Published 21 November 2018 Category: Compass Tips

To Follow Up or Not to Follow up? How to Deal With No Response

One of the most frustrating experiences is waiting for a response to your most coveted job application or a pitch to a potential client. Days are spent waiting in anticipation for the much needed response. But what happens when there is no response? What do you do when you’ve waited for a week or two already, but there’s no email in the inbox?
 
At this point, maybe you’ve become a bit frustrated and wondering whether you should get back in touch again or not? Would you seem too desperate if you were to send a follow-up email? Well, the good news is NO - You will not be perceived as desperate and neither will it be inappropriate. In fact, sending the right follow up email for no reply could be just the needed reminder for the recipient to get back to you with their answer.
 
Sending a follow-up email after no response for a week or two is important, but how to write it is an even more important discussion. What words do you use to make sure your email doesn’t sound annoying, frustrated or desperate? Here’s a good example to help you differentiate between a poor and a good follow-up email
 

Example of a Poor Follow-up Email:

 
Dear Sir/Madam,
 
It’s been two weeks now and I haven’t heard back from you. May I please know what is your response and whether you agree to our proposal?
 
Thanks
 
XYZ
 
Why was that a poor email?
The tone expresses anger and frustration. It also expresses a direct demand to know an answer which never sits well with anyone - client, HR or even yourself if you were the recipient. Here’s a better version:
 

Example of a Good Follow-up Email:

 
Dear Sir/Madam,
 
Hope this email finds you well. Following up on the proposal I emailed to you a few weeks back. Were you able to look into it? I’d love to arrange a meeting or a follow-up call with you this week or any other time you’re available.
 
Do let me know. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
 
Sincerely
XYZ
 
This email expresses a more respectful inquiry and proposes a meeting time for the client should they want to discuss the matter further. The email will prompt the client to get back to you.  
 

Some Helpful Tips:


When writing a follow-up email after no response, here are several tips you can put into practice.
 

Always Give the Recipient a Benefit of Doubt

Don’t be quick to judge. The recipient could have forgotten about the email, it could have been lost in their inbox, or they simply didn’t have the time to go through it. Its not always the case that people intentionally disregard an email, so unless you sent them a spam or obviously promotional email, they will surely respond.


Give it Some Time Before You Send the Follow-up Email

A rule of thumb is to wait three to five days after the first email, but if you don’t receive a response after five days, it’s good to send a follow-up email.
 

Schedule At least Five Follow Up Emails

If you’re pitching someone and want to keep reminding them of your offer after they’ve spoken to you or inquired, then schedule at least five follow-up emails. The first one after five days, the second after 10 days, the third after 15 days, fourth after 20 days and finally the fifth after 30 days. After that, send a follow-up email once a month.
 

Make Sure Your Email Has these Important Elements

For every follow-up email, you should have:

  • The context or reference to the previous email

  • The purpose of emailing

  • A call-to-action like invitation to a call, a meeting etc

  • Contact details for the recipient to get back to you

 
Follow-up emails are important to help the recipient understand the priority of your email and take out time to respond accordingly. You should never feel afraid to send a recipient email and should always make sure that you write one using the right words, language and intention.
 
Have any ideas you’d like to share with us? Let us know!