20 Alternatives to Say “Just Checking In” in Your Follow-up Emails

20 Alternatives to Say “Just Checking In” in Your Follow-up Emails

Just checking in” is a very common phrase that’s used ubiquitously across both personal and professional settings. 

It’s likely that just about everyone has heard and used the phrase among friends, family members, and colleagues. 

Although there’s nothing technically wrong with “just checking in” — it’s not offensive or ill-mannered — it’s certainly not making you stand out from the crowd. If you want your email to grab your reader’s attention, you might want to consider other options. 

In this article, we’ll share 20 alternatives to “just checking in,” and review other strategies for helping your sales emails get noticed. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What Does “Just Checking In” Mean in Sales Emails?

Most salespeople send a “just checking in” email when they’re actually doing more than just checking in. 

For the most part, “just checking in” is usually code for something like “I haven’t heard from you in a while, and I’m not giving up until I follow up six times” or “I need an answer to my previous email” or “I think you’re a good fit and I’m eager for you to sign up for a demo.”

The phrase usually has a deeper meaning, and salespeople are missing out on opportunities to connect when they use it instead of something more direct. 

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Is It Ok to Say “Just Checking In” in Your Follow-up Emails?

Most salespeople use the phrase “just checking in” because it sounds casual, friendly, and non-pressuring. 

Unfortunately, however, these words can sometimes have a different and surprisingly undesired effect. Because of how overused it is, the phrase can be seen as cliche and even insincere. The truth is that “just checking in” emails are rarely about “just checking in,” so it can rub some people the wrong way. 

just checking in alternativesIf you’re reaching out to “check in,” do so with purpose. Be clear about your intentions and make the message as personalized and specific as you can. To the best of your ability, create some excitement or urgency — any kind of encouragement to get them to respond. 

All that being said, there are a few cases in which “just checking in” is actually a very appropriate phrase to use in an email. You might consider using it if the recipient: 

  • Has made a commitment to do something, but hasn’t followed through
  • Told you to reach back out in X days/weeks/months
  • Didn’t show up to a scheduled call or meeting 
  • Told you they’d get back to you after internal discussions in X days
  • Started a product trial but hasn’t touched base 
  • Verbally committed to signing a contract, but hasn’t yet 

There are plenty of other engaging, unique, and relevant phrases that will help your emails get noticed and generate responses.

20 “Just Checking In” Alternatives

Try one of these 20 ideas the next time you’re searching for an alternative to “just checking in.” 

Remember — the idea is to make your email as personalized as possible. Choose the phrase (and adapt as needed) that most closely fits the purpose of your specific message.

1. “Let’s catch up.”

“Let’s catch up” is a great phrase to use when you’re on a somewhat casual basis with the recipient. It can be used as a segue for explaining more about a new product or opportunity. 

It also creates a natural opportunity for the sales rep to directly suggest a meeting, which sometimes encourages prospects to agree. 

Hi Steve, hope you’re well. When I bumped into you last week at the trade show, you mentioned interest in {!product}. Let’s catch up this week — are you free Thursday afternoon? Two o’clock? 

2. “How is everything going?”

This can be an especially effective phrase if you can tie it directly to a specific event in the recipient’s life. 

Hi Melanie. Just read about your product launch — exciting stuff! How is everything going?

“How is everything going?” gives sales reps a great opportunity to learn more about the prospect’s world. 

3. “I would love an update on this!”

For a friendly but direct request for an update on something specific, you might try “I would love an update on this!” It’s a gentle reminder that you’re awaiting their next communication. 

Hi Brandon. Last time we spoke, you said you were in the process of researching new accounting software. I would love an update on your search, when you have a minute!

4. Point Out Business Weaknesses

One somewhat uncommon way to get your recipient’s attention is to point out a potential weakness in their business. Here’s how that might look in action: 

Hi Linda, hope you and the family are well! I was just going over some accounts and happened to run some numbers on {!Prospect’s Business}. I was surprised to see so much {!relevant weakness}. I really think there are ways we can work on this. Can we set up a time to talk for twenty minutes to problem-solve? How about Thursday at 3pm? 

Just be careful with this one — it has to be framed delicately. You need to demonstrate that your insights are really in the best interest of the recipient. Any hint of mean-spiritedness — or a bait-and-switch situation, in which they’ll suddenly owe you a favor — will have the opposite effect. 

5. Describe a Potential Opportunity

Alternatively, if you see an opening for the recipient to grow their business that they don’t know about, you could present it in an email to help you open other lines of conversation. 

Hi Mark — just finished a client meeting and had a thought. Have you looked into {!relevant industry trend}? The client I just met with said he saved 25% last year with that system. Thought of you — hope it helps!

This is a great way to help you demonstrate to the prospect that you’re thinking of them and you understand their needs. 

