Categorizing Responses

Categorizing your responses allows you to track leads in more detail through reporting, giving you the maximum insights into your campaign performance.

The responder inbox in Outbase is a great place to keep track of all the responses across all your campaigns. Here we're going to look at categorizing these into defined categories, to keep your reporting up to date and give you greater insights to work with.

For more general information about the Inbox view, see the Inbox section of our User Guide.

Navigate to Inbox from the Navigation View, to the right of the screen you will see the Response Admin area:

Here you can see details about the prospect that the response has been matched to, along with details of the email account that received the response. Then below you will be given the option to categorize this response from one of the following categories:

1. Positive response 2. Referral 3. Deferred interest 4. Decline 5. No longer with business 6. Undelivered 7. Out of office 8. Ignore & archive

Below, we'll look at how to define these categories and how to resolve them.

Leads - Positive, Referral, Deferred Interest

Leads in Outbase can be classed in any of the three categories: Positive, Referral, or Deferred Interest. Our definitions of these categories are:

  • Positive response - someone responding positively to your email's call to action. For example, if your call to action is to schedule a call, then someone responding saying they are available next Wednesday would be a positive response.

  • Deferred interest - someone either asking for further information or asking you to reach out again in a few months. Example 1, your call to action is a call, but someone replies asking if the software has a specific functionality - this would be a deferred interest as they haven't replied directly to book a call, but there is some interest there (especially if you do offer what they're enquiring about!) Example 2, your call to action is a call, but someone replies saying this isn't something they are interested in right now, but to connect with them again in 3-4 months, or next quarter, when your offering will be something will have more interest in, or perhaps budget for.

  • Referral - someone saying they aren't the best point of contact for what you are offering, but pointing you in the direction of someone else in the company who would be interested. For example, a prospect replies saying they don't have responsibility for this, but your best contact would be John Smith. Ideally, John Smith would be in cc., but if he isn't and they don't give you his information, feel free to reply and ask how best to contact him. If not follow the email pattern used by the person you have received the reply from, e.g. if it's, then try

To categorize responses in these ways:

To categorize any of these responses, just select Positive response, Referral, or Deferred interest from the drop-down box and click Resolve.

Easy! Now your lead rate and lead type reporting will be updated to reflect these changes!

Psst... Did you know we provide examples of sample templates for replying to leads quickly and easily? See the Deal Navigator section of our User Guide for more information about creating a Sales Playbook using our template to provide your team with copy and paste templates, that you can adapt or your offering.


Declines, or thanks but no thanks, is someone responding negatively to your email's call to action.

Declines can come in many forms and some are more polite than others. With declines that could be classified as polite, we strongly recommend sending a quick email back to keep the door open for a future relationship. An example of a template you could adapt for your Organization is provided below:


Thank you for getting back to me. ​

The last thing I want to do is waste your time, so if [[insert a brief sentence about your product or service]] is not currently on the agenda, then I can appreciate there is no need to speak. ​

As you can imagine, it's difficult to squeeze everything we could do for {{COMPANY}} into one email, so a quick conversation often opens avenues of interest, if you think you might be able to spare a quick 5?​

Otherwise, if a need in the future arises, I hope you will think of us.


Other declines might not be as polite, but don't let that put you off - it's the leads that really matter!

Not everyone LOVES getting emails from people they don't know. Based on a campaign sending to 500 prospects per month, you're likely to get a few a week that aren't "friendly" - but don't panic, this is totally normal!

To categorize a response as a decline:

1. Select Decline from the drop-down box. 2. A check box will then appear with ADD TO EXCLUSIONS - although everyone who responds to your campaign is automatically added as a responder exclusion (and won't be contacted again on your campaigns) if the prospect has asked to be added to your exclusion (or do not contact) list, check this box. 3. If this box is checked you will then be asked if you want to add this as an Individual exclusion (just this email address will be added to your exclusions) or a Domain exclusion (the email address domain will be added to your exclusions).

E.g. Decline from Individual exclusion: - only this address will be added, other addresses from this company, such as can still be contacted. Domain exclusion: No further email addresses will be contacted (including, for example)

4. When you're finished, click Resolve.

Declines saved without ADD TO EXCLUSIONS will show as Response Type: "Decline", whereas declines saved with ADD TO EXCLUSIONS will show as Response Type: "Decline + Exclusion"

For more information about Exclusions, see the Exclusions section of our User Guide.

Out of Offices

As responders are automatically added as a responder exclusion in Outbase, categorizing out of office responses in Outbase, allows your campaign sequence to pick back up when the prospect is back in the office, allowing you to maximize your outreach.

To categorize an out of office response:

1. Select Out of office from the drop-down box. 2. A box will appear where you can enter the number of days to wait before the next email in the campaign sequence should be sent. We recommend scheduling this for 1 or 2 days after the prospect is back in the office.

This number only counts weekdays and does not include Saturdays or Sundays.

E.g. You received a response on Tuesday 1st February 2022 saying the prospect is going to be back in the office on Thursday 10th February. Entering 7 days - prospect will receive the next email in the sequence on Thurs 10th February. Entering 8 days - prospect will receive the next email in the sequence on Friday 11th February. Entering 9 days - prospect will receive the next email in the sequence on Monday 14th February.

3. When you've chosen the number of days to wait, click Resolve.

Remove from Reporting - No Longer with Business, Undelivered, and Ignore & Archive

Some emails that come through to your responder inbox may include responses that you don't want to be tracked or that aren't related to the campaign.

Outbase does filter band remove the majority of Undelivered emails from the Inbox, but some may still appear.

Outbase does try to only pull through emails that are directly related to your campaign messaging, by looking at a number of variables, but occasionally emails not related to your campaign directly (such as calendar invites with a prospect) may appear here.

While No longer with business and Undelivered responses are quite easy to define and categorize, use the Ignore & archive option only for responses that are in the Inbox that are not relevant to the campaign.

To categorize any of these responses, just select No longer with business, Undelivered, or Ignore & archive from the drop-down box and click Resolve.

By categorizing these responses like this, these figures are removed from your reporting.

Now we've started categorizing your responses, let's move on to looking at reports...

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