8 Polite Follow-Up Email Samples & Mistakes To Avoid

Building Relationships / February 24, 2020 / Kristie Holden

Writing an effective yet polite follow up email that gets a response can be challenging. You want to get a response but you don’t want to be perceived as too pushy.

Whether you’re writing a polite follow-up email because you’re following up after meeting someone at a network event, after sending an invoice, or after sending an email with no response, we’ll share how tips to help you increase your odds of getting a response.

polite follow up email sample

First, let’s talk about the 3 common mistakes people make when writing a polite follow up email so you know what to correct when writing your next email.

Then we’ll share some examples of what you want to do to improve your follow up email along with a heap of examples to help you customize your own message!

Mistakes made in polite follow-up emails and what to do instead

There are three common mistakes often made when writing polite follow-up emails. Let’s talk about each of these mistakes so you can avoid them when writing a polite follow-up email and what to do instead.

Mistake #1:
Using “follow-up” in the email subject line

When writing a polite follow-up email, most people tend to naturally use “follow-up” in the subject line. While this email is a follow-up, that subject line doesn’t add any value and will likely be ignored. It can also cause the reader to feel like you’re pointing blame because you didn’t answer, which doesn’t make the reader feel very good or interested in reading your email.

Instead, write a subject line that’s relevant to the topic or purpose of the email. To do this, ask yourself what the email is about or what you want them to do. Continue reading for polite follow-up email subject line examples.

Mistake #2:
Starting with “just following up” and not adding value

Another common mistake made when writing a polite follow-up email is starting with “just following up” and sending an email that doesn’t add any value. People are busy and don’t have time to read an email that they have to decipher the meaning of or what action is required.

Instead, when writing your polite follow-up email, focus on adding value. For example, give them options, share how you can help them solve their problem or what you can do for them, or add more details or context.

Mistake #3:
Not including a call to action

The final and most common mistake when writing a polite follow-up email is forgetting to include a call to action.

Instead, when writing a polite follow-up email, be clear about what you want the person to do after reading your email. Do you want them to reply? Call you back? Fill out a form? Be clear and specific so they know what you want them to do. You can do this while still being polite. Keep reading to see the polite follow-up email samples and learn how to incorporate this into your follow-up emails.

8 Polite follow-up email samples

Below are eight polite follow-up email samples for various scenarios along with tips and suggestions you can use when writing your own email.

Scenario 1:
Following up after meeting at a networking event

Email subject line:
Let’s work on [problem to solve]

Hi [Name],

It was great meeting you at [name of event]! It was really interesting hearing about [something they mentioned they’re struggling with.]. I’d love to help you [problem you can solve] so you can [benefit they want to achieve].

Are you available next week to chat?

Email me back and let me know when works for you.

Looking forward to hearing from you,
[Your Name]

Tip: Include an intro that triggers their memory. Include how you can add value by offering something that they want/need or solving a problem they have. Then finish with a call to action letting them know what you want them to do.

Scenario 2:
Following up after being introduced (ex. referral)

Email subject line:
Let’s chat about [something they care about]

Hi [Name],

[Name of referrer] mentioned you’re looking for [a problem you can solve or service you can offer]. I’d love to chat about [problem they’re looking to solve] and how I can help you [benefit they want to get].

Here are some [benefits you’ve helped other clients achieve or examples of your work].

[link to case studies or customer testimonials]

Are you free next week to chat? Let me know what day works best for you.

Thanks,
[Your Name]

Tip: When following up in this scenario, be sure to let them know who referred you to them and what you can do for them. Focus on the value you can add and adding credibility such as your social media accounts or website portfolio. Be sure to finish by including a call to action for next steps.

Scenario 3:
Following up after a meeting or call to move to next steps in doing business together

Email subject line:
Next steps for [project you’re working on]

Hi [Name],

It was great meeting you the other day and chatting about [something they mentioned they care about]. I’d love to get started on working on [project or deal you’re working towards] so you can [benefit they want].

I’ve attached a form for you to fill out with your basic information so we can get started. The next step is to [one sentence about the next steps involved.]

Please fill this out and send it back as soon as you can so we can move to the next step.

Looking forward to working with you,
[Your Name]

Tip: Include something personal and give them context about who you are. People are often so busy that just seeing your name in their inbox may not be enough to remind them of who you are. Focus on adding value by reiterating a problem you can solve for them or benefit/goal you can help them achieve. Finish with a call to action telling them what you need them to do and why it’s important.

Scenario 4:
Following up after sending something that requires action and waiting to hear back

Email subject line:
Form for [project you’re working on]

Hi [Name],

Hope you’re having a great week!

Have you had a chance to look over the form I sent you last week?

Do you have any questions about it?

Let me know if you need me to send you another copy or if you need more time or have questions.

Thanks,
[Your Name]


Tip: Keep the follow-up email brief. Ask if they’ve looked over the thing you sent them and if they have any questions to confirm they’ve received it and understand what’s needed. Finish by including a call to action about what you want them to do.

Scenario 5:
Following up after sending an invoice and haven’t received payment

Email subject line:
Overdue invoice for [name of project]

Hi [Name],

Hope you’re doing well.

Have you had a chance to look over the invoice I sent you [date you send the invoice]? I know this season is busy for you.

Let me know if you need me to resend it or if you have any questions about any of the line items.

Thanks,
[Your Name]

Tip: Be brief but direct. Ask a question instead of pointing out the obvious that you haven’t received payment, for example asking to confirm they’ve received it and whether or not they have questions about it. Finish with a call to action telling them what you want them to do.

Scenario 6:
Following up after sending an estimate/quote

Email subject line:
Quote for [project name]

Hi [Name],

Hope you’re doing well.

Have you had a chance to look over the quote I sent you [date you send the quote] for [project you’re working on]? Would love to get started on [project or service you’re providing] so you can [benefit they want].

Let me know if you have any questions about the quote.

Thanks,
[Your Name]

Tip: Be brief and ask a question instead of saying you’re just following up on the invoice. Remind them of the value you can add or problem you can solve to emphasize what’s in it for them. Finish with a call to action by being clear on what they should do next.

Scenario 7:
Following up after asking someone to do something and no response

Hi [Name],

Hope you’re doing well.

Have you had a chance to [work you’ve asked them to do]? Once I get [work you’ve asked them to do] then I can [next steps and benefit that they care about].

Let me know if there’s anything you had questions about or need any more details.

Thanks,
[Your Name]

Tip: Be brief. Be polite by asking if they’ve looked it over rather than accuse or point out that you haven’t received it yet. Add value by giving them context for the urgency if needed or urgency about the next steps. Finish with a call to action so they know what you want them to do and why it’s important.

Scenario 8:
Following up after no response from the last email

Hi [Name],

Hope you’re doing well. I didn’t hear back from you about [email you sent – service you can provide or problem you can solve].

Have you been too busy to get back?

Have you found another [professional services/ product]?

Is now just not the right time?

Let me know if you’d prefer me to circle back at another time or if you’ve found another [professional services] and no longer need my services.

Thanks,
[Your Name]

Tip: When you’ve followed up and had no previous response, be brief and ask them why, while making it easy for them to answer by giving them options. Finish with a call to action letting them know what you want them to do.

Summary

Hopefully, you find these polite follow-up email samples helpful when writing your own follow-up emails. The main things to keep in mind when writing a polite follow-up email is to be brief, focus on adding value, and include a call to action. If you follow these tips you can avoid wasted time sending follow-ups that don’t get responses and start getting answers!

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