The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 5 years ago

Daniel Miller on How to Make Your Email Marketing More Effective Immediately


Email is always a hot topic, and we all know that outreach is a critical component of effective prospecting.

But just because we realize the importance of email, it doesn’t mean we’re anywhere close to using it as effectively as we can.

In this episode, Chad interviews Daniel Miller, Director of Marketing for Benchmark Email, who lives and breathes the world of email marketing. He shares his best tips for what to change today in your email strategy, including segmenting your subscribers, focusing on your first emails, and injecting personality into your messaging.

Find a breakdown of this episode here.

Imagine your board sets a target of twenty percent revenue growth in eighteen months. So something will have to change with your sales team. How do you beat your target? Value Prime solutions can help ensure your managers and reps are leveraging a sales framework that focuses on value, not price. Don't assume you have it all figured out. Don't wait until it's too late. Visit Value Prime Solutionscom and let them help. You're listening to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience, a podcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two one. Welcome everyone to the B Tob Revenue Executive Experience. I'm your host, Chad Sanderson. For those that don't have the time to listen to the entire episode, please check us out at be to be REV exectcom or, of course, on Itunes, where we always appreciate your reviews and your feedback. Today we have with US Dandom Miller, director of marketing for benchmark Internet group, and we're going to talk about. How do you see email effectively in your outreach, prospecting, marketing, things of that nature? Emails a hot topic. Always seems to be one of the topics, along with whether or not the phone is dead. And and we know the outreach is critical and a critical component for effective prospecting, especially when creating those cadences that we talked about a lot. And so, do you know, I want to thank you very much for the time and welcome to the show. Thank you for having me. It's great to be here. Excellent. So usually, well, what we do is we start with kind of an odd question considering what we're going to focus on for the rest of the of the conversation. But I like to ask our guests to think back across their careers and see if there's a defining moment in their career that maybe change the course of their career or something that was an extremely powerful learning moment, and see if you did, you know, explain to our car audience what that might be and what you took away from it. So let's see. I guess what is a defining moment that has happened to me a business related I got to say it's probably understanding that nine hundred and twenty five doesn't exist. You know, I mean like when you get out of school and go to college and so forth, you're really being structured to how the business world is and what to expect and reports and this and that. And I only noticed this when I got into a management position and I was told this is your department, you can do whatever you want, and I took what I saw as the Daytoday, routine and normal and any normal office, and I threw it away and I started from scratch. And not only did that allow me to work better and regards to the hours I work, how the meeting work, closed work and just our daytoday, it allowed us to redefine not how we've been taught that we're supposed to do things, but how our company needs to work. And I think that's, I think, one of the most defining moments that that I've experience, that just because people do it a certain way doesn't mean that that's the right way that works for you right, so try to question it and redefine it. Excellent, excellent, so eachell our our own it's a little bit about benchmark and and you know how kind of the solutions you guys provide differ from other email marketing solutions that they may find out there. Totally well bench work email. We started about two thousand and four. We started as kind of like the onestop shop for your online marketing needs back then. I mean we had a platform that had, of course, email marketing, but we also had video streaming services, we had s SEO services, I mean all my marketing, you name it, we had it. And in two thousand and four, people to really understand like the majority of the businesses didn't really know how to market themselves online and a do it yourself manner, some m says, still done today. So the tool that stood out was the tool that everyone knew how to use friend in such way, which was email. So that is our bread and butter. Today. We are a international email marketing company and, you know, I really like to focus on...

