How to Write a Follow-up Email After a Meeting

Sujan Patel is the founder of Mailshake, a sales engagement software used by 38,000 sales and marketing professionals. He has over 15 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.
  • October 28, 2019

First impressions matter.

Then again, so do second impressions. And if you have an excellent meeting with someone, writing a great follow-up email can help you strengthen the relationship and reach your objectives, whether you’re trying to get a job, make a sale, or chart a path for your future.

Why are follow-up emails important?

A follow-up email puts you in the flow of the typical busy professional’s day. It can be easy to miss making a connection via phone call, but emails can be reviewed or responded to at a time that’s most convenient to the recipient.

What else makes a follow-up email an important follow-up communication strategy?

They let you show appreciation

Almost everyone loves to hear a genuine “Thank you” (77% of us do, at least). As you work to build a new relationship or strengthen an existing one, offering thanks for your meeting partner’s time and attentiveness is almost never a bad move.

To take the effectiveness of a thank-you email up a notch, incorporate these features:

  • Call the recipient by name.
  • Thank them specifically for what they brought to the meeting. Rather than just saying “Thanks for your time,” thank them for considering your product, providing insight into a career field, or offering a potential referral or business source.
  • Reference a specific conversation or detail from your meeting.

They keep the conversation going

If you’re in the business of sales, you want to make sure you stay engaged with your prospects as they consider the benefits of your products. A thank-you email gives you the opportunity to re-engage with the person you met with, keep yourself top of mind, and create the potential for further discussion.

Even if you’re not seeking to sell a product or service, following up after a meeting keeps the conversation going. A follow-up after a mentoring session can give you additional opportunities to clarify conversation points, ask further questions, or keep yourself top of mind for opportunities your mentor may be privy to.

They allow you to be a resource for useful information

Emails are a great follow-up opportunity because they give you a chance to cement your role as a person your meeting partner can trust and a source of beneficial ideas and information.

When you send an email follow-up after a meeting, think about how you can use email to enrich the conversation you’ve already had. As an example, if your conversation mentioned AI in the workplace, you could send over the latest article on the effectiveness of chatbots when prospecting.

The same goes for information related to your own company’s products and services. Research shows that potential customers want to review multiple pieces of content when making a purchase decision; more than 90% of shoppers say online content affects their buying decisions.

By sharing useful case studies, blog posts, or videos in a follow-up email, you remind your client or potential client that you have resources available to support them, along with highlighting the benefits you can provide.

And, your follow-ups don’t necessarily have to be cut-and-dried business either. If you made a personal connection while discussing your favorite football teams, for example, feel free to send over an interesting article about rankings or trades – just be sure the content you’re sharing is clean and professional.

Meeting Follow-up Email Templates

Still wondering how to create a follow-up email that will get you results?

We’ve put together some options that will help you get started. Don’t hesitate to customize the messaging to fit your meeting/conversation; this is just a framework to give you guidance as you communicate.

After a meeting with a leader in your field/industry

[ms_email_template id=4756 /]

After meeting with a potential client

[ms_email_template id=4757 /]

After a connection at a networking event

[ms_email_template id=4758 /]

How to send a follow-up email after a meeting

While email is the top choice for busy professionals, let’s be honest: you’re probably quite busy yourself. Before you know it, several days or a week may have passed since your meeting, and you may be wondering whether it’s too late to follow up.

The short answer is ‘no’. A grateful and polite follow-up should be welcome at any time. However, it’s often best to strike while the iron is still hot, so these tips may enable you to get started with a flow that makes sense for you and streamlines your efforts.

Be prompt

A quote attributed to Amelia Earhart says, “The best way to do it, is to do it.” But it can seem challenging to squeeze these follow-up obligations into your already-busy schedule.

To avoid letting them fall by the wayside, it’s beneficial to make your follow-ups routine. Set aside a few minutes every day or a 30-minute time block each week and keep a running list of follow-ups you need to send.

Show appreciation

People are more likely to want to interact with someone who is appreciative. Even if it’s something small, like thanking them for taking time to chat at a mixer, that type of extra-mile follow-up can make your connections think highly of you and remember you when they’re in-market for a talent or service you can offer.

Set up templates

If you are in a role or field where you need to do frequent follow-ups, it can make sense to use dedicated tools to manage your communication.

For example, using a platform to automate follow-up emails can make it easy to ensure at least an initial touchpoint following a meeting or discussion. From there, you can personally manage future communications. Think of the follow-up template as a friendly reminder; once you reconnect and re-establish communication, then wow them with all you can offer.

Include a way to continue the conversation

On that note, a follow-up isn’t just a piece of fluff that’s meant to create warm and fuzzy feelings. A key aspect of following up is opening up the possibility of taking the relationship a step further.

Include in your follow-up some sort of ask or opportunity they’ll want to say ‘yes’ to.

It could be as simple as downloading a white paper about your company, or offering a coffee date on you in the future. But once you get people to start saying ‘yes’, they’re likely to continue.

Diversify Your Channels

Another key component that separates those killing the follow-up game from those just going through the motions is an omni-channel approach.

Yes, email is your best bet and the preferred channel for communication overall. But that doesn’t mean the other channels aren’t worth the effort.

To me, social isn’t a ‘Should I do it?’ You have to. If your audience lives on LinkedIn or Twitter or Instagram, you have to be engaging them there.” ~Jake Dunlap, Skaled

Explore an omni-channel approach that includes email, video, social media, and the telephone … especially if you’re not getting a response from just one of them. Companies with an omni-channel engagement process see a 9.5% year-over-year growth in annual revenue – almost 3x more than those that do not – in addition to increasing the engagement itself.

An omni-channel experience delivers the goods on prospecting, nurturing, and retention.

Which channels do they seem to prefer and/or where did you first engage with them, what do they do on each (just shooting the breeze on social, business on email, vice versa)? Take your cue from them. Engage with them where and how they seem to prefer.

If you diversify the channels you use, you’re much more likely to get someone’s response.” ~Matt Heinz, Heinz Marketing

Automate, automate, automate

If you’re reaching out to hundreds of prospects every week, it’s impossible to manually stay on top of following up with all of them.

That’s why a sales engagement tool like Mailshake is essential to creating an effective, scalable follow-up email sequence.

With Mailshake, you can personalize your emails in bulk with powerful mail merge features, schedule follow-up emails that are paused or triggered based on whether a a recipient opens an email, clicks a link, or replies, and reply to leads straight from your Mailshake dashboard with Lead Catcher.

You can also set the amount of time between follow-ups (5 days between the first and second email, 7 days between the second and third, etc.), and the days and times you want them to send (for instance, between 8 am and 6 pm on weekdays).

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Optimize your copy and overall outreach strategy by AB testing different subject lines, body copy, and full campaign sequences. And with native integrations to your CRM, and third party integrations to hundreds of software tools via Zapier, you can automate your outreach even further by triggering campaigns when someone downloads an eBook, books a meeting, or signs up for a demo.

And if social media is a part of your outreach cadence, you can include those touchpoints in your outreach cadences as well with Mailshake Sales Engagement.

Bottom line: following up is absolutely essential to an effective outreach strategy, but there’s no reason why you can’t automate it.

A great meeting can be a great start to a relationship, but the email follow-up can help seal and strengthen the deal. If you’re wondering about whether to send one, don’t hesitate – just do it. You’ll be glad you did.

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