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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.

Jun 7, 2021

Getting new leads is just the start. Once that happens, how do you nurture leads in a way that increases their propensity to buy?

This week on The Inbound Success Podcast, glassCanopy Marketing President Rich Quarles breaks down the topic of lead nurturing and shares his thoughts on how to structure a lead nurturing campaign that will drive higher conversions.

From how many emails to send and how often to send them, to how to use display ads to increase brand awareness and stimulate higher email conversions, Rich gets into detail and shares actionable advice to improve your lead nurturing programs.  

Check out the full episode, or read the transcript below, to hear Rich's insights.

Resources from this episode:


Kathleen (00:00): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast. I am your host Kathleen Booth. This week. My guest is Rich Quarles, who is the President of glassCanopy Marketing. Welcome to the podcast Rich.

Rich (00:21): Thanks. Excited to be here.

Kathleen (00:23): Yeah, I love, I love your company name. What is the story behind that?

Rich (00:28): So when we first started the agency 20 years ago you know, I was coming off of my previous experience working at one of the early web services firms here in the Bay area. And what really struck me was how limited the services a lot of the company has provided and how sort of they used to do a lot of shell game around, like who was working for them, who were freelancers and, and a lot of companies, you know you would take somebody who wasn't necessarily the most qualified to do a job because they were taking up desk space and salary. And and so glassCanopy was originally conceived as providing overarching services. So, you know, full spectrum of communication services with totally transparent you know, how we got it done, how we did the work.

Rich (01:32): So, you know, we eschewed a lot of the marketing bullshit. I don't know if I'm allowed to say that. So there was a lot of bullshit, right? Like about what we chose this color blue for, you know, explicit reasons. And we were much more results oriented. So it was just really more the openness about what we were doing, how we did it and that that's the, the glass, the clear part. And then the canopy was the overarching you know, services that we provided. Ironically, we're now like one of the most niche agencies out there. We're still transparent about how we get it done, but we really focus on really lead generation content generation and lead nurturing. And that's all we do. And we do it for a very limited number of companies.

Kathleen (02:23): Great. Well, you just answered what was going to be my next question, which is to tell me about the company. So we're good on that, but I love that you guys focus so narrowly on, you know, lead gen and content and lead nurturing. And I think lead nurturing is actually what we were going to talk about today because I, and this is something that I've always been really interested in because I feel like there are a lot of marketers that are actually pretty good at lead gen. I don't know. I mean, lots of people do need help with that, but there's a lot of marketers that have figured out how to generate leads, but there's a lot of marketers for whom those just sit there and don't ever turn into anything. And so lead nurturing is one of those things that lots of people talk about, but I feel like few have really mastered and you guys have gotten some great results with lead nurturing and it is your bread and butter. So I guess let's start by having you talk to me about how you think about lead nurturing in general.

Rich (03:21): Yeah, so I think, I think first of all you know, we went through a very similar journey as an agency to what you just referred to in that, you know, we, we really changed our focus from being a full services agency to really focus on content marketing and lead generation. And about seven years ago, six or seven years ago I came back from marketing profs in Boston and was just like, I see the light, we are going to change what we do. We are going to do less, much less. And and we got really good at bringing in top of funnel leads. And, and I think, you know, for us, what was a little different is that we, we never focused on just, you know, leads, but the right leads. So all of our clients are B2B clients with really complex, very expensive solutions.

Rich (04:16): So typically six, seven, eight figure deals. And so of course, there's, you know, six to eight people in every deal and 99.99, nine, 9% of the population can't buy their products or services or influence it in any meaningful way. And so, you know, we started out with this really strong focus on getting the right kinds of leads. So, you know, we would call a marketing qualified lead irrespective of the scoring system that a particular client was using essentially the right title at the right firmographic type of company. And that really felt like a big accomplishment when we first started doing it, because typically when we came in, clients, a lot of times they were still focused on, you know, metrics like number of clicks or impressions or things like that.

Kathleen (05:07): Following their Facebook page is one of my favorites.

