No More Excuses! The One Place to Find Golden Leads and You’re Not Even Looking

March 30, 2016 5:53:18 AM | By Matt Benati

Whether your marketing team sends out 2,000 or 2,000,000 emails per month, replies are inevitable. From the standard “out of office” reply to the potential PR nightmare-inducing “remove me from your list immediately!” opt-out reply, someone on your staff needs to review these emails and take the appropriate action.

Who does this for your company — a marketing analyst? Do you outsource it overseas? Does your sales team have to pitch in and help? You know there’s important information in those replies, but devoting the resources to finding it manually is time-consuming, error-prone, and costly. Many businesses choose to ignore it and make excuses for why they can’t spare the time.

That would be a mistake, though. And here’s why.

There’s Gold To Mine In Email Replies. Here’s Why:

The success of marketing campaigns, and with account-based marketing specifically, depends on the quality of the leads within your target accounts. If you never get beyond an email address (Top of Funnel), you’ll never be able to personalize your messages and segment your leads based on their role in the buying process.

If, on the other hand, you take the time to review auto-replies, two very exciting things will happen:

  1. You’ll uncover valuable sales intelligence that will super-charge your existing leads. Imagine adding a name, title and phone number to a ToFu (top of funnel) lead that previously only had an email address. Now you can personalize campaign emails and segment leads to dramatically increase the response rate.
  2. You will identify net new leads to add to existing accounts. It takes an average of 5.4 people to make a B2B buying decision, so the more influencers and decision makers you have access to, the more quickly you’ll be able to close deals. Expanding within target accounts is a critical capability for an Account Based Marketing strategy.

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses

What we’ve learned while developing LeadGnome is that most companies share similar challenges finding an efficient way to mine these auto-replies. As a result, a pattern emerged surrounding the excuses companies made for not reviewing their emails.

    1. “Our resources are limited – it takes too long to manually go through the emails.”
    2. “The volume is overwhelming! It’s not humanly possible to go through all the emails that bounce back.”
    3. “We have higher priorities – there’s not enough volume to matter and our time is better spent nurturing and qualifying leads.”


Let’s break down these excuses and then later see how LeadGnome can help.

Excuse #1 – Limited Resources Makes It Impossible To Mine Manually

We get it, the manual process for mining hundreds or even thousands of auto-replies to your email campaign is mentally and physically taxing. Here’s a top-level look at what’s involved in the manual process:

Ms. Marketing Analyst gets to work at 8:00am and begins reviewing the marketing mailbox for relevant campaign reply emails.

      1. She identifies relevant email (out of office, left the company, email change, opt-out, etc.)
        • These are often “hidden” because the Subject is not a reliable identifier. As a results, simply identifying the right emails takes time.
        • She is forced to open every single email.
      2. She finds information about the person to whom the campaign email was originally sent to (i.e. your existing lead).
        • Valuable information can be found in the header, the body and signature – there’s a lot to look at.
        • She manually copies information about the existing lead and pastes into a spreadsheet.
      3. She finds information about new contacts.
        • For example, an out-of-office email might provide an alternate contact that proves to be a key decision maker in the buying process. She’s identified a new contact and possibly has a name, title, email and phone number to add to the account.
        • Unfortunately, she has to read the body of the email to find this information, which is time consuming.
        • Sometimes the email address is not explicitly provided – does she assume it’s the same format as her original lead?
        • Company names and titles are not always available within a reply email, so she has to try to find this information via alternate sources (i.e. corporate web site, LinkedIn, etc.)
          She copies this information to a separate spreadsheet for new contacts.
      4. She manually enters existing lead information into the marketing automation or CRM system (or uploads the spreadsheet).
      5. She manually enters new leads into the marketing automation or CRM system (or uploads the spreadsheet).

It’s 5:00pm. Assuming 8 hours of 100% work on this project alone, she likely didn’t even get through 50 emails.

Excuse #2 – Overwhelming Volume Prohibits Economic Payback When Done Manually

If you quickly did the math from the example above, you realize that Ms. Marketing Analyst would be able to review right around 1,000 emails per month working on it full-time. Assuming the average 3% reply rate for most campaigns, this means you could send 30,000 campaign emails per month and effectively have a person manually review the replies.

Technically, yes.

But what if you send 60,000 campaign emails and double the number of replies you get? The job of manually mining the replies has just become humanly impossible unless you hire someone to work alongside Ms. Marketing Analyst.

However, when you start getting into replies by the thousands, a couple critical factors come into play:

Human error. Imagine the job of reviewing reply emails all day, every day. Errors are bound to occur and a missed or misplaced piece of information could mean the difference between a sale and a fail.

Timing. You might be able to assure that all of the reply emails will eventually be reviewed, but what if an important response isn’t seen until weeks later? Realistically, how quickly can a person effectively analyze the responses?

Excuse #3 – Manually Reviewing 1000’s Of Emails Is Low On The Priority List

On the other end of the excuse spectrum are companies who think there’s not enough volume to matter. Maybe they only send 10,000 emails per month and get back 300 replies. Perhaps they’re a more streamlined department and prefer to place a higher priority on nurturing their qualified leads. But leaving emails on the table can be problematic by:

Damaging relationships and company reputation. Some people who receive email campaigns do not follow the instructions for contacting their sales person or unsubscribing – they simply hit “reply.” An irate contact who wants to be unsubscribed, but is not unsubscribed because no one saw his manual reply email, becomes even more irate. Imagine him taking to your company’s social media and blasting you for your lack of response and respect.

Likewise, a lead who is genuinely interested and wants information manually replies to your email campaign instead of following the contact instructions. She never receives a response. She could also become irate, but likely she will just unsubscribe from your list and take her business elsewhere.

Analyzing and responding to emails like these protects your brand.

Leaving leads and revenue on the table. While 600 auto responses per month might not seem like much to ignore, 7,200 per year certainly does. Consider the table shown on the left for a company that sends 20,000 emails per month. Had they mined those auto-replies, they could have potentially seen a 36% increase in leads resulting in an additional $180,000 in revenue. While this is just one example, you can easily plug your own numbers in and see the effect of allowing excuses to hinder your business potential.

LeadGnome Mines The Gold For You!

As promised, let’s now take a look at how LeadGnome eliminates very valid excuses to give a marketing department the power to increase leads and revenue.

Here’s the thing. For every excuse a marketing department can make for not reviewing their campaign responses, LeadGnome is the solution that will save both time and money AND increase leads and revenue.

LeadGnome is an on-demand web service that automatically mines your email campaign replies. Within minutes, fields in your marketing automation or CRM system are populated with valuable sales intelligence that LeadGnome uncovers in the campaign replies sitting on your email server.

Existing leads are enhanced with additional contact information.

Net new contacts are identified and added to the correct target account.

This allows marketing to better penetrate target accounts and funnel more complete and qualified leads to sales. This marketing-sales alignment results in increased productivity, and ultimately, revenue.

Revenue-driven ROI

In fact, let’s take a look at the revenue-driven ROI of using LeadGnome. Remember the above example of the company that sent 10,000 emails per month? Let’s add a couple more numbers to the bottom of the table.

Let’s also take a look at the company that sends 60,000 emails per month. Not only is it incredibly time-consuming to manually analyze all of their replies, but by automating the process with LeadGnome for just $1,000 per month, they could potentially see over half a million dollars in increased revenue, which is an ROI of more than 4,000%.

If you want to see your company’s potential ROI, use our quick ROI Wizard located at the bottom of our Pricing page.

Cost-based ROI

Let’s also take a quick look at the cost-based ROI of using LeadGnome versus paying Ms. Marketing Analyst to manually mine your auto-responses.

While it is more cost-effective – and ultimately more accurate – to use LeadGnome in this scenario, there is an opportunity cost here as well: not only do you save money, you can also redeploy Ms. Marketing Analyst and use her talents on more productive tasks.

Work Smarter, Not Harder. There’s No Excuse Not To Use LeadGnome.

Existing LeadGnome customers have seen these results first-hand, and the consensus is that having LeadGnome is not a “nice to have” – it is unquestionably a “MUST HAVE” capability.

In all of these scenarios, LeadGnome pays for itself in less than one month. And guess what? You can get a FREE Trial right now to see for yourself what LeadGnome can do for you. Ready to get started? Contact us to learn more, or sign up now and start mining emails in a matter of minutes!

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