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How to Write a Follow up Email (With 7 Examples, Backed by Research)

Send follow up email

Post summary:

  • Whether you meet with sales reps or speak with customer support, you’ll find out very quickly that only a small number of companies send follow up emails.
  • Our unique research, which is based on 1,000 companies, found that less than 3% of all companies send a follow up email to their prospects or customers. But, why?
  • We share 7 “copy and paste” email templates that you can use to follow up with customers immediately – including two real-life examples of how Apple follow up with their customers.

Good customer service creates happy and loyal customers.

The more customers you can keep happy (and retain), the faster your business will grow.

Yet, for many companies, customer service stops once an issue has been solved.

After that, you move onto the next customer.

And then the next (and so on…).

What many companies forget to do is follow up.

Even though they’re simple, follow-ups are often neglected.

In fact, following up is currently ranked as the third biggest challenge for sales teams.

biggest sales challenge is following up

And this causes a much bigger problem than you think.

Based on a study of 527 sales and marketing professionals, LeadData found that 33% of sales teams claimed they followed up with prospects and customers immediately, with 49% saying that they follow up with new leads "most of the time".

However, according to our own research, only 24 companies (out of 1,000) sent a follow up email to their customers.

That’s less than 3%.

Very few companies send a follow up email

But really... how important is it to follow up with your customers?

The truth is... it's very important!

In fact, it’s become so important that poor follow-up is now cited as the biggest customer complaint.

A study by Harvard Business Review found that 56% of customers complain about poor follow-up.

While 48% of customers that experience a poor follow-up will go on to tell at least 10 people or more about their bad experience.

That’s right.

Something as simple as a follow-up ruins the entire customer experience, which, according to research by Walker2020, is one of top factors for doing business with a company.

So, to avoid customers turning their backs on you, you need to follow up.

But, how?

The best way to follow up? Email.

There’s are a wide range of ways you can follow up with your customers.

You can do it by phone, a letter, or even in person, but the most effective way is to follow up is by email.

Email is quick to send, you can easily track comments and feedback, and best of all, it’s scalable. Whether you follow up with a select handful of clients, or have thousands of customers to contact, you can do it all by simply using good old fashioned email.

But, how do you write a successful follow up email?

Before we provide you with the templates, I want to share a real life example of how not to follow up with a prospect or customer. Below is the email example and then I'll explain why you shouldn't try to replicate it.

A real example of a follow up email from my inbox

At first, it appears innocent.

It's a kindly written follow-up email reminding me about a potential guest post on the SuperOffice blog.

However, what you can't see here is my original reply. Yes, I responded to their original email with a polite "No thank you".

So, why would they send a second follow up to me even though I had replied?

Either the email sequence was automated and it didn't recognize that I had replied or the person sending the email decided to ignore my response and try to change my mind in their second follow up.

Did it work? No. Of course not.

Following up after rejection letter

Respect the follow up, but more importantly, respect the response. Otherwise, it's spam.

7 follow up templates for your customers

To help you send a successful follow up email to a prospect or customer, we’ve prepared 7 templates that you can copy and start using in your business today, including two examples used by Apple.

Each template covers a specific part of the customer follow-up process, so you can choose the templates that best fit the needs of your business.

1. The ‘How Did We Do?’ follow-up email

Each time a customer contacts your support team, they expect a response.

So, it’s important that you solve their issue quickly and efficiently.

Once their issue has been solved, you can ask them how you did.

This template is designed to be sent to follow up with someone after they’ve contacted customer service and to make sure that they’re entirely satisfied.

When should you send a follow up email? Easy...when you feel you have done all you can to help them!

The ‘How Did We Do?’ follow-up email

If you don’t have the option to include a ratings scale, then encourage your customers to respond by hitting ‘reply’.

Depending on your company’s style and tone of voice, you may wish to customize the signature to fit with your brand. For example, you can personalize the email and send it from the CEO, Head of Customer Service, or even the customer service agent that they originally dealt with. Alternatively, you can use your company name.

2. The ‘Survey’ follow-up email

A ratings scale is a great way to get high volume responses, but if you’re looking for more detailed feedback, you can include a link to a survey within the follow up email.

Depending on the type of questions you ask, this template gives you the opportunity to collect voice of customer feedback, and get real insight into what your customers thinks of your company, your products, and your customer service team.

The ‘Survey’ follow-up email

If you are unsure what to ask your customers in the survey, here are five example questions:

  1. Are you happy with the service that we have provided?
  2. Was the service knowledgeable and helpful?
  3. Were you served quickly?
  4. Did we meet your expectations?
  5. What is the one thing we can do better?

