Following up over email is part skill, part strategy. While endless reminders risk annoyance, the right cadence of friendly, valuable nudes continues conversations and drives responses. Learn to walk the line.
Why Follow Up Reminders Are Critical for Email Success
Sending that first email is only half the battle. The real skill comes with effective follow-up to get the responses you need.
Whether you’re chasing down a busy client, connecting with a recruiter, or reaching out to a potential partner, follow up emails are essential for email success.
Here are three key reasons why you need to make follow up reminders a priority:
Get Higher Response Rates
Imagine you emailed a sales prospect last week and haven’t heard back. You could let it slide and hope they eventually reply. But statistical data shows that’s unlikely to work in your favor:
- 80% of sales require 5 follow-up contacts after the initial interaction (HubSpot).
- 8-12 follow-up emails are needed on average to set an in-person meeting (SalesHacker).
- 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow up, while only 2% follow up more than 4 times (Cloze).
The numbers speak for themselves – you need to be relentless and consistent with email follow ups to get results. Don’t leave it to chance that they will respond eventually. Send reminders, connect again, offer new information. With every additional relevant and valuable follow up, you increase the chances that next reply will hit your inbox soon.
Real-Life Examples of Follow Up Email Success Rates
The hard data shows that most prospects simply won’t reply to your initial outreach. Follow ups get you in the game.
For example, a study by Boomerang sent cold emails with an offer to receive a free eBook. Here were the response rates based on follow up sequences:
- Initial email: 2.5% response rate
- 1 follow up: 4.2% total
- 2 follow ups: 6.2% total
- 3 follow ups: 9.1% total
- 5 follow ups: 12.3% total
With 5 relevant follow ups, they increased responses 5X over just sending a single email!
Another LinkedIn analysis also found diminishing yet compounded returns after each additional follow up:
- 1st Follow Up: 20% response rate
- 2nd Follow Up: 28% response rate
- 3rd Follow Up: 33% response rate
After 3 carefully crafted reminders, they converted 30% more leads overall.
The right cadence of follow ups pays off in conversions and bottom line revenue. Don’t underestimate the power of consistent and strategic email nudges.
Don’t Let Conversations Fall Through the Cracks
We’ve all been there – you connect with an old colleague or client and the conversation fizzles out after a few messages. Before you know it, you realize it’s been months since you last spoke.
Out of sight, out of mind. Even important relationships and opportunities can slip away when we let email threads die off.
Follow up reminders prevent this from happening by re-engaging contacts and bringing conversations back from the dead.
Follow Ups Revive Forgotten Emails
- Ever gotten a promising email from a job recruiter, only to have radio silence after your reply? A friendly nudge reminds them you’re still eager for next steps.
- What about when a client asks about adding more services, but goes dark after your proposal? A check-in email could be the difference between getting the deal or not.
- Trying to coordinate an event with a vendor and can’t get on the same page? Consistent pings will help you hash out the details.
Don’t assume your emails are being ignored intentionally. People genuinely forget and get distracted. With a brief, casual follow up, you can pick up right where you left off without missing a beat.
Add Value to Demonstrate You Care
Effective follow ups don’t just say “hey, checking in!” They add value by:
- Answering questions or offering clarification
- Providing more details like samples or case studies
- Suggesting next steps to move the conversation forward
When you give contacts a reason to open your reminder and reply, you demonstrate that you truly care about an outcome that benefits them.
Take the extra minute to make follow ups worthwhile, not just auto-generated spam. Thoughtful follow up = thoughtful business relationship.
Appear More Professional and Attentive
From the recipient’s perspective, taking the initiative to follow up shows tenacity, attention to detail, and genuine interest in connecting.
Even if they haven’t gotten around to your previous emails, sending a friendly reminder indicates you’re invested in the conversation.
Follow Up Habits Signal Your Responsiveness
Consistent follow up trains contacts to expect timely responses when working with you. They learn that you run a tight ship and no inquiry will fall through the cracks unchecked.
This professional dependability pays dividends over time as you build communication rhythms with clients and colleagues.
Don’t Be That Person Who Only Follows Up When You Need Something
We all know that person who only reaches out when they need something urgently. Then radio silence again until the next fire starts.
Don’t be that person! Follow up between requests to see how contacts are doing, share useful information, or just say thanks for the chance to connect.
Show you care about the relationship beyond what it can do for you. Send reminders to continue conversations, not just get what you want and move on.
Tools Ensure You Never Miss a Beat
Let’s face it – we can’t always remember who needs a nudge. With hectic work schedules, our own priorities take over and outgoing messages get overlooked.
That’s where follow up reminder tools come in handy. Whether it’s Gmail nudges or more advanced automations, they ensure replies never slip through the cracks.
Reliable systems make you look responsive by handling the “admin” work behind the scenes. Don’t email manually – work smarter with the right follow up tools.
So there you have it – higher response rates, revived conversations, and professional attentiveness. Following up should be a non-negotiable foundation of your email strategy.
Use Gmail’s built-in nudges or explore advanced follow up extensions covered later in this guide. No matter what, make sure consistent reminders give your emails the best chance of getting a reply.
Now over to you – what follow up reminder practices do you have in place? Share your top tips in the comments!
