It's All Just Marketing: Episode 2

How to be Successful in Email Marketing


In this episode of It’s All Just Marketing, Helium SEO’s CEO, Tim Warren and Sales Director, Scott Sutter, discuss what’s working in email marketing. Scott, one of Helium SEO’s first employees, talks about how he succeeds in email marketing by building trust, establishing authority and adding value. He makes a note to remember that the receiver of his email is taking time out of their day to read his email and stresses the importance of gratitude and strategic quality. If you’d like to speak with Scott further, you can reach him via email at

Tim and Scott draw from their years of experience in digital marketing to provide valuable insights and practical tips on how to create successful marketing campaigns in today’s ever changing digital world. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just starting out, It’s All Just Marketing, provides you with the information you need to be successful. Thanks for listening!

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Tim Warren: Hey guys, welcome back to the podcast. This is the It’s All Just Marketing podcast. I’m your host, Tim Warren, and today I have Scott Sutter. Welcome to the podcast, man.

Scott Sutter: Thank you. Appreciate it. Happy to be here.

Tim Warren: So, Scott, just just real quick, give us your role title, what you Do.

Scott Sutter: Yeah.

Tim Warren: So for the people listening.

Scott Sutter: For sure, Yeah.  I’m a sales director here at Helium. Super excited to be chatting with you today. A long time coming. I’ve been here for a long time.

Tim Warren: Oh, yeah.

Scott Sutter: I’ve known you through a lot of the phases of the company and hopefully we’ll know you through the the continual growth of the company and reaching 100 million. So I’m pumped to be starting this project and part of it.

Tim Warren: Yeah, man, No, it’s great. You were one of the first, first people hired at the company in general. I remember Eric and I were kind of, you know, he was like, Yeah, you know, I started there’s maybe eight people in a small office. And I was like, Man, Scott started. There was like two people at a small office and we were really small. That’s right. You know, even smaller. Yeah.

Scott Sutter: When I showed up late, everybody knew I was late.

Tim Warren: Yeah, because there was, like, three of us, so. Yeah, man, great. It was good days. And I remember that for the people listening like you were such early days that it was like the original shared office space, you know, four of us packed in a small office and we were in a shared space, so the office would always complain at us and yell at us for being too loud. Making too much noise. Right. Because they’re like lawyers in our shared space. Right? Keep it down. I’m trying to be stuffy and be quiet.

Scott Sutter: Like, stop having fun.

Tim Warren: Yeah, stop having fun. We’re like, we’re a bunch of young tech guys. Like, you know, we’re having a good time, right? And they’re like, You guys should move to a new space. Maybe we should. Maybe we should move to a new space. Yeah, I remember those days. Well, hey, man, the podcast is all about marketing and what’s working and marketing, right? And obviously sales is part of marketing, do we do a lot of email marketing, right? Email marketing is one of the major forms of marketing that we do. And you’ve been doing email marketing for five years now, right? At least.

Scott Sutter: Yeah.

Tim Warren: So I’d love to just park on that at the beginning. What you’ve seen that’s working, good, bad and ugly, right? There’s all kinds of email marketing, but an email marketing. What have you seen recently like in the last maybe six months? Like what’s working in email marketing?

Scott Sutter: Yeah, great question. And you’re 100% right. It’s kind of our primary lead gen source, right? And it’s funny because, you know, back in the early days when I first started, I was a little touchy when people responded negatively to my emails like, leave me alone, shut up. You know, like things that just like, let me spend a day trying to craft a retort to this nasty email I received. But I think one of the kind of cornerstone, just elements of email marketing is the ability to kind of compartmentalize the good and the bad, right? So for starters, you want to be able to sift through the things that upset you and not let them upset you. Yes. And then double down on the things that do work so that segways us nicely into I’d say like recently what we’ve seen success in is, you know, understanding that when people open their email, they’re taking their valuable time out of their valuable day to respond to you in some way, right? So whether that’s negative or positive, you have disrupted their flow in some capacity. Being aware of that as you reach out initially is super crucial. And what we’ve tried to do with a lot of intentionality is add value at every step of the way, right? So we’d like to keep the emails very short.

Scott Sutter: We don’t want to make them read for a minute this great big long email of all the things that we’re offering and different things along those lines. So, we follow a couple of core principles, but some of the ones that I personally follow are kind of like a punchy title to my email, right? Something that that gets them to open it. And then leading with, you know, basically something to the extent of, I don’t want a lot of your time. I don’t want a lot of your attention. All I really would love to do is figure out, hey, is there an opportunity for us to talk? Is this something that you might be interested in and leading with some sort of value, Right? Whether that’s an offer, whether that’s, hey, here’s a gift card, here’s a pair of AirPod. I’ll send you a competitive report. I’ll build you a piece of content like whatever we think might work there. And we do test a lot of different things.

