Sales Best Practices

How Outreach Keeps Privacy Top of Mind with Sentiment Analysis

Riyaz Habibbhai, Senior Director of Product Marketing's Avatar

Riyaz Habibbhai, Senior Director of Product Marketing

Sales engagement platforms today rely solely on open and click rate data to help teams track their campaign performance and make more informed decisions.

But times are changing.

In a world where data is being shared just about everywhere, we understand that privacy concerns are increasingly important — not just for our users, but for prospects on the other end of the email as well.

Recently, Apple announced changes to its Mail app to protect user privacy. With more than 50% of desktop email subscribers using Apple’s Mail app to open emails, Apple’s new feature that prevents senders from knowing when users open an email will significantly impact open rate metrics.

This means sales teams have to change the way they get signals from prospects.

At Outreach, the Apple announcement further validated why we are investing in listening to customer sentiment, as opposed to over-indexing on traditional email metrics.

Buyer Sentiment Analysis enables you, sales leaders, and your teams to better optimize sequence and content performance based on emotive buyer signals.

It shows you whether the replies were “positive,” “objections,” “referrals” or “unsubscribes,” and a breakdown into subcategories so you know exactly the number of prospects who were willing to meet, wanted additional information, and more.

This helps you better understand how your prospects are feeling, to inform a customer-centric sales approach.

Privacy Is Top of Mind for Everyone, Including Outreach

Outreach understands the value of privacy and is committed to continuously improving our own privacy capabilities.

In 2020, we were the only vendor to score a 5 out of 5 in security and compliance, privacy and governance criterion in The Forrester Wave™: Sales Engagement, Q3 2020.

We recognize how important data protection is and keep that in mind for every new feature we build.

Expect to continue to see more privacy and compliance updates from us in the future.

Why Listening to Customer Sentiment Will Help You Close More Deals

Open and reply rates don’t tell the full story. When you measure performance based on vanity metrics like these, your team is still in the dark on what’s working and what’s not — which can ultimately affect your ability to close a deal.

For example, you’ve likely seen campaigns that have high reply rates, yet few meetings booked. This is because negative replies like “not interested” or “unsubscribe” are counted in those rates.

Research shows that sales reps relying on reply rate alone to measure sequence performance will choose lower-performing sequences 40 percent of the time.


“The sentiment analysis is helping give visibility to objections we're receiving and more importantly how we're responding. As leaders, it helps us understand the type of training we need to provide our team to tackle our most common or challenging objections.” — Kari Schneider, Sales Development Leader at Zendesk

With increased email privacy options for prospects, sentiment analysis is the best way for teams to understand the intent behind a prospect’s response and close more deals.

While we continue to see how buyer sentiment is much more beneficial in helping sales teams close deals compared to open and reply rates alone, Outreach will still provide open rate data from the email apps that provide it.

We care as much about privacy as your potential customers do, and want to make sure we are doing everything we can to empower your team to operate with confidence and reach their goals.

Check out our buyer sentiment data guide to learn more about how reply sentiment delivers better outcomes than reply rate and can improve your team’s performance.


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