...that, that we took the international step. There is no other email marketing company that has physical offices and as many countries as we do and we saw the you know, how email was evolving and all the other regions and we just saw, you know, that this made this is a step in the right direction to really globalize this. You don't when it comes down to email. If you sell online, your customer can be anywhere, right. So that's one of the main reasons that we wanted to really focus on that global sense of email marketing. Right now, I want to say our core custerers more of the practical marketer, you know, it's somebody that really it's not looking for, you know, the ultimate edge cutting tools, but they're looking for reliable tools that's simply work and get the job done in a easy and, I guess, time sensitive manner, right, but of course without losing the power to it. And Yeah, I mean it's been a heck of a journey. I started with the company, I want to say, in about two thousand and twelve. I found the job on craigsis first started. Yeah, when I first started as a email marketing when am I getting into it was a small little office. was about twenty of us and I was thinking, is this a scam, like, what kind of email marketing? Readi stamming people and then I started to really understand the email marketing world. And you know, almost eight years ago it was only fifteen of as network, fifteen different countries. So it's been a heck of a drive, but I'm honored and grateful to be part of this. Well now, I mean that's a testament to the success of it, right. I mean we spend a lot of time in our business working with customers to teach them how to use email as part of a multifaceted prospecting approach. Right, it becomes a very critical component to that out each but it's important that you provide value in each step. And if if it wasn't working, you guys wouldn't growing like you're growing, right. So it is a testament to how effective that that is exactly. And you know, we've had a lot of changes throughout the company and this is, you know, core changes and the belief of where we want to take the company. Who Our core customers? You know, and we come to find out that our core customers really the practical marketer, which is looking for ongoing customer engagement. You know, it's somebody that it's not just looking to blast out whenever they feel that a sale needs to happen, but it's something it's our core customer is somebody that wants to keep a continuous conversation with their user through emails. One of their main channels, but of course many other channels that work with email as well. And as we were preving for this interview, you mentioned using multiple email campaigns per month. I was wondering if you could kind of give them the audience, but of a rundown. What is a practical marketer using, you know, multiple email campaigns of month? What does that look like and why is that so important? Totally well, to get starting now. I sense that a lot of businesses have a fear of sending too many emails and the other wrong. I'm not saying it just you know, blasts out every day just to annoy your subscribers, but you know, try to find where your limit set. You know, there's been a lot of studies that show that people who start the email more. Yes, they do tend to get a few more unsubscribes, but sales, increase engagements and create so you're right. Maybe not everybody wants to hear from you every day, but there are some people that probably do. So you know, learning to properly segment and learning to you know, trying to find where your limits are at, meaning if somebody subscribes, how do you what strategy do you have to determine. Is this a loyalty guy? Is this going to be just a pass buyer? Is this just like a student that's just trying to download the free white paper? You know, so you know what kind of strategy do you have to kind of put these people into different segments and then however often you need to send to those people. You can do that. So when you set up different email strategies,...

...that also helps you set a different voice. You can even have almost a different personality with each one of those segments and truly adapt to them. That goes to personalization, right. So that I like the comment about personality, because when I get a lot of email, right, ever, everybody does, and so if it's one that connects with me, that it stands out right. People talk a lot about their personal brand, right, but an email, if it's if it's something that that has that sparked and I'm then I'm going to open it. Right. I mean, there are definitely I don't want to say any the names of the companies, but there are a couple companies that that email me probably four times a week and I probably open at least three of them each week just because of that voice in that that value that they're providing it to me. Yeah, it's absolutely I mean it's amazing. There's a banking company. I love to share the story. I reference their name because it was amazing. But there's a banking company, simple, simple as a banking company, that is trying to redefine how banking works right, and email marketing is one of their main channels of communication and every quarter, I think it is, or every year, they have to send out the update to their terms of use. And this is a legal banking thing. But of course, a company that's trying to redefine everything about banking and they're set upon, you know, just how the law works and what you're supposed to do and they still tried to make changes. For it what you would think would be a very serious, very boring update email that just says, hey, we legally have to tell you these things, they were able to turn it into one of their most engaging and expected emails from their subscribers. Like there's subscribers can't wait to get that email because it has jokes, it has a bunch of personality, but it's still informing them about the changes to the policy and it's that type of thing that with email marketing. If you don't adapt to that, if you don't really, you know, set a personality to your males years, subscribers are going to be unengaged and eventually unsubscribed. Yeah, without a doubt in personality as signed. Are there other ways that you've seen marketers be more effective and increasing open rates? I mean, I mean you have to open it to get to the personality, but are there other ways or other or insights that you can share with the audience that that make can make email more effective totally? And you know, a lot of people see email as kind of like a blast and they don't really see it as part of the experience. Like I've asked a lot of businesses and when I when I talk about their customer journey and what is the experience that they're that their leads or their customers go through, email marketing is many times left out of that equation in the sense of yet they think it's part of the journey, but they think it's kind of just like a I think they underestimate the power and the strength that email marketing has. I mean a really good email has to give you the good experience from the very beginning meaning when I received, let's say an email from let's say I subscribe to think with Google. Right, first of all, I'm already saying that, okay, Google is a reputable company. It's already gained my trust somewhat right I subscribe to it, my expectations are very high. If they don't meet that expectations on the first email, my likelihood to open the next one's are going to be very low. Now, if you surpassed my expectations, like if you send me this amazing email that gives me a step by step guide that I can do in one hour on how to improve my Google analytics, and you know learn this and that. Now I'm going to be attentive to every single email you set me because from the first experience it was amazing. So don't underestimate your first impression with email marketing and don't just think, oh, I'll just create a better subjectly later on, because already your expectations of them even wanting to see your email has lowered if you don't impress them for that first email. Without yeah, without a doubt. And so part of...

