THE ULTIMATE GUIDE ON HOW TO WRITE A FOLLOW UP EMAIL

How To Create A Follow Up Email

in 5 Simple Steps

There are three words we all read far too often:

  • "Just checking-in to see ..."
  • "Thought I would just check in and find out ..."
  • "Wanted to just check-in to hear ..."

It’s the follow up email. And these emails are often repetitive and ineffective. We're not "just checking-in" - we are trying to accomplish something.

So how do we write an effective follow up email that actually accomplishes our end goal? Read below to understand the key steps to writing a successful follow up email.

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Determine Objective

Step 1

Before crafting a follow up email, we must first clarify what our objective is to draft a more effective call-to-action.

There are four primary objectives for a follow up email:

Need Information
When we need to clarify a piece of information, get a status update on a deal, or determine whether we got a job.

Request a Meeting
We generally want to meet with a contact to pick their brain, give a pitch, ask for a favor, or receive feedback. 

Just To Catch Up
When we haven’t spoken to a particular connection in a while, when we hear exciting news about them or their company, or when we want to share a milestone that we accomplished.;Thank You

Say Thank You
When we haven’t spoken to a particular connection in a while, when we hear exciting news about them or their company, or when we want to share a milestone that we accomplished.

Sample Sales Follow Up Email:

Let’s walk through an example to better understand the process of writing a follow up email. Say we just had an insightful conversation with a potential client and we need to send a follow up email to set up another meeting to dive deeper into a topic. This falls under the "request a meeting” type of follow up. Here's an example.

Open With Context

Step 2

It’s easy to forget to include a personal connection or a common interest that will help our contact remember us if we don’t already have a close relationship. Re-emphasizing our initial email or interaction will help jog their memory and make it easier for them to respond.

Effective Email Openers:

  • We met last week at the [Name of Event or Location].
  • I was inspired after you spoke at the [Name of Event].
  • Our friend, [Mutual Friend's Name] suggested that I reach out.
  • Last time we spoke...
  • Following up on the email I sent a few weeks ago about [Topic].

Samples Sales Follow Up Email:

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Clearly State Purpose

Step 3

We should be straight forward with our follow up intentions right off the bat. For example, don't just state “I’d like to grab coffee and chat about what you do.”

Instead say, “I’d like to grab coffee to learn more about how you consistently reach quota because I’ve been struggling with my targets.”

With specificity, our contacts can better help us achieve what we need and we won't waste their time.

Common Ways to Articulate Purpose:

  • I want to invite you to join me at [Name of Event], I think you'll find it helpful for what you do at [Company Name]
  • As we discussed, here is the developer [insert link] I think could help you with your new website.
  • It would be great to hear more about [topic] as I'm working on something similar at [Company Name]

Sample Follow Up Email After Meeting:

Craft Subject Line

Step 4

We conducted a study in 2014 using 6.4 million emails sent with HubSpot Sales and learned a few things about subject lines that improve email open rates:

  • Use concrete numbers and times. Emails with "Quick" in the subject line were opened 17% less than those without.
  • Create a sense of urgency by using “tomorrow.” Emails with"Tomorrow" in the subject line were opened 10% more than those without.
  • Try omitting the subject line. Emails with no subject altogether were opened 8% more than those with a subject line.

Sample Follow Up Email After Application:

When To Follow Up

Step 5

Okay, so our follow up email is written. When should we send it? Here are some suggested time frames for follow up emails based on various use cases:

24 Hours
Thank you follow up email or after a meeting or conference.

48 Hours
After submitting a job application. 

1-2 Weeks
Follow up on a meeting request or after no response regarding a job offer.

Every 3 Months
To catch up with a connection.

Take Your Follow Up Emails to the Next Level

Equip yourself with tools to follow up effectively

When people are in the consideration or decision stage of the buying cycle, they’re not patient. If you don’t have the tools setup to respond to them quickly, they’ll make a decision without you.

Josh Harcus

Founding Principle

Hüify

The 5-Minute Follow Up Technique
By implementing a new process and using HubSpot Sales, not only has Hüify fostered a culture for lead follow-up but also enjoys a 90% response rate from their leads.

 

Seize control of your follow up email with HubSpot.

There's a lot of uncertainty around following up. Use HubSpot Sales to know exactly when your prospects open your emails and when to follow up.

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