So, you have just sent a letter either to your prospective client, employer, colleague, or any other person in your close circle. You’ve been waiting for them to respond to your message, but it’s not coming anytime soon. One week has passed, still no sign of response. However, you don’t have to lose hope. Writing a follow-up letter or email can help in facilitating a faster response to your letters. According to researchers, writing a follow-up letter is an effective way of evoking response as it improves the reply rate by 13 percent. Usually, these letters’ primary purpose is to remind your prospects about your initial email, clarify your situation, and evoke feedback.
Reasons Why a Follow-up Email/Letter is Important
Whether you are sending a printed letter or electronic one, they do play a significant impact in reinforcing your relationship with the intended recipient. But more importantly, a follow-up letter helps express good manners and professionalism.
Secondly, it provides you with the opportunity to mention any vital information that you may have forgotten in the original email/letter.
Again, the follow-up letter helps reiterate why you are fit for the deal. If, for instance, you are following up on a job interview, it helps restate your qualifications hence giving them more weight.
Sending a follow-up letter also confirms your interest in a given position, allowing you to check your application’s status.
Last but not least, a follow-up letter can help influence the hiring manager’s decision just in case you have a tie.
Things to Include in a Follow-up Email/Letter
For you to craft a compelling follow-up letter, there are certain things that you shouldn’t miss in your letter. These include:
As simple as it may sound, expressing gratitude and appreciation is essential to include in your letter. Let the recipient know that the time and effort they took to meet you were not in vain. This will create a leeway for a positive relationship.
A reminder of who you are
Since you are writing a follow up of an original letter, it is highly likely that the recipient may have forgotten with your details. Therefore, you need to include your personal details to let the recipient remember who you are.
Why you are the best fit candidate
Preferably, you can include the benefits the recipient will get should they work with you. At the same time, you can indicate your qualifications or competencies that set you apart from the rest.
Details you forgot in the original letter
Just as mentioned earlier, the follow-up letter can be used to include important details that you may have forgotten to include in your original letter or email.
Steps for Writing a Follow up Email/Letter
Writing a follow-up email after a job interview or a meeting is critical to solidifying the excellent impression you left at the end of your meeting. But with so many follow-up letters and emails that get sent every day, it can be hard to ensure your email stands out. Below is a guide on how to write a follow-up email that’s attention-grabbing, effective, and leaves the recipient thinking of your name and the great things you said as they land back in their inbox.
Write the contact details and the date
You need to write your name, address, and contact information at the very top of your letter. Then, you can skip a line and add the date of writing. Below the dates should be the recipient’s name, company address, and contact information.
Note that this part only applies to printed letters. If you are sending email letters, you don’t have to include this part. Instead, you can simply put a subject line.
Add a salutation
Here, you will include the official salutation, such as ‘Dear’ or ‘Hello,’ followed by the recipient’s name.
Introduce your letter by expressing your gratitude and appreciation to the recipient for creating time to read your letter.
The key to writing an effective follow-up email is to summarize the main points of your meeting, making sure you’re providing the most important takeaways. For instance, you can start by thanking them for their time and putting a light emphasis on your interest in the position. Then, you can present the key takeaways of your meeting.
Here, you will express your enthusiasm for the role. Also, you may add any details you forgot to mention in your earlier email/letter.
As much as the email is important, it’s still important to include a call to action in your follow-up email so that the reader knows what you want them to do. This is especially important if you know there is a deadline, like if you applied for a position and they’re going to consider hand-picking candidates for an interview.
Complimentary close and name
Once you are through with the body, you can conclude your letter by adding a complimentary close at your convenience. For instance, you can use ‘yours truly, ‘sincerely, or ‘Best regards.’ This should then be followed by your name and a signature (in case of handwritten).
Include a signature at the end of your email to let the recipient know that you are a professional and establish a good relationship with them. In addition, ensure your full name, a short professional summary, telephone number, and email address.
Follow up Email Sample
How are you doing? I hope this email finds you well. First, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for taking the time to meet with me on Tuesday. It was nice talking with you, and I learned a great deal about the job opportunity at your firm.
I have applied for similar positions and never received a call back. However, after our meeting and having spoken with you, I am more confident that this position would be an excellent fit for me.
