Content marketing is the new black, is the future of marketing and isn't going anywhere anytime soon. For those who live under a rock, content marketing is all about creating and distributing valuable content to attract and convert a prospect into a customer. The goal is to educate and engage others so that they know who you are, like what you are sharing and trust you. So really, if you think about it, content marketing isn't really anything new. It's purely speaking to your audience through your own stories. Instead of purchasing advertising to get in to the mind of your consumer - companies are creating compelling content that captivates and lures your audience in.
At ToutApp, we consider ourselves a teaching company more than a selling one. We like to teach salespeople how to be better at sales by providing rich content, videos and resources. We are passionate about our product BUT we are also passionate about teaching others how to be better at sales. We found it is key to provide content that in the end will allow your audience to learn something valuable and for use to become a better salesperson all around.
With that in mind content marketing is a great wat to get customers or just an audience to your site. Just to prove the success we have acquired, we recently published our first iBook: How to Write Kickass Sales Emails. Our iBook generated over 100 conversions in the first few weeks. Simply because we created valuable content. FOR FREE. For salespeople and people who just wanted to learn the logistics of writing a kickass email. Over the past months, we have developed more awesome content where we have learned how to go all in - in the content marketing "trend." And so, we would like to share with you the content marketing truths we've developed at ToutApp around building a great brand, educating, inspiring and sharing valuable content.
- Create something VALUABLE. Engage your audience with interesting and valuable content. They need to be gaining something new in the first two sentences.
- Share a PROBLEM. Start with a common problem that you would want some insight on. Solve that problem by giving detailed insight with facts to back it up.
- Show you have a PULSE. Make you audience giggle, cry or ponder. Allow for them to be able to react and share your content versus bounding away from the page (Bonus: If it creates emotion chances are it will be highly shareable).
- Make the headline...KICKASS. Same goes for the subject line in your email - if they aren't catchy, short and informative most likely they won't open that email or take the time to read your content.
- Don't forget about YOU. Your content needs to encapsulate your company's core values and beliefs. Don't lose sight of this in your messaging. Exude a strong and consistent brand that others can easily recognize.
These simple truths will give you the foundation for getting started for greater resources and rich content check out these blogs:
- Quick Sprout: Neil Patel is the man. Founder of Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, Neil was named top 100 blogger by Technorati and top influencers on the web according to the Wall Street Journal and boy does his blog rock. He creates some of the most valuable content on the web - seriously start reading Quick Sprout religiously and thank me later.
- Hubspot: "Create Marketing people love." Hubspot has an enormous library of content from introductory material to advanced. From SEO to content creation. You will be sure to gain more than enough knowledge to become an advanced marketer from their blog. Check out Hubspots most recent post 7 B2B companies to Admire for Exceptional Visual Content.
- Copyblogger has a wide range of knowledge from their in depth tutorials to their popular articles. They break down how to build an audience that builds your business beautifully.
- The Eloqua blog publishes powerful content on marketing from how to create that blog post, infographic, white paper or tutorial video that will turn a prospect into a paying customer.
Overall they all have some amazing valuable content that will transform you into a content marketing rockstar. So go out publish some valuable high quality content. Educate people and by doing so you will position you and your brand as content thought leaders in your industry. Give the ability to boast and share easily and it will spread. Teach people to be better and they will join you.
P.S. Try Touting your content. See how others are engaging with your messaging and know what is resonating and what is not.
Our featured User of the Week entry comes from Elliot Robia, a Market Strategist at Pixel Farm. Every week or so, we'll profile a different user group who uses our app to improve their email productivity. If you would like to be featured in the future, you can apply here.
Tout has totally changed my workflow.
At Pixel Farm, we have two distinct customers: ad agencies and large companies. After understanding how we can help them, prospective clients are usually eager to work with us. Getting the initial conversation can sometimes be difficult, however. This is where ToutApp comes in.
I started using Tout for my outbound emails a few months ago, and it's excellent. I find leads using LinkedIn, and the app allows me to A/B test my messaging and eliminate receptive tasks (copy/pasting, typing and retyping). Tout provides great insights via its tracking and analytics features, and the user interface is beautiful. One of my favorite features is the email server integration which allows emails to be sent via your server -- not some third party application. Tout can also be integrated into Salesforce, and inbound emails will land in your inbox (Outlook, Apple Mail, Gmail, etc).
Check it out. It was worth the switch for me.
First of all, Happy Friday.
For those of you that are already ToutApp users, I hope you had a fantastic week of sales communications with new and exciting leads. Thanks to Tout's Live Feed, you already know who your most engaged leads were, and have probably closed a few more deals than you normally would have since you focused your time on the right people.
For this Friday, as you reflect on how the week went and what you want to do differently next week, we want to give you something that helps synthesize how your sales communications went this week.
Today, we're introducing something brand new that is going to take your sales game to the next level. Today, we're announcing something takes all of that amazing analytics and tracking data around your sales emails and wraps it into one meaningful dashboard. Today, we're announcing our real-time sales communications dashboard.
Although its unorthodox to release stuff on a Friday, we thought it would be great because as you wind down on your long week, you can go ahead and log into ToutApp Dashboard, click on the "This Week" button, and see how your whole week looked in terms of your sales communications.
Tout's pulse dashboard will make meaning out of all those individual email views and clicks and tell you:
- Which times of the weeks were busiest for you
- Which times of the week your customers were most engaged
- How many emails you dealt with this week
- Which templates you used the most
- What kind of email content drove the most engagement
- Who your most engaged leads/prospects/customers are
And ofcourse, the dashboard was designed for Managers and Teams in mind first, so it'll also help you tap into the sales communications across your organization and see how everyones doing as a whole.