How to Enable Gmail’s Built-In Nudge Feature for Follow Ups
Gmail actually has a super helpful built-in feature to remind you about follow ups – it’s called Nudges.
Nudges use Gmail’s machine learning capabilities to automatically flag messages that may need a response from you. This takes the work out of remembering who you need to follow up with.
Here’s an overview of how to use Gmail Nudges effectively:
What Are Gmail Nudges?
Gmail Nudges are prompts that remind you to follow up on emails. They use AI to determine which of your conversations likely need a response from you based on:
- How important Gmail thinks the email is
- If it’s part of an ongoing thread
- If it includes questions or action items
- The relationship you have with the sender
When Gmail identifies an email that may need follow up, it gets marked with an orange reminder icon and pushed to the top of your inbox.
The goal of Nudges is to highlight messages you should revisit and continue conversations that matter before too much time passes.
Nudges for Incoming Emails
For incoming messages in your inbox, Gmail Nudges may display if:
- A colleague asked you a direct question that’s still unanswered.
- A client emailed you an important request a few days ago.
- A hiring manager sent interview tips but hasn’t heard back from you.
Any message that Gmail believes warrants a response from you could get an orange nudge icon to remind you.
Nudges for Sent Emails
Nudges don’t just work for incoming emails – they also help you remember to follow up on messages you’ve already sent.
If you emailed a prospect about a sales opportunity or reached out to a networking contact, Gmail may detect those threads need a friendly nudge from you.
This prevents you needing to manually track all follow ups on your sent items. Let Gmail’s AI determine who you should be reminding based on past conversations.
Turn On Nudges for Suggested Replies and Follow Ups
By default, Gmail Nudges should already be enabled for most users. But you may need to toggle them on if you don’t see nudges appearing.
Here are the steps to activate Gmail Nudges:
- Open Gmail on the web at mail.google.com.
- Click the Settings gear icon at the top right.
- Select See all settings.
- Go to the General tab.
- Scroll down to Nudges and make sure these options are enabled:
- Suggest emails to reply to
- Suggest emails to follow up on
- Click Save Changes at the bottom.
You should now start seeing orange reminder icons on emails Gmail thinks need a response!
Customize Which Messages Get Nudged
Gmail’s algorithm does a decent job identifying follow up opportunities – but it’s not perfect 100% of the time.
You can help train the nudges to better match your preferences:
Unsnooze Conversations You Don’t Want Reminders For
If a nudge appears on a message and you don’t actually need to follow up, just click the X icon to dismiss it. Do this consistently, and Gmail will learn not to nag you about similar messages.
Snooze Conversations You Want Reminders For
Alternatively, if you feel a message should have gotten a nudge but didn’t, you can manually snooze it to reappear later. Over time, Gmail will pick up on the traits of messages you prefer reminders for.
Adjust Settings to See More or Fewer Nudges
Gmail gives you granular control over how aggressively you want to be nudged:
- Go back to Settings > General > Nudges.
- Adjust the slider for Frequency of notifications:
- More – See more nudges
- Less – See fewer nudges
- You can also uncheck the boxes completely if you want nudges disabled.
Play around to find your optimal nudging frequency based on your workload and preferences.
Use Gmail Nudges to Remind You to Reply to Incoming Messages
Now that you know how to enable nudges, let’s look at some specific examples of how they help with reply reminders.
Get Prompts to Respond to Questions
Nudges are extremely useful when an email asks you to answer a question or provide feedback. Don’t leave colleagues waiting on a response!
For example, if a teammate emails asking when you can deliver your portion of a report, Gmail will likely mark it as needing reply.
The same goes for potential clients inquiring about your services, hiring managers asking follow up interview questions, or anyone else awaiting your input.
Remember to Acknowledge Requests and Offers
When people make requests, extend offers, or pitch opportunities, it’s courteous to acknowledge them even if politely declining. Nudges help prevent these from being ignored.
A nudge could surface when:
- A vendor offers their availability to jump on a call.
- Your manager asks if you’re open to joining a new project.
- A business partner invites you to collaborate on an initiative.
- A networking contact refers a potential client to you.
Even if it’s a “no thanks”, replying is better than leaving them hanging. Nudges remind you to acknowledge important asks.
Follow Up on Action Items Addressed to You
Collaborating on team projects often involves delegating specific action items and deliverables. It’s easy to forget what you’ve been tasked with!
When you receive an email like “Emily, can you please update the sales deck before tomorrow’s meeting?”, Gmail will likely mark it as needing reply.
The nudge ensures you acknowledge the request and handle the action item, rather than going radio silent and potentially missing deadlines.
Use Gmail Nudges to Remind You to Follow Up on Sent Emails
Beyond incoming messages, nudges also help you remember to follow up on emails you’ve already sent.
You don’t want leads and opportunities to slip through the cracks just because you forgot to continue nurturing the relationships.
Here are cases where Gmail will typically send follow up nudges:
Keep Sales Warm by Following Up with Prospects
One of the most valuable uses of sent email nudges is staying top of mind with sales prospects in your pipeline.
For example, if you emailed a promising lead but they haven’t opened or replied after a few days, Gmail will prompt you to follow up.
This reminder could make the difference between getting a meeting booked or losing the opportunity. Consistent nudges build trust and rapport.