Tim Warren: Yeah.

Scott Sutter: But ultimately it’s about appealing to, I think, what their interests are and what would be valuable for them. And then asking for a small amount of time, 15 minutes, ten minutes.

Tim Warren: How do you decide what your initial offer is going to be? Right. Because, and just to clarify for the listeners, there are two types of email. There’s cold email and there’s warm email, right? So like a warm meal or a double opt in is when somebody comes to a website, you know, fills out the thing and says, Yes, I want to receive your emails. And they get an email saying, Did you confirm that you want to receive email? Yes, I want to receive your emails. So that’s  like I got onto your email drip campaign. Right? There’s that. And then, which we can do. But then there’s also the cold email outreach, which is we really want to get into this brand, right? We want to work with X, Y, Z brand. And so we’ll use Zoom info. We’ll find the people we want to target and we can run ads to those people as well too, right? Linkedin ads. We can run Facebook ads, we can run Google ads. But then there’s also this idea of a cold email outreach. How do we email market to them as well? And so you’re talking a lot about the cold email outreach when we’re trying to reach out. So how do you craft those offers? Right? So whether it’s offering someone, Hey. If you meet with me for 15 minutes, I’ll send you a AirPods, which is worth a couple hundred bucks, right?

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Which is a valuable offer. Or some people say, I don’t want your AirPods, right? Like, I want a competitive analysis or some people say, I don’t want any of those. I want you to go away. Right?

Scott Sutter: Right.

Tim Warren: How do you decide what to offer to somebody when you’ve not met them before?

Scott Sutter: Yeah, that’s a phenomenal question. The way we kind of think about it is, I guess, we start with universalism. What is everybody like? What are they like? You know, technology, right? So there’s an AirPods, a pair of AirPods appeal to them. Some people will be like, I can buy my own AirPods. You’re like, okay, that’s perfectly fine. Can you do your own SEO? 

Tim Warren: And they’re like, I can’t use AirPods. That’s fine. Yeah. Why do you have computer?

Scott Sutter: That’s right. Yeah, exactly. So, it’s been kind of systematic of like, I think whittling down to like what is the right value exchange, right? So AirPods, originally it was working for us really, really well. And then it kind of became like, That’s a lot of money that you’re offering me. I’m not sure this feels okay.

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: Okay, fine. So then we kind of narrowed it down to a $50 Amazon gift card, right? So if a $50, you know, that feels a little more realistic. Okay, this is a prospect that maybe is part of a $25 million company and not a $500 million company. So $50 seems more appropriate. Right. And so then you appeal to somebody there and, you know, the responses come in and then eventually those, maybe wittle their way down as well. And then, kind of also testing out, hey, what level of strategic value can I offer you? Can I offer you a competitor analysis? Can I show you, hey, here’s a 25% of a full blown keyword research project that we would run for your business that I can build in ten minutes. You know, ultimately for you to kind of show you insight as to where you’re missing, where your competitors are not missing. And then we can talk through the strategy of how to get you to where you need to be. So spending the right amount of time, you know, on a phone call with them and adding the right amount of value in that very first touch point is really what opens up the door a lot of times to that second conversation. Which again is, in my opinion, the most important conversation you’re going to have with a client. We we have a very, very quick touchpoint to build trust, establish authority for 15 minutes. And then we set up our second call, which is where we’re going to do the discovery and which is where we’re going to start talking about dollars. And that to me is the most important call that that we have with the prospect.

Tim Warren: So you mentioned one thing, Scott, that stood out to me, which is keeping it short. When I see a lot of outreach emails, right, Or just I get emails all the time. But a lot of them are, Hey, Tim. And then some platitude, right? Nice to meet you. Or how are those reds? And that’s like, you know, like, you know, 27 paragraphs of every, you know, service. And I, you know, as a busy executive. Right. What I do is I look for the delete button and I just delete and move on, right? Like I’m not going to read this super long email, but to your point, short emails, right? Because for me, like, this is one of the things that when you’re marketing to executives, one of my biggest issues is decision fatigue. Like I can only make so many good decisions in a day before I just my ability to make good decisions goes out the window because I’m just too tired. Right. Because I’ve been making decisions all day. And so to your point, when I get that email, it’s much easier to make the decision of like, Nope, I’m not going to. I’m not going to think about this right now.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Right. And so you can shorten and reduce that decision fatigue by making the decision to read the email. Easy, right? Because to your point, the title is catchy and it’s short, right? So I can make the decision to at least read and engage with this. Right? But then to your point, it’s the shorter it is, the easier it is for the person to decide to actually respond to it.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Right. Because there’s like there’s three decisions in a row. Decision One, do I even read this right or even engage with this right? Or if I you know, if I see the subject line like dear sir, madam, like delete, right. You don’t even know if you look at me and you have no idea, like whether I’m Sir or madam and you’re offering guest posting, I’m already out.

