Sales email tip: prospects hate when you “just check in”

Sales email tip: prospects hate when you “just check in”

A sales email tip I received helped me rethink my email content strategy, and it’s painfully simple. Don’t “check in”. Start asking “How can I add value to my sales emails?” before you click send.

You probably know the classic “just checking in” email, but I’ll summarize it to help jog your memory:

Hi Mr. ZYX,

Hope you’re doing well!

I’m just checking in on my last email because I haven’t heard back yet. I’m wondering if you want to look at SuperProduct™ again.

If you need any more information let me know!

sales email tip don't check in
These guys are “just checking in” too….

We’ve all send that email, and quite frankly it sucks. It does nothing for your prospect, and even less for you.

Sales professionals love “checking in” because it’s simple. When we get a response it seems like being direct worked. We pat ourselves on the back and move on, because the prospect responded.

The problem is we don’t consider how our emails affect prospects that don’t respond. Your aim with sales emails should be to make an impact even if the prospect doesn’t respond.

If they think your information is valuable, they might speak to you again the future. If they don’t think it’s created value, they probably won’t.

Your prospects are getting 100+ emails a day. Getting their attention is hard. If you’re lucky to get it, make sure you’re using it effectively.

Our first message usually isn’t the one that gets us a meeting. It can take many calls, emails, and InMails to reach our target.

Develop a mental note in your head every time you send a message: how can I add value to this sales email? 

Your weak sales email game could be much worse than you think..

Most sales professionals don’t understand the impact of their rejected messages

Sales email rejection can affect future email deliverability

Make no mistake: the prospect saw your sales email, noticed that you called, and ignored your InMail. But how they did it should be very important to you.

Was it marked spam? That would be terrible. You will never get into that prospects email inbox again.

Even worse: when your email is marked spam, it affects your email deliverability with entire email service providers ( e.g. Gmail, Microsoft Exchange, etc.).

Gmail thinks less of your credibility as a sender when someone marks your message as spam. When your credibility drops, they make it harder to get into inboxes that they manage. Gmail thinking you’re not a reputable emailer is disastrous.

Destroying your email deliverability is no joke. The grass might be green now, but it will brown quickly if you have bad email game. You lose a whole communication method if you can’t get into inboxes.

There is a silver lining to email deliverability, however. If your emails continuously engage readers by getting opened at a high rate, ESP’s will think of you as more credible. With more credibility, ESP’s will make it easier to get into inboxes.

When your send effective emails it can help make all of your future emails more effective.

HubSpot has a great section in their Academy about email deliverability. It’s a must-watch for sales professionals that email often. HubSpot explains how email deliverability works, why it’s important, and how to avoid potentially damaging practices.

Hubspot sales email tip email deliverability
Hubspot is the go-to place for inbound marketing knowledge and sales email tips. This section on email deliverability will teach you everything you need to know.

HubSpot is an inbound marketing company, but they have sales training too.

If you want to brush up on your email skills check out the  HubSpot Academy. There are valuable sales email tips throughout. You can even get a certification at the end that allows you to put a badge on your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn InMail message rejection can shut down a prospect for good

sales email tip linkedin quick repliesLinkedIn has a ‘quick response‘ feature that gives users three choices when responding to your InMail: interested, maybe later, and not interested.

You should be conscious of what button is getting pushed when you send InMails. Look for trends to see if you’re InMail strategy is working, or if it needs improvement.

If your InMail wasn’t accepted, did they leave the dialogue open by marking the message “Maybe Later”?

The “Not Interested” response ends the conversation forever.

“Maybe Later” lets you reach back out at another time. Work on making sure this is the main type of ‘no‘ you get.

If you’ve provided value with your InMail, you will get more “Maybe Later” and “interested” quick-responses.

InMails are great because prospects don’t get as many LinkedIn messages as emails. It can be a path of least resistance.

LinkedIn is about networking. Ask yourself if you’re providing value to the person you’re trying to network with. Don’t be surprised when prospects refuse to connect with you if you haven’t created value.

InMails are a great way to start building a relationship, but the relationship can end with the click of a button. Make sure you can afford to lose a LinkedIn prospect if your InMail strategy is weak.

I found the article “6 Tips for Writing a Kick-Ass InMail” insightful. It has good suggestions like adding personalization from the users profile.

Sales email tips for the 3 types of “check in” scenarios

So why do sales professionals ‘check in’ anyways?

There are 3 scenarios where reps “just check in”. Your strategy should depend on which stage of the sales process you’re in.

1) You’re pretty sure that the opportunity is dead and seeing if you can get a fluke deal

Sales email tip: try to kill opportunities as soon as they look dead
This is not a prospect. He is not going to buy from you and you know it.

If you’re pretty sure the opportunity is dead try to kill it. There’s no reason to waste time.

You know when you’re chasing something that probably doesn’t exist. There was probably an ignored sales email, a number of ignored calls, and perhaps a LinkedIn message that went unanswered for you to get to this point.

Put the ball in the prospects court and move on. If they wanted your service they would have purchased it.

The best way to do this is to put them in a position to say “no”. Sales professionals shouldn’t hate ‘no’ as much as we’ve been lead to believe. “No” in this case lets you move on and stop wasting time:

Hi Mr. XYZ,

I’ve reached out to you a bunch of times regarding SuperProduct™, but haven’t been able to get a hold of you. I’m sure things are busy. It seems like this isn’t a solution you’re looking at pursuing at right now.

I appreciate you taking the time to look at our solution, and if you ever need more info don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll leave the ball in your court for now and let you reach back out to me should you want to re-start our conversation.


Save your dignity, their time, and end things on a professional note. Chances are your prospect has been looking for an out. They’ll be happy you gave them one.

Your prospect will respond quickly if they are still interested. You called out the fact that they’ve been non-responsive. The prospect will apologize and suggest a time to talk soon if they want to continue the discussion.

Trust me, this works surprisingly well.

2) You’re trying to remain top of mind because you think the prospect might buy in the future

Sales email tip: send valuable emails that prospects want to read
This is what a prospect about to delete your email looks like

“Checking in” is not the best way to stay top of mind.

The only thing top of mind is you annoying them with a message that creates zero value, except to service as a reminder in case they’re forgetful (they probably aren’t).

The best way to stay top of mind is to send something interesting. You want the prospect to remember the benefits of your solution. The goal is to bring back the excitement they had during, and immediately after the demo.

Always ask yourself: “how can I add value to this sales email?”

We want the prospect to see working with you as a win even if they don’t buy your solution. You’re hoping they’ll buy, but you have to keep them engaged if you want to earn their business.

3) You’ve never connected with the prospect, and want to get them to read the other email you’ve ignored!

Sales email tip: create value for target accounts and they will be more likely to listen
She looks like she’s going to poke me. That’s how sales emails that don’t create any value make prospects feel.

They ignored your first (or potentially 2nd, 5th, 10th?) email for a reason.

The might have been busy, but that’s the least likely scenario. They probably weren’t interested.

The prospect didn’t think your solution could create value. If the prospect really believed you could increase revenue by X%, they would make time to evaluate it.

Give them a reason to think working with you will create value for them. If you expect to get value (a meeting), you have to give value first.

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2 Replies to “Sales email tip: prospects hate when you “just check in””

    1. Thanks! If you think it might be valuable to others we’d really appreciate a share on LinkedIn.

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