Tips & Insights

Guy Fieri or Gordon Ramsey? How email statistics can help you win more deals

Winning deals isn’t easy. People spend years perfecting their pitch to get someone’s attention, and it’s getting harder to convert leads into sales.

Email plays a huge factor as Sales teams communicate directly with leads, Support follows up, Marketing generates new leads, and Customer Success upsells to existing customers. 

Learning to use email more effectively to manage your pipeline starts with two metrics:

Response Time

How quickly your team replies to an inquiry makes all the difference between engaging a lead or losing out on an opportunity. Your prospects expect a quick turnaround, so the sooner you reach out the better! 

Let’s imagine: you need last-minute catering for an office event happening in 2 days. A cursory search results in two potential caterers: Guy Fieri Catering and Gordon Ramsay Catering. Now while both are suitable, ideally you want Gordon because he seems a little better. 

Ten minutes later Guy follows up with a quote, ready to go. You let a day pass waiting for Gordon, without a reply. You have no choice but to accept the one-way ticket to Flavortown, even if it wasn’t your first choice. If only Gordon had been quicker… 

It doesn’t matter if you offer a better product; if you’re not available when you’re needed, the competition will always win!

Response Rate 

If things are being allowed to slip through the cracks, you could be missing some serious profit. Responsibility is often spread over multiple people, and this can make it easy to miss emails.

So how can we measure these two and make sure we’re getting 100% of the potential sales from our inboxes?

Start with an email analytics platform like Email Meter. Get your whole team set up for full coverage. Next, take a look at your response time.

How long are leads waiting for a response? A famous Harvard Business Review study from 2011 found that:

37% responded to their lead within an hour, and 16% responded within one to 24 hours, 24% took more than 24 hours—and 23% of the companies never responded at all. The average response time, among companies that responded at all within 30 days, was 42 hours.

An average of 42 hours!? While there were a lot of replies within 1 hour, a large portion took much longer. Another study found that replying with the hour makes it 7 times more likely to be qualified than a lead replied to within two hours—and 60 times more likely than a lead replied to in 24+ hours.

What’s your current average response time? If it’s under 1 hour, that’s great, keep it up! If it’s more, you should be targeting that one hour mark.

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How do we reduce our response time? There’s multiple ways to improve, the easiest being:

Saved Replies

Easier responses will naturally be faster. Creating saved replies for your team makes their time much more efficient and helps to reduce how long your leads are waiting. 

24 hour inbox coverage (or autoresponder for OOO)

To catch every lead, you need someone always watching the inbox. Hiring in other time zones can be an easy fix for this. If this isn’t feasible, make sure shifts are spread out for maximum coverage. When no one’s available, use autoresponders to tell leads someone will be with them ASAP. It’s not as good as a human reply, but it’s better than silence!

Setting an SLA

Your team needs to know what’s expected of them. Set a clear goal of 1 hour, and then track your team to make sure they reach it! If anyone is struggling, make sure they have the extra support they need to keep up (such as saved replies).

Next up is Response Rate. The global average among Email Meter users is around 14%—a response rate lower than this can be an indication of a number of things.

Your workload is too heavy

If you’re receiving more emails than you can handle, not only will your response time suffer, you won’t be able to respond to everything. Unsubscribe from any useless marketing emails which might be clogging your inbox. Inbox zero (or something close enough) can remove a lot of stress and wasted time!

You’re receiving too many unactionable emails

This requires a different approach. You’ll need to actively engage with your colleagues or contacts to avoid being included in unactionable threads. If this is unavoidable, you should account for it when you look at your response rate—you can expect it to be a little (or a lot) lower.

Whether you're already getting a steady stream of sales from your inbox and just want to optimize things, or you have no idea and are probably missing a ton of sales, monitoring these two metrics is easy and will help you no matter what!

Get started by looking at your Response Times and Response Rate here.

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