When sending an initial client intake questionnaire, proposal, contract, initial designs, or anything where you’ve asked a client to take action, you need to follow up if you don’t hear back from them. Instead of throwing in the towel and giving up immediately, read on and find out what email templates to use while following up. An extra email doesn’t hurt.
Why they don’t respond
The reason they don’t respond to you is that they have other stuff going on. It’s as simple as that. There are different reasons why you don’t receive a response – mostly because they are running a business, have bills to pay, employees to manage and meetings to attend.
What to do when they don’t respond
Let’s say a prospect has contacted you. They’ve answered your initial questions about their project, and you’ve put together a proposal and sent it to them. You get silence. No response. What do you do? It’s certainly not the time to do nothing. You need to follow up!
Step 1. Send proposal
Subject: Project Proposal
Kindly refer to the attached proposal. Please look it over and let me know your thoughts.
If one of the packages looks good, and you wish to move forward, the next step is to let me know which package you would like to proceed with. I’ll then get a contract together for you to review, and we’ll proceed from there.
Feel free to ask me any questions.
I look forward to hearing back from you.
Step 2. First follow-up
If you haven’t heard back three business days after you’ve sent the proposal, send a follow up email #1:
Subject: Project Proposal
I wanted to follow up on the proposal I sent over on [INSERT DATE SENT].
I’d like to set up a call to discuss any questions you might have.
I’m available to talk between [INSERT MULTIPLE TIME OPTIONS], or between [INSERT SECOND OPTION (date, time and time zone)]
If these times don’t work, let me know and I’ll work around your schedule.
Please let me know if you are still interested, and if so, which day works for you.
Thanks again for the opportunity,
Pro Tip: Always send an email with a call to action. This keeps the process moving along. In this email, we assume they have questions, and we’d like to address those questions by setting up a call with them.
Step 3. The reminder
If you hear nothing, try following up three or four days later with follow up email #2:
Just floating this to the top of your inbox in case you missed it.
This email gives them a friendly nudge to respond. It’s really short and non confrontational and is just a gentle reminder.
Often, you can expect some sort of response after step 3. If you don’t hear from them, now is when you assume the project is not going to happen.
By now the expiration date on the proposal has passed, and they haven’t been responsive. However, make a point to go all the way to the end of the follow up sequence.
Step 4. Final attempt
Wait for a full week after the third email and then send follow up email #3 in the same email thread:
Is this project still a priority for you? I’ve been keeping space open in my schedule for this project, but if you’ve decided to go in another direction that’s no problem. Just let me know.
This email has a very direct tone and may get a quick response out of them that gives some reason for not responding earlier. Something like, “I was travelling,” or “Sorry, I was very busy.”
Step 5. Close the loop
If you don’t hear back after another week, you close the loop and get it out of my mind by sending follow up email #4 letting them know that you’ve moved on and will no longer be emailing them about this project:
Since I have not heard back from you, I have to assume your priorities have changed.
Let me know if I can be of any help in the future.
Sending this email allows you to move on from any ideas or plans you might have had for this potential project. It’s tough when a project comes along that looks promising because inevitably, as a designer, you start to create a vision for the project.
Closing the loop on the project allows you to put that vision to rest so that you can move on and stop wasting time thinking about it.
In general, don’t give up on your first attempt. Try using these email templates and we hope this would help you secure more business opportunities.