The New Way To Engage Your Leads

Or, why email sequences and tracking are annoying leads, reducing conversions, ruining your personal brand, and destroying your company reputation.

Sales reps are now using software to automate sending emails to prospects — a practice that was previously the domain of marketing professionals. Automation and cheaper products now allows a rep to themselves send an email sequence — a series of emails in a predefined sequence to leads — without requiring assistance from marketing. Using email sequences is very efficient because, with a single template, you get the same, never-deviating message out to prospects. Why have the counterpart of sales email sequences, marketing campaigns, worked for decades but sales email sequences are still unproven? Sales teams have now started taking a page out of the marketing playbook to deliver their own email sequences, but there is less rigor around the techniques and science of outreach. Sales email sequences are mostly a blunt tool to hack your way through outreach. Sequences don’t work in sales, which, to cut through the clutter and speak to a lead’s profile, must always be personalized and bespoke.

Email marketing is an industry of gigantic proportions, and it’s not going away, but that’s where the puck used be. Email marketing is not where the puck is going, and your prospects are increasingly conditioned to ignore email that is generated using email sequence generators. To make your email outreach work, sales and marketing teams are increasingly looking to make the outreach more effective. One such technique is email tracking. With email tracking built into your email outreach, you know when the lead opened the email, if they clicked the Call to Action (CTA) link and visited your site — once. Yet, this is still a blunt tool, and ineffective.

Email tracking is alluring. When you do outreach, you don’t know when or if your lead is interested in whatever you are selling them on. So you look for a signal — any signal — that she is showing signs of interest. Opened that email? She’s interested! Opened it 3 times this week, she’s really interested in us! Opened on 4 different computers? You’re gearing up to send her an invoice. So, a cottage industry of “email tracking” tools have sprung up to help you create email templates, send that email, and then track when your lead opens the email. Based on the blunt statistic of the number of opens, you guess that there is interest in your pitch, and you can qualify these leads higher than others who have ignored or deleted your email.

After that email campaign or sequence goes out, what you do next in the sales-to-customer journey is what makes your company, your product and your salespersonship stand apart from all your competitors.

To use email sending and tracking software, you either purchase marketing automation software such as Marketo/Pardot (USD $1000/mo) or Mailchimp (USD $20-$35/mo). But, these tools are not designed for an everyday salesperson, but more for a marketing person. So to send the right email, you need a marketer, a copywriter, and a graphic designer. So, no wonder many sales reps opt to do it themselves without a marketing team. They purchase sales automation software like Outreach, or install software such as Yesware’s Chrome browser extensions that will tell you when your email has been read by your recipient. These tools give you a contact database, email templates and email sequences — a mini-campaign that can be either pre-created by your marketing team or you do it yourself. Efficient as these products are, if not done right, you’re just sending more ineffective email to your prospect.

Sending more email in sequences, no matter how spaced out, how cleverly written and nicely stitched together, won’t compel your prospect to respond to you. With email sequences, your pitch is getting eliminated before it even reaches the intended recipient.
  • Outlook warns recipients when an email contains tracking beacons, and blocks them from executing.
  • Google Suite automatically moves these emails to the Promotions tab, where they languish and are never seen.
  • Spam Filters detect and mark tracked emails as spam, so your deliverability drops and you ruin your company’s email reputation.
  • Slack usage is increasing — a generational shift from email to messaging and chat is taking the conversation away from your email inbox.
  • Advertising is drawing prospects to your site, rather than reacting to an unasked for email.

So if you’re in sales, you might be tempted to use email sequences and tracking, and then send that follow up email because you know that the lead is paying attention to your email for about 1 millisecond. Despite all this, let’s hope that your beautifully crafted email reached a lead, and they opened and read it. What do most salespeople do when they know someone read that email? They… send another email to the lead. But, chances are, with that next email you send, you’re not going to tell them anything different than what your first email told them. Groundhog Day! Is anything going to be different this time? No. Remember that definition of insanity by Alfred Einstein — “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again, and expecting different results.” That’s what sales sequences are — insanity.

Email sequences only for lead generation when done by a training marketing team that relies on large outbound campaigns with massive volume of contacts, leading to 2% of them converting to a lead. Email sequences don’t work for the more bespoke sales process, because you’re not working smarter. Your customers see through it, they are annoyed, ignoring you, filtering you, marking you as spam, and hurting your company’s email reputation so that its email deliverability drops.

Meanwhile, while you’re busy sending another sequenced email…

Your lead clicked on that link on your email.
…they reached your website.
…they are on your site, looking around to understand what you do.
…and they are about to leave, their finger poised on the “x” in the browser.
While they are doing this, where are you?
Are you on the site as well, ready to start a dialog?
No. You’re busy sending another email. Or, your sequence sent it.
And when the lead opens that next email, you tracked it.
And you’ll send the next email in your sequence.
Insanity.

