Client Not Responding? Here Are 8 Follow Up Emails To Send

February 21st, 2018 by Steff Green 18 minute read

You’ve just been talking to a new client and you’re really excited about their project. You know you’re going to be able to deliver some great results for them – and you can see they’re excited, too.

But your excitement turns to confusion, and then annoyance, and then panic, when you realise it’s been several days and you haven’t heard back from them. Not a word. Not a peep.

Havent Heard Back
Haven't heard back comic from Someecards

Now you’re wondering what’s happened. Have they been recruited by the secret service? Did they sell their business to a cryptocurrency startup in Tunisia and are off celebrating their newfound fortune on a beach in the Maldives? Do you smell bad?

When a client doesn’t respond, it can lead to doubts and questions. That’s why it’s important that you follow up with them, so you can figure out what’s happened and help get them on board. But how do you follow up without sounding rude or desperate?

You can use these follow up emails after you get no response from your client.

Why clients don’t respond in the first place

You had a great meeting with a client. They were super-enthusiastic and ready to get started. It seems totally weird that they’d suddenly drop off the face of the earth whenever you tried to get the ball rolling. Right?

The truth is, even if a client is super keen on a project, it won’t be the only thing jostling for their attention. They have a business to run, their own clients to tend to, personal commitments, and other things going on in their lives that take precedence.

With hundreds of emails appearing in their inbox every day, sometimes they just plain forget about you, or push your project further down their to-do list.

To Do List
Busy to-do list

Also, when they’ve taken a step back from an enthusiastic meeting, they may have come up with some concerns or roadblocks that didn’t occur to them at the time. This may be making them more cautious than they previously indicated.

There are all sorts of reasons a client might not respond in a timely manner. Don’t let the reason bother you – make sure you touch base with them so thing can get underway again.

5 things to consider before sending a follow up email

When deciding if and how to follow-up with a client or prospect, here are five key things to keep in mind:

1. Be persistent, but not annoying

Clients really are super-busy. Often, people read emails for the information, but forget to respond. It may take a few follow-up touchpoints to prompt a response, so don’t give up.

On the other hand, don’t take up too much of a client’s time chasing responses. If they sound busy, don’t keep them on the phone. Try to get small details sorted out via email, text, or phone, rather than another face-to-face meeting.

2. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone

Too many service professionals operate client communications solely by email. In most circumstances, this works great (clients can reply at their convenience, and you have all correspondence saved in written format to refer to later), but when it comes to following up on unresponsive clients, email may not be the answer.

Why? Emails are too easy to miss or ignore. But a quick phone call will often remind a client you exist and that you’re waiting for something from them.
Pick Up The Phone
Pick up the phone

Why? Emails are too easy to miss or ignore. But a quick phone call will often remind a client you exist and that you’re waiting for something from them.

3. Automate when you can

You’re busy too, and if you’re chasing up a lot of clients, automation can save you hours typing out emails.

In certain circumstances, you can use your CMS software or other tools to automate follow-up.

Rebump is a free app that monitors which of your emails receive replies. For those that don’t, it automatically sends a follow-up every few days.

4. Always give the client a call-to-action

In order to keep the process moving along, give your clients a call-to-action in each correspondence. This may be some information they need to give you, some work they need to sign off, a question they need to answer, or a payment they need to make.

Giving the client clear instructions helps them to action things from their end as quickly as possible. Cold Emailing recommends making the call-to-action as direct as possible. Think about your goal with the follow-up email – if you want a meeting, then request a meeting.

5. Make sure you really need to follow up

Business author Laura Spencer recommends checking you haven’t already received a reply from the client. It might have disappeared in your email, or they may have contacted someone else in the team.

Check your spam and trash folders – you have no idea how often client emails get sent there by accident!

How long you should wait before following up?

It’s hard to know exactly when you should follow up if you haven’t heard from a client. On the one hand, you want to keep on top of things and make sure you don’t lose their interest. On the other hand, you don’t want to seem too pushy.

