Hi, I'm Gavin, the director of Check-in-London.com. We specialise in serviced accommodation in London and offer the best selection of Serviced Apartments and Short Stay Apartments for holidays, business trips and relocation.
We love ToutApp. It's easy to use, and it has significantly helped us increase our email efficiency and effectiveness.
Being able to see how our customers are responding to our emails is extremely useful for our team - and ToutApp makes this possible.
It gives us the tools to improve our email communication and enables us to give a better service to all our customers. We couldn't manage a day without it!
I co-founded a startup company called Aptivada. We work closely with TV stations, radio stations, and other media outlets to help them quickly grow their social presence. Our apps, tools, and media-specific consulting drives exciting results.
We send a LOT of the same e-mails every day for customer service, sales, and marketing.
ToutApp helps us work smarter, and much faster by providing a suite of tools and features to make sending e-mails better.
We use ToutApp's templates to save time on the daily hours that we were using to write the same type of email over and over again. One of our favorite features is being able to track opens and clicks. This helps us know who we need to follow up with or send another email to. ToutApp is also very simple and easy to implement. Everything ties in easily to Gmail and Outlook. If you're not using ToutApp for your startup or business, you should check them out.
You can get in touch with Creighton through Twitter: @creightongreen
Every other week, we'll profile a different person who uses our app to improve their email productivity. If you would like to be featured in the future, you can apply here.
First of all, Happy 4th of July. Although we have users using Tout all over the world, we are based in San Francisco, so we decided to take the day off and spend time with our families and friends and appreciate all that this country has to offer.
Nevertheless, for a small upstart like us, there's never enough downtime. So naturally, I woke up this morning and decided to check up on how our systems were performing and how the emails were being delivered.
The first thing I look at is our Tout Happiness Command Center. It aggregates all pertinent details about our business and puts the most important thing up-front -- the number of emails being touted over the past 72 hours across our different integrations (which includes Gmail, Outlook, iOS, CRMs and our own web-based app).
Although we saw a bit of a spike early Wednesday morning (our customers outside of the United States ), you'll see that email creation dropped down to near weekend levels as the day progressed.
This got me thinking...
Is the 4th of July pretty much a dead period of Sales Emails?
So, I decided to dig into the data. Writing emails was one thing, but with ToutApp, you're also able to see and track whether people are engaging with the emails you've sent (we track views and clicks in real time).
The first thing I looked into was the number of "Email Open" events we were detecting across our system and across all of our users. I first looked at Tuesday to see if people started to engage less with your emails when leading into a holiday.
As the graph shows, No! People were opening just as many emails the day before 4th of July (by and large) as the past 16 or so Tuesdays before it.
Then, I decided to take a look at Wednesday. Since its still about Noon PST over here, I decided to compare to the past 16 or so Wednesdays but only looking at data for the number of hours that has passed into today.
Surprisingly enough, while there has been slightly less views today than previous Wednesdays, its not wildly off. More importantly, the engagement stats don't represent nearly as high of a drop off for the 4th of July holidays that the send stats do.
So, Are Sales People lazy? Are they missing out on an opportunity to get their message across during 4th of July?
Seeing that people were clearly viewing emails, it bugged me that our customers weren't logged into Tout and sending out emails to their prospects. Were our customers missing out on a great opportunity to get up top on the Inbox?
So I decided to take a closer look at the Email Send traffic going through Tout adjusted for user growth to get a relative measure:
Now if you've been paying attention, you'll know why I got confused here. It looked like very few people were logged in, but we were infact sending a ton of emails out! So then, I ran one more query -- which made me one incredibly proud Founder:
Turns out, both were correct.There were very few people "actually working on Tout" but a significant number of our customers were smart enough to make sure Tout continued to work for them even though they were out of the office. Tout customers went in and scheduled a number of emails to be sent throughout 4th of July.
So there you have your answer, you should send sales emails during 4th of July -- here are the conclusions:
While people may be at barbecues, fireworks, etc at 4th of July, righ talong with posting their Twitter and Facebook updates, they are continually engaging with their Inbox.
4th of July is still a great time to continue to move your sales process forward. You may not close deals, but you can most certainly make first contact, grow awareness or move forward in the process.