I understand that a large volume of candidates is interviewing for this position. I truly appreciate you taking the time to consider me as an option. Should you have any concerns or questions about anything, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly.
I look forward to speaking with you again soon!
[Name of the sender]
[Address of the sender]
[Contact of the sender]
[Name of the recipient]
[Address of the recipient]
[Contact of the recipient]
Dear [Name of the recipient]
Thank you again for taking the time to meet me last week to discuss our business relationship. I am just following up again to my initial message.
As mentioned earlier, I possess a master of degree in business administration, and therefore I am the best partner to work with. I believe in teamwork and unity. Therefore, working together will not only act as my motivation but will also strengthen my commitment to strive for the best.
Below is the attached document to act as proof of my qualifications. Please let me know if you have any further questions. If not, I look forward to your feedback at the earliest of your convenience.
Do’s and Don’ts
When it comes to follow-up emails, there are a few do’s and don’ts that you should keep in mind. Here are some of the tips that you should consider:
Following are the tips you should consider while writing a follow-up email/letter.
Use a polite and respectful language
When the recipient promises you to get feedback soon, but you feel it’s taking too long, one can easily get disappointed. However, when writing the follow-up letter, don’t let the anger and frustrations take the better part of you. Instead, use a polite and respectful language. Don’t accuse anyone for a delayed response or for ignoring your messages.
Keep it short and sweet
As a general rule, you should always keep your message short and concise. Whether you are writing the letter for a potential employer or a business associate, no one will like reading through a long letter. Therefore, it’s advisable that you go direct to the point and avoid irrelevant information. Pay a major focus on the clarity of the message rather than using ambiguous language.
Include descriptive lines
Another way to make a strong impression is by including descriptive lines in your follow-up email. Descriptive lines work to put the recipient at ease and help build rapport with them. They also give a sense of who you are and will set the tone for your future communication. For example, lines like “I hope you had a nice week,” “It was great talking with you,” or “It was good to get another opportunity to chat” are some of the most basic lines that you can include in your email.
Include your skills and competence
In order to grab the recipient’s attention, you can reiterate your skills and other qualifications that best communicate your value.
Before sending your follow up letter, be sure to proofread your letter so as to correct the writing mistakes such as spellings and grammar. Proofreading ensures that everything is polished and clean.
Use a proper format structure
Just like any other official letter, it is important that you follow the formal formatting and structure. To make the letter easily readable, be sure to use a font of between 10 and 12. Also, use a formal font style such as times new roman, Calibri, or Arial.
Send it within 24 hours
Making sure you send the follow-up email within 24 hours of your meeting or interview is essential to making a great first impression. Your follow-up email is essentially a reminder of your meeting/interview, and it builds more anticipation leading up to any further communication between you and the recipient.
Following are the don’ts that should be avoided while responding to the hiring manager through a follow-up email.
Use “Follow Up” as the subject line
This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when writing a follow-up email. It’s the equivalent of saying, “please read this email because I want something from you.” It makes the recipient think of your email as an inconvenience and unprofessional vibe. The best way to avoid this is to use a personal subject line that you know will appeal to them and get them interested in reading it instead.
Start with “Just following up”
Another mistake you can make is starting your email with a phrase like “Just following up” or “I wanted to touch base with you and see if there are any new developments.” This phrase sounds impersonal and will ruin the good impression you made at the end of your meeting/interview. Instead, try and start with a more enticing line like “I wish to follow up on our meeting/interview” or “Thank you again for your time.”
Forget to use CTA
A critical element that many people forget to add to their follow-up emails is a call to action. If you know the recipient will be impressed with your follow-up email and are likely to respond if they liked what they read, you must include a call to action right at the end of your email. A call to action asks the recipient what they will do next in response to your follow-up email.
A well-worded follow-up email can be the difference between a job offer and no offer. Many people compete for a job, and the employer can choose from several qualified candidates. To stand out from other applicants, you will have to write an effective follow-up email that makes the recipient remember your name, makes them eager to speak with you again, and is professional. When you follow up on your meeting or interview, make sure that it’s memorable and that it will yield a positive result for you.