Case Studies

How to Write a Follow-Up LinkedIn Message & Email [Tactics + Examples]

By
Nikola Velkovski
May 20, 2024
Table of contents

You can send generic follow-ups and keep staring at an empty inbox, or worse, get blocked by a lead. Or you can personalize and send targeted follow-ups instead, and enjoy the view.

No matter the channel you use for outreach, follow-ups are inevitable. They are guaranteed to bring more replies, more leads, and remind interested people to reply in case they forgot.

That’s why I wanted to do this article where I’ll share proven B2B follow-up examples and templates that’ll get you more replies. It’s divided into two parts: 1) LinkedIn follow-up templates and 2) Email follow-up templates. Hopefully, both bring you value the same way they did to me.

How to follow up on LinkedIn?

It's no secret, LinkedIn is my go-to platform for outreach. And I’m not just saying this because I co-founded a LinkedIn outreach tool. It genuinely brings me great ROI, regardless if we're talking about networking or sales campaigns.

By looking into prospects' profiles, work experiences, interests, and posts, I can identify things we have in common and tailor my messages.

Like in any outreach campaign, follow-up messages are a must. Over the years, I've worked on my follow-up techniques to maximize responses. Here are a few of the templates I either borrowed from peers or ones I created myself.

1. LinkedIn message after connecting

When I say connecting, it goes both ways - when you send or receive a connection request. Obviously, the first option is something everyone is used to when doing LinkedIn outreach. 

The way I approach this is by keeping my connection request empty, so it’s just a request without a message. Tends to perform the best. Afterward, I start the conversation in a human way. But if you need connection message templates, I got you.

But recently, I was speaking with Vuk, who’s our Fractional CMO and Growth Advisor. He suggested the following framework to me:

  1. Use Sales Nav to see who’s viewing my profile, who followed me, and who requested to connect
  2. Identify qualified leads (potential HeyReach users) and quality connections (e.g. potential partners, podcast hosts, people I can learn from)
  3. Start the conversation with a human message (0% sales)
  4. Once ready, ask a question that can lead to a qualified answer
  5. If you see a legit opportunity, then try to sell
  6. For the rest, it’s just a normal conversation (you never know where these can take you)

Vuk shared two recent screenshots with me confirming he has a good reply rate with this approach. That's something I appreciate about him - he never gives me advice that he didn't do first.

linkedin follow up message

He also shared a few scenarios of how he transitions the conversation to sales:

  1. Start talking about marketing and ask simple questions such as “what channels are working and what aren’t”, “saw your campaign X, what’s the secret sauce behind the success”, or “how’s growth at company X?”. If an opportunity opens, he tries to give actionable value for free to build credibility. If it plays out well, this opens up a consulting or mentorship opportunity
  2. If it’s a networking conversation with someone who’s a part-time Paid Ads specialist, Vuk asks them what clients they prefer so he can refer them if they reach out to him first. Then, these Paid Ads specialists refer clients looking to do inbound marketing to Vuk
  3. If Vuk meets someone who’s looking for a job, he goes the extra mile to see if someone in his network or client portfolio is hiring and then makes an introduction. Obviously, that's just being a human being, but I wouldn't be surprised that these folks recommend or hire him later. Btw, that's how we started... he gave me so much value for free and connected me with a few people. 1-2 years later, I hired him as our Fractional CMO.

These are just 3 instances, but you get the point. Figure out where somebody wants to go and if you or your product can help them get there. Then tailor your next move.

Here’s one of my template variations based on this strategy:

Example

Hi NAME! Thanks for connecting. Btw, I’m a massive fan of TOOL. Been using it for a while now… the value is insane. Anyway, just paying respects where respect is due. Have an epic Tuesday!

Why it works?

  • It’s a genuine compliment without any sales intentions
  • The goal is to establish a relationship and the chances of getting a reply are high… paving the way for future conversion (e.g. partnership proposal) 

How to replicate it?

  • Review your lead’s LinkedIn profile for common interests or anything that stands out to you
  • In your message, thank them for connecting and use a topic they've posted about as a common element to start the conversation
  • If applicable, suggest a future discussion

2. LinkedIn follow-up message after a meeting

I send this one out the same day for a few reasons: First, it helps me capture the essence of our conversation while it's still fresh in my mind. 

