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Inbound Success Podcast

What do the most successful inbound marketers do to get great results?

You’ve heard the stories about companies using inbound marketing to dramatically increase sales, grow their business, and transform their customer relationships, but not everyone who practices inbound marketing knocks it out of the park.

If you want to know what goes into building a world class inbound marketing campaign that gets real, measurable results, check out the Inbound Success podcast. Every week, host Kathleen Booth interviews marketing folks who are rolling up their sleeves, doing the work, and getting the kinds of results we all hope to achieve.

The goal is to “peel back the onion” and learn what works, what doesn’t and what you need to do to really move the needle with your inbound marketing efforts. This isn’t just about big picture strategy – it’s about getting actionable tips and insights that you can use immediately in your own marketing.

Dec 31, 2018

How does a fast growing SaaS startup get 95% of its business leads from inbound marketing? 


This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Divvy VP of Revenue Sterling Snow shares how the company went from 20 employees to more than 140 in 2018, with 95% of that growth fueled by inbound leads.

Some highlights from our discussion include:

  • In 8 months from April to December 2018, Divvy has undergone explosive growth from 20 employees to 140 - and it is expected to more than double in size again in 2019.
  • During that same period, the company raised a Series A and Series B round of funding.
  • 95% of the company's customers come from its inbound marketing efforts.
  • One of the first channels that got results for the company was LinkedIn's sponsored InMail which they used to target demo offers to qualified prospects.
  • They are also seeing some good results from paid advertising on Quora.
  • Today, sponsored content is driving strong results - particularly paid email newsletter placements.
  • On an average day, the company sees between 300 and 700 demo requests per day from its inbound marketing efforts.
  • Looking ahead to the coming year, Divvy is planning to expand its marketing efforts through podcast guest appearances, dimensional mailing, and an increased focus on SEO.

Resources from this episode:

Listen to the podcast to get the details behind Divvy's explosive growth and the inbound marketing strategies behind their success.


Kathleen Booth (Host):Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast. I'm your host, Kathleen Booth, and this week my guest is Sterling Snow, who is the Senior Vice President of Revenue at Divvy. Welcome Sterling.

Sterling: Thanks Kathleen. Awesome to be here today.

Sterling Snow and Kathleen Booth
Sterling and Kathleen recording this episode

Kathleen: Yeah, I'm excited to learn more about some of the stuff you guys have been working on because it sounds like you're getting great results from your marketing.

Before we dive into that, for those who are listening and might not know much about Divvy, tell the listeners a little bit about yourself and about the company.

About Divvy

Sterling: Yeah, absolutely. I've been in various marketing roles for the last 10 years. Most recently before Divvy, I was with a company called Jive, a fast growing start up in the unified communications as a service space. When they were acquired by LogMeIn in April, I wanted to go through that hyper growth again with a new and exciting company.

Divvy has provided all that and more, so I've been here since April. In that time, we've seen Divvy grow from around 20 employees to today, we have over 140.

Kathleen: Whoa.

Sterling: We added thousands of companies that are now using the Divvy platform. 95% of them coming from our inbound marketing efforts.

That was the first team that I was tasked with building when I got here to Divvy. Since then, we've built out the sales and customer success functions that all kind of roll up into the revenue head for us.

That's who I am and what I'm working on.

Divvy is a company that owns and puts you in control of your finances. Everything from funding your business all the way through spending money and reconciling it with your accounting software, that it was Divvy does.

We automate that process. We make it very simple. Very visible. And we give you the control you need to be in the driver's seat of your finances. We do that for free. We make money like a credit card.

We make money on what's called an "interchange fee" which means every time you swipe your card you're not paying any extra in person. You're not paying any extra, but there's a fee called interchange any time there's a credit card transaction.

That's a little bit about me and a little bit about Divvy.

Kathleen: Love it. That's a great business model.

I want to make sure I heard you correctly because I kind of had like a jaw drop moment when you said ... When exactly did you join? Tell me that again.

Sterling: April.

Kathleen: April.

