docsend email attachment tracking

The problem with email attachment tracking (and what to do instead)

So you know when your prospect opens your email and even whether or not she downloads your attachment. But is that everything you need to know about your prospect?

Many of us have been in this situation before.

You send a case study to your prospect. After a few minutes, you see that she’s opened it, and, even better, that she’s downloaded your attachment.

Excited, you send her a follow-up email. Later in the day, you try her work line. When she doesn’t answer, you leave a voicemail asking if she has questions about the case study.

But then, crickets. You don’t hear back.

So, what happened?

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What you need to know about email attachment tracking

Email attachment tracking tools, like Bananatag and Yesware, have become very popular among sales teams of all sizes – and for good reason.

These tools provide valuable surface-level insights into the sales process. They enable you to see when prospects open emails, click on links, and download attachments.

You might be thinking, that all sounds great. Why wouldn’t I rely on email tracking?

Problem is, email tracking, including attachment tracking, often doesn’t work. Thanks to things like email tracking blockers and strict enterprise firewalls, these tools can end up serving you bad or incomplete data. 

But the biggest problem of all? Email attachment tracking provides you with zero insight into whether or not your prospect was actually interested in what you sent.

And that leaves your team to rely on broken triggers to drive the sales process forward.

Why you should track prospect engagement instead

For most reps, one question dominates the sales cycle, how do I get my prospects all the way through the funnel?

The answer to that question requires going beyond opens, clicks, and downloads. It starts with understanding your prospects – and how engaged they are in the sales process. Highly engaged leads are not only easier to close but also faster to close.

The easiest way to measure prospect engagement is by tracking interactions with sales content. Metrics like number of views, time spent per page, and completion rate can provide you with critical information about where prospects are in the buyer journey and how ready they are to purchase.

In our earlier example, knowing whether or not your prospect read your case study (she didn’t but she forwarded it to her manager) would’ve saved you time and effort. It would’ve let you know to contact her manager directly and to reframe your conversation with her.

Wondering what else tracking prospect engagement can tell you? Let’s dive in. 

Know what your prospects are actually interested in.
a view from the docsend dashboard that shows time on page from an attachment

Understanding what’s resonating with your prospect helps you put objections into context. You can anticipate questions prospects will have by knowing what pages captured most of their time. You might even proactively send them content related to that topic to help convince them you’re the right choice.

By tracking prospect engagement, you can stop relying on your gut, and start driving your sales process forward with data.

Get alerts when prospects come back to life after going dark on you.

a new alert in DocSend for when someone visits an attachment that you've sent them

No matter how good you are at sales some deals will die on the vine. And trying to reignite their interest can be difficult. Let’s be honest, “just checking in” emails are often just a waste of time.

When your prospects are ready to resume the conversation, though, they’ll likely start by revisiting content you’ve already sent. And, if you’re tracking your sales content, you’ll be alerted immediately when they do.

Knowing when to reach out is just as important as knowing what to say.

Know what other stakeholders are involved.
when a competitor gets their hand on your attachments or documents - you get an alert like this

With email tracking, you can see when someone opens an email. But it’s impossible to tell if they forwarded your email on, and, if they did, whose inbox it landed in.

By tracking your sales content, you can stay on top of who’s involved in the deal and who needs to be sold on your product. DocSend allows you to customize permissions for your content, so you can identify who’s pulling the shots.

Optimize your collateral to keep your buyer’s attention.

image showing the docsend dashboard and how users can a/b test different versions of documents against each other so they can optimize their sales process.

Advanced content tracking solutions like DocSend allow you to A/B test your content. Fine tune your decks using data about time spent per page, total time spent, and dropoff rate.

Pro Tip: Try breaking out different concepts page-by-page. That way, you can see exactly what your buyers are focused on and, you can get a better idea of what you’ll need to do to move the deal forward.

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This post was first published on April 12, 2016. It was last updated on October 10, 2017.