3 Ways To Increase Your Connect Rate Using Email Response Data
February 12, 2016 6:49:11 AM | By Matt Benati
Sales and marketing are all about communication and connection, and email is the tool of choice in today’s technologically oriented business climate. Not all emails reach their targets the first time out, of course, and even marketing experts have a tendency to simply trash the inevitable out-of-office (OOO), left-the-company (LTC), change-of-address/title and other automated email responses. Resist the temptation, however! If you trash them, you’re missing golden opportunities: Every single email response contains important data that can be used to boost connect rates. It’s all there for the taking, and simply needs to be harvested and organized.
Tools offered by marketing and sales software leaders such as LeadGnome can help you grab email response data automatically and add it to your CRM system. You can then use this data to expand your campaign target base, foster connection, generate awareness, pique interest and ultimately, increase sales.
As with any tools, however, success lies in how they’re used. Here are three ways to increase your connect rate using email response data:
1. Keep Your Database Current
Your database is your most powerful ally, always there for you 24/7 – but it’s only as useful as it is current. It must be updated continuously to reflect changes in titles, addresses, phone numbers, schedules and all the other details you track. This is a crucial requirement – yet, marketing databases go stale at rate of 40% per year.
Put another way: Only six out of 10 of your current contacts are likely to have remain unchanged a year from now. If you don’t have an ongoing system in place to update data as it becomes available to you, you could be missing out on four of 10 opportunities to connect!
Instead of overlooking those “useless” OOO, LTC, change-of-address and other automatically generated messages, harness the power of email-mining software to grab updated details, add them to your database, and (ideally) map them to the proper accounts. Whether your contact has changed titles within the company or moved on to another, you still may be able to maintain that line of connection you’ve been nurturing by adding and updating the info already in your CRM.
Bonus: Keeping up with changes incrementally keeps them from turning into a mess of tidbits that takes a great deal of time and inconvenience to straighten out.
2. Fill In The Blanks
Critical lead details, such as titles, first names, phone numbers and alternate email addresses give you additional, especially targeted ways to connect.
Titles, in particular, are crucial in reaching decision-makers. For example, let’s say you’re marketing an innovative payroll solution; you’ve sent your marketing message to Acme Widgets employees John Smith and Mary Jones, neither of which have titles associated with them in your database. The message is the same to both, and your email marketing software makes no distinction between them.
If you’d mined the automated response emails from a previous campaign, however, your database would show that John is an IT guy, while Mary is a purchasing manager. Your approaches to each, ideally, would be different because your product would benefit them in different ways; knowing one from the other would allow you to send messages more targeted to their needs.
Another subtle bonus lies in a fundamental truth about sales and marketing: It’s all about people. In a world where much of our business interaction happens anonymously behind screens, people appreciate being known by name, title, function – anything that helps make a conversation more personal and less formulaic.
Consider this scenario: The folks in marketing want a frictionless entry for site visitors who’d like to receive your company’s newsletter, so they have the web developers design a signup form asking only for an email address. Nice and simple, right?
The trouble is, when it’s time for the sales team to jump in, all they have to work with is that email address — no name or title, nothing that tells a lead that you made the effort to learn about him or her. That really hamstrings salespeople because they can’t tailor their approach. In essence, they don’t have as good a handle on their target market as they could with more data. The fix? Immediately send a follow-up thank you email to the nameless email address and mine responses for more information. Any auto-generated email responses have the potential to give the sales team a name, title, address, phone number, etc… that they can then use to start a personalized conversation. The result: A more streamlined, efficient way to get that sale.
3. Time It Right
Timing is everything in email marketing. Simply knowing when a contact is going to be in (or will be returning to) the office can mean the difference between a hot prospect and a dead end.
Running email marketing campaigns when recipients are typically available is the usual approach. However, planning a marketing push for a weekend, holiday, vacation period or other absence instead can yield lots of information via the automated messages that come back. An email-mining solution can capture this truly useful intelligence that the marketing department can in turn share with salespeople. We’re not suggesting that you purposely flood your prospects’ inboxes when they’re away… but in situations where you just don’t know enough about an initial contact to raise a decent sales pitch, “striking while the iron is hot” might not forge the path forward as efficiently as this more nuanced approach.
As an example: Say you’re emailing “happy new year” greetings to your leads. Sending these messages during the week between Christmas and New Year’s increases the likelihood that you’ll receive automated responses in return. You can then mine them for details such as when recipients will return – enabling your salespeople to time their connection efforts for the day after.
Another example: You’ve met someone at a conference you’re attending and have exchanged email addresses. Sending your new contact an email while the conference is still going on means you’re likely to get an automated out-of-office response full of additional details that are invaluable to your sales team.
Bottom line: Great timing plus automatic email mining give you the ability to capture and organize the crucial details that can turn your sales and marketing teams into a single, well-oiled, revenue-producing machine.
Success Is In The Details
Sales and marketing are still about people, but automated data mining tools can help you grab opportunities that you’d otherwise miss and foster a more personal relationship with recipients. We’d love to show you how LeadGnome can help you use your marketing database to its fullest potential. Our innovative software mines email for useful contact information and actionable business intelligence, organizing it all to streamline your company’s sales and marketing efforts. Want to know more about using technology to grab new leads within targeted accounts? Download our free ebook, “Turbo-charge Your Account Based Marketing Strategy”.
Do you take advantage of the account information in campaign response emails? What’s your process? Tell us in the comments section below!