It's a common issue that every sales team experiences -- you've been sending outbound sales emails and your response rate hasn't been great. Worry not, because one thing that email tracking has taught our own sales team is that there is always opportunity to improve.
If you've been tracking your emails with Bananatag, the four symptoms below outline common areas for improvement that you can target from your tracked email data. If you're not currently using email tracking, try Bananatag for free and start tracking your emails!
Symptom: Few recipients are opening your emails
Possible causes of low open rates are weak subject lines or message previews, or your email username appearing unrecognizable to your recipient. Since your recipients only see these three pieces of information before deciding to open or trash your email, it's easy to improve open rates.
Writing great subject lines is no easy feat, but understanding what works with your audience is the best way to improve performance and open rates. Start by keeping it short, and make changes based on what has worked in the past. Also, consider grouping tracked emails into folders for testing subject lines.
It's important to remember that most email clients will pull in the first line of your email into a message preview or snippet. Use this to your advantage by starting your message with an introduction that is as strategically thought out as your subject line. In Gmail, the first 100 word-forming characters are visible in your message preview before a recipient opens your email, so make this snippet count.
A third consideration for opens should be how your name and email appear to your recipient. Depending on how your email account is set up, your recipient might not see the name of your company, only your full name. In some cases, an email username that includes the name of your company (i.e. Andrew at Bananatag, vs. just your full name) may increase opens if your company is recognizable.
A good rule before sending out a large number of sales emails, is to send yourself or a colleague a copy of your email template and make sure it arrives in your inbox looking like a message you yourself might open, click on, and respond to.
Symptom: Open rates are good, but few recipients are clicking links in emails
The links in your email are critical for both moving sales forward, and for giving you insight on interaction with your emails. If click rates on the links in your email templates are low, it's likely that your messaging isn't appealing enough to your audience, or that your emails lack a clear call to action.
Continually test messaging, place links strategically throughout your email and give your leads a reason to click!
If very few recipients are clicking a sign-up or purchase link that you've included, consider including secondary links (like a relevant blog post) to provide more information to leads that aren't ready to convert, but may still be interested in finding out more about your products or services. Always include a clear link to your homepage in your email signature for recipients who may prefer to navigate through your website themselves.
When including links in the body of a message, ensure the links themselves are descriptive enough that the recipient knows what to expect after clicking. Particularly when emailing cold leads, clarity regarding where your links are pointing to will go a long way in encouraging recipients to click.
Symptom: Opens and clicks are good, but sales still aren't happening
You know your leads are interested, but they aren't converting. Assuming in this case that your website is the primary point of conversion, possible causes of leads dropping off after clicking through from your emails may be usability issues or messaging on your website.
In this case, the solution may be as simple as ensuring that the messaging through the links you're sending your recipient is consistent to what your email said. Your website should reinforce what you've already said, rather than surprise your lead.
To fully understand how leads are behaving after clicking links in your email, we strongly recommend setting up Google Analytics for email tracking. Using Google Analytics, you can see how the visitors to your site from only the links in your emails are behaving and address any usability issues (i.e. pages not displaying on mobile devices). You can also see how long leads from your emails stayed on your website, and the pages they viewed before leaving -- all valuable for understanding what changes may help them complete a purchase.
As you've likely been testing various aspects of your email templates to increase opens and clicks, consider also using landing pages for your email links, which can help you further understand and improve your site's performance and email conversion rate.
Symptom: Overall email performance is decreasing over time
Over time, response to any email strategy will vary and may decrease. Causes of decreased performance may be fewer new available leads in a niche market or outdated email templates.
If your ideal target market is small (and your new leads are more broadly matched in terms of interests) you should expect a decrease in response, although this should also open up new opportunities to improve and optimize your sales emails for a new audience.
More likely, a decrease in overall performance is an strong indicator of a stale email template. To prevent this, regularly review and test messaging to ensure it includes up to date information about benefits, recently published resources, and is competitive with offers from other companies.
Understanding where performance is fluctuating (i.e. changes in opens, clicks etc.) is one of the best ways to diagnose a downward trending email campaign. In this case, your email tracking data and a combination of the all of the solutions outlined above can help get things back on track.
Better sales templates start with email tracking
On its own, your email client only provides one metric -- replies to your emails (when someone actually hits reply and writes you back). While these might be the most valuable to you (more so than a click to your website, for instance), responses alone tends to do a poor job of explaining the actual performance of your sales emails.
Knowing how many of your emails get opened and links clicked provides a solid basis to increase response, so make the most of your email tracking data to improve your sales!