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Sales - 6 min READ

Just checking in: 4 better ways to write a follow-up

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Author photo: Kent Holland

Kent Holland

Vice President of Sales at Copper

Ever spent what seemed like an eternity drafting a “just checking in” email, only to send it and hear... nothing back?

If you’re like most salespeople, you probably have.

After all, the average salesperson spends 21% of their day writing emails.

The problem is that the typical check-in email goes like this:


It’s Daniele from

Just checking in to see if you had a chance to go through our proposal.


Follow-ups like this are the business equivalent of receiving “Sup?” texts from an acquaintance you barely remember and haven’t seen in ages.

Sometimes, a "just checking in" email may not be the best option.

In this post, we'll look at four different, more unique ways of approaching the "just checking in" email:

We'll go through why they work and examples of each type of email. Let's start writing better emails.

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Use these 4 alternatives to “just checking in” emails:

There’s no perfect alternative to this email... but there are a few follow-up sales emails you can rely on to get back on your prospect’s radar.

1. The “here’s more information” email

Prospects sometimes require a bit more information before making a buying decision.

This is particularly applicable to more technical and high-end offerings like accounting software and B2B hosting.

You might not have provided enough information in the initial email or sales call, so you can consider sending additional pieces of relevant content in the follow-up.

Here’s an example (courtesy of Flightfox):

It totally skips the “just checking in” and gets right to delivering value with a few FAQs.  

Though it’s crucial to give prospects as much detail as possible during the initial conversation, the “here’s more information” email can be a great follow-up if there was a question that went unanswered or needed input on your company’s part.

Most of the above example can be replicated, so you only need to make a few tweaks (like pointing visitors to a whitepaper instead of using an FAQ) before using it as your follow-up email.

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2. The recap email

Recap emails allow you to reference your first conversation with the prospect and how your solution could help address their pain points.

If a prospect is forgetful or distracted by the hundreds of emails in their inbox (and they usually are), giving a recap of the initial conversation you had with them can serve as an effective reminder that they’ve already spoken with you, and are yet to respond.

And, compared to the “just checking in” email (which is usually vague and missing past context), a recap email ensures that both of you are on the same page before you move forward.

Plus, super-busy prospects will appreciate you making it convenient for them to remember why they hopped on a call or passed their email address to your sales team.

Here’s a great example that relationship coaching firm Mindmaven first shared on its blog:

See how a quick recap of the previous meeting creates a follow-up that’s likely to be perceived as meaningful?

At the very least, it has a higher chance of getting a response than the “just checking in” email that does nothing to move the conversation forward.

What’s even more interesting is that recap emails have the potential to generate as many or more sales than the initial email.

That’s why your post-discovery emails should summarize the most crucial aspects of the conversation you had with a prospect: their pain points, the suggestions you gave, and the mutually agreed-upon next steps.

The even-better news? Having a CRM makes setting up recap emails easier than ever by giving all the reps on your team visibility into every conversation. This means that everyone can take over relationships for each other—while knowing exactly what’s going on with each prospect.

Here's how that looks in Copper:

See past conversations and records for every contact at a glance.

This will help you send recap emails that offer information efficiently, without repeating past conversations that prospects might’ve already had with your teammates.

3. The fun email

If you’ve pinged a prospect three or four times using the check-in email and you still didn’t get a response, then you might have to get your creative juices flowing in order to make them take notice.

This is where you can try inserting emojis or animated GIFs in your follow-up emails.

Try composing something that’s a little bit witty—with the right dose of humor.

In an uncanny example of sales-related humor, international business speaker Michael Kerr mentions research by Joel Aronoff and Karen O’Quinn.

Joel and Karen analyzed the buying price of a painting. Some salespeople listed $6,000. Others listed $6,000 and threw a pet frog into the mix.

When it was time to finalize the deal, the frog’s significance had reached a point where the buyer agreed to pay a higher price.

You might be able to achieve similar results by adding a bit of humor in your sales follow-up emails.

From the very first sentence, the rep was intent on putting a smile on the recipient’s face.     

You can use a similar template to show prospects your lighter side.

Insert a funny GIF in the email’s body and use an emoji or two in the subject line.

To source GIFs, you can use a website like (or just search Google).

There are also add-ons that you can use with your standard Gmail account to discover funny GIFs and images. No excuses!

4. The success stories email

The success stories email is about highlighting the pleasant experiences of other customers with your company, just enough to pique the recipient’s interest.

In comparison to case studies, which are more about results/ROI of an offering, success stories talk about how a customer feels after using your product/service.

Therefore, using success stories instead of “just checking in” can trigger your prospects to respond.

Also, it can be an ideal way to counter objections.

As business storyteller Shawn Callahan says:

You can’t defeat a story with a fact, you can only defeat it with a better story.

If you can identify the reasons behind your prospect’s reluctance to buy, share stories that can counter those reasons.

Here’s what a success story email looks like:

With a success story in the form of a video interview featuring one of its customers, tech giant Google reiterates the value that its online advertising platform provides.

No matter how hesitant your prospect seemed during your initial conversation, following up with a success story can re-establish just enough of their interest to make them check your offering out.

Pro-tip: When applying this strategy to your own follow-up emails, make sure you’re highlighting people who share the same traits or interests as your prospects to have the biggest impact (people are more likely to acknowledge stories that resonate with their lifestyle/situation).

Ready to write better follow-up emails?

According to Marketing Donut, 80% of sales require an average of five follow-ups after the initial introduction. So, don’t waste those opportunities by using the dreaded “just checking in” email. Make sure your emails:

  • Provide nuggets of wisdom.
  • Touch on the previous conversations you’ve had with the recipient.
  • Contain the right amount of humor.
  • Highlight the positive experiences of people using your product/service.

What’s your favorite alternative to just checking in?

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