How to Follow-Up on Your Cold Emails

laptop with post-it-notes

In the first article of the “How to Master Sales with Mailbutler series, I outlined the process for targeting and personalizing cold emails. This process helps you win customer leads and integrates well with most sales strategies. Today we will be looking at what comes next: the follow-up

In this post I will walk you through:

  1. How to time your next email properly, prioritize and focus its content
  2. Set up the template
  3. Organize the process for a large audience

You will find more information about defining hot leads in the next post of the series, coming soon! Keep an eye on!

Like to know more? Here are the remaining blog posts from the series “How to Master Sales with Mailbutler”:

Knowing when to send a follow-up 📆

Timing is key. When you are warm emailing — sending information and content to people you already have some relationship or correspondence with — you still need to know your audience: sometimes you send an email each week, sometimes two. Sometimes they respond that they will check out your service; sometimes they are already using it. You don’t want to forget about this mailing list, but being pushy can put people off.

For cold emails, writing to leads can happen much more often. I have a 3-day default follow-up time for my contacts. If they haven’t responded to my first message, a second email could keep me fresh in their mind.

At this point, it’s easy to define what should come next. If you haven’t received a response to your email, just send your leads a follow-up. You can now set another follow-up reminder in case you still wouldn’t get a reply.

Follow-up is supposed to grab attention 👀

If your first email didn’t get a response, then you send a follow-up. That’s what they are great for: bringing you more attention from leads, who may already have an inbox full of messages to sort through.

Sending a follow-up can also help show if you are on the right path to gaining new clients (I talk about how to do that below). After your first batch of 100 emails, you can evaluate the open and click-through rates for your first and second emails. This will help you understand what does well, and what needs improvement.

The following post in this series will discuss how to evaluate your cold-emails. Even if your first campaign was not as successful as you expected, I will help you figure out what performed well and why.

Set up another message template 📝

Following-up on cold emails should be kept short. You are just sending a reminder, not the whole story. No need to research. No need to personalize each message. Send an email. It really helps. And again, creating a message template will save you some precious time.

The tone of what you are saying is important. Remember: some people get hundreds of emails every day. Do your best to be aware of that. Try not to push.

An important point: don’t bring up the fact that your note is a reminder. Writing, “since you didn’t get back to me,” assumes that your reader was supposed to respond. They don’t have to.

Instead, here’s a better way to open your follow-up: “I want to make sure you received all of the information you need.” Or, “I believe that our product could really benefit you, and I can promise it will only take 5 minutes to find out.”

Repeating your Call-to-Action (CTA) makes the reason you are writing to them clear. It shows them what steps they can take, and stays focused on what the purpose of the follow-up is: bringing you, and your service or product, attention.

Extra tip: Instead of sending a new email, go back to your first one and click reply. Then your second email is a part of what looks like an existing conversation, and not a new message that they may just sift through. It is more likely to be seen as important.

Organizing now takes the pressure off later 🗂

Here are the ways that I work to stay organized:


In the last post of the series, I mentioned that we at Mailbutler use Hubspot: a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) that helps us track all communications with our customers. It makes it really easy for my colleagues to take over my work when I’m on vacation. I also set up Auto BCC to CRM by default so I don’t have to keep it in mind every time I’m sending an email.

In Hubspot, we can create filters like “first contacts,” with a date to find the first, second, and third contacted individuals behind leads. We then label them as abandoned or hot leads, keeping everyone internally up-to-date. This avoids wasting time, and potentially unprofessionally repetitive communications.

Task Managers

You can stay within Hubspot and organize tasks directly associated with customers from there. Or, as stated before, I like to work with the task manager Trello, especially for warm emailing. I set up a list for my leads and the follow-up reminders appear there as tasks with the due dates I set. It will save the direct link to the respective cold email that I initially sent someone. That way I stay on top of everything and it saves me time searching through my ”Sent” folder.

Extra tip: You can adjust the task due dates in Trello. I would stick with 3 days by default when it comes to the cold email follow up. But especially in regards of warm emailing or when life gets in the way, it’s just good to be flexible.


After sending the follow-up, you will want to know if they read your email. Just like with your first contact, you need to judge if more action and effort is worth your time. Maybe they clicked through your links this time? Mailbutler allows you to do this.

Email Tracking Details in Apple Mail

Here’s a checklist for your follow-up ☑️

Follow the checklist that condenses the process of sending the follow up:

  1. Set up another template
  2. Don’t spend time on personalizing — it’s just a reminder 
  3. Highlight your USP but avoid being pushy
  4. Repeat Call-to-Action
  5. Using a CRM? Set up Auto BCC to CRM
  6. Using a task manager? Set up list for leads for following steps
  7. Activate tracking

Get in touch

If you like what you read and want to learn about Mailbutler’s product, feel free to schedule a demo with us.


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