How a SaaS Sales Team Achieves 85% Open Rates with Video Emails

Author Avatar Casey Hill wrote this on Aug 25, 2020

In this week's case study, we reveal how an eight-figure ARR SaaS company leveled up their sales team's open rates to a mind-boggling 85%, with a nifty approach to email.

Design Pickle's challenge

Based out of Scottsdale, Arizona, Design Pickle is a company that takes an innovative approach to handling your graphic design. For a flat monthly fee, they give you a team of dedicated designers, unlimited renditions, and an insane 24-48hr turnaround.

But despite having a solid offer, like any SaaS based sales team, Design Pickle's main challenge was cutting through to engage their buyers vs. the competition, and move them towards a point of conversion.

Relying on email prospecting wasn't cutting it any more due to dwindling open rates.

According to Mailshake, the average open rates for a sales follow-up email is 18%. Hubspot has it at 19-26% (see image below). Campaign Monitor thinks B2B open rates hover closer to 15%.

Either way it's super low, and Design Pickle wanted something that could take their sales efforts WAY beyond the normal, because they knew they had a killer offer that deserved to be heard.

How Design Pickle used video to unlock 85% open rates

Whatever way you spin it, getting 85% open rates for the sale team is absurdly good and it leads to a lot of down the funnel business.

What kind of black magic are they doing to accomplish that?!

Turns out…they just send personal video emails, instead of standard text based emails.

Design Pickle is a brand built around human relationships and personal video is a perfect medium for them to let new prospects and customers know what they are about. 

Here is an example of a video email they sent to a new prospect, following up after a sales call:

There is a few things that Matt does well in this video to make it impactful:

He gets specific:

If you want personal video to be as impactful as possible, you want to make sure you are really customizing your connection. Calling the customer out by name is a good start, but Matt follows it up by referencing their last conversation and their business to show this is tailor made for them. 

Get them visualizing:

Notice how Matt at the end says “We are looking forward to having you in the Pickle Jar”? It might just seem like a silly phrase to close things out, but what it’s doing is allowing the prospect to visualize being a customer. All those benefits Matt discussed with this prospect the day before are being subtly prodded. Also his language about being part of the tribe (or Pickle Jar!) creates a sense of affinity and community. 

Includes a fun fact:

I love how Design Pickle includes a “Fun Fact” in the preview text of their Bonjoro videos. Instead of the generic, “Hi! Look forward to connecting!”, Design Pickle puts in some customer proof that builds trust in a way that is fun and not in-your face. 

How Design Pickle uses video throughout sales funnel

Matt, whose video you saw above, provided a bit more insight on exactly how Design Pickle uses it across their customer lifecycle:

“When a prospect hits the website and once we capture an email and cookie, we have developed a grading system to determine when the prospect is ready to get touch points from a sales person. Once they hit our point threshold, their information is moved via round robin to the outbound sales team. From there, the sales rep can record them a Bonjoro video message”

Thanks to the power of spiffy technology, every time that point threshold is reached, they automatically create the task to record a Bonjoro video through the power of Zapier

Five spots in the customer journey where Bonjoro is used are as follows:

Video Funnel #1 - Pitching a demo

As outlined above, whenever an email lead hits a specific lead-score threshold, one of the team sends a video message to offer them a product tour. They don't call it a demo, which means it all feels relaxed and easy for the prospect. The Design Pickle team is great at picking the right tone and language for each point in the funnel.

Video Funnel #2 - Before the demo:

The day before a demo, they send them a Bonjoro with a link to reschedule, if needed. It’s also an opportunity to introduce themselves, tell them that the DP team member is looking forward to speaking with them, learning about their business and building some excitement about the demo. 

Video Funnel #3 - After the demo:

The day after a demo, they send another Bonjoro, recapping a cool thing they learned about them or how much they enjoyed learning about their business. 

(See first video example in article)

Video Funnel #4 - Flash sales:

If a prospect is still undecided, the Design Pickle team add them to future flash sales campaigns where they can get a killer deal on Design Pickle. This means gone-cold leads always get a second chance to convert!

N.B. This flash sale expired in real life, so the Design Pickle team deactivated the template branding and CTA on Bonjoro, hence the Bonjoro branding on this one.

Video Funnel #5 - After they sign up:

Once a prospect becomes a customer, they send each one of them a personalized “welcome aboard.” This is done by their Customer Success team. 

Design Pickle's top tips on customer retention

Now, not only does Design Pickle use Bonjoro to create amazing engagement and close sales, but they also use it masterfully for retention.

By using Bonjoro videos, among their other personalization tactics, they retained 92% of their customers since the pandemic hit. Amazing!

Here are some of those additional strategies they employ beyond video:

Strategy #1: Dedicated onboarding

Pro level clients receive a dedicated onboarding specialist who helps them navigate their first 30 days as a client.

Strategy #2: Done-for-you project management (add-on service)

Design Pickle customers can request an add-on service where Design Pickle's Project Managers manage the client's workflow, taking the work out of submitting requests and getting designs back.

Strategy #3: Account reviews

They offer account reviews to clients who are looking to get more of our their account or simply don’t understand all the capabilities at their fingertips.

Strategy #4: Office hours webinars

Alyssa (one of their CS reps) leads a bi-weekly Office Hours webinar for any client to join and talk about issues they’re having, and get questions answered.

At the end of the day, the experience is human and immersive.

Design Pickle realizes that if they can provide not only a service, but an experience that delights their prospects and customers, they will continue to grow rapidly. 

Get a Free 14 day trial of Bonjoro, and sky-rocket your own email open-rates

If you've been inspired by Design Pickle's story, why not try personal video yourself?

Who knows how much revenue you'll unlock with a few simple videos sent to your prospects!

Get a free 14 day trial of Bonjoro right here, and copy our sales team templates for outbound prospecting with video.

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