Second, people often have back-to-back meetings and can’t recall everyone they met or everything they discussed, so this also helps them recall me and our discussion. Third, it ensures we’re on the same page.

Example:

Hey NAME,

Great meeting you today! Let's set up another call this week with my sales guy so we can onboard your team. Can you send me your calendly?

Why it works?

  • The tone is friendly and engaging
  • It's simple and fast to do it, considering I'm very much informal on meetings
  • Has a direct call to action and clearly lays out the next steps

How to replicate it?

  • Right after your meeting, write down important points discussed
  • Use these notes to personalize your message
  • Send your follow-up within 24 hours to maintain momentum while the conversation is still fresh in everyone's mind
  • Clearly state what you want next, whether it’s a meeting, a phone call, or a simple check-in.

3. How to send a follow-up message on LinkedIn after “no reply”

Not getting a response stings, but it’s never stopped me from following up. And I don't just follow up just once; I usually follow up multiple times before I call it.

Sometimes, I just send them a simple "👋" emoji to bump my last message to the top of their list. Maybe they didn’t see it or did see it but didn't have time to respond then.

LinkedIn follow-up message

Other times, I go the extra mile: I do some research, identify a specific pain point in their industry, and mention it in my message.

Example:

Hi NAME,

I met with CONNECTION’S NAME the other day. She/he mentioned you’re looking for ways to scale LN outreach while being able to do some cool things with API/Webhooks.

Did you find the solution?

P.S. If you haven’t, I have something to show you that will blow your mind (including an out-of-the-box way to qualify and reach out to website visitors in seconds). Mentioned a few details in my previous message. :)

N.

Why it works?

  • Whenever I can, I try to use referrals and mentions of people we both know… it gives me a few extra seconds of their attention
  • I’m still staying away from aggressive CTAs and trying to have a conversation
  • This is one of the ways I’m trying to tease my solution a bit and build enough interest for them to reply

How to replicate?

First things first, don’t be discouraged by silence. Sometimes, it takes up to 3 touchpoints to get a response. 

  • Make sure your follow-up builds on your first message—add some new value, don’t just rehash it
  • Address a pain point or tease the solution to get their attention, but don’t show them everything
  • Follow up multiple times

4. LinkedIn message after an event

Following up after networking events is straightforward. The likelihood of you getting a reply is high.

It doesn’t matter if the event was online or offline. For me, making the most of my network and keeping the momentum going is key, so I send out follow-ups within 1-3 days after networking events. This way, I make sure to reinforce our connection before they totally forget about me.

Example:

Hi NAME, great insights you shared in today's talk.

I am also a generalist and currently growing HeyReach in the sales space. Would be great to grab a coffee and talk shop sometime soon! It's always great to meet like-minded individuals.

Greetings from sunny Skopje

Why it works?

  • Feels light and friendly
  • Clearly indicates I want to continue the conversation
  • No CTA, no links, giving them space to decide if they’re game

How to replicate it?

  • If you’re reaching out to somebody you met at a conference, you can always use the conversation you had as an icebreaker and build on top of it
  • If you listened to someone’s keynote or webinar, try to give a very specific compliment or establish common ground (e.g. generalist example in my template)
  • Don’t wait too long to follow up
✅ Take action. Scale your LinkedIn outreach without burning your accounts or forgetting to follow up. Add unlimited accounts for one flat monthly fee. Try HeyReach for free, no card required.

How to send a follow-up email?

Usually, emails will be a bit different than LinkedIn messages. I use email follow-ups to show off my professional side, packing in a bit more detail. This way, I get to show my expertise and make sure nothing important gets missed. 

But this didn't happen overnight. For the longest time, I was in a love-hate relationship with my email inbox because most follow-up emails sound like this:

Subject: Don’t miss out on PRODUCT FEATURE

Hi NAME,

I just wanted to remind you about our fantastic range of products that I mentioned last time. We’ve got all the rainbows and unicorns with some of the best features on the market.

Our latest model is faster than the speed of light and is delivered by angels. It’s truly a game-changer in the industry, and I believe it would be a perfect fit for your needs (even though I’ve never talked to you.)

Please let me know when you can make the purchase. I’ll give you a special discount. Our team is ready to process your order today!

Thanks and best regards,

NAME

Why this will never work:

  • It’s super cringy
  • Only talks about the product. (no mention of me, my pain points, or my needs 😢)
  • Paints the product as the hero.
  • Sets unrealistic expectations

So, to make sure my emails didn't sound like this, I reverse-engineered some follow-ups that I couldn't help but reply to and came up with my own formula. 

