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How to Write a Follow-up Email After No Response

If the thought of writing a follow-up email makes you feel a little uncomfortable, you’re not alone. Our instincts tell us that if someone hasn’t replied to our first email, they’re not interested, and that they’re not going to like it if we bother them again.

Unfortunately in this case, our instincts are often wrong. Very few prospects say “yes” to the first ask – or, for that matter, to the second, third, or fourth.

In fact, study from Iko System saw an 18% response rate to the first email they sent, and 13% to the fourth. The sixth email in the sequence received a massive 27% response rate.

Response rate depending on email position

A similar study from Yesware saw a 30% response rate to the first email and 14% to the fourth. They actually sent 10 emails in total and even the very last one had a 7% response rate.

Yesware chart showing response rates to emails

Despite this, Yesware reports that a colossal 70% of email chains stop after just one unanswered email.

Needless to say, sending follow-up emails is essential (unless you like missing out on sales…) Need some tips? Here’s how to write a follow-up email after no response.

First, let’s answer this question…

How Long Should You Wait Before Following Up?

The short answer here is “not long.” The vast majority of emails are opened the day they’re sent, and if the recipient’s going to reply, they’re probably going to do that the same day, too. That means it’s pretty safe to assume that if someone doesn’t reply the day you send your email, they’re not going to reply at all.

Percentage of emails opened and replied to by time

Image Credit

So, how long should you wait before sending a follow-up email?

As a general rule, two or three days is a good amount of time to wait before sending your first follow-up email. You should then extend the wait period by a few days for each subsequent email.

While there are no hard-and-fast rules on how you should approach this, CEO Steli Efti proposes spacing your follow-up emails like so:

Best interval at which to send send follow up emails

Image Credit

How to Write a Follow Up Email

Now that you know how important it is to follow up, and how long (give or take) you should wait before sending each email, let’s go through how to write the follow-up email itself. It is important to test different email subject lines when following-up.

I’ve split this into four sections. To help you write your email, I’ve included examples of what you might say in each section – the idea being that you can then link everything together into a custom follow-up template.

But first, you need to:

Decide What You Want to Achieve

Before you do anything else, it’s mission-critical that you decide what you want to achieve from this email (or emails).

For example, you might want to:

  • Get more information/a specific piece of information
  • Arrange a meeting
  • Close a sale

I can’t help you much here since every situation is unique. Exactly what you want and need to get out of a follow-up email will likely change with each campaign you work on, and potentially, even between each follow-up you send.

1. Add Context

Try to jog your recipient’s memory by opening your email with a reference to a previous email or interaction. Even if your recipient draws a blank, they’re more likely to react positively to the follow-up if they’ve been reminded of the fact that they’ve heard from you before.

Openers you might want to try include:

I just wanted to follow up on the email I sent last [day of the week email was sent] about [subject of email].

I just wanted to follow up to see what you thought about [subject of email].

I hope this doesn’t sound weird, but I saw that you read my previous email.

2. Explain Why You’re Emailing

Go on to explain the reason for your follow-up email, in a manner that’s both direct and concise. Just tell the recipient what you want. If this hasn’t changed since your last email, remind them.

I think [product name] could really help you [element of prospect’s role] more effectively. I’d love to have a quick chat to find out if I’m right.

I think [product name] could really help you and I wondered if you’d be interested in trying it out for a month or so (completely free, of course).

We’ve just launched [product name], and I think it could make a big difference to [element of prospect’s role]. There’s a link to a resource that will tell you more just below, but it’d be great if we could also discuss your current needs so I can figure out exactly how [product name] might help you.

3. Include a Call-to-Action

Make it easy for the recipient to respond. For example, if you’re trying to arrange a meeting, suggest a specific date and time (and place, if you’re arranging an in-person meeting).

Does 2:15 p.m. on Thursday work for you?

Are you the right person to talk to about this? If I’m in the wrong place, could you point me in the right direction?

Just reply ‘yes’ if you’d be interested in getting some more information and I’ll send a couple of short docs over.

4. Close Your Email

Wrap up in a way that feels natural to you and is sympathetic to your interactions with the recipient so far.

While I have a few suggestions below, this part is really quite personal – as above, wrap up however you feel comfortable.