Sterling: Yes.

Kathleen: Of last year? So it hasn't even been a year yet?

Sterling: No, April of ... Yeah, April of this year.

Kathleen: Of this year.

Sterling: Yes ma'am.

Kathleen: It hasn't even been a year yet.

Sterling: It hasn't even been a year yet.

Kathleen: And you've gone from 20 employees when you joined, to how many?

Sterling: To over 140, yep.

Kathleen: Oh my gosh. Wow.

Sterling: It's wild. We've raised a Series A and a Series B, and done a bunch of things in that time. But it's all driven by people seeing our marketing message, identifying the problems we're solving, and bringing their companies on the Divvy platform.

We are very much trying to keep up with the growth from a customer acquisition and a revenue standpoint as opposed to just throwing bodies and trying to figure this out.

We're growing with our revenue and our customer acquisition as opposed to the other way around.

Kathleen: That's amazing. What really blew me away was that you said 95% of your new customers come from your inbound marketing efforts?

Sterling: That is correct.

Kathleen: Wow. Alright, so I feel like we have a lot to talk about. Let's talk.

Sterling: Great.

How Divvy Gets 95% of Its Customers From Inbound Marketing

Kathleen: I mean, I don't even know where to start. Obviously, you came in. You had a small team. You've got a much bigger team now.

I want to focus in on that 95% that's coming in through inbound marketing. Walk me through what your inbound marketing strategy looks like.

Sterling: Yeah. Well it's obviously matured. The first thing when I got in in April, was to figure out, "Okay, we need two or three lead sources to start feeding an inbound sales team," right?

At that point the sales team was, I think, seven people. So it was small. We started testing a bunch of things.

Like I mentioned, I've done this for a decade now so I came in with kind of preconceived notions about what would work for a company like Divvy. Those assumptions were largely inaccurate.

We nailed kind of our first two or three channels. Started feeding and growing the sales team.

Then every month to this day, we try and figure out two to three new channels that provide a marketing payback that's acceptable for us, and it allows us to continue to generate the demand to feed our sales team and continue to go out and grow like gang buses.

Kathleen: You're growing the number of channels that you're using. I imagine now that you're a company of 140, I could see where that's an easier approach to take. You've got more people. You've got more bandwidth. But back in the beginning, there were 20 of you. Not all of them are marketers clearly.

How do you take that approach where you're saying, "Let's exploit more channels" without getting distracted and spreading yourselves too thin across all these different areas?

Sterling: Yeah. Back in April I think there were three of us: Me, Chandler and Brock. Then we brought in a fourth, but really that was what I spent most of my time doing. So before we start really caring about creative, or brand, or those things, it was about how do we generate healthy demand very quickly?

I worked on that a lot with Chandler. That was the focus, right? You couldn't get distracted because that was priority number one, was find and identify those channels. Test them. Test them quickly and move on quickly when they don't work. Get the ship right in a timely manner.

Kathleen: In the early days when it was just the three of you and you were starting out, and you're testing these channels, what were some of the first channels that you started to see traction with?

Sterling: Yeah, again this is where I was wrong. We tested some PPL (pay-per-lead) vendors really early on because I'd seen that work and I had some success with that at previous stops-

Kathleen: And for anybody who's listening and doesn't know PPL, Pay Per Lead?

Sterling: Pay Per Lead. So different vendors through a bunch of different things. You could do content syndication. You can actually have pre-qualed vendors. We largely just saw that not work for our business.

Again, it was about gathering that data quickly and moving on fast. So we moved right into paid social, and sponsored content. That was where we started to see our first really fantastic traction.

That was where I kind of had my own jaw dropping moment of this idea, this problem that Divvy is fixing, people are hungry for it. We just have to find the right marketing channels to put it in front of them.

Yeah, so that's how it went. It kind of went PPL. Flop. Across different vendors, right? You don't ever have a single source of failure. Tried PPL across local vendors, didn't see results that were appealing enough.

