Ops Cast | Best Practices for Email Marketing with Jay Schwedelson

Michael Hartmann: [00:00:00] Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of OpsCast, brought to you by marketing ops.com, powered by the MO Pros. I am your host, Michael Hartmann. Joined today by both co-host Naomi Liu and Mike Rizzo. Naomi coming fresh off of her recent solo hosting job. Nice job, Naomi.

Naomi Liu: Thank Thank you. It was much more difficult than it appeared.

Isn’t that the case

that I made it always for sure. I was like, yeah. is it recording? Am I getting everything correct? Can they hear me?

Mike Rizzo: Oh my gosh. Right.

Yeah. Yeah. I remember when I had to host one by myself and I was like, I don’t even know how to intro myself. I, I hiccuped up, I hiccuped, and I was like, I am not Michael Hartman. Like that, that, that was what came outta my mouth.

Naomi Liu: Mm-hmm. .

Michael Hartmann: Uh, makes, yeah. so rough. So rough. Yeah. All right. Well, joining us today with this craziness is Jay Schwedelson. Jay fender of subjectline.com, uh, which is a subject line rating tool. If you haven’t used it, it’s a good thing. We do use it.

Jay is also the president and CEO of World Data Group and multi-brand marketing [00:01:00] services company. The port portfolio includes subject line.com, outcome media and guru events, which puts on a conference called Guru Conference, the world’s largest email marketing event. So he’s also been a keynote speaker and presented for many organizations.

So Jay, thank you for joining us today.

Jay Schwedelson: Yeah. Fired up to be here. This is gonna be fun.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, let’s I, we’ll try to keep it light. Um. But you know, if you say something, you know, that we wanna question, we will. Especially Naomi, nothing gets by her. All right. So, uh, you know, one of the things I wanted to start out with cuz since clearly you’re an email advocate, right?

So yeah, there’s a lot of things these days about things like dark social and social media and emails dead. you know, what is your take on kind of the current state of email marketing as it compared to other channels? Like what are you hearing do and if you have any data even better.

Jay Schwedelson: Yeah, look, I [00:02:00] mean, I obviously always stand on the email soapbox cause the world that I’m in, uh, but I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to be, uh, really focused in. On your email marketing efforts for, for a couple reasons. Number one, um, a lot of us spend a lot of time doing, you know, content creation and, and putting these out on social.

But we, you know, we have to live by the, the algorithms, right? You put something on social, maybe 10% of your audience sees it. Who knows? Um, you run display ads. Nobody’s interacting with that email is the only channel that exists that you are in control of getting in front of your entire. Uh, in some sort of long form, uh, way that you want to communicate, and it’s the only channel where you’re, you know, fully owning, uh, that data set.

You know, uh, look what’s happened with Twitter. Twitter’s changed in the matter of 30 days. The dynamic has totally changed there. And if your go-to-market strategy has been Twitter as your primary outlet, it’s like, uh oh, what does that mean? Right? But so email [00:03:00] allows you a, an ability to control things, and then the people that say email’s dead or it doesn’t work, in my humble opinion.

We’re just not using it the right way or not staying up to late date with the little things that, that make email work. So, so, uh, to not invest time in email I think is, is an epic fail.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. I mean, I, there’s a part of me that also thinks a similar story could be told about like, direct marketing, which is kind of where I cut my teeth in marketing was direct and database marketing. So I think it’s an underutilized. , uh, although it’s making a little bit of a comeback, I guess, But I’m curious then, um, you, you mentioned right, not using things well or, or all that, so what are, what do you see as some of the biggest challenges out there for people when they’re, you know, email marketing is, and, and we talked a little bit about this before we start recording, but like, uh, we know, I think the primary, the majority of our audience is probably a little more B2B than b2c, but if you see, are those differences in what you’re seeing between those as.

Jay Schwedelson: Yeah, I think the [00:04:00] biggest thing that, that holds marketers back when it comes to email is that they rely on, uh, information from email experts, which I never, you know, pretend to, to say that I am one. And what I mean by that is there is so much legacy information on the internet about email. Best practices or what is an email best practice?

You know, there, there are things out there like, you know, avoid spam trigger words. That’s why you go, uh, into the junk folder or you can’t send this many times cuz you’ll get unsubscribes and that’s a horrible thing, which also is not true. Or a series of of other, you know, myths that are just perpetuated.

Frankly, very lazy email experts that are out there that continue to share information that’s from 10 years ago. And so marketers rely on this ridicuLius information and they don’t use the latest strategies and things that actually work and their performance is terrible. And then they say email is dead.

And, and that’s, that’s what goes on in the world. And it frustrates me, obviously.

Michael Hartmann: What, so I’m curious when, when you hear people say [00:05:00] that email’s not working or not effective, like what do you think people are basing that on? Does it, do you think it’s a metric based thing, or is it a gut feel? I mean, I have, I, I have my suspicion on what your answer’s gonna be, but I’m curious what you see.

Jay Schwedelson: You know, I think that they, they’ll, let’s use webinars, right? So a lot ofb, B2B marketers will use a webinar as a content vehicle. They’ll go out and say, okay, I’m gonna promote a webinar, and they’ll write a subject line. Then the first word in their subject line will be webinar. And then they’ll be like, you know, the five latest tips for accounting software. And they’ll get, no, nobody open it.

Very few clickthroughs. I’m like, ah, email sticks, right? It didn’t work for me. Whatever. And. As an example of, of how to make that work, you know, what we’re seeing, for example, uh, in data in the last, let’s say six months, is the word webinars really stink. Nobody wants webinars anymore.

