You sent a request days ago with no response until now. And after a reasonable period, you think it’s time to send a follow-up email.
However, following up on a request can be tricky. You need the right approach to get the message across without being pushy.
That’s why we wrote this quick guide to help you get the response you’ve been waiting for, whether you’re requesting customer feedback or setting up a meeting with a client.
Read on to discover the best practices for writing follow-up emails. We’ll also provide a polite follow-up email sample for a request to help you craft your message the right way.
Tips to remember when writing your follow-up email
1. Write a clear and concise subject line.
You can reference your original email’s subject line to let the recipient immediately understand the purpose of your follow-up email. Keep a polite tone, so no excessive exclamation marks, all caps, or passive-aggressive remarks anywhere in your email.
Subject line examples:
- Re: (original subject line)
- Meeting at [date]
- Following up on [request]
- We would love to hear from you
2. Include your original message.
When following up on a request, you want to make everything as easy as possible for the recipient.
Send your follow-up email by replying to your previous email, so the reader can quickly check your original message instead of typing in the inbox search bar. Reattach any previously sent attachments for added convenience.
3. Keep it short, friendly, and professional.
After a polite greeting, explain exactly what you’re asking for and why you’re sending a follow-up email. Don’t waste the recipient’s time with unnecessary, confusing details.
- Explain why you require an immediate response and how your request will benefit you, the recipient, and other people involved.
- If you have a time-sensitive request, add a deadline to create a sense of urgency.
- Jog the recipient’s memory with a specific detail they will immediately recognize.
4. Add a call to action.
A compelling call-to-action encourages the reader to take the next step, whether you want them to call you, submit a form, review your services, or confirm meeting attendance. Be specific with the action you want the recipient to take.
- Add clickable Confirm, Schedule, or Reschedule options at the bottom when requesting a meeting.
- Add Yes or No options or get creative with phrases like “Yes, definitely!” or “No, sorry I’m still busy.”
- Add a call-to-action like a “Send document” or “Submit form” button.
5. Keep it simple.
There’s no need for elaborate graphics and distracting images. Just make sure to use a clear, easy-to-read font to deliver your message.
If applicable, you can add your company’s logo and branded color scheme for brand consistency. You can also use a pre-made template to speed up your email process.
When to send a follow-up email
Is it too soon or too late to follow up on your request? Here are some guidelines to help you decide when is the right time to hit that send button.
- Non-urgent request: Wait at least two to three days before sending a follow-up email. However, avoid waiting up to 10 days or more, as the recipient will likely forget your message.
- Time-sensitive request: An immediate reminder makes sense for urgent requests with a deadline, whether within 24 hours or a few days.
If the person you’re talking to initially responded but didn’t take any action, it’s best to send a follow-up email on the same day of your conversation. Maybe they got busy or distracted and simply need an extra nudge.
When it comes to closing sales with prospects, it may take up to five or more follow-ups, so maintain a polite conversation to avoid annoying your potential customers.
Follow-up email sample template
Here’s a gentle follow-up email sample when requesting a meeting with a potential client you recently met at an event:
Subject line: Re: [previous email’s subject line]
Hi [recipient’s name],
It was a pleasure discussing [shared interests] with you at [event name] last [date].
I’m getting in touch to follow up regarding [request]. I haven’t heard back from you, so I just wanted to know if you’re still interested in [proposed topic/action]. It was so interesting to hear about [memorable detail], and I would love to speak with you again soon on the phone or in person.
Can you confirm your availability this week? Or you can click below to schedule a call—I’ll be more than happy to chat.
Schedule [clickable call-to-action button]
With well-thought-out emails, you can get the results you want and build long-lasting business relationships.
Make sure to proofread your email before sending it to ensure smooth, error-free communication.