How to Write a Follow-Up Letter

by WriteExpress Staff Writers

Follow-up letters are fairly standard but still must demonstrate your professionalism. They remind others of important events and occurrences, and they can help you get what you want.

  1. Be sure to show your interest and explain the benefits your contribution will make
    Address their requirements one by one, offering solutions for their needs.
  2. Send reminders about meetings and appointments in advance
    Give your recipient sufficient time to prepare or fulfill assignments. You may send other reminders as the need arises. The message should be brief and clearly stated to avoid misunderstandings.
  3. Reiterate the positive aspects of your service or product
    Gently urge your potential client to take the next step in negotiating a sale. If the reader has already expressed interest in your business, give a firm sales pitch without pushing too hard, highlighting the benefits of your product or service.
  4. Offer something new, such as more information or a special discount. Don't duplicate previous sales pitches.
  5. Indicate that you are willing to provide additional information or references (if applicable) when following up after an interview.
  6. Indicate to the recipient of the letter whether or not you need a response, and specify how the person can respond to you: via phone, e-mail, in person, or by mail.
  7. Send your follow-up letter promptly, especially after an interview (usually within 24 hours; 48 hours at the most).

    If you need to remind others of an important meeting or other event that was scheduled several weeks or months in advance, include in the letter the date, time, and location of the meeting, along with any other important information.

  8. Write a second letter
    If you do not receive a response from an initial follow-up letter, you may want to write a second letter. Include a copy of the previous follow-up letter with your new one, or repeat the message. Reiterate the importance of receiving a response.
  9. Avoid negative remarks
    If you do not receive a response after a first letter, do not imply in later letters that the reader is forgetful, thoughtless, or negligent, as this will likely make him or her feel defensive. Showing your frustration will usually make the situation worse.

    Be sure to show your interest and explain the benefits your contribution will make.