Once upon a time, a clever sales rep sent out a nicely crafted email to dozens of prospects. Then, he had to wait without any way of knowing whether the emails were opened, forwarded, or simply thrown in the spam folder. For during those old, dark days, there was no email tracking.
Fortunately for us, salespeople are now equipped with advanced email tracking. This includes metrics that allow them to take full control and build long term relationships with prospects. Of course, email tracking is not entirely new. Many companies have been using this and many other sales acceleration techniques to move customers through the sales cycle and reach a purchase decision.
Email has become indispensable in a modern sales environment as you’ll see in our email marketing Ebook. Research shows that it’s still the most effective lead generation tactic in addition to being the least expensive to execute (a return on investment of 4400%). In this post, we look at the benefits of email tracking and how it can accelerate sales. We’ll also check out the top 5 tools that your sales team needs to be acquainted with.
Benefits of Sales Email Tracking
Simply put, sales email tracking helps your sales team to know exactly when, how, and why a recipient engaged with their email. These and more engagement metrics such as open rates, geo-based data, inbox placement rates, click-throughs, and attachment viewing are incredibly useful in helping a business make data-driven decisions.
Email tracking software automatically detects these metrics once an email is opened. So, how does all this data come in handy for accelerated selling? The benefits of email tracking include:
1: Provides Overview of Email Engagement
How are your sales email campaigns going?
Without email tracking, you’d have to rely on final sales numbers to get a clue. With tracking, you get delivery failures, click-throughs, open rates, attachments viewed, and any downloaded documents as well. These metrics will allow you to set up automated sequences such as lead scores to your CRM based on email activity.
2: Track Prospects at each Sales Pipeline Stage
Typically, prospects proceed from being a guest to a potential buyer. Each of them go through multiple sales and marketing stages. In addition to allowing sales teams to drive substantially more relevant email campaigns, email tracking also helps pinpoint the exact stage a prospective buyer is at.
However, returning buyers are a whole different ball game. How sure can you be that they will return once they make an initial purchase? That’s why you need to track their email activities more closely to trigger customer engagement and more importantly, retain it.
Check out our article on effective email marketing to discover all this and more.
3: Craft Realistic Automated Responses Based on Engagement
Research done by Hubspot already shows us that as many as 50% of sales always go to the first-responding vendor. And to be the first, you will need to automate your sales process. This will allow you to spend more time on critical business activities.
Sales tracking software gives you extremely detailed insights on when and how your recipients are engaging with sales emails. Once you know what they’re looking for, you can set up automated sequences that catalyze prospective leads to move forward through the sales funnel.
In sales, we have a motto. “Reach target buyers at the right time with the right message.” Something as simple as email tracking apps will effectively cut down on blind sales efforts and shift your focus to what really matters.
4: Narrow Down Buyers' Intent
When you want to convert a potential buyer into a repeat customer, nothing works better than sales email tracking. This sales acceleration technique makes it possible to narrow down the exact tastes and preferences of a prospect.
Tracking sales emails also allows you to draw conclusions on the buying intent of your target. You will understand if the buyer is ready to buy immediately, or might be in need of a bit more time to get to know your products or services. Having a solid list of your buyer personas will definitely help you identify what will work best for each.
5: Save Time on Follow-Ups
Picture this; you open your computer every morning to find follow up after follow up of an email that you never even bothered to open in the first place! Not only won’t you be annoyed, you might even go right ahead and mark the address as spam.
This is where email tracking programs step in to save the day and help millions of salespeople avoid the same fate. Reps can be aware of exactly when a prospect has opened their email, and even forwarded it throughout the organization. Naturally, this gives them the cue to send a follow up and review account intelligence. This is one of the most prominent techniques in all the major email campaign sequences.
If the target recipient went ahead to click on a link or even open an included attachment, you have a better chance of converting that prospect than someone who simply opened the email. By providing your sales teams with valuable insights, email tracking helps you identify prospects that are more qualified than others.
How to Track Your Sales Emails
a) Through Image Pixels
This is hands down the most common way of tracking emails compared to all the rest. Certain image pixels are added into your email from a tracking server with a filename that’s usually coded. The image pixels are obviously invisible to the naked eye.
When a recipient opens the email, the image is instantly called to the server confirming that the email has been opened. However, image pixels might not be the most reliable method of tracking your sales emails. That’s because clients like Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, and Apple Mail tend to not load these images.
This means that it’s up to the recipient to manually download the image after opening up their emails. So even if the recipient opened and read the email without downloading any images, the tracking method might not pick this up.
b) Through Read Receipts
Have you ever noticed that a lot of clients actually offer read receipt options for email recipients? If your email list had opted in and turned the same option on in their settings, then you will receive an automatic update letting you know your email has been read.