Check In on Outstanding Requests with Clients
Forget waiting around hoping your clients get back to you – take control with proactive nudges.
If you sent a client questions about a project and are awaiting detailed requirements, Gmail will eventually suggest following up.
Don’t let client requests get lost or ignored. Quick check-ins will keep projects moving smoothly.
Reconnect with Previous Leads Who Went Silent
Another great use of sent email nudges is re-engaging old opportunities that went cold.
Gmail will surface conversations that you haven’t heard back from in weeks or months, but could still be worth nudging.
Sometimes all it takes is a quick “Hey John, circling back on this” to restart a previously promising conversation.
Even if they weren’t interested before, things may have changed. Follow up nudges give you another chance.
Offer Helpful Information to Contacts
In addition to direct requests and reminders, you can also use nudges as “thinking of you” touches to strengthen relationships.
- Sending an old client a relevant article or update in their industry.
- Following up with a recruiter to share you got a new certification.
- Nudging a partner with potential ways you could collaborate.
Don’t be pushy, but feel free to nudge contacts when you have value to add – not just when you need something.
Get Started Using Nudges
As you can see, Gmail’s Nudge feature takes all the effort out of remembering who needs a follow up and when.
The combination of incoming reminders to reply, and sent reminders to follow up, ensures all your important email conversations stay on track.
Nudges provide a layer of human touch by flagging messages that shouldn’t slip through the cracks unanswered. Don’t leave people hanging!
Now that you know how to use nudges effectively, try enabling them in your Gmail today. Monitor which messages get flagged, and customize as needed.
With nudges active, you’ll never have to worry about dropping the ball on an unanswered email again. No more following up manually – let Gmail’s AI handle it for you!
PS – Nudges are useful, but for advanced follow up automation, check later sections about extensions like Mixmax and Mailmeteor.
How to Snooze Emails to Get Follow Up Reminders in Gmail
In addition to Nudges, Gmail also offers a “Snooze” feature that lets you temporarily remove emails from your inbox before they reappear as reminders.
Snoozing strategically clears space and surfaces messages when follow up is needed. Here’s how snoozing works and when to use it for follow ups:
What Is the Gmail Snooze Feature?
With Snooze, you can banish emails from your inbox for anywhere from a few hours to a few months. The message disappears from view, before popping back up when the snooze period ends.
Think of it like a customizable delay that gets emails out of sight until you’re ready to revisit them.
Snoozing has two main benefits:
1. Clears and organizes your inbox – Removing distracting messages declutters your inbox so you can focus.
2. Surfaces emails when follow up is needed – You temporarily forget about messages until they reappear as reminders.
Gmail stores your snoozed messages in a tab under Snoozed so you can view or modify them anytime.
How Snoozing Works in Gmail
Snoozing emails is simple:
- Open an email in Gmail (web only).
- Click the downward arrow icon next to the reply button.
- Choose Snooze from the dropdown menu.
- Select when you want the message to reappear.
The email immediately disappears from your inbox. When the reminder date arrives, Gmail returns it to your inbox marked as “snoozed”.
You’ll also get browser notifications when snoozed emails come back. So you won’t miss the follow up opportunity even when you aren’t in Gmail.
Now let’s explore specific tactics for effectively snoozing emails…
Manually Snooze Individual Emails
Unlike nudges which are automatic, snoozing lets you manually control reminders on a per-message basis.
Any email in your inbox is eligible for snoozing – it’s up to you when to apply it strategically.
Temporarily Remove Unimportant Emails
If your inbox is overflowing, snooze non-urgent emails to quickly clean things up. Newsletters, notifications, updates can all be snoozed for later.
For example, a daily digest from an industry blog could be snoozed for 1 week from now. You still want the info, just not clogging your inbox.
Clear Your Inbox When Focusing on Priorities
When you need to zone in on highly important work, temporarily snooze ALL non-essential emails for a few hours or days.
This lets you handle urgent tasks with minimal distractions, before messages trickle back in at a controlled pace.
Manually Set Follow Up Reminders
Snoozing also works great for manually setting one-off follow up reminders on key messages, similar to nudges.
For example, snooze:
- An unanswered client question for 2 days from now
- A message from your manager for tomorrow morning
- Interview tips from a recruiter for 2 weeks from now
With strategic snoozes, important messages won’t get lost in the shuffle and resurface when they need follow up.
Have Key Messages Reappear When You Want a Reminder
The most powerful benefit of snoozing is controlling when suspended emails come back to you.
With smart timing, snoozes offer a huge productivity boost by re-surfacing messages when follow up is most relevant.
Snooze Late Friday Emails to Monday AM
Many people start canvassing for responses right before the weekend. Snooze these until Monday morning for a fresh start.
No need to reply after hours – handle weekend emails at the top of your queue when business kicks off again.
Snooze Action Items Until Project Deadlines
For longer-term projects, don’t let action items pepper your inbox daily. Snooze until go-time.
Emails related to a deliverable due next Thursday could be snoozed all at once to Wednesday night as a batch reminder.
Snooze Relationship Touchpoints
Don’t let promising conversations go cold if contacts don’t reply quickly. Snooze reminders to periodically reconnect.