Scott Sutter: Right.

Tim Warren: Because it’s like I’ve read the thing and I know I’m out. Right? But then there’s a second piece of like, I have to decide to even read it. And when I see, your subject line of guest blog posting, I know I’m out. I know I’m going to delete that because I’m like, Oh, this is just spam, right? But the second one is when I open it, then I have to decide to actually read it. That’s right. And then the third thing is I have to decide to respond to it. Like, what do I what do I say back and forth? Right? So interesting. I’m curious to hear your thoughts on you keeping it short, why that works, what you’ve seen as you’ve tried and played around with shorter versus longer.

Scott Sutter: Yeah, yeah. One of the things that I try to just kind of keep in mind is, again, as we talked about, we’re interfering with their the flow of their day, right? If you’re walking through the mall and somebody tries to grab you to come over and test their hand lotion. Yeah. You know, nine times out of ten, I’m actively going somewhere in the mall. I’m not just wandering around.

Tim Warren: I’m busy.

Scott Sutter: I have just time to to, you know, test hand lotions.

Tim Warren: Oh, I’m Retired. That’s right. Let me try all your hand lotions.

Scott Sutter: Yeah. So I have to think about it from the perspective of like I’m getting in front of them and disrupting them in some way. Right. Chances of them being in the process of active, that moment searching for an SEO company is virtually zero, right? They’re probably not actively Google searching SEO companies when I’m emailing them. So I have to consider that I’m passively getting in front of them. And by that I basically define it that way because they haven’t requested information from us at this point, but we are providing it for them. It’s like an advertisement during, you know, during a show that you’re watching. So understanding that oftentimes if you’re watching YouTube and a seven minute ad shows up, what are you going to do the second that 15 minute excuse me, that 15 second like timer goes up, you’re going to click Skip because I’m not going to watch a seven minute ad when I’m in the middle of watching the recap of the basketball game last night.

Tim Warren: Yeah, right.

Scott Sutter: So keeping it short allows them to understand quickly what I’m trying to communicate to them. It helps them understand quickly what the value offering is going to be. If they are willing to provide me with their time, it helps them understand that I’m only asking for a small amount of their time in exchange for that value, and it makes that decision making process 30s as opposed to, you know, a minute to read and potentially however long it takes to respond, right? So as opposed to approaching you with, cold calling you and asking for 45 seconds of your time, I can achieve that in 20s of your time on an email and you can know immediately whether I’m in or out. And the reason why that to me is valuable is we’ve talked about this since the day I started getting to know as quickly as you possibly can is actually a huge sales time saver. If somebody’s going to say, no, I don’t want to talk to them for two hours before they say no, I want to know pretty quickly, like especially with our first interaction, is this person interested or are they not interested? 

Tim Warren: Yeah, tell me no, and I can leave.

Scott Sutter: That’s right. I can get out of here as soon as possible. Early on when I was doing some cold calling, we just were trying stuff out because we were calling hundreds of people a week. Yeah. So we, you know, we would call people and be like, Do you think SEO works? No. Okay. Thanks.

Tim Warren: Okay see ya.

Scott Sutter: You know, like and we just were testing a bunch of stuff out, But, but messaging like that takes so much quicker than, you know, approaching somebody and saying, Hey, can I borrow two minutes of your time? And then having to be like, well, let me let me go through this decision making process. Do I want to speak to this person or not? Right. So keeping it short allows them to get to those decisions a lot quicker. And it also is a lot less intimidating than a than a 250 word email.

