Why Follow Up on a Sales Email?
Why Follow Up on a Sales Email?
Florian Bersier
CEO & Founder
Last updated:
January 29, 2021
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Remember when we told you about “How to create and send a sales’ email”? Well it turns out that follow ups, on that initial email or contact, are essential to actually achieve a sale.

However, as a living, working, human with lots to do and think about you probably already lost track of a potential lead because your recipient never replied to that first email.

And even if you did not, you may have been going at it without a clear idea of what you wanted and how to get.

Well, that’s where the following tips come in handy:

What matters with email follow ups?

On the surface, sales email follow ups are simple. Typically, they go something like this:

“Hi < Name >, I just wanted to follow up on the proposal I sent / our last phone call / our last meeting / the email I sent…"

But this might lead you to actual lose sales!

Follow up emails are a crucial part of the sales process. However, if you received an email like this in the middle of your busy day, would you even open it, let alone act on it?

Depends! Why? It is all about: context, motivation, and timing!

If the person sending you the email gets those things right, you might open it. If they don’t, you’ll ignore it. The email above might get the timing right, but there is little context and no motivation to it.

So, understanding why sales email follow ups work, and how to make yours more effective, will help you get more customers.

Why follow up sales emails work?

Sales email follow ups work for the same reason that other methods of following up do — because customers rarely make a decision after the first email or during the first phone call or meeting. They may be weighing their options, or needing that extra bit of information your follow up will give them.

Sales emails are then particularly effective, if you get the timing right.

When a recipient ignores or doesn’t act on an email you send, it doesn’t mean they don’t want your product or service. Often it is just because they are doing something else at the time or have different priorities.

Sales email follow-ups that get the timing right get positive results.

If you are interested in some follow up sales statistics, check out this page.

The Timing

It takes an average of five follow-ups with a customer before you can expect to complete a deal. So you shouldn’t get discouraged if the client doesn’t respond to the first few emails.

However, many people do, in fact, 44% give up after the first contact.

If you are more persistent you might pick up the sales that those people are leaving behind.

To do so, you should first make sure you don’t risk forgetting about a lead anymore. You can do so by scheduling reminders or creating to-do lists, right after your initial email. Doing this within your email application, like you can with Gmelius, will save you time and reduce the risk of forgetting.

How often should you send a follow up email?

Be persistent, but know when to let go too. A general rule is to send no more than three or four emails when following up a cold email.

Each of these emails should offer value, so vary the content and stay away from asking the same question repeatedly. 

If the recipient is not interested in what you have to offer now, give them a reason to open your email anyway.

Remember, the secret to success with follow up emails is timing. You want to be remembered by that person who once showed interest in your product or service, so you will be on their mind when they are ready to buy.

When should you send a sales email follow up?

A lot has been written about the correct length of time between communications in the sales process. Some say three days, a week, two weeks, etc. The problem is there are too many variables: type of business, nature of product, stage of the process, to name a few…

You have to find the right time for your business.

One tip is to follow up immediately after a prospect interacts with your last email. You can do this by using an email tracker, such as the read receipt function in Gmelius.

That said, not everyone will open your email and not all emails would require immediate follow-up, proposal email for example will need time to be read, understood, and discussed internally by clients. Knowing they have opened the email, however, is key, and will help you decide your follow up approach.

Once you have decided your follow up approach, you should start to think about the content of your emails. We will soon give you our content tips on how to make your email follow-up more effective.

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