What to say instead of “I haven't heard from you” in a prospecting email
Instead of making someone feel guilty about not returning your email, try these approaches to create positive feelings and increase your chances of getting a response.
Waiting for a reply can often leave you feeling anxious, especially when you’ve just sent an email to someone you hope to connect with. The excitement of that person getting back to you is thrilling, but you shouldn’t add pressure in the hopes that they’ll reply. Sometimes, you just need to give someone the space to decide if the moment you’ve reached out to them is the right time to connect. We all know the feeling of getting flooded with sales calls and calendar invites.
In this article, we’re going to share why you shouldn’t send “I haven’t heard back from you” in an email and a few key ways to more effectively incite a response back.
Why “I haven’t heard from you” isn’t the right thing to say
There are a few key reasons why “I haven’t heard from you” isn’t the right thing to say after sending an email and not getting a response.
1. It adds guilt
Guilt can often feel manipulative. In some cases, it works, but most of the time, it simply creates a bit of avoidance. We tend to distance ourselves from things that make us feel bad.
Telling someone you haven’t heard from them can sometimes make people feel guilty when they’re just busy with other things at the moment. However, even still, guilt typically only works when you’ve built a relationship with someone, not with a complete stranger.
2. It adds pressure
If someone doesn’t know you and you’ve sent the follow-up email “I haven’t heard from you,” it can add pressure. And if you’re working to generate sales, that sales pressure will often lead to the email being completely ignored. Most people don’t feel comfortable with pressure tactics. Responding to your email should be about having one of their problems solved or enjoying a conversation with you, so keep it casual.
3. It devalues you
Sending a follow-up email that says “I haven’t heard from you” makes you seem inferior to the person who hasn’t responded yet. You subconsciously let them know they have the upper hand in this situation. When sending follow-up emails, the benefit should be mutual for both of you, so you both achieve the success and outcome you want out of the relationship or transaction.
Alternatives that will actually get a response
1. “I know how busy you are, just wanted to make sure this didn’t get buried.”
A good follow-up email will be direct but provide empathy. You want to illustrate the point that an email you sent doesn’t get missed, and acknowledge that maybe they just have a few other things going on at the moment. This is a short and simple way to get this point across without sounding harsh or demanding.
2. “Just wanted to follow up on our previous conversation.”
If you’ve previously communicated with someone via a sales call or in-person conversation, but they haven’t been responding to your emails post the real-time communication, you might want to draw on a previous conversation. In this context, you’ll want your email to use specific examples from that conversation. If possible, always take notes when meeting someone so you can be precise when sharing little details.
3. “I haven’t heard back from you, which can mean you’re not interested. No worries, reach out anytime if anything changes in the future.”
A follow-up email that acknowledges that someone isn’t interested but still keeps the door open for the right moment allows someone to get back to you when the time is right. They now know you exist and what you offer. However, the lack of pressure makes it easier on them.
You might want to stay in touch casually, such as adding them as a connection on LinkedIn, so they see your posts passively. But overall, it’s about allowing an open door anyone can walk in and out of.
4. “Just wanted to share a few things I know you’ve been looking for help with.”
If you’ve built some sort of rapport, but your initial follow-up email didn’t land, it may be time to provide some value. You may use this line if you have concrete examples of things they’re looking for help with. Maybe they told you passively that they’re currently hiring for a specific role, which is unrelated to the service you provide. You might recommend a friend who works in that field to help them.
5. “If email isn’t the best way to connect, let me know if you’d prefer a video chat, text message, or phone call?”
Everyone prefers communicating in their own way. Some people prefer to chat via email, others prefer speaking to someone via video chat. Letting someone get back to you in the communication method of their choice can play a role in how well the conversation goes. Giving people options allows them to work with you in the way that best suits their lifestyle and comfort levels.
Follow-up email best practices
1. Provide value for the person
While sending a mass email can be very quick and easy, it doesn’t typically yield the best results. To help you send a great follow-up email or any email in general, you’ll want to provide value for the person. You can look at the type of content they post on social media to sense their tone, personality, and problems so that you can provide value to them. It’s all about creating a win-win situation.
2. Send emails at the right time
A quick search on LinkedIn can quickly tell you where someone’s located. Sending people emails during business hours will typically yield better response rates than sending emails after hours. After all, when people finish their workday, the last thing they want to do is stay connected. So aim to segment emails based on the recipient’s time zones.
3. Don’t be overly aggressive
You want your communications to inspire positive emotions. Aggression via email manifests in different ways. And it’s not just about tone of voice. Adding a complete stranger to an email sequence that they didn’t subscribe to can be really off-putting for a recipient. Avoid sending multiple emails to a cold recipient when trying to connect with someone for a sales call or to meet someone.
4. Split-test your subject lines
If you’re sending mass emails you can split test subject lines to determine which follow-up email they’ll respond to best. Getting an email open is a key step in closing a deal or connecting with someone. You can easily run split tests in the backend of your email service provider, so feel free to try some of the email subject line alternatives to “I haven’t heard from you” above.
5. Personalize your email
Most people consider personalizing an email by adding the person’s first name after writing “Hi.” And while that’s actually a great starting point, it often isn’t enough. You might want to mention the name of their workplace, their job title, or another type of key detail that makes people realize “this email was crafted just for me.”
How to simplify and strengthen your email communication
If you meet with a client regularly, sending recurring emails about meeting reminders or payment confirmations makes you look professional and dependable. B12 allows you to easily automate these types of emails, so you connect with others effortlessly in a cohesive, branded email template.
B12 is a website platform built for professional services that includes every tool you need to attract, win, and serve clients online, including scheduling, payments and invoicing, eSignatures, client intake forms, and more. With B12, you can send emails directly from your website dashboard that match your website domain. There’s even a library of prewritten email messages you can customize to fit your business and individual contacts.
Having your contact manager, email marketing, and email automation in one central platform allows you to work more efficiently, engage leads and clients with purpose, and stay organized. With your contacts’ appointment history, past payments, and all emails and contact form submissions in one place, you have a better idea of how to engage clients for repeat business.
Effective prospecting emails make a big difference
The email messaging you send matters. The goal of an email isn’t only to win a sale or a client, but to provide value to someone with your product or service. Striving to build relationships with people and creating a win-win situation for both of you will be key to your success.
So, consider finding ways to send emails without adding guilt, pressure, or devaluing your worth. Be sure to inject value and personalization to make them realize that this isn’t just some random email in their inbox, but this connection could change their life.