...the being able to provide that experience BEC comes down to you know, segmentation and putting together your list. Now, as the sales rep and the sales reps in our audience, I know a lot of them, have to go out and put together their own lists, you know, feed them into whatever their system of action may be, email or whatever. I'm curious, do you have any best practices you could share with that targeting, in that segmentation so that people can be more effective when they're out reaching out the email? Yeah, when it comes into segmentation, you know, I like to say, okay, so when somebody has a sent up form, and you know, I see sign up forms at all like twelve pages long, and they start asking for my age, gender, social security, I mean they start asking for a lot of stuff. Right. It's not exaggerated too much, but really thinking yourself. You know, what are the many wines that you can have there? And of course you have a million different segmenting options that you want to do, but you know, how can you achieve those things with many winds and learning and having it be a conversation instead of just like automated transaction, if that makes sense. So I like to give the example of let's say a bookstore. Right, let's say I own a bookstore. I have a sign up form. I could ask a minion things right, like how often do you read? What type of books do you like? John is like all these things right, but I just want to ask first thing and email, and I'll let my email communication do the rest. Strategically creating your emails, you can identify, based on, you know, behavior clicking, what type of person your subscriber may be. Now, this doesn't happen overnight or it doesn't happen by accident. You really have to strategically create your emails. By Single Kate, I'm going to send out a series of nonfiction and let's see who opens and clicks on these, and then you can start dividing up your buckets with your subscribers telling you as the emails are being received. I don't know if that makes sense, but you know, it's something that I see a lot of businesses miss and they just try to put everything in one funnel and just, you know, hope to best that it's just going to work out. And segmenting, like I said, is one of the most important things that you can do. From segmenting from where the sign up came from, whether it was a facebook sign up, or it was from your blog or from a trade show, all the way to listening to these subscribers and what they're opening and what they're clicking on and continuously segmenting from there. Yeah, it's an egoing process, right, and I think you're right. I think if you think of the email net, collection of or the build out of that, that persona right that that person. You not going to get it all at once, right, they're not going to step them the time to give you all of that information. But if you structure your sales process, you marking process, to provide them value with each step and exchange for more information, you are able them to overtime, without a doubt, start to be able to understand them better, what resonates, what's going to help them open more emails and engage and ultimately, by and it's trust. You know. I mean email marketing. I think the biggest thing it can do is build trust. You know, I've sign up to receive white papers and manuals and all these things from all these different services and it's very interesting to see the successful email drifts that come through after I download that. I see some that try to do the cell right away. And those lose me immediately. I say, you know what this is, I don't want to be sold. No one likes to be sold. But if you start emailing me with success stories and how to's and added value to the manual I just download, and this is that now I trust you as a leading source and then after, you know, those ten, maybe fifteen emails of building trust, now you can maybe try to approach that sale. Or I may come straight to you and say hey, you've taught me all these things, I want to buy from you. Can I sign up your course, to your service, to your product whatever? That is excellent. And so when we look at the email tools that are out there, they are...

