How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (2023)

Should you write your prospects a follow-up after you haven't received a response?

Definitely Yes.

LikeinvestigateSamples can increase your response rates by 65.8% by sending a single follow-up.

When it comes to writing and scheduling cold email follow-ups, there are many questions to ask:

  • How many follow-ups should you send?
  • How often?
  • What to write about

In this guide, we'll try to answer the most common questions sellers and marketers face and provide detailed guidelines on how to write follow-ups that work.

If you already know the answers to these questions,click hereto jump directly to the follow-up section.

The table of contents is created here.

Why send follow-up emails?

Consider that the average professional receives126 E-Mails pro Tag, it's pretty easy for your cold email to get lost in prospects' inboxes.

Responding to your colleagues, customers, and partners would be a priority for most of your prospects. Responding to cold emails is often secondary, which is one of the reasons cold emails often get lost in prospect inboxes.

In this case, follow-ups are a nice reminder of the previous email if your prospect didn't receive it or simply forgot to reply to you.

However, just asking if the prospect had a chance to read the previous email isn't enough.

I get emails like this very often...

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... it is:

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Well, they work as reminders; However, these emails are missing a second key ingredient: value.

Do you have a product or service that is too complicated to describe? In the email below, send additional information along with the benefits for your prospect.

Not sure if your offer was crystal clear? Show it from a different angle to generate interest.

Follow-ups create a unique opportunity to re-engage potential customers and provide them with more information about your offering.

How many follow-up emails to send

Before we get into the ideal number of emails, there's a simple rule to know and follow when thinking about sending follow-ups:

Only send follow-ups if you have a reason.

You can ask, "What if my reason is because I didn't get an answer?"

Well, on your first follow-up, it makes sense to politely ask if your prospect had a chance to see your offer or discuss it with their peers. But in any case, I recommend that you add value with each new message.

You can't ask, "Why am I still waiting for your answer?" in each of your follow-ups.

So as you think about the number of follow-ups to send to your prospects, consider whether you have a reason for doing so.

Want to send three follow-ups but have a reason for one? send one As simple as that.

There are countless studies on the ideal number of follow-ups for cold email campaigns. For example Steli Efti48 follow-ups sentuntil he landed a meeting with an investor. At the same time, Joshua Hardwick recommends sendingno more than a follow upfor link building so as not to piss people off and build bridges.

InHunter, our number one rule is to focus on writing compelling emails rather than adding too many follow-ups. Therefore, we recommend limiting your cold email campaigns to three follow-ups. Sending too many follow-ups to someone who has never heard from you can anger them and damage your company's brand.

If you still think three follow-ups isn't enough or that you can offer more value to your prospects, feel free to use other channels. Twitter or LinkedIn could help you deliver your message on a personal level.

Keep in mind that the number of follow-ups you need to do can also depend on the type of outreach campaign and your target audience.

Define the number of follow-ups depending on the dissemination campaign

In a link building campaign, in my experience, almost half of the links we get come from a single follow. Send more than one follow up and you will piss off your potential customers. Don't send any and you'll miss half the links.

For example, this single follow-up had the best results for link building: it's short, to the point, and perfectly reminds prospects of your offer.

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At the same time when themain goalyour outreach campaign are sales, you probably need more than one email.

Depending on your goal, you can add value with follow-ups by trying to identify potential vulnerabilities or providing additional information.

Define the number of follow-ups based on your target audience

If you're emailing a completely cold audience, you need to send more follow-ups to warm them up. It also takes longer for them to learn about your product or service before they contact you again.

However, if it's an audience that's familiar with you (e.g. because they've previously downloaded your lead magnet), fewer follow-ups are required.

In general, my best advice is to develop a system that works for you: try to find a balance between being too aggressive and not being proactive enough, try different lengths of follow-up sequences, and stick with the one that works best for you functions.

When to send a follow-up email

You don't have to wait too long before sending a follow-up email.

Most emails are openedthe same day they are received. So if you didn't get a reply to your first email within a day, you can bet you won't get a reply at all.

That being said, conventional advice is to wait two to three days before sending your first follow-up. Please note that you should extend this timeout for each additional email sent to avoid annoying leads.

Here is a tracer program you can use:

  • Day 1: First outreach email
  • Tag 3: Follow-up-E-Mail Nr. 1
  • Tag 7: Follow-up-E-Mail Nr. 2
  • Tag 14: Follow-up-E-Mail Nr. 3
  • Tag 28: Follow-up-E-Mail Nr. 4

After the fourth follow-up email, you can try to follow up once a month.

How to send follow-ups on autopilot

It can be difficult to keep track of follow-ups when you send a lot of outreach emails.

Fortunately, tools likeThe hunting campaigncan help you save time preparing and scheduling highly personalized cold email follow-ups.

if you onceFind the email addresses of your prospectsand upload them to Hunter Leads, you can start planningYour first emailand late registrations.