While it’s possible to encourage your customers to reply directly to the email, you should use a survey tool to collect all the answers your customers give you. Google, Typeform and Survey Monkey all offer free tools, so creating a survey for your customers doesn’t need to be expensive.

3. The ‘Just Checking In’ follow-up email

This purpose of this email is to delight and surprise your customers.

Far too often, businesses sell a product and then leave their customers to it.

Have you ever thought that your customers might need help or support? Maybe they are unsure quite how a product works or need some more information. This template is a great way to build a longer-term relationship. Best of all, it shows them that you care.

The ‘Just Checking In’ follow-up email

Unlike the first two templates, this email should be sent from a customer service agent, not a company name or from the dreaded “Do Not Reply” email address. Sending this email from a person will help the customer feel appreciated and listened to, which in turn is more likely to lead to a response.

Rather than asking your customers to complete a web form or send an email to a separate email address (feedback@company.com is not a solution), encourage them to reply directly to your team.

To create an even greater customer experience, include context by adding the product or service they’ve purchased within the email. which you can import directly from your CRM software.

4. The ‘Anything else?’ follow-up email

It’s common to solve an issue, but not hear back from the customer.

What usually happens here is that your customer support team will mark the issue as solved and close the ticket. But, what happens if the customer hasn’t had a chance to read the email, or is just busy?

The "anything else" email acts as gentle reminder on the status of the conversation and is a great way to close off a conversation with a customer. By sending this email, it's a polite way of giving the customer a chance to ask anything else and feel entirely satisfied with the interaction, rather than being cut off short, or worse, feeling abandoned.

The ‘Anything else?’ follow-up email

For customer service software users, this email can be sent out automatically and from a company name. However, try to provide context to the original conversation, such as using the original subject line or unique case ID/ number, so there is no confusion or miscommunication.

This email should also state what will happen to their issue if the email is not responded to within a specific period.

5. The "Join us" follow-up email

One of our loyal readers, Lorie, left a comment asking me how she can follow up with a customer who has signed up to the freemium version of their product but has not yet subscribed to a paid plan.

For companies that attempt to convert freemium users into paying customers, you know this can be tricky!

Approaching any customer and asking for payment is delicate. But, if you don't ask, then they may never become a paying customer and you lose out of new revenue. But if you are too aggressive with the ask, then you may scare the user off for good!

That's why we have created the "Join us" template.

The "join us" template is a great way to follow up with a user who you haven't communicated with recently. It's a way to check in with them and offer assistance, should they need it. However, it also doubles as a way to get them to subscribe.

The second half of the follow up email is a suggestion to "join" your community/ customer base. By sending this email, you remind the user that there is a premium option of your product or service and emphasizing the benefits of what they get when they become a paying customer.

Subscribe to paid plan follow up email

So, when to send this email?

Ideally, this email should be sent 3-6 months after a user has signed up and only be sent to users who are not on a paid plan. To increase the likelihood of converting them into a paying customer, I would segment this follow up email even further and send it based on active/ engaged users.

6. (and 7.) The "Thank you" follow-up email(s) from Apple

Apple is renowned for being a customer service leader (scoring 93 out of a score from 100).

So, when I reached out to their customer service team recently I had high expectations.

Of course, Apple being Apple, not only did they meet my expectations, but they far exceeded them!

Do you know what made their service so great?

The follow up email(s). That's right, plural!

Within two days of contacting the Apple Customer Success team, they had replied to my support request and, followed up with my email as I hadn’t had time to respond.

Yes, they followed up with me. It's Apple who sent a follow up email after no response!

Another example of a follow up email from Apple

But, Apple didn't stop there.

Best in class customer service goes above and beyond the norm.

Once I responded, thanking them for handling the issue quickly, they followed up again - to thank me for being nice.

How amazing is that?!

Follow up email example from Apple

It's hard to top this kind of service!

Conclusion

If you want to transform your customer service procedures and impress your customers, then start sending a follow up email to them. This simple, yet effective strategy is only used by 3% of all companies - representing a huge opportunity to gain a competitive advantage – and one that should not be missed!

Use these 7 follow up emails for inspiration:

  1. The "How did we do" email
  2. The "Survey" email
  3. The "Just checking in" email
  4. The "Anything else?" email
  5. The "Join us" email
  6. The "Thank you" email
  7. The "Thank you again" email

These different types of emails have been created for specific points in the customer journey.

Best of all, using these follow up templates will not only help you keep your existing customers happy, but it’s a great way to stand out against the competition and generate business from potential customers.