    • Let me know what you think! [Your name]
    • Let me know if you have any questions. [Your name]
    • Speak soon? [Your name]
    • I look forward to hearing from you! [Your name]

Sample Follow-up Templates

If the suggestions above aren’t enough for you to work with, here are a few samples from the selection of templates we offer our users at Mailshake.

Hey [First], can we hop on a quick call [Date_Time]?


PS: thought you might find this article interesting [Link]

Hi [First],

I didn’t hear back from you last week when I was looking for the appropriate person managing your [Role]. If it makes sense to talk, let me know how your calendar looks. If not, who is the appropriate person?


Hi [First],

I’ve reached out a few times regarding your sales prospecting strategies there at [Company]. My guess is that we’re out of touch for one of three reasons:

– You don’t see a fit
– You have another solution to create predictable outbound prospecting numbers
– You are secretly a superhero and have been too busy fighting crime to reply

If any of these are correct then they may be the exact reason why we should talk now…


Hi [First],

I have tried to get in touch with you to see if there is a mutual fit between our company’s expertise and your goals around [Business_Driver].

If you are not interested or there is another person you would like me to follow up with, please let me know.

Would it make sense to invest 5-10 minutes to determine if there is a mutual fit?If not, who do you recommend I talk to?



I’m writing to follow-up on my email. I didn’t hear back from anyone on the team. If it makes sense to talk, let me know how your calendar looks.

If not, who is the appropriate person for me to talk to?

Thanks for your help,


I just tried giving you a call and left a voicemail. I’d like to discuss [Opportunity] with you. Please give me a call back at [Your_Phone_number], or send me a note if you get the chance.

Thank you!

Do you have any other tips or ideas for writing follow-up emails after no response? It’d be great if you wanted to share them in the comments below!



Summit Kanzaria

Great Strategy Sujan! Approximately 58% of B2B marketers rated email marketing as their most effective marketing strategy. 83% of B2B marketers use LinkedIn, making it the top social media site used by B2B companies


Hi Sujan

I have read all your blog articles and seriously they all are very interesting and helpful.

My organization currently dealing with lack of sales pipeline so if you have any ideas/suggestions/blog articles for me then it would be very helpful.

Note: I am currently working as a BDM/BA in inbound marketing agency.



Hi Veenu,

Actually I’m also working as BA/BDM and my organization is also facing the same problem. Please share the suggestion.

Thank You!

Jitendra Chaturvedi

That’s fine and follow up once at 3-4 PM is good


very helpful indeed. Sunjan great work i always wondered when to follow-up with my leads and how.

Craig Griffiths

I was actually going through my emails to see what i need to follow up on when you sent the link to this article out via email! 😂😂

Travis Johansen - Minneapolis MN

I love how you always break down your tactics and actually give the specifics.

My favorite part you mentioned was the followup (1, 3, 7, 14, 28, 58, then 30+). Having even that basis recommendation means I just need to make a list of to-do’s and execute. No wondering “how many should I do” (and quitting there) – now I’ve got a simple task list I can accomplish.

While a template rarely works 100%, having at least a guideline to start with and tailoring it from there gives me the confidence I need to actually hit that send button – knowing I can’t be THAT far off from what others are finding success with.

Minneapolis Video Producer


Thanks, Nice article. Good Read.

I guess your focus is on “Product/SaaS” seeling. The “Services” seeling is bit tricky and adding value in every followup matters.

I always add a note about current exciting happenings in our company in the emails.

Getting too personal on follow-ups might backfire sometimes.

Would say, not hesitate to try and find the secret sauce.


Hi Sujan,

Great post, I am going through all your material as I am about to start up a cold email campaign.

I created animated explainer videos for business and have created some videos for great marketers like Neil Patel and have received video testimonials from these.

But have never used cold email before, so hoping this will be a nice new source of traffic.

Jim Hippen

Thanks Sujan,
Now I just need to know how to add “drips” to past campaigns.

Shakoat Hossain

Hey Sujan Patel,

Another brilliant post! I first learn something better from you. I’m really amazed to learn how I can increase outreach response rate by sending follow-up emails.

You input so many better examples and I copy that and try to write an unique one.

Anyway, I wanna share it on twitter and linkedin for my lovers. 🙂 Hope you will retweet and share from my timeline soon.

Have a nice day and take care buddy!

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