How we made $300K a year through sales automation with Reply.io

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In an increasingly personalized world, people are often not incentivized to respond unless they believe it’s a real person sending them a personalized mail. Sales automation mails are personalized mails that go from the email account of a sales rep in slow intervals to trick the recipient’s mail server into believing that it’s not an automated mail.

Reply.io is a sales automation tool and Sales automation is very different from marketing automation. While marketing automation tools like Marketo and Hubspot let you reach out to reach out to your lead base with targeted mails, these mails still go from a mailing server and have tracking code to measure deliverability and open rates.  Unfortunately, those are the very things that decrease deliverability and open rates.

We ran an experiment where we sent the same mail through Reply.io, a sales automation solution and through Mailchimp (which has some marketing automation options).

The result was a 40% open rate through Reply.io vs a 13% open rate through Mailchimp! That’s nearly 3X the effectiveness we had gotten earlier.

Setting up a sales automation campaign on replyapp

Why is sales automation that much more effective?

  1. Perception – We as professionals get so many vendor mails that we now understand which ones are automated and which ones are not. There is an inherent tendency to ignore automated mails, even if they are relevant. Sales automation mails go through a sales rep’s email account and need to be short, mostly text and be written in a very personalized way.
  2. How deliverability works – ¬†Recipient mail servers often categorize a mail as a promotional mail if it is from a third party mail server, has too many images, tracking codes and attachments. Even though sales automation is automated, each mail is sent after a randomized interval from the sales rep’s account. This prevents the recipient server from categorizing this mail as a promotional mail.

Over the first year of using Reply.io, we generated USD $300k in sales by creating workflows for our existing lead base. It’s important to note that sales automation doesn’t work for every workflow. You are likely to get amazing results for some workflows and disappointing for others.

So where does sales automation work?

  1. If you are communicating a new development with a strong call to action – If there is a new product or a new offer and you have leads you can’t accord to spend time calling, sales automation works perfectly here. You can complement your sales team’s efforts by reaching out to low priority leads through sales automation.
  2. If you are sending a follow up mail with a strong call to action – Whenever an offer is going to expire or a product is going to be sold out, sales automation can give your sales a last minute push.Sales automation flow using Replyapp

How did we generate $300k a year in sales?

  1. We combined sales automation with marketing automation – You don’t want your leads spamming your sales emails. Lead nurturing with infographics, videos, HTML designs and more than one attachments works best with marketing automation. We recommendcreating a multiple-mail campaign with informative mails sent through marketing automation. Mails with strong CTAs in this campaign should be sent through sales automation.
  2. We removed tracking codes and images from most mails – For each mail, we A/B tested and optimized using tracking codes to a small sample set. We then selected the best version and sent it to the entire database without tracking codes and images to improve deliverability. We also kept our mails short and to the point.
  3. We created workflows for dead leads from the past – Dead leads are a very valuable resource. They already know about your company and have not converted for some reason or the other. These leads prefer a low-touch point ongoing communication i.e. they don’t want you to call him often and don’t want to get too many informative emails. You ideally want to send them a mail only for new developments or offers that they might find interesting. You can do this without using your sales team bandwidth through sales automation.
  4. We created mirror .co ids for sales automation – To ensure our sales reps’ .com email ids don’t get marked as spam, we created mirror .co ids. We also set up an auto-forward from the .co to the .com id. This was a quick hack to balance ensuring our ids don’t get spammed and our deliverability remains high.

These are some of the tactics we used to generate an additional $300k in sales through reply.io by spending only about $10k on the tool.

Obviously, each business has a different sales automation workflow requirement. Sales automation can be a very profitable tool that can complement your sales team without taking up a lot of precious sales bandwidth.

If you are understanding how Reply.io or any other sales automation tool can help you increase your revenue per lead, do drop us a note and we’d be happy to help!

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About Author

Anuraj is an IIM Lucknow alumni with over 10 years of experience in marketing and strategy. He has set up multiple business units for startups and scaled them to sales of over $15 million a year. He is also a marketing expert who has led large marketing teams and handled budgets of over $3 million a year.

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