Don’t, for crying out loud, start cold-calling this lead right after she opened your email. Hoping that, when you reach her, she won’t think you’re a stalker salesperson. “Hi Caroline! This is James from ______. Is this a good time to talk about the email I sent you about ______?” you say brightly, hating every minute of the script written for you by marketing. Oh wait, you’re just talking to her voicemail. Even if she listens to your voicemail, she knows you’ve been spying on her, and she’s going to delete that vm faster than you can say “John Hinckley Jr stalks Jodie Foster”.

Don’t be that salesperson that uses mindless email sequences to reach leads. That’s the old way. And we at Dossier decided to do something about it to change the way your leads are handled. Let’s talk about account-based sales outreach, which is more personal between the salesperson and lead, not personalized, which just means you used a variable like {{first_name}} in your email.

You may already know our software, Dossier, available for you to sign up and use from https://www.dossier.work. If you don’t, it’s an app to organize all your customer conversations, no matter where it happens, with zero disruption to the ways you already communicate. Dossier supercharges all your customer communication channels from incoming email, outgoing emails, website chat, Slack messaging, text messages and CRM connectors and is the new way to communicate with and engage leads in a more personal way. It’s intelligent and designed to fit in with the way your customer interacts with you, and it makes you productive through collaboration with your team. It makes the lead want to get to know your company, because you are respecting their intelligence and improving their experience in interacting with you.

With Dossier, when you send an email to a lead, and the lead visits your site, you are automatically informed that a specific lead is on your site, and you may have created a pre-written message for them when they arrive at your site. Chat makes it so much easier to start a casual conversation — you are ready to welcome them and chat with them in the critical seconds that you have their attention. They’re on your website, looking for information. You’re on your site, waiting for them to show up. Dossier connects you both. Your lead will also be returning to your site a week later, not by clicking on a link in your email, but by typing in your website address in her browser — you are never going to be able to track this. With Dossier, however, you can — so prepare an information packet for her, and have it waiting for her when she visits your website.

Does that sound too good to be true? With Dossier chat’s built-in account based marketing, online presence, and customized messages — lead engagement and higher conversions has never been easier.

Sales outbound email with superpowers

Let’s walk through how this works. Amy Moses is a salesperson at Trekwheels — a national bike store chain. Amy has a list of leads she’s sure will be interested in Trekwheels’ premium bikes. So with a little bit of collaboration with the marketing team, Ken from the marketing team helps Amy create a beautifully crafted holiday season marketing email.

Amy selects her recipients and sends the campaign out — either using popular marketing automation software such as Mailchimp or Marketo, or easily from Dossier’s Campaigns tab. As the emails are sent by Dossier, its real-time insights engine synchronizes intelligently between email and website, so you know exactly when the lead visits your website. Next, Dossier helps you welcome the lead.

Personally welcome your lead

Among the people receiving the campaign is Kelly Pearson, a SVP at a San Francisco tech firm, a mother of 2 and a bike enthusiast. When Kelly receives the email from Trekwheels, she clicks the call to action and arrives at the Trekwheels website, http://www.trekwheels.com.

The website will include Dossier’s intelligent correlation engine that is designed to recognize these leads, understand whether they are a first time visitor or a repeat visitor, their name, title and company, and what they are interested n. Dossier identifies Kelly and displays a personalized greeting that is relevant to her. She can now chat directly with a Trekwheels representative, ask questions, and begin engaging with the company. Needless to say, she’s thoroughly impressed by your personalized attention, and another loyal Trekwheeler has been created!

This is the new customer experience for leads — human, personal and helpful.

You have created a humanized experience for a lead. And you, the salesperson, are personally there to assist your lead when she arrives at the site. Not available? No matter, the chat can show the pictures of several people who can converse with her right away. Does she need information on the best bikes for mountain terrain? Or the best electric motor-powered bike for the hills of San Francisco? You or other reps are there to begin a dialogue.

Just-in-time dialogue creates engagement

With the ability to talk to your leads when they are on your website, you drive up engagement. Dossier Chat allows you to create a strong brand image and instill customer loyalty that goes far beyond something a mass volume email could ever do.

Here’s a video showing how retailers increase engagement using Dossier by personalizing communications with consumers when they visit retail websites, and connecting them to local retailers and product enthusiasts.

Welcome to a new way to build better customer relationships and a better business.

About Gaurav Jagiasi

Gaurav is a Systems Engineer at Dossier in San Francisco. To business professionals and teams, Dossier is an app for organizing communications with customers. In his spare time, Gaurav helps small businesses optimize their daily operations to increase efficiency and revenue.

Dossier is an app for organizing customer conversations, no matter where it happens, with zero disruption to the ways you already communicate. Based in San Francisco, Dossier is helping business owners, business professionals and teams around the globe intelligently sync their customer communication channels and organize documents, tasks and more. Welcome to a new way to build better customer relationships and a better business. Sign up for a free account today at https://www.dossier.work.