Our third and final day of INBOUND 2019 started with a keynote that truly challenged everyone to become change agents for a more just society, regardless of your skill set or limitations. Bryan Stevenson is the Founder of Equal Justice Initiative in Alabama, which is committed to helping the poor and stopping wrongful convictions and incarceration.
He has committed his life to ending the racial bias that causes these issues and explained how we all can help by following four main principles in our lives:
- Be proximate (show you care by being close to others in their most vulnerable moments)
- Change the narratives (we need to face the truth and stop the movement that got us here)
- Be hopeful (don’t give up on society’s ability to change and do the right thing)
- Do the uncomfortable things (facing inequality and justice issues requires taking risks for others)
Bryan’s powerful words inspired the humanity in us and as we entered our last day of learning these words also remind us of the importance in making a measurable impact in our society, our office and for our clients.
Standout Learning Sessions
Do This, Not That! 20 Best Practices for Email Marketing Campaigns That Drive Customer Engagement
In by far the most timely and relevant email marketing session we attended at Inbound, Jay Schwedelson of Worldata busted myths and set the record straight on what works in email. Digging into all of the details would take some time, so let's get into the highlights:
- Engagement is the number one factor in email deliverability. The only way to generate engagement with your users is to send more emails. The more subscribers open and click on your emails, the more subscribers will see your emails in their inbox
- "Free" is no longer a bad word in email marketing. Inbox providers focus on the engagement rate of your emails, rather than the words in the subject line, to determine if your email will get to the inbox. In fact, these words actually increase your Open Rates: Free, Limited, Exclusive, Tomorrow, Last Chance. You can use SubjectLine.com to check the effectiveness of your subject lines
- Unsubscribe Rate and Delivery Rate are two metrics that shouldn't be taken too seriously. It's okay to have people unsubscribe from your list - 92% of people who unsubscribed have not opened or clicked an email from that sender in over 12 months. Sending to those people will just decrease your engagement, and affect your deliverability. Delivery Rate is important, but Inbox Rate is a much better indicator delivered emails. While Delivery Rate measures emails that make it to the inbox and junk folder, Inbox Rate only measures the amount of emails that make it to the inbox. That's where people will see your email, and that's what you need to care about
Effective B2B Video Marketing Across the (Flywheel-ized) Funnel
Jennifer Montague, Head of Growth at TwentyThree, presented a valuable session on the power of video marketing for those in the B2B space. She set the stage by stating that people retain 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see and 70% of what they see AND here. This is why video can be such an influential tool when trying to convey a message and inspire action.
She continued by showing that in 2019, the average watch time for video on social is 6 seconds, on YouTube is 1 minute 14 seconds and on a website’s homepage is 4 minutes 48 seconds! This is why it’s imperative to send consumers to your website once you’ve attracted them with your video marketing.
Video can also significantly impact your email marketing efforts. From her own A/B testing, Jennifer’s company experienced a 62% CTR on cold emails that included GIFs and a 26% response rate to those same cold emails when a video introduction was included. As she stated, “It’s harder to throw an email in the trash when there’s a face connected to it.” In short, video is a worthwhile initiative to take on as it will increase engagement, generate better results and improve your prospecting. The key is to not overthink it and just do it.
Optimize Paid Ad Campaigns Using Down-Funnel Metrics
Ironically this session started with a common theme that we've heard again and again at INBOUND. Sahil Jain, CEO of AdStage, said that the first step to measuring digital advertising effectiveness on sales and revenue is to start by aligning your sales and marketing teams. In a Salesforce research study, this was ranked the #2 obstacle to achieving marketing goals and effectiveness. There's two easy ways to start this:
- Create a Slack channel called #smarketing with all of your sales and marketing team members
- Setup and schedule weekly "Smarketing Meetings"
Once that alignment is built, you as a marketer can start setting up the infrastructure you need to make better digital media budget allocation decisions based on performance. Here's the step-by-step process Sahil explained to setup a close loop reporting process between marketing and sales:
- Ensure a consistent UTM parameter process to track your campaigns through Google Analytics and your CRM
- Setup hidden fields on all forms to pull in UTM parameters that also go into your CRM
- Build reporting that merges the data from your digital marketing campaigns and the deals and revenue in your CRM that are now associated with the campaigns using UTM parameters
- Change your measurement from CPL (cost-per-lead) to ROAS (return on ad spend), by looking at Total Closed Revenue / Media Cost
- Cut budget in areas with a low ROAS and increase budget in areas with a high ROAS
That's a wrap for INBOUND 2019! We can't wait to come back and share the knowledge we acquired with our teams, implement disruptive ideas and keep working on always growing better!