Follow up on your meeting with an email: Recap decisions, reaffirm priorities, and confirm next steps.
How to build a happier, more productive team through better meeting processes
Meetings don’t end once you’ve closed your laptop.
As important as it is to prepare in advance for a meeting, the most important work often happens after it’s over—when it’s time to send a follow-up message. This is where the meeting host can recap decisions, reaffirm priorities, and speak to next steps.
While sending a follow-up email or message may seem optional for the novice meeting host, those that do send them often treat these emails like a mundane formality without any purpose.
Instead of viewing post-meeting follow-up as optional, treat it like a necessary step towards accomplishing your team’s goals.
This follow-up is often an email, but it also might be meeting notes shared in Slack or Microsoft Teams, or a comment in some other forum. If you use a meeting management tool like Fellow, the follow-up might be a hybrid of those two- you can share the full meeting notes and include a written recap at the top.
Regardless of the channel you choose, these same concepts apply, and you can use these templates as a starting point for a post in any other communication channel where you find yourself writing a follow-up after a meeting.
The components of your follow-up email will differ somewhat based on meeting type, but these messages generally contain a combination of some or all of the following:
While it may seem like a lengthy list, these emails are usually short enough for recipients to read quickly while being comprehensive enough for them to grasp the full scope of not only what they discussed, but what’s to come.
Let’s say an engineering manager met with his team to discuss the possibility of hiring contractors to help expedite production.
During the meeting, team members may have expressed a variety of concerns around this—from questions about job security to concerns about code quality. In their follow-up email, the head of engineering could cite one of these concerns while briefly outlining the action items needed to alleviate them.
When deployed correctly, a post-meeting follow-up email enables managers to make sure their team knows they’re listening and plans to act on their concerns accordingly.
Different meetings beget different follow-up emails. An external sales meeting, for instance, requires an entirely different type of follow-up than an internal one.
Here are some considerations for your next follow-up email based on meeting type:
Building camaraderie and consensus is important in team meetings and your follow-up email should reflect this. If team members raise valid concerns during a meeting, make sure to address them in your email. Bonus points for including proposed next steps around tackling these challenges. For meetings without friction, use follow-up emails to provide resources and next steps.
Every interaction during the sales process strives to extend the relationship with your potential client or customer. Use follow-up emails to realign with leads and prospects, showcase your listening skills with relevant takeaways from the conversation, and provide relevant educational resources that might solve some of their challenges.
Whether you’re a product marketer or a customer success manager, meeting with customers can unearth a wealth of insights about their professional challenges and how well your product or service is helping to solve them. Use follow-up emails to give thanks, recap some of their key gripes, and outline how your team will work towards improvement moving forward.
Marketers sometimes conduct informational interviews where they chat with someone at another company (who isn’t a customer) purely for the purpose of gaining industry-related information—usually to produce some type of content or asset. Use follow-up emails to thank them for the time, remind them how you plan to use their insights, and invite them to ask questions.
A follow-up email may seem simple on the surface, but following the best practices below will ensure you get it right the first time around:
So that it is instantly clear what your email is about, tailor your subject line to the meeting topic (e.g. “Hiring contractors follow-up”).
Thank recipients for their participation, even if you were doing them a favor taking the meeting.
If you're in charge of what happens next, reiterate what you're going to do and by when. Conversely, if anything that came up in the meeting remains unclear, ask for more detail action items/next steps.
You're most likely sending a follow-up email to set a good impression, among other things. Proofread your email to make sure what you've written is clear and error-free.
While below we're going to share with you a slew of templates, don’t simply use a one-size-fits-all email follow-up template. Fill in the gaps with information that relates to the meeting and who attended it.
It's usually best to send the email within a day of the meeting. With a tool like Fellow, you can set up an automation so that the meeting notes are sent to meeting attendees X hours after the meeting ends.
When scheduling a meeting, share your agenda or meeting topics in advance. This is also a great way to encourage participants to prepare for the meeting and have an idea about what is going to be discussed.
Your email can be only one or two paragraphs, including necessary information. A message should be short, straightforward, and simple.
Even the templates in this article could be trimmed down. Some are left a little bit longer in order to make more sense out of context.
While personalization is important, having a template can make it easier to write follow-up emails more efficiently. Of course, follow best practices for written communication at work. Here’s a basic framework for creating your own.
