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10 Tips to Improve your Email Follow Ups

A potential client has registered an interest in your business’ services or products. Now you have an opportunity to generate a sale or a paying client from this opportunity. Well, they’ve approached you, so this should be an easy sale, right?

Just like that proverb about not counting your chickens till they hatch, you should not be adding sales till the deal is done.

Now, you have a potential client who has either engaged with your website’s content or talked to briefly on the phone, it’s time to send a follow up email and bring home the sale. You want to do it right.

Whether your business is large or small, you want to do it right and respond with a strong follow up email that wins them over.
That’s why Ricemedia has put together 10 vital tips for crafting the perfect follow up email.


Before you can think about writing that follow up email, you need to ask “What is my objective?”

I have seen hundreds of emails that are just ‘checking in on me’, which I can only assume are there to be follow up emails but I’m just not sure. These emails are short, bland and serve no real purpose. In all honesty, I can’t tell if they want to set up a meeting or call, they are incredibly vague. The fact I read them is short of a miracle as the subject lines are just as bad but I’ll touch on that later.

Decide on the objective or purpose of your follow up email or you’ll find you’re wasting an opportunity.

Subject Line

33% of email recipients open emails based on the title in the subject line. It is literally the first piece of text your potential client will see, so it needs to be a strong subject line. This is difficult to do. Ideally aim for something short and sweet.

When working with large number of follow up emails, it is worth experimenting with different subject lines. Running A/B testing can help you find a perfectly optimised subject line, though strangely enough, having nothing in the subject line could yield some interesting results.

Emails with no subject line were opened 8% more than those with one. There’s also just putting “Re:” in the subject line, a tactic I found personally show some positive responses as it implies we’re already in a conversation.

State the Purpose Clearly

This tip is simple enough, when composing your follow up email, don’t waste your time or your potential client’s with lengthy emails and pointless niceties.

Don’t get me wrong, ask ‘how are you?’ and ‘are you well?’ but don’t over do it. In a follow up email, you want to be a careful balance of friendly and straight to the point. This person has registered an interest, don’t lose it by wasting each other’s time.


When composing the content of your follow up email, there is much to consider. You want your content to be sharp, decisive and persuasive.

When creating the content, avoid enclosing images or documents unless requested and the formats needed are provided. Both can cause problems for your follow email, such as not opening or causing your email, which gives the wrong impression, to be treated as spam. (We touch on this later) Avoid turning your follow up email into a sales pitch, they have registered an interest and bombarding them with a sales pitch is off putting.

Keeping your email short and straight to the point, long, bulky text is less likely to be read as visually it seems unappealing and is a waste of your time as well as your potential client’s.

Call to Action

Your call to action is important in the follow up email. It’s the phrase or piece that will snap the recipient into action into setting up a meeting or a purchase but it needs to be placed clearly in an email.

Ideally you’d want to throw in your call to action early into the email, first or second paragraph in, getting to the point of your email. Keep your call to action sharp and brief, enticing the reader to respond. One thing to bare in mind is not to over do your call to actions, too much can turn a concise follow up email into a sales pitch.

Avoid Clichés  

This is more to do with writing and communicating as whole, avoid clichés. Just avoid them. Throwing in clichés, especially in a follow up email, is just bad writing and off putting. Nothing turns away a client like a hammy cliché.

The main, underlying objective of this email is to sell your services or product to this potential client or become closer to making that sale. To achieve this, you need to show that potential client the very best you and your business have to offer and overused clichés does not give the best impression.


The timing important to sending your follow up email. This might sound simple but the day of the week and the hour of the day you target the potential client as it could mean whether your email get read or forgotten.

Avoid emailing on a Friday, especially in the afternoon, as most people are looking forward to finishing for the weekend. That means your follow up would most likely be forgotten till after the weekend, making its even more likely to be ignored or forgotten.

Avoid Being Treated as Spam

One of the biggest problems in sending a follow up email or all forms of email marketing is your emails being treated as spam, by either the receiver or email. There are some basic steps to avoid this.

Simple things like random text sizes or CAPITALIZING in subject line can get your email flagged as spam. Be aware of this using proper punctuation can make a real difference as you would for your follow up email. Also avoid certain terms in the subject line, such as; lottery, PPI, debt and etc. These keywords are especially targeted as spam.

Going Mobile

Considering if your email is mobile friendly might seem strange but can be a game changer when it comes to email marketing and writing your follow up email. With over 40% of emails are now opened through a mobile device and how mobile devices are becoming more integrated with business, taking simple steps to make your emails mobile friendly could improve your follow up emails.

These steps are simple enough to implicate and should not affect your follow up email strategy. Think short subject lines, single column templates for content, small images so not to reduce load time and decent sized font. This is something you can easily experiment on your own mobile devices.

Passive vs Aggressive

When writing your follow up email, consider the tone and language when composing it and ask, are you writing passively or aggressively? By passive or aggressive, I don’t mean either very nice or very angrily, I’m talking about how you frame the conversation.

A more passive email would invite the reader to reply or respond to the follow up email, throwing in suggestions you should get together to discuss this further, rather than directly asking for a meeting or interview. A more aggressive tone or framing, you imply you will be calling or you’re expecting a response, taking up the initiative.

Both types of writing have their pros and cons when using them for a follow up email, it is up to the marketer to decide which would suit the situation and generate the most leads or sales from. Again, this can be found through A/B testing or any relationship you’ve built with the potential client.

Those were Ricemedia’s 10 Tips to Improve your Follow Up Email and how to improve your lead nurturing results and drive sale conversions. If you’re interested in knowing how Ricemedia can streamline your business’ marketing automation, improve conversions and drive ROI, get in touch today. 

Photo by Dennis Skley, available under a Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic Licence

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