In business, whether it's team meetings, sales conversations, or networking events, following up effectively is just as important as the meeting itself.
Recognizing that your time is valuable, we’ve gone beyond just offering tips. We’ve prepared six practical email templates to simplify communication after meetings.
Let’s explore these best practices and templates together to refine your follow-up approach and guarantee that your meetings will lead to concrete advancements and fruitful collaborations.
What Is a Follow-Up?
A follow-up refers to keeping in touch and sustaining dialogue following an initial encounter, discussion, interaction, or event. It ensures that plans and decisions made in initial meetings are actually implemented. They help track progress and make necessary adjustments.
That's why process is vital across multiple areas, including healthcare, education, personal engagements, and business meetings.
To chose the right type of follow-up after a meeting you should consider the length and complexity of your message, as well as the kind of response you're looking for. The form your follow-up takes can differ depending on the situation, and there are various methods to choose from.
A phone call is compelling when the follow-up requires a one-on-one conversation with just one other individual to complete the necessary post-meeting actions effectively.
A practical example could be:
Jane: Hi Alex, it's Jane from XYZ Corp. Just following up on the proposal we sent. Any thoughts?
Alex: Hi Jane. Yes, I've looked at it. Can we discuss adjusting the timeline and expanding the digital campaign?
Organizing a face-to-face follow-up meeting would be the most suitable approach if your message extends beyond 150 words, demands contributions from several individuals, or calls for detailed, nuanced responses.
In case a meeting becomes necessary, it's crucial to bring along the action items identified in the initial meeting and use the opportunity to review their current progress and status.
If you can briefly summarize the meeting in 150 words or less, you should use a follow up email. It should be:
- concise and clear
- summarize key points and next steps
- be sent only to meeting attendees, especially if it’s sensitive.
It’s essential to send this email promptly, ideally within 24 hours after the meeting, to maintain momentum and avoid missing deadlines or demotivating employees.
After this quick intro, let's dive into the details of writing a follow-up email.
How to Write a Follow-up Email After a Meeting
Here’s how to craft a follow-up email:
1. Subject line: Mention the meeting’s date and time to clarify the focus of your meeting follow up email. Ensure that you send the email to every person who was at the meeting, even if they were late or had to leave early. Be precise in your wording, using terms like “Follow-up” or “Meeting Recap.”
Here's some examples for a worth subject line as :
- Thank You - [Your Name] Interview for [Position]
- Recap of Today's Meeting - Next Steps
- Read This Now!
- You Haven't Responded Yet
2. Greeting: When starting your follow-up email, it's important to acknowledge and appreciate the attendees for taking time out of their busy schedules to participate. Begin with a polite and appropriate greeting like “Dear [Name]” or “Hello [Team/Group Name],” and include a brief thank-you note for their time and contributions.
I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to extend my gratitude for your time and valuable input during our recent meeting. Your participation was greatly appreciated.
3. Brief recap: In some situations, it's necessary to provide a concise summary of the main topics covered in the meeting. Such an overview is recommended in remote meetings, because attendees might miss crucial points due to various distractions.
An example of a brief description to add to follow-up email could be:
"To summarize, we agreed on the new project timelines. Steve will handle the budget, and Phillip will take care of recruitment process, with a deadline of April 1st."
4. Meeting purpose achievement: Consider adding a brief bullet list summarizing the primary objectives or outcomes of the meeting and whether these were met. This approach demonstrates to the team that the meeting had a precise aim and that their participation was effectively utilized. Additionally, it serves as a written benchmark for future meetings, noting the goals that were intended to be reached.
Thank you all for your valuable contributions in our meeting on [Date]. I wanted to quickly recap the key points we discussed and the outcomes we achieved:
- Objective 1: [Brief description of the objective]
- Outcome: [What was achieved or decided regarding this objective]
- Objective 2: [Brief description of the objective]
- Outcome: [What was achieved or decided regarding this objective]
- Objective 3: [Brief description of the objective]
- Outcome: [What was achieved or decided regarding this objective]
5. Scheduling a follow-up meeting: If there’s a need for another meeting to discuss unresolved issues or to go over the action items, mention this in your email. This heads-up helps participants anticipate and prepare for the next meeting. Also, invite the same group of people present at the initial meeting.
6. Adding attachments when relevant: If there are documents related to the meeting, feel free to attach them to your email. These could include the presentation used, the minutes of the meeting, or any other materials referenced during the discussion.
