This week our host, Brandi Starr, is joined by Jeffery Hassemer, Chief Marketing Officer at Adaptigent. Jeff has over 20 years of experience helping organizations elevate their market position and reinvigorate their product development. He is...
This week our host, Brandi Starr, is joined by Jeffery Hassemer, Chief Marketing Officer at Adaptigent.
Jeff has over 20 years of experience helping organizations elevate their market position and reinvigorate their product development. He is a forward-thinking marketing executive and strategist who currently leads the marketing and product management teams at Adaptigent, a software company, where he helps companies bring their core systems to life through application integration.
Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business Management from Ripon College. He has also earned certification in Successful Product Management and Pricing Strategies in a Competitive Environment from The Porter Institute and Defining the Strategic Leader from The Center for Creative Leadership.
Jeff is a prominent member of the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM).
In this week’s episode of Revenue Rehab, on the couch Brandi and Jeff will tackle: Inbox Enlightenment: Transforming Old Advice into New Revenue.
Jeff’s ‘one thing’ is to start with the knowledge that “money flows in the direction of value”, and keep that top of mind, so that every time you interact with your customer, you’re giving value first. “The more you give”, says Jeff, “the more you get, without a doubt”.
Jeffery’s Buzzword to Banish is ‘growth hacking’. “I think it implies that marketing is an event”, he says, “But I think we all know, as marketers that marketing really is a long, long environment where we have to continue to be could create value for our customers over time to actually have a real impact on growth”.
Get in touch with Jeffery Hassemer on:
Subscribe, listen, and rate/review Revenue Rehab Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts , Amazon Music, or iHeart Radio and find more episodes on our website RevenueRehab.live
Intro VO 00:06
Welcome to revenue rehab, your one stop destination for collective solutions to the biggest challenges faced by marketing leaders today. Now head on over to the couch, make yourself comfortable and get ready to change the way you approach revenue. Leading your recovery is modern marketer, author, speaker and Chief Operating Officer at Tegrita Brandi Starr
Brandi Starr 00:34
Hello, hello hello and welcome to another episode of revenue rehab. I am your host Brandi Starr and we have another amazing episode for you today. I am joined by Jeff handsomer. Jeff is a forward thinking marketing executive and strategist who leads the marketing and product management teams at adaption. He has over 20 years of experience helping organizations elevate their market position and reinvigorate their product development. Jeff serves as the CMO where he helps companies bring their core systems to life through application integration. Jeff holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business and assertive certification in successful product management and pricing strategies in a competitive environment. Jeff is also a prominent member of the association of international product marketing and management. Jeff, welcome to revenue rehab, your session begins now.
Jeffery Hassemer 01:37
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for having me, Brandy. I'm looking forward to it.
Brandi Starr 01:41
And thank you for joining me, I am super excited about our topic today. But before we jump into that, I like to break the ice with a little woof sigh moments that I call buzzword. banishment. So what overuse word would you like to get rid of forever?
Jeffery Hassemer 02:01
Well, you know, I've been thinking about it. And I think the word I really don't like is growth hacking.
Brandi Starr 02:07
Ah, yes, I think that one has come up before in that we don't want to try to hack growth. Why don't you like that word?
Jeffery Hassemer 02:19
Well, I think it implies that marketing is an event. And it's just a singular thing. You come up with a great idea, and you can start to grow. But I think we all know, as marketers that marketing really is a long, long environment where we have to continue to be could create value for our customers over time to actually have a real impact on growth. Right, we can do things that a short period, but short, short answers lead to short growth. It doesn't give you that long term play and the Hackett you know, it's not really hacking, right? It's, it's really just coming up with a decent idea, a creative idea that works in the moment. But if you don't do anything long term with that, it's, it's worthless.
Brandi Starr 03:09
Yeah, I agree wholeheartedly. And if I think about my own career, I have pretty much always played the long game, like my strength really is in the long plays. And I have found that, you know, I have less success in just that, you know, how do we hit some button that's going to drive some magic, as opposed to like, you know, the marathon as opposed to the sprint, just using another overused term?
Jeffery Hassemer 03:41
Yeah. You know, I wish I could say I always did that. But you know, I think we all cave to that, that stress of the moment or, you know, you have your VC investor that says, go do this, and, and you cave into that moment, but I'll tell you what, if I've learned that lesson, once, I've learned it 100 times where it just doesn't work. You got to stay on the long game, and the long game produces real results, real results.
