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How Magnus Health optimized email using real-time analytics

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Objective: Magnus Health was looking to gain more consistency in the email messages that its sales team sends out. It also wanted a way to link email metrics with its Salesforce.com CRM tool. Strategy: The company started using ToutApp earlier this year, creating templates and integrating real-time data into its strategy and planning sessions. Results: Salespeople have more time to call clients and are more informed when they do so. Magnus Health provides student medical-record solutions to schools and universities across the U.S. Its target customer can be a school nurse or a district's or university's financial officer. Email marketing figures heavily in its sales and marketing efforts, said Chris Utah, the company's director of sales; it's used for everything from engaging prospects early in the sales process to sending out quotes or invitations for Web-based, one-on-one demonstrations of the company's products. However, email wasn't providing the insight that the sales team needed, Utah said. "In inside sales, you need to be good at reading people. You have to see if people are doing what they say they are doing," he said. "In email, the equivalent of that is seeing when something is opened, who read it, who it may have been passed to, if there are several opens in the period of a few hours. That was the piece we were missing." In addition, there wasn't a single, cohesive messaging strategy. The 15 Magnus Health salespeople were creating their own canned messages using Google Apps and customizing them on an ad hoc basis. "When everyone is creating their own messaging, and you have 15 buckets of messages, you can't be sure what's being conveyed unless everything is centralized and shared," Utah said. Even the content is up for debate if you don't have good metrics. For instance, the salespeople at Magnus Health disagreed about what might be the most successful email copy. Some thought short, pithy emails would be best, but others wanted to provide as much content and information about the company's offerings as possible. In February, Magnus Health started using ToutApp, an email platform that provides templates and real-time analytics that show up-to-the-minute graphic representations of data, including which recipients read emails, what they read, when they opened the email and how long they viewed each message. Today, Utah said, salespeople can see which links within emails are most popular and share those templates and messages throughout the organization. The company was able to determine that recipients responded better to shorter, more concise emails, he said. Now, about one-third of salespeople are using the most successful templates, which means prospects are seeing a more cohesive company message. Since the service has been in use only for about two months, there are no direct correlations between ToutApp and closed deals; but in the short term, Utah said, he can see that salespeople have more time to call customers because they are spending less time creating emails. Sales reps can now watch for emails that are opened multiple times, so they can call those prospects immediately. "More activity means more revenue. If someone is opening an email over and over again, it's a good bet that they are interested in our offering," Utah said.

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