They’re epicly boring, don’t wanna put ’em on their calendar. So what we found is marketers, for example, that are promoting webinars in email when they leave the word webinar out of their subject line. and they’re just promoting the topic. The topic says the five latest, you know, accounting [00:06:00] software tools, and they go into the message and then it’s promoting the webinar in the message.

It’s exponentially higher. Uh, increase in performance tactics like that, uh, uh, really work. And that’s when it’s changed in the last 12 months cuz webinars become like a stained word. So the people that just rely on, okay, I’m gonna do the same thing like a robot webinar, put in the subject line, blah, blah.

that’s the people that are, that are seeing failure, uh, because it’s always changing. A year from now will be different, and that’s you’ve gotta constantly be doing the latest, newest thing,

Mike Rizzo: That resonates greatly with me. Uh, we,

Michael Hartmann: we, we strategically

Mike Rizzo: try to keep the word webinar out of as many of the types of things that, that we talk about all the time.

Michael Hartmann: Right?

That’s funny.

I don’t get, I don’t get it. Like, cuz what else do you use? Like I get, I get the, I get that it’s a, something that maybe people are averse. Two because they’ve been on so many virtual things, but like, what other word do you use besides. Can’t be discussion. Okay. Yeah.[00:07:00]

fireside chat.

But it’s still But it’s still a webinar, right?

Mike Rizzo: It

is. It is. It still is. But I, like today, I was on a fireside chat with Darrell. Right. We did that for an hour. Um, and, and we do panel discussions and we do, uh, group workshops. Right. And even a workshop can be a one way conversation. , uh, that’s presenting a thing on how to do something that is like one video, one way conversation.

Uh, and, and, and so to that point, like not to dive too far into, you know, what, whether or not to use a webinar or not. Um, coming back to this email thing, like we, we strategically try to keep it out and part of it is like, I personally anchor on webinar sounds like a.

right? Like I, like, I don’t even know when it is that it’s gonna happen, but I know that it takes time That’s, and right, there’s time that I do not have.

And so when I see the word webinar, I’m anchored on commitment and I immediately go, I have no time for that commitment.

Jay Schwedelson: [00:08:00] You know? And it’s, it’s to, and, you know, playing off of that, uh, so webinar is a commitment, which is a problem. So what’s been working really well, these same, in the same boat of people that think, you know, email doesn. on demand. Video content used to be horrible. Right? Three years ago, if you said on demand, it was like, ugh, that’s like old legacy, bad. on demand video content because we’ve all been like, Netflix, right?

Is killing it. It does so well. But when we promote on demand, we don’t say on demand. We actually just say, watch now. Cause on demand sounds old watch now sounds active and new and things like that. So it’s literally an email. There’s no silver bullet, there’s no one thing that you’re gonna do. You know, to, to Mike’s point about trying to call it something different and testing that all out, those little things have a, have a huge impact on your overall performance, and that’s, that’s how you get emailed to work,

Yeah.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah. And, and this ties into the overarching, you know, I, I feel like the overarching theme here, [00:09:00] is the webinar isn’t the problem, it’s the content. Yes, you can do the, the strategic initiative to put content into the world through the lens of, uh, whatever. Watch now on Demand Live, discussions. Is a, is a, is an approach, email is a delivery mechanism to try to get that content in front of somebody, but at the end of the day, you omitting the word webinar is gonna impact your emails, open rates, but whether or not you’re actually resonating with your audience on the content that they care about is sort of the next layer, right?

So like email’s not dead, webinars aren’t dead, but your content strategy might need to be reworked a little bit.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, that makes sense.

that’s kind of what it comes

Mike Rizzo: down to for me. But, I do like removing those words and I really appreciate the tip Jay. Unfortunately, now everybody in this community who listens to this episode is gonna be like, oh, I’m not using on demand anymore.

I’m using

Michael Hartmann: Watch

Mike Rizzo: Cause like, I’m about to go like, [00:10:00] send that to our team and be like, oh yeah, let’s start using watch now. Cause I’ve been using

Jay Schwedelson: On Demand and I’ve been

bothered by it. Right, right, right. Totally.

Michael Hartmann: So i, I wanna go back to, I think the question about what, what maybe what constitutes success. And naomi, I’m gonna put you a little bit on the spot here because I know, I admire what you’ve described, how you work with your organization and give them feedback about what’s worked and what’s not. I’m curious, like do you wait, from your perspective, what do you usually look at when it comes to email performance? Or are you looking at that as just a part of an overall performance for, say, a general campaign?

Naomi Liu: I I would definitely say a, a part of a larger picture, right, because it.

I mean, I guess it depends on what the email campaign’s for, um, at least in our industry, you know, we’re, we’re generally not generating, um, sales or conversions from an email, right? When you’re talking about products that are in the six, 7 million.

Six or $7 [00:11:00] figure range, right? So for us it’s, a lot of it is awareness, brand building, um, customer testimonials, uh, total cost of ownership, things like that. Um, when it comes to things like click through rates and open rates, it’s been definitely an education piece for myself and my business partners over the past.

Um, I would say like, Year or so, but solidly within the last six months, especially when we find things like, and I don’t know if you guys noticed this, but things around, um, uh, software on the recipient side where they’re just opening all of the emails and clicking all the links. And I can see that right?

Where I go through the activity logs and it’s like, person received it and then one second later they’ve clicked all of the links and then email within half a second. Right? So it’s just, it’s kind of like, Those metrics really, I, I’m looking at it more from a trend perspective as opposed to like an individual email perspective.

