How to Write a Sales Follow Up Email That Will Close the Sale

How to Write a Sales Follow Up Email That Will Close the Sale

Erika Collins

By Erika Collins on Feb 16, 2017

When it comes to writing sales follow up emails, I'm sure you've heard plenty about personalization, timing or context.

But I bet you still struggle to decide what you should actually say in those emails, right?

If so, then I have something really special for you:

A guide to writing follow-ups based on the most common ways prospects interact with your sales documents.

In this post, you'll discover how to write sales follow up email that closely matches your prospect's engagement, and in turn, helps close the sale.

Intrigued? Then let's do it.

In this post, we covered four prospect engagement scenarios you often encounter. But there are two other, highly common, yet often overlooked situations that offer an incredible opportunity to close the sale. Click here to discover what they are, and how to follow them up.

Why Targeting Engagement is the Only Way to Follow Up

So, why engagement?

The answer is actually quite simple - because the most efficient way to get a response and move sales further is by being relevant, and timely.

And here's the trick:

If you send follow-ups that match their behavior and engagement with your sales collateral, you increase the chances of being relevant.

Here, let me prove that to you with some stats:

According to Jupiter Research, relevant emails drive 18 times more revenue than broadcast emails (data via Hubspot).



And the timeliness?

Here, discovered that if you follow up with a lead within 5 minutes, your chances of converting them increase 9 times. (source)

timeliness in sales follow up

(image source)

In other words:

If you act right after a person has interacted with your collateral, and match your response to their actions, you stand a huge chance of converting them and closing the sale faster.

So, let's take a look at the most common prospect engagement scenarios, and what sales follow up emails you should send based on them.

Scenario #1. Prospect Has Finished Viewing the Entire Document

prospect viewed the proposal scenario

(Screenshot of Attach interface showing prospect's interaction with a sales document)

Action to take: Call them right away.

Think about it:

A prospect's reviewed your document in full. And even if they're already doing something else, they still remember you, perhaps still think about your proposal.

Getting in touch at this moment gives you the opportunity to be relevant and timely.

Coincidentally, this is a strategy many salespeople use and get it wrong.

As Steli Efti points in this article:

"[...] there's a mistake sales reps and sales development representatives (SDRs) often make: They assume the prospect knows who they are or what they are calling about just because the prospect opened their email."

He adds (note, the emphasis in bold is mine):

"While the strategy of calling leads who have opened your email is good, assuming they'll receive your call with open arms is wrong. Yet, that's exactly what sales reps and founders often do."

But what about a prospect who has just reviewed your entire sales proposal?

That's an entirely different story. And the chances of them being interested in talking to you increase. A lot.

What to say in this follow-up?

Inquire whether they have any questions regarding the document and suggest a meeting to discuss the proposal further.

Scenario #2: Prospect Stopped Reading Your Document After A Specific Section

prospect stopped viewing the document scenario

Action to take: Email them relevant content

When: Wait a couple of hours to see if a prospect doesn't pick up reviewing the document further.

Naturally, not every prospect will read your document in full. Some might get distracted by other emails, calls, or appointments.

Others, however, might need additional information, typically regarding the section they've dropped off.

For example, the above screenshot shows a prospect's interaction with my company's Welcome Pack - a document we send to every new lead to help them learn more about what we do, and how we work.

And on page 12, where this person's dropped off, we explain our payment terms and methods. (Worth to note: this page doesn't include our prices.)

As we offer a productized, subscription-based service, I can assume that the person isn't familiar with it, and might need more information before deciding if they could work this way.

Following up with more content that helps understand our service, and monthly payment plans might help overcome this person's objections.

The same rule applies to any other elements of your sales proposals - service breakdowns, pricing, different options you suggest...

But why wait a couple of hours?

It's simple. A prospect might have also stopped viewing because of a distraction - a call, urgent email, an appointment… Waiting a couple of hours allows you to establish if they intend to go back to reviewing the document, or have dropped off.

What to say in this follow-up email?

Send links to other relevant content that provides more information about section which the person stopped viewing.

Scenario #3: Prospect Forwarded Your Document

Action to take: Research the new person. If you know the person already, engage with them based on their interaction. If this is a new lead, follow up with your introduction, a welcome pack, etc.

When: Right away.

One of the most useful features of Attach is the ability to view the entire document interaction, even if a person you sent the proposal to has forwarded it to other people.

prospect forwarded the document

Requiring anyone viewing the document to provide their name, email, phone number or company allows you to establish other people involved in the sale.

Plus, it gives you the chance to follow up and start building relationships with them too.

What to say in this follow-up email?

You have two options:

If you know the new person already, then follow up in the same way you'd do with the original recipient - using their engagement with the document.

However, if they forwarded the email to a new person, then start by researching them, and discovering who they are in the company. And then, engage with them in the same way you do with any other new lead.

Scenario #4: Prospect Hasn't Opened the Document

prospect not opened

Action: Send a reminder about the document

When: This may vary. Ideally, match this follow up to your sales process. For example, if you usually wait two weeks for a prospect to respond before reaching out, then give them the same amount of time to review the document.

Frustrating, isn't it?

You've spent so much time engaging with a prospect, sent them the sales proposal, and then…

...they've never even opened it.

This, however, doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't interested.

They may have got caught up with other things and forgot about your document.

And to turn things around, you just need to remind them about it.

What to say in this follow-up email?

Simply remind them about the proposal and resend the link to it.

TIP: Attach allows you to set a reminder that will email you if a person hasn't opened the document for a specific number of days. You don't even have to remember to monitor their engagement; Attach will notify you if you need to send this follow-up email.


Sending prospects sales follow up emails that match their behavior and engagement with your sales collateral is the most effective way to get a response and move the sale further.

And in this post, I've shown you how to follow up to the four most common prospect engagement scenarios.

Want to start using prospect engagement to close more deals?
Click here more about Attach's robust engagement and document management features.

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