For example, snooze “thinking of you” or “haven’t heard back yet” emails every 2 weeks on Fridays.
Snooze as Temporary Holding Bin
Low priority requests and non-urgent updates from key contacts can sit in snooze limbo before resurfacing during designated times like Friday afternoons when you handle miscellany.
Check the Snoozed tab weekly for anything that needs fresh eyes before it disappears again.
Snooze vs. Nudges for Follow Up Reminders
Gmail’s Snooze and Nudge features complement each other nicely:
- Nudges automatically highlight messages Gmail thinks need follow up.
- Snooze lets you manually set custom reminders on emails of your choosing.
If you’re just getting started, enable Nudges first and leverage Gmail’s AI to surface potential follow ups.
Then get advanced by manually snoozing additional emails that you want to be reminded about later.
Use both in tandem to take advantage of automation + customization based on your workload and preferences.
Now let’s get into the specific ways to use snoozes for different follow up reminder scenarios…
How to Temporarily Remove Emails from Your Inbox with Snooze
If your inbox is a distracting mess, use snoozing to instantly clean it up and focus.
Here are 3 techniques for clearing space with snooze:
Radically Simplify Your Inbox with Zero Inbox
The “Zero Inbox” strategy uses snooze to completely empty your inbox except for ultra high-priority emails.
- Select all non-essential messages.
- Snooze them for a set period like 3-5 days.
- Handle your urgent emails without noise. Later snoozes will trickle back in.
Just don’t forget to eventually handle the snoozed messages before they disappear for good!
Temporary Focused Batching
For short-term intensity, snooze non-urgent emails in batches based on priority:
- Top priority – unsnoozed
- Medium priority – 3 days
- Low priority – 1 week
Let the most important flow in as you intensely handle urgent tasks. Then cycle through the batches as snoozes expire.
Use Snooze to Process Emails in Designated Time Blocks
To avoid constant interruptions, process emails in designated time chunks:
- 9:00-9:30 AM – Handle new emails
- 12:00-12:15 PM – Revisit morning snoozes
- 4:00-4:15 PM – Afternoon reminder batch
- 6:00-6:15 PM – Evening reminders
Check snoozes right before designated batch times so they are fresh when you process them.
When to Use the Snooze Button for Follow Up Reminders
In addition to temporarily removing emails from view, snooze is also perfect for manually setting custom follow up/reminder dates on messages.
Here are some examples of strategic snoozing that will keep conversations on track:
Give Recipients Time to Reply Before Following Up
Don’t retry your initial outreach too quickly – give people time to respond.
Snooze the sent message 2-4 days out depending on the recipient’s typical response rates. Fast follow ups appear impatient.
Remind Yourself to Reconnect Around Big Events
When you know a contact has an upcoming vacation, major deadline, or other disruption, snooze a reminder to check in after.
People will appreciate you remembering their schedule without hassling them in the moment.
Surface Cold Conversations After Some Time Has Passed
Don’t repeatedly nag cold prospects who aren’t engaging. But do give them another chance after the dust settles.
Snooze cold outreach 2-4 weeks later in case circumstances have changed. Briefly reconnect if you believe the opportunity is still worth pursuing.
Re-Prioritize Requests That Got Buried
Old messages asking for info or favors from you can get eternally deprioritized. Don’t let requests get lost.
Snooze them regularly (weekly or monthly) until you’re finally able to address. Keeps you honest.
Remind Yourself of Loose Ends Before Meetings
Scan snoozes daily for any loose ends that should be discussed in upcoming meetings with key stakeholders.
Great way to identify open loops that shouldn’t be forgotten at sync times. Knocks out lingering todos.
Get Strategic With Follow Up Snoozes
As you can see, Gmail’s Snooze functionality allows you to take total control over when messages come back on your radar needing attention.
Both for temporarily cleaning your inbox and for manually setting custom follow up reminders, snoozes let you dictate the follow up cadence.
So don’t let messages disappear forever. And don’t let them distract you when you’re trying to focus.
Use strategic snoozes to keep email in flow – resurfacing at just the right times to continue important conversations.
Give it a try and watch your inbox transform from chaotic noise to controlled reminders!
Schedule Future Follow Up Emails in Gmail
Gmail’s “Scheduled Send” feature allows you to write emails now and have them automatically delivered at your preferred date and time in the future.
This lets you plan follow up messages when it’s convenient for you, while controlling exactly when your recipients receive the reminders.
Here are some best practices for scheduling follow ups with Scheduled Send:
Use Scheduled Send to Plan Messages in Advance
The Scheduled Send feature allows composing emails whenever you want, but postpones sending until a specific date/time.
So as soon as you realize a follow up is needed, go ahead and write it immediately while the details are fresh. Then schedule delivery for later when timing is optimal.
No more kicking yourself for procrastinating follow ups until the last minute. Draft it now, send it later.
How to Schedule a Message in Gmail
Scheduling a future email is simple:
- Compose your follow up email as normal.
- When ready to send, click the down arrow next to the send button.
- Choose “Schedule Send” from the dropdown menu.
- Select your ideal delivery date/time.
- The message moves to your “Scheduled” folder until sending automatically.
You can open scheduled messages anytime to modify or cancel them before they’re sent.