We quickly move into a paid social and a paid content kind of world. Immediately see those things take off and then start building out more of your SEM, more of your organic and web-driven things, and some of those other initiatives.

Kathleen: All right, so let's start to unpack this a little bit. You saw some success with paid social.

Walk me through which channels. Were there any particular ad formats, and what kind of audience targeting were you doing?

How Divvy Is Using Paid Social

Sterling: Yeah. We obviously had our buyer personas. Facebook and LinkedIn or wherever we spent most of our time in those early days, and very quickly you're able to tell, "Okay, this is the type of company that Facebook brings, and this is the type of company LinkedIn brings in: Your cost for a lead."

You're able to just map all that pretty quickly. Then you get to pick. "Okay, so we're more heavily in LinkedIn. We're less-" because for us Facebook brought in very small companies, solopreneurs, things like that. Which are great, and Divvy accepts them, but where we wanted to spend marketing dollars was on companies that had a few employees at least. We're spending some money on behalf of their business on a monthly basis. That sort of thing.

Kathleen: Okay, so LinkedIn wound up being your more successful social channel.

Sterling: Yeah.

Kathleen: What kinds of LinkedIn ads were you doing? Was it sponsored content? Was it text ads? What do those look like?

Sterling: Again, same process right? We did it all. So you do sponsored content. You do native ads. You do all these things, but paid InMail has actually proven over time to be the most successful for us.

Kathleen: Okay. Paid content. What kinds of content? Articles that you were writing for your blog and then-

Sterling: Sorry, so it's paid InMail, right-

Kathleen: Oh, sorry. I thought you said paid content. Got it. Okay.

Sterling: No. So we're paying to send messages directly into our potential buyers' inbox within LinkedIn. That's where it's proven to be successful. A very high CPL, but a very low marketing payback period.

So that's ... we'll take that all day long.

Kathleen: Yeah, I was going to ask about that because my experience with LinkedIn is that it can be very effective, but it's definitely a higher customer acquisition cost.

Sterling: Yes, no doubt about that. Particularly if you're comparing it to other social channels. I think it could scare some people away.

But again, CPL is a metric that as marketers we pay attention to, and I think we should. But what's maybe more important than CPL is payback.

You'd happily spend thousands of dollars to land someone who you start making revenue off of in month two. That's really what Divvy does.

But you do have to have kind of some money and some grit to hang in there and see that kind of a strategy through.

Kathleen: How do you do sponsored InMail in a way that doesn't feel super spammy to the recipient?

Sterling: It's a great question. I think you can always get better at it.

What we do is we take a very informative tone of like, "Hey, this is who we are. This is what we do. This is why it matters to you." But we also always have a value ad in there.

We know your time is valuable as the Controller of a company, VP of Finance, some of our targeted personas. We say, "Hey, come take a demo. We'll give you $50.00 for your time. We'll give you $100.00 for your time." And again, that comes back to betting on ourselves as a company because we close 35-40% of our held demos.

We can afford to give people some kind of attractive offers to actually attend a demo. Most people will take it. They've heard about us. They have started to hear rumblings of a disruptor in this space. They're already curious.

Then you say, "Hey, we're going to give you $50.00 or $100.00 to attend this demo." They come in and they sign up, and that's largely been the LinkedIn formula for us.

Kathleen: Yeah, and I suppose you have to know what a new customer is worth to you. If spending $50.00 to get somebody who's going to represent a significantly higher value of ongoing revenue, that becomes a no brainer.

Sterling: Exactly.

Kathleen: Any other types of LinkedIn campaigns other than sponsored in-mail?

Sterling: We do the rest, but that's the one that we've really drilled down on, that we spend the majority of our LinkedIn budget on.

Kathleen: Okay. This was in the very beginning, have you over time evolved to add or layer in any other social channels?

How Divvy Is Using Quora to Drive Leads

Sterling: Yeah. I mean we have at this point a very healthy marketing mix, but when you first start out, you're trying to find your two or three breadwinners.

