How to Write a Follow-Up Email (That Gets a Response!)

How to Write a Follow-Up Email (That Gets a Response!)

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Is that what you’ve gotten used to hearing after sending emails to your new sales leads, email marketing lists, or whoever else you need to reach out to for your job on a regular basis?

No matter how many times it happens, it can still be soul-crushing to spend all that time thoughtfully and artfully crafting perfectly-relevant messages that ask for a response — just to get left on read. 📱

We’re here to save you some heartache, and improve your efficiency and effectiveness while we’re at it, by teaching you how to write email follow-ups that get replies.

We’ll approach the process in 4 parts:

  • Part 1: Email deliverability
  • Part 2: Follow-up timing
  • Part 3: Language and formatting
  • Part 4: A follow-up email template to imitate

Feel free to skip straight to the sections where you feel you need the most support, or read from top to bottom for a full refresher on creating action-inspiring email messages.

Part 1: Ensuring Email Deliverability

First and foremost you need to rule out one of the main reasons why your emails get no response: they never arrive in the first place.

That may be because you have the wrong address. Or, your sender reputation has been marred by emailing too many “bad” (aka not working due to cancellation, error, etc.) addresses.

As the most accurate email verification platform, we know that a shocking 30% of emails go bad by the time they’re just one year old.

And if more than 10% of the emails you’re sending are bad, less than 44% of your emails will be delivered! That’s really hurting your chances of doing any kind of business via email.

So, ensure email deliverability with NeverBounce.

First, meet our Verify platform, which you can use to double-check that a handful of email addresses — like the ones you got at that small happy hour last night — are legit.

Or, use one of our many integration methods (API, JavaScript, and Zapier) to install Verify right inside your lead pages, forms, etc. to make sure you’re getting accurate emails from the jump.

With our Verify platform, you can use to double-check that a handful of email addresses are legit.Got bigger fish to fry?

With our Clean capability, you can upload bulk lists of emails via your NeverBounce dashboard and we’ll quickly check them to flag any invalid, duplicate, disposable, incorrect, and even high-risk email addresses.

It’s OK to come to NeverBounce with a list that’s old or that you’re just not sure about. Our team personally reviews lists with lots of unknown emails to make sure the list we return to you is as high quality as possible.

For large sales or marketing operations, you can also integrate Clean’s cutting-edge email verification features into your existing workflow via API to review millions of emails — no matter if your business is B2B, B2C, local, or global.

With our Clean capability, you can upload bulk lists of emails via your NeverBounce dashboard and we’ll quickly check them to flag any invalid, duplicate, disposable, incorrect, and even high-risk email addresses.All of the above is pretty useful — but what if you simply don’t have the time to spend double-checking all your email addresses?

That’s where Sync comes in handy.

Sync is the only automated list-cleaning tool on the market. You simply connect your email provider or CRM and our platform automatically reviews your lists just about every single day. That means your data is already clean every time you go to send that campaign or follow-up message.

With Sync, you can connect your email provider or CRM and our platform automatically reviews your lists just about every single day.Once you’re certain your email list is fresh and deliverability is at an all-time high, it’s time to move on to the next element of writing emails that get replies — thoughtful timing

Part 2: Nailing Email Timing

Nobody likes to impose. Which is why we always get the question: How long should salespeople or marketers wait for a response before following up on their initial email?

The vast majority — almost 90% — of replies that are ever sent to outreach emails are sent within the first 24 hours after they’re received.

In other words, if you don’t get a reply to your original email just a few days after sending it, you’re probably not going to.

In our opinion, the fourth day after receiving no reply is a perfectly reasonable time to send a follow-up message.

Of course, take your industry, target audience, and campaign type — one-on-one discourse, first round of cold emails, fifth round of marketing outreach, etc. — into account. You can even have a little fun by experimenting with different lengths of time and specific days to nail down your most effective follow-up email timing.

Almost 90% of replies that are ever sent to outreach emails are sent within the first 24 hours after they’re received.Part 3: Saying the Right Thing

Time to dive into the action — here’s exactly how to structure and word effective marketing and sales follow-ups.

Subject Line

First things first, the all-important follow-up email subject line.

While you shouldn’t get too in your head about it or let it prevent you from sending a timely message, what your opening line says does impact things like email open and reply rates.

