Email Features to Up Your Sales Game

PipelineDeals just released a series of six updates for their email integration, Connect, which let's you send trackable emails from your CRM. Learn how these updates will help you get more from your email.


On a daily basis, the average person receives no less than 121 emails. It’s no wonder we’ve all been conditioned to be choosy about which emails to click on and which to ignore. As a salesperson, you need to maximize the chance your email connects with your buyer.

That’s why we’re excited to announce updates to Connect, the email integration for PipelineDeals, to help you connect with more customers. These  6 awesome new features were all suggested by customers to help improve salespeople be more strategic, improve open rates and optimize delivery. In other words, these updates will help you send emails that actually get read!

1. Add a Personal Touch in your Subject lines using Merge Tags

75% of your success hinges on your subject line. It’s what gets you to click on news articles, buy magazines, and… open emails. Now you can personalize your email subject lines en masse. The merge tags accepted are: first name, last name, work email and company name.

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2. Compare which campaigns are most effective using the “Export” feature.

Now you can export any list you create within your Connect tab.  This was requested by many of you that wanted to leverage our powerful Excel and Google Sheet integration to run custom reports outside of what the Analytics reports display using the valuable data your email captures. One idea is to run campaign comparison reports.

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3. Retry Failed Emails

Emails are only effective if they actually make it to your client’s inbox! Sometimes email fails to make it to the inbox because a server is down, or there is some other unexpected error. Now you can easily find emails that didn’t make it to the recipient and individually resend them to make sure everyone has received your email.  

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4. Reply to Sent Emails

Have you ever sent an email, and then wanted to follow-up to that message without waiting for a reply to “thread” the message and include the conversation history?  Now you can! Just click into a sent email and you’ll have the option to reply, reply all or forward your sent email.

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5. Ignoring now has an “undo” option!  

Now when you ignore sender, whether it’s your mom who’s always sending you recipes that you don’t want to get at work, or a lame joke from an old high school buddy, or something you thought was Spam, but now aren’t so sure… you now have a way to quickly review and even undo this setting.

To review ignored senders from the inbox, click on the Manage Ignored Senders link (see below).

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6. Quick Template Search Bar

If you have many saved email templates, scrolling to find the one you want can be a big waste of time. Let’s stop that silliness, shall we?  Now when you’re composing an email, you can use the new auto-fill search bar to type in the name of the template you want, and it will narrow your results for you! Easy as pumpkin pie.

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We’re excited to share these new updates from Connect with you. If you have additional feedback on feature enhancements, please share your feedback with us!

A Time For Thanks

PipelineDeals staff will be out of the office on Thursday, November 24th and Friday, November 25th for the Thanksgiving holiday. Read below to find out more details.


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A little over 10 years ago we started working on a little sales app called PipelineDeals. What began as a solution to solve a problem our co-founders had tracking sales has grown into a full blown CRM used by more than 4000 businesses in 60+ countries. On behalf of the entire team at PipelineDeals, please accept our heartfelt thank you for your vote of confidence and your commitment to us. Our success is your success too, and it's an honor to be able to help so many excellent businesses grow.

In this season of gratitude and Thanksgiving, we are thanking our team for their hard work and letting them spend some extra time with friends and family. During this holiday on Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25, our customer care team will be unavailable via the phone and chat. We will be responding to emails to customercare@pipelinedeals.com on Friday. If you have an emergency, please contact us at customercare@pipelinedeals.com.

6 Psychological Principles to Target in Your Customer Interactions

By Pascal van Opzeeland at Userlike

Buyers and sellers alike use mental shortcuts and biases to make decisions. Tamina Steil at Userlike summarizes 6 implicit biases salespeople can use to increase sales.


We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures, but how rational are we, really? Somewhat rational, but largely guided by cognitive biases. That’s the conclusion by Professor Daniel Kahneman, one of the leading minds on the workings of the human brain and author of Thinking Fast, and Thinking Slow.

To deal with the infinite complexity of this world, our brains have evolved to rely on mental shortcuts, or biases, to make decisions.

As a consumer, being aware of these biases can save you from a lot of bad purchases. As a sales professional, on the other hand, mastering them can make you much more persuasive – and raise your sales numbers.

