I'm one of the founders of Bracket Labs. We're a Boulder, CO startup building enterprise software apps for the Salesforce AppExchange. Our apps are TaskRay and Campaign Calendar, and together they're helping thousands of sales and marketing people around the world work more productively in Salesforce.
We're a small company, so as a founder I wear a lot of different hats. One of my primary roles is sales, so I spend a lot of time talking to customers who have found our apps through the AppExchange and are looking for more information so they can make a purchase.
I love ToutApp for three big reasons:
1) It helps me do more faster! We have a set of emails we send to new leads to help them understand the apps and determine whether there's a good fit for their team.
ToutApp has allowed me to send (and schedule) my emails in a way that has reduced my time per lead by about 30%.
2) The ability to deliver nicely formatted, trackable follow-up email responses from within the Salesforce Leads tab but sent from my own email address (rather than Salesforce's mailer) is great because I don't always trust the deliverability of the Salesforce mailer.
3) The Live Feed of activity on my sent emails is awesome and gives me new insight on customer engagement with my emails. I can prioritize my follow-ups based on their activity and interest level, timely response to an engaged customer is a big part of showing them you're paying attention and you are ready to help.
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.
"I send fairly targeted emails to prospects that are a good fit for my company's product offering, a niche software product. I generally see the recipients open the emails within a few hours, and many times I see that they've clicked on a link in my email to a relevant blog post or product demo video.
I generally don't jump on these people right away... but, like clockwork, these prospects open the email again within 2 to 3 days and click the links again. When I see this second click happen, I call them within fifteen minutes and say "Hi, I was calling to follow up on the email I sent a few days ago...." A high percentage of these people are very receptive at this point, and a huge number say something like "Wow, I was just thinking about you!"
Point is... sending these emails is like fishing. You certainly don't set the hook unless you feel a nibble, and even when you DO feel a nibble, you still need to let the fish get the hook all the way into its mouth...THEN set the hook. The folks that clicked the links the first time around? They're warm leads, but the "double-openers" are hot leads. In the 4th quarter, I'll be moving my videos to Wistia so that I have a better idea of just how warm these single-clickers are."
This best practice on how to use ToutApp is brought to you by one of our awesome users, Don Mulligan from Race HQ. Check out more best practices for how to use Tout here, or you can submit your own tip.
We loved this blog post from user WC Bracken, so we've reposted it here for our users to check out. Read on to learn more about how he uses Tout as part of his daily workflow:
I am somewhat of a data nerd when it comes to tracking my sales efforts over time. While much has been said recently about tracking outcomes verse actions in the sales process, I still believe in monitoring my own actions to see where I might be succeeding and where I might be falling down.
Recently, I have been using a new tool to help manage and track my emails called Tout. Tout allows you to create templated emails and track results. This is great for those common emails you send multiple times a day. So far, the best use case for me has been in sending follow-up emails to left voice mails. So, let me detail my process and show you my results.
Creating a Follow-up Email
Let’s say you have identified a new prospect and are ready for the full court press. No matter how long you have been in sales, you know there is an argument between the leave a voice mail camp and the never leave a voice mail camp. I personally fall into the leave a voice mail camp, but with a caveat. The reason I leave voice mails is because I have had plenty of call backs from those voice mails. Pretty simple equation in my head.
But, the caveat to leaving voice mails is that I try to make it easy on my prospect to respond to me by sending a follow-up email as well. Over time, I have found that a simple follow-up email performs considerably better than leaving a voice mail without the email or no voice mail at all. Also, I have found that it is critical to send a simple email – long and detailed email follow-ups are almost never read or responded.
What do I mean by a “simple” email? I mean direct, to the point, and showing that I have value to add. Here is an example template I use for news that a company is opening a new office in my area:
Subject: Following-up on my recent call
I wanted to quickly follow-up on the voice mail I just left you (I know responding to email can sometimes be easier). I saw that your company is opening a new office in _____ and wanted to share with you some of the successes we have had working with companies like yours to address large scale hiring ramps while controlling costs. By the way – did you know ___ County has tax incentives available for companies that provide training for entry level positions?
Would you be available for a brief introductory call on Thursday?
In this example, the email is short (3 sentences – although it could be shorter), timely (recent news announcement), shows value (communicates our expertise by mentioning the little known tax incentives in the area), and asks for a specific follow-up time (Thursday). Combined with leaving a voice mail, this is an effective way to show that I am on top of my prospect’s recent news and that I have some information of potential value. Also, by sending the follow-up email, I am showing respect for my prospects time (as email is in fact sometimes easier).
Sending Follow-up Emails via Tout
The key to this process is making it as seamless and easy to do as possible so that you (or your sales reps) will actually do it! This is where Tout comes in to play. Tout is a web app that allows you to create templates, send emails and track results. It ties into Salesforce, Highrise and other CRMs, allowing you to keep all of your information in one place as well. Here is the Tout intro video:
The first step is creating an email template. To create a template, you log into to Tout and click the green plus button and name the template. Click on Content and Edit to write your template.
Remember to keep it direct and to show value. You can also attach a document (such as a sell sheet or brochure), but I have had less success with attachments. The great thing about the Tout templates is they retain the “handwritten” look. No stylized email templates here…just plain, easy to read text. Once you are ready, save the template and off you go!
As I said earlier, Tout ties into several CRMs or Gmail or Google Apps, making it easy to select a template and send. This really speeds up the process if you are working prospects out of Salesforce for instance. Upon leaving a voice mail for a prospect, you simply select the follow-up email either out of Gmail, through your CRM, or on the Tout site itself. Either way, that’s it, you are moving on to the next one!
Tracking Email Results
You will hopefully begin to see responses on your emails almost immediately, but it is critical to have more than just anecdotal evidence and Tout has you covered here as well. You can track the number of times your emails have been viewed or click throughs (if you included a link to your web site for instance) in the web app or in your CRM. This is great for testing two competing emails against each other as well (i.e. one shorter than the other or different subject lines).
Since implementing Tout, my follow-up email view rate is about 40% with about 12% responding. Simply put, sending email follow-ups to my voice mails blows away my callback rate on voicemails alone (about 2-4%). Obviously, this is dependent on what you are selling and who you are marketing to as well.
My experience strongly suggests that using a combination of voice mails and emails leads to a better response rate than calls, voice mails or emails alone. I also found that using a tool designed to make it easier to send the follow-up emails created discipline in my process and allowed me to track results.
Have you tried a similar process? What are your results with voice mails and emails?