But yeah, at this point we're spread out in a much more diverse way. You add in things like Quora, which for us counts as paid social, and obviously you mix in some Facebook, some Twitter ads and those types of things just for paid social, right? Then you branch out across the rest of your paid media as well.

Kathleen: To clarify, you mentioned Quora. Are you actually doing paid ads on Quora? Are you responding to Quora questions? What are you doing there?

Sterling: Yeah, it's part of their paid platform and it doesn't take up a large part of our budget currently. But it does get some nice returns.

Kathleen: Oh that's neat. One of my guests that I just had on talked about Quora, but taking more of an organic approach there, which was really interesting. Definitely-

Sterling: Yeah, I think it's healthy too. You look at some of the organic activity. It happens on Quora, and Reddit, and some of these other forums, can be nice little spots. Obviously, you just have more control when you're in a paid environment.

How Divvy Is Using Sponsored Content to Drive Leads

Kathleen: Yeah, now the other thing that you mentioned you started to do early on was some sponsored content. Can you talk a little bit more about that?

Sterling: Yeah. This was a really interesting learning for me. Divvy's appeal is so broad. Let me ask you, have you done expense reporting on behalf of a business?

Kathleen: Yes. So I used to own my own business-

Sterling: Yep.

Kathleen: And now I'm an employee at a business, so I have been on all sides of that fun equation.

Sterling: Tell me what your experience ... I'm sure you've used a plethora of tools and solutions, and processes. Tell me how it's been for you.

Kathleen: Well I sort of like run the full spectrum. I remember the days of filling out spreadsheets with my expenses and attaching actual receipts.

Sterling: Lots of people are still doing that by the way, but yeah. Keep going.

Kathleen: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. I don't miss those days at all. In fact, I would pay money to not have to do that again.

Sterling: Yeah.

Kathleen: You lose things, right? You lose your receipts. I would say for the last, oh gosh, three to four years, I've been using systems where I have both a desktop interface as well as a mobile app that lets me ...

If I'm out to lunch with somebody, I can take a picture of the receipt and it uploads into the app. The app syncs with my corporate credit card. I can attach those receipts to the credit card charges, and then submit an actual expense report completely electronically.

The systems that I've used in the past all integrate with QuickBooks, which is what the two businesses I've been involved with have been using.

Sterling: That's awesome. You've kind of seen the first evolution from like spreadsheets and stapled receipts to a solution where you spend on your corporate card and then you attach a receipt and kind of categorize a transaction with a software provider. Is that fair?

Kathleen: Yes, exactly.

Sterling: What Divvy is doing is saying, "Hey, yeah the app that lets you take a picture of your receipt is better than your old spread. But we're doing is taking it a step further."

With Divvy, when you swipe your card, your expense report is done because we are the actual corporate card, it's the Divvy MasterCard, so it's all automated from there. It knows what budget it comes out of, the category that it's in, and you're literally done.

Kathleen: Oh, okay. Gotcha.

Sterling: So you have real time insight into your budgets. Your expense reports are automated. A bunch of other features that I won't go into, but that's what we're doing.

Oh, and by the way, it's free. So whatever you were paying for take that picture of your receipt, otherwise, you don't need it anymore. Save that money.

When we were doing that, when I can tell that story, when I can tell business owners, small business owners, corporate controllers, VPs of Finance of companies, "Stop messing around with all this post-transaction garbage. Automate it at the swipe, and it just flows into your QuickBooks or your NetSuite," or whatever it is, people just jump at that.

So all we had to do was find the right venues to kind of tell that story, really.

Sterling: Honestly, what was fascinating about sponsored content is we didn't have to say too much about our product or the features.

We would tell a story. We would say, "These two Founders who raised $60 million dollars in the last three months are taking on and automating expense reports from swipe to books."

Bam, like that, we would get 400 to 600 inbound leads in a day. Those were kind of those jaw dropping moments for me as a marketer, where I feel like ...

We did some things right on the marketing side for sure, but the product and the market fit were just special. We just had to find more of those channels, again, just really like tell a snippet of our story and then watch the traffic come in.

