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How to Write a Follow Up Email to a Client

If “send follow up email to client” is at the top of your to-do list, this blog post is for you. There are many reasons that you may want to write a follow up email to a client. In today’s blog, we are going to cover some basic rules about follow up emails, the top three reasons you would send a follow up email to a client, and what to include in your email.

Two General Rules About a Follow Up Email to Clients

First, all of your emails should be concise and to the point. Your client may get hundreds of emails every day. The last thing you want to do is suck up an inordinate amount of their time with a lengthy, wordy emails. In fact, if this is your default writing style, be very careful. Once your clients learn of your verbosity, yours may end up being the email that doesn’t get read on a regular basis.

Second, it is important that all of your emails have a very specific subject line. Avoid generalities like “Important Information” and “For your attention.” Let them know exactly what they are getting into when they open your email.

When to Send Follow Up Emails to Clients

After a Meeting

After you meet face-to-face with a client, it is a very good practice to send a follow up email after the meeting. Check out our corresponding blog post, Follow Up Email After Meeting: Best Practices.

After a Resolved Issue

If you are in business, your level of customer service can mean the difference between success or failure. Therefore, it is a very good idea to send a follow up email if you have a client who has had an issue with your product or service that was resolved by your customer service department.

The first part of the email should sincerely apologize for the issue. Restate the problem as you know it so that the customer knows you are involved – and are not just sending them a boilerplate follow up message.

The second part of the email should make sure the client is completely satisfied with the way the customer service department resolved the issue. If they were not satisfied with the resolution, give the client instructions on how to reply so that you can make sure they are happy with the result.

The final part of the email should thank the client for taking the time to let you know about the problem. Finishing the email with a reiteration of your company’s commitment to your clients is always a good idea – as it makes the client feel valued.

After an Unanswered Email

If you have sent off an email to a client that requires a response, sometimes you will find yourself waiting – and hear only crickets chirping. What is the email etiquette here?

You don’t want to hound anyone, so you should allow five to six days after your original email to follow up with a client if you have not received a response. Of course, this assumes a normal, initial contact email regarding an issue that you haven’t previously discussed.

However, if you are working closely with a client – either to resolve a problem or if you’re working on some sort of project together – you will likely only wait a day or two to follow up. Typically, in this scenario, there is an ongoing relationship and more frequent communications are expected.

Components of a Follow Up Email to Clients

Format

A word on format: I always follow up on an original email by forwarding the original to the client – thereby giving them a reference point – and using the top part of the email for the follow up message. This is incredibly important because you don’t want your client to receive the follow up, and have no idea what the original email said! If you fail to include the original email, you will either have them sifting through their old emails to try to figure out what you’re talking about – or worse yet – have them drop you to the bottom of the urgency pile since they don’t have time to “fish.”

Tone

What tone should you use? Formal? Informal and personable? This really depends on your familiarity with the client. But tread lightly here – you don’t want to be over-familiar or over-chummy – just like you don’t want to be too formal. Over-familiarity can sound irritating or condescending, just like being too formal with someone you know personally can be off-putting.

Yes, it’s a tightrope walk. You must hit the right note. So keep it simple and light. And always remember that something as simple as, “I just wanted to follow up on the email below since I didn’t get your reply yet” can work quite nicely! We’re all busy out in the business world and there are many reason the client may have not responded to your email.

Who are you following up with, and which of these tips will you use to write a follow up email?

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