How to Send a Follow-Up Email After No Response

A well-known conundrum for anyone in outbound sales, here's a deep dive of steps to follow and mistakes to avoid.
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Don't you just hate it when you send a cold email and get no response? It can be quite vexing and often leaves us unsure of what do next.

In this blog post, we'll tackle the art of creating powerful follow-up emails that produce results, even when the initial message was met with silence. You don't have to be a wordsmith to master the perfect follow-up email; all you need is to pay attention to specific components.

So, whether you're touching base with potential clients, rekindling relationships with former past customers, or simply checking in on overdue project updates, let's explore the process of composing an effective follow-up email in the absence of a prior reply!

Why Should SDRs Send a Follow-Up Email After No Response?

Following up is crucial as it greatly enhances the likelihood of receiving a response.

Sometimes, deals seem to be progressing smoothly until they suddenly hit a snag. Days turn into weeks of silence, leaving you questioning your actions and seeking a solution.

By now, you may have already sent prior follow-up emails or left voicemails in your prospect's inbox. Even when things appear grim, it's vital to persistently follow-up after receiving no response.

Research shows that you can boost your average reply rate by eleven percentage points by sending just one additional follow-up email. While this increase may seem small, it can be the turning point between a positive and negative outcome.

Moreover, follow-up emails typically receive higher reply rates. The first follow-up email exhibits a 40% increase in reply rate compared to the initial email.

For instance, if your first email garners a 5% reply rate, your follow-up email could achieve an average reply rate of 7%.

How Long Should You Wait Before Following Up?

The right follow-up email frequency depends on your prospects.

Here is a general schema to schedule the follow-up emails, during business days.

Day 1: The cold email

Day 3: follow-up email 1 – The first follow-up email

Day 7: follow-up email 2 – A new thread with a different value-add and different timing

Day 14: follow-up email 3 – The breakup email

Creating an effective sales cadence does not adhere to strict rules, as it varies based on individual, context, and relationship.

For example, when following up with a high-level executive such as a CEO, it is advisable to allow more time between emails—around 5 to 7 days after the initial follow-up, followed by weekly emails.

Keep in mind that originality is key in crafting a cadence that resonates with your buyer persona.

Follow-Up Email Mistakes to Avoid

The follow-up email has become essential for maintaining connections and ensuring that important tasks don't slip through the cracks.

However, like any tool, it must be used with precision to be effective.
Follow-Up Email Mistakes to Avoid

Don't Follow Up Too Quickly

One of the most common pitfalls when sending follow-up emails is the tendency to follow up too quickly after the initial contact. While enthusiasm and timeliness are admirable qualities, bombarding the recipient with rapid follow-ups can be counterproductive.

It's crucial to give the recipient sufficient time to digest the initial message and respond. Respect the natural pace of communication and allow a reasonable timeframe before sending a follow-up.

Tip: Consider the nature of your initial message and the urgency of the matter at hand. A complex proposal might require more time for review than a simple inquiry. Calculate the situation and adjust your follow-up timing accordingly.

Don't Send the Initial Email Sequence

Another common mistake is skipping the initial email sequence and jumping straight into follow-ups. Building a rapport through a well-crafted initial email is key to a successful follow-up strategy.

Neglecting this foundational step may leave the recipient confused or uninterested. Take the time to establish your purpose and introduce yourself or your proposal before delving into subsequent follow-ups.

Tip: Craft a compelling initial email that clearly articulates your purpose and sets the stage for future correspondence. This will improve the chances of a positive response and make your follow-up emails more contextually relevant.

Don't Skip Important Information

In the rush to maintain a consistent follow-up schedule, it's easy to overlook the importance of providing relevant information in some follow-up emails. Why just some?

For example, the first follow-up email can serve as a reminder. If your first email was on point but got ignored by the prospect, additional info is not necessarily needed and could lead to confusion.

A follow-up email after the first follow-up, however should add value to the recipient's understanding of the topic at hand.

Whether it's additional details, a case study, or updates, a follow-up with valuable information later in the sequence can still start a conversation.

Tip: Before hitting the send button, ask yourself what intention you have and what new information or perspective you bring.

Don't Be Too Pushy

Persistence is commendable, but there's a fine line between being persistent and being pushy.

Bombarding the recipient with overly assertive language or frequent messages can create an adverse reaction. It's important to strike a balance between staying on the radar and respecting the recipient's boundaries.

Tip: Measure the recipient's response to your initial message and adjust your tone and frequency accordingly. If there's a lack of response, consider a more subtle approach, such as offering assistance or rephrasing your request.

Tips for Sending Follow-Up Emails

tips for sending follow up emails

Write a Personalized Subject Line

One powerful strategy to enhance the effectiveness of these emails is personalization, and the subject line plays a key role in capturing the prospect's attention.

When a subject line is tailored to the individual recipient, it grabs their interest and establishes a sense of connection and relevance.

Personalization goes beyond just inserting a name; it involves understanding the prospect's needs, preferences, and challenges.

By incorporating specific details or referencing previous interactions, personalized subject lines create a more engaging and meaningful experience for the recipient.

