How to Write a Follow-up Email After No Response (With Sample Emails)

The fortune is in the follow-up. If you’re in sales, you probably already know this.

A follow-up email is an excellent way to put yourself back on the radar. Correct on what could’ve possibly gone wrong in your previous email. Or to build on an already outstanding email.

And yet, a surprisingly large number of follow-ups are plain meh – they’re mostly “just checking in” or “catching up” – and don’t do anything more than adding an extra email to your inbox.

The reason is that most salespeople see followups as a chore. Something to check off their to-do list.

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But what they don’t realize is that each followup is a unique opportunity.

An opportunity to remind your prospects about your product. An opportunity to create urgency. An opportunity to clarify your value proposition, if they didn’t already get it. An opportunity to show you’re worth their time.

But for that, you must learn to write follow-up emails that matter to your reader. Mails that persuade them into taking action.

In this post, we cover everything about sending a follow-up email to your prospects – from having a defined strategy to different techniques to sample follow-up email templates

Table of Contents

How Many Follow-up Emails to Send?

Several studies have also shown that it takes multiple touches and there are rich benefits for salespeople who follow-up multiple times for a response.

Salesfolk's outbound email campaign graph

This case study by Salesfolk shows:

  • 92% of all replies to the campaign were generated in the follow-ups
  • 55% of the replies were generated between the 4th to 8th follow-ups

Clearly having an effective follow-up strategy can improve your response rates by 4-5x and can make or break any cold email campaign.

How Long to Wait Before Sending a Follow-up Email?

The first step to focus on when sending a follow-up email is learning the right frequency of doing it.

Sending a follow-up email to your cold prospects is a tricky proposition.

Follow-up too soon – and you may end up annoying your prospects. Do it too late – and your prospect might have already forgotten you.

The truth is, the timing of your follow-up emails plays a big role in the success of your cold email campaigns.

So, how long should you wait before following-up?

The idea is to come across as “pleasantly persistent.”

Sales experts like Steli Efti recommend a maximum of six touches for completely cold prospects. On the other hand, he insists on following up with warm leads – leads you’ve had some form of interaction with – until you get a response.

Meanwhile, Heather Morgan from Salesfolk recommends using an 8-touch sequence – one opening email along with 7 follow-ups.

In general, it is a good idea to send about 5-6 follow-ups in a span of one month. You can try sending 2 follow-ups a week in the first two weeks and gradually reduce the pace to once a week in the last two weeks.

Here’s a sample follow-up email sequence for your reference.

sales follow-up email

Email sequence softwares can help you create cadences and run them through your prospect list effectively.

If you don’t see any form of engagement from a cold prospect even after about six follow-ups, it is recommended to stop there. This prospect is likely not interested – it’s better you respect his space and time.

If there’s some form of engagement from your prospect, such as:

1. Responded at least once or shown some interest and suddenly went cold:

In this case, you can continue to follow-up until the prospects tell you that they are not interested. After the first 5-6 follow-ups, you can maintain a regular cadence of sending a mail every 7-10 days.

2. Shown very little interest but has also not unsubscribed:

For prospects who are opening your follow-up emails, clicking on the links, etc -continue to follow-up by providing different types of “value add content”. You can choose to run fortnightly/monthly drip campaigns for such prospects.

Go Multichannel with your sales follow ups

Today, your prospects live across different channels.

Therefore, your sales followup need to be executed across all those channels so you stay top of mind and get faster responses.

Klenty makes it easy to move beyond using merely automated email for your sales followup.

With Klenty, you get a powerful Sales Dialer to group calls together and execute in a state of flow.

Want to start outreach on LinkedIn? No worries! Klenty has a LinkedIn plugin that semi-automates all of your LinkedIn tasks so you complete them in 1 click.

How do you Effectively Send a Follow-up Email?

Having to write a follow-up email to scores of prospects every few days is practically not possible – you’ll give up too soon.

This is where a sales engagement platform like Klenty can help you. With Klenty, your sales reps automate the entire process of sending follow-up emails. The monotonous task of tracking links in follow up emails them can also be completely eliminated saving your reps a lot of time.