What I really care about is like, are they hitting the landing page at what, you know, how long are they spending on it? Are they filling out the form? Um, are they then going to other areas [00:12:00] of our site? Those are the things that I’m caring about more. Um, and so just making sure that when I have conversations with my business partners that it’s not just the email, right?

Like the email is an invitation to consume the content. It’s not the content. That’s kind of like the message that I’ve

been giving.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. I mean, that resonates with me, Jay like your perspective too. I mean, one of the things I, I dunno that I would say learn, but maybe a little bit of older schools, like to me the purpose of an email is to get someone to read it and click through and do it next step.

Right? And I see a lot of people try to shove a lot of content in the email and I think it actually deters people from doing that next step to what I think Naomi was hitting it. Right. Do they get to that next step and then do they stay engaged at that point? Is do you think, what’s your perspective on how you measure the effectiveness of email, I guess is the question about

Jay Schwedelson: Well, you know, a couple things. and I only touched on something which is, uh, uh, uh, bot bot activity, uh, uh, and, and metrics being impacted by, you know, different, uh, network intrusion software or apples iOS 15 [00:13:00] changes and how that’s impacted inflated. Things like open rate metrics and whatnot. And, you know, uh, what you’ll hear out in the world is, you know, open rates are right? Don’t track open rate anymore. It’s not relevant metric. And all this stuff. Focus on the click. And it kind of drives me bonkers because, um, to Naomi’s point, she’s, she’s, she’s correct in that. , um, email metrics really should be used for directional purposes, right? You should have the most important metrics for any email marketing program are your own, uh, where you wanna benchmark the different types of emails you send out.

So you have your newsletter email, you have your, your offer related promotional emails, you have your winback strategy emails, you know, you have these different buckets of types of emails, and then you wanna benchmark your own metrics. Okay? Our newsletter is an average of a 35% open rate and a 4% click.

You know that that’s not real. You know that that’s not an absolute number. Cause there’s bots and there’s garbage out there. But next week when you send out your newsletter, you tweak the subject line, you change the day of the week, and all of a sudden you’re a 47% open rate. [00:14:00] You know that you did something good, right?

You beat yourself. So, uh, directional metrics, uh, to me are. Are where it’s at, uh, in email, um, and incredibly valuable. And I, I would not, I would never discount, you know, open or any other thing that’s out there. Uh, but it is just, you know, it’s one piece of the overall pie.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, it’s, it’s interesting you bring out the Apple thing. We actually were, as an organization where I’m at now, we, we spent a lot of time sort of prepping for that and trying to identify who were the likely people that were using the Apple devices to open emails and, um, anticipating we might have to start splitting them out to get better metrics.

And it turns out like our overall open rates really didn’t change. .

Jay Schwedelson: Yeah. I, I, it was a big nothing burger. I mean, some people still freak out about the apple iOS, whatever, but, um, yeah, it inflates things a little bit, but you’re naive to think it’s an absolute metric anyway. Right, right. And then what people then sit down, like, what do I [00:15:00] do if I’m gonna do an automation campaign? Do I send out, you know, you would send out the first email and then do I send out to openers and non-op openers and do I know who really opened? And it’s like, who care? Just send it out. Nobody is sitting back being like, holy cow, they just sent me a second email. Who are these people? Right? Anybody? that’s on the fence about to unsubscribe.

They’re not about to buy. Right? They’re not like gonna fill up your funnel, be a great, you know, M Q L. All of a sudden they didn’t like you that much. They changed their role, they don’t need you. Right? They’ve moved on. Life happens. People unsubscribe. and so, uh, uh, the whole iOS thing took people down this rabbit hole of not knowing what to do with their automation program I was like, dude, relax, send another email to everybody. It’s okay.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, it was, I’m gonna steal that term. Nothing. Burger. I’ve probably heard it before, but first time in a long time.

I chuckled a bit

Mike Rizzo: too. I was like, I like this. I want to use that. I’m [00:16:00] gonna have to note that somewhere.

Michael Hartmann: I had to quickly hit mute.

I

Mike Rizzo: agree though. I, I think, uh, I think it was a, a bunch Of inflated, like kinda hoopla. We didn’t see a bunch of change. And we, we certainly [email protected], we’re communicating with individuals more so than a business email.

Like the majority of our databases made up of professionals which use personal email, right? Yeah. Because they’re here as a professional . Um, and we didn’t like, so you would expect that on those personal emails, you might, you might see a bigger right? Because they’re using their own personal devices to manage their email. Yeah. Um, but yeah, we didn’t see a ton. It was a big nothing burger. after to create

Jay Schwedelson: Right? Yeah. Life went on. Yeah. Yeah.

Michael Hartmann: like, like so many things. Um, so, uh, continuing on this theme, I guess, of like,

how do

you know if it’s effective? Right? So one of the things, so let’s say you get your open rate and compared to last time you’re doing [00:17:00] well or, or worse, but you get people to open it and you want them again from my perspective. Right. I think the goal is to get them to take that next action, which is typically clicking on something to go somewhere. Um, what, what are you seeing out there that is maybe causing marketers to have challenges with people doing that next step? Right? Getting to say a landing page. And if you wanna go a step further, right? If, assuming there’s. sort of call to action or step to take on those landing pages? What’s,

Jay Schwedelson: yeah, that’s a great question. So the first thing I would think about is who you’re marketing too, right? So you have your bo your bucket of prospects or, or, or people. fairly cold, you know, and not people that are truly engaging. And then you have your either existing customers or people that you know do engage with you guys quite a bit.

