Last Updated on January 10, 2022 by James McAllister

By: James McAllister


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It takes an average of 7 contacts before a person will make a deal with you.

90% of salespeople, marketers, and entrepreneurs will not follow up with a person more than 3 times.

Yet, 80% of deals are made on the 5th to the 12th contact.

Can you imagine all of the money that you’re leaving on the table?

This isn’t just applicable to making a sale. It could be arranging a meeting with an important person, pitching somebody to link to an article, or trying to get somebody to appear on your podcast.

Email outreach is more important than ever, yet a whopping 90 PERCENT of people will not even put the effort in to do it right.

It’s time to get relentless with your follow up. To form a strategy that will help you to achieve the results that you’re looking for.

Because clearly, the vast majority of us are leaving a LOT of money on the table.

The above statements should showcase just how important following up with people actually is. Therefore, this article will serve as a quick guide to getting started, showcase some examples, and help you to form a systematized strategy to make following up quick, easy, and effective.

1. Step One: Build A System

Following up is easy when you know exactly what to do, and when to do it. When things do not change a lot, and it’s just a matter of taking the appropriate action at the appropriate time.

This is why CRM systems are so popular among salespeople. CRMs allow you to track all of the contacts you’ve had with someone, and schedule tasks in the future to help keep the relationship strong, and move the person towards some action.

Still, you don’t need to be a salesperson, and you don’t need a CRM to systematize your follow up. Even a simple Excel spreadsheet can be more than enough.

What’s important is that you find something that works for you, and integrates with your overall objective for your contacts.

For example, my team and I use a piece of software called Buzzstream when performing email outreach campaigns to bloggers. It allows us to track what bloggers have opened our emails, tag them with where we are in the funneling process, and schedule follow up if they haven’t responded in a certain amount of time.

Typically, our goal is to try and get links, or initiate some sort of sponsored post / giveaway on their site.

We often get the same type of objections, and have different follow up sequences based on what issue we’re facing with each person.

For example, we will obviously send different messages to somebody if they had never opened our emails, than if they told us they only want to work with companies in their home country, for example (a surprisingly common thing we’re told!)

Because we have a system, we know how to address each point, and when to send each message.

We even have a reminder to follow up with people months later if they completely reject our offer, asking if they’ve reconsidered, or there’s any other way to work together.

This makes it easy to send hundreds of emails per day if need be!

2. The 2nd Email Is Important – But It Does Not Have To Be Complicated

It’s assumed that your first email contains your pitch – but what about the 2nd email?

I’ve always found this best to keep this short and simple. Remind the person who you are, what you’re asking from them, and what value you’re trying to provide in return. There is no need to go back over all of your previous sales points, or why they should work with you. You’ve already done that.

A short but sweet 2nd email accomplishes three things:

  1. If your previous email ended up in the spam bin for whatever reason, this one is not likely to.
  2. A short email is likely to be read in full. Your 1st email may have been opened, but not read.
  3. An email like this shows that you’re a real person with real interest, not computer software sending pitches to thousands of people at once.

Note that despite this, you still may not get a response.

Although we tend to think that people are not interested after two emails without a response – especially if we can see that they were opened, this does not necessarily mean that the person was not interested. We must push on!

As far as timing goes, 1-3 days is a good waiting period between the 1st and 2nd email if you can see that they’ve opened your first email. If you can’t track that, 3-5 days is a good recommendation.

3. Start Handling Objections

If a person is opening your emails but not responding to them, it’s likely they aren’t completely convinced about how your offer can benefit them.

After all, even if you’re not asking them to buy something, the time required to even do something as simple as telling you ‘no’ is an expense.

If you’ve done a lot of cold outreach, you’ll likely know what the most common objections you’ll face are. After a while, it’s good to address these, as the person you’re emailing may be thinking them – even if they haven’t said them to you.

For example, I’ll use my baby product brand Kinacle, and an outreach campaign with the goal of getting sponsored posts on their site (without paying anything for them.)

Some people may be thinking, “I’m from Australia, but I see on their site that they ship from the United States. I really don’t want to run a giveaway if it means I’m going to have to pay $20 for shipping. And I certainly wouldn’t want to upset my readers by restricting the giveaway only to the U.S!”

In which case, I note that we’re happy to cover all of the shipping costs, regardless of where the winners are located.

Others may think, “Why waste my time if I’m not getting paid? Even though my readers could use these products, I no longer have a baby, and have no real use for them.”

Therefore, I may mention other successful posts or giveaways in the past, and how they helped the blogger increase their reader base. I’ll also mention that we’d be happy to share the published post on all of our social networks, as well as mention it in our email newsletter.

If you’re not getting responses, you do not know what that particular person is thinking. Therefore, you have to be proactive about handling these objections people build up in their minds.

Obviously, if you do get a response, focus on that and begin the process of moving forward.

4. Ensure You’re On The Right Deal – Offer An Alternative

Just because somebody isn’t responding well to a particular offer, doesn’t mean that you can’t still make a deal.

If somebody still doesn’t seem to be interested in whatever you’re pitching them, consider approaching them with an alternative option instead.

I cannot count the number of times that Kinacle has asked for a link only to be rejected, but ultimately end up with a link anyway through the form of a giveaway or sponsored post.

People who aren’t interested in your offer but are too shy to turn you down may jump on the opportunity to take something that seems slightly more appealing, but ultimately benefits you both anyway.

Remember, any deal is better than nothing. People may open up to you at this point and explain why your original offer was not appealing to them, and you can use this data to craft your pitch in the future.

