In today’s digital age, email has become the primary mode of communication for both personal and professional purposes. While it has made communication more efficient, it has also created a new challenge: the dreaded lack of reply and how to politely say, waiting for your response.
In this article, we will explore how to follow up on emails after no response and provide tips to help you write a follow up email that is professional, polite, and effective. Whether you’re doing a cold outreach, trying to set up a meeting, or pitching to a potential client, these strategies will improve your chances of getting a reply.
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Possible Reasons Your Email Was Ignored
It is easy to assume that your email was purposefully ignored, but in reality, there are a plethora of reasons why you may not have received a response. Examples include:
✅ They Missed Your Email: According to this report, the average person receives 100 to 120 emails per day. Many people do not have the time to go through all of their emails every day, and it is, therefore, not unlikely that your recipient missed your message entirely.
✅ They Have a Busy Schedule: Perhaps your recipient is dealing with an incredibly busy schedule and is too overwhelmed to tackle emails that are not urgent. Your email may have been unintentionally overlooked or forgotten amidst the flood of incoming messages. According to a survey conducted by Slicktext, 60.8% of respondents admitted to ignoring workplace emails.
✅ Lack of Clarity or Urgency: Research shows that 47% of all email recipients open their emails based on the subject line alone. Writing a compelling subject line is crucial for getting a higher open rate. If your email lacks a clear call-to-action or does not convey a sense of urgency, the recipient may not open it or prioritize responding to it.
✅ Decision-Making Process: Depending on the reason for your email, your recipient may need to consult with others, gather more information, or engage in a decision-making process before responding. This can take some time, resulting in a delayed reply.
✅ Personal Circumstances: Sometimes, the recipient is simply dealing with personal circumstances and cannot respond to your email.
How Do You Follow Up Professionally?
If you received no response after sending an email, you may feel disheartened and think a follow up email will be of no help. However, the reality is quite the opposite; according to research conducted by Backlinko, you can boost your reply rates by up to 65.8% by sending a single follow-up email after no response.
There are many benefits to sending follow-up emails, such as showing commitment, making the interaction seem more personal, and increased open rates. Below are some steps to follow when sending your follow-up emails:
Give it Time
As we discussed earlier in this article, there are many potential reasons for your recipient not responding to your email. In fact, they may be planning on responding, but simply need more time. Therefore, it is best to wait for up to 5 business days before sending a follow-up email, depending on the urgency of your email.
Reference the Previous Email
You can reference your previous email(s) in the subject line, or within the body of your email. You can do this by briefly summarizing the main points or questions you raised, to help jog their memory and provide context for your email and will also result in a warmer follow up email.
Provide a Gentle Reminder
You must remain professional and not express any frustration due to their lack of response. Use your follow-up email to provide a gentle reminder that you attempted to contact them but are still waiting on a response whenever they are ready.
Include a CTA
Include a clear call to action in your email, encouraging the recipient to respond. This could be a specific question you need an answer to, a request for a meeting or phone call, or simply asking for confirmation of receipt.
Keep it Concise
Respect the recipient’s time by keeping your follow-up email brief and to the point. A study by Marketing Experiments discovered that emails with shorter copy with around 95 words outperformed emails with copy with around 170 words, with nearly a 6% higher click-through rate (CTR).
Thank Them For Their Time
When signing off, be sure to thank them for taking the time to read your email and to respond. This can help build a positive relationship, especially when recipients deal with a busy and overwhelming schedule.
Template for a Polite Follow Up Email
Subject Line: Follow-up: [Insert Subject of the Previous Email] Dear [Client's Name], I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to follow up on the email I sent you last week regarding [insert subject of the previous email]. I have not yet received a response from you and wanted to ensure that you had received the email. As a reminder, I was reaching out to you to discuss [insert brief summary of the main points or questions raised in the previous email]. I believe that I could [insert value proposition or benefit of your product/service] and would love to explore this opportunity further with you. If you have not yet had the chance to review my proposal or if you have any questions, please let me know. I understand that you are likely busy, and I don't want to take up too much of your time. However, I do want to ensure that we're both on the same page regarding [insert topic of the email]. If there is anything that I can do to assist you in the decision-making process, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am available to schedule a call or meeting at your earliest convenience. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my email, and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Best regards, [Your Name] [Your Contact Information]
Handling No Response and Moving Forward
When faced with no response to a follow-up email, it’s essential to maintain a professional and proactive approach. While it can be disheartening not to receive a reply, it’s important not to take it personally or make assumptions about the recipient’s intentions.
Instead, consider alternative approaches or channels to reach out, like a phone call.
For instance, if an email hasn’t elicited a response, a phone call or an in-person meeting might be more effective in capturing the recipient’s attention. Additionally, evaluate the content and timing of your initial email to ensure it was clear, concise, and relevant.
Continuously refining your communication skills and adjusting your strategies will help you navigate the challenges of no response, fostering growth and improving future interactions. Remember, persistence is key in maintaining professional relationships, but it should always be balanced with respect and understanding.
Following up on emails after no response is an essential part of effective communication. By understanding the possible reasons for not receiving a reply and implementing the best practices mentioned in this article, you can greatly increase your chances of getting a response.
Remember to be patient, polite, and concise in your follow-up emails, and always provide a clear call to action. With these strategies in place, you’ll be able to navigate the challenge of no-response emails and improve your overall communication success.