Those are two very different populations of people, and you can’t market to them with the Way. What I mean by that is, and we, and we see it all the time in the data, if you’re marketing to a prospect or somebody who’s basically a prospect, uh, the amount of words that you could have in that email, uh, the amount [00:18:00] of words that you could have in a paragraph, the amount of lines that could be in a paragraph, it has to be so incredibly tight and short, as opposed to somebody that likes you, that buys from you, that interacts with you.

You can be more verbose because if they’re a prospect, they barely open to that email. They barely care about you. So if you have just, it’s like getting a text from a friend or something. If it’s a big block text, you’re like, oh, you know, you’re like, I’ll read that, you know, later. I do not have the mind share to look at that thing, right?

It’s the same thing with email. If you open it up and there’s a big chunk of text, you’re like, Nope. Piece out nothing. I don’t want, this is zero. I’m not interested. So you have to make it for prospects. Super fast. Couple bullet. One hero image, and then your call to action button. People don’t spend enough time in their call to action button.

They’re call to action button. You don’t wanna say things like, like, register, right? You wanna say things like, save my seat. When you talked, you know, Mike talked earlier about, you know, commitment. It’s this idea of commitment or benefit, and that call to action button is so important. You know [00:19:00] when you are, let’s say, talking about a webinar an event and it says, save my seat, instead of register, like, yeah, want them to save my seat. Right? Or it’s, uh, let’s say you’re promoting a report, it’s download or it’s get my free report. Right. What is, what are you writing that call to action button, which is a super important variable, and the closer that you can have that call to action button be, uh, uh, describing the awesome offer that you’re giving the person, right?

The, the more active, the more, the higher the clickthrough that you’re gonna receive, and then you take into the landing page and you do it again. right? The worst word in the world of marketing is submit. I don’t know how the hell that showed up in the marketing vernacular, but it’s like some weirdo out there probably started this like 20 years ago. I’m gonna put submit, and that’s the word

or worse

click here, right. is time. What are we talking about? You know what I mean? And so thinking about these little things, they may seem like but it is the difference maker between success and failure for these campaigns. Uh, these little things add up. You know, what you put in the subject line, what you put in your friendly [00:20:00] from, it shouldn’t just be your regular, you know, from name, you know what you’re doing in the pre-header, what you’re doing. at cold action buttons. It all adds up to, to massive change in performance.

Mike Rizzo: I think those are all really, I’ve, I have other questions and uh, for you opinions that I want to hear from you, but, um, I, I. Specifically at one point tried to because I, like, we were struggling with this idea of like, what do you put in a cta? Um, and I think it was like to download some ebook or something like that.

And so I, I like hand coded my, my, my button, right? I didn’t use whatever tool offered the button, and I like hand coded this button. And then I like put in like smaller texts underneath the primary call to action, which was like, download your copy. or something. Right? Right underneath that. I was like trying to cater to the audience and there’s no form on this

Like I tried to be, like you said, like be as specific to the like, thing that you can be. I was like, no form

Jay Schwedelson: fill required. un gated[00:21:00]

ungated would be the right way to say that. Yeah. As a matter of fact, that word right now is trending more like any other word on B2B marketing. If you use that in your subject line as the number one word, it’s like increasing open rates more than like any other word right. Wow. to your point.

Mike Rizzo: That’s crazy. so, that’s so, that’s so fascinating. Um. my, my, my follow on to, you know, this, the friendly sender and stuff like that that you were sharing is, Yeah. um, your email sender persona. what is your, what is your take on whether or not someone should have a sender persona?

do not reply.

Right,

That’s the best.

Jay Schwedelson: Yeah.

Mike Rizzo: Should it be a real person? Should it be a made up person or should it be? Do not reply. And I know the answers to these personally, the way that I feel about it, but

Jay Schwedelson: I would love your opinion.

Well, first of all, I mean, it can never be a fake person. I mean, that’s just an epic fail for so many reasons. It’s [00:22:00] an epic

Michael Hartmann: fail. I cannot you like, I was so worried you were not gonna say that. Oh, no, no. I,

Jay Schwedelson: it, it’s, it is unacceptable. It’s also just not, it’s just so bad. It’s just so bad. And do not reply. Actually from a, from a real metric standpoint, it will just crush your campaign and it’ll crush your soul. It’s, it’s very, very bad. Um, but in terms of stuff coming from a person, um, it depends. I like and the friendly from and, and to me by the way, the friendly from, so we talk about the friendly from, for everyone that’s listening and most of you know this, but you have your from address and I’m not telling you to mess with your from address.

So if I email you my from address is, you know, jayson corp wbb.com. Don’t mess with your from address. Your friend you’re from name that you send it from, you could change every single mailing. It costs you nothing. It takes five seconds. Can be done on any. Is one of the biggest factors in whether or not an email gets opened or not, and people don’t mess around with it enough. And what I mean by messing around with it, you wanna [00:23:00] have it. If it’s not a person, we’ll talk about the person in a second. It should be tied to your offer, right? So if you’re promoting, uh, an event, it should be, you know, Acme event. If you’re promoting, uh, a demo, Acme demo, you know, Acme in a white paper, that should be in the from name.

Cuz the sooner you’re describing the offer that’s tied in the subject line, the higher open rates are. We see it all day long. Um, but the thing that works that friendly from is like Jen. From Acme, literally writing out the word from Jen from Acme works really, really well because now you got brand. Now you got a person when you just go with the person, unless you’re a very well known person, right?

