Whether you are already doing outbound reaching through emailing or you intend to start, among other things, it’s very important that you track your email blasts. This can give you an advantage in many ways. You can see who opened your emails, if they clicked on or downloaded any content you might have included and so on. Not only does this allow you to follow up at an appropriate moment, but it also gives you the wider picture so you can know what kind of an approach works best.
READ MORE: How to write effective sales email
There’s a bunch of email tracking tools out there and they slightly vary in features. In this post we didn’t want to talk about complex but awesome email tracking and automation options like Marketo and Pardot that are superb in so many ways. We wanted to give you a glimpse of simple to use, free or not so expensive tools which are good for smaller companies and teams.
There are three email tracking tools we chose, Yesware, MixMax and Contact Monkey whose free versions can help you sell more and be more precise in doing so. They all have some core features in common such as the following:
- You can see email opens, including the number of opens, what device it was opened from, at what time and it also provides you with the opener’s IP address.
- Email scheduling – a feature allowing you to type an email and schedule it’s sending for a specific time. This is very useful if you know when your prospects are most likely to be available.
- Reminders – Set reminders for important follow-ups and contacts
Now, depending on peculiarities of your industry, your business and your approach to email outreach, but also the size of your sales team and the volume of emails you send out per day, you might find one of the three listed tools more beneficial than the other. These tools were developed with different purposes so the added value they offer also varies, and so do the downsides we identified when testing them out.
Yesware is a plug-in available for Gmail and Outlook for Firefox and Chrome and it’s also available for iOS on the Apple Store. This is great because it allows you a lot of flexibility in how you do your outreach.
- Mail merge and automation – Yesware allows you to create personalized emails with merge fields, but you can also create automated follow-ups for up to 10 stages.
- Attachment and presentation tracking – including analytics of how much time somebody spent and on which page.
- Personalized email templates.
- Yesware can automatically sync contacts with Salesforce.com if this is your CRM.
Nevertheless, there are also a few downsides to using Yesware :
- If you are using Yesware for Gmail it will send messages only from your primary account, so if you have any aliases on your Gmail this is not an option.
- When using email automation with scheduled follow-ups, Yesware automatically removes bounced emails and out of the office contacts which makes a mess if you want to follow-up on someone who was out of the office.
- Presentation tracking is only available for individual emails.
- You can try any of their plans for a month but after that you have to switch to a paid plan.
READ MORE: How to Use Email Automation and Personalization
MixMax is a plug-in the same way Yesware is, however it is only available for Chrome and Gmail. Apart from the features shared by all three email tracking tools it also allows you to:
- Mail merge and automation – the same features as Yesware which allows you to create personalized emails with merge fields, with the addition of being able to insert merge fields into the subject line which we found incredibly useful with significant impact on open rates. You can also automate your follow-ups, however this option is only available in the paid plans.
- Attachment tracking – it lets you see how much time somebody spent reading your attachment.
- Personalized email templates
Now here are the features where MixMax absolutely beats the other two:
- MixMax has the “Availability” option which allows you to send somebody timeslots from your Google Calendar when you are available and it makes appointment setting a piece of cake. MixMax automatically syncs the recipient’s choice to your Google Calendar and sends them a confirmation email. How to sync MixMax with your Google Calednar watch on this video.
- You can create surveys and polls from within MixMax and get answers quickly without emailing back and forth. This is useful both for prospecting and especially team management.
- MixMax kicks butt with its link previews, since when you insert a link in your email it provides a rich preview of it.
- It’s design is very attractive and UI is very self-explanatory.
However, we have to pinpoint some drawbacks of using MixMax:
- Most importantly it is available and can be used only from Gmail. This is a setback because of Google’s daily limit for sending emails which is 300 emails. If you have just begun your sales email outreach and you have one salesperson, this is ok-ish. However, as you grow you’ll need much more than that and nobody wants their Google account deactivated, right?
- Analytics it offers is decent, but there is no integration with any CRM.
3. Contact Monkey
Contact Monkey was developed to track emails only for sales purposes. The added values in using Contact Monkey are:
- It can be integrated with Salesforce – it shows you Salesforce data in a side bar in a simple clean overview.
- It works with Outlook and Gmail.
- It gives you predictions even before you send your emails. It tells you what the most likely way your contacts will open your emails and where is, which is a great feature for optimizing how you reach out to prospects
Alas, this one also has a few drawbacks:
- The core functionalities described at the beginning – open rates, click through rates, what device was used, how many times your email was read are there, however there is no mail merge or email automation.
So, which email tracking and automation tool should you use? We fell in love with MixMax when we used it for the first time, however it being limited to Gmail only with the daily sending limit is something that is going to be very limiting in the long run. If you are just starting and you don’t need to send a lot of emails MixMax can be tremendous help.
Contact Monkey has its very obvious flaws. You can still use Outlook or Microsoft Word Mail Merge and then track it by Contact Monkey, however, I’m not sure anybody wants to find ways around a flaw – what you want is a complete solution that can cater to all your needs and efforts, especially if you decide to pay for it after a while.
Yesware wins this battle, simply because it can be used on more platforms, even though there’s more work to be done on peculiarities of its features. It’s free to test out any of these, so give these or any other email tracking tools a try – it’s going to be worth it. However, if you are not sure where to start or how to proceed, contact us for a consultation and we can help you optimize your entire outbound lead generation process and set your sales on the path of success.