Why Email Marketing Is Still Important in a Demand Gen Strategy

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

As we're winding down our demand generation deep dive, Lesley Crews talks with Dan Sanchez on why email marketing is still relevant in a demand gen strategy. It's not all organic!

Yeah. Mhm What's up everybody? Welcome back to GDP Growth. I'm Leslie Cruise with Swedish media. We're continuing our journey into demand generation and today I am joined by our very own dan Sanchez dan, you're usually in the hosting chair here, but you're in the hot seat today. So welcome between Sweet Fish Media members. It's kind of fun to just jump back and forth and you jump onto a podcast. Sometimes we're like, wait, who's hosting? Are you hosting? Or am I hosting? Usually I'm on here with James and we're just kind of like usually right before we jump on and be like, oh do you want to kick it off? It's kind of like which everyone goes. So it's fun to kind of jump in with you on your deep dive, which before you start asking me questions, I have to ask you the question like how has it been going with your deep dive and like where do you feel like you're at in this journey? What do you feel like you've learned and what do you feel like? Just real briefly, what do you feel like you've learned? What do you feel like you have yet to like understand about the topic of demand jin Oh man, this is good stuff. Yeah, so I actually literally just talked to someone a few minutes ago and I was I was telling them, they asked me pretty much the same question, they were telling me like, oh like what have you learned and what are you still trying to focus on and all these things? And I've learned so much. I've talked to so many different people, you know, I talked to chris walker, I talked to um the letter gore recently which was so valuable to me in so many different ways and you know, we're still on this journey here, but I'm finally starting to kind of understand what demand generation is, where it lies, kind of under brand marketing. I think that everyone has a different definition for it. Um Everybody has a different place where they put it, but kind of what I'm interested in learning moving forward is more about products led growth. Um and this is something that I'm gonna be talking about this coming week um with someone um about you know, how demand generation works in these products led growth companies. And is this this kind of a self service model? Right. Product led growth. So does that kind of defeat the purpose of demand generation? Does it still exist in these roles? Does it completely like just reduce this role?...

So I'm really excited to dive into that a little more and yeah, I'm excited. So it's fantastic. I mean, I think all good marketing starts with a fantastic product, right? And of course there's a whole school of thought around marketing when it just comes to The product and how to market said product. Right? Yeah, 100%. Well, you know, we're talking about demand jin today and I'm excited to talk to you because you and I have both been really studying this for the past couple of weeks. And one thing you and I have talked about in this industry of demand generation, something that's been a trend lately has been to kind of nurture and channels aside from email and, you know, channels like linkedin, social media, facebook, twitter, whatever it is, those are really difficult to measure. And some people are even saying that email marketing is pretty much useless at this point, um and I know you have a strong opinion on this, so is this something you agree with or disagree with? Usually want to hear people talking about demand generation, they're usually talking about like all this stuff you're doing on the very forefront or what they call the top of the funnel, right? All the people who aren't yet aware of you, you're trying to make them aware of you. I mean Rudy said last week that it's, it's kind of a point of getting people to even know you exist out there, even if you're not there, not sure what you do, like trying to help them understand where you are or that your brand name even exists. So I'm like, that's not a bad way to look at it. And then furthermore, trying to get them to actually want what you offer or understand what you have and then want what you offer that's generating demand. I've heard marketers call that engineering desire or whatever, like phrase that could try to like put a, like a trademark on and just call it their own thing as if they invented it, right? There's so many terms tossed around. It's one of the funny things about demand, gen, it's like I've heard this talked about in so many different ways and still a marketer coming from more of a B two C space. I'm still like with you trying to understand the terminology around B to be almost feel like there's way more terms around there that people are throwing around the dimensions kind of one of them. Now...

...when it comes to email marketing, that's where I consider, it's like where the middle of the funnel is where demand jin isn't playing as much and I'm not gonna lie. Like some people throw some shade on email marketing like oh we don't need it like UNGH ate everything. Like why even capture aly just like just keep generating demand until they show up at your front door begging for the solution. I'm like come on guys like you can still invite them over. And I was telling even Leslie last week that I feel like a lot of people that are just purist when it comes to demand gen is they like to throw a huge party a great party and its for free. So when they invite everybody to the party and they have a little V. I. P. Section where they might charge the money to be in and they just put up a sign V. I. P. Section and they're like well when people are ready to come to the V. I. P. Section, they'll show up at the door and we'll let them in once they pay. And I'm like well like I'd still be sending some people under the crowd telling them about it and maybe trying to invite them over, maybe get some some refreshments by the V. I. P. Section, you know, trying to get them closer into proximity of getting in there. But the purists would say that that would be that you shouldn't do that, that it's incorrect, that you clog up your pipeline doing that, and that's kind of like this middle part of the funnel, right? They almost go after the top and after the bottom, and I'm like, man, I think there's a lot of room for the middle, right? And that's what hubspot is all about, and I actually still think it works, it works remarkably well, at least a lot of campaigns I did, and be to see it works remarkably well and still to this day it's working for sweet fish media and we have some campaigns that James Carberry actually set up like a couple of years ago with emails he wrote that are still working well. So I'd still say emails, emails, alive, emails. Well, even the kind of prove that it's working well. We did a survey recently. We actually haven't released the results of this massive survey. We interviewed 100 B two B marketing leaders and what I discovered is that the two main channels they're using to,...

