Best Practices to maximize Reply Rates

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Follow-up emails are one of the most important things you can leverage when doing outbound sales.

Yet, most salespeople don’t realize it. Our data on 100,000+ cold email sequences shows that follow-up emails are responsible for almost 50% of the interested prospects in an outbound sales sequence.

follow-up emails

In a nutshell, a great follow-up process helps any sales rep 2x their conversion rates!

In this article, we’ll show you a formula with concrete examples to help you create outstanding follow-up sequences.

👉 Note: Here you can the Best Practices for Follow Up Emails

The Formula

1. Follow-Up 1: Easier CTA

This first follow-up email should be short, concise, and have a simple goal. If your goal is to schedule a discovery call, use this opportunity to provide a calendar link.

Note: Most people avoid sending a calendar link on a first cold email because prospects might feel it’s too “aggressive”. At this point, however, it’s ok to provide an easy way for prospects that are too busy to engage but still want to learn more about what you said.

Here’s an example:

“Hi {{first_name}},

Did you get a chance to take a look at my previous message?

If you're interested, you can pick a time here.”

2. Follow-Up 2: Provide social proof

Perhaps prospects weren’t convinced you could help them with the problem they’re feeling. Leverage examples of how you solved the same issues with other teams in the same industry.

This strategy is beneficial in 2 different ways:

  • Prospects feel FOMO if they see other companies in their industry - especially if they’re competitors - being able to solve the issues they aren’t solving right now. This will intrigue them to learn more and schedule the call.
  • Even if your social proof isn’t just about how you solve a problem for other companies, it still has a positive impact on how prospects believe you can solve their problems. For example, if you don’t have relevant clients to showcase, you can show some awards that another organization has given to you.


  • How Hubspot uses an industry award to provide social proof
  • How Workato uses relevant logos they work with to provide social proof

3. Follow-Up 3: Add a case study OR Product Video + Different Value Prop

At this point, you have one last chance to grab the prospect’s interest. Perhaps, you didn’t hit the exact problem / solution that your prospect is looking for. Or perhaps, your prospect needs more information to commit to a call with you - don’t take it personally, just give it another try!

Show them a case study about one of the companies you may have talked about in the previous email or show them a video of how the solution works. Sometimes you can even combine this with slightly different value propositions.

Example: How PandaDoc uses additional cases studies in follow-up emails

Note: Instead of case studies, you can also use GIFs or videos showing how a certain task is easily done with your solution.

4. Follow-Up 4: Humor w/ GIF

At this point, you’ve tried multiple touches with different resources and value propositions. Use your weapon of last resort, humor. There’s not a single formula of how this can work, be creative!

Get inspired with these examples:

Final Considerations

  • Test multiple strategies. The formula we’ve shown is a great foundation for great follow-up emails but you should test what works best in your specific use case. Perhaps, you can:
    • Test different types of resources with different audiences to see which one resonates better
    • Test changing the order of the emails
    • Evaluate if one of these stages is not bringing relevant replies so you might be better off removing it to avoid sending too many emails that don’t get replies
    • And more!
  • Send a maximum of 4 follow-ups emails. Why? We saw that most interested replies respond until the 4th follow-up email. After this point, you are better off not sending any more emails, because the risk of “hard no” replies increases substantially.
  • Send each follow-up email within 2-5 days between each other. Don’t choose a fixed interval because that creates spam patterns in your email activity. You are better off by always randomly choosing a time interval between 2 and 5 days.

Wrapping Up...

Having an easy process for great follow-up in your organization is one of the most important steps you can take to increase the number of generated opportunities.

For too long, follow-up emails have been underplayed. They are often too generic and don’t provide any additional value to the prospect. We hope this article gave you concrete insights into how you and your team can raise the game of follow-up emails.

If you have further questions don't hesitate to reach out to


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