by Jean-Luc van Hulst, COO
Yesware calls itself a sales productivity tool. It is an add-in to gmail that allows individual emails to be tracked. It will show when an email is opened and often also where as well as if a link from an email was clicked– both helpful features for the tech PR pro. If your organization does not use Gmail, it can’t be installed on a team-level, so this review may not be for you.
So why do we use a sales tool for PR? As COO, my role in the organization revolves around creating efficiency that adds value for our tech PR and marketing clients. Pitching b2b technology, healthcare and energy stories is bit like sales, isn’t it? Reaching out to journalists and editors successfully is a matter of creating the right message and then doing a lot of outreach. It’s personal, it’s one-on-one, and it’s always a relationship that ends up landing a really great story for our clients. On the other hand, the more tools we can find to streamline and support the process, the more value we can pack into every outreach campaign for our clients.
Yesware: tech PR support tool?
Yesware helps our tech public relations team in two ways. First it gives the storyteller a bit of instant satisfaction, to see that the email was opened (even if we didn’t get a response yet) – it’s very encouraging! For any role like pitching stories that requires a lot of outreach, much of it not responded it, the sense that some engagement has begun and can be tracked is helpful. Team managers get a window into the hardworking process of all of our team members–or of specific marketing campaigns. It also helps us test subject lines, because often in the flurry of story out reach, our tech pr pros test a few different ways to help editors engage editors at the level of the subject line.
Second, and closely following the idea of finding the best subject lines for opening, Yesware supports templates. Once you have an email that works, you can save it for future use in the same situation.
Yesware keeps track of performance of difference templates. So I can write the same pitch with a different headline and easily send out 10 emails of each. A/B testing! Plus, our entire team can see which templates are trending. Email is a living medium, and a “cool subject” from last year isn’t necessary the best subject line for this year, even in the same sector.
Are there any downsides?
Yes, recently gmail changed the way images are loaded. This change seems to have been made specifically to block the effectiveness of tools like Yesware. Since that change, Yesware does work much less effectively for Gmail recipients. You can no longer see where an email was opened if the recipient is using gmail. Bummer. But it’s not a deal killer–but it is important to realize that with the change came more false positives (showing ‘opened’ when it was really just you).
Conclusion: Dare to Yesware for for your tech PR team.
After almost a year with Yesware, we’re still happy with the templates. The team report are also helpful. We can see how many emails team members sent and overall open rates. The recent Gmail change takes away a bit of the effectiveness, but not enough yet to stop using it. So if you want to improve your team’s email outreach, consider using Yesware. It also offers integration with Salesforce, so when it’s used in a pure sales environment, there are additional benefits. Do you have a favorite “email accelerator” app? If so, I’d love to hear about it. Drop me at note at JeanLuc at Write2Market.