Robert Cialdini explained many of these biases in his masterpiece book Influence. We’ll cover some here that you can use for selling, upselling, or cross-selling opportunities.

1. Social Proof

Imagine you’re waiting in a crowd for the traffic light at a pedestrian crossing. One guy jumps out and crosses the street with the red light. But you’re a law abiding citizen, so you don’t follow.

Then another crosses, and another, and then five more. Before you know it, the whole crowd is ignoring the red light. Can you feel that nagging urge to cross the red light as well? That’s social proof in action. Everyone’s doing it, and you feel you should do it as well.

That works fine – most of the time. The other pedestrians proved that the risk of getting fined by police – or hit by a car – was low. But we also make use of these biases when it’s less suitable.

It is used by salesmen, for example, to convince prospects to make a purchase. “This product is used by thousands of customers, so it must be good.”  

Try using it next time you’re in a conversation with a potential customer. Subtly mention how many customers already made the choice, how some well-known companies make use of it, and what experts endorse it.

Social proof increases in strength with resemblance. So when you’re talking to an 89-year old granny, use examples from that age group instead of talking about teenagers. 

2. Liking

Everyone is familiar with this bias, but still it’s strength is underestimated. “We only do business with people we like” is a popular business maxim, but Daniel Kahneman broke it down to mental workings. 

Through various experiments, they found that your brain is more rational and critical when we’re in a negative mood. When we’re in a positive mood, on the other hand, we’re more likely to overlook flaws in reasoning.

In fact, Kahneman explains that the mind produces an emotional response first, and a rationalization second. You like something, and then collect reasons why you like it – although those are not necessarily the real reasons.

So when we don’t like a salesperson, we are much more likely to look and find reasons not to buy. The price is too high, the warranty too low, the color not right.

When we do like the sales person, we are much more likely to miss obvious reasons to stop the sale and rationalize why we should buy. The price seems fair for the quality, it doesn’t need a high warranty, it has a fresh color. Reasoning follows emotion.     

Remember that next time you’re working on a sale. Focus on building rapport first, and on presenting the facts second. Getting your customer to like you is a whole other topic. Techniques you could use are:

●     Mirroring

●     Name memorization

●     Echoing

●     Apple’s Feel, Felt, Found Technique

Check out my post on “20 Customer Service Techniques”, in which I cover all of them.

3. Scarcity Error

In a famous 1975 experiment by Professor Stephen Worchel, participants were asked for a value estimation of cookies in a jar. In one group, the cookie jar was filled to the top. In another, it was almost empty. The group with the full jar gave a much lower value per cookie than the group with the scarcely filled jar.

That’s the scarcity error: our tendency to overvalue what is scarce, and undervalue what is abundant. It is in a way related to social proof, because scarcity of the cookies likely indicates that they are tasty.

It’s a powerful weapon for your sales efforts. Make sure to mention when your products are low in stock, when they are sold rapidly, or when it’s a short term offer. The fear of missing out will kick in, and raise the desire for your product. 

4. Hyperbolic Discounting

In The Art of Thinking Clearly, Rolf Dobelli describes an infamous research into this common thinking error. Group A is asked whether they’d rather receive $1,000 in 12 months, or $1,100 in 13 months. Most people opt for the 13-month option; where else would you find a 10% monthly interest rate?

In group B, participants are offered a slightly different choice. Would you rather receive $1,000 today or $1,100 in one month? Most people choose for the $1,000 today. Remarkable. The choice is exactly the same – except that the latter targets your desire to have things now.

That’s hyperbolic discounting at work – our tendency to overvalue that what we can have now versus that what we can have in the future.

You can use this in your customer interactions by stressing the options to get their hands on the product/service faster. Same day delivery, instant access, etc. If you’d like to dig deeper about our craving for now, you can check out my post “Your Customers Are Wired for Instant Support”.

5. Reciprocity

“Scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. That basically sums up the concept of reciprocity, but due to its simplicity it is often undervalued as a sales weapon.

According to psychologist and reciprocity expert Robert Cialdini, people have tremendous trouble being in someone’s debt. Even if we don’t like somebody, when that person does us a favor, we feel inclined to return it.

The real insight here is that the payback can be of much greater value than the initial favor. Professor Cialdini describes that, until this practice was largely illegalized, Hare Krishna’s deployed a highly effective method for collecting street donations. 

