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Maximizing sales with 10 follow-up email tips that actually work in 2023

Build a bridge to keep your sales cycle moving forward

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Effective follow-up sales email campaigns are the key to success in generating leads and closing deals, as well as developing a long-lasting relationship with your customers.

Think about a follow-up email as a bridge that maintains connections and keeps your sales cycle moving forward. If you don’t follow up with your prospects after the initial encounter, they can quickly lose interest and become cold.

A follow-up email also plays a vital role in post-purchase interactions. From collecting valuable feedback and offering further support to requesting testimonials and upselling services, follow-up emails have become an indispensable component of modern sales strategies.

Today, we’ll introduce 10 effective follow-up sales email tips that can help transform your sales approach and improve your overall sales performance. Whether you’re a sales professional trying to optimize email campaigns or a marketer looking to refine email outreach, you’ll find useful and actionable techniques in this article.

1. Personalize Your Follow-up Email

Sales email templates can provide a starting point to leverage email marketing in sales. But if you want to deliver a meaningful message and grab your prospect’s attention instantly, you should move from using those templates to applying email personalization.

When you personalize your emails to individuals, you demonstrate that you value their time and are genuinely interested in meeting their needs.

Try the following:

  • Use the recipient’s first name: Addressing your prospects by their first name creates an immediate sense of familiarity and connection. It shows you did your homework to understand who they are and treat them as an individual.
  • Leverage dynamic content based on segments: Segmenting your email list allows you to group prospects based on specific criteria like industry, occupation, and historical interactions. Once you create different segments, tailor your email content to each cohort.
  • Write emails based on recent events: Keep an eye on your prospects’ recent activities, such as promotions, awards, or company milestones. Then, when writing a follow-up email, mention the relevant event to start a conversation. Doing this shows that you’re paying attention and genuinely interested in their success, which will help increase the chances of a favorable response.

2. Keep Your Follow-up Email Short and to the Point

Today people are overwhelmed with emails and have limited time to check their inboxes. To make your message stand out and respect their busy schedules, be thoughtful in your follow-up messages. The more you can get across in a single email, the better.

For example, you can structure your follow-up emails for easy scanning. Use subheadings to break up the message and guide the recipient’s attention. Highlight important words or sentences with bold formatting. Incorporate bullet points and numbered lists to present information in an organized manner.

Remember that your goal is to make it as easy as possible for recipients to understand your message, take action, and respond promptly. When you apply this approach to writing follow-up sales emails, you can improve the readability and impact of your campaigns.

3. Use a Clear Subject Line

Here’s a fact: The subject line of your follow-up sales email is the first thing your recipient sees when they receive your message. It can be the deciding factor in whether or not they open your email.

Hence, you should make sure your subject line is well crafted. Keep it short and to the point. Use no more than 5-7 words to convey the purpose of your email. A long subject line might get cut off by many service providers like Gmail and ultimately lose its impact.

Also, your subject line should clearly state the purpose of your email. Avoid vague or generic subject lines like “Checking In,” “Follow-Up,” or “Hi Again.” Instead, use a specific and descriptive subject line like “Congrats on Your Recent Promotion.”

Note that you should avoid using spam trigger words like “Free” or “Act Now” in your subject line. These words can trigger spam filters and prevent your email from reaching your recipient’s inbox.

4. Use a Friendly Tone and Be Polite

When writing a follow-up sales email, remember to use a friendly tone, be polite, and write like you talk. Done right, this can improve the effectiveness of your email personalization strategy and email engagement metrics.

Why? Because a conversational writing style can make your message more approachable and relatable. You create a personal connection as if you were speaking directly to the recipient and a welcoming environment where prospects feel comfortable. This encourages open communication and facilitates a productive dialogue between you and the recipient.

Using a warm and personable tone in your email also helps communicate empathy. It shows the recipient that you understand their needs and concerns, helping create a positive impression and foster a sense of trust. When prospects feel understood and valued, they’ll be more likely to engage with your email and consider your offering.

Pro tip: Avoid writing business emails when you’re not in a good mood, as advised by researchers at Harvard Business Review, “If you are having one of those days where you can’t give thoughtful attention to an email, send a quick reply acknowledging you received it, and let them know that you plan to respond to it at greater length as soon as possible.”

5. Provide Value in Each Follow-up Email

When you consistently provide value in your follow-up emails, you demonstrate your commitment to your prospect’s success and build a relationship of trust. By offering something beneficial, you establish yourself as a valuable partner rather than just another salesperson.

Consider the following:

  • Share relevant content: Identify the prospect’s pain points and share an article you recently published that can help address those challenges.
  • Offer access to a community: Invite the prospect to join an online community or LinkedIn group where they can engage with like-minded individuals and industry experts. This fosters a sense of belonging and provides opportunities for learning and networking.
  • Provide support or a free demo: Offer personalized support or a free demo of your product to help the prospect better understand its value and functionality. This hands-on experience can be instrumental in moving them further down the sales funnel.
  • Offer exclusive insights: Share industry trends, market reports, or research findings that are relevant to the prospect’s business. This positions you as a trusted advisor and a thought leader.