Choose the Exact Date and Time for Your Follow Up
Strategic timing is one of the biggest factors influencing how recipients engage with your follow up outreach.
Scheduled Send allows precision delivery when your intended audience is most likely to respond.
Follow Up at the Best Times Based on Recipient Patterns
If you have data on when a contact tends to open, click, and reply to emails (such as with Mailtrack), use it to determine optimal follow up times.
You can even A/B test different days/times to see what yields the fastest responses from each individual. Their “golden hour” might surprise you.
Avoid Sending Too Early or Too Late
Follow ups first thing Monday morning may get missed in the weekend backlog. End-of-day Friday catches people checked out.
Mid-week Tuesday-Thursday tend to be safest for broad outreach. But again, personalize based on what your recipient data shows.
Schedule Follow Ups Around Known Meetings and Events
If you know a stakeholder is headed to a week-long conference, don’t bombard them during. Wait until after to reconnect.
Pay attention to people’s schedules and set reminders to coincide with availability windows you want attention.
Give a Reasonable Window Before Following Up Again
Don’t rapid-fire follow ups because someone hasn’t replied yet. Give them a fair chance to respond before nudging again.
2-4 days is usually appropriate for the next reminder. But shorten/lengthen based on your relationship.
Tips for Scheduling Follow Ups for Maximum Impact
Here are some best practices to ensure your scheduled follow up emails are well-received:
Write Short, Casual Follow Up Messages
Don’t resend lengthy original emails. Briefly recap the purpose, ask if they need anything, and offer to rediscuss details.
Keep it short and conversational. “Wanted to check if you had any other questions after my last note?”
Add New Value With Each Follow Up
Don’t barrage people with the exact same content repeatedly. Include new information, offers, or resources with each reminder.
Demonstrate you’re not just following up to nag, but to continue adding value.
Provide Options for Next Steps
Give people easy ways to reply like: “Let me know if you want to set up a quick call”, or “Here is a Doodle poll to schedule time to discuss”.
Guide them in engaging rather than just saying “Any updates for me?”
Follow Up When It’s Unexpected
During busy times, follow up in lulls when it’s less expected and more likely to get attention.
People also give more weight to “non-typical” outreach outside normal business hours because it shows extra effort.
Relate Follow Ups to Recent News/Events
“I saw that new funding announcement – congrats! Wanted to quickly reconnect on opportunities to partner…”
Show you’re paying attention beyond just what you want.
Step-By-Step Guide to Scheduling Emails in Gmail
Here is an end-to-end workflow for scheduling effective follow up reminders in Gmail:
1. Compose Your Follow Up Email
Don’t overthink length and content now – you can tweak later.
Jot down key details you want to recap or touch base on.
2. Select Your Send Date/Time
Consider optimal days/times based on what you know about the recipient’s email habits.
When will they most likely be responsive to a nudge from you?
3. Set a Reminder to Review the Email Beforehand
Right before your scheduled send date, set a calendar reminder to re-read the message.
This allows you to modify wording as the context changes.
4. Make Final Edits and Confirm Send
Do a last pass before go-time. Tweak any wording and make sure send is still warranted based on recent events.
5. Follow Up If No Response Within Expected Window
If they don’t engage with your first scheduled reminder, repeat the process for 2-3 more patient follow ups.
Ideal Timing and Frequency for Follow Up Emails
Finding the optimal cadence of follow up emails is part art, part science. While every situation is unique, these general guidelines help maximize responses:
First Follow Up
Wait 2-3 days after your initial outreach before sending the first follow up.
Any sooner can appear impatient if they haven’t had time to respond yet.
Schedule this reminder for a Tuesday-Thursday during business hours.
Second Follow Up
If no reply after the first follow up, wait 4-7 days for the next reminder.
Aim for later in the week again Tuesday-Thursday unless you have insight into better timing.
Keep the message friendly and casual – no urgency yet.
Third Follow Up
Still no engagement after 2 follow ups? Wait at least 7 days for one last reminder.
At this point, you can politely convey more urgency and reiterate importance. But avoid sounding demanding.
If they can’t prioritize responding after 3 thoughtful reminders, it may be time to move on.
Obviously this general guidance changes based on the timeline and situation. But it’s a good starting point when you don’t have prior relationship patterns to leverage.
Customize as you learn what follow up timing works best for each contact. And use scheduled send to set the precise delivery.
Take Control of Your Follow Ups
Gmail’s Scheduled Send feature eliminates remembering to manually send follow up messages later.
Draft when it’s convenient for you. Then simply select the ideal date and time for delivery based on the recipient’s preferences and habits.
Following up effectively takes some finesse and strategic timing. Use scheduling to take the hassle out of acting on your follow up ideas immediately – while still ensuring reminders get sent on a timely cadence.
Give scheduled send a try and take back control of your follow ups! Let me know if any other questions come up.
Automate Follow Up Sequences with Gmail Extensions
Gmail’s native tools like Nudges and Snooze provide basic follow up capabilities. But you can take it to the next level with third-party apps that integrate directly in Gmail.
These extensions supercharge your follow ups with recurring reminders, conditional logic, templates, tracking, and more. Here are some top options:
Limitations of Gmail’s Built-In Tools
Gmail’s native follow up features are handy, but have limitations:
- Manual snoozing – Can’t automate snoozes on multiple emails.