6. Share a Relevant Article

This is a well-known strategy, but it’s popular because it works. 

Hi Jenn! Just finished my weekly newsletter roundup and came across {relevant article]. Reminded me of our last conversation. I especially liked the part about {!relevant talking point}. Would love to hear your thoughts when you’re through. 

The more personalized you can make this article — and the talking point you pull from it — the better. 

7. Respond on Social Media

For some generations, “checking in” is something you do on social media, not email. In fact, interacting or responding on social media is a viable alternative to sending a “just checking in” email.

Hi Susie. Thanks for posting this question! I can help you. {!Relevant information and/or links}. Come check us out at {!Website}. 

Some sales software can help you monitor social media platforms and send you an alert when you can strategically respond. 

8. Reference a Recent Blog Post

If the recipient’s company has a blog, you can send an email referencing one of their recent posts. 

Hi Lisa. Just wanted to say thanks so much for Thursday’s post about sales metrics. I incorporated a lot of that information into my onboarding manual. The infographics were especially helpful. 

This could be a genuine, effective segue into a variety of different conversations. 

9. Send Them a Blog Post From Your Company

You could also reverse the concept and send a relevant article from your own company’s blog to a recipient whom you think it would benefit. 

Hi Melinda! We just sent our newsletter out, but I wanted to call your attention specifically to this week’s article about Business Growth Strategies. I remember you talking about diversification the last time you were in town. I thought it would be helpful. Ping me if you want to chat further. 

Again, the more personal and relevant you can make this, the better. Prospects won’t appreciate you sending them an individual email to announce a random blog post that has no bearing on their professional life. 

10. Recommend an Event

If you know of an upcoming professional event that could be of value to a prospect or recipient, it’s perfectly appropriate to reach out to notify them or gauge interest in attending. 

Hi Miriam, how are you doing? I’m reaching out because I just received a flier for this year’s trade show in Nashville. I remember bumping into you last year and was wondering if you were going this year again. I’d love 30 minutes of your time if you’ll be there — lunch is on me. 

You could also use this strategy even if you aren’t personally attending the event.

Hey Miriam! I just heard from my coworker that Brent Adamson, the author we were talking about, will be in the city next month. I’m unfortunately already booked that afternoon, but wanted to put it on your radar in case you were interested! 

Tip: Looking for more unique ways to check in? Grab some tried-and-true follow-up email templates below.

18 Proven Email Templates for SalesWinning email templates for cold outreach, follow-ups, and nurturing relationships – backed by data and real-world examples.

11. Invite Them to a Webinar

Along the same lines, you could also call their attention to an interesting webinar.

Hi Amanda, hope all is well! I just signed up for this webinar {!Link}. I’m going because of {!Webinar Topic}, but I also noticed they’re going to talk about {!Relevant webinar topic}. I remember you mentioning that you all were working on that. Thought it could be helpful for someone on your team!

It’s worth repeating — make sure this kind of recommendation is personalized and will add value to the recipient’s professional life. 

12. Send a Customer Story

Social proof can be a very engaging way to connect with prospects and even existing customers. Content like case studies and whitepapers can help open email conversation and make it more likely that recipients will respond. 

Hi Danny, hope things are great! I’m sending along Marike’s case study. She was a teacher and used our software to learn how to code and took off from there — she makes well into six figures freelancing part-time now. Reminded me a little bit of you. Would love your thoughts. 

How-to videos, guides, and video tutorials can also be highly engaging and valuable alongside case studies and other social proof. 

13. Bring up a Common Problem

Have you been hearing the same thing from prospects over and over again? If you’re noticing that your buyers are vocal about a common pain point, you could use that same phrase in your email. 

Hi Don. I wanted to check in about your current CRM system. Do you currently have a limit on the number of users? A lot of our customers switch to us because they’re frustrated by a user cap — just wanted to see if that was something you’d encountered before. 

14. Mention a Mutual Contact

If you and the recipient know someone in common, there are some cases in which it’s appropriate to name-drop. 

Hi Marty. Small world — I bumped into Andy Richards at the {!Professional Event} last week and he mentioned your name. I didn’t realize you two knew each other! We talked about {!Relevant industry talking point}. Want to catch up next week? Tuesday afternoon? 

Of course, remember to be truthful here. Don’t say that the other person mentioned them if that didn’t really happen. It’s okay to simply state that you bumped into someone and it happened to jog your memory, if that’s the case. 

15. Send a Goodbye Email

In some cases, six or more unanswered follow-ups can be a clear signal to sales reps that the prospect is not interested for now. Sometimes, the rep will want to send one final follow-up to bring closure to the relationship. 

Hi Michael. I haven’t heard from you in {!Number} weeks, so I’m going to assume you’ve decided to go in a different direction. No worries! Reach out if you ever change your mind, or your priorities change. Take care. 