We've put in a significant amount of investment into the underlying data infrastrucutre for processing our email and engagement data. We think this dashboard is just the beginning.
If you and your sales team aren't on ToutApp yet, what are you waiting for? Get Touting.
Today, we're announcing Version 2.0 of ToutApp for Outlook. With it, you get a rock solid battled-tested plugin that adds Tout email tracking, templates and our newly introduced presentation tracking to Outlook versions spanning from 2007 to 2013.
Watch the Video Overview
How is it battle tested?
Since releasing our Outlook plugin last year, we've been hard at work working with customers across major enterprises spanning Outlook versions 2007 to 2013 and Windows versions XP, 7 and even Windows 8.
Tout already offers you the most advanced email and templating in the sales communications space, and today we're happy to announce support for presentation tracking right from inside of Outlook.
Why Tout for Outlook?
For those of you unfamiliar with Tout or email tracking in general, Tout's sales communications platform plugs into Outlook, Gmail, and your CRM to help solve these key problems in your day-to-day sales process:
- Not knowing what happens to your important sales emails after hitting "Send."
- Constantly jumping back and forth from your Outlook into your CRM having to manually upadate your sales communications.
- Having to constantly re-attach files, or re-write the same emails over, and over, and over.
Email and presentation tracking with real-time feed: You know when your email is opened, links are clicked, presentations are viewed down to the page and even when someone replies. See who is engaging with your emails as it happens right from Outlook so you can manage your time and follow up effectively.
Customizable templates. Write emails faster with saved templates. You can also draft an email up on the fly and save it as a template. Bonus - add a trackable attachment just as you're about to send the email.
- Auto-update your CRM. Forgot to update your CRM? No need to include a BCC or hop into your contact record. Tout auto updates your CRM once you send your email.
To get started with ToutApp for Outlook, you can download the latest version here.
If you don't have a ToutApp account yet, start here.
I recently sent out a BAD sales email.
Bad sales emails often go under the radar because most likely they won't result in a reply or a sale.
It's a bit easier to identify ideas around what some of our "best" emails look like based on positive responses they've led to in the past. To start writing better sales emails, it's important to take a look into what doesn't work.
5 Email Mistakes that most likely will result in a "Delete"
1. Typos and basic grammar mistakes. When sending a sales email the impression you make is key, especially within your first communication. Typos and basic grammar mistakes = loss of credibility. The focus shifts from selling to "why is this person wasting my time with an email they didn't edit." Lesson learned from the BAD email I sent. This was the response my email resulted in:
"...even if YOUR a pro."
You still rep Tout or can I call her out on this?
Not the type of reply I was looking for... scoring a meeting would have been better. Simple grammar mistakes, such as Your vs. You're can kill the value of a sales email instantly.
2. Mail merge fail. Similar to typos and grammar, the mail merge fail leads to automatic disregard of your email or just a good laugh. Here's an email one of our Tout developers Steven recieved:
Steven, Richard, As a ruby rails developer in the Bay Area, you are one of the most saught out engineers at the moment. Feels nice huh? Although with every positive, there are some negatives (you do probably get bombarded with recruiters all the time).
We are still wondering who Richard is...No one wants to read an email sent to Dave at Company A when you're name is Ryan at Company B.
3. A long and boring email. Everyone is busy. No one wants to read a 5 paragraph essay from you. Tweet size emails. Keep your emails down to 3 short paragraphs.
4. Don't let marketing write your sales emails. While marketing emails may look fancy and visually appealing, they do not come off as personalized or forge building real relationships. Simply said your lead wants to know their is an actual pulse on the other end. Use Tout templates so YOU can create your own sales templates easily that look just like any email you'd send out from Outlook and Gmail.
5. No follow up. This one technically does not result in an automatic delete. How can you delete an email that hasn't even been sent? Changes are you won't recieve a reply or close a deal after sening out just one email. Strategic follow up is key using a combination of email and phone. Well, unfortunately I can't go back and "un-send" the BAD email I sent.
3 Tips for Successful Sales Emails
- Your subject line. The subject line is like a book cover. While, we are told never to judge a book by its cover, this does not hold true for subject lines. Subjecy lines make it or break it. A good subject line will give your email that "extra-edge" when getting noticed in your leads' busy inbox.
- The intro. An email intro is key. Why should your lead care? Make your intro about them. Mention a referral, boost their ego, keep it simple...just don't jump into a detailed explanation of your company.
- Follow up. You need to follow up. Here's the catch to being successful, "Stop touching base and checking in." This is the best advice I learned from following sales influencer John Barrows. Make sure you are following up with an intent to move along the sales and have a call to action.
How to follow up from a sales email
Did my lead or prospect get my email? This is the biggest question often faced even after spending the time to write an awesome sales email.
- Use ToutApp's Live Feed to see when your email is opened, clicked or when your lead is on slide 5 of your sales deck. Now you can spend you time following up with the most engaged people with a timed call or email.
- We oftentimes forget about the leads or contacts we email and never respond. Maybe a lead you're scheduling a meeting with. Emails get lost, pushed aside, and forgotten just like snail mail. Most likely these people may be interested, opening your email multiple times, clickng on the links in your email to learn more and never take the next steps to reply.
- Use Tout templates. Make it easy for yourself to follow up by creating templates.
Sales emails are tough - let's face it. Spend time selling, not wasting time wondering if Richard and Steven read your email.