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Feb 29, 2024

How to write follow-up emails with AI for better response rates (with templates)

Sophia Seltenreich

Sophia Seltenreich

5 min read


Ever felt like your follow-up emails are just floating in the digital void, waiting for a response that never comes? We've all been there. But here's the good news: follow-up emails can be so much more than just a gentle nudge or a friendly reminder. They're a powerful tool to unblock projects, close sales, or gather crucial information–but crafting an effective follow-up email requires a blend of strategy, timing, and a dash of personal touch.

Don't worry if that sounds like a lot to balance. We'll walk through how to write follow-up emails for common scenarios with templates you can copy along with AI tips and tools to get responses.

Achieve your follow-up goals

Before we dive into our examples of effective follow-up emails, it's crucial to understand their purpose. Remember, when you send a follow-up email, you're not just "checking in.” Every follow-up email you send should have a clear purpose, like to get unblocked on a project, close a sale, or get more information.

How to write a follow-up email

It's essential to ensure your email catches the recipient's eye and compels them to open and respond. Strategies like using a clear subject line, personalizing the email, and being respectful can significantly enhance the effectiveness of your follow-up emails.

  • Clear subject line: Make it easy for your recipient to know what your email is about at a glance
  • Personalize: Show your recipient that you've taken the time to understand their needs or situation
  • Be concise: Remember, everyone's inbox is overflowing, so be respectful of their time by quickly getting to the point and making your ask clear

Being concise is difficult. As philosopher Blaise Pascal once famously said “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” Harder yet is coming up with a subject line that will convince the recipient to open your email.

This is where Shortwave’s AI Assistant comes into play. Using Ghostwriter, it can help you draft emails that are clear, concise, and perfectly personalized based on your writing style. With its ability to understand the context of your past conversations, it can even suggest subject lines and edit for clarity and conciseness. Plus, the more you use Shortwave’s AI Assistant, the better it gets. It learns from your preferences and continually improves its suggestions based on your writing and communication style, making your job even easier over time!

When to send a follow-up email

Like the content of your email, timing is just as critical when it comes to increasing the likelihood of a response. The general guidelines for follow-up timing are:

  • After 1 day: This is the perfect time to express your gratitude following a meeting, sale, conference, interview, or any other significant event that calls for an immediate thank you or follow-up while the event is still fresh in everyone's mind
  • After 1 week: If you haven't received a response regarding a meeting request, a job offer, or a previously sent email that requires feedback within a week, it's time to send a follow-up
  • After 1 month: Anytime over a month is a good window to reconnect with a previous contact, inquire about any business or status changes, or get updates on any new professional developments

6 follow-up email templates for every occasion

Follow-up after an interview

This type of follow-up is crucial for maintaining a connection with the interviewer and showing your continued interest in the role. It's a chance to reiterate your enthusiasm for the job and the company, and to remind them of your relevant skills and experiences.

When to send: within 24 hours of the interview

Hey [Recipient's Name],

Just wanted to follow up on our recent interview. It was great getting to know more about [Company Name] and the [Job Title] role. I'm really excited about the opportunity to contribute to your team.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon. Let me know if there's any other information you need from me.

[Your Name]

Follow-up on a meeting request

This follow-up is important to confirm the meeting details and to ensure that the recipient has all the necessary information. It's also a chance to express your anticipation for the meeting and to set a schedule that works for everyone.

When to send: 1 week after the meeting

Hi [Recipient's Name],

Just bumping this up in your inbox. I was hoping we could arrange a meeting to discuss [Meeting Topic]. I believe it would be beneficial for both of us.

Let me know whenever works best for you, and I can set something up for us.

Thanks for your time,
[Your Name]

Follow-up on a sales pitch that got no reply

This follow-up is key to re-engage the recipient and remind them of your proposal. It's an opportunity to highlight the benefits of your product or service, and to offer additional information or a demo.

When to send: 2-3 days after your previous email

Hey [Recipient's Name],

Just following up to see if you have any interest here. I think [Your product/service] can help [solve a specific problem they have] and really make a difference for [their Company Name].

If you have any questions or want to circle back on this later, just let me know!

[Your Name]

Follow-up on missing information

This follow-up is essential to keep your work moving forward. It's a polite reminder to the recipient to provide the necessary information, and it shows your commitment to meeting deadlines.

When to send: 1 week after your previous email (or earlier if needed to meet deadlines)

Hi [Recipient's Name],

I’m following up on my previous email about [Project/Task] since I’m currently blocked here. I still need some information about [Specific details Needed].

Could you help me out or point me to someone who might know? Looking to get this answered by [Date] and would appreciate some help here!

[Your Name]

Follow-up after networking

This follow-up is important to establish a relationship after an event or establishing a new connection. It's a chance to express your appreciation for a conversation, to share relevant resources, or to propose further communication or collaboration.

When to send: within 24 hours of the event

Hey [Recipient's Name],

It was great connecting with you at [Event/Meeting]. I really enjoyed our conversation about [Discussion Topic].

If you ever want to chat more about it, or if there's anything else you'd like to discuss, feel free to drop me a line. Looking forward to keeping in touch!

[Your Name]

Follow-up on a request you made

When to send: 1 week after your previous email

This type of follow-up email is used to check on the status of a request you've made. It's important to be polite and patient, while clearly stating the purpose of your follow-up.

Hey [Recipient's Name],

Just touching base on the request I made last week regarding [specific request]. I understand everyone's super busy, but I was hoping to get an update when you have a moment.

If there's anything else you need from me to move this forward, please let me know. I appreciate your help with this!

– [Your Name]

Level up your follow-ups

The importance of follow-up emails cannot be overstated. They serve as a vital tool in maintaining relationships, continuing conversations, and ensuring no important details are overlooked. We've discussed several key factors to consider when crafting these emails, including timing, content, and tone, but it can be a lot to balance when trying to write this from scratch.

Personalize drafts with Ghostwriter

Say goodbye to one-size-fits-all email templates and snippets. Shortwave's AI Assistant, powered by Ghostwriter, moves beyond the realm of traditional templates to create personalized drafts and AI Autocomplete suggestions. These AI suggestions are intelligent and based on previous emails you’ve written, so they sound just like you, and they include facts and phrases you’d actually say!

Ghostwriter is designed to learn and adapt to your personal communication style and preferences, creating drafts that are authentically yours. It's akin to having a personal assistant who is intimately familiar with your writing style, saving you both time and effort.

Send at the perfect time with follow-up reminders

Pairing Ghostwriter with other Shortwave features like follow-up reminders further streamlines this process. When sending an email you can choose 🔔 Remind me next to the Send button to set a follow-up reminder, just select a time! The email thread will automatically return to your inbox as soon as it gets a response, or when the reminder time is scheduled (whatever comes first). This ensures you send your follow-ups at the right time, every time, without overloading your mind or your inbox.

With Ghostwriter's personalized drafts and reminders to follow up for optimal timing, you have all the tools you need to master your follow-up emails.

Use the examples provided in this blog post as a starting point and adapt them to your specific needs with the help of Shortwave’s AI Assistant. In doing so, you can ensure every email you send is clear, empathetic, and an opportunity to build stronger professional relationships.

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