Category: Sales

Getting an ‘Internal API Server Error’ on Rapportive Lately?

Let me tell you a quick story on why I think Rapportive is DEAD based on the Internal API Server Error everyone is receiving.

If you’re as scrappy as I am, you like to be as prepared as possible before engaging in a sales discussion while spending little to no resources when gathering information. Traditionally, with privacy settings on social media and the lack content most people publish about themselves it can be hard to do conclusive due diligence on your targets.

Enter Rapportive

There are some free tools that have made it easier to nail down contact information for cold emailing, but one my favorites has always been Rapportive. If you aren’t familiar with Rapportive, it’s a Chrome Plugin that lives inside of your Gmail and runs a Linkedin profile check based on the email you are composing a message to.


This was extremely useful for a few reasons, but for me, it’s an excellent way to verify a prospect’s email while still remaining anonymous before initial contact. It also served as an effective backdoor to Linkedin’s connection algorithm which is huge, as it allowed you to connect with anyone.

Back in 2012, Techcrunch confirmed Linkedin’s acquisition of Rapportive for $15 million in cash which came as a surprise to me. At first. After seeing how Linkedin is aggressively building out premium sales tools like Sales Navigator and Pro Finder it all makes sense now.

A Breakdown of  My Old Workflow

Up until earlier this month, I used Rapportive every day as an essential part of my sales prospecting pipeline. My workflow looked like this:

  • Search around for a prospective company
  • Find the appropriate person within the company that I needed to reach out to
  • Google around for that person’s email or search on Linkedin
  • Once I found the email I would verify it with Rapportive
  • Once verified, I would send a personal message to them on Linkedin
  • Shortly after, I would send an email with a soft pitch
  • Follow up a week later

I have found that using Rapportive to connect on Linkedin before cold emailing increases my odds of getting a first conversation with the prospect dramatically. This, in turn, increased my conversion rates.

Rapportive’s “Internal API Server Error” Stopped me dead in my tracks

Let me start this off by saying I am a very active Rapportive user. During the first week of November, I noticed it was throwing an “internal Server API Error” that basically killed my entire workflow. Naturally, I started googling around to see if maybe the API broke. This has happened several times in the past, but this time I found a Linkedin support topic with people having similar issues.

I posted in the discussion to add to the mix and create more demand to fix the issue, but no one from Linkedin seemed to tend to the problem or recommend a solution.

Linkedin Sales Navigator announces Chrome integration

Today, upon logging into Linkedin Sales Navigator I noticed at the top of my screen there was a call to action to download the Sales Navigator Chrome plugin for Gmail. If you live inside your Chrome browser like me, you love helpful tools for Gmail and Chrome so naturally, I installed the plugin.


Immediately after refreshing Gmail, I noticed Linkedin’s new plugin takes on Rapportive’s core functionality, which rendered Rapportive completely useless. What’s more, the Sales Navigator resource added a ton of other useful features for prospecting.


My New Workflow

Since starting my premium trial of Linkedin Sales Navigator, I have adjusted my approach and shortened my efforts quite a bit. Here’s my new workflow:

  • Search around for a prospective company
  • Find the appropriate person on Linkedin Sales navigator
  • Use Linkedin Sales Navigator to send a pre-made message to the prospect
  • Send an email shortly after with soft pitch
  • Follow up a week later

Say Goodbye to Rapportive

On one hand, it’s refreshing to see companies like Linkedin making acquisitions like Rapportive and tying them into new products that actually improve sales workflows and cut down on lead time.

Unfortunately for those who were riding out Rapportive for its free capabilities, I think the jig is up. Linkedin seems to be forcing the use of Rapportive’s features exclusively through their new premium services. Pull out your wallet folks, I doubt we’ll ever see Rapportive or any other service that uses the same API work again.


I would love to hear what do you think about it. Please share your thoughts below!