Rich (05:13): And then they were, they were only, you know, just kind of starting to really count the number of leads that were going into Salesforce. But, you know, there was a complete disconnect between marketing and sales. And so, you know, every time we came in there was that conversation with marketing saying we delivered 5,000 leads and sales saying, and they all sucked. And, you know, for most of our clients, it's a fairly defined universe of whom they can talk to. And so, you know, that first step was okay, we're only going to count a lead if it's that the right, the right lead. And then that started to open a conversation with sales, where they were like, Oh and we would kind of go through LinkedIn profiles of the leads that we brought in and that who are interacting with marketing and, and saying to sales things like, well, what about this person?

Rich (06:11): Do you think you could sell, you know, your $7 million widget to this person? And they're like, Oh yes. I'm like, well, but start down that process. But what we found was that there was a huge disconnect between those top of funnel leads that we were bringing in and the revenue numbers, because again, you know, we were dealing with a relatively few number of deals. And so we had the luxury of starting at the bottom and looking at all the deals that sales had closed in a given quarter. And then, you know, desperately trying to find a connection to anything marketing had done. And you know, and very often you know, that became an attribution issue is we, as B2B, marketers are always facing, right? So Susie downloads, the asset, passes it to Tom who sits on it and then shows up and sales was like, look, we got this deal. He just called us. It was inbound or came out of my Rolodex. And, and you're like, well kind of, but there was additional touches beforehand by other folks in the organization.

Kathleen (07:20): I literally just got off of that phone call. I am not kidding you. For the last hour. So yes, 100% that happens all the time.

Rich (07:33): I remember sitting in a client's conference room six or seven years ago, and I was just like, we're going to right now, we're doing this manually, but we are, we're totally going to automate this probably in the next six months. I'm talking to some other outside consultants and some, some data scientists on this where we'll have this nut cracked, and I hate to say it, but we still go through and manually double checks. You know, some of it, we can automate some of it we can see, but the asset getting passed from person to person sometimes in the same organization, sometimes not, that's, that's much harder to track. But I think having the luxury of being able to actually manually attack that, which most even B2B marketers can't can't do, it gave us a lot of insights in terms of who and how, and why did people end up having a conversation with sales and making that transition from an MQL to an SQL and a sales opportunity. And so, you know, we started applying that as, as often as possible. And I, you know, it's not rocket science, like much of marketing, it's really more an execution play. But what I feel like is it, it really comes down to how many times and how many different can you, you know, follow up with that initial lead from the client and do it in a consistent, non bothering way to really increase that flow down the, down the funnel.

Kathleen (09:11): I that's true, but I also think it's really easy to screw it up because if like, I can just think about my own situation. You know, you've got a ton of new contacts coming into your database and they're getting different emails for different reasons, whether those are marketing emails, whether those are lead nurturing, you know, then there's also different sales stages. Like when they first convert, there's a, there's like a certain need that they have at that first stage. Like they need to get to know your company. And then there's later when they've been in your database for awhile. And so, like, I feel like it's really easy to mess it up by sending too much, too soon, by not slow rolling in the beginning and not like properly introducing them to your company and almost like a welcoming or an onboarding sequence. And, you know, it, it also depends on their behavior. Like if they download five things in a day, are they getting enrolled in five different nurturing sequences? Or do you have a way to like reconcile what they hear from from you next? I like, I don't know. It's, it can be very messy if you don't approach it properly.

Rich (10:16): No, absolutely. And I think that, that's one of the things that that, that we all struggle with to a degree, but that you can tackle by having sort of a unified approach in how you're following up with a given lead. Right. So that they're only in one bucket or classification at a time. I think when I think of the, the amount of times you can touch a prospect, it's not in a single channel. Right. So I think that we sort of default to email but email is appallingly inefficient in terms of getting a prospect's attention, right. So, you know, if you've got a lead nurture stream, that's getting clicked on at two or 3%, you know, that, that feels pretty good. Sometimes depending on what the call to action is, right? So if you've got a content call to action, then that would be terrible.

Rich (11:15): But if it's, you know, get a demo for a $7 million project, you'd be probably pretty good with that. And so, you know, I think that what's helpful is to have a unified campaign within your nurture sequence. So you're addressing, you know, your best gas, are they trying to find out more about the solution category and, and they haven't gotten to like narrowing down vendors in which case, the more objective information that you can provide that allows them to start getting down that process, the more trust you build and the more likely you are to be in that final list or are they at the point where they've already got their short list of three prospects and three vendors that they want to talk to, and you're really trying to push through that. Or is it a different stage? Like, you know, I think one of the most frustrating things about plotting this out is that no one follows, you know, the lead process that we have in mind.