...kind of the new I don't know if it's new, but the one I'm hearing a lot about are the automation, the automation engines for emails. So I can create a sequence, and I can. It's more of a wonder one connection, not more of a blast, but I could put together a sequence. I can email, you know, five emails over the next ten days. I'm kind of curious your take on that. That level of automation from a one to one marketing or sales standpoint. You know, it's funny when it comes to automation, I like to say that all of our competitors, including us, we are getting our PhD and automation because there is no right way to do it. This is uncharted territory. Yes, automation has been around, but it's been around for really, you know, the larger companies that could afford it, that could afford the programming integration with all of their APPS and setting all that up. Now everything is plug and play and you know, Betty with a cupcake shop down the store can sign up to square space, shopify and benchmark and integrate it all and create a pretty sophisticated automated email drift. Now the funny part about that is Betty doesn't have a marketing degree. It doesn't you know. She she knows how to make cupcakes and that's what she's in business for. So you know, I think all of us, all of us the email marketing providers, were finding out how what is the best way to really educate in on board people to have them understand the power of automation and how to adapt that to their business. And it's incredible. I mean a good automation is something that really saves you time, it sets a standard that later on you can improve upon and most important, I think it should never take away from the customer experience. Too many times I see a business that just automates way too soon, meaning before they understand a good, proven process that works. They just you know, they drafted out, they say let's go for it, they automated and it really ruins the customer experience and to me that's a step back and I can understand that. I understand so excellent insights on that. Let's change focus a little bit here and talk about bench mark. He's have a great product and if you mentioned the support multiple languages, extremely impressed that you have the offices in all those places, because I think cultural context is a critical component for that as well. But when you look at benchmark today, what's the top business challenge for you and your team? I want to say the top business challenge is nine languages. I mean it's it's a strong suit, but it is probably our biggest challenge. I mean, talk about any change we want to do to the website, even changing, you know, a small little bit of wording in an email, whether it's a system email, it's an auto responder when you have to do that change and then look at nine different countries and really nine different regions with different marketing strategies and sales strategies. You got to look at things from with you know, when you change one word, does it fit in all were in all regions that say we're like, you know, when you're building a website and you only have so much space and English putting, you know, email marketing best software, yettietti up may fit, but when you translate that to German, it's like twenty six characters longer and it doesn't fit. So it's things like that, understanding the sales and marketing strategy that also works for each region and learning, you know, how to drive the ship forward and, you know, having the flexibility and each region to do what they need to do to keep the momentum of the ship. I think that's probably one of our biggest challenges. And then from a gross standpoint, are you guys still experiencing pretty significant growth? Is it? Is it North American based or coming out of a different GA yeah, so some of the emerging markets right now are Japan, Latin America, Brazil specifically. You know, it's very interesting to see, you know, each part of the world how email marketing is different. China is, you know,...

