Why follow up?

You hit ‘send’ on your brilliantly composed cold email a couple of days ago but are met with silence. Does this mean you should shrug it off as a failed attempt, or should you persist? If you don’t hear back from a prospect right away, don’t write them off just yet. They could be busy, their inbox could be overflowing, or they may have made a mental note to reply but haven’t gotten organized enough to do it yet. In other words, silence doesn’t mean that you have the wrong message or the wrong audience, but it does mean that you need to follow up

Failing to follow up at all is the biggest no-no in cold emailing because it’s a sure-fire guarantee you won’t get a response. If you don’t at least try, you are seriously missing a chance to get a reply. 

Ready to compose those killer emails that will get tons of enthusiastic replies? It’s easier than you think when you follow a few simple rules for what to do and what mistakes to avoid:


1. Add value in each email

Cold emails are all about the value you’re providing to your prospects. Whether you’re saving them time, money, or making their lives easier in some way, get specific about the details of how you can help them. Assign a different value proposition to each email in your sequence to keep it interesting.

2. Change up the call-to-action 

Asking your prospects to do the same thing over and over is a bore, and what you’re requesting might not resonate with them. Keeping your CTAs varied gives your prospects something new to do with each email they read, some of which may appeal to them and some which won’t. Providing options increases your chances of getting a reply.

3. Pay attention to sequencing

The sequence of your email campaign doesn’t have to be random. Instead, pay attention to which emails got the best responses and move those high-performers up the list, so your early messages have the strongest chance of getting a reply.

4. Use humor

Go ahead and assume that your prospects’ inboxes are full of emails just like yours. If you want to stand apart from the competition, you need to be different. Humor sets you apart and gives your prospects a much-appreciated change of pace as they work through their emails.

5. Break up

Add a sense of urgency with a breakup email that essentially tells your prospects that this is the last time they’ll be hearing from you. This lets them know the ball is in their court and it’s now or never if they want in on your offer.


1. Repeat yourself

If your message didn’t gain traction the first time you sent it, don’t keep saying the same thing over and over. Instead, look at why you’re not getting responses and tweak your emails to be more productive. 

2. Assume you know what your prospect values

Pay attention to what your prospects respond to, so you can learn what they really value, rather than just what you think they do. It’s not always what you think it will be. 

3. Be rude

You might be frustrated by your lack of replies, but you need to remain professional and positive. Never try to guilt your prospects into replying.

4. Write a novel

Less is more. A long list of value propositions should be broken down over the course of your sequence. Resist the urge to ramble and keep it brief.

5. Overdo it on bump emails

Use those one-liner bump-emails (asking your recipient if they read the previous message) wisely. Use them sparingly and insert them early on in your sequence.

The core goal of any email is to start a conversation. Sending emails is a one-sided activity, but when you start getting responses, you’ve moved into the conversation territory. This is where the real magic happens for your business as email replies are catalysts for making sales. 

Good luck!