Here are some basic guidelines:

  • For a call or meeting request, the follow-up time will depend on how far out the proposed meeting is scheduled. I’d follow up within 2-3 days if you haven’t heard back about a meeting, or the following day if the meeting is urgent.
  • After sending in a proposal to a client, I’d give them at least a week to look it over before following up. This gives them time to pass the proposal around to other people in their organisation who need to approve it.
Follow-ups to cold emails and phone calls designed to warm-up leads should usually come within a few days, while the prospect still remembers the previous email.

8 email follow up templates for every situation

We’ve created some follow up template emails to help you get an answer from your client for typical situations. You can use these emails as the basis to craft your own. Simply add the correct names, and personalise details about projects and the client’s business.

I’ve used examples from different business types and situations, but these follow up emails will work across all professional services.

1. Post initial client meeting

This email follows up after an initial meeting. It gives the client a list of action steps and keeps a proactive tone – as though you’re already in partnership together. The call-to-action of the meeting and the reply at the end help to move along to the next stage.

Subject: Kickstart meeting action points – next steps for your project

Hi NAME,

It was lovely to meet you and the team today, and learn more about BUSINESS NAME and your goals with this project.

I’ve put together a list of action points based on our meeting:

For our team:

  • ACTION POINT ONE
  • ACTION POINT TWO

For BUSINESS NAME team:

  • ACTION POINT ONE
  • ACTION POINT TWO

Can you reply to let me know if I’ve missed anything?

I’ve got a follow-up meeting scheduled for 3PM Tuesday 21st. Let me know if this doesn’t work for you.

Any questions, please ask away.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

2. After you send a proposal and don’t hear back

The client has outlined their project and asked you to send a proposal (maybe using's Practice Ignition's proposal management software 😉). You do this – excited to be bringing a new client on board – and then you never hear from them again.

This email offers a friendly reminder to the client that they have your proposal, and that the onus is on them to give you their decision or make changes before the project can move forward. Stating that you’ll call them at a certain time gives them a sense of urgency to get the proposal read and approved.

Subject: Got any questions about the proposal?

Hi NAME,

Last week I sent through the proposal doc you asked for as part of your website redesign project. I hadn’t heard from you since and just wanted to check you received it, and if you had any questions?

I’d like to organise a quick call to talk it over. Would Tuesday at 3PM work for you? I’m excited about the project and keen to get started!

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

3. When they don’t send you the documents/info you need to get started

You require key information from the client before you can begin your work, but the clock is ticking down and they still haven’t sent it through.

This email makes it clear the urgency of this matter, while also ensuring the client knows exactly what they’re supposed to send.

Subject: Accounting package – I need these signed to get started

Hi NAME,

I’m keen to get started on your accounts. I want to make sure it’s all finished up in time for your deadline, but at the moment, we’re stalled.

In order to get started, I need the following documents/need you to fill out the following documents, which I’ve attached to the email.

  1. DOCUMENT A
  2. DOCUMENT B
  3. DOCUMENT C

Please acknowledge you’re working on these and that you’ll get them to me by DATE. If you have any questions or want some clarity around why we need these documents, I’m happy to jump on a call.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

4. When they’re late to pay

Asking clients why they haven’t paid their invoice is always an uncomfortable situation. Many business owners avoid this by simply never following up and writing the account off – we don’t think that’s any kind of solution!

Usually the invoice doesn’t get lost, but it does get forgotten about, or it sits in a big pile in the accounts department but doesn’t get dealt with. This email gives the client an “out” so it doesn’t seem as if you’re guilting them into paying what they rightfully owe you.

Subject: Late payment: Did you miss the invoice?

Hi NAME,

I’m just following-up on unpaid invoices and noticed you’ve yet to make payment on INV-0023, which was sent to you on DATE.

