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How to Follow Up After a Sales Proposal (Guide + Templates)

You've sent a sales proposal, but there is no response? It's time to follow up! Here's a guide on how and when to follow up and what to avoid. And of course - examples and templates.


You’ve sent a sales proposal, but the client still hasn’t responded? You’ve already thought about sending a follow-up after your sales proposal, but you want to do it perfectly.

And now you’re in the right place. There’s no need to feel defeated if you haven’t gotten an email in response to your proposal. What we need to do here is find out how to keep the wheel spinning and how to re-engage your leads.

When to follow up, how to follow up, are you doing too much, did your persistence turn into an annoyance for the prospect?

We know you’ve asked yourself these questions. In this blog post, we’ll give you the answers. By the moment you finish reading this post, you’ll know exactly how to follow up and get a response to your sales proposal!

Also, later in the post, you’ll find a few examples of subject lines, follow-up email examples, and follow-up templates that will help you increase response rates and close the deal!

Let’s start!

Why should you write a follow-up email after sending a sales proposal?

In short, follow-up emails are extremely important can get you quickly to the top of your prospect’s inbox. Not only do you remind your prospects of the sales proposal, but you leave a lasting impression on them.

A whopping 44% of salespeople give up after their 1st email, so sending a follow-up email makes you stand out from the crowd. And if you’re sending a follow-up email, this gives you a chance to refine your messaging.

A quick question - how many follow-up emails do you get in your inbox?

Probably a ton.

And when you get 3 follow-up emails from a single person, you simply become curious about why they’re following up.

This is how you warm up a cold lead. But if you’ve already sent a sales proposal, it’s all about getting a response. It’s possible that your prospect already received a few sales proposals, and they’re a bit indecisive about which offer should they take.

With the follow-up email sequence we show you in this blog post, you will:

  • Add more value to your target audience
  • Encourage them to respond to your CTAs
  • Show your prospects you’re interested in working with them
  • Stand out from the crowd

But there’s still something bothering you - why didn’t they respond in the first place?

Why is your prospective client not responding?

We may start thinking that we did something wrong, but it’s usually not that. Here are the 3 most common reasons why your potential client isn’t responding.

Reason #1: They are busy

This may seem so banal, but this is the biggest reason why you didn’t get a response to your initial email. And can you blame them?

How many times have you read a message or an email, but got caught up in work so you completely forgot about it? The same happens with your prospective clients.

Like you, they have their tasks, projects, and deadlines to meet, and there’s always something to do.

And if you pitched them on services they don’t need at the moment, the chance of getting a response on that first email starts plummeting.

So, what do you do? You follow-up!

For example, if you're reaching out to an incredibly busy CEO of a large company, don't send them another follow-up email tomorrow and then another two days later another one.

Give them some time, wait about 4-7 days before you follow up for the first time. Maybe follow up only once a week. What is guaranteed is that they get thousands of emails a day, and yours can easily get buried in their inbox.

Reason #2: Right now is not the best time

Even if your prospective clients are busy - when something outstanding happens to slide into their inbox, there’s a chance they’ll check it.

But as we mentioned above, if you offered them something they don’t need at the moment (but they’re interested in what you’re offering), the chances of getting a response are minimal.

Reason #3: Your email is going to spam

One of the most common reasons why you're not getting any responses is that your email is going directly into the recipient's spam folder.

Of course, your email may not be spam, but lately, even legitimate emails get flagged as spam. So, if you're relying on email communication and follow-ups to generate leads, you'll need to be a bit more careful when planning your email sequences.

Luckily, there are some strategies we can employ to ensure our emails don't end up in spam folders:

  • Personalize your emails - cold emailing can easily flop if you're sending generic emails to your potential customers. Take some time to personalize your emails. This can help you establish a professional relationship with the email recipient and make them more likely to engage.
  • Use a reputable email service provider - This may sound banal, but many sales reps don't take this seriously. Using a reputable email service provider is one of the key factors that will improve your email deliverability and reduce the chances of your email being flagged as spam.
  • Avoid using spam triggers - Some specific words like "free", "act now", and "limited time offer" can easily trigger spam filters. Avoid using these spam triggers in your email subject lines by any means necessary.

By taking these steps, you can increase the chances of your emails being delivered to your prospects' inboxes and ultimately improve your chances of closing more deals.

Reason #4: You are reaching out to the wrong person

One of the key reasons why you're getting no response to your emails is that you're reaching out to the wrong person.

