The Do‘s And Don’t Of Following Up With Your Leads!

A key aspect of good business is good email marketing.

In a study recently conducted by Harvard Business Review, 2,241 companies were measured based on the length of time each took to reply to a web-generated test lead.

Research shows that although 53% of these companies responded within 24 hours, 24% took more than a day, while the remaining 23% never responded at all.

This failure to follow up demonstrates, not only a huge lost in potential business, but how communication—or lack thereof—plays a key role in whether or not leads become customers.

Therefore, a follow up email is a powerful tool in that it demonstrates to consumers that your a business that cares, listens, and is confident in your offerings.

So how should you go about crafting a follow up email that reminds leads that you’re there for them and care about their success?

The answer is simple: The Three P’s of Email Marketing.

Keep things personal

As already mentioned, following up with prospects communicates that you’re invested in their success, and believe your product or service is right for them. Unfortunately, sending a generic follow up email isn’t going to convince this to them.

Begin by formulating an effective subject line.

“Touching base“, “Just checking in”, “Quick question for you”, or “Meeting request”—isn’t going to cut it.

The problem with these subject lines is that everyone uses them. They’re boring, overdone, and severely lacking in any sort of urgency or importance.

Therefore, to write an email that will actually be opened, you need a subject line that’s clear, direct, and makes reference to a previous interaction. Consider the following:

– “Are you available to meet at [X time] to chat about [X subject]?”
– “Any questions about [X product]?”
– “Hoping to help you with [X pain point]”
– “I’d love to get your opinion on [X product]”

What makes the above subject lines effective is that they explain the purpose of the email, and make it clear that you value the reader’s insight.

Speaking of which…

Write with purpose

After inciting the reader to click the email, the next step is to make sure they actually read it.

This is achieved by addressing the lead by name, and mentioning anything that will remind him or her of your initial interaction, such as a mutual interest or a pain point that was previously discussed.

For example:

– “When we met the other day at [X Event or Location], you mentioned that…”
– “Last time we spoke…”
– “As we discussed, here is the designer [insert link] who could help you with [X pain point]”

– “It would be great to hear more about [X subject]”

What makes such openers so effective is the simple fact that none of them beat around the bush. They’re straightforward and the intentions are clear.

The goal of the email body is to highlight any pain points that were mentioned in your initial interaction, and explain how you can address them.

By letting the reader know why you’re emailing, you’re also providing a snapshot of what it’s like to do business with you.

Furthermore, feel free to enhance your email marketing with a video of your product, links to blog posts or case studies, or customer testimonials.

Practice Patience

Because timing is always crucial, as a rule of thumb always follow up by email within 24 hours of speaking with a lead. This is a great way to demonstrate your appreciation for his or her time, and an opportunity to continue the discussion.

Studies show that 44% of salespeople give up after one follow up, yet 80% of sales are made after five. Thus, If after the follow up, the prospect decides he or she is no longer interested in your offering, than try again in a few months.

The three month mark is the perfect opportunity to catch up with connections and reassess their needs and wants.

During the time between qualifying a prospect and reconnecting with them, needs/wants inevitably change and new ones will come up. Therefore, you may be able to meet the needs of those who were initially not a fit through pure patience and persistence.  

Email marketing can be a little tricky. However, by being upfront and using your time and words strategically, your chances of hearing back will increase significantly.

Keep it personal, purposeful, and don’t think you’ve lost a prospect’s interest just because they’re not buying right away.  


Bauer, Emily. (2017, April). 20 Mind-Boggling Sales Statistics. Retrieved from

Oldroyd, James B. (2011, March). The Short Life of Online Sales Leads. Retrieved from

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