Brandi Starr 04:07
Agreed. And now that we've gotten that off our chest, we're definitely gonna talk about something else. That is long game. So tell me what brings you to revenue rehab today?
Jeffery Hassemer 04:19
Well, I want to talk about email marketing and the capability in the in the love that I've had for it for years. But also, you know, how do we get the most out of that in today's world, using some tactics that are long, long standing and actually work?
Brandi Starr 04:38
Yes. And as I say, email marketing has been my passion for many, many years. It's where a lot of campaigns where my marketing career started, but it was where I started to thrive, so to speak, is when marketing automation and email got big and I know I had the privilege of hearing some of the outcomes that you had I've had with email marketing, and I was like, Oh, I gotta talk to you. Because, you know, email is not the super sexy thing, you know, it's not the hot thing in the streets anymore. And so a lot of times, people don't necessarily want to even think about it or give too much attention to it. But before we dive in, I believe in setting intentions, it gives us focus, it gives us purpose, and most important, it gives our audience an understanding of what they should expect from our discussion today. So what's your intention? What's your best hopes for what people will take away from our conversation? Well, you know, I
Jeffery Hassemer 05:39
hope that they that we got here, when I'm finished here that people understand, the more value we create for our customers, the more value we create for our business, as well. And so the longer you can do that, and the more that you can take that tack, the more successful you're going to be not just an email marketing, but I think across the board.
Brandi Starr 06:07
Awesome. So I'd like to start with, I know, you've got a lot of experience, in email from working in an agency setting to your work, you know, as a head of marketing. So I'd like to start with just, you know, give our audience an understanding of what's been your overall experience, and some of the things that you've learned along the way, and then I can dig in from there.
Jeffery Hassemer 06:34
Yeah, maybe maybe it helps to set my background and email marketing. Like yourself, I was there at the beginning, I was, I worked for some of the companies that actually founded and built the first email marketing tools that we use back in 1999 2000. worked for companies like responses, which is now underpinning Oracle, I ran Product Management for cheetah mail, Experian marketing services. So I've been around email quite a quite a long time. And really, you know, the principles that we've always applied to core direct marketing, have always worked in email. But there's always this draw, for us to take a shortcut. And for us to, as marketers to, I think, what's the word I'm looking for? damage the the outcome of what email can do or undermine the outcomes of what email can do because we take shortcuts.
Brandi Starr 07:42
So tell me, I want to hear a little bit more, what are some of the shortcuts? Because I've got some thoughts, because as you're saying that I'm like, Yes, I'm like, I'm thinking of this situation, this situation. But I'd like to hear what are some of the shortcuts that you've seen happen?
Jeffery Hassemer 07:54
Well, you don't? Here's the thing. I can't tell you how many times when I was when I was at ESP, and you're trying to tell your customer to segment your list, right? And your customer says, Well, why should I segment the list, it doesn't cost me anything to mail more. And the point isn't about the cost for it, or there's actually a hidden cost, the hidden cost is that you lose your customers attention. And you lose your customers valued time and energy, and they stopped listening to you. And if you look at what's happened over the last two plus decades of email marketing, do you remember when we started doing this in 2000, we had huge open rates and huge response rates to email and it was so much fun, because you push the button and you got money back. Right? We still do that. But it's so much harder today. And a lot of that is because I think what we did over time, was we kind of, for lack of a better word bastardize some of the core terms of email marketing, like permission, and what what is permission mean, right? For example, and I think, I don't know if you want me to jump into what permission means to me too much. But the you go back to Seth Golden's definition of permission, and what that was all about. And I don't know if you've read his permission marketing book from 99. But to me, it's a bit of a Bible. You know, you offer your prospect, a reason to give you their attention. And then you use that attention, to give them relevant information. And you need to constantly reinforce the incentive to stay and make your investment in the relationship. It's not just them raising their hand to say I want to hear from you. And you then bombarding them With emails, it's making sure that you're investing in that and giving as much as you're getting out of that relationship. Because the more you do that, the longer the longer term you're going to have with that person. So permission isn't just about getting a green light to send an email to somebody, it's really about getting and maintaining their attention and giving them something of value every time we touch them with that.
Brandi Starr 10:27
And I love that. And that was why you gave me exactly what I was hoping for, and why I wanted you to define permission. Because, you know, with all of the compliance and privacy laws, a lot of times people think about permission as I have legal permission to send this email. And that's one piece like that's important, don't want to discount that at all. But you know, when you're looking at email marketing, and I love that you use the three R's, I love alliteration, so give them a reason to give you your attention, relevant info once they have and then reinforce the relationship. And that does lead to segmentation. I know here at Tegrita, we use the term hyper targeted segmentation, because that's what we believe to be the most effective is when an email is sent. And it comes across as if you wrote it specifically for that recipient, even though you may be sending it to 1000s of people. And that is that reinforce it, and you know, reinforcing the relationship providing relevant information.