- And lastly, you yourself don't have to be stuck in the office to keep things moving forward. Put automation into place, schedule your emails with Tout.
Are you using ToutApp for your sales, business development and business emails yet?
For any company, communicating with your customer base is essential. It can also be very frustrating.
I see this daily with some of our users, whether they’re emailing prospects, current customers, or even potential new employers. Someone will write to us claiming that their Tout analytics aren’t working because no one’s opened the emails they sent. I check and, yes, their emails have been sent. It’s just that no one has opened or responded to them.
All too often, this has to do with the email itself, and I get to tell them: Okay, everything on our end seems to be fine. But maybe your messaging isn’t working?
Here’s 4 common trends I’ve noticed in their communications and also in my own emails:
1) Your tone is too formal.
How would you write an email to your best friend? A sibling? Parent? Got that in your head?
Now think about how you’d write an email to a current customer or prospect.
If these two scenarios are entirely different, I urge you to reconsider your tone. No one wants to be addressed as “Dear Sir or Madam.” In fact, I’d argue that tone makes emails seem grossly automated rather than appropriately deferential. Keep it casual, keep it light, and keep in mind you’re a human talking to other humans.
2) Your email is too long.
No matter what you’re saying to your customers, it should not take two pages of text to say it. So if you find yourself saying the same thing over and over again in an email, stop. Eliminate redundancy. And move on.
If you feel yourself getting particularly verbose in your writing, more often than not you’ll likely need to take a step back and assess how to best cut down on your extra words.
3) You’ve got large blocks of text.
I’ve separated this blog entry into different items so that you’re not staring at a huge page of text with no breaks. Try to do something similar by breaking paragraphs often or making lists:
- Put yourself in the mind of the customer
- Create a process for them to follow
- Order this so that you are providing an organized breakdown of a list for them
Also, don’t forget to bold important pieces of content so they don’t get lost.
4) You’ve forgotten a call to action.
What are you trying to get your customer to do? It’s important to make this call to action pretty clear from the start and crystal clear at the end. Signing off on your emails with a “Just wanted to say hi....”, a “give me a call if,” or similar is a weak call to action that requires too much effort to act on.
Instead, ask your customers if 12pm on Tuesday works for a call to talk to them. Send them a link to a relevant article. Offer them a special deal or a walkthrough of your product. Include tracking links (we generate these automatically when you send emails through our service) so you can see how well each of your calls to action work.
I hope this helps! What other tactics have you found to increase engagement through your communications?
In the past, we’ve talked about how Tout works with companies in fields like technology, housing, and hiring. Today we shift our way over to education to show how Tout can help schools streamline their communications.
Turns out running a school is no easy feat. It requires a deft balancing act of communication between staff, teachers, current families, and prospective families. Managing the day-to-day administrative work along with annual processes such as admissions and hiring creates the perfect storm of emails, which is where Tout fits in for Trinity Classical School of Houston.
Tout improves parent-teacher email communication for TCS, as well as communications with other schools and prospective staff members. Here are a few of the recurring tasks that Tout helps out with:
1) Notifying applicants about upcoming dates in the admissions process
Trinity Classical School uses a rolling admissions process where each student’s application is processed in the order that it is received. As a result, each accepted applicant has their own timeline with a different due date for enrollment. Tout allows TCS to communicate with applicants at every stage of the admissions process, from initial inquiry to application to interview to acceptance to enrollment.
2) Exchanging academic data from other schools
As the school receives student applications, they need to request transcripts and recommendations from applicants’ previous schools. TCS uses Tout to coordinate with other schools in order to finish up the admissions process.
3) Hiring new teachers
Each spring TCS begins to hire new teachers for the upcoming school year. They need a way to communicate with applicants and keep up with all the resumés and applications as they arrive. A series of Tout templates help TCS navigate through the hiring process by setting meeting times and following up with applicants’ references.
4) Sending payment reminders
Tout allows TCS to send billing reminders to school email lists in cases where the school's accounting system doesn't offer the flexibility they need, or when the school needs to send an email reminder to new families who don’t yet have access to the school's intranet.
5) Reminding families of upcoming volunteer commitments
TCS relies on its parents to help out by volunteering at events such as school field trips. Tout allows the school to send a reminder to just those families that have signed up to volunteer that week.