How to Write a Follow-Up Email after No Response

April 12, 2021
Linda Ferguson

Writing a follow-up email to someone is never an easy task. While you might know exactly what you need to say, putting it into words is never easy. After sending an email to someone, you always expect a reply back. When that reply does not come through, it is time to develop a strategy, so you do not lose this contact.

Even if you feel like there is no way to make someone reply to a second email, there are a few things you can try. If you are wondering how to achieve that, the tips mentioned will help you increase your chances of writing a good follow-up email.

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1. Pick an interesting subject line

One of the main reasons why someone would decide to open and read an email is because of its subject line. Most of the time, emails that have boring or not – descriptive subject lines are being tossed to the side. Everyone has very little free time in their everyday lives, and they only want to spend it on something of importance.

This is exactly why planning out your subject lines is important. There are certain things you need to avoid and others you must do. Writing about a new proposal, new offer, or second chance at a possible collaboration is great. You want to spike the person’s interest in a way that will work. Letting them know exactly what you want to address in the email will make it easier.

On the same note, you need to consider the tone you want to keep. If this is a business email, you need to stay professional and use a business appropriate tone. Emojis, exclamation marks, and similar additions will take away from the professional tone of your email.

2. Don’t try to trick the recipient

Lying about what is included in the email will instantly make you appear less trustworthy and reliable. When you communicate with someone, you need to be honest and not try to trick them into opening your email. When they realize that you were dishonest, they will cut communication with you once and for all. Therefore, your follow-up emails will never reach their target.

For example, you should never create a subheading that will include something not true. If you did not have direct contact with the person before, do not start an email by saying, “Following our last communication.” This will only make them confused and possibly upset.

When dealing with customers, business partners, and anyone else related to your business, you need to stay truthful. This will allow you to have a good relationship with everyone you work with and be respected.

3. Write a new email from scratch

A common mistake many people tend to make when sending follow-up emails is not creating a new email from scratch. Sending the exact same email that was left unanswered will most likely not bring a new outcome. Just as the previous one, it will too be ignored.

What you need to do is focus your attention on seeing what went wrong. Was your email too long or too tiring? Maybe you needed to include more audiovisual content or less information. In any case, these are things that always happen by accident, and by figuring those out, you can improve your follow-up emails tremendously.

After taking these factors into consideration, you will be able to put together a more effective strategy. This will allow you to include only the necessary information that will interest the recipient. As a result, they will be much more likely to open and read your email this time.

4. Don’t send a follow up email immediately

After sending an email to someone, you should always let a few days pass before contacting them again. Depending on the type of person you are trying to contact, you should wait anywhere from 48h up to a week to try again. A 48h wait is the least you should be patient with before contacting the person or company again.

This is important because you should not annoy the person you are trying to contact, especially if you need their contact. The more a person sees a similar email pop up in their inbox, the more likely they are to dismiss it. Instead, you should try and send original messages with original subject lines and wait at least 48h before sending a second one.

Multiple sources show that sending multiple follow-up emails is not a bad idea, as long as you time them correctly. Timing plays a very important role when it comes to contacting anyone and can help you create a positive outcome. Just make sure that you leave enough time in between emails so you can keep track of whether the person is actually interested or not.

5. Include the right audiovisual content

Monotonous emails that are just made up of blocks of text can be really boring. Even when you are running a serious business, there are many ways to enhance your emails. This will allow you to increase the number of people that get back to you. The same tactic can apply to follow-up emails.

Using audiovisual content will help you in many ways. First of all, you will be able to get your message across a lot easier while keeping your recipient focused. The fact that an image or a video is able to help you keep the receiver’s attention is crucial for this type of email. Therefore, using audiovisual content should be one of your top priorities.

The good news is that there are plenty of online sources for you to find relevant content for your emails. Whether you need to create your own content and find templates or ready-made materials, there is always something available. If this is something you are required to do frequently, working with a graphic designer could really help you elevate your email content.

6. Proofread and edit your content

Proofreading and editing your written content is important for any and every business activity you want to do. If you have ever received an email from a scammer, you will definitely understand why. Illegitimate companies tend not to care about the quality of the content they send out, as their purpose is not to seem professional. This is why many of them have spelling and grammar errors all over their messages.

Sending an unedited message to someone will significantly decrease your chances of them taking it seriously. You need to make sure that you appear professional and trustworthy, and a well-edited piece of content will help you achieve that.

You can easily use tools such as Grammarly and Hemmingway Editor to achieve this task without much trouble or funds. In addition, you can use platforms such as Subjecto to gather free writing samples that have been crafted by professional writers. These will help your content look professional and polished.

7. Avoid a passive-aggressive tone

Being upset over the fact that someone is not replying to your emails is understandable. Still, it gives you no reason to be passive-aggressive about it and cause an issue. Dealing with every situation with professionalism is essential for the survival of your business.

Instead of being aggressive about the fact that they never got back to you, you should try and be polite. You can start by asking them if they received your previous email. It is also a good idea to let them know you are sorry for contacting them again if they are not interested. This shows your polite side and your intentions, as you are genuine and do not wish to tire them.

After that, get straight to the point and let them know the reason why you are contacting them again. This will help you avoid any hard feelings, and if they see your message, they will be more likely to reply.  Being passive-aggressive in your email will only cause them to have negative feelings towards your company. This is something you can and should avoid by any means possible.

8. Close the email in a smart way

The way you close an email can truly determine whether this person will choose to reply to you or not. There are quite a few different ways to close an email, and you can choose the right one for your needs. In this instance, keeping it short is the best idea as you want to be as direct as possible.

A good way to end this email is by letting the person know you are expecting their reply. Ask them to kindly reply even if they are not interested in your proposal, so you are able to plan your next moves. This will motivate them to reply, so you have a clearer image of their stand towards your company.

If they were not interested from the beginning, they will be more likely to let you know that if you ask them to respond. They will most likely not want to hear from you again, so in order to avoid receiving more emails, they will reply. On the other hand, they will also be motivated to get back to you if they are interested since you showed interest in their opinion.

Maintaining contact and improving your communication

Follow-up emails should never feel forced or make the recipient feel uncomfortable. There are many reasons why someone did not open your initial email, and these can help you learn what to improve in the future. Your follow up emails should not repeat these mistakes, so you are able to maintain good communication with your contacts.

The tips mentioned in this article will help you write a great follow-up email after the first one went unanswered. This will increase your chances of creating long-term collaborations with anyone you come in contact with.

Which of these tricks are you going to use while writing your next follow-up email?

Linda Ferguson
Linda Ferguson started her career in a local company as a content writer 5 years ago. She has always been passionate about academia and writing. Besides her busy work schedule, Linda manages to find time for attending conferences that keep her up to date with the latest news in the industry. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

About the Author

Linda Ferguson
Linda Ferguson started her career in a local company as a content writer 5 years ago. She has always been passionate about academia and writing. Besides her busy work schedule, Linda manages to find time for attending conferences that keep her up to date with the latest news in the industry. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.