So, you wrote your introduction emails and sent them to your B2B recipients.
If your answer is a follow-up, you’re 50% right. Following up with your prospects is a natural part of the outreach. However, before it happens, you must know when to send a follow-up email — not to mention how to make sure that this email is appropriate and relevant to the prospect’s needs.
In other words, you must be aware of your prospect’s response to your emails. Even the tiniest details such as when they open your emails and how often they do it will help you with figuring out the best course of action.
Waiting is not an answer, however.
While it used to be common for business owners to send an email and hope to get a response ASAP, the times of uncertainty settling in right after you hit “Send” are coming to an end.
Data is becoming more available, enabling users to peer into the processes behind email correspondence and outlining an image of their target recipients, their behavior, and precursors to their buying decisions.
The means of obtaining that data can now be integrated into your very own mailbox, making email monitoring a fundamental step of your outreach strategy.
Therefore, you are no longer alone with your thoughts and guesses. Now you have all the advantages of the digital world at your fingertips to finally stop waiting and start acting. So, let us explore the ways in which you map out the plan for your outreach with the help of email monitoring!
In this section, we will show you:
- How to build a pipeline for your emails.
- How to view your Open Rate.
- How to empower your inbox.
- How to use data from your emails to enrich your business
What is email tracking all about?
Using major email services such as Gmail allows you to do basic stuff: send and receive emails, request read receipts, etc. It doesn’t yield even half of the data you need to evaluate the progress of your campaign. Therefore, you need a more powerful technology that allows you to:
- Know the status of your emails and measure your results;
- Know your strong and weak points and develop an improvement plan;
- Utilize the received data to optimize your approach and determine the end goals of your B2B email campaign.
Gathering this data allows you to send timely follow-ups and keep leading your prospects through the sales pipeline straight to the appointment-setting stage.
You don’t need massive tools or expensive services to launch your email tracking. It’s a subtle background process that doesn’t distract you from your routine. We use Streak.com to keep an eye on our email data, but the ultimate choice of tools is up to you.
However, when you start looking for ways to track your emails, there are several things you should take into account.
1. You must be able to build a sales pipeline
In terms of B2B email marketing, an inbox sales pipeline is the process of segmenting your emails and responses into the stages of converting a lead into a buyer. It allows you to separate your newly-engaged prospects from the prospects that are halfway there, keep track of your bounce emails, and monitor your performance.
At Belkins, we build pipelines individually for each client and we create a new pipeline for each subscription period. This is an optimal way to see the lead generation results and provide clear reports on the positive/negative response ratio and the success of the outreach campaigns.
Our current tool provides 30 custom metrics to choose from, so when it comes to customizing your sales pipeline, you should base your decisions on the demands of your industry.
2. You should see Open Rate easily
Most of the tools enable you to see the number of viewed and opened emails at once. Due to this, you can estimate how engaging your emails are and instantly find out what elements of your outreach should be strengthened and developed.
- If you see that your sent emails get opened and viewed many times throughout a day, you send top-of-mind emails.
- If you see that your emails don’t get opened, send follow-ups that remind your prospects about your first email and asking them for feedback.
- Your Open Rate tracking should also show clicks on the attachments in your emails so you could see if they’re actually get opened.
Make the most out of your mailbox
In our opinion, it’s always better to choose a tool that is exclusive for the email service that you’re currently using. This is how you get more exclusive and flexible features that flow well with the functionality of your mailbox and let it work to its full capacity.
Our CRM tool is Gmail-exclusive, allowing us not to switch back and forth between two different services and manage all email-related processes in one place.
- Use email monitoring tools to improve email management: you can segment your email threads into boxes and navigate through your correspondence and recipients easily.
- Expand your email organization settings by defining the order of the received emails. Default Gmail settings show you the emails in the order they’re sent to you. Other layout options are “Unread first,” “Starred first,” or “Important first.” With extra service at hand, you can customize these metrics further and create really narrow filters to keep only the relevant stuff in.
- Snooze the emails you want to send for a certain time. It’s a good way to free some time in your schedule for other activities and let the automated features handle the rest.
- Create more snippets. While Gmail may suggest some template phrases in your correspondence, email tracking tools provide a whole set of templates and snippets that prevent you from wasting hours on writing identical emails. You can create a snippet, upload it to the templates, and then type just one key to put it in its intended place. Our tool allows inserting snippets in one key command.