It's essential to find out who is the right contact within a company and ensure your sales professionals save time by contacting the appropriate person.

You'll need to research the company you're targeting. Before your sales teams even send out their first email, they'll need to identify the right person to reach out to.

Try checking the company website, social media profiles, and LinkedIn to check all people holding key positions.

Find out what's your target audience's main pain point. If you can offer them a solution that eliminates their problems, you'll most likely have an advantage over your competitors.

Ensure your sales process includes a research phase as it will help you massively increase your response rates and even help you close more deals in the end.

Winning tips for writing a follow-up email after sending a sales proposal

Writing a follow-up email after no response to your sales proposal may seem challenging.

A well-crafted follow-up strategy can make all the difference in closing a deal, while a poorly planned follow-up campaign can easily damage your chances of follow-up success.

Here are the tips for writing an effective follow-up email.

If you're wondering if your sales proposal is good enough, here's a list of most common proposal mistakes and instructions on how to fix them.

#1 Keep your subject line clear

Email subject lines of your follow-ups are the first thing your recipient will see. Ensure your subject line is clear, concise, and relevant to the content of your email.

Here are a few tips to ensure your sales follow-ups result in a new paying customer:

  • Keep it short - Your subject lines need to be 6-10 words, or even less. Your recipients are more likely to read and understand a really short subject line, rather than a long one.
  • Use actionable language - Through your emails, you want to encourage recipients to take a specific action after reading. Ensure your subject line is action-oriented and communicates what the recipient can expect in the email.
  • Be ultra-specific - No vague subject lines allowed! Be specific in your subject line about what your email is about, like the name of the proposal or the reason for your follow-up.
  • Include your name or company name - Including your name or your company name in the subject line will help you establish trust with the recipient.
  • Don't use spammy language - Refrain from using spammy language, using all-caps, excessive punctuation, or salesman-like promotional language. This will destroy your chances of follow-up success.
  • Don't use the same subject line twice - Whenever you're sending a new follow-up email, change the email subject line.

Keep in mind - your subject line is your first impression, so make it count.

#2 Your follow-up email needs to be short

Less is more. Keep this in mind the next time you write a follow-up email. Try to convey your message as clearly and concisely as possible. Here's why you should keep your follow-up email short:

  • Busy schedule - sending an email after no response may result in failure especially if you're sending a gigantic long read. A short follow-up email is more likely to be read.
  • Message clarity - try to convey your message as clearly as possible, and make it easy to understand. Don't use jargon or complex wording, write a follow-up as simple as it can be.
  • Respect for customer's time - sending a long and detailed follow-up email may come off as pushy. We know you don't mean to be pushy, but here's a gentle reminder to keep your emails short, especially if your follow-up sequence is more than 4 emails long.

When writing the follow-up email, always keep it short. Don't go into too much detail, simply try to move the conversation forward and ensure you stick to the key points you want to convey.

And here's a great example of a short follow-up email from Katia from Audext.

short follow-up email example

#3 Reiterate the value you’re providing

When writing a follow-up email, remind your prospect of the value you can provide to them. Reinforce the benefits of working with you and ensure they have enough reason to check your proposal.

You can:

  • Highlight the key benefits of your proposal
  • Provide specific examples of how your services helped other clients (use social proof)
  • Reiterate the key pain points you want to solve

A polite follow-up email can work wonders. Just remember - keep it short, focused on the key benefits, and highly personalized.

Also, instead of trying to close the sale over email, try to get your prospects to get interested in hearing more about your product or service. If you can set up an initial meeting and have a quick chat with them.

Think about the goal of your follow-ups. Getting a "yes" over email is much harder than hopping on a call after a successful follow-up process.

Of course, this depends on what your sales process looks like, but nevertheless, it may be worth rethinking your follow-up sequence.

#4 Refresh the client’s memory

When sending a sales follow-up email, you'll want to refresh your prospect's memory about your proposal. Here's what can happen if you don't.

Imagine you've just received an email and it's the 2nd sales follow-up email in the sequence. Unfortunately, you missed the previous email due to your inbox getting filled up with 100s of emails every day.

You open the email only to find out you have no idea what the sender is talking about. Their message is concise, but you're missing the big picture because they sent their first email days ago. Is it a proposal they sent or something else?

You simply don't know.

And what do we do when we receive an email we can't answer? We move on. "If it's important, they'll reach out again", you say as you close the inbox and move on to the next action item on your list.

