Follow-up Friendly

A few months ago, I decided to run a little test to see how active people were at sending follow-up emails.

Whenever I received a marketing or sales outreach email, I’d wait a week or two before replying and see if they followed up.

The results from this back-of-the-envelope test:

  • Most people (~60%) don’t send a follow-up email, even when they’re explicitly emailing to ask for an answer/deal/link/conversation/etc.
  • Of those who did send a follow-up, a majority of them sent 1-2 emails with a basic and not that relevant “Did you get that email I sent?” template.
  • The remaining few people sent relevant follow-up emails that built on their ask, helped overcome objections, and continued for ~2-4 additional emails.

So, why don’t people follow-up?

Typically, it’s one of three reasons.

  1. They’re time-constrained and sending a single email (without follow-up) is all they have the capacity for
  2. They’re worried about getting a ‘no’ (or even a ‘no-reply’), and The Resistance convinces them that sending just a single email is less scary than sending a follow-up email or two and getting a ‘Not a fit for me, thanks’ reply.
  3. They don’t know any better. The idea that the most useful thing to do if you don’t get a response is to send another email can be a bit of a square peg in a round hole. (Isn’t it rude to send a second email? Nope, it’s proactive + demonstrates your interest).

Alas, most people will continue to not follow-up, which is a shame. Sending a follow-up email is one of the most straightforward steps you can take to get more replies.

All you need to do is:

  • Send your first email
  • Wait a few days to see if they reply
  • If they don’t, send them your first follow-up email

By the way, if you want to get more clients through email outreach (and follow-up), then you’ll want to check out The Outreach Blueprint. You’ll get the framework, strategy, and templates you need to succeed.