Rich (12:17): You know, I mean, the folks here, linear funnel, yeah. The linear buyer's journey is I, I, you know, and people have suggested all kinds of different metaphors for it. And I don't know that one works better than another, but, you know, we all know the linear customer journey almost never happens. And when you look at any given customer, it looks more like a drunken stagger then running in circles, chasing tails is but I think the, really the more the more ways that you can reach out to the customer, so more platforms, right? So just emailing, somebody will just get you, them trained to ignore your emails or unsubscribe, or you end up in, you know, spam or near spam folders. But if you add layer on say, you know, retargeting ads across a bunch of different platforms, you know, almost nobody clicks on a retargeting ad, but we see that, you know, increase our email lift by almost 50%.

Rich (13:31): And then how so, well, we've just won a number, different experiments. So if you're, you've got your email nurture stream going, and it's just email, it's just coming out of HubSpot or Pardot or Marketo or Eloqua. And then you add a synced banner campaign, not necessarily the same offer, but aimed at the same stage. Right? So, you know, if they're still figuring things out, maybe you're offering a webinar by email, but your, your banner ad campaign is, you know, offering a Gartner report or something like that, or a deep dive into how that solution works. You're not going to get a lot of people clicking on those banner ads and filling out the form and, and downloading your offer. But you will see an increase in responsiveness to your email campaign and you'll see an increase in the SDR BDRs success rate when they're reaching out. Right. You know, if branding didn't work we'd all be out of a job. And so that's very helpful. That's interesting. So, so at what point do

Kathleen (14:52): You start to nurture, are you, is everybody getting nurtured in some way, or is it only the people that have converted on something, or like you mentioned SDR and BDR, like, do you have your database of outbound outreach that you're doing and they're enrolled in nurturing sequences? What is it that like triggers them to be enrolled in nurturing?

Rich (15:16): So we, as an agency, don't do any outbound. Obviously a lot of our clients do. I'm not a big fan of the cold call, whether that comes via email LinkedIn or the phone. I think that, you know, inbound is really the way to create engagement and, you know, whenever we have measured that we see it very consistently. I mean, people just don't buy extremely complex business solutions based on a cold call. They develop a need, they have an interest they investigate and they, they move forward from that perspective. So, and I've lost track of the question,

Kathleen (16:00): How do you determine what's the trigger that determines who gets enrolled in nurturing?

Rich (16:04): So, so for all of our campaigns, you know, we need a prospect to raise their hand to say, I am interested. And, and very often that is downloading a content asset first. So, you know, a lot of times our lead asset might be a very in-depth, but non salesy objective way discussion, maybe 20 pages or so of how to solve a given problem. Now we don't expect people to read them but they're very scannable. You know, if you flip through it in a minute, you get the gist of it, but it, it actually feels and is substantial. And so a surprisingly large number of people will download it or print it out. However, they kind of shuffle their digital assets. And when we follow up you know is shockingly large number of times, they will brandish it and they'll be like, I've been meaning to get to this.

Rich (17:01): And so, you know, there's gotta be some sort of meaningful engagement on behalf of the prospect, or you're just hammering at a closed door. And so, you know, based on what it is that that initial engagement is that really determines on where they're going to go into the nurturing prospect, right? And so, you know, we're also really big believers and you only ask for as much information as you need. And I have this argument with, with sales and customer teams all the time, but the only piece of information you need as a business email, everything else is a little bit of work from a yeah, from a data augmentation point of view. There's a little bit of work, but you want to know their address, their phone number, their job, title, everything you can get all of with their email address. And so, you know, taking that that allows you to build a profile based on you know, who they are. And then you've got a good starter point based on what was that first interaction, what was the subject matter of that?

Kathleen (18:06): So when somebody does first interact and raises their hands, you know, it could be on any, any given thing. It could be on an ebook on a webinar. It could be that they subscribe to your blog. It could be that a meeting with a sales rep, people are coming in and all different ways. Do you generally have some sort of like singular welcome experience or are you contextualizes how you begin nurturing them based on what it is they converted on or raise their hand for?

