Introducing mail merge with automatic follow-up sequences in Gmail
Today, we’re excited to introduce one of those tools and our most-requested feature ever: mail merge with automatic follow-up sequences in Gmail.
Click A Tree brings sustainability into everyday life through reforestation projects across the globe. Chris, Click A Tree’s founder, and his team work with businesses to plant trees and reestablish habitats for endangered species in places like Ghana, the Philippines, and Thailand.
Click A Tree offers generous wholesale rates so businesses can commit to a tree planted for every item sold, customer acquired, or employee milestone. They just report how many trees to plant based on their sales or milestones, and Click A Tree takes care of the rest.
This creative business model not only fights climate change, helps endangered species, and creates jobs, but it also helps businesses grow their revenue by adding a sustainability element to their brands. This is increasingly attractive to the average consumer, who wants to spend their money with socially and environmentally conscious brands.
Key to Click A Tree’s success is building trust with their leads and B2B partners. Most businesses won’t travel to see the trees they’ve purchased and planted, so it’s important for Chris to provide timely and accurate information both before and after closing a deal. With personal outreach and great communication, Chris and his team can put a face behind their brand and win more customers.
Learn their strategy below.
Chris builds trust with his contacts and leads by making sure nothing slips through the cracks so every customer feels like they’re valued. Tracking his leads in pipelines in Gmail helped Chris stay on top of each deal and conversation.
Chris’s Sales process is heavily email-centric, and he quickly learned the importance of having his CRM in his inbox. Not only is it faster to work out of one app or browser tab, but copying and pasting information between Gmail and an external tool inevitably led to missing information and human error.
With his CRM in Gmail, Chris can easily track what stage each lead is in and add them to pipelines with one click.
Once his team adds a lead to Streak, they can view and update all of that lead’s information in the sidebar alongside the email in their inbox. Streak automatically adds helpful information like the last time Chris’s team sent them an email, or whether they opened the last message and how many times.
Since Streak has reduced the potential for human error that comes with transferring data from one app or tool to another, Chris has been able to trust his data much more and knows that his CRM is always up to date.
Streak contact pages allow Chris to see his entire team’s interaction history with each lead in an automatic timeline. Contact pages hold all of the information about a specific person in his pipelines, like how many deals he’s had with them, mail merges he’s sent them, and a timeline of his teams’ email threads with the lead.
Streak updates contact pages in real-time, so they’re a source of truth that allows Chris to review previous conversations to gain context or follow-up.
Click A Tree’s business model and impact is appealing to B2B partners and leads, who quickly understand how Chris and his team make it easy for them to do good and grow their revenue. Because of this, Click A Tree has a fairly high success rate with leads who open their emails.
The key is to get in front of potential partners, which Chris and his team accomplish with Streak’s mail merge in Gmail.
Mail merge allows Chris and his team to send personalized mass emails to leads from their own email addresses, which helps build trust and add a face to the brand.
Chris estimates that they’ve sent at least 100,000 emails with Streak – something that would take even the quickest typist a full month (or more!) to accomplish. For Chris, mail merge is a positive return on investment with the time savings and increased response rates from his leads.
Streak mail merge gives Chris’s team insights and tools to increase their open rates by A/B testing subject lines and targeting leads at the right time.
Since they can see data like open rates and response rates for each mail merge, Chris and his team can test different approaches and hone in on the most successful messages. Once they have a winner, they can continue using the email sequence for future outreach.
These insights also helped them learn the best time to reach different types of leads.
For example, Chris found that while many businesses operate (and answer emails) Monday through Friday, restaurants are more likely to have managers working and reading emails on the weekends. With Streak, they can schedule their mail merges and replies to send on the weekend and continue their outreach during off-hours.
Similarly, they can accommodate their leads’ various time zones and increase open rates by sending messages at an appropriate time for each recipient. Chris loves this feature because it means he and his team can set Streak up to send outreach emails and nurture leads in their sleep.
Building trust is a key element of Click A Tree’s success. For Chris, it’s important not to be “some faceless internet company claiming to do good,” but to build connection with customers and demonstrate their value.
Chris and his team find several small and relatively low-effort ways to make a big impression with their leads and customers. It starts by adding a human element to their conversations and follow-ups.
Each time they have a conversation with a lead or customer, Chris and his team jot down any personal details in the notes section in Streak. This could be something about their kids starting school, a mention of their dog, a recent vacation they went on.
The next time Chris has a conversation with that lead, he’ll ask a question or mention of that personal detail. Something along the lines of “How has Kindergarten been going for Jasper?!” or “Have you taken Moxie on any fun hikes lately?”
The effect is big - his customers feel like they’re building a true relationship and the conversation gets off to a great start with some personal connection.
Getting a timely and helpful response to a question or concern is a great way to build trust with leads and customers. It helps them see that they’ll be a priority and have access to help if they need it after purchasing.
Chris uses snippets to send to customers directly after calls, or to quickly answer questions via email. Sending a detailed explanation or instructions in a timely manner not only addresses the customer when their question is top of mind, but it also “shows we really care and are on top of follow-up.” This goes a long way to set the tone for the level of service their leads can expect once they become customers.
Additionally, the Click A Tree team can share snippets to ensure that everybody is aligned with the information they send to leads and customers. If anything changes, they can simply update the shared snippet and make sure each team member is providing accurate information.
With Chris’s team all using Streak, they occasionally have to help each other out when somebody takes a vacation or is unable to respond to emails for one reason or another.
Streak email sharing allows them to make timely handoffs and cover for each other so customers feel like they’re being seamlessly taken care of. Not only do boxes and contact pages allow Chris and his team to view a timeline of everyones’ emails, but they can actually reply to conversations that they weren’t originally included on.
For example, if Margarita is on vacation and one of her customers writes in during that time, Chris can find the email in the Streak pipeline, review their previous conversation for context, and hit “reply all” to jump in for Margarita . This means their customers never have to wait or have a lag in communication - which helps Chris and his team keep their pipelines moving forward and close more deals.
Chris founded Click A Tree because he fell in love with elephants in Thailand and feared for their shrinking habitats. Now he involves businesses in reforestation projects in a true win-win fashion.
Saving time on email outreach and closing more deals allows Chris to plant more trees and focus on his mission of fighting climate change, building habitats for endangered species, and creating jobs in local communities.