Everything you need to know about how to track emails
Are you are in sales? Do you run a business?
If so, you know that email plays a critical role in your business operations.
Whether you’re engaging with customers or conducting outreach to cold prospects, email is a critical element of how you can build relationships without meeting each person face to face.
In fact, people who are good at email outreach generate more leads and close more deals.
But tracking emails and tracking sales data are a lot like dieting. You know you should do it because it’s good for you, but you often don’t bother – no matter how keenly aware of that truth you are.
Let’s face it: tracking data isn’t always fun. But data provides an accurate picture of how effective your efforts are.
How to track meaningful data
To grow your business or sales, you need a model that is predictable and can be easily scaled. To that end, you need three essential components to build a predictable model:
Customer profile – Who are your ideal customers?
Lead generation – How are you going to get in front of these people?
Engagement – How are you going to engage and sell to these prospects?
If you have a predictable model, then you need key metrics to measure progress and ensure you are on track. In the case of email outreach, these metrics are as follows:
Activity – How many emails did you send out?
Quality – How many qualified decision-makers did you reach?
Conversion – How many of those decision-makers moved to the next step in the sales cycle?
Why traditional email can’t help you
If you use any email client like Outlook or Gmail, you can send emails and receive them. You can even ask for read receipts, but that doesn’t really provide the data you need for your predictable model.
Consider these questions:
- Do you know what happens to all the emails you send out? After all, if you can’t measure it, then you can’t manage it.
- How do you know what you need to improve on and what numbers to focus on?
This is where email tracking comes in.
This is especially critical if you use Google apps (Gmail) or Outlook for your company emails and Salesforce as your CRM. The back and forth required between apps just to update details and notes is a waste of time, energy, and money.
What is email tracking?
Email tracking, unlike read receipts, is software that works in the background. It works without interruption or delay and notifies the sender of an email being opened and when links have been clicked.
It works by placing an invisible pixel in the email that is used to track the activity that occurs on each email.
What are the benefits of tracking an email?
Before we answer the question of how to track emails, you need to know why you should track emails.
So – how does email tracking help you?
Here are a few ways in which it can make a big difference to your business.
Determining where a prospect is in the sales cycle
Email tracking can play a crucial role when you need to determine where a prospect is in the sales cycle.
It provides insights and data that will allow you to formulate a message based on their tastes and preferences.
Take another scenario for example.
A recipient who is usually based in New York opens an email from Maui, Hawaii.
You know that he or she is probably on vacation and so can time your follow-ups for a later date.
This as opposed to what people usually do: sending a standard “Did you get my email?” message.
If you see that a person has opened your email several times, then there is a good chance that he or she is really interested in your offer.
Similarly, if he or she clicked on a link or an attachment a few times, it would indicate that he or she is really interested.
That would be a good time to follow up with a call or email to help him or her through to the next stage of the sales funnel.
Gaining insight and building your relationship
Gaining insights into what is happening with your email is great, but it is better if we can place it in the context of available information and previous contact.
All this information adds value to your list in your CRM, such as Salesforce, and makes for relevant email communication.
Providing data for the metrics you require
Most importantly, email tracking gives you the data you need to inform the metrics for the predictable model you need for your business.
In other words, it helps you determine whether your efforts are moving the needle.
If not, you have a better idea of what needs to be tweaked to improve the results.
How to track emails
Tracking an email doesn’t require you to code or deal with complex software. It just takes 3 steps as shown below.
1. Install an email tracking app
Use an email tracking application like ContactMonkey, which is especially suitable for Salesforce users who use Google apps (Gmail) or Outlook as their go-to email client.
You will get notifications when someone opens or clicks on emails you send, including the number of times he or she opens the email, from what device, and where.
That’s to say nothing of exceptional Salesforce integration features offered by ContactMonkey, opening up a range of new capabilities, including the power to add emails to any standard or custom object with a single click, right from your inbox and customize your sidebar to show exactly what Salesforce objects you want to see in the side of Gmail or Outlook.
2. Compose an email
Sending an email is easy, right?
It helps when you have had a little interaction with a person to build a profile.
That way, you can tailor your message appropriately instead of facing a blank screen and struggling with what message to craft.
With ContactMonkey, we’ve got you covered. Your contact’s profile details will be pulled from Salesforce to be displayed in the sidebar.
3. Receive notifications
After you have sent a tracked email, you are notified whenever the recipient opens the message – allowing you to stay on top of all the emails you send out to improve your sales and networking efficiency and productivity.
Getting real-time updates is a remarkably simple – and incredibly powerful – method of keeping your finger on the pulse of all your prospects (metaphorically speaking, of course).
This is where you start to realize that the question of how to track emails is actually very simply answered with one app that plugs directly into your inbox.
Creating timely and contextually relevant follow-ups
One of the distinct advantages of knowing how to track emails is the fact that you can send contextually relevant follow-ups while they are relevant to the recipient.
Take AVID Technical Resources for example: they are an IT recruiting firm headquartered in Boston, MA. According to AVID Technical Resources President Brian Tomasello, the company saw the value of gaining insights into when candidates or clients open their emails using ContactMonkey.
“We have now been using[ContactMonkey] for three months. All our salespeople and recruiters use the app.
One of the most useful features is the real-time pop-up alert notifying me when someone opens an email. Salespeople can immediately see if/when a hiring manager clicks on their email to review a candidate’s resume or simply just view their message. This gives the Account Manager insight to then react accordingly.”
Once your team knows how to track emails, everything changes.
And the insight doesn’t stop there.
If you’re a Gmail user, ContactMonkey’s Gmail Delay Send lets you capitalize even further on this extra context, providing an incredibly simple solution to the question of how best to time your emails.
A feature that lets you pick and choose precisely which times to send an email (which, by the way, you can also track), it’s yet another part of ContactMonkey’s powerful suite of email enhancements.
Over to you
Let’s be honest here. Email tracking is great in that it gives you insights and data to work with.
But when all’s said and done, businesses operate based on how much money they make. Not on the number of email opens or bounce rates.
So, the real metric you must track your email activity is how much revenue you make.
All other metrics support the key metric – revenue. Knowing how to track emails – and knowing how to work with the data you obtain from tracking – will help you and your team engage your customers and prospects better, leading them further into the sales process.
This, in turn, gets you closer to your revenue targets.
Mastering the art of email requires keeping a close eye on the data from your email efforts and practice.
Creating the habit of improving your email efforts will compound over time, helping you and your team to multiply your effectiveness and productivity beyond what you thought possible.