If you’re like most of us, you have the frustration of seeing way too many unwanted emails in your inbox. More so, especially when returning from a holiday break or time away from the office. Likewise, as a sales leader and for any outbound sales team, there is the frustration of receiving copious amounts of “out office replies” and bounced emails during such periods.
However, this is not all doom and gloom. At Growthonics we take away the frustration of receiving these emails and also that of having wasted campaigns. We can help you make the most of “Out Of Office” replies.
Many outbound sales teams get very despondent when they receive Out of Office (OOO) replies. They feel that they have missed an opportunity. But the good news is that this is not true. When handled correctly, OOO replies are the easiest way to update your contact database and also the perfect platform to leverage upon when closing deals with prospects. You must be thinking, “how is this possible?” It all comes down to the effectiveness of your Outbound Email Campaign and the management there of.
Making the most out of OOO replies
1. Using out of office replies to generate new leads
a) Gather new information – Out of office replies are an amazing source of new information. They are able to provide the following useful information:
• Gaining information which you don’t have
• Checking that the prospects details are up to date
• Checking for trigger events
• Taking note of the day of return
• Gathering a new list by collecting details of anyone whom your prospect has mentioned as an alternative contact person
b) Optimising your Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategy: – ie segmenting your contacts into new contacts.
Any names you find need to be treated as new contacts. (note; these are not new prospects yet). By optimising your ABM strategy, you are able to organise your contact accounts according to relevant positions and levels of hierarchy.
*Note* Prospects get annoyed when their position within an organisation and buying process is not taken into account.
2. Using OOO to determine best strategies
When you are evaluating whether to pursue your out of office contact there are three key questions you need to answer:
• What account are they in and what is their role within that account?
• What action do you want your contact to take after reading your email?
• Would what worked in past campaigns for similar leads? Will it work again?
We can’t overstate the importance of personalized emails. Up to 70% of customers believe that it is important for brands to personalize the outreach material as they already have the personal data required to do so. With the data collected from OOO replies, you need to create a set of follow up campaigns that include a personalized message that relates to the person’s absence if possible and appropriate.
With the right copy and tone, subscribers will care that you took a few seconds out of your day to consider them.
So now you have laid the groundwork for your outbound strategy based on the data and information gathered from the OOO replies, how do you put that thinking into practice?
Below is a simple breakdown of some steps to follow when executing your OOO strategy.
5. Re-evaluating your metrics
Here are a few metrics that help you to quantify an OOO lead cultivation campaign:
• Track the conversion rate from OOO contact to opt-in contact. If you have chosen to pursue a permission-based, opt-in strategy this can provide an easy metric to measure a campaign’s success.
• Find the percentage of account contacts that were sourced from OOO emails. Your whole aim by nurturing your OOO contacts is to develop deeper and broader relationships across an organisation. You need to work out what is working for which account by monitoring key accounts and determining whether OOO contacts have become part of the lead landscape.
• Measure the length of your sales cycle within accounts where OOO leads are part of the influencer ecosystem.
Has who you have contacted had any effect on what decisions are made?
6. Using out of office replies to generate new leads
As your metrics may have shown, mining OOO replies for new leads and information about your target account will give your team a clear competitive advantage. However, going through every reply is tedious and takes forever.
Automating the process increases accuracy and allows you to scale your OOO strategy. It will also give you access to all of the data which provides you with what you need to measure how effective your messaging is.
The above may seem complicated and often programs require manual checking and upkeep – something your in-house team may not be trained for, and may not have time to do, we recommend having a dedicated team to help manage your campaigns for effectiveness and efficiency.
We share with you 2 advantages of having a dedicated team to manage your email campaigns.
1. Campaign Management
• By having a dedicated team you can constantly manage and optimise your campaign results.
• You are able to receive daily campaign reporting and performance assessments.
• You are able to track and log campaign responses so as to optimise reply rates.
• You are able to do “OOO” reply management and pause campaigns until your target is back online.
• You can perform ongoing Email A/B testing to maximise your campaign results.
2. Domain Reputation
• You are able to perform Email throttling for domain protection throughout your campaigns
• You can perform bounce rate analysis and optimisation to help maintain high delivery rates and improve sending reputations.
Growthonics incorporates an OOO strategy into all its client’s email marketing campaigns. We take away the frustration of receiving OOO emails and also that of having wasted campaigns
To find out more, get in touch with one of our experts now.