As a PR veteran, your pitches are awesome. You know this, and your clients know this - but the journalists you're speaking to on a everyday basis don't. Getting their attention in the first place is difficult enough. But gettting them to read through your whole email - let alone respond? Challenging.
If you've been in PR for years, you've amassed your own knowledge of what does and doesn't work with your pitches, but with ToutApp, you're getting actual data. Our solution lets you nurture relationships with reporters, tailor your emails to each recipient, email multiple journalists at once, and learn what does and doesn't work in the world of PR pitches.
Email those pitches faster.
You can quickly send personalized emails to journalists right from inside of Gmail or Outlook using ToutApp's customizable email templates. And with ToutApp's group email functionality you can send a single pitch to multiple reporters.
Here is how Toni Antonetti, Founder and CEO of Chicago PR uses Tout:
I send out lots of story pitches, but I like to tailor them to individual reporters - if there's anything the media hates, it's blast emails! I can use the basic template but change it to refer a recent story by a particular editor. Or I can mention the timeliness of a story. I've been able to improce my open rates dramatically by noticing who opens which email and when.
Track those pitches.
ToutApp's Live Feed gives you real-time intelligence into what those reporters are doing with your email at this very moment. By tracking down views, clicks and engagement, ToutApp automatically highlights the people you should be paying attention to and see how the journalist interacted with your pitch.
Ed Zitron, CEO and Founder of EZ-PR, is pitching all the time. And doesn't go a day without Touting those pitches. Here is what Ed has to say about Tout:
I want to keep my emails as honest, upfront and efficient as possible and ToutApp lets me do that. Tout's view, click and engagement tracking allows me to see, in a lot more transparent manner, what clients are doing well and what effort I am putting in different places.
Tim Cox, Principal, ZingPR uses ToutApp for all his media pitching, Why?
Because, in one easy to use app, I can easily manage client-specific media lists and pitches, schedule outreach, and then track engagement (opens and clicks) in real time. It's really useful to see who has opened an email and even how many times he or she opened it - so I then know where to focus my follow-up activites.
What is even more equally useful for Tim is seeing who has not opened an email.
Why not? Was the subject line not appealing? Am I targeting the wrong person? ToutApp highlights those people who are not engaged.
Know what is resonating.
Think of the messages you send to introduce yourself to a journalist, follow up on a pitch or nuture a relationship with a client - ToutApp will help you become smarter with your email. Above all, we eliminate the uncertainity of how journalists reacted to your email. Thanks to our insights, you can measure what kind of messaging drives engagement and successful emails.
Peter Himler, CEO and Founder of Flatiron Communications, works with emerging and established companies seeking to capitalize on the latest tools and technologies available to the communications professional.
Tout helps eliminate much of the uncertainty that has historically existed when PR pros emails a story idea to a journalist. What's more, the app allows the sender to see how the journalists interacted with the emailed query. Needless to say, Tout may one day render the journalist-hated (and PR-dreaded) "follow-up" call obsolete.
Get smarter with your pitches - 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.
Online advertising is a crowded, confusing industry that Trada brings sanity to. They run the first and only crowdsourced, community-based marketplace for online advertising. Clients sign up, detail their needs, and are matched with industry experts, eliminating the need for a full in-house paid search team. Their business provides an easy solution that’s ideal for mid-market and larger small businesses.
We've profiled Trada in the past to spread word about a job opening for Business Development Reps. Check it out to learn more about their team and great culture - as well as their annual scooter race!
Trada’s messaging and lead follow-up process were systematized, but they lacked key insights into their day-to-day sales communication. Their Business Development Reps weren’t sure which leads were the most qualified to follow up with, and they also weren’t sure what communications resonated the most with prospects.
Trada’s sales and marketing departments worked together to get Tout running for the team. Marketing created templates for sales, and sales used these in their everyday communications to A/B test and gather usage metrics. Tout’s templates save Trada time writing repetitive emails, and they ensure that messaging is consistent across the team. As a fast-growing company, new Business Development Reps can quickly get up to speed on the sales process and messaging. Trada’s sales team can now gain critical insights on a lead-by-lead basis - by knowing who opened their emails - to hone in on the most interested leads with targeted follow-up.
Tout enables our sales team to prioritize their day. In the past we wasted time chasing leads who never opened the emails we sent them. By using Tout we can now target prospects that we are confident have opened their email. Tout also gives us insight into how quickly they are opened, how many times and what action they take after reading,"
- Chris Crawfurd, Director of Training and Sales Enablement
Bonus: ToutApp best practices from the Trada team
- Move recipients with the most clicks and views on emails to the top of the list for follow up
- Have marketing and sales work together to create and test sales email templates
- Follow up with an email or phone call when the Live Feed shows a lead viewing your email
- A/B test sales templates to see which perform the best, then use the ones with the best statistics.
A Tale of Two Teams
Two teams at competing companies sign up for a productivity app. Both are large, aggresive sales teams with big budgets and overlapping products. One of them takes full advantage of the app's collaboration features with tons of management buy-in; the other team is unable to be truly be transparent and collaborative and suffers from lack of leadership. So who wins? Which company is ultimately more successful?
You know the answer as well as I do: the more collaborative team. In the end, though, it’s really easy to recognize this as a successful model, but it’s really difficult to act on it. At a past employer, I struggled through a corporate job at a major tech company where this was the case; there were many complaints about a lack of internal transparency, but no one really stood up to change this. In the end, though, this is a detrimental cycle that only hurts you, the company, and your job.
Ultimately, it all comes down to this: someone has to either step up to reshape corporate culture to be more transparent, or the company will flounder.
The latest shake-ups at Yahoo are a clear example of this: the company floundered under weak leadership; now, the appointment of a new CEO has led the company in a far more decisive direction. The decision to “open the kimono” and really communicate across the team doesn’t just lie with management. Each employee has the choice of whether they want to get candid, and this can have far-reaching effects.
Sales Teams Need to Communicate - Here's Why
Sales is an especially challenging arena to be transparent in. It’s a department that’s traditionally based on competition. But the best salespeople out there can’t just be competitive - they need to be team players. Each salesperson brings a unique strength to the table - whether it be an insight into messaging that works, a secret to better prospecting, or a wealth of connections in their personal network. Uniting these strengths together is what makes a sales team unstoppable and their company more successful.
While working at Tout, I've dealt with a lot of teams with different organizational structures, and I’ve seen that initial model I mentioned of two competing companies with different internal structures. That’s why, in creating a sales productivity app, we’ve gradually shifted our whole ideology from the individual salesperson to the team model. There are a lot of sales team collaboration features in ToutApp - template and group sharing, deep CRM integration, team analytics, and best practices on which templates work best.
I see a ton of startups and smaller companies taking huge, huge advantage of our team collaboration features. It’s the larger companies that struggle with a sense of appropriateness, openness, and clear leadership. And, ultimately, the ones who are able to behave with a truly transparent attitude are the ones that will differentiate themselves from the competition.
So go ahead and share a "secret" or best practice with your boss or coworker. Help teach them something they didn't already know. Pass on your knowledge and talk frankly. You're not creating competition for yourself or giving anything away - you're helping your company and becoming a leader.
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.