Stop With the "Just Checking In" Emails: Here‘s What to Do Instead

Follow-up emails are a crucial component of any successful sales strategy, but crafting effective messages that engage prospects and drive conversions can be a challenge. One of the most common mistakes salespeople make is sending the dreaded "just checking in" email. In this article, we‘ll explore why these emails are ineffective, and provide actionable strategies for creating follow-ups that build relationships and generate results.

The Psychology Behind "Just Checking In" Emails

On the surface, "just checking in" emails might seem like a harmless way to stay in touch with prospects. However, these messages often have the opposite effect, damaging relationships and hindering sales efforts. Here‘s why:

  1. Lack of Value: "Just checking in" emails rarely provide any real value to the recipient. They don‘t offer new insights, address specific pain points, or move the conversation forward. As a result, prospects may feel like you‘re wasting their time.

  2. Implicit Pushy Sales Tactics: While "just checking in" emails may not explicitly push for a sale, they often carry an underlying tone of pressure. Recipients may feel like you‘re trying to force a response or move them closer to a purchase before they‘re ready.

  3. Impersonal and Generic: These emails are often generic and lack personalization, making them feel like a mass-produced template rather than a genuine attempt to connect with the prospect. This can damage trust and credibility.

  4. Lack of Respect for Prospect‘s Time: Sending "just checking in" emails without a clear purpose or value proposition can signal that you don‘t respect your prospect‘s time and priorities. This can lead to disengagement and unsubscribes.

Let‘s take a look at an example of a typical "just checking in" email:

Subject: Checking In

Hi [Prospect Name],

I just wanted to check in and see if you had any thoughts about our previous discussion. Have you had a chance to review the proposal I sent over?

Please let me know if you have any questions or if there‘s anything else I can help with.

Best,
[Your Name]

While this email might seem innocuous, it fails to provide value, comes across as pushy, and lacks personalization. Now, let‘s explore some alternative approaches that can help you create more effective follow-up emails.

The Importance of Effective Follow-Up Emails

Before diving into specific strategies, let‘s examine why effective follow-up emails are so critical to sales success. Consider these recent statistics:

  • According to a study by the RAIN Group, it takes an average of 8 touches to get an initial meeting (or other conversion) with a new prospect. (Source: RAIN Group)
  • However, 44% of salespeople give up after just one follow-up attempt. (Source: Scripted)
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. (Source: Invespcro)
  • Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. (Source: The Annuitas Group)

These data points highlight the importance of persistent, yet effective follow-up emails in the sales process. By providing value, building trust, and staying top-of-mind with prospects, you can significantly improve your chances of converting leads into customers.

Strategies for Creating Effective Follow-Up Emails

Now that we understand the psychology behind "just checking in" emails and the importance of effective follow-ups, let‘s explore some actionable strategies for crafting messages that engage prospects and drive results.

1. Provide Valuable Insights and Resources

One of the most effective ways to create compelling follow-up emails is to provide valuable insights and resources that address your prospect‘s specific needs and pain points. This could include:

  • Relevant industry reports or whitepapers
  • Case studies showcasing how you‘ve helped similar companies achieve their goals
  • Informative blog posts or articles that offer practical advice and solutions
  • Invitations to upcoming webinars or events that align with their interests

By sharing valuable content, you demonstrate your expertise, build trust, and position yourself as a helpful resource rather than just another salesperson.

Example:

Subject: [Prospect Name], thought you might find this useful

Hi [Prospect Name],

During our last conversation, you mentioned that you were struggling with [specific challenge]. I came across this recent industry report that provides some valuable insights on how companies like yours are addressing this issue:

[Link to Industry Report]

The report highlights three key strategies that have proven effective:

1. [Strategy 1]
2. [Strategy 2]
3. [Strategy 3]

I‘d be happy to discuss how our solution aligns with these best practices and can help you overcome [specific challenge]. If you‘re interested, feel free to book a quick call with me here: [Scheduling Link]

Best,
[Your Name]

2. Ask Thoughtful Questions

Another effective strategy for creating engaging follow-up emails is to ask thoughtful, open-ended questions that encourage prospects to share more about their needs, challenges, and goals. By showing genuine interest and curiosity, you can build rapport and gather valuable insights that help you tailor your approach.