Tim Warren: Yeah, that’s interesting because I was talking to our VP of sales today and he said there are there are three types of buyers. There’s 10% of people who will never buy from you at all, so don’t bother. There’s 10% who will always buy from you. They like you and they’ll just keep buying. You keep calling, they’ll keep buying whatever you sell. And there’s 80% in the middle that need to be sold.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Right. So there’s that philosophy, which is really interesting. At the same time, to that same point, kind of riffing off what you were saying. You know, I read this book once called How I Raise Myself from Failure to Success in Sales by Frank Becker. And in that book he talked about this like top performing insurance rep. And most of the time, and this was back in like the 50s in Chicago. Right. So there’s no technology. They’re not using computers, right? They’re literally out swinging doors. So their marketing and sales strategy was guy in suit with briefcase walking business to business to business, opening doors and pitching like that’s what they did, Right? And hey, that was that the thing at the time. And so what this guy used to do and so you’d think about it.

Tim Warren: Right. But kind of your point, hey, do you think SEO works? Yes or no? The guy’s like, no, like, all right, thanks. And Right. All right, fine. But what this guy did is he would actually walk into the business and say, hey, you’re probably not looking to buy insurance right now, are you? And be like, no, we are not looking for insurance. Like, thanks for your time. That’s what I sell. I’ll leave. Right. Okay. But he would do that like 50 times a day or 100 times a day. And then what would happen is like 1 or 2 times out of 100, he walked in. You guys are probably not looking to buy insurance today. Actually, no We are in the middle and our carriers charge us too much. What do you, what do you do? Well, I sell insurance. Like what kind of insurance? Well, a corporate insurance. Come on in. Take a seat. You know, and you know, this is the 50, so it’s probably like, would you like a martini? You know, it’s like cigarette, you know? Yeah. It’s like it’s 930 in the morning, so Absolutely right. Yeah, man. The days have, you know, now it’s like you can’t smoke within all these radiuses versus like, Yeah Would you like a cigarette in a martini? It’s 9 a.m. Like, sounds great. Yeah. Man, the good old days. I didn’t come from that era. But can you imagine? Right? It’s like sitting around drinking martinis at ten inches the morning.

Scott Sutter: Yeah. Yeah.

Tim Warren: So. But then what would happen is two of those businesses every day with 100 he doors he would swing. They’d be like, Yeah, actually I would like to hear your pitch. But he started with a negative of like, you probably don’t want this, do you? So it gives him a super easy out to say I don’t want that. Thank you.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: And I think that’s really interesting because for a lot of reasons. But the first reason I think it’s interesting is he knew the buying pool at any given moment was probably 3% of his market. And so it allowed him to very quickly get to know so he could just move on and go to the next door, which is interesting. And it made the engagement easy for someone who’s like, Dude, I don’t want the lotion right now. Hey, large man in the mall, you probably, you know, you’re looking for hand lotion right now. No, like, okay, cool. Yeah, that sounds good. Probably not, right? But then the next person walks by like, Hey, are you looking for hand lotion? Actually, I was going to Bath Body Works. We’ll check this one out.

Scott Sutter: Yeah, right.

Tim Warren: So they’re spending their time with the people who actually care versus forcing you to sit through a hand lotion pitch where you’re like, I don’t want lotion.

Scott Sutter: Yeah, right.

Tim Warren: Right. So I thought that’s interesting. The second Things with this whole insurance pitch is if he walked into 1 or 2 businesses a day and did that, hey, you’re probably looking for insurance. No, he would be an unsuccessful salesperson. Right? Because he would never sell anything. But he hit 100 doors a day. Right. So he had this unique approach, which his approach was based on, just like quick, quick to know and grit of just swinging a lot of doors every day. Which I thought was really interesting. So I’m just curious to hear your thoughts on as you’ve learned of this, like keeping emails really short, like what that’s done for you because you’re kind of doing the same thing, right? Where it’s like, Do you want to talk about SEO? Yes or no? Guys like no. Great. But then you also get some yeses too.

Scott Sutter: That’s right. Yeah. Honestly, what it has trained my brain to do is basically any time I get a response, it’s a good thing, right? So if I’m sending 5000 emails a week or 2000 emails a week or a thousand, you know, whatever it is, volume obviously plays, plays a significant factor there. But whenever you get a response, then it’s a positive. Whether it’s, Hey, I can take this person off my list or Hey, this person actually is interested, or Hey, this person isn’t interested now, but they could be in the future because, you know, then I can reach out and say, okay, now’s not a great time for you. What about Q three? And that actually worked. We there’s a large retailer that we won business with basically. And and it’s because I send them a cold email and they said, hey, we actually have a vendor for this and we just got a brand new VP, so now’s not a good time. And I said, Okay, know what about Q three? And they said, Yeah, you can reach back out in Q three. And I did. I followed up in Q three, and they basically said, Hey, yeah, let me introduce you to the VP there. About six months in now, they’ve got their feet under them. Made that introduction that VP actually passed me off to their director of marketing, who then passed me off to the SEO guy.