Jeffery Hassemer 11:36
Yeah, yeah. And you know, segmentation isn't necessarily just about that, too. Sometimes, it's about timing, as well. And how often you send somebody I remember a conversation I had years ago with a with a marketer, that they were kind of a, they were a retail shop that did special offers, and their average number of cents per day, were 3.5. So they would send to a list of about 10 million people 3.5 times per day, how I can see you getting scared already. But and here's the crazy part about it. So we did a segmentation for them. And we, we showed them that 65% on their list, absolutely tuned out. They just never opened the email anymore. Only about 10% of their list actually responded to those almost every time. Right? Then there was a group in between that would respond every few weeks or so. Within that type of environment. We went there, we said, you know, if you did it this way, stop emailing the 65%. Continue, continue your five contacts a day to this 10% That love this and really want to continue this but maybe slow down your roll on is these people in the middle and contact them a little bit less. Not only are you going to save millions and email marketing fees, you're actually going to improve your revenue across the board. And, you know, we spent maybe two hours going through the data with them. And I remember very distinctly the guy goes, yeah, no, I think we just need to mail more.
Brandi Starr 13:26
I've had that conversation a time or two.
Jeffery Hassemer 13:31
Yeah, it was pretty frustrating. I almost I almost quit email marketing that day.
Brandi Starr 13:35
Yeah, it is because there isn't a cost per send, right? Like there is with almost every other type of marketing, like whether it be direct mail, you know, your ads, even events, like, you know, the cost to sponsor an event is directly tied to the number of people that you're going to be exposed to email is that one thing where whether it's 1000 or 100,000, like the cost difference for the actual send, is minimal. Because it's basically the technology costs. And so there is this misconception that the answer is always send more email. And, you know, that's in general, never the answer. Unless you're not sending anything but you know, that's neither here nor there. But I want to hear from you some of the examples because I know, you know, there are some people that I talked to and I have this conversation and they're like, Yeah, I get it. I need to segment you know, we try our best to not just hammer people with emails and be good email marketers. But I think the key that I struggle to drive home and I'd love to hear your take is what it looks like when people really get email, right? And that connection to revenue, you know, and not Just the communication channel. But what have you seen or experienced in terms of the tangible business benefits? When you get email, right?
Jeffery Hassemer 15:10
Yeah, well, let me start here a little bit to get to where you're where you want to go, though. So I think I always start with a philosophy. And that philosophy is, money flows in the direction of value, right. So when I start with a new company, or I start the program, I usually am teaching my marketers to say, we're not going to touch anybody, we're not going to talk to anybody, unless we have something of value to give them first. Now, that might be a discount. Sure, it could be the product in some way, shape, or form. Most of the time, it's about educating them on how to use it, or educating them on a topic that is relevant to what we have to offer within that environment. And so with that, what you need to do is, is you need to have a few things in place. First of all, you have to listen to your USP, quite a bit like number one, these guys work with 1000s of people, they know what works and what doesn't work. And so I'd have to say, start there, listen to your ESP, but also, make sure your list is clean, right. So if you're if your list isn't clean, and you're continuing to mail, people that don't respond to you, you have a tendency to end up in the junk folders, you have a tendency to end up in places where you're not really seen. And it limits your open rates, it limits your your response rates and your click throughs and all that kind of stuff. But if you're willing to take the risk of not mailing as much, and limiting your list, what you see is very, very clear. And this getting to your metrics, you see much higher open rates than if you're mailing to the larger group. So it starts with you know, being relevant getting your getting your email seen. When you send to people that are opening your email, the ES the ISPs realize that and see that and just keep moving your email into the junk folder, even for people that want to see it. Right. So if your list is clean, you tend to end up in the, in the in the folder where you get seen, and you tend to be opened a lot more, if you tend to be opened a lot more by people who are willing to listen to your message, they tend to click through a lot more, especially as you're also giving them value and every connection that you're that you're making for them. So you're you're educating them, you're giving them something that they want to see, they're going to click through more often. I've seen like, recent company I was I was the fractional CMO at we were redid this where we called our list first dropped it by about 45%, which is a little scary to start with. And I can tell you that the CEO was very freaked out, I did that. But in the end, because our open rates were higher, because we were offering relevant information, our click through rates tripled. And our revenue per email almost doubled across the board. And and in the end, we ended up making more money on our email than we did when we are sending to the entire list. Now what's beautiful about that is now it became a lot more predictable. When we would send an email, you could pretty much count on the revenue that would come in. So you can forecast that a little bit better. And you can actually understand, you know, what, know how much, you know, now you really get into that world where you push the button and the money comes. Because you know, you can count on what it's going to come into. And you generally know what your inbox rates are and all that kind of stuff because you're clean.
