Whether you’re chasing leads, applying to gigs, or cold prospecting. Here are 3 Gmail follow-up tricks I use to skyrocket response rates and save time — so you can get back to what you’d rather be doing.
If you’re here chances are you’re looking for an easier way to follow up with emails. According to Zoominfo, 50% of sales happen after the 5th follow-up, yet 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up.
On one hand, that’s an insane amount of money left on the table. But on the other, it’s one hell of an opportunity. While you might not be in sales, human behavior doesn’t change, making following up in Gmail an insanely valuable activity.
Here, I’ll walk you through 3 easy ways to automate your follow-ups so you can get back to what you’d rather be doing.
Let’s jump in.
Tip #1. How to get email follow-up reminders in Gmail so you don’t have to think about it
Trying to remember who you need to get back to takes up valuable brain space.
I don’t know about you, but when I think about following up. I start to question myself, thinking:
- “Is it too soon?”
- “Will they think I’m desperate?”
- “Am I being annoying?”
But that’s not your call, you’re just trying to help people make a decision and save you both time.
The first way to take the emotion out of these choices is to enable follow-up Gmail reminders, called nudges.
This way, instead of thinking about when to follow up, you’ll get a Gmail reminder to reply.
How to set up nudges in Gmail?
Nudges is Gmail’s feature to automatically encourage replies or follow-ups. It works by bringing emails it might be worth following up to the top of your inbox with an orange email follow-up reminder:
Most Gmail accounts have it enabled as standard, but here’s how to get Gmail’s follow-up nudges:
- Open Gmail on your computer.
- Click settings in the top right corner (gear icon.)
- Click Open all settings from the menu.
- Click General from the options.
- Look for the nudges settings.
- Here you can select Suggest emails to follow up on and Suggest emails to reply to.
- Then go ahead and hit save.
(Note, you’ll need the latest version of Gmail.)
How to manually snooze emails in Gmail?
Another way to remind yourself to follow up in Gmail is with the snooze button which lets you choose when the reminder happens.
When you snooze an email, it’ll be hidden from your inbox and reappear on a specified date. Here’s how to snooze an email in Gmail:
- Open Gmail on your computer.
- Point the cursor on the email you want to Snooze.
- Click the Snooze button (clock icon) on the right side of the email subject line.
- Select a date to bring the email back to the top of your inbox.
- You can view, edit and cancel snoozed emails anytime from the Snoozed tab in Gmail on all devices.
Tip #2. Schedule and forget follow-ups to send at specific times
Alright, now it’s time to show you how to schedule follow-ups in Gmail in advance.
As a content editor at Mailmeteor, I often create partnerships and need to follow up to seal the deal. Instead of waiting for a follow-up Gmail reminder. As soon as I’ve sent the first email, I’ll go ahead and schedule a follow-up.
For example, a few weeks back, I had a call with a prospect and he said, “I’m away for two weeks, let me get back to you then.” As soon as I got that email, I went ahead and scheduled a Gmail auto follow-up for two weeks time so I didn’t have to remember.
What I love about this is I look super thoughtful, and I’ve saved the prospect a job too.
How to schedule follow-ups in Gmail:
- Click reply or reply all on the email you want to follow up on.
- Write out your email.
- Click the arrow on the send button.
- Click schedule send.
- Choose your desired date and time from the options.
- You can view, edit, and cancel your scheduled emails anytime from the Scheduled tab in Gmail on all devices.
When’s the best time to send a follow-up in Gmail?
According to Forbes, 50% of people respond to emails within the hour. And there’s a 90% chance that you’ll get a response within 48 hours if they’re going to reply. With that in mind, your best bet is to space them out 2 - 3 days apart.
If you’re wondering how long you should wait to follow up on a job interview or a client proposal…
Think back to the conversation you had, hopefully, you asked them when you can expect to hear back. That’s when to schedule your first follow-up.
Then I’d schedule more from there at 3, 5, and 7-days until you get a reply.
Wait… you can schedule follow-ups in Gmail until you get a reply? Yup! Keep reading, as using Gmail follow-ups if no response was a game-changer for me, and might be for you too.
What days do you send follow-ups?
CoSchedule analyzed 14 follow-up studies reporting Tuesday, Thursday, and Wednesday (yup, in that order) are the best days to send follow-ups — avoiding Monday catchups and Friday blues.