So, next time you're sending sales follow-up emails, keep these tips in mind:

  • Recap the key points of your proposal (or initial sales email)
  • Use bullet points to break up the information and make it easier to read
  • Use visuals and diagrams to provide a quick visual reminder of your proposal
  • Try to avoid being repetitive, and provide new insights in your follow-up email
  • Try including the company name in the subject line so your prospect can more easily remember the contents of the previous email

Simply refreshing your client's memory about the details of your proposal will increase the chances of them responding to your follow-ups.

#5 Avoid sounding like a salesman in your follow-up emails

It's important to strike the right tone in your follow-up emails after sending a sales proposal.

If you want to ensure your prospect remembers your proposal and has the motivation to respond quickly, avoid coming across as too sales-y.

Remember, you're not trying to sell, you're trying to solve their problems.

Here are some tips for writing your follow-ups:

  • Start your follow-up email with a friendly, personalized greeting. Address your customer by name and show them you value their time.
  • Don't talk about your product or service. Focus on their specific needs and pain points, and show them you understand their challenges and that you can help them.
  • Instead of pushing for a sale, provide value in your follow-up email in form of a helpful resource or article related to their industry
  • Use a soft call to action. You could ask them a question about their thoughts on your proposal or ask them when are they available for a quick chat.

By avoiding a salesman-like tone in your follow-up emails, you can build a more authentic and trusting relationship with your prospect. This can help increase the likelihood of a positive response and ultimately lead to a successful sale.

Just a quick note.

If you've ever tried doing link building, you know that emails are the main weapon in your arsenal. And it is here where most senders sound extremely sales-y.

Link building can be a great tool to increase your website's domain authority and gain more online traffic, but doing it successfully is trickier than you'd think.

When reaching out, your email subject needs to be 100% on point if you want your recipient to just read it, and if you're looking to pitch a guest post, your email needs to be perfect.

You need to present your value proposition, mention your job function if you're reaching out on behalf of a company, and appear as if you're trying to help solve a prospect's problem, not satisfy your business needs.

With a solid strategy, a well-crafted email, and a healthy dose of luck, you'll be pitching your guest post successfully.

Whenever we send an email to someone outside our organization, we're selling.

And selling over email is a skill you must hone and master continuously.

#6 Create a follow-up process

As you start sending out sales proposals, you'll need to establish a follow-up process that will help you keep track of who you've pitched to and who you still want to pitch.

Keep in mind, a sales cycle in B2B is often long and spending time and energy on prospects who are clearly not interested in your product or service may harm your success in the long run.

Try creating a document (Google Sheets is enough in this case) in which you will list all the businesses you want to work with. As you start sending out sales proposals and creating a personal connection with your leads through other channels, note down which companies are interested, which are not interested, and which haven't replied to your follow-ups.

Also, mark down the date you send each email. By knowing when the previous email was sent, you'll be able to better determine how long the waiting period needs to be before you send the next email.

Here's an example of how your follow-up process could look like. Image credit goes to Streak.

follow up email process example
Image credit:

Of course, it's never that simple. Sometimes, it may be better to wait more than 3 days before sending a follow up email.

In the end, it all depends on who your recipient is.

#7 Include a Call to Action

Including a CTA in your follow-ups is a must. Think about it - without a CTA, your prospect may not know what to do next. Or they may have a general idea but will lack the motivation to do so.

Here's what you can do:

  • Make your CTA highly specific so the recipient knows exactly what to do
  • Use action-oriented language to encourage the recipient to take action
  • Create urgency so your prospect acts quickly
  • Use buttons or links to your CTA so it stands out and is more visually appealing

Here are a few examples of CTAs you could use following these guidelines:

"Click here to schedule a call to discuss further"
"Take the next step and schedule a call with me"
"Spaces are filling up quickly, so act now to secure your spot"

All in all, we human beings love following instructions. We love reading guides, following the rules, and doing things as they are intended to be done.

If you can do a good enough job with your CTA - you can easily guide your prospect to take action and move up in the customer journey.

This is the ideal format for your follow-up emails

When writing follow-up emails, there are a few formats that can work effectively depending on your specific situation. Regardless, some elements have their place in every follow-up email.

Here's the ideal format for your follow-up emails. You can customize this format as much as you want, as long as it fits your industry.