...that that are killing it for most of them. So these are people we've had on the show and then asked and had qualitative feedback from as far as the two main channels that they're killing it with is search engine marketing for top of the funnel and email in their train for the middle of the funnel. So I'm like, hey, I know we're all throwing shade of these, these two things, but I'm like, that's still working for most people. And I still, and I think the reason why chris walker and like his crowd are generating so much attention is because they know search engine marketing and email nurturing isn't enough, right? It's working, but it could be better. And I'm like, man, but I wouldn't change it. I would keep them running if you generate more top of the funnel activity and still have a strong email nurture campaign going, then you can just get more people into the middle of the funnel. So that's kind of my general philosophy and why, I think it's still like a needed component. Hey, everybody Logan with sweet fish here. If you've been listening to the show for a while, you know, where big proponents of putting out original organic content on linked in. But one thing that's always been a struggle for a team like ours is to easily track the reach of that linked in content. That's why I was really excited when I heard about Shield the other day from a connection on, you guessed it linked in. Since our team started using Shield, I've loved how it's led us easily track and analyze the performance of Arlington content without having to manually log it ourselves. It automatically creates reports and generate some dashboards that are incredibly useful to see things like what contents been performing the best and what days of the week are we getting the most engagement and our average views per post. I highly suggest you guys check out this tool. If you're putting out content on linked in and if you're not, you should be, it's been a game changer for us. If you go to Shield app dot Ai and check out the 10 day free trial, you can even use our promo code B two B growth to get a 25% discount again, that's shield app dot Ai. And that promo code is B the number to be growth. All one word. All...

...right. Let's get back to the show. That's interesting. I saw someone argue this and I thought it was really funny. They said professionals are required are not required to be on social media, but they might lose their jobs if they aren't on email. And I thought that was really interesting. So do you think that, you know, do you prefer one method to the other or do you think that both of these can be used anonymously together? I think they could definitely both be used together. I mean, I think the more the more channels you can add, the better. The problem is there's only so much bandwidth for most companies so you can only do so many channels. Well, the one thing I like about emails, it's a lot of email nurturing, right, is kind of set up and then you can let it run its automated and a lot of people hate those drips sequences, but they're working for me. I was even just before this, this interview, I pulled up sweet fishes drip sequences. There's like a kind of like a lead magnet. You can call it on the website like a BB podcasting guide of some kind and then there's a probably like 10, 12 emails that follow up once you download the e magnet and these emails get open rates of, let's see 70% 61% 54%, 52% 40%. They always decrease as time goes down, but that's more attention. That's more conversation. People often reply to the emails which are now coming from me and we get a little conversation going, they're working pretty well and they're introducing people to different aspects of who we are, what we're about. We allow people and we write them all to look like plain text email, so they look like they look like they're coming from us, but people get that they're automated. It's not like we're tricking them. I just don't, I don't really like the html ones that I know James doesn't either. We write them like we would as if we were following up with them one at a time, but since people need the same information over and over again,...

...it tends to work to automate it. So that's the advantage of email is that you can automate it versus podcasting, which is another great middle of the funnel way to nurture people, right way to build relationship way to get more time and attention, or essentially to get in front of them more often, you can't automate that you have to continually put out new podcast, like the one we're working on right now, right? You can't put that on a drip sequence nearly as well as you can with an email. Absolutely. You know, sales and marketing professionals do get really bombarded with hundreds of emails a day and a week and you know, you really kind of have that one shot there to get them exposed to your message. So what do you feel is the proper way to nurture via email? And what do you think marketers who are currently doing this tend to get wrong? I usually try to build their, it's almost like you're trying to build a bridge. So you have to consider at what point are they starting from, like what have they been exposed to? Likely already by the time they get into the email nurture sequence, Like what did they, why did they request it? And how do you deliver that as soon as possible? And it's good? And then where do you want them to go now? Might they might not be able to jump all the way from where they started all the way to sales. Right? And that's the whole metaphorical funnel that we're talking about, like what next baby steps, But I like them to achieve by the end. And how do I build kind of a bridge of content on the way there. Um Starting with what they're interested in and ending a step closer to where I want them to go. It could be a progression and as far as the emails go, it could be that you're delivering content and every single email and you have a little P. S at the bottom maybe with a time bound offer of some kind that's at the bottom of every single one. And it's the same, there's a number of different ways to do it. But like I said once you build it you can kind of set it and forget it and let it run and see see how it goes. You can even split test at some some people down one way, send some people down another and then pick a winner whichever one got more people to head to the side where you wanted or the to the end goal that you wanted them to get to. And that's kind of like classic email nurturing one on 1 is build these little journeys for...