Btw, this is why I read a lot of outreach that gets sent to me… so I can always learn. What to do and what to avoid at all costs.

Here I have some of my examples and some borrowed ones from other B2B professionals.

1. Follow-up email example after an event

Whenever going to an event, I try to be prepared. Meaning, I’d like to know who I want to meet with, their pain points, what my approach will be, and connect with them later on. Obviously, there’s a bit of improvisation since we always end up meeting a few people we didn’t anticipate.

Since I’m mostly going to sales, growth, and SaaS events, here’s one of my favorite tactics.

Example:

Subject: Great meeting you at EVENT, NAME

Hi NAME,

It was great meeting you at WHERE AND WHEN. Btw, my ears are still buzzing from that old-school bar where WHO organized a meetup afterward. 😂

I remember we were exchanging tactics on outreach best practices and you asked me to share that LinkedIn hack that got me RESULTS. I recorded a custom video for you.

LINK

Lemme know if it works for you.

N.

As you can see, you can easily adapt the meat of this email to whatever you guys did or talked about at the event.

Why it works?

  • Since I’m teasing my strategy while at the event without revealing the full magic, the video afterward is the fastest way to deliver value and everybody watches it
  • It’s a Loom video, so tracking is easy
  • HeyReach as the product is positioned ideally in the video so I don’t necessarily have to sell the demo… if interested, they will reach back

How to replicate it?

  • Pen down the people (you want to follow up with) and topics discussed with them soon after the event so you don’t forget Important details
  • Personalize each message according to the conversation
  • Don’t forget to sound human… nobody likes an aggressive pitch

2. Best follow-up email after a meeting

Same rules apply as for LinkedIn follow-up messages: goes out the same day, but my approach is a bit different. I like adding resources to add value and stir up responses. 

Example:

Subject: NAME’s priorities

Hi NAME,

Thanks for meeting with me. I enjoyed our discussion, particularly MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM THE MEETING.

Btw, I wanted to share something that I feel will blow your mind based on what we’ve discussed. It’s how one of our clients, COMPANY NAME, integrated HeyReach with tools like Clay and RB2B to hit AMAZING RESULT. It’s literally the same thing you wanna do.

LINK TO RELEVANT EXAMPLE

As for the next step, let's set up another call when you’re free so we can onboard your team and fire everything up. Can you send me your calendly

Looking forward to your thoughts,

N.

Why it works?

  • The subject indicates what’s inside the email
  • The tone sets a positive light on the discussion
  • Contributing a resource serves as a conversation starter and adds value

How to replicate?

  • Make a note of the meeting and discussion
  • Find a resource that adds to the conversation and provides value
  • Indicate your interest in having a follow-up call soon

3. How to send a follow-up email after no response

Your lead was interested but now no response. Another situation that happens in our world.

Let me tell you one more story from Vuk. Back in the day, he was working as the VP of Marketing at Big Interview. One of the audiences their company was going for was universities, mostly in the US.

They were already working with big universities like Stanford and Columbia, but one was missing - Harvard. Considering Vuk was ex-Head of Growth at lemlist (they went from $0 to $13.5M during his time there), he was jamming with the sales team on outreach campaigns. Harvard was one of his leads.

Here’s how it played out:

  1. Vuk sends his email #1
  2. His lead responds showing interest
  3. Vuk follows up to schedule a call, no response
  4. He follows up 3 more times, no response still
  5. Then, he sends one more email:
Hi [NAME]! You keep disappearing from my inbox like the sun from my garden... and it happened 5 times today. 🙂 Do let me know if you're still interested in that meeting with us.

He got a response 45 seconds later that sounded something like this:

Hahahahahahahhahahahahaha, good one. Sorry for disappearing Vuk. I’m still up for the meeting, let’s do it at TIME SLOT.

A few observations about this unconventional follow-up:

  • Even though Vuk was talking to a senior person at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, his research and previous exchange gave him the motivation to use a little bit of humor and an informal tone that resonated with his lead
  • Follow-ups truly are a game of grit, patience, and never backing down

Here’s another example that works on “emotional triggers”, this time from Usman Akram, Organic Growth Manager at TripleDart. 

email follow-up example

He explains that most of these follow-ups result in replies where leads explain why they paused, share any ongoing issues, or confirm their continued interest. It doesn’t always lead to a conversion, at least not at that very moment. ;)

Practical follow-up tactics

No single element can guarantee a response. Great follow-ups require a combination of multiple right elements. Use these tips to improve your follow-ups and maximize your response rates.