- Basic nudging – Not customizable based on opens/clicks/replies.
- One-off scheduling – No recurring reminders at fixed intervals.
- No templates – Have to rewrite follow ups each time.
- No analytics – Can’t see recipient engagement data.
- No personalization – Hard to customize messages for each contact.
While Gmail covers the basics, advanced use cases require help from third-party apps.
How Third-Party Apps Provide Advanced Features
Extensions seamlessly integrate into Gmail to augment native functionality in ways that Google doesn’t offer.
For follow up automation, they provide:
- Recurring reminders on fixed schedules
- Conditional logic based on recipient actions
- Templates for efficient follow up drafting
- Email tracking to optimize timing
- Segmentation and personalization of outreach
- Automated workflows across multiple touchpoints
- robust analytics on entire sequences
The top extensions feel like native Gmail features with WAY more capability ‘under the hood’.
Recommended Gmail Extensions for Follow Up Automation
While many apps offer follow up features, these three provide the most robust follow up automation for Gmail power users:
Boomerang – Schedule Recurring Email Reminders
Boomerang specializes in automating reminders and follow ups. Key features:
- Recurring snoozes – Schedule reminder pings on fixed intervals.
- Partial snoozing – Keep part of an email visible while snoozing the rest.
- Follow up templates – Quickly populate repetitive outreach tasks.
- Open & click tracking – See if recipients engage with your reminders.
- Gmail integration – Feels like a natural part of your workflow.
With Boomerang, you can set entire sequences to reappear on a cadence until recipients take your desired action.
Mixmax – Create Conditional Follow Up Workflows
Mixmax takes a powerful workflow automation approach:
- Drag-and-drop workflow builder – Visual editor to configure sequences.
- Email templates – Keep follow up language consistent.
- Conditional logic – Branch based on opens, clicks, replies, and more.
- Email tracking and analytics – Optimize follow up timing and performance.
- CRM integrations– Sync recipient data to personalize outreach.
- Schedule ahead – Write now, send later when ideal for recipients.
With Mixmax, you can create advanced trees of potential follow up scenarios to cover all bases.
Mailmeteor – Personalize and Automate Follow Up Campaigns
Mailmeteor makes large-scale outreach personal:
- Drag-and-drop campaign builder – Simple visual workflow creation.
- Deep personalization – Custom fields, merge tags, dynamic content.
- Email tracking and metrics – See engagement across sequences.
- Gmail integration – Follow up without leaving your inbox.
- Email deliverability tools – Ensure inbox delivery.
- Bounce detection – Keep only good emails.
- Gradual sending – Don’t trigger spam filters.
With Mailmeteor, you can take the personal high-touch approach even when automating hundreds of cold outreach sequences.
Get Advanced With Follow Up Automation Extensions
Hopefully this gives you a sense of how third-party apps open up a whole new world of follow up capabilities compared to what Gmail offers out of the box.
- Automate complex sequences instead of one-off reminders
- Track recipient engagement to optimize timing
- Use templates and workflows to scale your process
- Make outreach personal even at large scales
The right follow up automation extension tailored to your needs can take your entire outreach strategy to the next level.
Give one of these recommended tools a try to supercharge your follow ups beyond Gmail’s basics. Let me know if you have any other questions!
Best Practices for Follow Up Emails
Now that we’ve covered the various tools to enable follow up reminders, let’s discuss some overarching best practices.
Follow these guidelines and examples to ensure your follow up strategy is effective and optimized:
Keep Messages Brief but Personalized
Resist the temptation to just copy/paste your entire original email. Follow ups should be:
- Short and scannable – Get to the point quickly. Summarize original ask/purpose in 1-2 sentences.
- Casual tone – Don’t be overly stiff and formal. Quick check-ins can have a conversational voice.
- Personalized – Use their name, reference previous convos, include custom details. Demonstrate you’re not blasting generic spam.
Follow Up Email Template Formula
Use this general structure for concise yet personalized follow ups:
Subject: Following up on [topic]
[1-2 sentence summary of original ask]
Just wanted to check in and make sure you didn’t need anything else from me regarding [topic]. Let me know if any other questions come up!
[Optional brief additional value proposition or incentive]
Looking forward to hearing back,
Feel free to reference previous conversations, upcoming events, or anything personalized to the recipient. But keep the overall message focused.
Add Value With Each Follow Up
Don’t barrage people with the same requests over and over. Include new information, resources, or offers with each reminder to demonstrate you’re not simply nagging them.
- Relevant industry news, advice, or additional resources related to their request
- New incentives, discounts, or bonuses you’re now able to offer
- Creative options, recommendations, or compromise solutions to address barriers
- Links to demos, product updates, or company news that improves your value proposition
Get creative and customize value adds based on what motivates each recipient.
Show that you respect their time and are trying to provide legitimate help, not just hassle them until you get what you want.
When to Stop Following Up
You can’t badger people forever. At a certain point, you need to politely disengage if recipients clearly aren’t interested after multiple reminders.
Here are signs it may be time to stop nudging:
They Explicitly Ask You to Stop
If someone asks you to stop following up, respect their wishes immediately. Don’t take it personally – you gave it your best shot.
