Follow-up emails are super effective, your cold email campaign must have them.

  You’ve sent your first cold email but haven’t gotten a response. What are you going to do now? Surely you won’t just give up and not send a follow-up. But you don’t want to send too many follow-ups and make it feel like spam either, right?


I’m pretty sure you already know the answer to this. But let us back up our instincts with data:

  • According to Marketing Donut, 92 percent of salespeople give up after four “no’s”, but 80 percent of prospects say “yes” after four “no’s”.
  • Research indicates that 35 percent to 50 percent of sales go to those vendor/seller who responds first.
  • You’ve got a 21% chance of getting an answer to a second email when the first goes unanswered. (Yesware)

The Adjacent graph from Yesware reveals Exactly How successful follow-up emails could be, with senders receiving responses after as many as 10 separate follow up messages:

Follow-up emails effectiveness graph

Image Source: Yesware


10 follow-up emails may feel too much, it does to me, I have a tendency to cease after three.

Every cold email sender has a different view, to help you find the perfect schedule, I have rounded up tips from 3 leading salespeople.

If you reach out completely cold and never had any interaction with the other person, follow up a maximum of six times. You really don’t have the type of relationship that gives you permission to do much more than that.

If you already had some kind of interaction and that interaction was not a clear, definite NO, then follow up as long as it takes to get a response. Never stop till you get a response.”

– Steli Efti, close.io

“Persistently emailing your prospects with a valuable and interesting message ultimately overshadows the effect of timing, especially if you vary the timing of emails throughout the campaign.”

– Heather Morgan, Salesfolk

In 1 example, Heather explains her company’s involvement with technology startup Ambition. To boost response rates to cold emails, her team created a sequence of eight followup emails for their two buyer personas.
As per Heather, #6B was the top performing message.

While email performance of email #6 may partly be a consequence of how effective and convincing that this specific email copy has been, that coincides with the basic sales lesson that persistence works


How exactly can you ensure that your follow-up emails are worth reading, and don’t feel like spam? Here are a few tips to improve your chances of getting a response-

DIAL DOWN YOUR ASK: It is never wise to repeat the same thing that you wrote in your cold sales email in your follow up as well. Reduce the intensity of your request in your follow-up, you should be persistent but not so aggressive that you diminish the brand name of your organization.

ADD MORE VALUE: By adding more value to your follow-ups, you help the receiver get a better insight into what you have to offer. Once they have that knowledge, they might be interested in your sales pitch.  It is up to you to figure out what value they need to respond to you.

CHANGE THE STYLE: You have to remember that you only have about 10-15 seconds to capture the attention of the receiver. Slightly changing your style in the follow-ups might just be the key to getting a response. Avoid filler words and sentences, as it adds unnecessary volume to the email. If your first email was serious, try to keep your message in the follow-ups light and humorous.

TEST A DIFFERENT PITCH: If your organization offers other services, you might want to try pitching them something entirely different in your follow up. They might just end up being interested in something you never thought they wanted!

> TEST UNTIL YOU DO YOUR BEST: Test all possible variables, individually as well as their combinations, to find the one that stands out the most. A few things you must test are templates, email formats, different timings to send the emails, and the tone of the message.

Image source: Customer.io


If you don’t want to spend a lot of time creating different follow-ups, automated messages are a good option. However, automated follow-ups often get mistaken for spam, or they might not deliver the exact message you want it to. A few questions you might want to ask yourself while creating a sequence for your automated email are:

-Are you putting out the right information?

-Do you have the technical skills to set up and manage a pilot?

– Have you optimized your follow up templates before adding them to a sequence?

-Will your message be sorted with your initial email?

Only when you are absolutely sure that your answer to all the above questions is yes, should you go ahead with setting up an automated sequence. Some more tips to keep in mind are:-

-Avoid words that trigger spam filters.

-Keep the volume of the emails consistent.

-Don’t add too many images or links; your text should not be overshadowed.

-Customize your text with any links that you provide.

Lastly, always remember the most important rule to avoid your email ending up in the receiver’s spam folder- never send anything you would not be willing to receive.


> BREAKTHROUGH EMAIL: Get to the point quickly, and include a low friction ask. Always remember to be respectful of the recipient’s time.

> SOCIAL PROOF: Adding social proof or statistics in your follow up messages diminishes resistance in the minds of the prospects. It increases conversations by reducing any hesitation or worry that consumers may have.


Responses are never guaranteed when you send a cold sales email, but effective follow up messages certainly increase your chances of receiving one. Choose the combination you are most comfortable with, and you’re all set!