Since I haven’t received payment, I just wanted to make sure the invoice hadn’t got lost? I know sometimes they can get sent to SPAM or deleted by accident. I’ve attached it here again for your convenience.

As this invoice is now 15-days overdue, you’ll need to make payment within the next five days if you wish to avoid the overdue fee of X% added to the bill.

Yours sincerely,

YOUR NAME

5. After you send a cold email to generate sales

Cold calling can be a daunting sales technique, but it’s still very effective. However, you risk losing a lead from cold calling if you don’t follow up with them within a few days. They may come to you of their own volition, but chances are, you’ll need to make the next move.

This email offers a useful piece of content as a way to keep the conversation going and build trust with the lead. Chances are, they’re not ready to buy right now, but by warming them up, you’ll end up with a client further along the sales process.

Subject: Here’s that business guide we were discussing.

Hi NAME,

It was great to chat with you the other day and find out more about your goals for BUSINESS NAME.

I’m just following up with a link to that guide for growing a successful small business we discussed on the phone. You can find it HERE. Based on what you told me about your marketing strategies this year, I think you’ll find section three particularly useful.

Let me know if you enjoyed the content!

Cheers,

YOUR NAME.

6. To revive cold leads

Once leads have been marked as cold, it can be tough to bring them back again. However, at one time, this person was seriously considering your services – there’s a real benefit in reaching out to them again.

You get the best results with following up on cold leads by presenting them with an offer. This gives you the perfect “excuse” to email and may provide the incentive to push them over the edge.

Subject: Wanted to let you know about our 25% off offer

Hi NAME

I hope you remember me – we chatted a few months back about accounting packages for your business, but you decided not to pursue.

We’re currently having a 25% off fees for the first three months for new customers, as a way to get small businesses off-the-ground in the new financial year. I thought you might like to know in case you were still considering our services – I’d hate for you to miss out.

Check out our packages HERE [link], and I’d be happy to set up a call to discuss your options.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

7. Closing the loop

If you’ve tried several times to reach out, both by email and phone, and you’ve received no response, then it’s time to “break up” with your client. This usually happens during the initial proposal stage – perhaps the client was talking to several companies and chose a competitor, or they’ve decided not to go ahead with the project. Often, they won’t actually notify you – they just move on and don’t return your queries.

Rude? A little. Common behaviour? Definitely.

Your final contact should be an email, letter , or phone call to “close the loop.” This gives your client a final chance to respond, but also gives you some closure and enables you to

The sense of urgency in this email helps spur clients to action. Many business owners find that a “closing the loop” email will drive a new client over the line.

Hi NAME,

I haven’t heard back from you about your project. I’m assuming your priorities have changed, and you no longer want to go ahead with this.

Keep us in mind if you want to move forward in the future.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME

8. Check again in six months

Sometimes, an unresponsive client will come back and ask you to check in with them in a few months time (or that they’ll check in in a few months time). This is usually because a proposed project is delayed or the business is changing strategies, and they need to work out some details before they commit.

It may also be a way for a shy person to get you off the phone.

Add these clients to a “follow-up” folder on your email client. Find out from them what needs to change between now and their follow-up date in order for them to bring you on board. These are the prospects you want to follow-up with.

Here’s a six-month follow-up email you could try:

Hi NAME,

I hope you remember me. We spoke six months ago about an accounting package for your business, but you mentioned you needed a few months to grow the business before you were ready.

I can see from your brand new website (great design, btw) that things are ticking over nicely.I wondered if you’d had a chance to look over the accounting package I sent you previously?

I’d love to book a time to chat with you about your needs. How does Tuesday at 3PM sound?

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME.

Conclusion

When you don’t hear from a client, it’s not a reflection on your or your business. Usually, clients get busy in their own business, and things fall off the top of their to-do list, or they forget to reply to emails. Most clients appreciate when you follow up and get the right answers so you can do your best work.

What’s your process for following up with clients when they don't respond? Do you use template emails like these?

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