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

Should you write a follow-up to your prospects after getting no response?

Definitely yes.

Asinvestigationsample, you 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, many questions arise:

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

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

If you already know the answers to these questions,Click hereto skip directly to the accompanying writing section.

The summary will be generated here.

Why send follow-up emails

Remembering that the average professional receives126 emails per day, it's all too easy for your cold email to get lost in potential customers' inboxes.

For most of your prospects, the top priority would be responding to your colleagues, customers, and partners. Responding to cold emails is often a secondary priority, which is one of the reasons why cold emails often get lost in potential customers' inboxes.

In this case, follow-ups are good reminders of the previous email, in case your prospect didn't get it or simply forgot to reply to you.

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

I often get emails like this...

How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (1)

... that's it:

How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (2)

Well, they work as reminders; however, these emails miss a second important ingredient: added value.

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

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

Follow-ups create a unique opportunity to capture potential customers' attention once again and provide them with more information about your offer.

How many follow-up emails to send

Before we dive into the ideal number of emails, there's a simple rule of thumb to know and follow whenever you're considering sending follow-ups:

Only send follow-ups if you have a reason.

You might ask, "What if my reason is that I didn't get a response?"

Well, it makes sense on your first follow-up to politely ask if your prospect has had a chance to see your offer or discuss it with their colleagues. But either way, I recommend that you deliver additional value with each new message.

You cannot ask "Why am I still waiting for your answer?" in each of your accompaniments.

So when you think about the number of follow-ups to send your prospects, think about whether you have a reason to.

(Video) How to Write A Follow Up Email Sequence After No Response

Want to send three follow-ups but have a reason for one? Send one. It's as easy as that.

There are many studies on the ideal number of follow-ups for cold email campaigns. For example, Steli Eftisent 48 follow-upsuntil he got a meeting with an investor. At the same time, Joshua Hardwick recommends sendingno more than a follow upfor link building so as not to annoy people and burn bridges.

EmHunter, our main rule is to focus on writing irresistible emails instead of 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 of you could upset them and hurt your company's brand.

If you still feel that three follow-ups are not enough or that you can add more value to your prospects, feel free to use other channels. Twitter or LinkedIn can easily help you get your message across on a personal level.

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

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

For a link building campaign, in my experience, almost half of the links we get come from a single follower. Send more than one follow up and you'll annoy your prospects. Don't submit any and you'll lose 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 potential customers of your offer.

How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (3)

At the same time, if themain goalof your outreach campaign is sales, you'll probably need more than one email.

Depending on your objective, you can provide additional value with follow-ups, trying to identify the prospect's pain points, or providing additional information.

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

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

However, if it's an audience that's familiar with you (e.g., they've already downloaded your lead magnet), fewer follow-ups will be needed.

In general, my best advice is to come up with 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 what works best for you.

When to send a follow-up email

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

Most emails are openedreceived on the same day, so if you don't get a response to your initial email within a day, it's safe to assume you won't get a response at all.

That said, conventional advice is to wait two to three days before sending your first follow up. Note that you should extend this timeout for each subsequent email you send to avoid annoying leads.

Here is a tracker program you can use:

  • Day 1: Initial disclosure email
  • Day 3: Follow-up email #1
  • Day 7: Follow-up email #2
  • Day 14: Follow-up email #3
  • Day 28: Follow-up email #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 hard to keep up with follow-ups if you send out a lot of outreach emails.

Fortunately, tools likehunter campaignscan help you save time by preparing and scheduling highly personalized cold email follow-ups.

once youfind your potential customers email addressesand send them to Hunter Leads, you can start schedulingyour first emailand side dishes.

With Campaigns, you can choose how many follow-ups you want to send, specify delays between each follow-up, customize your subject line, and work on your email copy.

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Once you set this up, you never have to worry about forgetting to follow up with your prospects again. Your follow-ups will be sent automatically.

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

1. Add value to every follow-up

With each follow-up, you need to provide additional value to the lead.

(Video) How to Write a Follow Up Interview Email - This Template Has Worked 100,000+ Times!

I often get traces like this:

How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (5)

Yes, I saw the first email, but the initial offer wasn't clear and I didn't know what Lauren wanted to accomplish, so I decided not to contact her again.

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

There are countless opportunities to make follow-ups work by providing something of value.

For example, if you are adigital marketing agency, you can provide proof of how your current customers are growing using your services by sharing your success studies, results or feedback.

Here's a great email example (with a 16% response rate) that Donald Chan, founder ofIMPACT, shared with us:

How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (6)

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

And by offering to share how they achieved certain results for this company, they give the email recipient a compelling reason to respond.

Check out our directory of the best performing cold email follow-up 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 polishing your opening line to get your prospects interested in learning more about what you have to offer.

Try to avoid these opening lines:

  • just registering
  • Thought I'd sign up and find out
  • I just wanted to sign up to hear about
  • playing base

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

Here's a captivating example from Kevin J. Duncan for a link building campaign he ran for Smart guide for writers:

How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (7)

Also, in your opening line, try to give context as to why you are emailing the prospect. It could be a short, simple summary of your previous email.

3. Keep it short

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

In your follow-up emails, try to remove unnecessary greetings like "Hope you are doing well". Being polite is a must, but it can easily be achieved by using the right style for your email.

Also, don't usewordy sentences. Eliminate words that overwhelm your writing and make you sound insecure.

Here's a great example of a short, direct email to Katia fromAudextSubmitted to showcase your idea with a guest post on the prospect's blog:

  • I did a quick reminder about the previous email (talking about content cooperation).
  • Added a CTA that gives you 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 approaching isn't relevant.
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4. Personalize

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

There are two main approaches to customizing your traces:

1. When you have a small number of leads, you can write each follow-up from scratch, making it unique and personal for each lead.