When it comes to forming contacts, you can’t be greedy and force your offers on people. It’s far better to build any sort of connection, with room to blossom in the future.

Important: Don’t offer an alternative too early on in your follow up sequence. It’s important that you’re sure they’re not going to accept your initial offer before proceeding with this. Otherwise, people will take your ‘easy out’ and you’ll achieve your main objective far less.

For example, if you asked people to share your article if they weren’t willing to link to it, you can be certain that you’ll only get shares – even if a person may have actually given you a link otherwise.

5. Final Email: Close Or Move On

There is a fine line between relentlessly following up, and becoming an annoying spammer.

In other words, you may need to take the hint that the person simply doesn’t want to talk to you, and move on.

Even at this point, there may be a legitimate reason why a person hasn’t responded yet however, and even after many emails, you can’t be sure that they’re not interested.

Depending on your industry and your objective with email outreach, you’ll need to handle the final email carefully. You don’t want to sever ties, or completely close off any deals in the future.

Some people use ultimatums to great success, explicitly stating that they won’t be contacting the person again if they do not respond. Typically, my team approaches it from a data collection standpoint – again, any response is better than no response.

One of my more common cold email outreach templates for my last contact is as follows:

Hello again {FIRSTNAME},

I hope my previous emails have reached you well.

I was really hoping our two businesses could find some way to work together, but if you’re not interested in any of the ideas I’ve suggested and you don’t have any of your own, I completely understand.

Before I go, I’ve just got to ask – was it something I did? Was it something I didn’t do?

Apologies if I caused any sort of trouble,

– James McAllister

You would be shocked how many people finally respond… saying things like,

“Oh no James, it wasn’t anything you did. I just…”

And then FINALLY, after many emails, tell me exactly what was holding them up. Of course, from there I can go into full-on sales mode, handling the objection, and quite often, closing a deal.


If you’re not following up with people, you’re making a huge mistake.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re chasing deals, trying to build links, or forming collaborations with other bloggers or businesses. Your first email will rarely deliver the results you’re hoping for, and all of your success will come up in your follow up strategy.

I hope that this article has shown you how to build a follow up strategy that works, and give you some ideas to build your own follow up email sequence.

Cold email outreach is never fun, but it becomes a lot more enjoyable when you start winning with it.

I’d love to hear your own email outreach tips, as this is something I’m constantly looking to improve at myself.

Finally, I’d love to hear how you intend to use email outreach to help you land more deals going forward.

To your success,

– James McAllister


Review the main points of this article in the SlideShare below. Feel free to embed this on your site, use it in your organization, and share it with others! All I ask is that you give credit! (Download links are available from SlideShare’s website, which you can access by clicking the LinkedIn icon)

About the author 

James McAllister

James is the owner of He started his first blog at the age of 11, and has since gone on to start several successful businesses. In total, these businesses have sold hundreds of thousands of units and have touched millions of lives. Here on, he shares his knowledge that brought him to where he is today. If you want to connect with James, follow him on your favorite social networks!

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  1. Hi James,
    Emails are fantastic in attracting new lead and nurturing them to qualified customers. However, to have success with your email campaigns, you need a robust system in place. And I like that you highlighted the part, which appeared number one on your list of strategies. Your processes will cover both how and when to send the initials email, as well as the follow-ups.
    It works pretty well for every business. Your article is a valuable resource.
    Thank you for sharing.


    1. Hi Moss!

      Very well said. Having a system in place really helps make things a lot easier – both in terms of speed and building campaigns that convert. I think that you should always tailor everything to the person you’re emailing, but keeping base templates to deviate from slightly really helps to speed things up!


  2. Hi James,

    When I started with cold email outreach, handling rejection is one thing I struggle with. The fear of it often stops me from sending follow up emails.

    But to be honest, email outreach as being one of the most rewarding marketing tactics for me.

    And like you, I also use ninja outreach app for cold email marketing.

    A very useful outreach tool.

    Thanks for sharing, James.


    1. Hi Shamsudeen!

      Rejection was a huge issue for me too. We have to remember that we can’t take the rejections personally. They may be rejecting our offer, but they are not rejecting us as a person.

      It’s something that can be hard to truly accept within any area of sales. Email outreach is no different. But, we must push on and celebrate the wins because ultimately those are what matter. If you send 20 emails out and 1 person gives you a link or makes a deal… that’s still 1 more deal than you would have had if you had sent 0 emails. Even if 19 people reject you.


  3. James McAllister,

    Great post with great tips. I really like the post and the tips that you have mentioned, whereas your all the suggested tips are helpful and effective. Emails are a great source for attracting new leads. Building a system is crucial. Start handling the objections will helps a lot. Offering an alternative will provide long term benefits and will also build good connections. Your all the listed tips are helpful and works well on every business.

    Really helpful post and thanks for sharing.


    1. Hi Aadarsh!

      Happy to hear that you liked these tips. They really help to make email outreach as quick and easy as possible. It’s still a lot of work of course, but by speeding things up and developing a good follow up strategy, we can agree to more deals, more quickly – which is great for everyone!


  4. HI James

    Email outreach is a wonderful way to reach new prospects.

    But it’s not an easy thing to do… a cold-calling never is.

    You’ve given great guidelines to follow, here.

    I especially like your mention of the importance of having a well conceived follow-up list of emails all set to roll out.

    And alternative offers are always great to include in your follow-ups.

    Nice resource, my friend.



    1. You’ll want to target the person who’s capable or authorized to make the purchasing decision – don’t spend too much time with gatekeepers if there is the opportunity to contact the potential buyers directly!


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