How to use email tracking for your sales?
Take your chances
If you see that your emails become top-of-mind, waste not a minute to follow your prospects up with relevant emails.
- If your prospects open case studies attached to your email, start the conversation with the topics and services that were used in that case study and thus are relevant to the prospect.
- If your prospects click the links on the press releases/articles attached to your email, elaborate on that subject in your next email.
- If your emails don’t get opened for a while, send reminders with new information about your business proposition and see how well your prospects respond.
- Keep a close eye on Bounces. Bounces are the emails that reached an invalid or non-existent address. Whenever it happens, make sure to clean up your email database and remove all invalid contacts to make the work easier for you and your colleagues. We suggest doing the same with the emails that responded negatively. By removing or separating them from your active email database, you save your time and focus on the contacts with a high chance of a conversion.
- Send follow-ups at the right time. Choosing the most appropriate timing for your emails determines the success of your outreach campaigns and we explored this subject widely here. Mark the time when your emails get opened. If there is a certain tendency among your prospects (for instance, Mondays at 11 a.m. show the highest Open Rate while the Open Rate for Wednesday is the lowest), research it and mark it up. Doing so will help you out in determining the best time to send your emails.
Pinpoint sales cycles
With the help of sales pipelines, you closely monitor your prospects and their progress.
- If you sell to your prospects in the USA while being located in Europe, you avoid reaching out to your recipients at the wrong time and then following them up with no results.
- You can see the recipients that treat your brand as a top-of-mind product and which recipients need more warm-up.
- You can discard the leads that will never be converted before you waste valuable time and resources on outreach campaigns.
- You can generate reports showcasing your progress to map your strategy for the future.
- You will know what your prospects want to see and read at a certain stage of the pipeline.
By knowing your prospect’s place in the pipeline, you will know your next steps and prevent the risk of letting your potential customers slip through the funnel. And knowing is half the battle.
We use the word “nurturing” a lot and for a good reason. Since we practice the Account-Based Marketing approach, we know the importance of personalization and treating each prospect as an individual with their specific pain points and needs. That strategy takes time and effort.
As you gain more insights into how recipients engage with your emails, you gain more context. As you gain more context, you gain an understanding of your recipients, their pattern of thoughts, and even the processes that precede their decision-making. With that information, you can build emails that truly ring a bell for your prospects — and each such email is a new step towards building a B2B relationship with the prospect, cultivating their trust and interest in the value proposition.
Therefore, you shouldn’t rush your B2B outreach and let your follow-ups just pile up in your prospects’ inboxes until they respond. Reach out to them cautiously and politely, showing your full intent on assisting your prospects instead of just attracting their attention and investments.
We have a comprehensive guide on writing B2B sales templates here in case you need a hand with polishing up your templates and make them more personalized.
Emailing used to come together with uncertainty. However, in the world of data, you can safely abandon the “send and guess” strategy and go for the “send and monitor” approach.
It has become a lot easier for B2B and B2C businesses to navigate through their messages and responses, filter out the most relevant responses, and start building relationships without extra white noise (the avalanche of follow-ups, untimely calls, and meaningless, genetic value propositions).
This is why before you do something, you must calculate your action down to the tiniest details.
- With all the data tools that you have on your hands, your next step after sending an email should be taking a close look at your open rate.
- Create several types of follow-up templates. Don’t send one and the same email to the recipients who respond to your messages and to the recipients who don’t respond at all.
- Build sales pipelines to organize your outreach and manage your recipients as smoothly as possible.
- Follow the recipients’ behavior closely to make your email template more personalized and to connect on the earliest stages of your communication.
- Segment your audience. Keep your email database free of invalid email addresses and create a separate list for the recipients who respond negatively. It will allow you to focus your efforts without overexerting yourself.
- Keep your inbox organized. Use filters to never miss an important email or lose it in the bunch of Bounce emails.
- Go for the platform that doesn’t make your run back and forth between a mailbox and a CRM.
Another important thing to remember when analyzing your emails is your CAC and the ROI on the prospects you convert. You may receive lots of responses and reduce your bounce rate, however, if it beings less money than you spend on your outreach tools, it makes sense to review your targeting and make sure that you’re going after the right audience.