Campaigns allow you to choose how many follow-ups you want to send, set the time delays between each follow-up, customize the subject line, and work on your email copy.

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Once you set this up, you don't have to worry about forgetting to contact your prospects. Your follow-ups will be sent automatically.

How to write a follow-up email if there is no reply

1. Add value with every follow-up

With every follow-up, you need to add value to the lead.

Very often I get traces like this:

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Yes I saw the first email but the original offer wasn't clear and I didn't know what Lauren was trying to achieve so I decided not to contact her again.

If you had just provided more information with your follow-up, tried to gather more information about me (your prospect), and sparked interest with something relevant, I would be happy to respond.

There are countless ways to make follow-ups work by offering something of value.

For example, if you have aDigital Marketing Agencyyou can show how your current customers are growing by using your services by sharing your success studies, results or feedback.

Here's a great example of one such email (with a 16% response rate) that Donald Chan, founder ofA HIT, shared with us:

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In this follow-up, Donald mentions a company he's worked with in the past as a form of social proof. This business should be well known to the email recipient, whether it's an industry peer, a competitor, or just a famous brand.

And by offering to share how they've achieved specific results for that company, they give the email recipient a compelling reason to respond.

Check out our directory of the best performing cold email tracking templates

2. Write a catchy opening line

If you start your cold follow-up with something boring and non-personalized, chances are you'll never get a response from your prospect.

I recommend buffing up your opening line to get your potential customers interested in learning more about what you have to offer.

Try to avoid these opening lines:

  • just register
  • Thought I'd sign up and find out
  • Just wanted to sign up to hear about it
  • game base

Instead, you can spark interest with a question, mention a common connection, start with the lead's problem, or use a recent trigger event.

Here's a memorable example from Kevin J. Duncan of a link building campaign he ran for Smart Blogger.Gift Guide for Writers:

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Also, try to provide context for why you're emailing the prospect in your opening line. It could be a short, simple summary of your previous email.

3. Be brief

Likefancy notediscovered that emails with shorter text (about 95 words) significantly outperformed emails with longer text (about 170 words). In fact, shorter emails had a 5.81% higher CTR.

In your follow-up emails, try to remove unnecessary greetings like "I hope you're doing well." Politeness is a must, but it could easily be achieved by using the right style for your email.

Also do not usewordy sentences. Eliminate words that complicate your writing and make you sound insecure.

Here's an excellent example of a short and direct email to Katia fromAudexSent to pitch your idea with a guest post on the prospect's blog:

  • I created a quick reminder of the previous email (which was about the content collaboration).
  • Added a CTA that offers two convenient options to continue the conversation (via email or phone call).
  • You asked for the decision maker's contact information in case the prospect you're targeting isn't relevant.
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4. Customize

Personalization is essential when it comes to sending a successful cold email follow-up. The more personal your follow-up is, the better your response rate will be.

There are two main approaches to customizing your traces:

1. If you have a small number of leads, you can write each follow-up from scratch and make them unique and personal for each lead.

A great example of such an email is the one I received fromHubSpot's growth manager after not speaking to him for a month since our first conversation:

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This email is great because it's very personal. Adam did a lot of work to research this thoroughly. In addition to the major adjustments, tracking has become more effective with:

  • He mentioned a mutual connection (he previously spoke to our Customer Success Manager, Giovanni).
  • Provide a new offer relevant to oursmarketing strategybased on the information you received previously to put our customer success project on hold.
  • Show your experience (you mentioned the companies you have worked with before).
  • End with a clear CTA.

2. Automate personalization

If you send a lot of emails, it can be time-consuming to adjust them all manually.

Luckily, you can use tools likeThe hunting campaignto save time preparing and scheduling highly personalized follow-ups.

While Hunter Campaigns doesn't automate the entire process, it still saves hours of your time. It's always better to spend a little more time personalizing each message, even if it's eventually sent on autopilot.

That's how it's done:

  • Create a .CSV file with detailed information about your prospects.
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  • Then upload it to Hunter Leads (a simple CRM tool that helps you structure information about your lead).
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  • Use the data in the .CSV file to automatically personalize emails in bulk.
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5. Add a persuasive call to action

When you're following up with a cold lead, you need to be very clear about what you're trying to achieve with it.

Imagine receiving a follow-up similar to an email that you couldn't open:

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The first question you can ask yourself is, "What does this person want from me?" There is no context, no personalization and no call to action. Even reading the context of the email above, how do you know what to do?

A call-to-action is very important in the follow-up. If you don't walk your prospect through the next steps, it's very unlikely they'll take that initiative.

Make it easy for the recipient to reply.

For example, if you're hosting a meeting, suggest a specific time and date: "Monday 4:20 p.m. works for you?"

When you link to your content, you can ask an open-ended question: "Maybe you'd like to link to our guide?"

