How to Write a Follow Up Email as a Freelancer
As a freelancer, you’ll spend lots of time communicating with clients and other professionals. This includes writing many different emails. But what do you do when those emails don’t get a response? Write a follow-up, of course.
Here are our tips for a successful follow-up email that will help you reach your objectives as a freelancer. We’ve even included some examples of follow-up emails to help you get started.
What Is a Follow-Up Email?
If you need to get in touch with a company or client you’ve recently contacted, you can send them a follow-up email.
This might be necessary when:
- You haven’t received a response to a previous message
- You’re checking in on a potential client after an introductory call
- You want to clarify the details of a project
- You need to remind the recipient of something, such as an upcoming deadline or an unpaid invoice
Follow-up emails prompt a reply from the recipient and help keep the momentum going with potential clients so that new leads don’t fizzle out before they have started.
Of course, if you’ve been communicating with a company or client using a different contact method (such as LinkedIn messages or video calls) then a follow-up email may not be the best way to reply.
But in most cases, a follow-up email that is polite, professional, and concise will help keep the conversation going.
How to Write a Follow-Up Email
When writing a follow-up email, you should:
- Decide on a clear objective
- Craft a strong subject line
- Remember to provide context
- End with a call to action
Here we’ll discuss each of these points in more detail.
1. Decide on a Clear Objective
What are your reasons for sending a follow-up email?
Whether you’re looking for an answer to a query or the payment of an invoice, you should always keep your objective in mind. Knowing what you want to achieve will help you plan and write your email to prompt the desired response.
2. Craft a Strong Subject Line
You don’t want your follow-up email to get lost in a busy inbox.
Coming up with an eye-catching subject line will make it more likely that the recipient will click through, read, and respond to your email. Make sure the subject line is relevant to the content of the email but brief enough that it doesn’t get cut off.
3. Remember to Provide Context
When you start writing your follow-up email, make sure you provide context for the recipient early on to jog their memory. This can be a line or two referencing any previous communication you have had and why you’re contacting them now.
For example, if you were following up on an introductory call with a new client, you might mention the date of that call and briefly summarize what was discussed.
4. End with a Call to Action
The purpose of writing a follow-up email is to prompt the recipient to do something.
So when bringing your email to a close, finish up with a call to action that makes it clear what you would like them to do next. This is also a good place to mention any deadlines that the recipient needs to respond to or take action by.
Follow-Up Email Examples
Not all follow-up emails will look the same. In fact, as we discussed above, it’s important to tailor a follow up email to the recipient and your own objectives.
We’ve provided some examples of common follow-up emails that you can use for inspiration when writing your own:
- Following up after an introductory call
- Following up on an unpaid invoice
- Following up after a networking event
Following Up After an Introductory Call
Introductory calls and other onboarding methods can help you and a client decide if you’re a good fit for the job at hand.
Send a follow-up email like the one below to help turn an introductory call into a successful client conversion.
Subject: [Your name/company] and [client’s name]
Hi [Client’s name],
It was a pleasure chatting with you during our call on [date of call]. It sounds like we’ll make a great team!
As we discussed, I have attached my new client questionnaire and terms of service below.
If you could, please complete the questionnaire and return it to me by [deadline]. Once I’ve received it, I can get started on putting together our contract.
Do let me know if you have any questions. And if you would like to schedule another call, you can do so using the link below.
Following Up on an Unpaid Invoice
Sometimes freelance clients don’t pay on time. This can be frustrating, but it’s important to politely reach out to your client to find a resolution.
You can use the email template below to follow up on an unpaid invoice.
Subject: Invoice Payment Due [date]
Hello [client’s name],
I hope you’re keeping well.
I’m contacting you about an invoice I sent on [date] for [service]. I haven’t yet received your payment, so I wanted to make sure that you got the invoice. If not, I have reattached it here.
Please remember that this invoice needs to be paid by [deadline]. You can do so via [payment options].
If you’re having difficulty paying it, send me a message and we’ll work something out.
Following Up After a Networking Event
Networking events are great ways for freelancers to meet potential clients, contacts, and other professionals.
If you’ve met an individual or company at a networking event and would like to continue contact with them, a follow-up email like this one might do the trick.
Subject: Job Shadowing at [company name]
Hello [recipient’s name],
We met recently at [networking event] after your talk on [subject].
You mentioned then that your company was offering job shadowing opportunities for freelancers.
If possible, could you please send me more information about these shadowing opportunities? I’m extremely interested in taking part but would like to know more before I commit.
Here at Knowadays, our courses come with a guaranteed work offer. This takes some of the stress out of freelancing, as you don’t have to do the heavy lifting when it comes to finding and managing clients.