Need to follow up on an important email but do not know where to start? We offer you the best strategies on how to write a follow-up that works in most contexts, including different strategies for job interviews.
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General Tips On Writing A Follow-Up Email If There is No Response
Writing an email follow-up is not the most pleasant experience.
It can be frustrating because there are high chances of ending up with no answer. Plus, while writing a follow-up, you must put yourself in the shoes of an email recipient and think about the hundreds of emails you left with no response.
Luckily, there are general rules to increase your chances of receiving a reply to a follow-up email, regardless of the conversation purpose.
Choose a deadline to follow up, but do not wait for too long
To maximize the chances of a reply to a follow-up letter, you need to select a proper deadline for receiving an answer to the initial email. According to Microsoft's State Of Global Customer Service Report in 2017, in approximately 50 percent of cases, a reply to an email is expected within 24 hours. Therefore, there is no need to wait a week or two to send a second email.
However, base your deadline on context. If specific actions and procedures should be completed before you follow up, give it some time. Besides, you cannot expect the same reply timeline from a local utility company and a popular speaker you book for a conference. So, analyze the target audience who receives your emails and precisely determine the perfect deadline for it.
Have a goal and make a call to action
Following up just for the sake of following up will not get you anywhere. You have to be clear about what you wish to achieve there. Think about your end goal. Do you want to set a meeting? Receive valuable information? Persuade your subscriber to buy something? Stick to that goal and build your arguments around it.
Your follow-up email should not be passive. Make the person know what exactly you need from him. Start with a quick sentence about the purpose of the email. Be clear, straightforward, and honest. If you are willing to sell something, you might want to use some extra persuading techniques, but other than that, transparency is usually your best pal. If something important in your previous email has to be brought up, do that.
Finalize your follow-up message with a clear call to action (CTA). In case there are several things you need from your recipient, do not overcrowd your requests. Whether you want the reader to visit your landing page or download something directly from the email. Structure your emails using paragraphs so that every request can be seen.
Write as if you are a recipient
After you have finished your first draft, a good exercise is to analyze the email as if you are a receiver. Ask yourself, would you reply to this email? Is the intention of the sender clear? Is the tone appropriate? Would this email grab your attention just enough for you to respond? Is there anything you find annoying about your approach?
Thinking about a follow-up in these terms is an excellent exercise because it evokes genuine empathy for the recipient and makes you sound more authentic. If the message stands a test of being good enough for you, it might be good enough for the recipient.
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Set good communication patterns
This is a specific tip for frequent communication cases, such as within a work team. Put an effort to have top-notch communication with people you speak to every day. This will save you tons of time and make you more effective at what you do.
One way to improve internal collaboration is to set up regular virtual team buildings. They will help to create trust and make you understand coworkers better. But do you think virtual team building is no longer your jam after two weeks of pandemic? The article How to engage with employees post-pandemic gives you great tips on maintaining good relationships within the team after the quarantine.
Wrap up the email nicely with yet another call to action
While the essence does precede over form when it comes to following up, ending email right is an important strategic step.
Again, you should remind the recipient what you need from them and when you need it. Sentences like "Looking Forward To Hearing From You Soon," "Let's Arrange The Meeting As Soon As You're Ready," or "Speak Soon" bow the tie nicely for an already successful e-mail.
How To Write A Follow-Up Email After A Job Interview
You just had a job interview, weeks have gone by, and there is no response? Unfortunately, this is a common frustration for millions of people worldwide.
With job interviews, the context is quite different from emails in general. We feel that they are in a league of their own, so there is a need to round up the tips on job interviews separately.
The appropriate deadline for the recruiter or employer to respond is unclear, as hiring is a rigorous process consisting of many steps. Assessment of a job candidate takes time, and this time is different depending on the company and people who hire.
You may not expect to receive a response the same day, even though some companies make it a part of their corporate ethics to provide such a response. In some unfortunate cases, companies do not provide any feedback despite promising to do so.
Here are some tips to receive the best results with a follow-up email regardless of the interview outcome. If you are interviewing to become a virtual assistant, this information might be helpful for you.
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Unless the interviewer suggests a particular deadline, write a follow-up after five working days.
The reasoning for this suggestion is simple: five days seem just enough to proceed with a final assessment of a candidate. It equals an entire working week. If the interviewer gave you a deadline for an assessment, follow that one instead. Unless the procedure is extra complicated, it should not take over a week to follow up.
Make sure that the email is grammatically correct
Grammar and punctuation errors may take points off the credibility of your email. They show that you lack the attention to detail necessary to sustain a conversation. If you are trying to get an international job, and the language of the conversation is not your first language, consider using translation software to boost your credibility.
Include the details of the interview for easier identification
Companies interview hundreds of candidates for a position, so it might be hard to identify a particular candidate once time has gone by. Include specific job interview notes: Name, time and date of the interview, and the position in the email so that you can be recognized quickly.
Write in a moderately persuasive way to indicate that you are interested in the position
When it comes to getting a job, motivation goes a long way. The language of your follow-up email should signal that you are very much interested in the position. However, make your statements clear and concise so that you do not sound over-excited in an unprofessional way.
In case there is no response, use other channels of communication
If the follow-up is unsuccessful, consider contacting the company's representative through other official communication channels you have been in touch with. If they deal with too many emails per week, you might just get a prompt response if you use alternative ways.
One accepted channel of communication is Linkedin, but you may use other types of social media depending on the company. For some, such channels as hiring websites or Facebook are also good options. The general rules on writing letters mentioned above apply to other means of communication as well.
If you expect that you are ignored because the interview is unsuccessful, ask for feedback anyway
The same goes for the scenario in which you receive a definitive answer, and this answer is "no." Don't worry about it, because these things happen all the time. Constructive criticism and feedback are the best things you can get from an unsuccessful interview. Be persuasive, honest, and logical in asking for the assessment. Do not be negative with your formulations.
If you receive information that helps you improve professionally, you end up a winner regardless of the circumstances.
In this article, we have rounded up the techniques that helped our emails be successful many times. However, there is still an element of uncertainty when writing a follow-up. Even if you do everything right, you might not receive an answer due to beyond your control factors. If this happens, use this relative failure as an educational opportunity.
People respond to communication in very different ways, and you may not have the same luck with all of them. Live and learn! If you still feel that you need some help with content generation to increase your chances of successful communication, you might want to use a unique platform.