Kathleen: Yeah. That's what I was thinking in my head as you were telling that story is that great marketing is definitely no substitute for really strong product market fit.

Sterling: Of course.

Kathleen: You know, you kind of have to have both so that's interesting.

Alright, sponsored content. If somebody's listening and they're thinking, "Huh, that's an approach that I'd want to take," walk me through what you're doing there.

How do you begin to get traction? What's your outreach strategy like? How do you target the places where you want to get placement?

Sterling: Yeah. Again, so these are all paid relationships so it's usually pretty easy to get ahold of them because they're trying to sell something that we're trying to buy.

We do a lot with newsletters. Chandler, who's on our team, has done a fantastic job of identifying and continuing to identify newsletters where our target audience consumes their content. Then we throw up kind of our little paragraph about our business and a teeny bit about what do, and we send them to a landing page. It's very simple, but out-sized rewards for us.

Along the way you learn little things like, "Oh, if we add an image to our little paragraph that helps a ton. Oh, if we actually have motion graphics attached to our little blurb, then CTR is even higher."

You learn a bunch of those things as you go, but it's like I said ... So for us, it's those emails where our target market consumes content.

Kathleen: Now in the email channel. In the email newsletter channel, are you looking at newsletters that are already set up to take paid or sponsored content? Or are you doing any outreach to newsletters that don't and figuring out a way to get your presence in there?

Sterling: That's a great question. 90% of the time there are people who are already monetizing their newsletters, and so they already have a program going there.

But we have done with one or two companies, we've actually been their beta. We called them up and said, "Hey, we love what you're doing. We're actually readers or we know people who are readers. We want to help you start monetizing this because we know we've really done it well with X, Y and Z company. So let us help you."

We've done that in the past with some good results too. That's a lot of fun, right? Because you get to work with these companies, give them input as they build out their program for placements and that's a lot of fun when we get to do that.

Kathleen: If somebody is thinking that they want to do some sort of sponsored content in an email newsletter, are there any metrics that you can share, or ballparks, about what you should expect to spend on that kind of a thing? Is it based on the number of subscribers? How is that generally calculated?

Sterling: Yeah, so it's a CPM. So depending on the size of the newsletter, they're just going to hit with a CPM and times the number of subscribers they have.

Kathleen: Are you paying based on recipients, or are you paying based on opens?

Sterling: In everyone's they do it a little bit different. Some of them do it by registrants, and some of them do it by opens. But they kind of all have their way that they like to do it.

Kathleen: Got it. From your end, you know if you say, "Okay, we're going to have a paid placement in newsletter X," I assume you have a process on the back end of ... I think you mentioned setting up a landing page.

What does that look like so that you can fully capitalize on any click throughs that you're getting?

Sterling: Yeah, again this is where like to this day we're doing a lot of testing. We're doubling down and saying, "Okay, what do phone numbers do? What if we try and get them to call right now as opposed to filling out this form?"

We're just testing a lot of that, but historically what it's been is just driving for a form fill landing page. Again, reiterating whatever offer we have, our value proposition, and the call to action is to take a demo.

We remind people that Divvy's 100% free, and how we make money. We include some customer testimonials from some recognizable logos to make sure that folks know that we're trusted by thousands of companies. That's largely been our blueprint.

Then you just test from there. You say, "Okay, if we change the CTA a little bit to call in now, or schedule a demo now as opposed to just getting the form fill and waiting for a rep to reach out to you," all of those types of things are the fun things that marketers get to test and improve.

Divvy's Inbound Marketing Results

Kathleen: Can you share with me examples of some of the kinds of results you've gotten from these different newsletters?

Sterling: Yeah, in terms of what?

Kathleen: In terms of ... Well, it could be click throughs, it could be demo requests. However you're measuring success.

Sterling: Yeah.

Kathleen: I'd love to get a sense of is it, "We paid X to a newsletter and we got five demo requests," or is it, "We paid X to a newsletter and we got 500"? What is the order of magnitude there for you all?