Scott Sutter: So I went through this path of like 3 or 4 different people Before I met with the SEO guy. We had a 15 minute call, you know, kept it short and sweet excuse me, short and sweet, you know, value offering up front. And it turned into a six figure deal for us with a really important company. So it’s one of those things where the response, no matter what it is, generates a positive and momentous like reaction based on volume and based on, you know, basically keeping it pretty specific and to the point when you send those kind of short, punchy emails. So it just allows you to it allows you to your point to kind of get down to brass tacks pretty quickly and easily. Now, the sales call, when you engage with somebody, that’s the opportunity for rapport building and building a relationship and doing all that. But you don’t know this person until you have an opportunity to sit down and talk with them. So worrying about upsetting them in some regard.

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: It shouldn’t be a concern of yours because you don’t know what they look like. They don’t know who you are. You know, you guys don’t live next to each other. It’s about figuring out, hey, is your business looking for this valuable service that we offer? Yes or No.

Tim Warren: No, that’s great. And obviously, like, you know, we focus on with this podcast is focused on marketing, but sales is a function of marketing, right? Sales is under marketing. And I think sometimes people forget how important sales can be when thinking about marketing, because I think as marketers, we oftentimes think about, okay, let me run this ad. Let me let me do this trade show. Let me do this event. Let me do this thing.

Scott Sutter: Yup.

Tim Warren: But at the end of the day, all that is to generate an interested person who then goes and talks to a salesperson.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: And one one way of doing that is the salesperson themself doing their own marketing, marketing themself to then generate that business, right? So I think that’s really, really smart. I also think what’s interesting about kind of what you’re saying there is sometimes follow up is really key with marketing, right? It’s not the one touch, right? Like it’s, you know, we talk about in marketing but retargeting, right? You came to my site once. I never market to you again. The conversion is lower versus you came to my site once and I follow you all around the web and you see my brand over and over and over again. And eventually you click on it and you come and convert, right? That’s right. You know, I’d love to hear you speak to this when you build campaigns. Right. Are you emailing people once or twice or you emailing them 50 times? Are you emailing towards a goal of them saying yes or no? Like, how do you decide how many times to email somebody before you take them off a list? 

Scott Sutter: Yeah, that’s a great question. So I know that there’s basically an industry kind of standard is maybe the wrong word, but an industry projection of somewhere around, I think it’s like 15 touch points that generates that, that final response from a client. I think internally what we’ve seen is that there’s closer to like 8 or 9 with our business that generate a response in some regard. So basically the way that I typically build cadences out is a minimum of ten emails or phone calls or LinkedIn touch points before they move all the way through that cadence, right? And that’s where you do some of the testing as well about messaging. Hey, what does this person potentially interested in? They drip over into the next campaign that offers a different value add or whatever.

Tim Warren: Yeah. 

Scott Sutter: But it is a high volume touch point, right? Because you know, we talk about you said it we talk a lot about this with our clients, which is the tendency for somebody to make a purchase or to become a lead the very first time they land on your website is very rare, right? It’s super rare. It doesn’t happen that way. Frankly, an attribution. Different technologies show very consistently that multiple touch points are required to generate a lead in some capacity. Which is why we make a lot of recommendations around retargeting and multiple touch points, multiple engagements, multiple channels, digital channels to engage the users that are interested in some capacity with your products and services. And so we have to practice what we preach, right? And so from a consulting perspective, when I’m looking at my own sales funnel and I’m looking at my own pipeline, it’s important for me to believe that because otherwise I can get discouraged when I hey, just send out a big email campaign and nobody responded. Right. 

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: Well, yeah, that’s because it’s the first time you’ve reached out to those people. Yeah.

Tim Warren: And that’s I want to say something to that because this is why like there’s, there’s such a tight correlation between marketing and sales, right? You know, we went to an event last night, right, that we were talking about that bourbon and there’s a bourbon and cigars event, right?

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: We got invited to and I arrived after you guys arrived. Right? Just I was in the office trying to knock out work. And I looked at the counter. I’m like, Oh, crap. It’s already like 350. Right?

Scott Sutter: Right.

Tim Warren: And it’s like a 30 minute drive. So I’m like, I better go, right? Because this thing ended at 450 and I had this window and I was like, Oh, I’m going to get a little bit of work done. You guys went earlier than me, right? And I think this is an interesting study to focus on. When you walked into that room and you started passing out cards and you’re connecting with people, right? Like no one, you know, maybe a few people, but people hadn’t heard of helium. Right?