Rich (18:34): Yeah, that's a great question. It's always contextualized based on how they came in with, with one exception which is the newsletter. And, you know, I think this is actually how you and I reconnected a couple of years ago. We both simultaneously, but little posts on how nobody wants to read your, your news, your company newsletter. And so, you know, the newsletter is never about the company. It's never about their product. It's about the customer and their profile and, and the business challenges that they face that are included in, or adjacent to, you know, where the solution that we're representing plays. And, you know, for the most part in as much as I can convince my clients it's, it's third party articles, because that's what customers find most useful. We've already got their business email. We already know where they live.

Rich (19:29): We don't need them to register for more stuff. We don't need them to click on stuff. We're just there to provide value and interest. So if there's a McKinsey article out there that kind of goes in depth or a Harvard business review article, that really talks at a theoretical level about how to solve some aspect of their job, it's really valuable for us to kind of serve that up. And, you know, we'll, we may have multiple newsletters for different personas. So, you know, oftentimes we'll call them the sayers or the doers. Like, you know, the folks that are in there using the software, using the hardware on a daily basis versus their bosses who did use that kind of hardware 10 years ago, or 20 years ago. And they've got different, you know, business issues that, that were progressing, but everybody kind of gets that once or twice a month newsletter that kind of helps them stay up to date on, on problems that we're presuming there, they're interested in based on their interest in our solution.

Kathleen (20:31): Right. So you kick off nurturing based on what they converted on. You have your email nurture. It sounds like you're doing ads as well. And then you might have like, newsletter, are there other channels that you're using for nurturing beyond ads, email, and, yeah,

Rich (20:48): So we encourage our clients to connect on LinkedIn with folks that have come in again, it's not like a, Hey let's connect, right? Because everybody ignores those, but offering an additional piece of value, often an ebook or something along those lines, you know, saw you saw this, here's an ebook that solves what we think probably you're looking at or talks about in depth. Would you like to connect and I'll email you a copy and, you know, we see about a 15%, 10 to 15% action rate based on those kinds of emails versus, you know, maybe a 2% or 3% connection rate, if you don't have an offer, but you sort of customize it and then a Bismal numbers, if you're just spamming people.

Kathleen (21:40): Hm. That's interesting that the connection rate is so low without like, without an offer, because I don't know. I feel like I spend a lot of LinkedIn connections and, and as long as I customize the message and it's like, here's, here's why I'm reaching out to you. And it's, as long as it's not a pitch, I feel like I have a really high acceptance rate.

Rich (21:58): Well, but how often is your "I'm reaching out to you because I want to feature you on my podcast"?

Kathleen (22:03): No, no, no, never, never, never. I don't. I actually, it's funny cause I'm at the point now and I'm really lucky. I realized, but four years into this podcast, almost everybody that comes on, I either get pitched or it's an introduction from a past guest. So, or it's like somebody I've been friends with for years. I don't, I, I only maybe once or twice if I done cold outreach and funny enough when I do it, it's usually on Twitter. So no, it's usually like, Hey, you know, I saw that you're, you are like a big expert in this. And I'm really interested in that. And I would love to add you to my network. And it's just funny, like I've found maybe it's that people are so jaded by just getting the one where nobody customizes it and they press the button, which is like, I'd like to add you to my network and there's no personal information at all. So maybe the bar is so low that as long as I put some tiny amount of personalization and people accept it, I don't know. It's really interesting.

Rich (22:58): That is interesting. I mean, I, I think that what we're finding is it the, the, the, generally the people that are doing the connection requests are SDRs or BDRs. And so it's sort of obvious that they're.

Kathleen (23:16): So maybe it's because they're in a sales role and people are like, I don't want you to sell to me.

Rich (23:21): With other, you know, like CTOs and other folks with different titles. But because, you know, your LinkedIn account is, you know, personal to you. If people, if you're doing that at scale, it becomes actually quite hard to manage that, that inbound flow, if that's not what you consider to be your job when, once people reply, you know, you have to kind of deal with that manually. And then to hand that off becomes a little awkward. And again, you know, I think we're not trying to, we're not trying to bother anybody, right? Like, that's not the way to get that sale either. It's, it's a way to, you know, come to make yourself available at different times in different places so that, you know, the customer is, you know, feels in control because ultimately they are in control. Yeah. You know, I, I think for me, you know, the, that moment where I was like, Oh, content marketing, that's, that's where we have to go, because ultimately you're just not going to be able to reach people unless they want to be reached. And, you know, one of our, one of our niches is reaching physicians. And, you know, they're sort of the ultimate.

