How to Perfect the Lead Follow-Up

Follow up with leads to never lose them.
lead follow up article cover
It's no secret that it takes more than one attempt to successfully turn a lead into a real prospective client.

In fact, it's been calculated that it takes around eight touchpoints to do so.

This means that, while your first impression definitely matters, the secret to a successful sales strategy is the lead follow-up.

Read on as we explain the best follow-up system strategies for you to apply to your sales efforts.

What Is the Lead Follow-Up?

Let's first understand what a lead follow-up is.

As the name suggests, it is a salesperson following up on a lead. Usually, they have not responded to the initial outreach, but sometimes it may be because they responded asking to be circled back to later.

This means that the first cold email, call, or direct message did not get the enthusiastic response that garners a sale, but the salesperson was not told no. For SDRs and BDRs, this means that there is still potential for a sale there. They just have to try other ways to get the lead's attention or remind them that they're there.

A follow-up can be done directly as part of the salesperson's email sequence and will be usually managed by the team's SDRs. It's imperative that they understand their target audience when crafting their follow-up messaging because this is where the true opportunity lies.

This is one of our strengths here at SalesPipe: we provide trained and tested SDRs that understand our client's needs and how best to approach their audiences with the right messaging tactics for follow-ups.

For those thinking, okay, following up is clearly important, but how do we follow up with a sales lead? Take a look at this example below of a successful follow-up:
follow-up example Flor
In this example, I start off by acknowledging that it is a follow-up in a humorous way. Acknowledging it's a follow-up versus not acknowledging it can be debated until the cows come home, and I encourage everyone to try both options at least once as people react differently to both options. But I digress.

Essentially, follow-ups should always present new information about your product or service. I am adding valuable information that I did not mention in the first touch, which itself was clear and concise.

If your first touch is to introduce yourself, your company, your product or service, and why you might prove valuable to your lead, your follow-up should reveal more points of value. They already know or have an idea of what you are selling, so paint a clearer picture and add details you missed before. All that specific information you wanted to include in your introduction can start showing up here.

Think of this string of information like an essay. The first touch is your introduction and your thesis statement. The following emails and touches are the body paragraphs, full of evidence. It's where you start pulling out the big (information and data) guns.
lead follow up strategy infographic

How Many Times to Follow Up With a Lead

As with the previous section, this is a bit of a case-by-case situation. The general rule of thumb is between three to six emails as a sweet spot. I have personally had very good luck with four, especially when that fourth email is just the littlest bit wacky and fun.

The question of how many times is also tied into not being the type of salesperson that comes off as unprofessional or pushy. As salespeople, we want to help others, and make them aware of a solution to a problem they may not even realize they have. And yes, we can sometimes be a bit passionate about it, but we also need to respect our prospect's time.

Six is a sweet number to aim for - and a good way to mix it up is to revisit with another three emails further down the line. That way you don't come across as doing too much at once and you can try different types of messaging when you are re-contacting them later on.

Once again, this is something that will vary depending on the industry, type of outreach, time of year, and other factors, but the general guideline is always a good base when you are first testing the waters. Once you know how to swim, you can start taking more risks and tools to surf your way to new customers.

Making a Lead Follow-Up Strategy

So how do we go about creating the best lead follow up system? By keeping in mind three specific points when designing your follow-up sales system: Messaging, Outreach Type, Creativity, and Timing.

Let's take some time to explore what each one means.


You want to be consistent with your messaging constantly. If you use specific wording related to, for example, DEI efforts, you want to make sure you are using that wording consistently in all your follow-ups. It helps your prospect remember what you are reaching out to them about, as repetition does wonders to cement information in our brains.

Your studying tactics in high school can now be used to get customers!

Tied to the repetition of specific wording, you always want to make sure the messaging you are using is relevant to the prospects you are reaching out to. For instance, your product or service may be useful for those in the Operations and Supply Chain divisions at companies.

Use specific wording that appeals to each audience, and segment your messaging and outreach, including your follow-ups, accordingly. Make sure your message is clear and consistent throughout the entire campaign you have set up with your sales tool.

That first email may attract attention, but consistent similar messaging will work wonders for helping the prospect associate you with a solution to their problem.

Outreach Type

The great thing about outreach in the digital age is that you have so many avenues to use. Phone calls, emails or direct messages, and more are all available to SDRs and BDRs. And it helps break your follow-ups more and not seem like a pushy salesperson.

If you combine the first email with a LinkedIn profile visit, that profile visit touch is not intrusive and you have made contact twice. Additionally, because social media moves faster, your outreach via LinkedIn will also receive a speedier response than through email. And LinkedIn lets you be creative by using GIFs, which are a great way to stand out during your follow-up outreach once you've established yourself and your product.

By mixing different types of outreach, you mix the possibilities for your follow-up and can move beyond the restrictive six-email limit guideline.


Follow-ups are a great place for salespeople to truly exercise their creative muscles. That first email or a direct message always has to be brief and to the point, and while there is creativity there, it is mostly about hitting certain points.

Follow-ups can be fun, however. A fun acknowledgment that you are still in your prospect's inbox, a meme, emojis, or a GIF can serve to make you stand out from your competition. And if you don't want to do too much, cleverly written messaging can prove just as effective.


Follow-ups work great immediately after that first contact because it immediately reminds your prospect about who you are and what you can do for them. For a variety of reasons, however, sometimes your prospect, despite being everything you are aiming for, may not reply.

This is when timing and revisiting come in. Six may be the email sweet spot for follow-ups, but no one said anything about doing them all at once. Let a month or so pass by, and then begin re-contacting these prospects that did not respond. It may be a bit harder if you feel like your first outreach was perfect, but here is where the creativity comes in full force.

Remind them of you and your product or service, and really focus on providing value. Update them on everything you have done since last contacting them and why it further proves you would be a great benefit for them. Consistency in your outreach even a few months after that first initial touch will go a long way in demonstrating your determination and reasoning for aiming for your prospect.
best follow up system infographic


Follow-ups are the bread and butter of sales.

While a great first impression will always do wonders for getting prospective customers to think of you fondly, it is the follow-ups that really help you be memorable and, eventually, an actual purchase consideration.

And the key to that is consistency and great planning.

At SalesPipe we ensure that our follow-ups are an integral part of our sales process, and don't skimp on making sure we follow up an appropriate amount of times to get a response. To find out more about us and our SDR services, get in touch with us today.
Post by Flor Fustinoni.
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