Sending an Effective Follow-Up Email

Have you ever come back from presenting to a prospect and felt sure you’d won their business? You felt it in your bones—the account was yours. Then a few days go by, and you don’t hear from them. So you follow up.

follow-up emails

You’re certain that will do the trick. But then, crickets. You get completely ghosted. Where did things go wrong? And how can you make sure you get that callback?

We’ve all been in a spot where we thought we had a slam dunk on our hands with a prospective client and proceeded to drop the ball. It may not seem like as big a deal as the presentation stage, but the way you handle follow-up communication post-presentation is actually very important.

If your prospect is waffling, what you say in this email could make the difference between closing the deal or not. It’s deserving of careful consideration and effort. Format matters. Word choice matters. But don’t worry—I’ve got a simple formula for you.

3 Simple Steps to a Perfect Follow-Up

1. Subject Line

First thing’s first: It might seem odd, but the subject of your follow-up email should never include the word “follow-up.” And please don’t get me started on phrases like “circling back” or “touching base”—that kind of wishy-washy, non-committal language has no place in your communications with prospects.

The subject line should be fun and engaging. It should prompt the recipient to open the email, curious to see what’s inside.

2. The Body

Keep it short and sweet—the shorter, the better. You’ve already given your full presentation. You’ve shown the prospect exactly what you can do to address their pain.

This follow-up email is not the place to launch back into your sales pitch. They should be able to quickly scan the entire email and take action without having to pore over a novel’s worth of words.

3. Close

Every follow-up email you send should always, always, ALWAYS close for next steps. If your email didn’t end with a question mark, then you didn’t follow up, my friend! It might have been a lovely email, but it wasn’t a follow-up.

Don’t approach things sheepishly; it leaves the door open for them to wander right out. Instead, be friendly but assertive, and lay out concrete steps that will keep the prospect moving along the funnel. Below is an example for you to work from:

Subject: CRUSHING your 2020 goals!

Hi Keith!

Happy Monday to you. I really loved our time together on Friday, and I’m confident that coaching is just what you’re looking for next year. I’m excited to hear what you decided to do.

I left you a message earlier today but thought this might be easier for you.

I have a meeting at 3:30, but I’m free until then. Do you have time to talk today?

All my best,

As you can see, composing an effective follow-up email is actually pretty easy. Don’t overthink things! Just make sure you’re friendly, direct, and moving the process along, and you’ll never have to wonder if a lackluster follow-up is the reason you didn’t seal the deal.

Until next time—go sell some stuff!


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