The Anatomy of a Successful Sales Follow-Up Email

“Just wanted to touch base…”

“Just checking in…”

“Just reaching out to see if…”

Sound familiar? If you find yourself writing sales follow-ups that start with one of those phrases, you’re not alone—but that also means you’re not making an impression. Beginning a sentence with “just” comes across as timid and unfocused. It’s time to write better follow-up emails.

Last week, Pardot hosted a webinar to discuss how marketing and sales teams can work together to optimize their lead flow plan. Ali Gooch, Senior Sales Manager at Pardot, gave some excellent advice about the final step: the sales follow-up. Let’s take a look at how Ali’s team writes effective follow-up emails—no “justs” necessary.

So, you got a pop-up notification because a lead looked at the pricing page on your website. They’ve demonstrated interest in your product, so it’s time to get in touch. Ali’s first piece of advice? If you’ve got a hot lead, you need to follow up immediately. A study from found that salespeople are nine times more likely to convert a lead if they follow up within five minutes.

But what do you say if not “just reaching out”? Ali suggests sticking to the following seven rules:

  1. Be brief.
  2. State your objective. Why are you writing?
  3. Ask for next steps. Let the prospect take control of their buying process.
  4. Reference things current customers love about your solution. You can even include brief customer testimonials or interviews.
  5. Track your emails.
  6. Send content relevant to the prospect’s business needs.
  7. Ensure your communications are personalized to the prospect’s activities and interests. For example, did they attend your company’s webinar or visit your booth a trade show? Maybe they asked a question on social media or engaged with content on your website.

Tip: Even the best email won’t see results if your contact doesn’t open it. If you’re struggling with open rates, take a look at “3 Keys to Crafting Sales Follow-Ups that Actually Get Opened.”

Need a little more guidance? In the webinar, Ali also shared some of her go-to email templates for different situations.


Email Example 1: This example is especially effective because the sales rep reaching out is leveraging marketing automation in order to sell marketing automation. This demonstrates the power of the product and gives the prospect an inside look at some of its features. Of course, this approach isn’t appropriate for every company; however, you can show the power of your solution in other ways, such as with customer references or social proof.


Email Example 2: In this example, a sales rep reaches out to a prospect earlier than they had previously discussed. To avoid seeming intrusive, it’s important to be brief and set the expectation that a catch-up call will only take a few minutes.


Email Example 3: When a lead has gone cold—for example, if they don’t return several phone calls—that doesn’t mean you’ve hit a dead end. This sample email is great for identifying a more appropriate contact at the same company.

Want more sample follow-up emails? We love this blog post from Yesware: “4 Sales Follow Up Emails That Will Get Your Prospect’s Attention.”

Of course, a sales follow-up doesn’t end with an email. To get more tips for following up with your leads (and for nailing the rest of the lead flow process), be sure to watch the entire 30-minute webinar. Then let us know: what tactics do you use to better engage your sales leads? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments.