You’ll Never Guess How Much Sales Intelligence You Can Gather From Campaign Reply Emails

March 7, 2016 6:31:46 AM | By Matt Benati

You know how it goes: You buy or develop an extensive mailing list. You and your team craft the perfect email marketing message, and out it goes. Not long after, the automated responses start rolling in telling you that your prospect is out of the office, on vacation, has left the company, has a change of email address, or has a new title. Ah, and then there’s the opt-out reply that did not go through the preferred unsubscribe link.

You’re organized and efficient, so the best thing to do is delete them as soon as they come in, right?


There’s sales and marketing data gems buried in all those ‘useless’ auto-reply emails.

How to Capitalize on Email Responses

While it’s tempting to ignore the campaign replies from your email marketing campaign, nearly every response offers something for your marketing and sales teams to use. Let’s dissect a few:

The “Out of Office” Email

Upon first glance, you might make a general note of Mary’s absence and mentally file away the possibility of any further action until her return. But take a closer look at the details.

From this email, we learn:

  • Mary’s return date (March 14)
  • An additional contact at Some Company (Joe Smith)
  • Joe’s title (assistant procurement director)
  • Joe’s email address (
  • Mary’s cell number (555-555-5555)
  • The company’s format for email addresses

Knowing all this, you can:

  • Plan a follow up email for the day after Mary’s return
  • Add Joe’s details to your CRM
  • Send your original email marketing message to Joe
  • Enhance Mary’s existing lead record with her title and cell phone number, perhaps for a time-limited promo or more personal follow-up. According to ZoomInfo, 66% of people change their title and/or job function annually.

The “Left the Company” Email

Sometimes you get a basic “no longer with us” auto-reply and nothing more, but savvy businesses include a new contact like in this example.

From this email, we learn:

  • Pamela left the company (effective January 30th)
  • Pamela’s replacement (Jenni Miller)
  • Jenni’s title (Marketing Manager)
  • Jenni’s email (
  • Jenni’s phone number (800-555-5454 x100)

Knowing all this, you can:

  • Resend your marketing message directly to Jenni
  • Contact Jenni personally to reestablish your company’s relationship, if applicable

The “Change of Email Address” Email.

A change of email address auto-reply is most commonly used when an employee changes names due to marriage or divorce, but it is also used when a company is acquired or a company changes names. According to Zoominfo, 34% of companies change their names and 37% of employees change email addresses annually. Failure to capture email address changes and update your CRM effectively cuts off all future communication with those leads.

From this email, we learn:

  • Amy’s email address has changed (
  • Amy’s old email address will be deactivated February 1st (
  • Amy can still be reached at the same number (888-123-4567 x 12)

Knowing all this, you can:

  • Update your CRM with Amy’s new email address
  • Delete all instances of Amy’s old email address
  • Resend your marketing message directly to Amy’s new email address
  • Update any email lists Amy is on

The Importance of the “Opt-Out Response” Email

Opt-out responses are technically not auto responses (as the recipient has to click a link and consciously unsubscribe from your mailing list or manually reply to the email themselves), but they contain crucial information that almost always needs to be acted upon.

From this email, we learn:

  • Megan’s title (VP of Marketing)
  • ACME Widget Company’s website

Knowing all this, you can:

  • Remove Megan from future mailings

Contacts typically opt-out of your list for a couple reasons:

  • They are no longer the correct person to be receiving the email:
    • Perhaps they changed positions or roles within the company. If they reply, it’s an excellent opportunity to start a conversation with them by congratulating them on their new role and to ask them for the new primary contact.
  • They are not happy:
    • If an existing customer is slipping away, you may need to reach out personally and show them some love. It’s better to identify this issue and act on it then to simply watch this person walk away.
    • Prospects may opt-out because they didn’t remember subscribing to something, the content is not relevant to them, they’re receiving too many emails, they feel your messages are too boring or too spammy, or maybe they have already made a decision and gone with another company for the product/service they needed. In these cases, it’s best to remove them quickly then to risk upsetting the person.

When you’re dealing with the latter, it’s more than just a faceless name dropping off your list. Prospect satisfaction and brand protection are key concerns, and any negative sentiments should be taken seriously and acted upon swiftly. Ignoring prospect opt-outs could result in a disgruntled (ex) prospect yelling from the social media rooftop that your company is a spammer and has no regard for its customers.

The Faster, Easier Way to Extract Data From Emails

Manually extracting these tidbits of data takes time and is more error prone, but expanding your base of contacts within a target account is well worth it.

Here’s the good news: You can automate the whole process with LeadGnome.

Every time an out-of-office, left-the-company, on-vacation, change-of-address or other automated message hits your inbox, LeadGnome mines every bit of info possible and pipes it straight to your CRM.

Moreover, LeadGnome automatically maps the information to the correct account in your CRM. (Learn more about the benefits of lead-to-account matching here.) Not only does this free your time for the million other things on your to-do list; it also takes human error out of the process and helps keep your campaigns highly targeted, efficient and free of messy duplication and orphaned data.

Not a bad use for all those ‘useless’ emails!

Don’t wait another minute! Make use of each and every campaign response email. Register for a free trial today!

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