...people to go on so you can follow up with them depending whether they respond or don't respond. You could try to sweeten the deal if they don't respond after a while. That's what I love about. You can build these very simple or sophisticated campaigns to deliver the best content to the right person at the right time. Yeah. One thing I want to dive into with you is can we just talk for a second about the word nurture? Because this is something that we've been using a lot and this is something that I've seen a lot on this journey and kind of going back to basics here. It's just an interesting marketing term that everyone uses so frequently. But what are you really trying to accomplish when you say like, oh, we want to nurture? Like we want to do this, we want to have a nurture email campaign or whatever it is. What do you mean by that? So you have to think about what? It's not nurturing is not selling, right? That's what we're trying to avoid. That's what we used to do. And like, outbound marketing was just send a postcard that was a straight sell. Like, hey, do you have this problem? Because we got a solution, you should come check it out. There's a deal going on right now. Yeah, that's not if it sounds like that, it's not nurturing, You're just straight pitching. Um Gary V talked about it in his book, jab, jab, right hook, right? So nurturing is essentially the jabs, it's the service. It's the, it's the thing that you're doing to endear them to you in some way and honestly just helping them, just being helpful or being entertaining or being inspirational to them. It's delivering content that's of use to them whether or not they use your product, you are serving them with wherever they're at in their stage of the journey. On whatever topic it is. Right? If they're exploring uh a new email service, like a G suite or a Microsoft office or something like that, like where they at and discovering the capabilities, right? Or are they just exploring new options out there? Are they thinking about new productivity for the organization, which would be like really high level, Are they actually doing price comparisons between different tools? Now, if they're an I. T. Director where they at in the journey and how can you best serve them? That's nurturing is giving them information that could...

...equip them or entertain them or a little bit of both like on their way to helping them accomplish their job. Fantastic dan. I have to put you in the hot seat a little bit here. Um can you share based on your experience the past couple of weeks and based on the interactions you've been having on linkedin? How would you describe demand generation in your own words? I'm still trying to form my opinion on this as as you are, but even just listening to multiple people on our own podcast that you've interviewed talk about it. And I think I heard 11 thing that chris walker said recently that kind of like squared it up well for me. Um and he juxtaposed demand gen with generating demand and capturing demand. And that really helped clarify it a lot for me because it separates some activities, because oftentimes when I've heard him define it, it's a little bit too broad. It's almost like it's like almost all of marketing and he would say like all their strategic marketing, all the stuff they essentially the executive team lines up as far as like what's our mission, where we going, what's our major demographic, what's our product, you know, what's the price points? Those are like big picture strategic decisions that get made, where usually marketers, most marketers aren't even included in those decisions you, most marketers just get to essentially do demand jin which is almost like all of us like, so demand gen is all of our jobs. Um that's a little bit too broad. It's a little bit too squishy because it doesn't, I don't feel like it fits well with A B. M. I don't feel like it fits well um with a lot of the lead gen tactics, but if you juxtapose it with generating demand versus capturing demand, it kind of fits a little bit more nicely. It's a little bit closer to branding, but it's less, it's more tangible than branding. It's a little bit more tactical than branding. It's somewhere between like legion and brand, somewhere, you know? And then A B. M. Kind of has its own little separate camp somewhere totally. Yeah, where I'm...

...at right now, I'm trying to figure out and place it even in my own mind, I think different people have different definitions for demand jin. Um but I think it's a useful word and honestly it kind of describes itself, right? You're generating demand, you're creating demand, you're helping people want something that they didn't know they wanted, right? Which is kind of the game of marketing in the first place, totally. Yeah, I was actually just talking to someone earlier today who when I asked this question, you know, how do you define demand generation? They said, well personally I look at it completely differently. Demand generation is something entirely different than generating demand and I was like, that's really interesting. So I'm excited to kind of dive more into that because that's, that's a new term for me. So awesome. Well dan, this has been so, so insightful, I've learned so much from you in my time here at Sweet Fish and on this journey in general and I'm really excited to see how we close out this journey into demand generation. Where can listeners find you online if they want to connect? Absolutely, I love linkedin. So go to linkedin dot com slash en slash digital marketing dan and connect with me there. Fantastic! Thanks again for joining me here on GDP growth for the longest time. I was asking people to leave a review of GDP growth and apple podcasts, but I realized that was kind of stupid because leaving a review is way harder than just leaving a simple rating. So I'm changing my tune a bit instead of asking you to leave a review, I'm just going to ask you to go to be be growth in apple podcasts, scroll down until you see the ratings and reviews section and just tap the number of stars you want to give us no review necessary. Super easy and I promise it will help us out a ton. If you want a copy of my book, content based networking, just shoot me a text after you leave the rating and I'll send on your way, text me at 4074 and I know 33 to eight.

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