Scott Sutter: Right.

Tim Warren: I arrived after you guys and I didn’t put on a name tag. I forgot whatever. And I, you know, I walked over and got a bourbon and was talking to some people and they’re like, Oh, who are you with? I’m like, Oh, I own a company called Helium. They’re like, Oh, helium.

Scott Sutter: Yeah, right.

Tim Warren: And they all knew the name because you had just worked the room and they had all they’re like, Oh, tall guy, You know, like one guy was like the bodyguard, right? I was like, Yeah, see? And I was like, I’ll tell him Scott would like that. But yeah, they were like, There was a shorter guy and then he had a bodyguard, right? It was like, Well, our one of our top sales guys and his manager. But sure, fine. Yes, it was the shorter guy and the bodyguard. Yes. He nailed it. Yeah, man. But anyway. And so I laughed to myself because they had just had one exposure to the brand. They had They remembered the name Helium because it was memorable, right? And they’re like, Oh, yeah, I’ve heard of you guys. Yeah. From a guy who was just here an hour ago, right? I was like, Oh, you know, that. I was like, Oh, they were here. Cool. But what I realized that’s a really simplistic example of when you send someone a cold email and they’ve never heard of helium like delete.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Right. But when they’ve seen our name at events and they’ve seen our emails and they see us in Search Engine Land and they see this or whatever, and then they get an email and they’re like, I’ve heard of them and they don’t know why, but their limbic brain, like, you know, back in their brain remembers this. And they’re like, I’m not afraid of this.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Right. Versus it’s like, you know, you get emailed from some random company like, I’m afraid of this. That’s right. You know, they’re trying to scam me like, delete.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: And so it’s interesting how marketing and sales place a well together. If a salesperson just goes out there cold with a brand no one’s heard of, the results are so much worse than if they sell for a brand that has name recognition because there’s instant trust. That’s like, Oh, I know your brand, right?

Scott Sutter: One of the pretty cool things that we saw early on when we started our email marketing was, you know, like like we talked about. I was here basically from the beginning and about a year into me working at Helium, I just was goofing around and I just checked the search volume around our brand name and it had like the trend, the Google trend around Helium SEO had like trended upwards. And it was one of those moments that kind of solidifies what you just said, which is like we were sending out so many emails and prospecting so much that like, you know, we weren’t running national advertising.

Tim Warren: No. 

Scott Sutter: But but our search volume around our brand name was actually trending upward because of the marketing effort that we had done, the networking that you’d done things like that. So it’s cool to see that. It’s cool to see that trend upward. And then another quick example would be like, we would go to a networking event and we’d meet somebody from Helium SEO and they’d be a helium SEO, you know, Fast 55, right? Yeah, 40 under 40, right. Like the best places to work. Right. And it’s just all this different, this different stuff that, that marketing reinforces that opportunity for a salesperson to already have that trust and already have some of that, some of that buy in when they first engage a prospect and email. Basically email marketing is a huge part of that. And that’s another one of the reasons why we’ve always we’ve always believed in it. So yeah.

Tim Warren: And I want to riff off of what you just said there because, we’ve tried to we’ve tried to really partner or marry brand awareness plus cold email marketing plus sales plus traditional, like adding all the marketing together, right? And then we do our own SEO, we do our own ads, right? So that and we saw this the other day where people said, Well, I hadn’t heard of you, but then I Googled, you know, SEO Cincinnati and you popped up at the very top. Well, that’s search marketing working.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: And then they saw, Oh, you’re a local and you win these awards and all the stuff like falls in place. Right. And this is this is why it’s so key with marketing. You have to do so many different things because you never know how people are going to find you.

Scott Sutter: Right.

Tim Warren: But one thing I wanted to say about that and kind of hit all those pieces. Is as we’re doing email marketing, we’re thinking about branding. One really good thing I learned from my CEO coach is the power of press and the power of your brand with awards, right? And so one of the reasons why we are involved in so many awards ceremonies and all these different awards is that it’s actually really, really good exposure for the brand. And I always kind of wondered like, how do these companies get so many awards, right? It’s because they apply for everything.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: And they win some and it’s a game. But yet we have won so much business through just being in these award shows and ceremonies because people get exposed to the brand like, Oh, Helium SEO Right. And I didn’t understand that before. And so my coach explained to me, he’s like, You got to go for every free press opportunity, every award you possibly can, whether you win or not. Because just being a finalist and just getting there, the exposure is phenomenal.