...they love templates, they love, you know, a lot of color, a lot of graphic, lot of visual. Japan does not like any of that. They don't want images, they just want simple text. Latin America is pretty close to us in regards to the design and the type of email marketing, but they're still on the learning curve of best practices. So yeah, it's very, very interesting to see, you know, how, still in a connected world through the Internet, how different the marketing strategies are interesting. So how do you with all of those changes, you know, and as an email provider, email social provider, you guys have to stay right on the right, on the cutting edge. So how do you keep your you know, your sales and marketing teams focused, you know, to drive bench market growth and then the differentiation in the product? How do you keep them engaged and inspired? Collaboration is our biggest way to really do that, and this is something that we're really starting to really understand now again, part of the issue of having nine different languages, and not just languages here but in their actual country, is keeping that ongoing communication. You know, when we have a closed meeting here on a white board and we're drawing things, the marketing team in trying it doesn't get to see that, doesn't hear that full story. So the more we can collaborate, the more often we can meet and the more often we can really look for what we call the employee genius. You know that oftentime gets buried when you have layers of management. The people are on the front of the line rarely get to, you know, talk to the people making the decisions on strategy what the customer is saying. So we try to keep a flat organization and really try to shine light on anything we possibly can and work as a team to solve our problems. Excellent, excellent. So let's Change Direction a little bits on. We're getting towards the end here. Would like to ask her gus kind of two standard questions towards the end of each interview. The first is simply you know, as director marketing for company Like Punch Mark, that makes you, I like to use the word, prospect some would say it target for sales people, but you know the fact that the matter is your somebody that sales people want to get in front of. And cultivated relationship with I'm kind of curious what gets your attention when someone's trying to reach out to and what is it that really, you know, catches your eye and makes you want to engage? Yeah, this way sound Cliche, but people who are themselves. I mean you can smell an imposter a mile away from how the email. Yeah, I I mean you see these these emails written out with all this jargon and you think you do really talk like that. I don't think anyone talks like that. So you know, if I receive an email that it looks like it was written by an actual person, not just, you know, a script strategy, that's going to catch my eye. Aside from that, persistence, persistence will really catch my eye. There's a lot of times that I'll see an email come in and I'll take a look at I say, you know what, if it's important, I'll come back around again, and that person that comes back and is persistent I'll eventually schedule that call within it. Say Okay, what do you got? Show me this demo. I've seen your infographs. You know, they contact me on Linkedin, they find me on twitter, they read tweet something, you know really somebody who tries to get involved and it's not just looking for that quick cell but they're really trying to explore a solution with you, not trying to just tell you here's the solution. Because if somebody comes to me and says I know how to fix your problem, that's tell me this is a script, they know nothing about us. But if they come up and say hey, I would love to learn what kind of problems you you have, and they do that in a three hundred and sixty way with persistence, that's going to get my full attention. Excellent, actually authentice these. I was a big one for a lot of our guests and it's good to hear that the persistence, you know, pays off. It takes I forget what the latest stats are, but it...

...does take a considerable amount of time and focus to ensure you're getting getting people's attention. Yeah, all right. So last question. We call it our acceleration insight. So there's one thing you can tell sin as a marketing professionals, one piece of advice that you think would help them beat their targets and be better at their profession? What would it be? In why? I got to say data, data, is everything. Talking about what we were saying earlier, like what's been an epiphany for me throughout life. Number two from saying, you know, nine to five does not exist, forgot what works for you. Number two is really data as a you know, this day and age, if you're not using data to leverage your business, you are literally shooting in the dark every single time. And with the tools we have at hand, it is so, I mean so easy to really pull out the data and it's going to show you, it's going to him point immediately. What are the issues throughout your organization? And if you can't find that, then I think you're doing it totally backwards and you should always figure out any any business structure you try to build, whether it's an easy marketing strategy or, you know, it's internal system on your company. Learn to quantify it, learn to improve it with data, because again, your competitors are out there. If you don't do it, they're going to do it and then you're just going to end up right behind them. Yeah, with all the tools that are out there, and if you're not able to take up to data, you're not looking very hard. Exactly. Exactly, excellent, excellent, all right, everyone. Well, that does it for this episode. Please again check us out at beb Rev, exccom share the episode with friends, Family Co workers, spread the love and please rniss review on itunes. Janiel, I can't thank you enough for time and it's been an absolute pleasure to have you on the show. Awesome. You know what, it's been great for myself as well. Thank you very much for having me tap. It's been a pleasure. No problem. Again, thanks everyone for listening and to Dana for these valuable insights. Until next time, we have valued prime solutions. We shooting your team nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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