Sending more reminders against their wishes can damage the relationship and potentially get flagged as harassment/spam. Never force conversations on people.
They Don’t Reply After 3-5 Substantive Follow Ups
Generally, if someone hasn’t responded after 3-5 relevant and personalized follow up attempts spaced reasonably over 2-4 weeks, the opportunity has likely passed.
Any more reminders beyond that may annoy them and cause communication channels to shut down completely.
They Haven’t Opened Any of Your Previous Emails
No opens at all likely signals low interest or disengagement. Be careful continually emailing someone who isn’t acknowledging your outreach whatsoever.
If multiple unopened reminders pile up, it’s better to direct energy where momentum exists.
When In Doubt, Ask Permission to Follow Up
If you’re unsure whether further follow up is warranted, get consent:
“I know you’re busy. Would it be alright if I checked in again in a couple weeks in case anything has changed on your end?”
This allows them to either provide encouragement or politely decline further communication.
Follow Up Cadence and Timing
While each situation calls for a custom strategy, these general rules help maximize follow up effectiveness:
Time Between Follow Ups
- 1st follow up: 2-3 days later
- 2nd follow up: 4-7 days after first
- 3rd follow up: 7-10 days after second
- 4th follow up: 10-14 days after third
Allow a growing gap between reminders to avoid seeming overly pushy.
Days of the Week
- Earlier in week is best – Tuesday-Thursday tend to see highest engagement.
- Start of week (Mon) can get missed in weekend catch-up.
- End of week (Fri) people are checked out.
Time of Day
- Mid-morning or mid-afternoon are safest for broad outreach.
- Personalize to recipient’s unique habits if you have data.
- Avoid early AM and late PM.
Cadence Best Practices
- Persistence pays off, but excessive hounding hurts.
- Sprinkle in value, don’t just repeat same ask.
- Monitor responses to optimize timing/frequency for each recipient.
- Track opens to know if messages are even being seen.
- Not all non-replies are equal. Gauge interest level based on engagement.
Follow Up Email Templates and Examples
Well-crafted templates help efficiently compose repetitive follow up outreach.
Here are examples of good follow up emails:
Cold Sales Follow Up
Subject: Checking in on [service] inquiry
Hi [prospect name],
I wanted to check in regarding your inquiry about [service] last week and see if you needed any additional details from our team. We’re here to answer any other questions!
In case it’s helpful, here is a [link to new case study] demonstrating how we helped [company] solve [relevant problem]. Thought this might give some good context into what working with us looks like.
Let me know how we can help take next steps! You can also try [demo signup link] to experience the platform yourself.
Looking forward to hearing back,
Job Application Follow Up
Subject: Following up on [role] application
Hi [recruiter name],
I applied last week for the [role] position at [company] and just wanted to check in to see if you needed any additional information from me to move forward.
I’m extremely interested in this opportunity. I believe my background in [key skill] and experience with [key qualification] would make me a great fit.
Please let me know the next steps in the hiring process, or if I can provide any other details. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.
Client Project Follow Up
Subject: Checking in on [project] timeline
Hi [client name],
I just wanted to check in regarding the proposed timeline for the [project] we discussed last week. We’re ready to kick things off as soon as you’re ready!
Please let me know if you need anything else from our team – we’re happy to provide additional details or answer any other questions.
Looking forward to hearing back on next steps so we can get started. Talk soon!
Networking Follow Up
Subject: Following up on [event]
It was great chatting with you at [event] last week! I’m really excited about the potential ways we could collaborate based on our conversation around [topic].
When you get a chance, let me know if you would like to grab coffee or jump on a call in the next couple weeks to discuss further. I think we could come up with some big ideas together.
Either way, I hope we stay in touch going forward. Let me know if there’s any way I can help in your work at [company]!
Subject Line Formulas for Effective Follow Ups
Catching their attention with a compelling yet professional subject line is key. Some proven formulas:
- Following up on [topic]
- Checking in about [request]
- Circling back regarding [past convo]
- Friendly reminder about [pending action item]
- Wanted to discuss next steps on [project]
- [Their company] + [value you provide]
- Quick question re: [topic]
Keep subjects short, personalized, and descriptive of the purpose. Intrigue them to open without seeming overly salesy.
Continually Refine Your Process
Like anything, mastering follow ups takes diligence and practice. Track open rates to understand engagement levels. Tweak timing and language until you find what resonates best with each recipient.
With persistence and care for providing value, you can turn follow up from a frustrating chore into highly productive conversations.
Follow Up FAQs
Let’s wrap up with answers to some frequently asked questions about crafting an effective follow up strategy:
How Long Should I Wait Before Sending a Follow Up Email?
This depends on the situation, but here are general guidelines:
After Initial Outreach
Wait 2-3 days before sending the first follow up to allow people time to respond. Anything less than 48 hours can appear impatient.
Exception: If it’s an extremely time sensitive request, a same-day nudge may be warranted. But avoid back-to-back rapid fire messages.
Between Follow Ups
Increase the gap between subsequent follow up reminders:
- 1st follow up: 2-3 days after initial outreach
- 2nd follow up: 4-7 days after first follow up
- 3rd follow up: 7-10 days after second follow up
Gradually longer gaps show you’re not overly hounding them.
