Writing A Follow Up Email After No Response From Your Prospect

Abhishek A Agrawal
January 21, 2019
Writing A Follow Up Email After No Response From Your Prospect

If your sales process requires talking to prospects over email or on phone to close the sale, you know that at a certain price point, prospects don’t typically buy on the first interaction.

You have to do several email exchanges and/or calls before you get a sale. Sometimes during this process, prospects will stop responding to your follow up attempts and go “radio silent.”

how to close a sale when your prospects stop responding

Every sales veteran knows that time kills deals. You have to get your prospect’s attention and constantly move the sale forward to win a deal. Don’t let your sales prospecting go to waste.

This article will help you in writing a Follow-Up email after no responses from your prospect and give you several different tactics for improving your follow up campaigns. This will help you get the attention of a cold prospect and close the deal.

When Your Prospects Don’t Get Back to You

Many sales stop without a direct, “no.” Often times, a sale is lost when a prospect stops returning your phone calls and emails. This can be really frustrating for anyone who’s spent a lot of time and effort trying to win a deal.

If the sale isn’t going forward, it’s going backward. The more time that passes without another engagement with your prospect, the greater the chance that you’ll lose. Getting a response from them is your top priority at this stage in the game.

Why Your Emails Are Getting Ignored

It can be difficult to determine why a prospect isn’t responding to you. It could be that they can’t get approval to buy your product or service, the timing isn’t right within their company, they are trying to secure more budget to pay you, or they may just be really busy and it slipped their mind to respond to your follow up attempts.

There’s plenty of different reasons why this could be happening but the underlying cause of the silence is that you aren’t giving them a compelling reason for them to respond to you.

Most follow up attempts only serve to help the person who’s doing the outreach. The only way to give your prospect a compelling reason to respond is to offer them something that they want.

You have to think about what you can offer to the prospect that will get them to take action.

Without offering a compelling reason to respond, the prospect will most likely take the path of least resistance and ignore your repeated attempts to contact them.

So, how do you craft a compelling reason to respond?

How to Get a Reply from a Prospect Who Has Stopped Responding

If you’re in sales, you probably have a process for generating B2B sales leads. Increasing your reply rate from prospects you’re already speaking with is similar to the process you would follow when attempting to engage new prospects. Focus on breaking down your follow up attempts to increase your chances of having your prospect open, read, and respond to your messages.

To get a prospect to respond you have to do three things:

Get their attention – Before you can communicate your message to a prospect, you must get their attention successfully. They have to stop what they are doing and engage with your message.

Demonstrate value – After you get their attention you must present value to compel them to respond. Emailing a prospect just to “check-in” isn’t going to work. You must give them a good reason to respond to you.

Make it easy for them to respond – You should end your message with a call to action that provides the least amount of resistance. Your goal is to get a response so you can continue the conversation.

Getting a Cold Prospect to Reply: Step-By-Step

1.Get Their Attention

Your prospect’s inbox is most likely filled to the brim with emails. According to a study done by The Radicati Group, the average email user sends and receives 122 emails per day.

With all that activity going on in your prospect’s inbox, it’s no wonder why sometimes your follow up messages don’t get opened or get a reply. To get your prospect’s attention you have to be creative.

Here are a few ways to make sure that your message stands out in their inbox:

Day of the week – If you typically follow up on weekdays, try emailing on the weekend.

Time of day – Try sending emails early in the morning or late in the evening. According to The Muse, the best time to send an email that gets a response is between 6am and 7am or around 8pm.

Subject line – 

Using the same subject line over and over again, “RE: Original Subject”, can trigger “inbox blindness” and may cause your prospect to glaze over your email.

Instead of using the same subject line, there are several different things you can try:

  • Use their name in the subject line – “{Name}, thought you should check this out”
  • Tell them how long it will take to read it – “2 min. Read”
  • Prompt them to take action – “Action Requested”
  • Ask them a question – “Am I On the Right Track?”
  • Use reverse psychology – “Don’t Open This Email”
  • Use humor – “Giraffes Can’t Buy Turtlenecks”
  • Send something out of the ordinary – “Netflix Password”

Body –

You have one goal in the body section of your email. That goal is to get your prospect to read the next line. Each line of your email needs to demonstrate some sort of value to get the person to keep reading.

The content of your email will be based upon the specifics of the deal you’re engaged in but there are several ways that you can make your body copy better that will apply to any situation:

Make the first line count – Having a great first line is critical because it’s the first thing people read after opening your email. It’s also a very important part of your email because people can preview part or all of the first line before they open the email.

Your first line needs to hook the reader into reading the rest of the email:

  • Compliment them – “Loved your last post/tweet/podcast episode on XYZ”
  • Give congratulations – “Congrats on the funding!”
  • Comment on one of their passions – “{Team Name} played a great game on Sunday – nice win!”
  • Ask a question – “What did you think about the event last weekend?”

Write Like a 3rd Grader – Using complicated language in your emails will decrease readability and response rates. According to Boomerang, emails written at a 3rd-grade reading level get the highest response rates at 53%. Kindergarten came in second (46% response rate), followed closely by high school (45%), and in last place was college (39%). Use a tool like Hemingway App to measure the reading level of your email and then make the necessary adjustments.

