Back to In-​Person Networking? Don't Forget the Follow-​Up Email!

follow-up email

As in-​person meetings and networking events come back, reps need to remember the importance of sending a post-​meeting follow-up. What happens after that meeting or event is just as important as what occurred during it. A simple follow-up email can keep you top of mind and set the stage for future communications.

A follow-up email can make a difference

It's no secret that networking can be time-​consuming and difficult,” HubSpot’s Kristen Baker acknowledges. “Organizing meetings, making phone calls, sending emails, and attending conferences — a lot goes into relationship-​building, no matter your industry.” But don’t let the hectic pace of attending impact the most important post-​meeting task: sending a follow-up email.

In her guide, Baker explains why a follow-up email is important, how to write it, and when to send it. Her tips can help reps re-​establish best practices and kick off an effective return to in-​person events.

Follow-up emails are important because they help you further establish a relationship. You not only refresh the person’s mind about who you are and what you do, but also demonstrate that you care about engaging with them further.

Stand out with these features

This is a golden opportunity, so it’s important to send a follow-up email after each event, whether it’s a casual meeting or a first encounter at an event. But you need to be thoughtful about crafting these outreaches. Just like with any other sales-​related email, make sure your message is seen and opened. 

Baker encourages salespeople to pay extra attention to these must-​have features:

  • An attention-​grabbing subject line. As we’ve discussed before, the subject line is crucial. It should be personalized and brief—yet valuable. Avoid hyperbole or sounding like click-​bait but try to inspire urgency. Check out these tips for a deeper dive into writing effective subject lines.
  • Gratitude. Start off your follow-up email by extending gratitude for having the opportunity to speak with the recipient. As Baker points out, “…time is a precious commodity. As such, it’s important to thank your recipient for taking time out of their day to meet with you.” Even if you thanked them in person, go ahead and reiterate that gratitude.
  • A quick refresher. Take a moment to jog their memory about your meeting, especially if it was a first meeting with a prospect.
  • Recaps. If the event was a business meeting, add in a brief recap of discussions, such as metrics, concerns, and recent changes.
  • References to any connections. Follow-up emails should “highlight a common interest you share with the contact or prospect,” she suggests. “This is especially helpful when your relationship is new or you've just been introduced…Making the extra effort to establish a connection shows that you have a genuine interest in them as a person, not just as a business contact.”
  • Next steps. Set the future in motion by using your follow-up email to outline what you’d like to happen next, whether it’s a Zoom call, a request for response, or a formal meeting. Check out this article about writing an effective call to action.

When to send your follow-up email

Baker shares a basic outline of when salespeople should send out these emails after networking based on the type of networking they did:

  • Within 24 hours: Interview, business meeting, deal, conference, interview, or special event.
  • 48 hours: Submission of application or another type of form.
  • 1–2 weeks: Follow-up after no response regarding a meeting request or the status of a job opportunity.
  • Every 3 months: Catch up with a member of your network to maintain your relationship with them.”

A well-​timed follow-up email can have a major impact, whether it’s boosting the chance of a formal meeting with a lead, nurturing a future partnership, or demonstrating your value to a potential referrer. Keep Baker’s advice in mind as you make your way back into the world of in-​person events and take your networking to the next level.

Photo by Ivan Samkov from Pexels

Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica is a senior research analyst for SalesFuel focusing on selling to SMB decision-​makers. She also reports on sales and presentation tips for SalesFuel Today. Jessica is a graduate of Ohio University.