Kathleen (24:42): They're hard to reach. Yeah. They don't give out their emails anywhere.

Rich (24:45): They don't, and they've got a whole phalynx of, of folks that are lined up, you know, to guard them from interactions that they don't want to have with people trying to sell them stuff. Yeah. And you know, one of the interesting things that, that we've seen from the pandemic is, you know, prior to the pandemic, maybe half of the physicians in the U S would let you know, reps of various types into their office. And, you know, obviously with the pandemic that went to zero, and what we're hearing loud and clear from the physician community is you're never coming back.

Kathleen (25:23): We like it this way.

Rich (25:24): Digital has worked out just fine. We don't need you to send reps to buy our, our folks lunch or anything like that. We'll contact you if you, if we want to hear from you. And, and I think the whole world is, is, is moving that way. We all have increasing control over who gets to contact us which I think is a direct reaction to marketers ruining everything. Right.

Kathleen (25:51): So speaking of ruining things, let me ask you a question. I want to dig a little deeper on the email side, just with her, just talking about email nurturing what are your thoughts around how often and how many times?

Rich (26:05): So I have dug through and seen so much conflicting data on this that I will, I will fess up and say, I feel like this is basically a personal preference.

Kathleen (26:19): That's why I said, what is your feelings? Yes. I don't buy any of the data because it's also different by industry. It's different by role, but like, I always like to hear people's personal takes on what is the right approach.

Rich (26:30): Yeah. So personally, I feel like you need a followup directly after the contact you know, where they're asking for an asset and that's not like an instant auto response. It's something a day later after that, typically we go either 13 day intervals or 15 day intervals. And we very deliberately didn't want to go on two week intervals because we want to hit on different days of the week, because everybody who you know talks about, well, on average Wednesday at 10:00 AM is the best time to send well, yes, that may be when the majority of people are, are the largest number of people are, are most likely to be available, but there's somebody who always has an opening at Tuesday at 10:00 AM, somebody else who only goes through their emails on Saturday morning. And so if you want to get everyone or give everyone a chance, you know, you want to kind of space it out. And so, you know, we, we do 13 to 15 times, I feel like twice a month is, is enough plus with the newsletter. And if there's a BDR outreach on top of that,

Kathleen (27:39): So twice a month for six months is about what you're doing.

Rich (27:44): Well. So we will typically do a cycle of about five emails on a specific topic. And then if graduate that prospect to a new cycle and again, that's, that's pretty customized based on who they are or what vertical they're in or what product or solution they've shown some interest in. So we, we do try to, to change that up. And there, there's typically a pause of an additional two weeks or three weeks or so as we transition. And it's not just the email that changes, you know, the banner ads that they're sent to, if we've got a parallel conversation going on, LinkedIn will change that as well. And after six months we'll rest, and then we've got the rescue emails, right? Like you're never going to stop getting marketing emails until you say, please stop.

Kathleen (28:42): Yeah. so do you, and then, so you don't, you don't stop for disengagement. Like if somebody is not responding, there's not, you don't have a threshold beyond what you, you sort of do a list hygiene purge and say, I'm taking you off my rolls. Okay.

Rich (28:59): For the most part we do not. And that's based on our data when we've got someone who, you know, ignored our emails for six years and then clicked on, I want a quote and the deal closes in, you know, record breaking time. And we we've seen that in a lot of different long-term engagements where, you know, we've got that tracking data and, and, and folks come back. There are, you know, it's a little different by industry and that, like, you know, for instance, cybersecurity after six years, they're probably not there it's going to a bot. So you, you know, there are no absolutes, but for a lot of a lot of our audiences, you know, no news is just no news.

Kathleen (29:56): So talk to me a little bit about some real world examples. And you can, if you can't name names, that's totally fine. We can be anonymous, but like, I, I'm interested to know how, you know, you're getting great results. Like, how are you measuring the results and what kinds of results have you seen?