Unfortunately, there are also several challenges with this tracking method. The first one is pretty obvious yet unachievable since both you and your entire email list have to be using the same email client. And secondly, it’s an invasive notification system that requires the recipients to have it turned on from their end. You simply have no way of knowing if it’s on or not.
c) Via Trackable Links
When it comes to email tracking, no other method gives more of an edge to your sales team than trackable links. Some of the content in an email is linked to content stored in a cloud based repository. When opened or clicked, the repository gives pretty reliable engagement metrics.
With all the above methods of tracking sales emails in your hands, it’s time for a very important best practice. You need to combine the methods with the right tools such as a CRM with advanced features.
Check out these and more on Veloxy’s best practices for email marketing.
Top 5 Tools for Sales Email Tracking
Email tracking software or tools allow users to track sent emails, and collect analytics and other metrics such as open rates or number of clicks. These email tracking solutions make use of certain features like read-receipts or web beacons that let users monitor delivery to the intended recipient. Software for tracking emails integrates directly with various email platforms. Often, we implement it as an addition to complementary marketing and sales products such as CRM.
Here are five of the best tools and software for email tracking:
Veloxy is your inbox’s AI-powered sales assistant. Veloxy adds industry leading email sales and marketing engagement software functionality to your inbox. This includes Salesforce visibility and automation, CAN-SPAM compliance, mail-merge, analytics, personalization, optimization, one-to-one email blasts, account based email tracking, and much more.
Veloxy will let you know when your emails are opened and read. It also tracks your emails and gives you real-time alerts so you can take prompt action to accelerate sales cycles. The plugin also saves you time with personalized email templates for bulk emails. The best part is that Veloxy gives you metrics so you can see how your emails are performing and learn from the most successful campaigns.
SalesHandy remains one of the most popular email tracking software out there. What sets it apart is that users get unlimited email tracking and scheduling absolutely free, for life. The tool also allows for full compatibility with any email clients courtesy of SMTP configuration.
In addition to offering email templates that save you a lot of time, SalesHandy comes with email scheduling so you can schedule emails to be sent later. You can schedule unlimited emails using any time zone from the 240 zones available. However, sent emails are tracked via links, which while it might be great for analyzing lead engagement, your recipients have to click the links within the email.
Yesware is a sales engagement platform that provides real-time open notification and informs you when your emails are clicked, who opened them, and how many attachments were downloaded. What makes Yesware so efficient in email tracking is their integration with Gmail accounts. It provides a seamless fit.
Right from your Gmail on the Yesware dashboard, you can access all the click and open rates as well as reply rates, letting you target the hottest leads at the best time. In addition to email templates and meeting schedulers, Yesware also offers automated follow up and mail merge. There’s also integration with Salesforce CRM so you can integrate all your information seamlessly.
If we’re being entirely honest, not all businesses require in-depth email tracking metrics. Some SMBs just want to see who read their emails without all the extra bells and whistles that come with more advanced tracking tools. This is where Mailtrack comes in.
Mailtrack is one of the simplest and most straightforward email tracking tools that’s perfect for solopreneurs who just want to track emails minimally. Just like the blueticks on whatsapp, this tool simply adds two ticks next to your emails to let you know who opened and who didn’t. For a free email tracking tool, it definitely works well and provides a sleek, clean interface.
5: HubSpot Sales
Offered by Hubspot, Hubspot Sales is a CRM with an email tracking extension. In addition to seeing who opens your emails, the extension gives you a pop-up notification when your recipient opens any email. This tool is best for sales teams that need an all-inclusive CRM. One that can also track emails using a wide range of metrics.
Hubspot Sales allows users to track their emails right from their Gmail or Outlook inbox. Once you have installed an extension to Google Chrome, Hubspot can now integrate with your inbox to give you real-time tracking and notifications. The tool gives users free tracking on up to 200 email opens. After that, you will have to pick out a paid plan.
For a more expanded list, visit our friend Shane Barker’s website: 15 Best Email Tracking Software Programs for Your Business
Email Tracking Conclusion
Email tracking doesn’t just end with email engagement metrics. After viewing your email, recipients will still be online and browsing. They could either be following links to your website or checking out other alternatives to your products and services.
As the sales department, it’s up to you to track browsing data and tie it up with lead profile data to get a complete picture of your recipient’s buying intent and problem statement. When done correctly, email tracking systems will put a definite end to the uncertainty surrounding sales emails. That, and ensuring you avoid these 7 common email marketing mistakes.
Thanks to some of the tools mentioned above, you know exactly when your prospects read emails as well as when the best time to follow up is. This leads to mutual benefits for both you and your prospects. While your customers know that you won’t spam their inbox with unnecessary and unopened emails, you get insights that make your email campaigns that much more personalized and effective.
All these will guarantee you stay off the Email blacklist. If you have not started tracking your emails yet, checkout our in-depth article on Veloxy and how it can work wonders for your sales emails. Veloxy offers comprehensive email tracking including advanced email metrics tracking.