Like if you’re, I don’t know, mark Zuckerberg and he wants to send out a thing cause it’s a very important email. Great, good for him. But unless you’re a very well known person, it’s gonna look a little spammy just coming from a straight up person. Cuz the game, what are you really doing? You’re really trying to confuse a

person and be like, do I know that person?

Do I go to high school with them? Who is this person? Right? And then God help you. If you start the subject [00:24:00] line with the fake forward or the fake reply, I’ll never talk to you ever again. And that’s how you’re trying to get, you know, the emails open. Cuz that is literally the end of society that that is being used at all in email marketing in.

Mike Rizzo: All right. Quickly go delete the re colon in the second

Michael Hartmann: I’m just kidding. Oh my God. Yeah. Okay. So yeah, I can’t tell you how glad I am. You said that, like, I’ve had people ask me like, can we do fake name? I’m like, we can. But we shouldn’t. Right.

Mike Rizzo: my, my hope is that there’s, there’s some marketer somewhere listening to this episode and they’re gonna go grab that like clip

Jay Schwedelson: and send it to their boss one. We changed one person. Right. And be like,

Michael Hartmann: see, look, someone else is saying

Jay Schwedelson: this right, right. Absolutely. You know, and one thing you do have to think about if you are gonna send from a person a lot of, uh, uh, uh, when you’re sending out from whatever platform you’re on, , anytime you send from a person, you have to be set up to receive actual [00:25:00] replies, right?

We’ve seen this a million times where you send out a campaign. I don’t care if it’s a beautifully structured HTML campaign. And when it comes from a person, people are inclined to hit reply and think they’re talking to a human. And so many times you set it up, those replies go into the ether, go nowhere cause it’s being set up like a regular campaign. So if it’s gonna come from a person, make sure you are infrastructurally set up to handle replies.

Michael Hartmann: Yep. I’m in the process of doing that with our sales teams right now, so that we can send stuff from him that I should come back.

Mike Rizzo: yeah, that is one of the hardest ones that I, I’ve had to try to tackle in my marketing ops career is, um, setting up the inbox. Right? So like we would set up an alternate, uh, email Elliots for the CEO or the executive that the email was coming Uh, and then, you know, there’s tools certainly that can look for the types of replies that are coming in.

So you can unsubscribe somebody or whatever now, which is wonderful. But there’s still this problem of like, what if somebody asks like an actual important question right? [00:26:00] and they’re like, who’s, who’s in charge of that inbox? you know? That’s right. Uh, cuz like you don’t want to just hand off the ability to, uh, have somebody manage this inbox to just.

Because like they could, mean, you know, heaven forbid they had a bad day and they just want to like, pretend like they’re the c e o of the company and go, you know, mess with someone and say like, yeah, here’s your free software for life. It’s like, uh, hundred

Michael Hartmann: percent. I think it needs to be, if you’ve got like a BD R S D R function, like for inbound, that’s who I would do. Maybe just, and I’ve done that before, just do that. They’re also, they’re also equipped to handle like someone who’s pissed off, you know? Right, right. But

it feels like

Mike Rizzo: it, like you can’t give them the control, right. To manage the inbox directly. You have to like find a way to route it and then, you know, that’s a different challenge. Like,

Naomi Liu: I don’t know about you guys, but we also get quite a few like GDPR and data deletion requests, um mm-hmm. and replies to emails. So it’s not something we would want to just farm out to people who wouldn’t necessarily follow the right steps [00:27:00]

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, totally.

Mike Rizzo: I have only had a handful of those in my career, same, um, so far, but I mean,

Michael Hartmann: it’s actually like I’m actually getting a little nervous that we’re, that we’re not paying attention to that.

Naomi Liu: We’ve probably got a handful of weeks, to be honest.

Michael Hartmann: Interesting.

Mm-hmm. .

Jay Schwedelson: Very interesting. Yeah. I, I, uh, I always, I feel bad when people get, you know, nasty gram unsubscribes, which if you do email long enough, you’ll get some, you know, why are you getting, this is illegal. You’re a terrible person. You should, you should go to hell, you know, whatever. Um, And it’s always funny to me because what happens is somehow when those nasty grams come in, they’ll get circulated up to the highest ranks of the company.

Like the CEO always got, always winds up in like highest ranks of the company and then it filters back down to the marketing person. Like, so-and-so got this, they’re freaking out and it’s the end of the world. And then the reaction is like you’re call meeting like, all right, let’s scale back our email marketing efforts, cuz some schmo out there, this one person sent a nasty gram in and it’s. [00:28:00] I mean, it’s like drives me nuts. That one dude who had a really bad day, some out there in the world, is gonna now impact the marketing program of some massive organization, and it happens every day. Oh yeah,

Michael Hartmann: for sure.

Mike Rizzo: Uh, yeah, I’ve, uh, I’ve always toyed with when the nasty Graham comes in. I don’t know , I dunno about you, you three. But, um, when I was managing that reply inbox, I was like, do I respond and say they’ve been removed, or do I just re like how do I handle this? And then on, to top it all off, like, should I let them know that, like, while you may have been able to click the link that says unsubscribe in the email that we sent, you. I have subsequently adhered like acquiesced to your request and deleted your, you know, subscription data from our system or whatever. But like even then, it’s like I just sent an email to tell you to not email me, and it’s like, am I, am I supposed to email you? Like, I don’t know how to deal with your request right now. Uh, can

Jay Schwedelson: I text you? Maybe

that’s the answer. [00:29:00] Well, I got one the other day and I was, so I, la it was through my newsletter was in , so I screenshotted and I put on LinkedIn. I’m like, there you go. Look at this. Dude wrote and I wrote back to the person I just wrote back. It was terrible. I just wrote back smell you later cause that’s what I wrote back.