Sterling: Sure. For us, there's always layers. The first thing is "Okay, what did we pay?" Then it's "What was the click through rate?" Then it's "What was the form fill rate?" Then it's "What was the demo held rate?" Then it's "What was the opportunity amounts generated?" Then it's "What was closed?"

It's kind of like the full funnel. When I work with my team, what we cared the most about, the first thing that we pay attention to is form fills. So, how many people actually filled out the entire form to get a demo request?

Like I said, on days where we do this we see between 300 and our highest ever is 700 demo requests in a day. Then obviously you drill down and you say, "Okay, what was the opportunity amount generated in terms of value to Divvy? And then what was closed?"

There's some other things. So obviously opportunity amount generated, that's a conversion. Then it kind of gets passed off to sales, but we generate tens of millions of dollars of opportunities from those.

Kathleen: Wow, those are pretty strong numbers.

Sterling: Oh yeah. Again, I think that our marketing team has done an excellent job.

But I think again what you're seeing is a wonderful product that our Co-Founders and team have built because some of those numbers are out of this world. Even sometimes the vendors who we pay to do these sponsorships with tell us, "This is far and away the best result we've ever seen from a campaign like this."

So as any good marketer, happy to take a lot of credit for our team, but also acknowledging that the product market fit is extraordinary.

Kathleen: Yeah. Outside of email newsletters, any other kind of sponsored content that you're seeing real success with?

Sterling: Well, you nailed it. We're starting to foray into the podcast space because again, it's pretty organic. You get to just have a conversation and then you make a little plug about your business, and who you are and what you do.

If we continue to find those correct podcasts where our target market is consuming the content, then we're going to continue to have success. So that's part of our next step in that sponsored content realm.

Kathleen: Yeah, so full disclosure: This is not a sponsored podcast for Divvy. I am not being paid to have them on. This was purely because you guys were getting great results and I wanted to learn more about it. I just wanted to make sure that's clear to anybody who's listening.

Sterling: Absolutely.

Kathleen: Yeah. Interesting. Any other particular strategies that have worked really well for you?

Sterling: You know, we've done a really good job at our PPC stuff, when you look at classic Bing, Google. 

We're starting to show really good signs with physical mailers.

Again, when you kind of give us some credit that it's only been since April that we started the team, a lot of these initiatives are relatively new. But you start to see those strong results as well.

You're also going through a lot of learnings. Okay, are the deal sizes that come in from Google and Bing, how do they compare to the stuff you're doing on LinkedIn and sponsored newsletters? That sort of thing. I think we have a lot of really good results.

The stuff that I'm the most excited about right now are our physical mailers, and then continuing to bolster some of our PPC efforts.

Kathleen: So physical mailers, that is definitely different than what a lot of the guests who come on my show talk about. What do those look like?

Sterling: We have fun with it, because you get a lot of mail and most times it goes right in the trash or it doesn't even make it to the decision maker or whatever.

We've had an offer where we'll pay for a year of Netflix for someone to take a demo. We include kind of that card with a package of popcorn that gets sent in an envelope. So it already comes in a different and unique ... It just feels weird and different, and you kind of have to open.

So stuff like that has proven to be effective for us. We'll continue to iterate and have fun, and learn a lot from that.

Kathleen: That makes a ton of sense. In a previous life when I owned my own agency, one of the things we did a lot of was just that kind of thing.

The term for it is "dimensional mail" and it does have dramatically higher response rates than typical flat mail because it's like everybody thinks they're getting a present. You can't resist it. You have to open it up and see what's in there because it might be something cool for you, and in this case it is. It's free popcorn and potentially Netflix.

Sterling: And Netflix. Yeah.

Kathleen: Yeah. I mean, it's also a great way to get past the gatekeeper, I found.

Like, when you have direct mail campaigns and you want to get to somebody who usually has a secretary or an assistant fielding their mail. If it is like a box with a thing in it, it usually makes it to the person.

Sterling: I remember one of the best things I ever got, because you and me can get mailers just like we're sending to other people. But they sent a box.