  1. Greeting: Start your emails in a friendly tone and use the recipient's name if possible.
  2. Reminder: Remind the prospect of your previous email. This is a must when sending an email after no response. Not only will this jog the prospect's memory, but it will also make it clear to them why you're following up.
  3. Value proposition: Reiterate the value of your proposal and remind the prospect of the benefits of collaborating with you.
  4. CTA: There is no follow-up without a call to action. Let your prospects know what you want them to do once they read the email.
  5. Closing: A polite follow-up email can get you far, especially when you end your email with polite remarks and disclose your contact information. This makes it so much easier for the prospect to get in touch with you via any disclosed channel.

We aren't saying this is the only follow-up email format you need to strictly follow and use. This is the foundation upon which you can upgrade as much as you like.

Nevertheless, if you choose to use this format in your next follow-up sequence, let us know what kind of results you rack up!

When should you send a follow-up email?

Knowing the right time to write a follow-up email can make all the difference when trying to close the deal.

Here's how to time your follow-up email perfectly and get a response:

  • Give it a few days - If you immediately thought you should send a follow-up email the next day, think again. Waiting a few days before sending a polite follow-up email shows that you respect your prospects' time and that you're not too pushy
  • Consider the prospects' schedule - If you know that your recipient has a tight schedule or is currently traveling, you may want to wait until you know they have more time to review your sales proposal
  • Time your follow-ups strategically - Think about when your prospects are more likely to be checking their inbox. Is it early in the morning before they start to work or late in the afternoon when they're wrapping everything up? Also - please don't send follow-ups on holidays or over the weekend
  • Create a sense of urgency - If your proposal has a deadline or your offer is time-sensitive, try mentioning it in the subject line.
  • Use your instincts - Don't rely solely on data and the alleged "best times" to send a follow-up email. Try gauging whether your prospect needs more time or if he's ready for another follow-up email. Every prospect is unique (as we all are) and a standardized approach may not work for everyone.

In essence, try to be respectful and considerate when sending follow-up emails.

Follow these guidelines and try to adapt to your prospects, as it often turns out that freelancers and small businesses often need clients more than the client needs service providers.

How many follow-up emails should you write after sending a sales proposal?

Usually, there is a point at which sending follow-up emails starts doing more harm than good.

If you're a business owner who's trying to keep both the employees and customers happy, all while trying to stay on top of your inbox, you'd start to get frustrated after seeing a 7th follow-up email from a random salesman.

Not only will such actions destroy the chances of closing the deal, but will do more harm in the long run - damaging the reputations of the salesman and the company behind him.

So, when planning our email follow-up sequence, try not to overwhelm your prospect.

A good rule of thumb is - if 3 follow-up emails don't do the trick, move on. Any more than 3 email follow-ups and you'll scare the prospect away.

But a prospect once lost can become a prospect yet again.

Give them a few months and try reaching out to them with the follow-up email sequence once more. If they didn't need your product or service the first time, there is a chance your offer may sound more enticing the next time.

Just a quick note while we're on this subject.

Think about your existing clients here. How did you reach out to them and did you close the sale with your first email follow-up sequence? Or did you try cold calling in the past? Or did you meet them at a networking event long after your first email sequence?

A customer journey, from a new prospect to a loyal customer, is often long and filled with various interactions - from emails to calls, meetings, and talks at a networking event.

Follow-up email may be one of your go-to strategies for closing the sale, but think about how you can create a personal connection with your prospects and empower your follow-up strategy with a few more interaction points.

Sending a break up email - should you do it?

Just as we confirmed previously, if you continue the conversation, you could do more harm than good to your reputation and results.

Chances are, you're starting to annoy your prospect.

However, we still need to politely "break up" with this prospect in a professional manner. This is called the break up email.

And, of course, here's a template for this.

Break up email template

Subject Line: Closing the Loop on [Project/Proposal Name]

Dear [Client Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I've been following up with you regarding the [project/proposal] I sent over, but I haven't heard back from you in some time.

After several attempts to reach you, I wanted to formally close the loop on this opportunity.

While I am disappointed that we weren't able to move forward with this project/proposal, I understand that sometimes timing or circumstances change.

I am still open to discuss any feedback you may have for me in terms of how I can improve my proposals or sales process in the future.

Thank you for considering my proposal and taking the time to speak with me about the project. If anything changes or if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Kind regards,

[Your Name]

The best tips for increasing your close rate with a follow-up email for proposal purposes

The art of closing deals with follow-up emails is a delicate one and requires mastery of several different aspects of communication.

