Complete Guide On How to Write a Follow Up Email

Complete Guide On How to Write a Follow Up Email with Examples

Do you know how to write follow up emails the right way? A follow-up email can be sent in response to a reply from your recipient. It can become very necessary to send one in various scenarios.

It is not only businesses that should be engaging in this practice. You can make it a relevant means of communication in an informal setting. An example is sending an email to a friend who communicates only through emails and is living in another country. You may be doing so to remind him or her about an upcoming event in your present location that they need to attend.

It is a fact that very few businesses are into this practice. In a study conducted by SuperOffice involving 1,000 businesses, it was gathered that about 97% of them were not reaching out to their target audience this way. Many see it as a challenging aspect of email marketing, while some have not realized its importance yet.

Why Sending a Follow up Email Is Important

It is no secret that you can improve your brand image by providing great customer service. Sending a follow up email can help establish and maintain customer loyalty. It is also as important as a regular email because it is used to perform similar functions such as showing appreciation, making inquiries, giving information, marketing, etc.

This practice goes beyond following up on your readers’ replies, or a previous email you sent. For example; a company can use such emails to promote its businesses, pursue deals, boost sales, establish trust, filter their audience, etc.

The importance of sending a follow-up email cannot be overemphasized. In a Harvard Business Review research, it was discovered that over 50% of customers had complaints about the lack of follow-up. The findings also showed that almost 50% of them inform other people about what they experienced.

Bad for business, isn’t it? So, follow up email is as important as successful advertisement campaign.

In view of the above, you should engage in the best practices for your recipient to see the benefit in opening, reading, and replying. You will learn what to say in a follow up email with the aid of this guide.

How To Write A Follow up Email

There are many ways to stay in communication with your target audience. For example; sending letters, phone calls, social media posts, etc. Emailing is still the most preferable medium because of advantages such as easy tracking of feedback, scalability, and so on.

In writing a follow up email, one has to keep certain crucial aspects in mind. They are your guidelines for arriving at a great draft. See them in the list below:

  1. Know your objectives
  2. Write a catchy subject
  3. Establish a clear connection to the previous message
  4. Make your intentions known
  5. Know how to send a follow-up email
  1. Know Your Objectives

Before you start the writing process, there is need to be sure about what your objectives are. Of course, you also need to think about the ultimate goal. Your aim may be to get more information from your prospect, set up an appointment, or re-establish communication. The list is endless.

Objectives should be based on who your target audience are. Are they customers or businesses? Is it an individual or a group? Is it a formal or informal setting? Your train of thought should go into more specifics after answering those questions.

Knowing what to say in a follow up email is very much dependent on your understanding of the aims for drafting it. There has to be full clarity of purpose for you to be able to explain your intentions in the body of the draft.

Key Points To Note

  • Determine your target audience
  • Concentrate on your ultimate goal
  • Count your objectives
  1. Write a Catchy Subject

In writing a follow up email, you should know how to convert your receivers to readers. This can be achieved by writing a captivating subject. Take note that you can decide to do this after completing the body of the draft.

Ensure that it captures the main idea of the body. Accuracy should not be taken for granted. Avoid getting used to employing common expressions when writing your subject because they lose their attractiveness over time. Overused expressions may make the receiver think twice about opening the email.

Subjects should have an urgent tone in terms of timing. For example, the use of phrases like “24 hours”.

How do you write a follow up email without a subject? It is possible to do so, although it is not a common technique that writers use. However, the technique may not work for certain types of objectives. It is advisable to test the method before adopting it in your follow up email template permanently.

Key Points to Note

  • Be creative
  • Be straightforward
  • Test your chosen technique
  1. Establish A Clear Connection To The Previous Message

It is time to get on with the text. The first thing on your mind should be to let the reader understand that it is a follow up email. One tip is to attach the last email sent between both parties as a reminder.

How do you write a follow up email in such a way that the receiver will have no problem relating it to an earlier one? There must be effective contextualization in the first paragraph in order to relate the previous email to the one you are sending. Examples of expressions that you can use are given below:

“We spoke about . . . last week . . . ”

“Promised to get back to you today . . .”

This is an aspect that should not be taken for granted, especially for those that have not established a strong communication flow with their target audience. The same goes for those that are following up for the first time, as well as those that have not been in communication with their recipients for a significantly long time.

Think of how many people get hundreds of emails every week. There you have it. It is scary enough to think that the one you are about to send might never be visible in the midst of that volume. What about recipients that have set restrictions to focus on certain priority emails? Do not be discouraged just yet. You are good to go as long as you help yourself to the tips you find here.