Imagine using the phrase “just checking in” here. The message would be incredibly vague and too open-ended for what the message really needs to convey. This is a perfect example of how ineffective the phrase can be.

16. Congratulate a Recent Promotion or Achievement

If the recipient has recently achieved an exciting promotion, or their organization is celebrating some other kind of success, you can definitely use that as an opening line for your email. 

Hi Bonnie! Just saw on LinkedIn that you’re taking on the Senior position — that’s awesome! So well-deserved and exciting for {Prospect’s company}. Can’t wait to see what you do in the role. Would love to chat for 20 minutes next week if you can swing it — Monday at 3:00?

Flattery is a pretty surefire way to get an “in” with the person who’s reading the email, so it usually doesn’t hurt to include it when it’s genuine and relevant.

17. Check In About a Competitor

Some prospects (but not all) might tolerate you asking about their progress with a competitor. 

You’ll need to be tactful and polite with this strategy, and you need to know your buyer persona really well to be able to know whether they’d be okay with this kind of inquiry. 

Hi Christine. I trust you’re doing well. I hope you don’t mind me reaching out. I was hoping you’d be willing to share a little bit about your current level of satisfaction with {Competitor’s product}. Have you encountered any obstacles or unanswered questions? Any big successes? 

This kind of outreach can be especially effective if you strategically plan to use it as their contract with the competitor is winding down. 

18. Update on Products or Services

If your company has recently made changes or improvements to one of your current offers, you can use that as an opportunity to reach out to buyers. 

Hi Cody. The last time we talked, you were looking for a system that could hold 300 or more users. We recently added the ability for up to 500 users, in addition to some other new capabilities. I’d love to walk you through them. Can we schedule a time to talk later this week? Friday morning? 

19. Ask For Feedback

Humans are hard-wired to want to help one another. If you frame your email outreach as a request for assistance, the recipient may be more likely to reply to you. 

Hi Landry, hope your week is going well. I was hoping you could spare five minutes to help me out. Do you have any feedback on how we might improve our {!Product}? We’re seeing consistent {!Result 1} and {!Result 2}, but we’d love to improve even from there. I would really appreciate it!

20. Be Direct

If all else fails or otherwise seems inappropriate, you can also try being blunt and direct with the real reason for your outreach. 

Hi Tim, just reaching out to see where we stand on the contract. Hoping to hear from you by the end of the day. 

Hi Mandy, hope you’re well. Have you had a chance to discuss the proposal with your team? Can we debrief for five minutes this afternoon at 1:00?

Hi Clara, can you give me some feedback on the trial? Looks like you’re on day 4, going on day 5. Would love to hear your thoughts and talk you through your last 3 days. I’ll call you at around 4:00 — it will only take 5 minutes. 

Remember: direct does not mean impolite. Remain professional and friendly. 

How to Make Your Follow-up Email Stand Out

No matter what kind of email you’re sending, you want to try to make your message stand out from the others in the recipient’s inbox. Buyers receive several follow-up emails every single day, so writing one that’s unique and actionable is imperative. 

Send a Summary

In many cases, it’s a good idea to add some context to your email to explain your outreach. 

You might, for example, remind the recipient that you met them the month prior at a trade show. Or you could mention a mutual contact. 

You could also provide a quick recap of your last sales conversation. 

Sending a quick summary of your relationship with the recipient will show that you haven’t simply copied and pasted a sales pitch

Set a Time

Each of your follow-up emails should include a clear call to action (CTA). In many cases, this will be a direct request for a call or an appointment. 

The best way to do this is to clearly request a specific date and time for this meeting. 

If the prospect is free, it makes it easy to say yes. If they’re busy, the hope is that they’ll feel the tiniest bit of pressure to offer an alternative time rather than outright refuse. 

Send Advice

Whenever you can, include actionable or otherwise highly valuable advice or industry insight that will uniquely help the prospect. 

Do this for free, with no strings attached or expectations involved. 

This will help give the impression that you care about helping them solve problems — not just making a sale.

Just Checking In Email Subject Lines

Here are 10 ideas for email subject lines you could use for a “just checking in” email. 

{!Name}, how’s it going? 

{!Name}, saw this and thought of you!

Hooray for you! Awesome news!

{!Name}, this is Jane’s case study — {!Relevant Result}

A quick and exciting update on our end — 

{!Name}, did you see this — {Event} coming to town?

Hi, can I have a two-minute update? 

Hi — update please? 

{!Name}, this is my last message!

{!Name}, look at page 3 of this article — 

Tip: Looking for more subject lines? Here are 20 cold email subject lines that are proven to get over 85% open rates.

Do you find yourself using (or overusing) “just checking in” in emails? What can you use instead?

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