Rejection can be a hard pill to swallow, be it in business, relationships, or any other area of life. The email marketing sector also deals with its fair share of rejection. Imagine taking your time to create a beautiful marketing email and, your prospect does not open or even reply. Almost everyone into email marketing has felt this way, and that is, having your email ignored once or twice. For some email marketers, this is probably the end of the road for that recipient, but this is not the best approach to handling ignored emails. Writing another email to follow-up on the first can yield results better than not trying at all.

It's not just about writing a bland email, it's about trying to get them to reply again. In this article, we would see a great strategy to adopt when following-up on an email with no initial response from the prospect.

Different people have different perceptions on the length of time you should dedicate to getting a prospect. In this case, it is necessary to work with your figures. Just before we go ahead to tell you the best strategy to adopt in writing follow up emails, here is a run-down of what we hope you would learn after reading this:

  • How can your follow-up numbers affect your reply rate?
  • The reason you should work with your numbers.
  • Tips on writing a great follow-up email that would produce better results.
  • Sample follow-up emails
  • The best templates you can use when writing a follow-up email.

Let's see how the numbers behind your follow-up emails affect your reply rate. But before that, what are you supposed to know about sending outreach emails and follow-ups? An outreach email has this outline:

  • A salutation or greeting
  • A compliment on the prospect
  • A summary of the product or service the marketer is offering
  • A call to action (the whole point of the mail in the first place)

After writing an outreach email like the one above and not getting any response, most follow-up emails usually look like this:

  • "Hello [Recipient's name], I hope you are well. Just checking if you got my previous email…"
  • 'This is a gentle reminder…'
  • 'Making sure you saw my email …'

If you notice, there is a big difference between the initial email and the follow-up email. There was no creativity in creating the follow-up emails. This attempt would most likely end up in the recipient's trash bin without any action. It's not just about sending a follow-up email; it is about doing it right to yield results.

Some email marketers and business owners would have given up at the first attempt if there was no response or action, and it would still go well for their business. They might base their decision on their past experiences. Therefore, even though business tips are everywhere, you should know how unique your business is. So, do what works for you based on previous experiences. If it comes to whether or not you should send a follow-up email, there is more reason why you should do it.

Follow-up emails can most likely yield more reply rates than what you have from your initial email. There has been a review to show how much good follow-ups do to marketing campaigns.

Here is data from the email marketing industry as curated by Yesware

Number of emails

The graph's horizontal axis shows the number of follow-up emails sent out. We can also see that they were as many as 10 consecutive follow-ups. The graph also shows that as the follow-ups increased, the number of replies kept reducing to the point that it starts bouncing back up after the ninth email. Bear in mind that more email replies can translate to possible sales and eventual profit.

There is also a statistic from Yesware that says about 70% of marketers stop sending emails after no initial response. This report means; that 7 out of 10 salespeople would not benefit from the possible 30 replies because they failed to do one follow-up. It is quite interesting, and as we go further, we would be exploring more numbers from follow-up emails.

Apart from Yesware, Iko System also agrees that more follow-ups also lead to more replies.

This report is double evidence that there is more benefit in following up on your emails than others can perceive. Although the reply rates might be random and inconsistent, you still get more replies from follow-ups than sending only the initial email. The industry you carry out the marketing campaign can affect the reply rates and inconsistencies in the pattern. This reason particularly would lead us to the next thing we would like you to learn from this article.

The need to use your numbers

These days there are so many self-help services around offering information about email marketing. You can put on your computer and google information on different people's campaign performance and use their numbers to plan your campaign. What you might ignore is if that information you found is relevant to your industry in particular. The rate of replies always has different results for every campaign in the same industry, now imagine the outcome from another industry. The behavior of reply rates depends on several factors. Some include; the nature of the brand, seasons, time, the economic situation and, much more.

With all these factors affecting campaign performance, it is necessary to generate your unique strategy and use your numbers to implement your marketing campaigns. This situation does not mean that getting help online is useless. You can use tips from others to gain basic knowledge on strategies. Using your numbers helps you know if you are doing it the right way. It also gives inspiration on how you can get creative with your audience. While doing this, you have to note that your numbers are crucial when you implement strategies.

If you have decided to use your numbers to plan and execute your email campaign, the next thing to consider is what strategy you would adopt when writing your follow-up emails to yield the most replies you can get.

The approach to take when drafting a follow-up email after no initial response

Before we roll out tips, let's have a quick review of the basics to consider before drafting or sending outreach emails.

  • Your email campaign should have a clear-cut goal. You should define the objective of the campaign.
  • Your campaign should be very particular about the value proposition. What value would your email bring to the recipient?
  • You can provide value through educating or entertaining your recipients. Display it in such a way that it attracts them while helping them.
  • Sales are key! Always remember that when you set out to run an email campaign. You don’t just want to talk to your prospects, you want to sell to them. Always drive sales.

For many, the follow-up email is just a backup strategy should the initial mail not get a response. This strategy is not entirely the way it should go. The follow-up email should be as creative as the initial email, or even more creative because the first one did not attract the receiver's attention.

The strategy you adopt when writing a follow-up email will rest solely on the content you are providing. It also dictates how many follow-ups you can send in one campaign. Irrespective of this, your campaign should not lack one important element, personalization.

Do not forget the things you should consider when planning a campaign. Define the reason you have set out to run your campaign, do it clearly. Your campaign objective will have a great influence on your strategy and the direction your outreach would take.

Personalization, however, should not be neglected in your emails, be it initial or follow-ups. There is so much difference a personalized email makes in every campaign. It makes your email sound more human and your audience would most likely respond to a more personal message than something generic. When you personalize your follow-up emails, you do more than just remind your contact about the initial mail, you connect with them. Let’s see how that can be beneficial.