Rich (30:15): So I can talk a little bit about a enterprise software company that we were working with. And the, when we first started working with them, they were sending out cadenced emails out of Marketo and getting almost no response. Right. And so when we dug into the, the, the list data, and I always believe when you're getting bad results, it's not, it's never because of the creative, right. It's always the list. And so, you know, we, we really started digging in and seeing that, you know, a lot of the list was from conferences that people had attended another sort of pseudo opt in. And so, you know, we started a new and I don't remember the exact number, but I want to say the engagement rate was like 0.2% 0.3%. And so we started a new content campaign with some high-level ebook solutions that were promoting and contents indication and targeted advertising campaigns and the engagement rate for those campaigns.

Rich (31:41): And there was a threshold to, to be qualified as an MQL and the scoring system varied, but essentially you had to take at least a couple actions after that initial action to get to MQL. And we were bringing 35% of the incoming leads to MQL status within a quarter.

Kathleen (32:02): Wow. That's great.

Rich (32:03): And, and that, that went from, you know, essentially no engagement at all. And, and we saw, you know, distinct levels as we increase what we were doing in the marketplace with those. So, you know, that's one of the places that I saw, and it's pretty consistent that when we add those banner ads that are, are synced, it doesn't seem to help if it's just random branding banners. But if they're synced to the campaign that you're, you're hitting those particular prospects with, you see like a 50% lift in terms of engagement. Even though like, I mean, the engagement rates with banner ads are honestly vanishingly low.

Kathleen (32:43): Yeah. And it's only going to get worse, I think as cookies start to go away and, or third-party cookies at least start to go away. So yeah.

Rich (32:51): Yeah. The tracking issue, cause that's a whole nother podcast that I look forward to. Yeah.

Kathleen (32:55): Yeah. Seriously. Well, I just, earlier this week, I just published an interview with somebody about the Apple iOS 14.5 update and what that would mean. And soon we're going to have all the Google stuff coming down and it's just constant fun, getting harder and harder every day. Right. well, I want to shift gears because I feel like we could talk about this all day. But I always have two questions I like to ask my guests. And I'm really curious about what you have to say about these. The first is we, you know, we talk a lot about inbound marketing here. Is there a particular company or individual that you think is really knocking it out of the park when it comes to inbound marketing these days?

Rich (33:34): Yeah. So I'm going to go a little outside of B2B here. There's a fellow by the name of Cameron Hughes who had his own winery label that was mainly distributed at Costco for many years. And he, his model was essentially buying wine from first rate wineries that was going to go unsold, putting a private label on it and signing, you know, 19,000 NDAs, if he wouldn't disclose where the wine came from and selling it at a discount through Costco. And so for various reasons that that business didn't quite work out, he ended up selling it. But about a year ago, sort of the beginning of the pandemic, he started a winery or winery distribution, I guess, called de Negoce. So I'm not sure totally on how it's pronounced, but essentially it means a wine negotiate.

Rich (34:36): And same business model only he was, he's selling it as futures. So he signs the contract with the winery. I'm going to buy 500 cases of your best wine and that you sell for a hundred dollars a bottle and I'm going to sell it for 12. And then he pre-sales, it collects the money, gets the wine, bottles it, and then ships it to you and the catch is, because it's just been put in the bottle. It's not really drinkable for like between three and 12 months. So, you know, there's that, that pain involved of having to store the wine, which for this particular audience, I think it makes it all the more appealing

Kathleen (35:22): I was going to say. I bet there's people who are like, I can't wait. I'm tapping into it now.

Rich (35:28): And, and so I can hear you thinking, like, what does this have to do with inbound marketing and where it comes is there are bulletin boards devoted to people guessing where these wines come from. People splitting bottles and the, the founder will show up every once in a while dropping little nuggets of hints or, you know, discussion around what happens. And, you know, they don't have any kind of formal ambassadorship program, but I know I have introduced, I think, six or seven people or time to the, the concept because it's such an interesting business model. And he sends out these emails and texts. I actually subscribed to a text telling me about the new wines that I could buy. And I love them. It's the first thing that, like my phone pings and I'll sit there and read through, and the descriptions are amazing.