There are many schools of thought and tons of online resources that offer advice on this topic. But generally speaking, here are a few tips to optimize your email openers:

  • Keep the subject short — six to ten words make for the highest open rates
  • Craft unique preview text instead of going with the default
  • Customize it to the receiver whenever possible (check out these personalization practices)
  • Try to send it from your name versus your company name or a generic address
  • Avoid spammy wording or tactics, such as all-caps
  • Include “power words” like the examples from this Content Marketing Institute guide


First of all, always address the email recipient by their name at the top of your email whenever possible.

Also, include a friendly greeting that sounds true to you as well as to your brand. If you want to wow, visit their LinkedIn or other social media to find a smidgen of personalized additional information to include — like a comment on a popular sports team in their area.

Finally, ease into your message by providing a little context around why you’re emailing them.

Following up on a one-to-one invite to connect with a lead? Connecting after reaching out to a lead based on a marketing trigger event — like downloading a resource from your website? Whatever the case, recap your previous email quickly to refresh the receiver’s memory and prevent getting flagged as spam right off the bat.

Value Add

Now, what can you add in this email that sweetens the deal if they reply?

A high-value resource that aligns with the first one they downloaded? A personalized product demonstration? An invite to an exclusive, interactive webinar with a subject matter expert? A discount if they set up a meeting with you in the next X days?

Remember, you aren’t just “touching base” — you’re always building on your last email to inspire real engagement.

Whatever you think is going to influence them to respond and makes sense for this unique person, now is the time to make that offer before moving on to the pitch.

Your Pitch

You’ve greeted them like a human, you’ve offered up something valuable in exchange for their time, now it’s time to pitch them.

Tell them why your company is the best option for their use case, how you provide the best solution to the pain point they want to solve, why your product is the most worth it for the price, etc.

If you feel you have a little extra room or time, you can throw in some social proof or a few case studies that show how their peers or even their competitors trust you with their business.

Keep it as succinct as you can, highly relevant, and hard to pass up. In our opinion, this is the section you should spend the longest time crafting.

Call to Action

After that beautiful pitch, seal the deal with a call to action (CTA) that’s extremely easy to act on.

Your CTA could take the form of a signup link, a calendar invite for a phone call that they just need to accept, or a request for a short reply that indicates they’re interested in keeping the conversation going.


Let’s wrap this baby up.

Just like your intro, this section should feel natural and aligned with your typical voice and branding.

You can always throw in another light CTA in your closing statement, like “Hope to hear from you next week” or “Let’s stay in touch.”

For some helpful examples, don’t miss our guide on crafting a great email sign-off.

Part 4: Structuring Your Emails

Who didn’t love show ‘n’ tell as a kid?

It’s time for us to show our work.

In this follow-up email example, we’ve brought together all of the above sections to create the perfect follow-up email:

Example of follow-up email templateFeel free to use this follow-up template to craft your own messages. This is another area where there are lots of robust resources online. We like the templates in this follow-up email guide, and this list of follow-up email samples is great for senders with a focus on very polite follow-up emails that use gentle reminders. And no we’re not affiliated with these sources — just wanted to share!

Close More Business With Deliverable Follow-Up Emails

As we now know, a huge percentage of all email opens happen within 24 hours. If your recipient is going to reply, it’s probably going to happen within that same amount of time.

So if you don’t receive the reply you’re hoping for, there’s no harm in following up.

In fact, there are actually benefits to it.

A campaign that includes just one follow-up email can generate 22% more leads than one where you don’t follow up at all.

But even better than that is how building a follow-up process into your practices easily catapults you past your competitors — because a massive 70% of sales emails are never followed up on.

By combining the above tips with highly-accurate email lists courtesy of NeverBounce, you should be well on your way to getting a higher response rate — and closing more business.

Our pricing is fairly based on your level of use, and you can even register for free to try out our services.

Want to see why businesses like Dell, Uber, and more trust NeverBounce with their outreach communications? You can also request a demo to tour it before you make any commitments.

At NeverBounce, we’re pushing the industry forward with our unique focus on providing accessible support from human reps, unheard-of accuracy and speed, and of course bank-level security that ensures the data you share with us is never sold nor abused.

With 99.9% delivery guaranteed, join us to see what it’s like to NeverBounce.

NeverBounce ensures you never send to a dirty list again. Try It Free

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