The benefit of personalizing your follow up emails

Personalizing your campaign emails has proven to be yield a high success rate. It can lead to an open rate of up to 82% and as high as 52% reply rate. It is because it looks more like you are talking directly to each member of your audience. Because of the empathy and possible connection, there would be a higher open rate or response.

Make use of personalized and unique pictures to attract your audience's attention. The body of the mail has to be written by you. You can also make use of nuggets and tips to make your email personal. Personalized emails can get your recipient's attention and eventually get them to reply.

In every email outreach, connecting with your recipient is very important. When you can connect successfully with your recipient, you would see that you have created a conducive premise to make your ask. Your connection with your audience must be able to bring value while engaging them in your email.

Always put your prospect first before your ask

You don't only do this is in a follow-up email, you are to always talk about your recipient in every marketing email. The point of sales is knowing and understanding what your prospective buyer wants and offering value to meet that want. You can’t offer something to them without first of all acknowledging that they exist and highlighting their needs as your concern.

You can personalize your emails as many times as you like without losing out on the outreach's objective. With every follow-up email, there should be personalization. Also, place your prospect's needs as a priority.

Using generic emails is not advisable. People prefer direct contact, so do your research on your audience and craft your email in such a way that it arrests their attention at first glance.

Always add value while putting them first

Every email has its unique vibe, so also should they provide value. Always ask what you can give to your prospect before you make your ask. While it is tempting to ignore this aspect while crafting your email, it is necessary to do this before putting out your ask. Explore various ways to provide value with every email you wish to send, even if it is the fourth follow-up.

Remember it’s a follow-up, you can remind them

It’s very possible that your prospect opened your email, read it but somehow forgot to reply. A follow-up can remind this set of people to reply, just like the graph above showed. Your follow-up email should be as personal and creative as the initial email. Even if you are sending a simple reminder, be creative while keeping it as short as possible.

To keep our follow-ups short or long

Another thing that bugs most email marketers when writing emails generally is the length of the email. Should it be long or short? It can be quite tricky deciding which length to go by. In all honesty, there is no right answer or laid down rule anywhere on how long your emails and follow-ups should be. It depends on your audience and what worked or didn't work previously. Remember when we emphasized generating and using your unique numbers? This is one instance its use comes to play.

Although most people propose that follow-up emails should be kept short but it might not work for your audience. This debate has been on for some time and is even considered a myth in email marketing. You can carry out the A/B test to know which length works for your campaign. You create two emails, a long one and a short one. Then, you divide your audience into two and send one group the long email and the other group the short one.

The key to work around this is to know your audience, create a unique experience for yourself and in the process, you would figure out the length that works for you.

Your call to action should be very clear

What is a marketing email without a call to action? This part of the email is non-negotiable, it has to be included. Your follow-up email likewise should not lack one. It’s not just about stating a call to action, it about stating it in a precise and clear manner to influence the action of your recipient, mostly to the positive side. When crafting your call to action, you should keep in mind; the objective of your campaign and work your call to action to be about it.

Even if you are trying to get your recipient to do something for you, you should explore creative ways to state your ask. Provided that you give your audience value in your follow-up mail, their response to your call to action would be more positive than negative.

Sample emails and templates for follow-up emails

We would be looking at some alternatives to follow-up and what you stand to gain in using them. These alternatives can help you know which one to adopt depending on your strategy.

Simple Reminders

The main focus of this type of follow-up is keeping it crisp and brief. You can use simple reminders when you have a long list of prospects to reach.

To use simple reminders, you must have good content. To get the best out of this, you can incorporate a picture to make it be a little lively. Do not forget to use personalization in this type of follow-up. You can also add a little bit of humor to make the reminder less rigid.

Instant follow-up emails

Real-time marketing is one strategy that has been working lately. This is trying to incorporate recent happenings into your email. It could vary from a sports event or a movie premiering worldwide. Whatever you choose to use, make sure you add value in terms of either entertainment or education.

Remember to personalize your email as much as you can. If you personalize a real-time follow-up email, you would see that the conversational tone after you get your reply would take direction based on your previous email.

Sample Templates

Here are two great templates you can use while drafting your follow-up email. These templates are for two separate business scenarios and can be adjusted to suit your style and need.

From an agency that offers services on Facebook Ads

"Hi [the recipient's first name]!

Imagine your name appearing in Time Square just because someone worked so hard on your Facebook Ads.


[recipient’s first name], to show how real I am, I made you a short video.

I just need about 3.5 minutes of your time to show you how you can build your Facebook Ad Funnel that converts to sales.

This is the same process I adopted to drive [RESULT/GROWTH FIGURE] for [SAMPLE CLIENT’S NAME]

I can show it to you too. Check this link

[Insert call to action with the video link]

Take care,

[Sender’s Name]”

From an agency that offers branding and content services

‘’ Hello [Recipient’s name]!

To enable transactions is the key objective of any business. Building a brand is the second part of this objective. The brand-building would give [Recipient's Company Name] the ULTIMATE POWER.


[Recipient’s first name], I made a short video to show you how much I want to help you achieve this.

I just need a -3.5 minutes audience to show you the entire plan and why I am the right person for the job. Just 3.5 minutes and that’s all!

Check this link

[insert call to action with the video Link]

Take care,

[Sender’s Name]

Note: Remember that this is just a template and you should use it as such. You can use personalized and relevant pictures for the emails. You can tweak them to meet your campaign objective and your brand’s communication style.

Try to incorporate images as much as you can because they bring life to your emails.

There are many things that can affect your email deliverability. You need to make sure that your email list cleaner knows what they’re doing so that you are getting the best service for your price and the best return on your investment. Bounceless does. Feel free to contact us.