Rich (36:32): And you don't think that you can read that many wine descriptions. I feel compelled because there's only so much wine a reasonable person can drink.

Kathleen (36:42): I feel like you'd need to have an affiliate code because everybody listening to this podcast is probably like, I got to go check this out now.

Rich (36:50): Well, you would think so, but I, this is what I really love about it because I feel like he has captured that sense of authenticity that is so critical to everybody's marketing efforts. And, and I think that, you know, in B2B marketing, we, we sometimes play this line that, that feels difficult where we want to be salesy, but we know that actually our, our prospects don't really respond well to that. And so, you know, I think that one of the reasons that this, this wine company is so successful is that they are treading that line perfectly and not having an affiliate program, I think makes that ambassadorship and that you see it's kind of rampant that much more authentic. Right. And so it's sort of like, you know, when you think about, Oh, I want to send something to this prospect. I want to add that to my lead nurture stream.

Rich (37:53): Right. I want to give them a physical thing. I want to do a direct mail at dimensional direct mail piece. And it's always like, but you don't want it to look like a bribe or feel like a bribe, right? You want it for them to have a joy, but essentially the worthless, because you could be breaking company laws or company rules, you could be breaking laws if it has a value of more than a hundred dollars say or $50 even. And no one ever wants to admit that they were influenced by, you know, something along those lines. And yet, you know, you want to give something of value. And so that sort of lack of salesmanship makes for really effective sales.

Kathleen (38:44): Yeah. Oh, that sounds like a great one to check out. All right. How do you spell it so that I know how to find it?

Rich (38:50): D E N E G O C E.

Kathleen (38:56): Okay, cool. I'll put the link in the show notes for anybody who wants to check that out. I'm sure we have lots of wine enthusiasts out there who would love to check it out.

Rich (39:02): That's great wine. I have to say like the value is amazing.

Kathleen (39:08): Awesome. All right. Second question is the pain point I hear most from marketers is that they find it very hard to keep up with all the things that are constantly changing in the world of digital marketing. How do you personally like to stay educated and up-to-date on all that?

Rich (39:22): So I belong to a round table of agency owners called the Agency Management Institute. And it's, it's a larger organization, but the, the round table that I belong to is 12 different advertising agencies that are located across the United States. And we get together physically get together when there's not a pandemic going on every six months for two or three days. And, you know, we, we, we both talk about our, our, our businesses, but also, you know, industry challenges and how we're tackling them. And, you know, typically we'll have a speaker or something like that. And so I find that to be a really useful step back from the day to day of operations. And, you know, everyone brings a big idea. We offer a a hundred dollars, crisp a hundred dollar bill. So there's 1200 bucks on the line and everyone brings their, their best idea. And, and any time I travel outside my bubble and turn off my phone for a couple of days, I always feel like, you know, I'm able to reflect and think of something that is useful. And I always come back from those meetings with something that, you know, is of use to many or most of my clients.

Kathleen (40:41): Great. I love those private networks. And I feel like a lot of them have really kind of grown considerably since the pandemic started, because it's, whereas a lot of us used to do so much meeting in person that has disappeared. And so having these peer groups, having these Slack groups, these communities, whatever form they take has become tremendously valuable.

Rich (41:01): Absolutely. And I think, you know, as, as marketing professionals, we, we lean on each other. And you know, I think that that's why the state of the art has advanced so quickly over the past 20 years after really being stagnant for 30 or 40 years.

Kathleen (41:18): Yeah. That's very, very true. All right, well, we've reached the top of our hour. So what I would love to know is if somebody is listening and they have a question or they want to learn more about what you're doing, or what talked about here, what is the best way for them to connect with you online?

Rich (41:37): Just shoot me an email at rich, Or you can go to our website at and fill out a form or chat with us. We try to make ourselves available.

Kathleen (41:49): All right, fantastic. And I'll put those links in the show notes as well. And if you're listening and you liked this episode, head to Apple podcasts and leave a review. And of course, if you know somebody else doing amazing inbound marketing work, send me a tweet at @workmommywork, because I would love to make them my next guest. That is it for this week. Thank you so much for joining me Rich.

Rich (42:09): Thanks so much for having me, Kathleen.