The Art of Sending a Follow-​Up Email during Radio Silence

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “The Art of Sending a Follow-​Up Email during Radio Silence”

So, you’ve recently pitched to a prospect who has a great need for your product or service. You left the meeting feeling good and sent them an email with next steps. And now you wait. And wait. … and wait. Radio silence. What happened? Should you send a follow-​up email or will that come off as pushy? According to Jeff Hoffman, writing for HubSpot, the answer is: Of course you should send another email.

Research shows that salespeople who send at least one follow-​up email reach a 27% reply rate on average,” says Hoffman. “Those who do not get stuck at a 16% average reply rate.” You’re not being annoying or pushy. In actuality, you’re following a perfectly normal course of action that can benefit both the prospect and your sales quota. However, there is a strategy you should follow in order to get the best results.

Sending a Follow-​Up Email during Radio Silence

When to Send the Email

It’s best not to wait too long. You don't want the connection between you and your prospect to go cold. Hoffman recommends waiting no more than three days before sending a follow-​up email. Don’t send a follow-​up email on the same day you sent your initial post-​meeting email. Only waiting a few hours in between emails is when you go from persistent to pushy and desperate. Waiting a week is too long, though; they may have already moved on from wanting your product or service. So, the sweet spot for sending follow-​up emails is two to three days.

How Many Emails Should You Send?

You also shouldn’t give up on a prospect after only sending one follow-​up email. But how many can you send before you start to annoy them? Again, two to three is the magic number, according to Hoffman. Don’t send more than three emails to the prospect. And on the final email, don’t word the content like a breakup message. “Instead, leave the conversation open and return to it at a later date,” says Hoffman.

What Should You Write in Your Emails?

What you include in your follow-​up email messages depends on what you have sent the prospect in the past. For example, did your original email to the prospect include a clear close? If it didn’t, that may be the reason you didn’t get a response. Going forward, make sure your messages have clear closes, including a call to action that is easy for your prospect to follow through on.

If you have to send more than one follow-​up email, make sure the call to action is different each time to increase the chances of getting a response. The overall content of your message should also be fresh. If you sent a follow-​up email that your prospect wasn’t interested in, and they receive another email that has the same content, they’re not going to bother reading until they get to the new call to action. They’re going to get bored and send the email to the trash immediately. Fresh content is the key to getting responses.