Sometime well before even started taking shape, I was working with inside sales for technology products and services, we would use microsoft outlook as our primary email client and for a small startup company, it wasn't a bad solution to send out small email campaigns to a set of prospects although not ideal for larger campaigns. I think the most impressive feature as an inside sales rep was that you could be notified when the email was delivered, when the email would bounce and that all important read received notification. As little as that notification can tell you, it is intelligence and helps you make a better informed call. It helps you say "Hi Jeremy, I'm calling to follow up on an email you probably received yesterday" knowing full well he did receive it. That was something!
Sometime later we started using more intelligent email marketing software which wouldn't tell you just about received email but notified you when and how many times a prospect would open the email. That was impressive! Almost always, follow up calls to those who opened their email multiple times ended in good conversations simply because they were actively looking at the offering and open to a discussion. If you look at email marketing technology, it has evolved on many fronts from being able to handle a lot more bulk, organized campaigns, analytics and tracking of campaign success rates in terms of sent, received and opened emails. However, it stops at a certain point in the process in terms of tracking a lead's activity and the focus is on tracking the email campaign results.
This is where picks up from since it doesn't end with measuring how effective one was in getting a message delivered to prospects but its more a continuous cycle to help turn leads into identified opportunities. It helps track the activity stream and results on each prospect or lead within the database much after the email has been opened. How many times was the email opened? Was the website visited after opening the email? How many times has the website been visited? Which links in the email were clicked? Which landing pages were visited? When did each of these opens, visits or clicks happen? When you have these questions answered, you have a profile of the leads interest rather than just a notification. As an inside sales person, this technology changes my conversation to "Hi Jeremy, I was calling to follow up on an email you read this morning just before lunch time and I understand you've been to our website and our webinar marketing product in some detail, could I help you with more information on that or perhaps set up a demo for you when you're not too busy?" It changes the approach completely and puts a lot more intelligence at your disposal to into a call well prepared not to mention you're talking to a lead who is already actively showing some interest in your offering. This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to lead nurturing technology and it's still going to evolve further. If you're still sending emails, you will definitely want to see whats beyond.
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