Example:

Subject: Quick question, [Prospect Name]

Hi [Prospect Name],

I‘ve been reflecting on our previous discussion and wanted to follow up with a couple of questions that might help me better understand your situation:

1. What are the top three priorities for your team in the next quarter?
2. How do you currently measure success in [relevant area]?
3. What obstacles do you anticipate in achieving your goals?

I‘m asking because I want to ensure that any solutions we discuss are aligned with your specific needs and objectives. If you have a few minutes to share your thoughts, I‘d greatly appreciate it.

Best,
[Your Name]

3. Share Relevant Case Studies and Success Stories

Case studies and success stories are powerful tools for demonstrating the value of your solution and building credibility with prospects. By sharing real-world examples of how you‘ve helped similar companies achieve their goals, you can make a compelling case for why your prospect should consider working with you.

Example:

Subject: How [Company Name] achieved [Result] with [Your Solution]

Hi [Prospect Name],

I wanted to share a recent success story that I thought might be relevant to your situation. Our client, [Company Name], was facing similar challenges to what you described in our last conversation, specifically [specific challenge].

By implementing our [Your Solution], they were able to:

- [Result 1]
- [Result 2]
- [Result 3]

You can read the full case study here: [Link to Case Study]

I‘d be happy to discuss how we could potentially help you achieve similar results. If you‘re open to exploring this further, please let me know a convenient time for a brief call.

Best,
[Your Name]

Characteristics of Effective vs. Ineffective Follow-Up Emails

To summarize the key points we‘ve covered, let‘s take a look at a table comparing the characteristics of effective and ineffective follow-up emails:

Effective Follow-Up Emails Ineffective Follow-Up Emails
Provide valuable insights and resources Lack value and relevance
Ask thoughtful, open-ended questions Pushy and sales-oriented
Share relevant case studies and success stories Generic and impersonal
Personalized and tailored to the prospect‘s needs Disrespectful of prospect‘s time
Demonstrate expertise and build credibility Damage trust and credibility
Encourage engagement and dialogue Lead to disengagement and unsubscribes

By focusing on the characteristics of effective follow-up emails and avoiding the pitfalls of "just checking in" messages, you can create a more successful and meaningful sales outreach strategy.

Leveraging Email Automation and Personalization Tools

To streamline your follow-up process and ensure that your messages are delivered at the right time and with the right content, consider leveraging email automation and personalization tools. These tools can help you:

  • Segment your prospect list based on specific criteria (e.g., industry, job title, behavior)
  • Create targeted email campaigns with personalized content for each segment
  • Schedule your follow-up emails based on predefined triggers or time intervals
  • Track email performance metrics (e.g., open rates, click-through rates, conversions)
  • Integrate with your CRM to keep prospect data up-to-date and accessible

Some popular email automation and personalization platforms include:

  1. HubSpot Sales Hub
  2. Mailchimp
  3. Salesforce Pardot
  4. Marketo
  5. ActiveCampaign

By using these tools in conjunction with the strategies outlined above, you can create a more efficient and effective follow-up email strategy that nurtures prospects, builds relationships, and ultimately drives more sales.

Conclusion and Next Steps

In today‘s competitive sales landscape, "just checking in" emails simply won‘t cut it. To engage prospects and drive conversions, you need to focus on creating follow-up emails that provide value, build trust, and demonstrate your expertise.

By implementing the strategies outlined in this article, including providing valuable insights and resources, asking thoughtful questions, sharing relevant case studies, and leveraging email automation and personalization tools, you can create a more effective and meaningful sales outreach strategy.

Remember, effective follow-up emails are essential for building long-term relationships with prospects and ultimately achieving your sales goals. By continuously refining your approach and staying focused on providing value, you can stand out from the competition and position yourself as a trusted partner in your prospects‘ success.

So, what are your next steps? Start by reviewing your current follow-up email strategy and identifying areas for improvement. Begin implementing the tips and examples provided in this article to craft more engaging, relevant, and valuable follow-ups for your prospects. Track your results, gather feedback, and continually iterate on your approach to optimize your performance over time.

By committing to a more thoughtful and strategic approach to follow-up emails, you can unlock the full potential of your sales outreach efforts and drive sustainable success for your business.