Here are some follow-up email templates for you to copy.
Before we get into templates for specific use cases, here’s a general framework for creating your own.
Thanks for [describe your meeting]. It was great to discuss [topic] and I appreciate your [specific feedback] on [specific problem or professional challenge].
As discussed, moving forward we’ll [detail next steps].
Here are [links to essential resources needed for action items]:
We’re slated to meet again to [next milestone] where we can review our progress.
Please let me know if you have any questions.
For an easy and efficient way to keep your team members, email them a weekly update on how your meeting went. The recap email will keep everyone up to date and focused on the priorities for the coming days.
Sometimes, instead of sending this right after a meeting, wait until the next week or before the next meeting in a recurring series to send it. That way the message will be a nice reminder of the previous conversations
Here are the notes from today's [meeting name].
- [summarize the meeting topic or main points]
- [what was decided or resolved at the meeting]
- [top priorities for the week]
- [action items assigned to each member]
If any updates are necessary, reply to this email with your comments.
Thank you again for your valued contribution in the meeting. If you have any questions or need further clarification, please let me know.
Sincerely, [your name]
When your customer takes time to sit down with you, always thank them for the opportunity.
Thanks for taking the time to meet on Friday. We've been working hard to [solve a problem for your customer or assist them with a goal] and your feedback has been invaluable.
As we talked about, [reiterate any next steps, who is handling them, and what expectations the customer should have.]
[Attach or link to the full meeting notes if you have them.]
[Attach or link to any resources you said you would.]
The meeting recap is also a great way to follow up on a sales conversation after a meeting. However, instead of supplying detailed meeting notes, you should generally focus on the main topic of the meeting.
In the case of a follow-up after a first sales meeting, your meeting follow-up email template is going to look something like this:
Great chatting yesterday about how [Company] is facing [main challenge or goal your product or service helps solve.] As we spoke about, we've helped [names of similar companies] on that issue and I think we can be of service here as well: [Attach or link to a resource.]
[Insert a call to action for the best next step in your sales process]
No matter how well you think an interview went, you should always follow up your meeting with a potential employer. They may have additional questions about your career or want to offer feedback about the interview. A thoughtful follow-up email will help reinforce any positive feelings they had about your performance.
You will most likely be expected to follow up via email.
Also, use the name of the person you interviewed within the subject line. This will make sure your email gets noticed.
Here a job formal interview follow-up email:
Thank you very much for meeting with me yesterday. I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with you and your staff, and am grateful for the time you spent with me. I look forward to hearing from you regarding the position.
Your name here.
And here's a less formal version more suitable to SMBs and start-ups.
I had a great time at the interview yesterday. I felt like part of the team already.
I was especially thrilled to hear about the plans for expansion and the new direction you're taking since it synergizes so perfectly with my experience.
Please know that I'm extremely excited about the possibility of working together and if you need any further information from me to aid in your decision.
Usually, the most polite thing to do is be friendly, brief, and get to the point.
I hope you're doing well! I wanted to follow up on the conference we met at last month. I have a question for you about the specification of your project."
Simple and to the point for an email subject line is often best. Here are some examples:
You can also omit the meeting title or name entirely and do something like:
The best recap email is as short as possible and as long as necessary. It has the right amount of information to serve its purpose, without being loaded down with extra details.
For a salesperson, this might be a very short affirmation of a prospect's main challenge, how the salesperson can help overcome that challenge, and a proposed next step.
For a team leader, a meeting recap email could be detailed notes that cover the entire agenda.
Whatever meeting you're sending a recap email for, think about who you are sending that email to. What do they need to get out of the email? Send it with that in mind.
"Thank you," doesn't have to be a tricky expression. It's more about how you say it than what you say.
Tips for saying thank you after an in-person meeting:
If you do want to say a little more than simply, "Thank you," you may want to try one of the following:
It's generally best to send a thank you within 24 hours of having a meeting, but also not immediately after. (Don't be so eager that you send your thank you email from your phone on the way out.) Generally, something within the 1-24 hour range is good. Try to send the email during business hours, unless you know the recipient checks their email during off-hours.
A downloadable checklist, plus tips for preparing for your next important meeting.
Better staff meetings = a better workplace. Learn the dos and don'ts. Plus, grab 3 FREE agenda templates for team meetings. 🙌