So okay, I'm going to open it. I open it. It's a case of Ray Bans, but just a case. Inside says, "Meet with us at Dream Force and get your Ray Bans," essentially, "We'll put the glasses in this case."

I was like, man that is clever and I loved it. I ended up going and sitting through the demo and signing up.

So it worked from top to bottom. I love people like that, who like you mentioned, are doing really good at dimensional mail. I think that's an area where we're seeing some early attraction but can improve for sure.

Kathleen: That's so funny that you say that about the Ray Bans because one of the ones that worked the best on me was very similar.

It was an empty case for Maui Jims. I went to the booth, and I got myself a brand new pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. I'll tell you, I was very happy to engage with that company.

Sterling: Yeah, I agree. Although a bunch of us read and listen to Gary V's stuff, and he talks about the Thank You Economy.

When someone puts in that kind of effort, to me it communicates that they have a lot of confidence in what they're pitching you, and you also just like human nature is to say, "Wow, they really did something for me. I owe it to them to at least hear them through and consider it."

That goes a long way in this day and age when we're just kind of bombarded nonstop with offers, and ads, and all that.

Kathleen: Yeah, that feeling of quid pro quo is strong.

Sterling: It really is. But yeah, I don't disagree with that at all.

Kathleen: Yeah, well that's really cool. It sounds like your efforts have really resulted in a nice, steady and strong flow of demo requests.

Have you seen a similar growth in, for example, just overall website traffic? Are you doing anything on the traffic generation side?

Sterling: Yeah. One of the next frontiers for us is to make sure that we spend more time caring about organic and working on things like SEO and site optimization, and landing page optimization, and all of those kinds of things. That's stuff that we're working on now.

But just naturally with how our business has grown, site traffic has just exploded. We had to change our AWS subscription I think three times so far this year to level up, but that was largely a result of just people knowing who we are and what we're doing.

Now it's like, "Okay, let's get a little more purposeful about this and put some effort into continuing to-" Like, have that be an active part of our funnel.

Kathleen: Yeah. Looking ahead to 2019, I'm assuming that you want every year to be better than the last. I don't know how you top going from 20 to 140 people, but what are you-

Sterling: I'll tell you. Next year we're supposed to go from 150 to 350, so that's how you top it.

Kathleen: Oh my God. I would not want to be your HR Director. That sounds like a really hard job.

Sterling: But she is amazing. Her name is Kacy. She joined us from Uber a couple of months ago, so she is very familiar with how to grow an organization like ours very quickly. We have a lot of confidence in her.

Otherwise, yeah going from 150 to 350 would be a nightmare.

Kathleen: Yeah, yeah. It definitely has the potential to ... Bad growth can break you, for sure.

Sterling: Absolutely.

Kathleen: Looking ahead to the coming year, what's on your radar as far as new tests you want to try, new channels that you're eyeing?

Sterling: Yeah, well one of the big things is continuing to build out our marketing organization and making sure that we're bringing in the right talent for different roles.

You heard me talk about a lot of things I think we're doing really well, but there are certain areas where we can improve and largely that's about going out and continuing to get the right talent on the team.

So where I mentioned SEO for example, we can do a lot of that stuff with the existing team, but then let's go out and get someone who that's their specialty and they have a track record, and they can help us out a lot.

Really, when you look at next year it's continuing to build on the good stuff that we accomplished, and then round out the team so we have more bandwidth to do more tests, and continue to stoke the fire and help Divvy grow.

Kathleen: Yeah. Yeah, SEO, it's changing so fast. Thank God we do have somebody on our end who just looks at that because-

Sterling: Yeah.

Kathleen: I don't know what I would do without that person.

Sterling: Oh, it's crazy.

Then the other thing is so right now if we have people who are managing Facebook and LinkedIn. Let's say, wouldn't it be much better to have one person who could be in LinkedIn all day, and one person who could be in Facebook all day?

So that's what I mean by continuing to break it out, because like you said, with SEO, but with literally every other platform, algorithms change daily and different cost structures are varying widely, and how much you're paying per click is just kind of ... So you really have to be super honed in.