Klenty has features like:

  • Mail Merge – where you personalize your emails in bulk,
  • Placeholders – where you can add personal information in every email,
  • Sales Cadences – to set up the sequence in which emails, calls & social media activities go out,
  • Automated follow ups – so every email in the cadence goes out automatically,
  • Delivery Window – to control the date and time at which emails go out, and
  • Reports and Dashboards– to stay updated on the performance of every email, every cadence and every sales rep.


All of your prospects are at different stages in their journey to becoming a customer. Therefore, you need to send messaging that matches their level of buying intent.

Klenty has a feature called Cadence Playbooks which helps you detect buying intent, personalize based on intent and deliver the right message to every prospect. With cadence playbooks, you get the perfect balance of automation and personalization for every prospect.

How to Write a Follow-up Email to Cold Prospects?

The other important factor that determines the success of your follow-up email apart from the timing is this – the follow-up email copy.

The idea is to provide value and in every single follow-up email. Remember to keep the prospect as the focus of your email and explain what’s in it for the prospects to associate with you – in your follow-up emails.

Try sending a useful resource – like a valuable research paper or a webinar invite or a case study showing how you’ve helped several customers achieve their goals.

Keep experimenting with your email copy regularly. Try addressing different pain-points, provide social proof, include testimonials/success stories, etc.

Now after doing all this, your emails landing on their spam folders is a huge bummer. Isn’t it?

Make sure you avoid spam filters to make the most out of your effort.

how to write a follow-up email

13 Techniques to Send a Follow-up Email (with examples)

Here are 13 techniques that can help you craft your next follow-up email template.

1. Follow-up Email using a Trigger Event

As a sales development rep, it is always a good idea to keep an eye out for triggers that you can mention in your follow-up emails – such as recent fund raise, media coverage, winning a large deal or hiring a key position.

All these triggers help your cold follow-up get more personalized and boost email response rates.

Sample follow-up email:

2. Follow-up Email with a Pain Point

Put yourself in the shoes of your prospect and empathize with the pain points they may face. Now pick just one major pain-point and center your email around it. Explain how your solution can help with this pain-point.

Sample follow-up email:

This email focuses on one key pain – time spent on onboarding and keeps the focus around it. Similarly, you can use a subsequent follow-up email to talk about another pain point.

3. Follow-up Email with Interesting Content

Think about what your prospect might be interested in reading.

Sharing an interesting blog post or a valuable research paper in your follow-up email can add value to your prospect. For example, try sending a link to some insightful article that was recently published in their industry.

Sample follow-up email:

4. The Terse Follow-up

John Barrows talks about a creative follow-up idea for prospects who have gone completely dark on you – especially after showing some initial interest.

Let’s say you have sent 4-5 follow-up emails and have not yet received a response, here is an idea to try out. Send a new follow-up with no additional content in the email body – but with a new subject line.

Just keep a trail (thread) of all the previous emails you have sent the person and in the subject line, just say:

Sample follow-up email:

The beauty of this approach is that it keeps the focus completely on the subject and those 4 words. If there are prospects who have been intending to get back and need another nudge getting over the line, then this might do the trick – especially towards the end of your follow-up.

5. Follow-up Email with a Benefit

Sometimes it may be tempting to write an email with a laundry list of 4-5 benefits that your solution offers. Hold off on that temptation.

A much better strategy would be to use just one benefit for each follow-up email that you send. It makes it much easier for your prospect to grasp. Here is an example:

Sample follow-up email:

It is simple. Offers just one benefit. The email does not talk about your product or company or even yourself. It focuses on just one benefit that you can get and compels you to respond if you care about it.

6. Follow-up Email using Social Proof

As you plan your email sequence, you may devote one of your follow-up emails to providing social proof.

Sample follow-up email:

7. Follow-up Email using Testimonials

Like social proof, testimonials make for another interesting touch that may be used to add some credibility to your offering.

Sample follow-up email:

Follow-ups like these do much more than putting your previous email back to the top of your prospect’s inbox. They also convey confidence and social proof. It tells a story about your brand.