On one corner they would offer pedestrians a flower with a smile. “Please accept this flower, it is our gift to you.” Most would accept the flower out of politeness. But then around the next corner, there’d be another orange-robe flaunting bold head asking for a donation. And it worked like magic! So well, that it was considered a scam and was illegalized in many countries.          

Many in sales are fearful of giveaways because they want to minimize costs. But the reciprocity phenomenon shows that doing small favors for prospects can have a serious positive impact on the bottom line. Agree to an extension of a trial, for example, and you might just build up enough goodwill for your customer to end up buying.    

6.  Consistency

This is a popular sales tool that’s also applied in the Yes-set Close technique. In Influence, Professor Cialdini explains that people want to appear consistent. Consistent to the world, but also to themselves.

The Yes-set Close is a technique in which the salesperson asks the customer several questions – minimum three – that have an easy “yes” as an answer. After this comes the real sales question with the desired “yes” answer.

On the one hand, this puts the customer into a ‘yes-flow’, so not all salespeople include questions that relate directly to the sale: “Are you feeling well?” “Was it easy to find us?” “Do you like our shop?”. But the technique becomes much more potent when it’s directed towards closing a sale. 

Say you’re in a shop, looking at a pair of expensive Nike-shoes. A salesperson approaches you and the conversation could go like this.

Sales: “Those are some nice shoes you’re looking at. I use them myself. Is running an important hobby for you?”

Customer: “Yes it is.”

Sales: “Do you run multiple times per week?”

Customer: “Yeah, like 3 or 4 times.”

Sales: “OK, then you invest a lot of time in it. And for your shoes, is quality more important for you, or price?”

The salesperson just highlighted how important the hobby was for the customer, so to stay consistent.

Customer “Yes, quality is what I’m looking.”

Sales: “Well then, you’re holding the perfect pair. Not only are they good looking, they also prevent injuries for frequent runners like yourself. Shall I look for a pair in your size?”

Customer: “Yes, that’d be great.”

People will go to great lengths to keep up appearances of consistency. With a bit of smarts, you can use this to your advantage. 

Many people in sales make the mistake of focusing on the rational only. But like we covered, emotion comes first, then the rational. Mastering these psychological concepts can boost your sales efforts. And as my colleague covered in his post, they can be used in your website content as well. 

Some people are uncomfortable making use of these principles – as it reminds them too much of mind control. But whether you like it or not, when you’re in sales, you’re in the persuasion business. 

Everyone is already being as persuasive as they can, and many make use of these principles unconsciously. Like any power, they can be used for good – as well as for bad. If you truly believe in your product, and that it will help your customers, then persuading them to use it is a good thing.


Pascal van Opzeeland is CMO of Userlike, software for website and messaging support. He and his team share tips about customer communication on the Userlike Blog.

New Feature to Gain Control of Your Files

Organizing all the files in your CRM just got easier with new tag features for files. Tag and filter all your files under the Files tab.


Your CRM is the perfect place to store and manage your most important files. Whether you are storing presentations that you’ve delivered, saving customer invoices, or recording videos at a job site, effective document management in your CRM is critical. We’re happy to announce the release of file tags, a new way to label and organize your files in PipelineDeals. With file tags, you can easily sort and filter on your files in PipelineDeals and gain control over your file management.

To apply a file tag when you upload a file, select the option to Apply Tag when you upload a file on an activity.

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You can also apply file tags by clicking into the cell for tags and selecting from available tags.

NOTE – file tag options are set by your account administrator. If you’re an Account Admin, you can add new tags on the fly by clicking the option add new tag.

Once you’ve started tagging your files, you can filter on your files just like any other list view. This will make it easy to find historical records and ensure great document management in your CRM. You can even save important lists here so that you can easily find presentations, invoices, or other files that you’ve stored.

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Get started tagging files today by jumping back into your PipelineDeals account now.

3 Tips to Write Sales Email That Gets Responses

By David Baars, Marketing Manager at PipelineDeals

Find out 3 tips for how to write a good sales email that will get responses, including when you should send an email, when to use email templates, and how long your subject lines should be.