On the other hand, if you want to find the right person in the company to talk about a specific topic, ask them, “Are you the right person to talk about this? If not, could you point me in the right direction?”

Many cold emails are missing or contain an ambiguous call-to-action that wastes the prospect's time. Make your call to action clear, compelling, and difficult to resist. Tell your prospects what you expect from them.

6. Avoid sounding passive-aggressive

Avoid sounding passive-aggressive or desperate in your follow-up email.

Direct aggression is relatively easy to spot, but more subtle passive-aggressive phrases can sneak into your follow-ups almost without a second thought. These types of microaggressions canupset your prospectsand rapidly undermining the goodwill and all the mutual trust you've built.

Will you ever respond to a follow up like this?

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The answer is no.

Even if the prospect intended to reply to the first email and forgot (or just missed) it, the likelihood of receiving a response after said follow-up is very slim.

Therefore, try to skip passive-aggressive phrases in your follow-up emails, such as:

  • I'm following you because you haven't answered me yet
  • I've tried to reach you a few times now
  • I know you're busy; I'm busy too
  • I know you opened my first email a few times.
  • Any news on this?
  • just register
  • Friendly reminder

Also, try to take the desperation out of your follow-ups. Yes, you might be upset that your prospect hasn't responded to your last four follow-ups, but don't show your fear.

Try re-evaluating what you can improve in your messages, what reason your prospect might have for not responding to you (wrong clue, irrelevant offer, etc.), your call to action, and your offer.

These phrases suggest you're feeling a little desperate, so try skipping them too:

  • If it's not a big problem
  • I apologize in advance for the disruption
  • sorry for being so stubborn

7. Craft a perfect subject line for your cold follow-ups

Creating a great subject line is one of the first things to do when setting up your follow-ups.

The subject line is the first thing your potential customers see, and they can make the decision to read or not read your email based solely on the subject line.

Try not to be too obvious by using "Follow Up" or "Just Check In" as subject lines for your follow-ups. Get a little more creative and write a catchy subject line that will get recipients opening your email.

Here are the top rules to keep in mind when writing subject lines for your follow-ups:

  • make them personal
  • Keep copy short
  • ask exciting questions

File: How to Create Perfect Cold Email Subject Lines (55 Examples)

Do I have to create a different subject line for each follow-up?

I usually post and recommend using the same thread with the same subject line for cold follow-up.

In this way, interested parties are quickly reminded of the offer from the previous email. Again, you can use the follow-ups to continue the story or offer additional benefits.

However, you can send a different subject line for your follow-up email if your follow-up also includes all the important information. If so, give yourself another chance to get attention. At the same time, I do not recommend changing the subject line more than once, so as not to come across as spam.

This is how you can set everything upThe hunting campaign:

  • Leave the subject field blank if you want to automatically send a follow-up message in the same thread.
  • Add a subject line for follow up if you want it to be sent as a new email.
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Examples of great subject lines for cold email follow-ups:

  • Our next steps
  • Send the information I promised you
  • I hate follow ups
  • great talking to you
  • I forgot to mention
  • What would you say?
  • Only {{number of days}} day(s) left
  • Nice to meet you {{first_name}}

Examples of follow-up emails

Need inspiration for your next follow-up email? Check out these 7 examples of follow-up emails.

1. Your thoughts?

This is a very simple and polite follow-up email that aims to put you and your offer front and center. You remind the prospect of what you discussed and let them know you're available to answer questions.

2. Fast {{first_name}}

Sometimes the best way to get a prospect to respond is to make them smile. This follow-up email attempts to do just that.

3. Right person

This follow-up email attempts to move the conversation forward by asking the prospect if they're available for a call. If the prospect is not the right person to talk to, you can refer them to a colleague who is better suited to continue the conversation.

4. No priority?

With this email you show that you really care about the prospect's goals and that you don't annoy them if they don't need your offer immediately. However, you still keep the line open by letting them know they can reach you anytime.

5. Ideas on [[prospect's goal or problem]]

Sending multiple emails and simply asking if they've read your previous email or if they have time for a call can upset potential customers. On the other hand, providing value in the form of educational resources in your follow-up message is a great way to engage with a prospect.

6. Best Fit

If a prospect hasn't responded to multiple follow-ups, it's a good idea to see if there's someone on your team you should contact instead.

7. Permission to close your file?

Fear of missing out can be a great motivator. With this follow-up email template, try to get the prospect to respond by making them believe your offer will no longer be available to them.

Looking for more follow-up email examples? To verifyHunter templates.

To involve

It's pretty hard to get someone's attention who hasn't answered you before.

Therefore, when writing your follow-ups, focus primarily on adding value and offering compelling offers, rather than bombarding your prospects with too many follow-ups.

Write a catchy opening line to get your prospects reading your message, keep the email short so they don't lose their attention, and do some research to personalize follow-ups.

If you follow these simple tips, I'm sure you'll get a response from your potential customers.


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