Oh,

Michael Hartmann: See you later. see, I think I would just tend to just ignore it. Like take the action, be done with it. Oh know.

Jay Schwedelson: Yeah. It made me laugh. It makes me feel, it makes, I, it doesn’t bother, eh, right. Well,

Mike Rizzo: it, it just makes me chuckle that people can’t click a link like it is there. And if you’re a good email marker and you leave it there and you don’t try to bury it in like almost white text and you’re being genuine about it,

Jay Schwedelson: Like uns are good. Not bad. Un spent, length are bad. Un help me help. Yeah, help me

Mike Rizzo: help you.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah. I think, I think, I think some of it also depends on what you know about your organization. So like, um, maybe part of why I would, wouldn’t respond like. in kind so to speak, or close to it, right, is because I also recognize it. Yeah. Maybe they actually have clicked the link that [00:30:00] said unsubscribe. But in one of my other, like we actually have two instances that we use of our platform for emails and people could be in both, right?

And we are not great about keeping that up to date between the two, let alone the other business units that were within this big company. Right. So, That’s, that’s, I think that’s part of, like if we, and I’ve had been in other big organizations where similar kind of stuff could have happened where just because of the nature of things. So, um, so I think we of that, I was like, we need to move on from this one. Or we like, it’s like, like I can imagine the kinds of stuff we’re gonna get from this. Um, uh, so, but I do wanna get you, you were talking a little bit Jay, about. I think you’ve already hit on a couple things, like the, the from name, uh, some, maybe some.

I think the way I took it was like, al like always be testing new stuff in your subject lines, right? To see what actually affects [00:31:00] grades. And then, um,

the way, I guess the way I’m going is like, I think of like the way you look at this overall, right? Is what’s the full journey? And there’s lots of places where you could lose people along the way.

Yeah. Are there any other kind of small, like cuz of what you described, but really not, they’re not that hard, right? Like none of that’s really hard, but it’s like, are there other things like that with the content or landing pages or things like that that you’ve seen that. Like we should be, we should encourage our listeners to be trying. Yeah.

Jay Schwedelson: Okay. So small wins, right? That could have big results. So let’s talk about the subject line for, for example, you know, it’s so backwards. It usually happens with marketers. They’ll, they’ll spend all this time on what’s our offer gonna be, and then, you know, what’s our creative, and then finally, you know, it gets approved by legal and oh, it’s finally ready after like all this time. And then like, what’s the subject line? And like, oh, I’ll do it in three seconds. Right? Which is totally back

Michael Hartmann: every, every time, every time.

Jay Schwedelson: Right. And so without a great subject line, who cares? You know, what your offer is and all that stuff. And so, uh, what you [00:32:00] can do in the subject line is so powerful. And a lot of times, markers, as I mentioned in the beginning, get held back because they think that if they put a word, a specific word in the subject line, they’re gonna go to the junk folder.

If they use a symbol in the subject line, they’re gonna go to the junk folder. It’s not reality. The majority of senders are on what’s called shared ips. Right. Which has like, you know, 50 senders on one set of I. The word that you put one word in that subject line is not the reason you’re going to the junk folder or the spam folder.

Okay? You’re sharing your, your, your, your, your sending reputation with, with all these other senders. So liberate yourself and know that it’s all about generating engagement, opens and clicks, and that’s how you stay in the inbox. And by the way, about 20% of all email that any B2B marketer sends out, I don’t care if you’re the biggest brand in the world, will go to the.

So deal with it. That’s part of life. It’s fine. But in the subject line, for example, what are things that you could do? You could use things like brackets. For example. You start out your subject line with brackets and you put the most important thing that word in the bracket, [00:33:00] right? Like reserve my spot.

Put that in brackets. So start out your subject line. It’s not like somebody’s gonna see that and like, oh wow, brackets are really cool. I’m gonna open up this email. Nobody’s ever said that. It’s that millisecond though, where they’ll stop and see your email and they’ll open your. And, uh, things like brackets to call it out work really well.

Some of the other things are personalization, but I don’t mean name personalization. Name personalization is so cheesy and old that it’s actually. Pulling back performance, it’s actually hurting performance. Personalization on the subject line, but personalization on the B2B side that crushes it in the subject line right now is job function personalization.

Okay. So if you’re marketing to, you know, human resource professionals, right? Let’s say I’m a human resource professional, and I get an email that says, just for HR Pros, I’m like, I’m an HR pro. I gotta check this out. Actually taking the target audience, you know, this is just for small business owners or you know, small business owners need to see this.

Taking the target audience that you are marketing to and putting that in the subject [00:34:00] line is a home run win to generate engagement. Another home run win, personalization wise is the company name of the company that you are marketing. The person’s app, you know, is Acme at. , right? You put that in the subject line of, oh, oh, that’s my company.

You know, I need to understand what’s going on. What do they think is happening with, with my company? So oftentimes personalization goes well beyond, you know, just your name. Uh, it could be your industry too. What is the most important five most important things in the automotive sector of 2023? But I’m in the automotive.

I gotta check that out. And another thing that people often think is ridicuLius in B2B is emojis. When I say emoji, it sounds moronic. My teenage kids, you know, they’ll send me emojis. I dunno what they mean, right? But emojis for B2B can work really, really well. 94% of all receiving email infrastructures can, can view emojis just fine. And when we say emoji, I’m not talking about putting a smiley face, you know, in there I’m talking about use the check mark, use a [00:35:00] calendar symbol, something like that at the start of your subject line. , it’ll work really well. You know, if emojis in the B2B world were called, you know, business icons instead of emojis, we would use them. They just have a stupid name, so we don’t use them. But it works phenomenally well for b2b. So there’s a lot of little things that you could do, and I could just talk forever. I need to shut up.