One critical question that every salesperson should ask is: “how do I write a good sales email?” An excellent sales email can get you a meeting when you’d otherwise be ignored, or can help you accelerate a negotiation. Indeed, according to research, every $1 invested in email can yield an average ROI of $38. That’s remarkable!

The best sales emails that get responses vary by business and by industry, but there are common characteristics to consider when writing email. After analyzing more than 30,000 email campaigns, we’ve concluded that businesses can gain a significant sales advantage by: (1) adjusting when they send campaigns, (2) rethinking how they use email templates, and (3) focusing on short and compelling subject lines. We believe that if salespeople can address these three areas, that they’ll see vastly higher engagement with their email and impact to the bottomline of the business.

Below we’ll share some of the results from our study, focusing on:

  1. When should you send email to maximize getting a response?

  2. When should you use email templates and when should you avoid them?

  3. How long should your subject line be?

When You Send Matters (And There’s No One Size Fits All Answer)

Timing matters. It matters in sales generally, and it matters with email more specifically. Indeed, a lot has been written about the importance of considering when you want your email to land in your recipient’s inbox.

When we looked at email campaigns, we found that:

  • Most email campaigns are sent between 8AM - 5PM

  • Peak send times are between 9AM - 12PM, and from 2PM - 4PM

Chart shows when email campaigns were sent by time of day.

Chart shows when email campaigns were sent by time of day.

Given that we were analyzing B2B email campaigns, its’ unsurprising that most of the email sent is between 8AM - 5PM. But are 9AM - 12PM, and 2PM - 4PM really the best times to send email?

The answer is – maybe not. According to our research, when we looked across all campaigns, we didn’t see a significant difference in open rates based upon send time between 8AM - 5PM. That is, there was not broad overall trend that we could key into when we were looking at the data as a whole.

Box and whisker plot showing the range of open rates depending on the time of day the campaign was sent.

Box and whisker plot showing the range of open rates depending on the time of day the campaign was sent.

With that being said, we sliced the data one layer deeper and discovered a clear difference in open rates by send time within specific industries. For instance, our data shows software companies have dramatically lower open rates for morning campaigns. Alternatively, marketing and advertising companies saw higher open rates in the morning campaigns, while financial services companies saw peak engagement in the afternoon.

Box and whisker plots for open rates based on time of day, broken out by Software, Marketing, and Financial Services industries.

Box and whisker plots for open rates based on time of day, broken out by Software, Marketing, and Financial Services industries.

What should you take out of this? Ignore the general wisdom of when you should send out email and actually start testing when you send out email messages. If you’re just getting started sending email, look for industry specific data.

Stop Setting and Forgetting Email Templates

Email templates are a useful convenience and help to provide some consistency across teams. With that being said, templated emails can hurt if you never work to improve them.

Average open rate for templated vs. non-templated emails.

Average open rate for templated vs. non-templated emails.

Non-templated emails perform roughly 30% better than templated email (33.75% OR Template vs. 43.98% OR Non-Template). Digging deeper into this number, we found the following:

  • The disparity between template vs. non-templated emails is most evident when you’re sending to a very small group of people or a very large group. In our research, email templates are best for mid-size campaigns (10 to 100 recipients).

  • Template performance tends to decline through time. This phenemena is a little bit of a mystery, but the worst performing templates were never changed and the performance tended to decline through time. We provide analytics on your performance so you should be using that to make improvements.

  • More personalized emails will always perform better, so consider using merge tags in the subject lines to enhance open rates. Templated emails that had merge tags in the subject lines were the only templated emails that beat non-templated email performance.

Less is More When It Comes to Subject Lines

The number of characters in the subject line of your email does impact the open rate. there is a slight negative correlation between subject line length and open rate overall. Interestingly, the most successful subject lines are less than 10 characters. Subject lines with less than 40 characters tended to perform the best overall. This makes sense given trends towards viewing email on mobile and the fact that most mobile email browsers restrict your view to roughly 40 characters.

Open rate for email campaigns based on number of characters in the subject line.

Open rate for email campaigns based on number of characters in the subject line.

One surprising finding is that the open rate improves for emails with subject lines between 70 to 120, before declining again. More study is needed to understand why this is the case, but one hypothesis is that the content is more personalized and relevant to recipients.