Key Points to Note

  • Contextualize
  • Attach the previous email
  1. Make Your Intentions Known

Just as it is for your subject, you need to be upfront about this in your first paragraph, otherwise, the message will seem like spam. You do not want the addressee to stop reading based on that suspicion.

So, how do you write a follow-up email that will not appear suspicious or unimportant? By being direct in the very first sentence used to state your purpose. For example, you should not go with a statement like this: “We would like to schedule a phone call with you.” Rather, you would write it this way: “We would like to schedule a phone call with you, so that we can talk about ways to improve the . . . service.”

Here are other examples of what to say in a follow up email text using a direct tone:

“I’ll be glad if you can attend the . . . charity fundraising party we talked about earlier.”

“We just want to thank you for taking the time to participate in the . . . online survey we conducted yesterday.”

Key points to Note

  • Do this in the first paragraph
  • Be direct
  1. Know How to Send a Follow up email

Right now; you have a good idea about knowing what your objectives are, writing subjects, contextualization, and stating your intentions. Aside from having those tips in mind, you should also know how to send a follow up email.

Note that it is not every email sequence that should be automated. A recipient may request to be excluded from receiving future messages about a particular offer. Such an issue can have a negative impact on customer experience if it is not looked into. Disseminating emails that can be perceived as annoying is as bad as not engaging in the practice at all.

You can simply study the period of the day that gets you the most engagement, and then change your scheduling accordingly. It should be different time frames for different purposes and specific audiences. For example, messages expressing gratitude should be sent in less than 24 hours.

Key Points to Note

  • Be mindful of which email sequence you automate.
  • Timing should be based on objectives and target audience.
  • Study your chosen times.

5 Follow up Email Templates

Practicing how to follow up an email should be easy with the steps that have been explained above. You may never write messages that are related to any of the scenarios below; but no knowledge is lost, right? They may prove to be useful in learning how to write follow up emails.

Follow-up Email Template 1

Scenario: Appreciation:

Thanks for participating in the . . . survey, Mike!


Hi Mike,
 
I appreciate that you took the time out of your busy schedule to respond to the questions in the . . . survey.
 
The answers you gave were very insightful. If you would like to contribute more to the research, feel free to send me an email. If scheduling a call would be more convenient for you, do send an email stating your phone number, as well as the time you’ll be free to take a call.
 
I hope to hear from you soon.
 
Thanks again!

Follow-up Email Template 2

Scenario: Request

About the tips you gave on how to follow up an email . . .


Hi Stella,
 
In your last email, you gave some tips on how to write follow up emails. They were very helpful as I was able to make drafts on my own while practicing.
 
I would be grateful if you can send some examples of subject lines used by B2C companies for their emails.
 
Thanks in advance.

Follow-up Email Template 3

Scenario: Scheduling a Meeting

Can we meet to discuss the . . . deal?


Hi Ben,
 
I appreciate your renewed interest in the . . . deal. The good news is that . . . is still in need of investors.

However, time is of the essence. Let’s meet this weekend to have a discussion. Let me know the time and place that would be convenient for you.
 
Cheers!

Follow-up Email Template 4

Scenario: How to Follow Up on an Email for a Job Vacancy

Why I would be a valuable member of your HR department


Hi Kim,
 
My name is . . . I got your email about the open position in your company’s HR department, and I decided to express my interest in being a part of your organization.
 
I think I am well-suited for the position because of the reasons below:
 
[Reasons]
 
You will find my resume attached to this email along with . . .
 
I hope to hear from you soon, Kim.
 
Thanks,
 
[Signature]

Follow-up Email Template 5

Scenario: Reminder

Regarding the . . . special offer we mentioned in our last newsletter


Hello Joe,
 
I just wanted to remind you that the . . . promo is still on till the . . . of this month.
 
You stand a chance to win a . . . if you . . . It does not stop there. Lucky winners get to . . .
 
Simply request for a . . . by sending an email to us ASAP before the expiration date.
 
Sincerely,
Rita
[Name of Company and Department]

Conclusion

Not going the extra mile can make you lose potential and loyal customers. However, you need to know when to draw the line. Respect a recipient’s decision if they opt-out of your mailing list, or turn down your offers.

Now you know how to write a follow up email that will surely get engagement from your recipients. Relax and enjoy the flow of replies into your inbox.

By Kalpataru Biswas

Kalpataru is software sales and product marketing professional. He writes on entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, customer success, and personal development.

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