No, it’s

Michael Hartmann: so good. This is all good. Like this is really good. Like, I like, I’m gonna come back and listen to this and take notes next time.

Mike Rizzo: Yeah. Yeah. I, I, yeah, I think those are super strong call outs, emoji. business icons. I’m in, I’m calling them business icons from

Jay Schwedelson: now on. Well, Especially if you’re a newsletter, you know, one friend that we’ve seen really in the last 12 months, so newsletters are wallpaper. They’re basically the same word, right? You send me down a newsletter, and really the emotion when you send down a newsletter is, thank God we gotten it out. It’s not like, oh, I hope somebody reads it.

You’re just, it’s like, I just had a colonoscopy. It’s like having a colonoscopy, like, oh, I had it great. I’ll do it again in a few years. You know, like you don’t really, that resonates.

Michael Hartmann: Resonates so much.

[00:36:00] Right.

Jay Schwedelson: Like I gotta do that thing. Darn it, right? I gotta do it. I gotta get it out. And so, uh, but one thing that’s working well for newsletters actually ties with emojis is that, uh, for so long, marketers, B2B marketers will have their newsletter. The subject line will be like the name of the newsletter or the addition like with the date in it, right? That’s your subject line, which is like, who cares? Nobody cares what is working really well. But you want a level of consistency. So what if you look at a lot of the best, uh, B2B email newsletters. Now what they’re doing is they’re picking an Could be like a check mark or a calendar or whatever it is. It’s the first character of every time they send out a newsletter and then they have the topic of the newsletter or the most important trend or stat as, uh, the thing that they write. So the consistent element is that emoji and they, they, they then just write a different thing for what’s after the emoji.

And that is working really well in terms of generating opens. Uh, so you have a consistent thing and an inconsistent thing for your newsletter subject line. So little things like that make a big differe. [00:37:00] Um, so yeah, I don’t know, emojis.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah, I was curious about emojis cuz one of the ones they get all the time. Okay, so what about, um, god, I got so many things I wanna ask about, but the, one of the one, I’m gonna guess that every one of us here on this call is, uh, has, has had the question, is it okay if we send an email on Friday afternoon?

Like, so what day of the week? What time of day? Like, does it, does anyone, does it even. Well, well, it does

Jay Schwedelson: matter cuz a hundred percent you should. Uh, but also you have to match your own expectations. Uh, I’m a big believer in sending out more, not less. I don’t believe that marketers send out enough. If you look at your inbox, um, it’s all about being relevant if you’re sending out relevant stuff. The most

successful marketers on the planet, ironically, happen to be the most frequent send. That is the irony of email marketing and what we have done. We’ve one collective brain as marketers, we, we’ve believed that nobody wants an email on Monday cause they’re dreading life at their work, that nobody wants an email on [00:38:00] Friday cuz they’re ready for the weekend.

So collectively as marketers, we’ve compressed all of our B2B email to Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. And so like 90% of all B2B emails Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, when on Monday and. You have the ability click, the rates can be really high, your open rates may be lower, but it is an excellent time, you know, to be, to be testing out emails. You may not get the exact same metrics, but you’ll actually also reach different audiences, I was gonna say, right, so the sending out, you’re always sending out at 6:00 AM send out an email at 4:00 PM you know, send out an email on Sunday, you’re going to get opens and interaction with people you don’t normally get it from.

So yeah, don’t hold back, you know, send more, not.

less.

Michael Hartmann: Yeah,

I, I remember, I think some of it depends on your audience too. I remember if your audience is like senior executives, when I, I, and this is probably dated now, but at that point in time I heard this, there was a study about this that said one of the best times to reach them through email is late Friday afternoon.

whatever their time is because they’re cleaning up their [00:39:00] inbox. Mm-hmm. , and they’re getting ready for the next week. And so if you get something in there when they’re doing that, they’ll actually pay attention to it, more likely to pay attention to it. Which I thought was really interesting. So your point, like try, it’s, it’s really interesting.

So it feels like there are these things that you talked about, right, about subject lines and, um, when we can send, when we can’t send, as B2B marketers in particular, that feels

like they’re uh, you used the word best practices. These guys know that, I hate that term, but like, like these rules of thumb almost that are based on maybe not even data that’s old.

It reminds me there’s a, uh, if you’re familiar with the books of Freakonomics books, they have podcasts, data podcasts, couple of episodes years ago called, uh, bad Medicine. And one, the, one of the things I remember about it was, you know, if you ask most people, would they.

they want an older doctor, more experienced doctor or a newer doctor to treat them.

People tended to go with the ones with more experience because it was anecdotal, but if you really wanted the best, newest [00:40:00] information, cuz it’s so hard to keep up with it, you need, you would probably want a younger, newer doctor, someone who’s, cuz they just can’t keep up with the advances. And it feels like this has a similar corollary where like there’s a lot of stuff that’s changing on a regular basis and we’re just not all keeping up with it.

We’re just trying to survive. Right. Get the next email out.

Jay Schwedelson: Well, I, there I uh, that I agree with a hundred percent. I think there’s another piece to it where, uh, we’re fighting the consultant army. What I mean by that is, so anytime you have any, anything, oh my God, we’re wrong with email. We don’t know if we’re using our platform. Right. , let’s bring in an email consultant, email expert.