6. Make Sure Your Follow-up Email is Mobile-friendly

Most people check emails on their phones. Hence, it’s essential to prioritize a mobile-first design.

The best practice is to adopt a responsive design. A responsive email layout guarantees that your email will adapt and fit perfectly into any screen size, whether a smartphone, tablet, or desktop. By providing a smooth and effortless viewing experience, you can enhance email deliverability and boost engagement rates.

Also, you should adjust other email elements to fit the mobile inbox. For example, due to limited screen space, keep your subject line concise yet captivating. Take advantage of the preheader text to complement the subject line, providing a brief summary or teaser to entice recipients.

Another technique is to optimize images within your email to load quickly on mobile devices. Compressed and appropriately sized images not only improve load times but also ensure they display correctly without appearing stretched or pixelated.

7. Offer a Clear Call to Action (CTA)

A call to action in follow-up sales emails helps guide recipients toward taking the desired action and improves email click-through rates.

A compelling CTA should be clear, specific, benefit-driven, visually appealing, and strategically placed.

To that end, use action-oriented language that leaves no room for ambiguity. For example, instead of a generic “Learn More,” use “Download Our Free Ebook,” “Read Our Latest Article,” or “Sign Up for a Free Trial.” Being specific helps the recipient understand exactly what they need to do.

You should also clearly communicate the benefits that recipients will gain by clicking on the CTA. Doing this will make it more enticing.

Regarding design, use contrasting colors, bold fonts, or buttons to draw attention to the CTA. Also, place it above the fold in the email and ensure it’s visible so that your recipients don’t need to scroll down to see it.

8. Follow Up for a Good Amount of Time

Most leads require several touchpoints before converting into sales. Therefore, you should create a lead nurturing follow-up sequence that caters to multiple touchpoints.

Specifically, instead of sending just one or two follow-up emails and giving up, persistently engage with your prospects over a sufficient amount of time. By doing so, you can increase your chance of building relationships with them, addressing objections, and closing deals.

Consider these:

  • Determine the ideal length of your follow-up email flow based on your industry, product complexity, and typical sales cycle. This ensures you stay engaged without overwhelming your prospects. For instance, a sequence spanning 4-6 weeks may work well for many sectors.
  • Craft a sequence that includes a variety of touchpoints, such as emails, phone calls, social media interactions, and personalized messages. Each touchpoint should add value and move the prospect further along the sales funnel.
  • Avoid coming across as overly aggressive or desperate. Instead, maintain a friendly and professional tone throughout your communication. Show genuine interest in helping prospects, and be responsive to their questions.

9. Send a Follow-up Email at the Right Time

Timing is crucial for maximizing email open rates of your follow-up campaigns. Sending emails at the right time ensures your emails are received and opened by prospects.

For instance, if you know your prospect recently attended a conference, follow up shortly after to discuss relevant topics. This helps demonstrate your proactive approach and keeps the conversation timely and relevant.

Try the following:

  • Conduct A/B tests to determine the best time to send follow-up sales emails. Divide your prospects into different groups and send emails to each group at different times, preferably during business hours.
  • Test different days of the week, but keep in mind that Tuesday and Thursday tend to be the most effective for sending business emails, according to OptinMonster.
  • Consider the time zones of your prospects. Use data from your CRM to segment your prospects based on their location.

10. Track and Measure Your Follow-up Email Success

Don’t just send follow-up emails without tracking their performance. With sales engagement platforms like Revenue Grid, you can easily track and measure the success of your follow-up emails. Gain insights into who opens, engages, and unsubscribes, enabling you to understand your prospects’ behaviors and seize conversion opportunities.

Ensure you determine email engagement metrics aligned with your goals. Revenue Grid’s sales engagement platform provides comprehensive analytics, including open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, response rate, and unsubscribe rate, empowering you to evaluate email performance effectively.

Additionally, analyze where prospects drop off in your sales funnel, allowing you to optimize your follow-up emails and enhance your sales pipeline. Continuously refine your email strategies based on customer satisfaction and successful conversions, while promptly addressing any issues that arise.

Track, measure, and optimize your follow-up emails with sales engagement platform to boost your email marketing effectiveness and achieve outstanding results.

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    Mastering the art of follow-up sales emails can significantly improve your chances of closing deals and building solid relationships with prospects as well as customers.

    Remember, the key is to balance being persistent and not becoming annoying. Show genuine care and interest in your prospects and provide valuable information addressing their needs and concerns. Customize your emails to each recipient and include a personal touch that resonates with them.

    Core UX Writer at Booking.com

    Lavender Nguyen is a Freelance Content Writer focusing on writing well-researched, data-driven content for B2B commerce, retail, marketing, and SaaS companies. Also known as an Email Marketing Specialist, she helps ecommerce B2C brands develop high-converting, customer-focused email strategies.