A great example of this type of email is the one I received fromHubSpot's Growth Manager after not speaking to him for a month since our first conversation:

How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (9)

This email is great because it's very personal. Adam worked really hard doing such in-depth research. In addition to including essential customization, it made tracking effective by:

(Video) Cold Emailing New Clients - How To Follow Up - Cold Email Template

  • Mentioning a mutual connection (he previously spoke with our customer success manager, Giovanni).
  • Please provide a new offer relevant to ourmarketing strategybased on the information you previously received about how to put our customer success project on hold.
  • Showing your experience (you mentioned companies you've worked with previously).
  • End with a clear CTA.

2. Automate customization

When sending a lot of emails, it can be time consuming to customize all of them manually.

Fortunately, you can use tools likehunter campaignsto save time preparing and scheduling highly personalized follow-ups.

Although 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 adding a personal touch to each message, even if they end up being sent on autopilot.

Here's how to do it:

  • Create a .CSV file with detailed information about your potential customers.
How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (10)
  • Then upload to Hunter Leads (a simple CRM tool that allows you to structure information about your lead).
How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (11)
  • Use the data in the .CSV file to customize mass emails automatically.
How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (12)

5. Add a Persuasive Call to Action

When following up on a cold lead, you need to be very clear about what you want to achieve with the cold lead.

Imagine you get a follow-up similar to an email you didn't get a chance to open:

How to write a follow-up email if there is no response (updated 2021) (13)

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

A call to action is very important in follow-up. If you don't guide your prospect through the next steps, they are highly unlikely to take the initiative.

Make it easy for the recipient to respond.

For example, if you're hosting a meeting, suggest a specific time and date: "Does Monday at 4:20 pm work for you?"

If you're linking to your content, you can ask an open-ended question: "Perhaps you're interested in linking to our guide?"

On the other hand, if you want to find the right person at the company to discuss a specific topic, ask “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 have an ambiguous call to action that wastes the prospect's time. Make your call to action clear, persuasive, and hard to resist. Tell your prospects what you want them to do.

6. Avoid sounding passive-aggressive

In your follow-up email, avoid sounding passive-aggressive or desperate.

Direct aggression is relatively easy to spot, but more subtle passive-aggressive phrases can creep into your accompaniments almost without thinking. These types of microaggressions canexasperate your potential customersand quickly undermine the goodwill and mutual trust you have established.

Will you respond to a follow up like this?

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The answer is no.

Even if the prospect wants to respond to the first email and forgets (or just misses it), there is very little chance of getting a response after following up.

So try to skip passive-aggressive phrases in your follow-up emails like:

  • I'm following you because you haven't answered me yet
  • I've tried to contact you a few times now
  • I know you're busy; I'm busy too
  • I know you've opened my first email a few times.
  • any updates on that?
  • just registering
  • Friendly reminder

Also, try to take the desperation out of your follow-ups. Yes, you might be upset that your prospect didn't respond to your previous four follow-ups, but don't show your distress.

Try to reevaluate what you can improve in your messaging, what reason your prospect might have for not responding to you (wrong lead, irrelevant offer, etc.), your call to action, and your offer.

These phrases indicate that you are a little desperate, so try to ignore them too:

(Video) HOW TO FOLLOW UP after a Job Interview! (The PERFECT Interview Follow-Up Email Template!)

  • If it's not a big problem
  • I apologize in advance for disturbing you.
  • sorry for being so insistent

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

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

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

Try not to be too obvious by having "Follow Up" or "Just Checking In" as subject lines for your follow ups. Get a little more creative and write a catchy subject line that will make recipients open your email.

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

  • make them personal
  • keep the copy short
  • ask intriguing questions

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

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

I usually send and recommend using the same topic with the same subject line for cold follow up.

This way, potential customers are quickly reminded of the offer from the previous email. Also, in this case, you can use follow-ups to continue telling the story or offer additional benefits.

However, you can send a different subject line for your follow-up email if your follow-up also contains all the important information. In this case, you give yourself another chance to attract attention. At the same time, I don't recommend changing the subject line more than once to avoid looking like spam.

This is how you can configure everything withhunter campaigns:

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

  • Our next steps
  • Sending you the information I promised you
  • I hate side dishes
  • 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}}

Follow-up email examples

Need inspiration for your next follow-up email? Take a look at these 7 follow-up email examples.

1. Your thoughts?

This is a very simple and courteous follow-up email designed to make you and your offer a priority. You remind the prospect of what you discussed and let them know that you are available to answer any questions they may have.

2. Quick {{first_name}}

Sometimes the best way to get a prospect to respond is to make them smile. That's exactly what this follow-up email tries to do.

3. Right person

This follow-up email tries to move the conversation further by asking the prospect if they're available for a call. If the prospect isn't the right person to talk to, you can refer them to a more suitable colleague to continue the conversation.

4. Not a priority?

With this email, you're showing that you really care about the prospect's goals and won't bother him if he doesn't have an immediate need for what you're offering. However, you still keep the line open by letting them know they can reach you at any time.

5. Ideas about [[prospect's goal or issue]]

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

6. Best fit

If a prospect hasn't responded to multiple follow-ups, it's a good idea to check to see if there's someone else on your team that you should reach out to.

7. Permission to close your file?

The fear of missing out can be a great motivator. With this follow-up email template, the idea is to try to get the potential customer to respond by making them believe that your offer is no longer available to them.

Looking for more follow-up email examples? To checkhunter models.

To involve

It's very difficult to get the attention of someone who hasn't responded before.

That's why, when writing your follow-ups, focus primarily on providing value and offering irresistible deals rather than bombarding your prospects with too many follow-ups.

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

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

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