Great. And it’ll be probably from like your automation platform. They’ll bring in their consulting person, whatever that means. Right? And these people, all of them, they are, they don’t live in the real world. They don’t. They come in and they’ll say, well, You don’t have, I know you got these names from a trade show, but they didn’t [00:41:00] explicitly say they wanted to hear from you.

So throw those people out, right? And uh oh, these people haven’t done this. Throw those people out and definitely don’t do these seven things and they don’t live in the real world. And the reason I say that is these consultants try to create this environment where you, everything’s an absolute, everything is a must do or a must avoid.

Um, and it becomes impossible to do real market. .And so it’s a combination of people being stuck in the past, like you talked about, and then people getting, uh, input from people that don’t actually live in the real business world of trying to actually generate sales and interest.

And the combination creates people that can’t do email marketing properly, that fail,

Yeah. Uh, before they even get started. At least that’s how I take it.

Michael Hartmann: No, it’s interesting. Okay. One, one more topic that I thought of as we were talking here. It’s a little bit top of mind for me. Nurture. Mm-hmm. nurture programs,[00:42:00]

are they still relevant? Like, or are they not Like, I, I’m, I sort of on the fence, like, cuz I, I, something you said triggered me is like, I’ve always, I say oh a lot of times, like nobody’s sitting there waiting like, oh, I just, I got this latest email from this company.

I can’t wait till they send me the next.

Jay Schwedelson: Right, right. uh, I, I nurtures are great if you’re great at nurtures. Um, I’ll give you an example of my own company. We just blew up our nurturing, right? Because, uh, I, I, I, I got, I actually was getting some of our, some of our newsletters were coming out and I was skipping over them. We opening up and I’m like, if I’m skipping over them, uh, who the hell’s reading them?

Right? And then we got into our nurtures and some of our nurtures were, you know, older. Like, what, what are we sending out? You know? So you have to. be On top of your game with your nurture or all you’re doing is you re, you’re reemphasizing how big of a loser you are, right? So

it’s like, yeah, if you can, if you can crush it and you’re nurture, you have [00:43:00] somebody that’s

on it, updating the content, it’s awesome.

Everything’s happening, great. You’re gonna do great. Your funnel’s gonna be awesome, you know, everything’s gonna be magic land. But if you have like stuff going out there from like, you know, 2019, the digest that you send out, and that’s part of your nurture stream. You’re hurting yourself, right? So your nurture’s as good as your nurture is, in my opinion.

You know

Michael Hartmann: that, ma, that makes sense. Okay. Yeah, I’ve, I’ve been on this sort of back and forth about whether or not I thought it was uni important. Uh, what would I, would I have. kind of, I guess where I’ve been leaning is like less of a, like, I think of like a quote, full nurture, right?

Air quote, full nurture, which is, you know, I think what typically five, six emails or something like that to one, that would be, I could, I think it makes more sense maybe to, especially for content related ones, right? You know, the next best. Two. One or two, right. And then kind of done, right. Then maybe go to newsletters or something like that For ongoing.

Jay Schwedelson: Yeah. I just gotta make sure. Nurture is really not a torture stream, right? Nurture is not. oh, [00:44:00] let’s send the same person the same email five times and say, Hey, you didn’t respond to my last one, so I’m sending you another one. That’s not a nurture, you know, stream. That’s a torture stream, right? There has to be some benefit of what you’re saying, you know, to the person. Uh, but I also believe, uh, what, when we set up these marketing automation scores and all this stuff, I, it’s really important to focus more on not what the person does, right? So it’s not as important. somebody goes and watches three webinars, they click on two social posts, they open up four emails. that is not nearly as important.

Um, if they’re not the right person, if they’re like a low level, you know, staff or, you know, not even a manager level person in the organization that you’re trying to get business from. Whereas if the vice president of whatever at that same business, who’s the decision? maker? B clicks on one thing, opens one thing, watches one does one thing.

That’s way more important than if somebody who can’t make a [00:45:00] decision does 12 things, right? So I just encourage everyone that’s listening that when you’re setting up your scores and your whatever, your streams, all this stuff, think about who the person is. Not just what they do, because that’s where a lot of these nurture streams go to fail. and that’s how your salespeople take these qualified leads and they call you up and you say, these suck. These are terrible, right? Because we’re feeding people that are just the wrong people because they did a bunch of stuff.

Michael Hartmann: This is great. Uh, Wow. Uh, this has been packed full of great, like,

I think actually actionable things for our audience. So thank you for that. So Jay, appreciate you and share sharing all that. Um, what if people want to, uh, follow you, keep up with you or learn more, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Jay Schwedelson: Yeah, no, I, I’m, I’m on LinkedIn more than I should be. Uh, so find me on LinkedIn. I post stuff on LinkedIn all the time. It’s my favorite social media cause it’s a place where everyone’s nice and doesn’t talk about like politics or any of that stuff. So [00:46:00] hit me up on LinkedIn. That’s the best place to find me. And um, yeah, this has been a blast.

Thanks for having me.

Michael Hartmann: That was our pleasure. So, Naomi, Mike, thank you as always keeping it dishonest. Yes, thank you. Yeah, it was fun. And thank you for all of our, to all of our listeners, uh, continuing to support us and continue to, uh, subscribe, rate review, send us your feedback, suggestions for topics or.

And if you wanna be that person, join, you know, hit, hit Mike, Naomi, or me, up on, uh, LinkedIn, or in the marketing ops.com community. Until next day, everyone. Bye.