Scott Sutter: Yeah, that’s cool.

Tim Warren: And so it’s really I mean, he’s right. And then of course you can stack these things, right? So that you can retarget, you know, so let’s say you’re on fast 55 or you know, we were inc 5000 last year, you know, whatever. Then you put that on the site and people see that. But then when you retarget them, they remember the brand and the Inc and then when the sales person sends them a cold email, they remember all that and it just all snowballs towards credibility, right? Because ultimately what we’re trying to do with our marketing and our sales is we’re trying to go from, I don’t know you to I trust you. That’s right. Because people do business with those people they trust.

Scott Sutter: Yep, that’s right.

Tim Warren: So it’s just interesting and I appreciate your thoughts and insights. Other just I love the you know, you do this all the time. Other thoughts on email marketing for the people listening. What are things you’ve seen that have worked really well? What are things you’ve seen that hasn’t worked, and what are some takeaways for the people listening? Yeah.

Scott Sutter: Yeah, that’s another great question. Um, we’ve been doing it for it’s been our main lead source for, for basically, you know, five years now. Right? Yeah. So there’s been, there’s been ebbs and flows of it. And most of the time, you know, I’ll speak to one of the things that you brought up earlier, but most of the time you’re emailing somebody completely cold out of the blue, Right. What I’ve what I’ve basically uncovered, you know, not a not a huge trade secret, but being able to be persistent without pushy and annoying is kind of crucial when you’re doing email marketing. Because one of the things that that you’ve been, you and Andrew both have been very intentional about is communicating to the whole sales team that text and emailing is toneless. Nobody can tell the tone that you’re emailing them in.

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter:  So when you when you send somebody an email that basically says something to the extent of like, hey, find a time on my calendar and we’ll connect. I have always looked at that as being as basically communicating that you don’t really care about my time. If you tell me, Hey, let’s meet. And I’m like, okay, what works? And you tell me, then check my calendar for me. What it says to me is you’re asking me to find your time that’s available when you wanted to meet with me. Right? And so understanding that’s just an example, but understanding how to communicate with somebody via email in a way that’s respectful, that acknowledges that their time is very valuable, that also acknowledges that you are acknowledging that and offering value up front is crucial, right? So take a warm email. You had mentioned it before, Write warm email when you make an introduction to me. Hey, Dave, Jim, you know, whatever. Nice to meet you. I want to introduce you to Scott. He’s one of our sales reps. He’d love to walk you through this. Usually I’ll slack you and be like, Hey, how do you want me to navigate this? But more often than not, I need to send them an email that that probably doesn’t offer them a pair of AirPods or ask for just 15 minutes. I’m probably going to ask for a full hour upfront. Right, Because I know that it’s already warm. I know that I have a little more trust and buy in because you’ve met them and you’re introducing me.

Tim Warren: Yep.

Scott Sutter: The second piece of that is oftentimes these are CEOs or people that sit on the C-suite. Yep. So I need to appreciate their time and acknowledge that it’s valuable. But I also need to be aware that it’s probably going to take me 2 to 3 emails to get them to agree to a meeting.

Tim Warren: Right.

Scott Sutter: To get them to actually book the time.

Tim Warren: And to your point you need to add value.

Scott Sutter: First. Exactly right. And oftentimes you’re probably going to end up getting, you know, their executive assistant and they’ll be the ones that kind of coordinate calendars, which again, is perfectly fine. But that’s why it’s so important to understand, like how do you navigate that process without it coming across as pushy, without it coming across as, you know, check my calendar for my availability when it’s like, no, no, no. You’re talking to a CEO. Like you need to tell him when you’re available and you need to encourage him and make it as easy as possible, but also let him know that you’re going to lead with value. You know, you’ve got to balance all that in an email. And that’s something that, again, I’ve tried to be very, very specific and intentional about over these last couple of years is getting better at email. We had a we had a rep that I remember he sent an email out to like set up a meeting or whatever it was, using words like y’all and different things. And I just remember being like, that feels really informal. And in this capacity, it could be basically, it could be interpreted as disrespectful, right? And so that’s why it’s important to know, like, hey, if I’m going to be casual with somebody, I need to understand if I have the trust to be able to do that. And you just can’t take chances in an email if you haven’t met the person before. So that’s another kind of piece of that that can roll into however you email communicate, right? Whether it’s somebody that has been a client of yours for five years or whether it’s somebody that you know is a cold prospect. Understanding like, how can I how can I be universal in this email that isn’t in a way offensive in any regard or disrespectful in any regard? I need to. I need to be careful of that too.