I think that's an area for us to improve in as we grow and scale.

Kathleen's Two Questions

Kathleen: Great. Well I'm going to switch gears here now. There's two questions that I ask everyone that I interview, and I'm really curious to know what your answers will be.

The first one is, company or individual, who do you think is doing inbound marketing really well right now?

Sterling: That's a great question. Who I aspire to be like, is that kind of the in the individual or company. There's a lot of them.

There's a company, I don't know if you've heard of them, Drift, out of Boston. I've been really impressed with what they do, and they seem to pop up in a lot of different conversations for me. It sounds, again, like they have a terrific product, but then have a fantastic go to market.

Kathleen: Yeah, I actually interviewed their VP of Marketing-

Sterling: Dave.

Kathleen: A few months back. Dave Gerhardt, yeah.

Sterling: Yeah. I don't have any personal connection to anyone over there, but I have a lot of respect for what they're doing.

Kathleen: Yeah, his name comes up a lot when I ask this question. There's a good reason for it.

Sterling: Yeah, and you know what? What he does extremely well is he's got a personal brand that then allows him to shed light kind of his company and what they're doing. But yeah, they're doing a fantastic job so that would be someone I would look up to.

There's another company here locally named Qualtrics.

Kathleen: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sterling: I'm not sure if you're familiar with them. They just announced an eight billion dollar acquisition. They're going to become part of SAP.

They did a really good job at something I've seen done poorly a lot of times. They created a category. What they were in their early days was they were a survey tool to anyone who was outside of Qualtrics, but then they created a category, changed the experience. They called it "Experience Management".

They really defined the category, had fantastic growth, had a fantastic exit. There's people over there who as marketers I really look up to, like Mike Maughan is one of them. The results of that just speak for themselves.

That's another company and individual that I think are doing marketing extremely well.

Kathleen: Great, well I like the combination because Drift is one that consistently comes up, which is why I had wanted to interview Dave so much.

But nobody's mentioned Qualtrics before, so that's definitely a good one for anyone listening to go and check out, and I'm going to do that when we get off.

Sterling: You really should. They did some things, and they did them all under the radar, which is why you haven't heard of them. But what they pulled off over there was just amazing. And then their exit and how the results ended up shaping. When you got a peek under the hood for their revenue and how they've been growing, you just tip your hat to them and try and learn from them and replicate it with our efforts here.

How to Contact Sterling and Learn More About Divvy

Kathleen: Yeah. Great. Well if someone's listening and they want to check Divvy out, maybe even if they're interested in the product or if they want to see what you're doing from a marketing standpoint, what's the best way for them to learn more about the company?

Sterling: Yeah, so we went ahead and created a landing page just for listeners here. We're, again, going to offer kind of our classic $50.00 gift card for decision makers who are interested in the product. That link is That's

If you're interested in chatting marketing, talking shop, I'm pretty active on LinkedIn and anyone can shoot me a message and I always love kind of getting into the nuts and bolts of marketing.

Kathleen: Great, I will be sure to put the link to that landing page in the show notes. So if you're listening and you're in the car or on the go, check the show notes out on the IMPACT website. That link will be in there.

I'll also put a link to your LinkedIn in, so people can find you easily.

Thank you. This has been so interesting. It's really cool to hear about the growth you're experiencing, and how much of that is being driven by inbound. I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of people who go check your website out after this.

Sterling: Yeah. That's cool. Like I said, we have an awesome team that I love working with every day, and then we have just an amazing product and business model. So it's kind of a perfect storm. Thanks again. It was super fun to chat about this, Kathleen. Always a pleasure.

You Know What To Do...

Kathleen: Yeah. As always, if you're listening and you enjoyed what you heard today, please leave the podcast a review on Apple Podcasts or the platform of your choice.

If you know someone else doing kick ass inbound marketing work, Tweet me @workmommywork because I would love to interview them. That's it for this week. Thanks Sterling.

Sterling: Thank you.