If You Get a Reply
Once they do respond, the clock resets. Wait 2-3 days after their reply before assuming a new follow up is needed. Jumping in too quickly can be off-putting rather than helpful.
How Many Follow Up Emails Should I Send?
It’s a fine balance between persistence and pestering:
- 1 follow up is better than no follow up.
- 2-3 follow ups are generally safe for casual outreach.
- 5+ follow ups may be warranted for serious sales prospects.
If they don’t engage after 3-5 substantive, personalized follow up attempts, it’s best to move on. Continuing to excessively nag could damage the relationship.
However, critical opportunities may justify more persistence – especially if you haven’t received any direct “stop following up” request. Play it by ear.
What’s the Best Time of Day to Send Follow Up Emails?
For cold outreach, broad windows like late morning or mid-afternoon tend to be safest:
✅ 10 AM – 12 PM
✅ 1 PM – 4 PM
Here’s when to avoid:
❌ Early morning
Their inbox is flooded first thing as people catch up on overnight messages. Yours will get lost in the mix.
❌ Late afternoon
People start checking out to handle personal errands. Also may not see it before leaving work.
Following up outside work hours can seem over-eager. Unless they are expecting it, wait until the next business day.
However, personalize timing based on data you have on someone’s unique email habits. Follow up when they are most engaged.
How Do I Write Follow Up Emails That Get Responses?
Here are tips for maximizing your response rate:
Restate Your Ask Clearly
Don’t make them guess why you’re following up. Refresh their memory on the open loop or original request.
Offer To Help
“Please let me know if I can provide any other information to help make your decision”. Shows you’re there to assist.
Pose a Question
Give them an easy first step to respond, like “Does Tuesday at 2 PM work for a quick call?”
Provide useful info related to their request – don’t just say “any updates?”. Demonstrate you want to help.
Follow up when they are most likely to quickly see and engage with your message.
Knowing if your emails are being opened or not will help avoid needlessly pestering people who aren’t interested.
Use their name, reference previous conversations, include custom details. Don’t blast generic spam.
Other Relevant Questions :
Why are follow-up emails so important?
Follow-up emails get much higher response rates compared to single outreach attempts. They continue conversations, move projects forward, and demonstrate professionalism by not letting inquiries fall through the cracks.
How many follow-up emails should you send?
2-3 follow-ups are generally appropriate for casual outreach. For serious sales prospects or priorities, 5+ thoughtful and personalized reminders may be warranted. But cease following up if explicitly asked to stop.
When should you send the first follow-up email?
Wait 2-3 days after your initial outreach before sending the first follow-up. Anything less than 48 hours can appear impatient. But sooner may be acceptable for extremely time-sensitive requests.
How long should you wait between follow-ups?
Gradually increase the gap between subsequent reminders:
- 1st follow-up: 2-3 days after initial email
- 2nd follow-up: 4-7 days after first follow-up
- 3rd follow-up: 7-10 days after second follow-up
What days and times are best for follow-up emails?
Earlier in the week Tuesday-Thursday tend to see highest engagement. Mid-morning or mid-afternoon are also safe windows for broad outreach. Personalize based on data on the recipient’s unique habits.
How do you write effective follow-up emails?
Restate your original ask clearly, offer to help, pose questions, share value, watch timing, track opens, and personalize messages. Demonstrate you want to continue the conversation, not just repeatedly nag them.
How can you automate follow-up sequences in Gmail?
Use tools like Boomerang, Mixmax, or Mailmeteor to create advanced recurring follow-up workflows personalized for each recipient. Gmail’s native snooze and nudge features only provide basic functionality.
When should you stop following up?
If they explicitly ask you to stop, don’t reply to 3-5 substantive reminders, haven’t opened any of your emails, or you’re unsure if appropriate, it’s time to stop. Further nudges may damage the relationship or get flagged as spam.
Never Stop Improving
Like any skill, mastering follow up cadence and messages takes practice. Continually refine your process based on data.
With persistence and care, you can turn follow ups from annoyance to highly productive conversations.
Follow up emails are critical for getting responses, continuing conversations, and driving business results. Here are the key lessons:
- Enable Gmail nudges to automatically surface messages that may need follow up. But don’t rely on nudges alone.
- Strategically snooze emails to temporarily remove messages from view until you’re ready to revisit them. Great for manually setting custom reminders.
- Schedule follow-ups in advance for precision delivery right when recipients are most likely to engage.
- Use follow-up automation tools like Boomerang, Mixmax, and Mailmeteor to create advanced recurring sequences personalized for each recipient.
- Add value with each reminder – don’t just repeat the same request over and over. Demonstrate you want to help, not just hound them.
- Follow up 2-3 days after initial outreach, then wait progressively longer between subsequent reminders.
- Send no more than 3-5 follow ups total for casual outreach. Being overly persistent can backfire.
- Track opens and engagement to optimize your timing and approach based on each individual’s preferences.
- Personalize messages with their name, references to past conversations, and custom details whenever possible.
Effective follow up is a mix of automation plus human touch. Use the right tools and strategies to turn reminders from annoyance to productive conversations. With practice, you’ll master the art and science of driving responses.