  1. Follow up multiple times

Don’t give up after one follow-up. Persistence gets results. Ask any sales professional and they’ll say things changed for them once they started following up. 

Take it from Austin Belcak, Founder of Cultivated Culture. 

  1. Do your homework  

If you're not willing to put in the 'grind,' you might as well hang up your hat now. There’s always a reason your approach isn't working. Ask yourself: 

  • Are you selling ice to an Eskimo?
  • Do your leads understand the value you bring?
  • How does this value benefit them? 
  • Are your follow-up template vanilla?
  • Is the lead qualified?
  • Does the lead have decision-making capability?

Figure out why someone would want you in their professional circle. In the B2B world, nobody builds relationships without a reason. I know that sounds harsh, but it's true. 

It could be anything from good chats to potential deals but having a solid reason is key.

  1. Write the right words

Usman likes to stir emotions to get responses, for me it's usually humor. Sometimes, I end up using emojis, anecdotes, and memes to ensure my message comes across. 

How to do it?

  • Let your personality shine through in your messages. If humor is your strength, use it
  • Use emojis to add a playful touch, lighten the tone, and make your emails feel more friendly
  • Make the subject line intriguing, humorous, or enticing
  1. Connect with them on a human level

David Baum, Co-Founder and CEO of Relato, is often at the receiving end of many emails and messages and he loves getting to know people, but he hates thin intros and cold pitches. 

So what makes him respond? Commonalities and shared interests. 

“The ones that stand out are typically from people who are in a similar situation as mine. Founders building, marketers sharing. Folks who have a genuine interest in connecting, not just a thin intro before a pitch slap!”

I couldn’t agree more. Don't fill inboxes with quickly whipped-up shallow messages, please. Be strategic but genuine. People can tell when a message is thoughtful and comes from research. 

How to do it?

  • Research and find areas of common interest or shared experiences
  • Personalize your approach to each lead.
  • After you’re done writing, ask yourself, would you reply if you got this message?
  1. Get your timing right

People often check emails mid-morning and post-lunch. So send emails at 10 AM or 2 PM for better open rates.

Follow up 2 to 3 days after the initial email, then again after three to five days—don't overdo it. It can get creepy.

  1. Don’ts:

Avoid these cringe-worthy mistakes. 

  • Don't pitch right away: comes across as shallow and will backfire
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one email: Have one agenda for each email. Build on it with every follow-up. Multiple, targeted interactions increase your chances of a response
  • Don’t be generic: I can’t stress this enough, customize and personalize, please
  • Don’t use poor subject lines: Use them as an opportunity to highlight the email’s main value to the reader
  • Don’t sound cocky: Big words turn people off. You’re there to connect, not intimidate
  1. Automate your follow-ups

If you’re doing outreach at scale, like me, automating follow-ups keeps things organized and saves time. 

I use HeyReach to automate LinkedIn outreach and follow-ups at scale. It auto-rotates multiple senders, so I can scale outreach without breaching any of the LinkedIn's limits. 

I also love having all my responses in a unified inbox for easy management, so I don't have to keep logging in and out all the time.

Once I get a response, I take over and reply myself. No AI-generated replies for my leads.

LinkedIn automation tool
  1. Go multichannel to up the odds

Following up with leads on more than one platform enhances my credibility and keeps my message and presence fresh in their minds. I typically use a combination of LI and email. 

How to do it:

  • Segment your audience by their preferences and behaviors and tailor your follow-ups for each platform
  • Use CRM software to manage and sync your communications across channels
  • Schedule and automate messages across platforms using tools like HeyReach 

Wrapping up

Templates give you a head start, but remember, customization is key. 

Treat them like maps: they’ll guide you, but the path to each lead is unique. Don’t use a one-size-fits-all approach at any cost. Dissect the examples I’ve shared and adjust them to you, the lead, and the situation. 

Be persistent, creative, and human in your approach. Use automation and leverage the strengths of different platforms to make sure you don’t miss out on any leads. 

Scale LinkedIn outbound. 10x more replies. One fixed cost. Try HeyReach for free