This increases the likelihood of the email being opened and sets the tone for a more productive and authentic conversation, fostering a stronger relationship between the sales professional and the prospect.

Offer Value

When sending your offer to a client, you can expect a few or even dozens of companies to bombard your lead with a similar or even better offer than yours.

So how can you stand out?

Instead of simply stating the features of your product or service, focus on how you can benefit your client. How will you solve their challenges? How will their future processes be streamlined if they decide to buy from you?

Sending over helpful resources can also give your clients the push they need — think case studies, guides, or certain use cases that are relevant to them.

Diversify Your Channels

Companies engage with leads through various sales channels. While some find email most effective, others prefer prompt phone responses or scheduled appointments. Traditional communication methods may also yield significant results.

Choose the appropriate channel when following up with leads and consider a combination of channels.

For example, combine email and cold call follow-ups. Create concise and actionable email sequences and automate them. Pay attention to eye-catching subject lines, as they greatly influence the success of your follow-ups.

For phone call follow-ups, adhere to the rule of three calls and a voicemail. If leads fail to respond, they may not be receptive to this channel or have other reasons. Persistence may become irksome.

Social media can also be a valuable channel for certain businesses and leads. Many sales professionals regularly utilize LinkedIn for follow-ups.

Although less common, fax follow-ups may be advantageous, as this channel is less crowded. Some companies, particularly in conservative sectors, still use fax machines.

Create Urgency

Compel prospects to take immediate action with expiring links or limited-time offers. While prospects may recognize it as a sales technique, the psychological "fear of missing out" motivates action.

Nobody wants to miss out on a great deal or special offer.

In the example above, replace the first sentence with: "Click to start your free trial before it expires in 36 hours."

Offer Social Proof

Citing research by marketing expert Robert Clay, it is found that a mere 2% of sales occur during initial interactions. "The remaining 98% make a purchase once a certain level of trust has been established."

Consequently, follow-ups play a vital role in building this trust. Clay explains that salespeople foster relationships and trust through ongoing dialogue, commonly known as follow-up.

When engaging with prospects and customers, it is important to avoid bombarding them with sales promotions. Follow-ups can be as simple as a brief check-in email or can incorporate thoughtful gestures such as gifts and personalized notes. The primary objective should always be to add value.

Include a Clear CTA

Today, more than ever, our attention is continuously divided, and we process a vast amount of information daily. Naturally, our attention spans have decreased over the years, and the same holds for potential prospects.

Hence, when crafting an email, it is crucial to focus on a single Call To Action (CTA).

Including multiple CTAs is one of the most common email mistakes and can easily confuse prospects. Moreover, it may leave them uncertain about the next steps, potentially undermining the desired conversion.

3 Follow-Up Email Templates

Follow-up email template #1

If you're reaching out cold and trying to follow-up via email, here's a template you can swipe:

Subject: Could you help me out?

Hey [first name],

[Your name] from [company name] here. I've been trying to touch base with person in charge of [responsibility], but I'm having trouble finding them. Basically, I wanted to show them how [solution] can [improve relevant metric/solve relevant pain point] for your team.

Could you point me in the right direction here?


This template works because you'll either get in contact with the person you need, or they'll send a referral to the right contact.

Follow-up email template #2

If you share information about a particular feature that piqued the prospect's interest, follow-up on it. Make sure the prospect has all the info they need about the specific feature you talked about.

Email subject line: Here's more info on [specific feature]

Hi [Contact Name],

I have to say, I enjoyed our conversation earlier! I'm excited about the possibility of working with [Contact's Company Name] and assisting with [pain point].

As promised, attached is additional information about [specific feature]. Please let me know if you have any questions by replying to this email or giving me a call at [your phone number].


[Email signature]

Follow-up email template #3

If worse comes to worst and you haven't received a reply after multiple follow-up emails, you can always try the following message to create a sense of urgency.

Email subject line: Close your file?

Hi [Contact Name],

My company is cleaning our sales pipeline. Unfortunately, I haven't heard from you, so I assume that you are no longer interested or do not require [your company's product/service].

If that's the case, is it OK to close your file? If you're still interested, [suggest next steps].

I appreciate your help.

Thank you,

[Email signature]

Like the email examples above, craft your subject line to grab a reader's attention, especially if they haven't responded to your other emails. Shorter subject lines (no more than 50 characters) are typically more effective.


And there you go - the uncomplicated method of reaching out when your email goes unanswered. The secret lies in striking a perfect balance between being polite, respectful and ensuring that your message is not lost.

Laying down expectations, right from the beginning, can help tackle any nagging concerns about appearing pushy whilst waiting for a reply. Always remember, a quiet customer does not necessarily mean a disinterested one; various factors might hinder them from getting back to you.

Stick to these tips, and you'll see your email responses increase in no time. One crucial tip to keep in mind: never let potential clients slip through your fingers!

Stay resilient, and don't hesitate to make that follow-up - your sales success depends on it!

If you're ready to get started with scaled partnerships to utilize outsourced SDRs with SalesPipe, contact us today!
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