Here are a few of the best tips you will ever find on how to increase your close rate with follow-ups.

Your proposal quality is also a key factor in closing deals. Here's a guide to writing a winning sales proposal.

Schedule your follow-up emails

It's important to schedule your follow-ups strategically to maximize your chances of getting a response.

You don't want to come across as too pushy or impatient, but you also don't want to wait too long before following up. Finding the right balance is key.

Respond to uninterested clients

It's important to acknowledge and respond to uninterested clients when following up on a sales proposal.

This shows that you value their time and are not simply trying to push a sale. It also allows you to gather feedback and potentially improve your proposal for future clients.

Create a set of follow-up email templates you can personalize

To make your follow-up process more efficient, it's a good idea to create a set of follow-up email templates that you can personalize for each client.

This saves time and ensures that you're including all the necessary information in your follow-ups. Just be sure to personalize each email enough so that it doesn't feel like a generic form email.

Use a variety of communication channels

Use a mix of communication channels to stay on top of your prospect's mind.

Even though email may be your preferred communication method, try mixing it up with other channels.

For example, interacting with the prospect on LinkedIn can be an awesome way to connect with your prospect in a more casual setting.

This can easily prepare the grounds for effective email communication.

Also, think about calling your prospects after a few interactions in case they went dark. With a 10-minute phone call, you can reignite the conversation and move the process forward.

Of course, not every channel will be appropriate for every prospect. Some may prefer email, and some may prefer a phone call.

So, do your research, find out what your prospect likes and wants, and tailor your approach to every single one.

There is no clear success formula here. You'll have to get your "hands dirty" and start experimenting.

Here are the templates for your follow-up emails

To help you get started, here are some email templates and subject line examples you can use for your follow-ups after sending a sales proposal. Remember to personalize them for each client to increase your chances of getting a response.

Besides, follow-up email templates, you'll find follow-up email samples that were actually used.

1st sales email follow-up sample

Here's one of the follow-up email samples.

1st email follow up example

1st follow-up email template

Subject Line: Following up on [Project/Proposal Name]

Hi [Client Name],

I wanted to follow up on the [project/proposal] I sent over [timeframe]. I hope you had a chance to review it and find it of interest.

If you have any questions or concerns, I would be happy to address them. Additionally, I'd be interested in hearing any feedback you might have regarding the proposal. Is there anything you'd like me to clarify or expand upon?

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

2nd sales follow-up email sample

Here's the 2nd sales follow-up email example.

2nd email follow up example

2nd follow-up email template

Subject Line: Quick follow-up on [Project/Proposal Name]

Hello [Client Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to follow up on the [project/proposal] I sent over a few days ago. I understand you may be busy, but I wanted to reiterate my interest in working with you and make sure you didn't have any questions or concerns that I could address.

If you have a moment, please let me know if you're still interested in moving forward with the project/proposal. If not, I completely understand, but I would appreciate any feedback you might have that could help me improve my proposals for future clients.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Kind regards,

[Your Name]

3rd sales follow-up email sample

Here's the final sales follow-up email example.

3rd email follow up example

3rd follow-up email template

Subject Line: Final follow-up on [Project/Proposal Name]

Hi [Client Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I've been trying to reach you about the [project/proposal] I sent over a few weeks ago and haven't heard back. I understand you may be busy, but I wanted to make one final attempt to follow up and see if you had any further thoughts or questions.

If you're still interested in moving forward with the project/proposal, please let me know what the next steps are. If not, I completely understand, but I would appreciate any feedback you might have that could help me improve my proposals for future clients.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Best regards,

[Your Name]

Increase your sales proposal win rate with Propoze

This was a long read indeed! And what better way to end it than with a recommendation for a free product!

Our team at Propoze is set on helping small businesses and freelancers close more deals with beautifully-designed sales proposals.

Propoze is a block-based proposal software created specifically for freelancers and small businesses. The thing is - many freelancers and small businesses have specific needs when it comes to the units and services they offer.

Luckily, Propoze allows you to completely customize the units and services, so you can offer absolutely any service or product.

The best thing about Propoze - it's incredibly simple to use.

But don't just take our word for it. Click on this link and create your Propoze account right now. And when the time comes to send follow-up emails, this article will be the best place to return and brush up on your knowledge.

That said, if you need any help or you simply want us to cover a specific topic (or to request a new feature on Propoze), let us know at!

Follow us on our LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram accounts! We post regularly on proposal and sales-related topics.