8. Follow-up Email sharing a Graph

You can share a graph showing the impact you were able to make to some of your customers. For example, if you are an SEO agency, then you may use a template like this:

Sample follow-up email:

This is a powerful email that conveys in a picture what you were able to achieve for a similar prospect. It allows your prospect to drink in the graph and imagine what a similar graph would do for their business.

9. Follow-up Email using Humor

The surest shot way to stand out among the hundreds of emails that your prospect receives every day is to add a dash of humor. If you can make your prospect smile, then you are one step closer to making them like you.

But as always, make sure that this is appropriate for your target audience. Twitter and LinkedIn are good places to get a sense of the type of content that your prospects engage with and to see if funny content is something that they will appreciate.

Adding funny GIFs, images and videos is a quick way to insert some humor into your follow-up emails. For example, this video from Funnybizz uses humor to spice up a follow-up email.

Or this Cookie Monster gif to indicate that you are still waiting for a reply to your previous email:

follow up email giphy

10. Follow-up Email with a Customized Image

By now your prospects might have suspected that you’re using some form of technology to regularly follow-up.

So, how do you convince them that this is a customized email written exclusively for them?

Here is a brilliant example of what Freshdesk did. They sent a personalized email. But inserted inline with the email content is an image with the prospect’s company name – in this case, TimeDoctor.

customised follow up email

It should not be too difficult to create this picture once and customize it every time with a new prospect’s logo using a tool like Canva or Photoshop. But it definitely stands out and creates a memorable impression on your prospect.

11. Follow-up Email with a Competitive Insight

One of the fastest ways to shoot to the top of your prospects’ minds is to share something their competitors announced and reference that in your email.

For example, if you are prospecting to a list of players in the user onboarding industry, then you may want to use a template such as this one here:

Sample follow-up email:

This template combines multiple elements to deliver a winning email. It uses a recent trigger, references, competition, provides value and delivers a customized message that should be compelling to the recipient.

12. Follow-up Email After a Meeting

If you just finished a meeting with a prospective buyer who is a good match for your company’s services, it’s time to keep up the momentum of this meeting with a follow-up.

Sending a follow-up email that recaps the conversation and proves useful to your prospective customer is a great way to keep the relationship moving forward. Here’s an example:

Sample Follow-up Email:

13. Breakup Email

This is one strategy that has been written about a lot and is used a little too often these days. But it is still often effective. It usually reminds the user that you have emailed a few times – but didn’t get a response. And that you plan to stop following up.

Sample follow-up email:

This email makes it easy for the prospect to hit reply and let you know a single number. It also shows some empathy and that you don’t wish to flood their mailbox with more follow-ups.

With all this, there are stuff you are supposed to strictly avoid doing. A few common mistakes can be easily overlooked but can have deadly consequences. Know what the common mistakes people tend to make when they start inside sales email campaigns.

Pro tips to remember while sending a follow-up email

You’ve now got an idea on outlining your sales cadence and crafting the perfect email copy. Let’s now look into fine-tuning your follow-up email processes to level up your email outreach.

  1. Test your subject lines. About 47% of emails are opened based on the subject line alone – so, experiment and create subject lines that influence prospects to open your mail.
  2. Send nuanced, specific information in your follow-ups. In the information age, your prospects already know most of what they need to know. Tell them something they cannot discover on their own.
  3. Diversify your touches. Email can be the foundation of your outreach but not your only foot-soldier. Try calling them, sending a social-media request or leaving a voice message in between your follow-up emails. A multichannel approach generates awareness and interest among your prospects.
  4. Optimize it for the mobile phone. A whopping 55% of email is opened on mobile phones – so, make sure your mails are “mobile-friendly” with 3-4 crisp sentences as against large walls of text.
  5. Keep your Call-to-Action (CTA) highly specific. Sending a crystal-clear Call-To-Action (CTA) with a specific time and date such as “5 pm on Saturday this week?” always works better than a generic CTA.


In sales, success lies in tenacity. And following-up does exactly that.

Following-up, if done well, is an effective way of engaging your prospects and improving your overall response rates.

But as much as following-up is a powerful technique to stay top of mind with your prospects, it is futile without a plan of action. So, experiment and figure out the perfect cadence and email copy that work well with your prospects to achieve your desired objectives.

Bottom line: Follow-up until you make it.

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