The smartphone test – Does your message fit on a smartphone screen? If not, it may be too long. According to Return Path, 55% of all emails are read on a mobile device. To improve your chances of getting a reply, take out as much irrelevant copy as you can and keep your message as short as possible.


2.Demonstrate Value

Redlettermedia Mikestoklasa GIF - Redlettermedia Mikestoklasa Value GIFs

Remind them of the value you have to offer. Demonstrate the positive results of responding to you, and the negative consequences of not responding. Showing your value upfront will always help you in a deal, if your main goal is closing sales.

You can use the following content in your emails to demonstrate value:

  • Benefits and Outcomes – Remind the prospect of the value that they will receive after doing business with you. This can be in the form of the benefits of your particular service that other companies have received in the past. It can also be in the form of specific outcomes that they will achieve which you have discussed on previous calls with them.
  • Case studies and testimonials – Reassure your prospects that doing business with you will help them achieve their goals. Present them with case studies and testimonials to show proof of how you have used your product or service to help similar customers.
  • FAQ / Objection Handling – Your prospect may not be answering you because they still have some reservations about how well you can deliver your solution and live up to your promises. Presenting them with a list of FAQ’s or common objections along with answers can be a great way to resolve any remaining concerns.
  • Limited-Time Offer – If there is a time-sensitive offer available to your prospect, reminding them of the deadline can help compel them to take your desired action.


3.Make it easy for them to respond

Make it as easy as possible for your prospects to respond to you so you can continue the conversation. After someone has gone cold, get them to take the smallest step possible to re-engage with you and advance the sale forward. Most often this will happen within your call to action or CTA.

Call to Action –

The last thing you want to do is write an amazing email but ruin the call to action. You should end your email with a call to action that compels the reader to respond immediately after reading it.

Make one ask – You should only have one CTA within your email. Asking for a prospect to do more than one thing after reading an email can complicate the process and cause them to ignore or delay their response to your message. Your call to action should also be clear and easy to understand.

Simplify their reply – A CTA that asks the recipient to respond with an unnecessary amount of information makes it more difficult for them to respond.

Here are some ways that you can make replying more simple for them:

Tell them to answer yes/no or pick a number – Ask your prospect to respond with a simple “yes or no”, or to respond with a number to make it as easy as possible for them.

  • Please reply with 1, 2, or 3 so I know whether or not to keep following up:
  1. Yes, please follow up with your availability.
  2. No, I’m not interested.
  3. Yes, but I need more time to decide. Please follow up in a week.
  • If you’re interested but need more time to decide, please reply with “yes” so I can make a note of it.
  • If you’re not interested, please reply with “no” so I can make a note of it.

Offer to give instead of asking to receive – Most follow up emails ask the recipient to take some sort of action. The receiver has to take time out of their day to give something to you. Essentially, you’re taking something from them. Instead of asking to take something, flip the dynamic by offering them something instead. This could be a variety of things, like:

  • An interesting article or relevant piece of research
  • A summary of the notes that you took on one of your previous calls
  • Give them a custom strategy on how they can improve their business
  • Tips on how they can get more traffic to their website
  • Ways that they can increase qualified leads and conversions

Use a strip-line email – Strip-lining is a technique that offers your prospect a way out of the deal. You’re not intending for the prospect to walk away, you’re simply giving them the option. This essentially calls the prospect’s bluff and they often end up conceding by giving you some form of a reply. A simple strip-line email you can use is known as “The Magic Email” and is simple but effective.

“Since I have not heard from you on this, I have to assume your priorities have changed.”

If your prospect is not responding to you, that simple, one-line email can get you great results.


4. When Should You Stop Following Up?

Never Give Up. GIF - Never GIFs

You’ll get to a point in your follow up where days, weeks, and even months go by without getting a response. During a long stretch of not receiving a response from a prospect, it may seem like all hope is lost.

The best thing you can do is to keep following up and continue to try new ways of getting a hold of them. If email isn’t working for you, try using the phone, messaging them on LinkedIn, tweeting at them, leaving a voicemail, sending a physical item in the mail, or even following up in person. Make sure that you use a good CRM for sales to keep track of all of your activities.

You can also try to get their attention by getting in touch with someone else at the company who is below, above, or equal to them in seniority within their department.


5. How to Manage Lots of Prospects at Once

When you’re dealing with a lot of prospects within your pipeline, it’s easy to lose track of who you need to follow up with. With Company Hub’s follow up suggestions feature you can get intelligent suggestions from your CRM on who you should follow up with and get reminders on when you should make contact. This sales automation feature will help you stay on top of your pipeline and convert more leads into sales.

Wrapping Up

When you’re writing a follow-up email after no response from your prospect, the main thing you have to remember is that every follow-up attempt should be an effort to move the sale forward. In every email, do something that gets the prospect’s attention, demonstrates the value you have to offer, and make it easy for them to respond. Remember – time kills deals so the quicker you can get a non-responsive prospect to re-engage, the better.



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