By Hannah Shain

In This Episode…

What does it mean to write personalized email marketing campaigns? How can you make sure your content is useful to your audience? What is the role of email marketing in a product-led growth strategy? 

In the second episode of the The Intelligent Inbound® Podcast, Jen Spencer, President of SmartBug Media®, speaks with Mike Tatum, a Demand Generation Manager at Momentive (formerly known as SurveyMonkey). Mike is a growth marketing expert who obsesses over the possibilities that automation brings to marketers. Jen and Mike discuss:

  • How his time in the Army impacts his approach as a marketing professional
  • The one dashboard he would view every morning
  • His most effective personalization tactic to increase open rates and clicks
  • How to personalize the buyer’s journey
  • The perfect example of a product-led growth campaign 

Ready to learn how to fuel your email marketing efforts? Start with these key points from Jen and Mike’s conversation. 

Root Your Campaign in Strategy 

Email marketing tends to be an overlooked aspect of Intelligent Inbound® marketing efforts. While they tend to be simple email blasts, Mike emphasizes the importance of rooting each email marketing effort in a strategy that incorporates personalization, buyer’s journey, and structure. 

Experiment with Personalization 

Most marketers assume that personalization is simply addressing the user by name, but it’s so much more than that. In fact, as Mike tells us, including the first name in the email has almost no impact on open rate. Why? Because every other marketer on the planet has implemented this into their strategy! The user has essentially become numb to it. Plus, a messy customer relationship management (CRM) database can drop in the wrong name or name drop in all caps, which can turn the user off to the messaging right from the start. 

Instead, personalization needs to be specific to where the user is in the buyer’s journey. The information should speak to their specific role, industry, or challenges they currently face. 

Market the Right Content

To know where the user is on the buyer’s journey, consider the actions they have taken:

    • Have they provided you with their contact information? They probably don’t need to speak to a salesperson just yet. Instead, they might be redirected to a blog post or short ebook on the value your company provides.
    • Have they downloaded a discovery-stage e-book? Again, they probably aren’t ready to be contacted by a salesperson. Instead, consider inviting them to a webinar. From that webinar, they might be ready to see a tailored product demo that solves some of the pain points discussed in the webinar. From there, they might be ready to speak to a salesperson. 

As you can see, your content offerings need to make sense with where the user is in the buyer’s journey. Anything that might seem out of place can turn a prospect off. For example, the hard sell can cause one to assume that there’s something wrong with the solution if they are trying this hard to sell it. 

Keep the Structure Flexible 

With all that said, keep in mind that some people might be ready to jump the line from e-book to speaking with sales. Stick to the primary purpose of the email, but consider including a P.S. that provides a way for the prospect to speak to the right person to get them started with your product. 

Pipeline: The Great Unifier 

Measuring metrics, such as click and open rates, are important to understand what works and what doesn’t in an email. However, they tend to be important for the marketers and less important to other teams in the organization, such as sales or the CFO. If you aren’t focused on actual conversions, your campaigns are likely to suffer.

Pipeline should  be considered the great unifier between marketing and sales. If you’re trying to bring growth marketing, or demand generation, through your email marketing campaigns, you need to check in on pipeline daily. Learn from the emails that succeeded in moving a prospector through the funnel. After all, if you’re succeeding clicks but not pipeline movement, other departments that you collaborate with won’t know why you’re celebrating. 

Ongoing Value in Product-Led Growth Strategy

Every company hopes that its product is so awesome, useful, and valuable to the user that it's a no-brainer that they will continue purchasing from the company, either through services or products. Unfortunately, it takes a bit more than that. 

On the marketing side, layering email marketing and lead nurture is part of that growth engine. To succeed in this, as Mike says, the marketing team and product designers need to work together to develop the marketing efforts to encourage users to utilize the next product or service. It’s a partnership that tends to lack substance, but it’s the only way to communicate the value of the product to where the user is on the buyer’s journey. 

Stay Up to Date with The Intelligent Inbound® Podcast 

We hope you found these highlights from Mike Tatum useful—we certainly did! But there’s a lot more to the conversation, so be sure to listen to the full episode. You can also get in contact with Mike at his website to get deeper into demand generation. 

Ready for more stellar tips on how to rock your marketing efforts? Stay in-the-know by checking out the rest of The Intelligent Inbound® Podcast.

COVID-19-Email-Marketing-Impact-Report-cover

Check out a few email strategies we executed during the first three months of COVID-19 in our

COVID-19 Email Marketing Impact Report

Check It Out
Hannah Shain

About the author

Hannah Shain is Smartbug's Vice President, Marketing. She leads demand generation, brand, marketing technology and more, and she is an energetic, ambitious, witty, and data-driven leader with over 14 years of hands-on marketing experience. Hannah brings a unique balance of seeing the bigger picture - assisting with market strategy and the launch of new lines of business - while also rolling up her sleeves to build from the ground up. She thrives in a fast-paced, collaborative environment, where she can lead a team, set goals and hunker down and get to work generating results. She leads all marketing initiatives that drive pipeline, increase lead velocity, and build a lovable brand. Read more articles by Hannah Shain.

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