For more follow up email templates, download our free guide here.

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Comments

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Tooba Tanveer

2 years ago

Great templates! They will make following up a lot easier for marketers and sales people.

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Anca

2 years ago

As is the case with most follow up emails, personalization always work best, so make this template yours for the best response rates!

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Steven MacDonald

2 years ago

Great point, Anca!

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John

2 years ago

Steven, there are many B2B professionals that avoid responding by email. What can I do in such cases? I agree with the follow up email and template format, but being a sales professional, it's really hard to convince clients to respond.

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Steven MacDonald

2 years ago

That's a great point, John! I recommend following up more than once. Studies show that you should follow up at least 5 times!

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Laura Collette

2 years ago

Hey Steven! Really great follow up templates! These will help a lot for users to grow their sales and make profits. Thanks for sharing!

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Ritesh Sharma

2 years ago

Amazing article!! I was searching for these kinds of follow up templates and stumbled on your article, which I think is great help for people like us who didn't know how to do the follow up process properly. Thanks a lot and I will bookmark this page for sure!

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Meredith Sutton

2 years ago

Great list of follow up emails. Thank you!

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Kevin Wright

2 years ago

When it comes to follow up, email is quick to send and track comments and feedback. Everything will be quick in response to the email. with this email process it help in increasing the customer service process and can attract the customers by giving good customer support response.

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Teefou Hasanti

one year ago

I can't believe only 3% of companies follow up with their customers. Thank you for the templates. I'll start using them in my business today!

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Steven MacDonald

one year ago

Thank you, Teefou! Let me know how they work out for you.

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Lydia

one year ago

Thank you for this, it's very useful. Now I know how I can make a follow up call to a client who purchased goods from our company!

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Ray Lanning

one year ago

Love these follow up templates. Thanks for the research and examples included in this article. I'll share them with my support team!

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William Brake

one year ago

Thanks for the follow up email examples - really helpful article!

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Steven MacDonald

one year ago

Thanks, William. Glad you like them!

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Fred Curley

one year ago

Great list of follow up emails! Do you have any more free templates?

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Steven MacDonald

one year ago

Thanks, Frank! Yes, we have 7 customer service templates and 10 B2B marketing templates here: https://www.superoffice.com/resources/guides/7-email-templates-customer-service/ https://www.superoffice.com/resources/guides/b2b-email-marketing-templates/

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Adam Watkins

one year ago

This is a great list of email examples. And it's really nice to see how a company as big as Apple can still prioritize great service and follow up with their customers.

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Steven MacDonald

one year ago

Thanks Adam. I completely agree! It just goes to show that if a company like Apple can do it, anyone can!

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Lorie

one year ago

If I've onboarded a new customer but months down the line buyer has not made an initial order with us how could I best approach the customer with an email?

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Steven MacDonald

one year ago

Hi Lorie, great question! Hopefully this follow up email below will help you reconnect a customer: "Hi [FIRST_NAME], Just checking in to see how you're finding [YOUR_PRODUCT]. I can see on your profile that you have been using [YOUR_PRODUCT] for [LENGHT_OF_TIME] now and I would love to make sure you have had all the help you need get the most value from it. If there’s anything we can do to make your experience more awesome, let us know by replying to this message! We love hearing from you. Or, if you’re ready to join [NUMBER_OF_CUSTOMERS] of customers already using the premium version of [YOUR_PRODUCT], you can easily change your subscription details by clicking the link below. Update subscription details Here's a quick reminder of what you get when you subscribe to [YOUR_PRODUCT]: - [BENEFIT 1] - [BENEFIT 2] - [BENEFIT 3] If you have any other questions, simply reply to this email. Regards, [company name]

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Meredith

one year ago

I have read so many articles on how to follow up with customers, but never one that provided actual examples! Thank you!

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Lauren S.

one year ago

Really nice templates. Thank you!

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Jamie Tanner

one year ago

Incredible research! Such a shame that only 3% of companies follow up with their customers. Hopefully this article will give them some inspiration.

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Theo Janssen

one year ago

Good article. Thanks for the email templates!

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Karon Tya

one year ago

That's a pretty good insight for writing a follow up email. Rather than randomly shooting in the dark you first have to write down your goals, workflows and templates before the outreach. Planning is the most important part.

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Kimberly L Robbins

6 months ago

Hello there Steven, I have read all your blog articles and seriously they all are very interesting and helpful. Extremely extraordinary follow-up email templates! These will help a great deal for users to develop their sales and make benefits. Thanks for sharing!

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