A subject line like this ignites curiosity and gets them thinking. While they may have already made up their mind about your product or service, you can still play this card to either keep the conversation going or learn something for your next email.

A lot of the time people aren’t just looking for a vendor, but for a partner – someone that can act as a trusted advisor and facilitate a mutually beneficial partnership. Seeking out advice or feedback is a big part of being a partner and can get them on your side for shared success.

A subject line like this also has the bonus of being clear and concise. The format clearly explains what the email is about before opening and is unique enough to warrant opening. Very few salespeople are this direct, so it’s a refreshing take on the selling through curiosity approach.

They need a friendly reminder

“You coming?”

Why it works: Fear of missing out, or FOMO, is a very real phenomenon – one that Urban Dictionary defines as, “A state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out. An omnipresent anxiety brought on by our cognitive ability to recognize potential opportunities.”

This subject line has a triple-threat combination of not only eliciting FOMO, but being brief and providing urgency as well.

On the brevity front, a subject line that’s only two words will always stick out in their inbox amongst the run-on sentence subject lines of most marketing messages. It comes off more conversational as well – almost as if it’s being sent by a friend or colleague.

Urgency is a quick win for any subject line, and this one does it gracefully without coming off as desperate. It provides intrigue by highlighting some event that they might have forgotten about or brushed off. That said, when choosing this subject line, be sure you deliver on the expectations in the body. For instance, it works best if you had previously invited them to something and they never responded, or if you’re now inviting them to something in that email.

Following an omnichannel approach

“Just left you a voicemail”

Why it works: It shows this isn’t your first touchpoint and indicates that you’re serious. It also shows that you aren’t just a spammer who should be ignored. While sending 20 emails over a two-week span would be considered spam, the omnichannel approach demonstrated with this subject line shows that you’re seeking a genuine connection and are going to be respectfully persistent.

You have relevant data to share

“You’re not alone”

Why it works: To start, it stokes curiosity because it implies you know something about them, their company, or a competitor – something they’re not aware of or perhaps you’re overlooking. Either way, this subject line is getting opened more often than not. Plus, it has the added bonus of being short so it stands out in their inbox.

To truly deliver on a subject line like that, though, you’ve got to follow through in the rest of the message. Thankfully, it easily tees up sharing relevant industry data or competitor insights. It’s easy to capitalize on this subject line if you just released a new white paper, invested in some exclusive industry research, or have a killer product that will solve a major pain point you know they’re facing.

You’ve followed up several times with no success

“Missed you again”

Why it works: For one, it shows this isn’t the first time you’ve attempted to reach them. That shows persistence and an element of urgency. You’re proving that you aren’t just another face in the crowd. You’ve got something you want to say and you won’t give up.

A subject line like this works well within an omnichannel approach that involves touchpoints across several channels – rather than just sending through a high volume of email touchpoints. That way you come off less spammy. For instance, you can send your initial email, then call a couple days later, follow them on Twitter the following week and try emailing again a few days after that.

The frequency of touchpoints is up to your style, but if you keep leapfrogging between different channels, then the odds of eventually breaking through are in your favor.

Seeking a connection or talking point

“Have you tried [local restaurant name] in [their city]?”

Why it works: Everyone is aggressively pitching their product these days, talking about how great they are and, in effect, consistently pushing people away. To break through this noise, you’ve got to be different. One way to do so is to simply start a dialogue with them.

Conversation starters, like the subject line above, are a safe bet because most people love trying new restaurants. It also has that added bonus of providing a personal touch to the email.

While pulling this email subject line off takes a little research and finesse, it’s totally doable. You don’t even have to have gone to that restaurant before. You can say you heard about it and ask if it’s worth going when you visit. If they haven’t been, you can build rapport by sharing all the great things you’ve heard. A true win-win for everyone.

When being nice and inquisitive got you nowhere

“Let’s cut to the chase”

Why it works: Sometimes being blunt can break down barriers. People often enjoy candid behavior as it’s outside the norm and can be refreshing. Even better, following through on an email subject line like this is very easy to do.

For one, you can cut the fluff or pleasantries in the body copy and be direct. Tell them you’re behind on your sales quota and that you can give a substantial discount as a result. Tell them you don’t need their business, but you know they would benefit from your product. Do the opposite of what you normally would, and you might find the results surprising.

It’s worth noting this likely shouldn’t be your go-to approach for all customer interactions. However, for particularly tricky, difficult or downright silent prospects, it can be exactly the kind of strategy that finally breaks through.

An honest approach to starting a conversation

“Where should we begin?”

Why it works: Some people like to be sold to in a specific way. A subject line like this starts that conversation in a low-pressure way – one that comes off casual, honest and to the point.

To make a message like this work, state what you’re looking to achieve and genuinely ask how they’d like to proceed. Some simple questions you can ask include:

  • What would it take you to switch?
  • What problem has nobody been able to solve for you?
  • If you could wave a magic wand and solve your biggest problem what would it be?

The body copy following this subject line could also take an approach of removing all mental energy by providing numbered options they can choose from. Here’s an example in action:

  1. Send me a personal video of you explaining your product and how it would benefit my business.
  2. Let’s schedule a 10-minute call. Send me over a few times that work this week.
  3. I’m too busy, email me again in a month, please.

Remember, the key to making your follow-up email subject lines irresistible is to speak directly to the prospect’s needs, pain points and desires. You’ve got to pique their interest with emotion-provoking language and personalization, and by sounding natural and human instead of salesy and robotic.

Last Thoughts on Follow-up Emails

There are various scenarios in which you could use email marketing without a follow-up strategy and still get replies. You could, but why would you? The follow-up is a huge part of what makes email the king of customer acquisition and retention. Following the steps above can help give you the best shot at getting prospect replies.

→ Download Now: Follow-Up Emails [Free Templates]

Follow-up Email FAQs

How many follow-up emails should I send?

There is no magic number of follow-ups that will get your foot in the door with a prospect. However, it’s generally considered that more than five follow-ups is the bare minimum you should do, and up to around 10-12 in total.

How long should I wait to send a follow-up email?

The problem with follow-ups is that you don’t want to follow up too soon, nor do you want to follow up too late. Sales professionals differ in terms of their ideal duration, ranging anywhere from three days to a week or two. An effective strategy should center around your specific sales cycle – starting with a couple of days between touchpoints before extending to longer durations (one to two weeks) in the subsequent follow-ups.

How do you send a follow-up email to a busy person?

A follow-up email to a busy person has to respect their time. Keep it brief, but don’t forget to offer value. Ask yourself how your email benefits the recipient, and then fit that message into a short email. Don’t underestimate the power of the subject line either – grab their attention.

How do you follow up without being annoying?

Annoying emails make it clear that the sender hasn’t made any effort to get to know the prospect as an individual. They also tend to focus on the sender rather than the recipient. To follow up without being annoying, you’ve got to respect the recipient’s time and offer them value. If you do this and schedule your emails at appropriate intervals, then they likely won’t come across as annoying.

Can I automate my follow-ups?

Yes! Mailshake can help you stay efficient and drive engagement and productivity with an automated follow-up feature.

Where can I find examples of follow-up emails?

A quick Google search will return plenty of successful follow-up email examples for you to choose from. Here are 14 of our own follow-up templates to help get you started.

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