7. Concluding thoughts: In wrapping up your email, it’s beneficial to leave things on an uplifting and constructive note. You should foster a spirit of teamwork and express a hopeful outlook regarding the project or the tasks that lie ahead. This kind of positive closure can inspire and motivate the other attendees, leading to a more enthusiastic and engaged response from them.
For example: “Thank you for your time” or “Thank you for considering my request”.
8. Formal farewell: When signing off, it’s essential to maintain a professional tone. Opt for customary closings such as “Best regards” or “Sincerely.” Following this, include your full name and essential contact details to add a touch of formality and provide the recipients with the necessary information to get back in touch with you.
9. Meticulous review: Thoroughly checking your email before hitting send is always a good practice. Please pay close attention to the email’s overall clarity and tone. Make sure there are no grammatical or spelling errors. A well-proofread email reflects your professionalism and attention to detail, ensuring that the message is clear and well-received by its recipients.
Now let's put these tips to practice.
5 Follow-up Email Templates
Before giving examples of templates, it’s relevant to remember how a follow-up email is built.
The structure consists of a:
- Subject line: It serves as your recipient’s first point of contact. It should grab their attention and give them a clear idea of the email’s content.
- Body: The body of the email is where you articulate the main message. It’s where you provide details about the follow-up. It should be clear, concise, and structured for easy reading.
- Conclusion: It refers to the closing section where you wrap up your communication. Gratitude helps in building a positive relationship and encourages a favorable response.
Below, we propose six scenarios regarding follow-up email:
(1) Post-Interview Follow-up Email
Subject: Thank You - [Your Name] Interview for [Position]
Dear [Interviewer's Name],
Thank you for the opportunity to interview for the [Position] role yesterday. I enjoyed our conversation about [specific topic discussed] and learning more about [something specific about the company or role].
I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of joining [Company Name] and contributing to [specific project or role-related task]. Please let me know if there's any additional information I can provide.
Looking forward to hearing from you regarding the next steps.
(2) After a Networking Event
Subject: Great Connecting at [Event Name]
Hi [Contact's Name],
It was a pleasure meeting you at [Event Name]. I really enjoyed our discussion about [specific topic]. As someone passionate about [related field or topic], I found your insights extremely valuable.
I’d love to stay in touch and perhaps discuss [a topic of mutual interest] further. Are you available for a coffee next week?
(3) Post-meeting Follow-up
Subject: Recap of Today's Meeting - Next Steps
Hello [Team or Individual's Name],
Thank you for the productive meeting today. To summarize, we agreed on [brief summary of decisions and action items]. [Name] will handle [task], and [Name] will take care of [another task], with a deadline of [date].
Please find attached [any relevant documents or minutes]. Let me know if there are any discrepancies or additional points to add.
Looking forward to our continued progress on this project.
(4) Follow-up With a Prospect or Client
Subject: Checking In - [Your Company/Product Name]
Hi [Prospect's Name],
I hope you’re doing well. I wanted to follow up on our previous conversation about [product or service]. Have you had a chance to consider [specific question or proposition]?
I believe [product/service] can greatly help your team with [specific benefit]. If you have any questions or need further information, I'm here to help.
Looking forward to your thoughts.
(5) Reminder for Upcoming Deadline or Meeting
Subject: Reminder: [Meeting/Deadline] on [Date]
Dear [Recipient's Name],
I hope you're doing well. I'm just touching base to remind you of our upcoming [meeting/deadline] on [date and time], following up on our previous discussion.
If you need any more information or resources in advance, please feel free to reach out.
Warm regards, [Your Name]
Tips for Successful Follow Up
Emphasizing post-meeting processes can significantly enhance the effectiveness of meetings, leading to concrete and measurable results. Key areas to concentrate on after a meeting include:
Take Notes of the Meeting
Assign someone the role of note-taking during the meeting. This responsibility can rotate among the team or be assigned to a specific individual. The person in charge should:
- Listen attentively to document the discussions and decisions accurately.
- Quickly prepare a recap of the meeting for all involved.
Organize the report following the agenda’s order. It should be shared with all attendees, managers, and other relevant individuals, ideally within 24 to 48 hours after the meeting.
Also, the person leading the meeting should:
- Highlight the main points and tasks to be undertaken.
- Set clear deadlines for these tasks, ensuring everyone agrees these are achievable.
- Detail the work required.
- Provide space for updating progress.
Sharing the action plan is effectively done through email, for example. When sending it, the email’s subject could be labeled “updated action plan, [date]” to communicate that the document contains recent updates on project activities.
Struggling to take notes during the meeting?
