How To Use Follow Up Tools
A systematic approach to sending follow up emails is more likely to bring success. Using a tool to keep track of your emails and follow ups can give you a serious edge.
Here’s what follow up tools can do for you:
- Keep track of overdue follow ups
- Update your CRM
- Know when your emails are opened or clicked
- Use interaction data to improve your emails
- Email tracking software places a pixel that detects interactions
Sending a follow up email used to be an isolated event. Once you had sent your email, all you could do is wait for your customer to reply. If they did, great. However, if they didn’t, there was not much you could do about it. Had they even read it?
Today, it’s possible to keep track of your emails after you send them. It’s also possible to create a system where you can use your emails and their replies to help you close more deals. For any sales rep, this is invaluable. Let’s find out more.
Why you need to keep track of your follow ups
It’s essential that you keep track of the emails you send. The system you create needs to be easy to manage and understand because you’ll be working with it continuously.
If you don’t keep track it is incredibly hard to figure out afterwards which emails went unanswered. Your inbox only shows you the people who did answer or who want something from you.
The methods of keeping track of your follow up emails can be divided into 2 parts:
- Keeping track of the emails you send and receive
- Recording the results of your emails
Both of these are equally important and help produce successful outcomes.
How to keep track of your follow up emails
Ten years ago if a sales rep wanted to keep track of their email conversations, they had to do it the old-fashioned way. They put flags on important emails in Outlook or any other email system they were using. They did their best to keep all their correspondence with one customer in its own thread and set manual reminders to follow up. Or keep track of it in a spreadsheet.
Luckily those days are over. Today, we have software to do all this for us, quicker and more accurately. And we need it, because the number of emails we send and receive has exploded in the past decade.
One of the options you have is to keep track of this in your CRM. This still requires a manual action for each email though so I would recommend against that. You already spend more than 4 hours per week updating CRM information so we should aim to bring that number down instead of up.
Another problem with this method is that you inevitably will miss certain information. Imagine for example when you are answering an email from your phone. You probably wouldn’t log into your CRM straight after to register this.
There are browser extensions that support in this, but they face similar issues. They don’t work on your phone and you will need to set a reminder every time you send an email. Even though it’s easier than doing this completely manually, it’s still an unnecessary hassle and these solutions typically have data quality issues. If you’d like to give it a try though, have a look at Salesforce Inbox.
At FunnelFox we’ve developed a solution that keeps track of overdue follow ups fully automatically. Instead of requiring you to consider this with every email you send, FunnelFox analyzes your conversations in the background and lets you know when a follow up should be sent. It’s a follow up tool that actually works for you.
Apart from this FunnelFox also makes sure that all information is registered in the CRM, so you don’t have to worry about this either. This way, no deals fall through the cracks ever again. And you can spend more time doing what you’re best at, selling.
Next, let’s look at how to keep analyze the results of your follow up emails.
What results to look for in your emails
Your customer interacts with your email or follow up in a number of different ways. If they reply to you, that’s an interaction you can easily see. However, other interactions are invisible to the sender:
- The customer has opened your email
- The number of times your customer has opened your email
- The device your customer has used to open your email
- Your customer has clicked on a link in your email
- They have spent time on your website
- Your customer has downloaded an attachment from your email
Nowadays you can track all of these extra results, which bring many advantages to the sales rep.
Benefits of tracking results from your follow up emails
When you track these additional results, it brings new opportunities to deliver value to your customer and eventually close the deal.
If you are notified when your customer opens your email, it’s an immediate opportunity to follow up. You occupy a space in your customer’s mind, even if it’s only for a minute or two. As a sales rep, this is your chance to give them a call. Ask them what they thought of what you wrote in your email. What else can you do to provide value for them?
If your email has been opened a number of times, it’s likely that your recipient has forwarded it to other colleagues in their team. This could signify that there are other decision-makers involved in the process. You could now spend some time investigating who else has a stake in the decision and what you can do to bring value to them.
The type of device your recipient uses to read your follow up email is useful to know. Ideally, if you’re going to call them straight away, you want them to be reading it on a desktop computer, at their desk. This means they’re in ‘work mode’ and are giving your email some serious thought. If they’re on a mobile device, they may be not be giving your email their full attention.
If a customer clicks on a link, spends time browsing your website or downloads an attachment, it provides context as to what is motivating them in their dealings with you. For example, if you are a rep selling social media solutions and your customer clicks on a link giving information on Instagram, you know that’s what they are interested in. You could reach out with more information on getting the most from Instagram. All this helps you solidify your relationship with your customer. It shows them that you’re here to help.
You can use tracking results to improve your follow up emails in the future. If you’re sending an email after a meeting, for example, but none of your customers are opening it, you know there is something wrong. Maybe the subject line isn’t exciting enough? You could try changing it.
Finally, tracking your emails help you work out the best times to send follow up emails to customers. If you send emails at various times through the day, but you receive a swamp of notifications around 11 am telling you your email has been opened, you now know that 11 am is the optimum time to follow up. You can usually report on this as well.
How to track the results of your follow up emails
Tracking notifications have been around since the dawn of email, in the form of ‘read receipts’. When you send an email, you can tick a box that tells you that your email has been safely delivered and that your recipient has opened it. However, this required the recipient to give permission to send the receipt back to you. It interrupted their workflow and is perceived as bad email etiquette.
Today, software allows email tracking to take place in the background, so no one is interrupted. You can also track more of the above mentioned interactions using follow up tools / email tools.
There are many different email tracking software solutions on the market. Most work in the same way as website analytics solutions, by placing a pixel in your email which can detect any interaction with it.
You receive a little notification on your screen saying, ‘Lauren just opened your email.’ After that, the rest is up to you.
If your organisation is not using email tracking software to take advantage of these available benefits, talk to your marketing and IT teams today. Don’t leave money on the table because you are not keeping track of your follow up emails.