Tim Warren: No, I think it’s really good. And I and I think I would pass along like one thing about email marketing some of like my takeaways or like lessons I’ve learned. Number one, say it in as few words as possible. So don’t make the email five paragraphs if you can make it five words.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Right. So if the email can really be would you like SEO help? Thanks, Tim.

Scott Sutter: Right, right.

Tim Warren: That’s better than Hey, let me explain to you. These five services our company offers, it’s like, dude, like they don’t want that, right?

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Unless the guy responds and says, Yes, but what are the services you offer? Well, let me give you some more. Right. Or Hey, that’s a great question. Can we meet for 15 minutes versus me sending you a book? Right. So it’s thinking about people’s time and actually caring about your neighbor versus, you know, wasting their time sending them stuff they want. Like you’re thinking through what’s best for them. So say it in as few words as possible. Number two is, I would say think about your own email and that little window you’ve got subject line. And like those first eight words. That’s that is my decision making window. Right? So if you think about like a website, you visit a website and like what’s on the top of the site for me to be interested in, right? If you have some video that’s like really off putting and be like, Ah, and then I just leave. Right. Probably get rid of that video.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: Right. Or there’s like I’ve been to some websites where you go to the site and then you look around and you’re like, what do you do? Exactly right? And then they have an explainer video that’s like, Oh, we do this, this and this. We’re like, Oh, that makes a lot more sense. I could not figure out your problem solving. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Creativity, synergies, like, but what do you guys do? Oh, we sell bathroom supplies. Got it. Okay. Yeah. Your janitorial company. Well, we creatively solve, you know, custodial issues. That’s right. So you sell janitorial supplies? Yes, we sell janitor. Okay, that’s great. Cheaper. But yeah. Got it. Right. Can you put that on your site somewhere? It’s like, really confusing, right? I don’t need to understand the synergies of my building management. What do you do? So but you know, back to the other one, like try to get to the point as quickly as possible and keep it as short as possible.

Scott Sutter: Yeah.

Tim Warren: And then and then for me, like always have that call to action, right? You know, have a good quick call to action. And we talked to brands about this, but it’s the same with email marketing. Like in that little window, that little that little snippet. I’m going to look at that and try to figure out whether I even want to open this email or not. You know, try to have it with that call to action is really early on in the email so people know like, why are you emailing me? What’s the point? What are we driving towards? Right? Do I want to do this or do I not want to do this? And I think people appreciate that because one piece of advice I heard from Steely who runs is most executives are going to be reading your email on an iPhone in the back of an Uber while traveling to and from meetings. And can I open on my iPhone and within two seconds decide to say yes or no? And if I can’t, they probably just delete it and move on.

Scott Sutter: That’s right.

Tim Warren: And I thought that was really good advice. And I will say, I’ve seen with email marketing, if you can keep it really short, really concise, so the person you know can read it in two seconds on an iPhone and just, you know, respond yes or no, works really well.

Scott Sutter: Yeah. No, that’s that’s exactly why we do it the way that we do it, because we know again, we know that we’re asking for valuable time. And if you’re sitting in the back of an Uber, I don’t want to, you know like you know like yeah maximize yeah yeah. That is not the sales rep I want to be right. So that’s that’s why we try to be intentional about that.

Tim Warren: Well Scott thanks for coming on to talk about email marketing really appreciate if people want to get Ahold of you or want to pick your brain more about, sales and marketing together or the cold emailing process during marketing, how can they get Ahold of you?

Scott Sutter: Yeah, so I’m on LinkedIn. Scott Sutter spelled wrong. I always tell people my last name is spelled Sutter, so Sutter. Sutter But it’s actually Sutter. And then and then my, my email address is pretty straightforward. You know, one of the things I tell people all the time is I live kind of in this wonderful window of communication and technology, and I’m passionate about both of them. So I try to be as generous with my time as I possibly can. So, having discussions and consulting on this, this different stuff, you know, I try to again, I try to approach every conversation without a hard sell. Mainly because I know that there is limitless possibility through networking and connection connecting points with with individuals that can understand the value that we offer, understand our passion about helping and potentially either refer us or bring us in as as part of their their vendor list.

Tim Warren: That’s great. Well, Scott, thanks for coming on, man. I really appreciate your time for sure. Guys, You’ve been listening to the It’s All Just Marketing podcast. I’m your host, Tim Warren, and we’ll see you guys on the next one.

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