Tip #3. Set up multiple auto follow-ups with Gmail until you get a reply.
If you’re scheduling follow-ups, it’s unlikely someone will reply to your first one. Remember that stat from earlier?
“50% of sales happen after the 5th follow-up, yet 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up.”
And while you could cue up a string of follow-ups in Gmail. Sadly, Gmail doesn’t let you create a sequence of follow-ups until you get a reply. This means, that if the recipient responds to one of your follow-ups, they’ll still get your other emails (not a good look.)
Thankfully, follow-up extensions for Gmail exist to achieve this.
I use Mailmeteor’s follow-up Gmail extension to create follow-up cycles since it’s the only tool recommended by Google Workspace and it’s used by over 5 million users globally.
Here’s how it works:
How to set up an email sequence of auto follow-ups in Gmail
To get started, you’ll need to sign up for Mailmeteor (you can log in with Google).
Then head over to Mailmeteor Dashboard, and click “+ New campaign.” Here you can write out the first message in the sequence, and click Add a follow-up email.
Just like I have below…
Once you’ve written your first email, click add a follow-up email and write another like my one below. There’s no limit to how many emails you can cue up 2, 7, or 10 – it’s up to you.
Customize what happens based on your recipient’s actions
To save you worrying about whether someone is going to still get bombarded with emails once they’ve got back to you.
You can select conditions for Gmail auto follow-up, including:
If they haven’t replied, send the next one. (AKA: Gmail follow-up if no response.)
If they haven’t opened, send the next one.
If they don’t click a link in the previous email, send the next one.
Plus, you can choose exactly when they go out (in minutes, hours, and days.)
Send the same sequence to thousands of people
To email different people one at a time, you can use Mailmeteor’s mail merge functionality to send the same follow-up sequence to hundreds of people.
To do this, create a new Mailmeteor campaign, choose recipients and select how you want to input your list of recipients.
I like to create a list of people in Google Sheets because it integrates seamlessly with Mailmeteor. If you want to schedule mailmerges with follow-ups without leaving Google Sheets, see how to use the plugin for Google Sheets here.
Personalize your email to each recipient
If you’re sending the same emails to multiple people, you might want to address them by name to make it seem it was written for just them.
To do this simply add an extra column next to the email in your list of recipients in your Google Sheets spreadsheet.
Then when writing emails, add your “tag” in double curly brackets. And it’ll automatically customize each email. Here are some examples:
To find these fields when writing your emails, click Insert variable inside the editor and select your tag from the drop-down.
For a full personalization tutorial, check out the guide to email personalization with Mailmeteor.
Don’t know what to say in email follow-ups?
A lot of people think they need a reason to follow up. But if you can’t think of anything to say, I resort to something like, “Hey, Just bumping this up in what I’m sure is a busy inbox.”
Of course, context matters, but simple works.
More Gmail follow-up ideas:
- Send over additional information that could help them make their decision.
- Ask if they have any questions or if extra information would be useful.
- Ask them for the no. This might seem scary, but some fear letting others down, so let them know it’s OK. (This adds a bit of reverse psychology too.)
- Circle back after a no, and see how they’re doing.
Remember, the competition is weak, 50% of sales happen after the 5th follow-up, yet 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up - so get after it!
What you should do now
There’s so much more I could show you, but now it’s over to you.
While you could follow up manually, Gmail tricks and tools like Mailmeteor let you get back to things you’d rather be doing… You know, like brunch, playing with the kids, or sleeping.
If you want to try out Mailmeteor, we’re running 20% off the Mailmeteor Pro plan for a limited time.
Yes, it’s a monthly subscription, but imagine how long it would take to write and send hundreds of emails manually. 5 million users find it a no-brainer, even before the ROI it can generate for you.
➤ Join 5 million people like you sending emails with Mailmeteor
Want more ways to improve your Gmail game?
Our blog is full of ways to skyrocket your Gmail efficiency, here are some favorites relevant to you:
- 9 must-have Gmail skills everyone should know
- How to mail merge in Gmail (2023 tutorial)
- How to send emails from Google Sheets?
- How to send an email to everyone in your company?
This article was written by Harry Lawson, content editor at Mailmeteor. Mailmeteor is an intuitive & privacy-focused email marketing platform.