You’ve sent out your email marketing campaign but that’s only half of the puzzle. An outbound email marketing campaign works best when your customers feel that they can respond to you, and that they will in turn, be responded to in a timely and proper manner. 

So if you really want to skyrocket the performance of your email marketing campaign, you need to set your team up to be able to monitor and respond to inbound queries generated from your outbound campaigns with transparency and speed. 

77% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do. – Forrester Research

Knowing when and how to respond will do wonders for brand engagement and loyalty.

For an online marketer, time is of the essence. However, the good news – taking control of your email marketing and connecting it directly to your sales process doesn’t need to be an onerous task.

Measuring the performance of your email marketing

Imagine that you are managing a team of salespeople. Here are some of the things you might want to measure to track their performance:

  • The average time it takes to post their first reply to a customer.
  • The average time it takes to post their first reply to a customer in seconds.
  • The overall average time it takes for one particular salesperson to respond to queries.
  • The overall average time it takes for one particular salesperson to respond to queries in seconds.
  • Business email volumes for each customer contact.

Having access to these datasets will help you pinpoint where improvements can be made. A powerful email marketing platform like Maropost and a robust sales team management software like timetoreply can work together to optimize reply times.

Measuring the performance of your email marketing

Email response times – This data is pretty handy isn’t it?

How much do email reply times matter

According to Harvard Business Review, companies that respond to customer queries within the first 60 minutes are 7x more successful than those who take 120+ minutes. 

To put it another way, if your competitor responds before you do, there’s a 78% chance that’s a potential sale you’ve lost. And nobody wants that.

There’s no denying it. Your sales team communication needs to be quick to be effective, no matter what industry you belong to.

How can you boost response times for email marketing campaigns

So you understand that you need to reach out to your customers fast. Here’s how you can get the best results:

1. Calculate the average first reply and total average reply times

The first thing that your firm needs to do is to determine what is average first reply and total average reply times for your sales agents.

How much time does it take for your sales agent to respond to a customer’s initial question? Is the time to respond more or less the same for numerous customers? The answer to these questions determines your average first reply time.

Based on your preferences, the average first reply time can be calculated for one sales agent, or even a whole team.

Similarly, the total average reply time is the general amount of time it takes for your company to respond to an email query.

An email analytics tool makes it easier to determine these times automatically. They can break it down in simple numbers and in charts as required.

2. Set a goal for your team

You now have some numbers that give you an idea about the general state of your sales team. What comes next? Improving them of course.

The best thing you can do here is to set a clear-cut goal for yourself. But before we get to that, here are things that you need to AVOID:

  • Telling yourself to just ‘reduce response time’ is a vague statement. Clarity goes a long way.
  • An automatic reply like ‘Hi! We will get back to you soon.’ is not going to do.

You need a more useful and concise goal than this. A better option is to set a clear policy like “Customers who email us during regular business hours will be responded to within 2 hours.” A stretch goal like this keeps things transparent for everyone on your team. And that’s the metric everyone will be judged by.

With that out of the way, let’s explore how to cut down on response times.

3. Get that first reply right

This point seems obvious, but you’d be surprised to find how many businesses neglect to respond to potential sales leads. 

It is time to put yourself in your customer’s shoes. When a sales lead finds its way into your inbox, always assume that this potential customer has not dealt with you before.

Instead of a generic “we will reach you soon” reply, it is better to respond to their query in detail. Based on the nature of their inquiry, drafting that first reply quickly, with actual solid information that addresses the customer’s pain points, is the right approach.

Technical queries can understandably take more time to respond to. General sales queries may not. You can use clever filter options with an email analytics tool to determine which is which.

That first reply matters a lot. In fact, when handled correctly, the customer feels secure in engaging with you further. They are confident about your product and team from this moment on.

4. About quick reply times

If your business prioritizes faster reply times, then make sure your team knows it. Sales agents can be measured against their response times as part of their KPIs.

For maximum convenience, you can set an automatic schedule to generate reports about the sales team’s responsiveness. Whether you need daily, weekly or monthly reports, you can do it all. Imagine how much difference it can make for ecommerce businesses.

With this feature, you have an idea about each and every member of your team and their performance. 

You can even identify what is causing the delays, and what can be done to minimize them. Which brings us to the next point.

5. Find and fix delay points

Having an email marketing platform and automation strategy, and analytics tool paired with each other gives you fine-grained insights about customer emails and the responsiveness of the sales team. You can browse conversations, look at the time and response times from your team, and see how much time is spent on resolving customer issues.

For example, you may come across these common points of frustration:

  • Are customer email queries never-ending? Who is responsible for this?
  • Is your average first reply times leading to increased conversions? If not, why?
  • Is the salesperson avoiding certain types of queries? If so, why?
  • Are the customers having trouble conveying their issues?
  • Is the sales team okay with handling technical queries?
  • Do we have enough people to handle the email volume?
  • And so on.

Once the issue is properly identified, you will be able to resolve it effectively, and without further delay.

Concluding thoughts

Timely and responsive customer service is the most significant way of delivering quality experiences. To do so, companies must invest in monitoring and measuring their email marketing campaign response times, and incorporate improvements that cut down the time it takes to respond to customers. We hope this post has given you a blueprint for how to do exactly that.

Barry Blassoples


Barry Blassoples

Head of Sales & Customer Success at Time To Reply

Barry is Head of Sales and Success at timetoreply. As a digital business specialist, he’s an expert in formulating demand generation and revenue operations strategies, reducing user acquisition costs, and increasing customer lifetime value.

Need to chat about your mobile marketing strategy?

More than 10,000 marketers use Maropost to engage with their prospects and customers through emails, SMS, social media and more. We’re here to help you grow your business!

Chat Now