By using Wudpecker for your note-taking needs, you'll discover that you have considerably more time to actively participate in and enjoy the meeting. This is thanks to its AI-generated notes, which reduce the usual concerns and labor involved in manual note-taking.
Maintaining clear, brief, and regular communication with management and staff is vital to showcasing ongoing progress and fostering trust and confidence.
Gentle reminders help people stay on track, avoiding the awkwardness of admitting unfulfilled commitments in future meetings.It could be a concise email or a written memo that briefly highlights the week’s activities using bullet points.
Additionally, update the action plan monthly (or more often if needed) and share it with physicians, managers, and staff.
Preparation for Progress Updates
About a week before the meeting, request that each individual responsible for a task prepare a progress report.
Depending on the project’s significance and available time, these updates can be submitted in written format or presented verbally during the meeting.
Differences Between a Follow up Meeting and a Catch-up Meeting
Understanding the differences between follow-up and catch-up meetings is helpful, especially in a business context, as they serve distinct purposes and follow different protocols. Here's a comparative section between these two:
- Context: Often occurs in a business meeting setting.
- Purpose: To discuss progress on action items from the last meeting, make critical decisions, and keep the project moving forward.
- Preparation: Setting an agenda to get ready for the follow-up meeting, reviewing past discussions, and informing participants of the upcoming discussion.
- Content: Focuses on the key points discussed in the previous meeting, decision-making, and reviewing action items.
- Participants: Typically, the same meeting attendees were part of the original discussion or project team.
- Communication: Articulating the outcomes of the meeting through a detailed follow-up email, ensuring everyone is aware of the decisions made and the actions required moving forward.
- Outcome: Progress on specific topics or projects, ensuring everyone is on the same page and understands their responsibilities.
- Context: More informal, can occur after networking events or within team meetings to build professional relationships.
- Purpose: To reconnect, discuss various topics, share insider tips, or discuss career paths. It’s less about specific outcomes and more about maintaining connections.
- Preparation: This may require less detailed agenda-setting; a brief recap of previous informal discussions might suffice.
- Content: Covers a broader range of topics, not necessarily focused on specific business objectives or critical metrics.
- Participants: Can include a broader range of individuals, not limited to those involved in a specific project or task.
- Communication: Follow-up messages might be less formal, sometimes just expressing gratitude for the meeting and highlighting exciting discussion points.
- Outcome: Based on strengthened relationships, shared information, and general updates rather than concrete business decisions or actions.
In both cases, it’s vital to have well-organized notes, clear communication, and a follow-up strategy.
While follow-up and catch-up meetings are integral to maintaining effective communication and relationships in a professional setting, their objectives and formats differ significantly.
In summary, follow-ups are useful for effective professional communication, reinforcing important points, outlining next steps, and strengthening business relationships.
By focusing on careful planning, attention to detail, and a respectful approach, your follow-up meetings or emails play a significant role in your professional success and the advancement of your projects.
They go beyond just recapping meetings, as they are vital in maintaining and building professional relationships, showcasing commitment, and ensuring that everyone involved is informed and aligned with the project’s objectives.
How do you politely follow up a meeting?
To conduct a polite follow-up after a business meeting, write a follow-up email with a clear subject line referencing the meeting date or key topic. In the email, express gratitude for the attendees' time and contribution, and provide a brief recap of the key points discussed. Ensure the message is well-organized with bullet points for clarity. Mention any action items, and gently remind attendees of the next steps or the next meeting to keep everyone on the same page.
How do you follow up after meeting someone?
After meeting someone at a networking event or business meeting, send a follow-up message or email. Begin with a friendly greeting and mention it was a pleasure meeting them. Discuss any key topics or career paths you talked about and suggest further discussion if relevant. A quick reminder of any important points or a kind gesture like offering assistance or resources can help solidify the professional relationship.
How do you write a follow up meeting note?
Writing follow-up meeting notes involves summarizing the meeting effectively. Start with the meeting date and attendees' names, followed by a quick recap of the agenda and key decisions made. List the action items, specifying who is responsible for each and their deadlines. Keep the notes concise yet comprehensive, ensuring they serve as a reliable record of the meeting. Distribute the notes promptly post-meeting to maintain progress.
Why should you follow up after a meeting?
Following up after a meeting is crucial for several reasons. It ensures all participants are aligned with the decisions and understand the next steps, reinforcing key takeaways from the meeting. This practice is vital in maintaining momentum, encouraging accountability for action items, and fostering professional relationships. Follow-ups also provide a written record of the meeting, which is essential for tracking progress and ensuring that nothing is overlooked in busy schedules.