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 outreach. However, before that, you must know when to send a follow-up email and how to make sure that the message is appropriate and relevant to the prospect’s needs.
In other words, you must be aware of the prospect’s response to your emails. Even the tiniest details, such as when and how often they open your emails, will help you calculate 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, it’s no longer necessary to endure that degree of uncertainty after hitting “Send”.
These days more data is available, enabling users to see into the processes behind email correspondence. You can build-up a picture of your target recipients, their behavior and precursors to their buying decisions.
The means of obtaining that data can be integrated into your mailbox, making email monitoring a basic component in your outreach strategy.
That’s the good news – you are no longer alone with your guesswork! With all the advantages of the digital world at your fingertips you can stop waiting and take action. So, let’s explore how to plan your outreach with the help of email monitoring.
In this section, we'll 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. But it doesn’t yield all the data you need to evaluate your campaign’s progress. You need a more powerful technology, something 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 guiding your prospects through the sales pipeline toward to the appointment-setting stage.
You don’t need heavy technology or expensive services to launch email tracking. It’s a background process that won’t disrupt your routine. We use Streak.com to keep an eye on our email data, but there are similar tools and the choice is up to you.
However, when you start looking for ways to track your emails, there are 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 way to sort your emails and responses into stages, as you convert leads into buyers. It allows you to separate newly-engaged prospects from prospects that are halfway there. You can keep track of bounced emails and monitor performance.
At Belkins we build pipelines individually for each client and we create a new pipeline for each subscription period. This is the best way to see lead-generation results and reports on the positive-to-negative response ratio, so you’re able to judge the success of an outreach campaign.
Currently the tool we’re using provides for 30 selectable custom metrics, so when it comes to customizing your sales pipeline, you can base decisions on the demands of your industry.
2. You should see Open Rate
Most of the tools enable you to see at a glance the number of emails opened and viewed. You can find which of your messages engage readers and quickly identify elements of your outreach that might need to be strengthened.
- If you see that your emails get opened and viewed more than once in 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 attachments, so you can see if they’re opened.
Make the most out of your mailbox
In our opinion it’s always better to choose a tool that is designed for the email service that you’re using. This is how you get more features that flow well with the functionality of your mailbox and work it to full capacity.
Our CRM tool is Gmail-exclusive, which allows us to manage all email-related processes.
- Email monitoring tools improve email management. You can categorize your email threads and navigate through your correspondence easily.
- Expand your email organization settings by defining the order of messages received. Default Gmail settings show you emails in the order they’re sent to you. Other layout options are “Unread first,” “Starred first,” or “Important first.” You can customize these metrics further and create narrow filters so you see only the relevant stuff.
- Snooze the emails you want to send later and let automated features handle it.
- Create snippets. Email tracking tools provide templates and allow you to store text ‘snippets’ that save you having to type identical messages repeatedly. You can create a snippet and use a keystroke to insert that text where you wish.
How to use email tracking for your sales?
Take your chances
If you see your email becoming ‘top-of-mind’, follow-up immediately with a relevant message.
- If your prospects open case-studies attached to your email, start a conversation relating to those topics and services.
- If your prospect clicks through to an article you’ve attached, elaborate on that subject in your next message.
- If your emails don’t get opened for a while, send reminders with fresh information about your business proposal and see how well your prospects respond.
- Keep track of ‘Bounces’, those emails that reached an invalid or non-existent address. Be sure to clean them from your database. Do the same with negative responses. By removing or separating them from your active database, you save time and can focus on contacts with a better chance of conversion.
- Send follow-ups at the right time – timing is crucial. Notice when your emails get opened. If there is a certain trend among prospects (for instance, Mondays at 11 a.m. show the highest Open Rate while Open Rates for Wednesdays are low) use that information to determine the best time to send your emails.
Pinpoint sales cycles
With the help of sales pipeline tools, monitor your prospects and their progress.
- If you sell to prospects in the USA reach out to them during their office time, wherever you’re located.
- You can see which recipients treat your brand as ‘top-of-mind’ and which need more warming-up.
- You can discard leads that will never be converted, before wasting time and resources on them.
- You can generate reports that show progress and map strategy for the future.
- You can tell what your prospects want to see at certain stages of the pipeline.
By knowing your prospect’s place in the pipeline, you can decide the next steps and avoid the risk of losing potential customers.
We use the word “nurturing” for good reason. We practice the Account-Based Marketing approach, we know the importance of personalization. We treat each prospect as an individual, with their specific pain points and needs. That strategy takes time and effort.
As you gain insight into how recipients engage with your emails, you get more context. As you gain more context, you develop an understanding of your recipients, their thought patterns and the processes that precede their decision-making. With that information you can build email campaigns that truly ring a bell for your prospects. Each message is a step towards building a B2B relationship with the prospect, cultivating their trust and interest in the value proposition.
So don’t rush your B2B outreach and have follow-up messages clutter your prospects’ inboxes. Reach out to them carefully and courteously, showing your intention to be of assistance.
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 be much more haphazard. Now you can abandon the “send and guess” strategy and adopt a “send and monitor” approach.
It has become a lot easier for businesses to navigate through their messages and responses, filter out relevant responses and start building relationships, without the extra noise of follow-ups, untimely calls and meaningless propositions.
This is why you must prepare, calculating your actions in detail.
- With all the data tools that you have to hand, 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 the same email to all recipients who respond, nor indeed to those who don’t respond.
- Build a sales pipelines to organize your outreach and manage recipients.
- Follow the recipient’s behavior and make your next email more personalized.
- Segment your audience. Who’s who, who’s where and at what stage? Remove invalid addresses and make a separate list for negative responses.
- Keep your inbox organized. Use filters to highlight what’s important.
- Go for a platform that doesn’t make you switch between mailbox and 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 brings 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.