Brandi Starr 19:13
Yeah, I know. Like I have seen similar things happen. And I know the arguments that I hear back is that that works great in retail, that works great in b2b If it's more of a transactional type sale. And so it's very much a that's great for them. But I'm in b2b, hi, you know, decision making large dollar purchase. It's a committee buying, you know, that's not how it works over here. And so I'd love your thoughts and whether you agree or your counterpoints in how this level of predictive ality and tied to revenue can exist, when it is something that is less transactional and more of a decision sale.
Jeffery Hassemer 20:09
Yeah, you know, I think, first of all, I think those people that say that or are kidding themselves, right? I mean, we, I think we tend to always say, and you know, I'm the vendor, those of us who have been on the vendor side of this equation, how many times we've heard, oh, no, we're different. Right? We're so different than everybody else. And you're like, that's so much. That's the secret. You don't you can't really tell your, your clients, but I can do in this kind of forum, because, you know, I don't care who I offend necessarily. Because they're not necessarily giving me money. But here's the way I've encountered that, or at least what I've seen in my, my environment, what I have a longer sales cycle. So right now, in the company, I'm working for an adaptogen, our sales cycles, probably six to nine months, right. But here's the thing, not everybody is ready to buy your product today. Right? The key with email in that type of environment is is twofold. One, to stay top of mind. Right. And in order to stay top of mind, you have to give maybe a regular communication, like a newsletter that's offering value and education on what they should be doing in the market or what they could be doing. In in the environment. So when they are ready to make that purchase decision, you are definitely in the consideration space. The second point that you be you should be using email in that environment is in a nurturing environment, right? So if you did get them to your website, and they did consume a piece of your content, I often like to run a trigger campaign off of that. So usually three to six contacts spaced apart so that you're not hitting them every day. But it's more relevant to what they downloaded. And then how are they reacting to your emails at that point. So if I downloaded, you know, on topic a, I'm going to give them a string that's going to stay on topic a, right. And I'm going to, I'm going to give them another piece of white paper, another blog article to come back and read maybe in an maybe a pricing tool or ROI calculator that they could use some of these tools that get them back on the website, so we can track are they really interested are they digging in. And if you're really good with this, you start to bring that data in with maybe sixth sense data or other data, what their intent is, to start to measure their intent to purchase. So if you can put in intent to purchase into that string there with getting them back to your site and seeing what they're doing on the on the rest of the internet, that intent is where you really generate a high quality lead, versus just sending, you know, every contact that you may down to your sales team so they can smile and dial and hang up on 95%.
Brandi Starr 23:26
And yeah, that has been my experience as well is that you know, even though the tighter revenue is not as linear between, you know, email and the revenue, when it is more of a decision sale, I do feel like the longer the sales cycle, the more important the role of email, because you do have to stay in front of those right people, there's going to be new people in the buying committee that engaged at different points. And then I think the other thing, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on this is in thinking about all of the other efforts that we do, and the things that we do spend money on all of those drive to email, like if we are running, PPC, or we're running display, or we're doing events, like there is some component of follow up, that has to happen after that before they're ready to go to sales. And so I've always felt like companies who don't give the attention to really getting email, right, or actually reducing the impact of all the other money that they're spending on all these other things, which is where the bulk of you know, the marketing budget goes. It's like we spend all this money on this and then we kind of just let it fall flat. And so I'd love to hear some of your your thoughts and your take on that as well.
Jeffery Hassemer 24:55
Well, yeah, I mean, along those lines, you you get them to your website. You get them to raise their hand and say, This is who I am. What do you do? Do you just sit on that? Or do you get into a very strong email program, that is giving them more information about what they were looking for in the first place. And that's where I think if you if you can tie those things together and use your email for nurturing and being and again being relevant. So one thing I'm trying now to, I've never done this before, but I when getting excited about this idea is creating. So there's about six modules in our in our product that are very interesting. And depending on our sales cycle, you could be talking about one module and in any given demo, but you generally won't do it all, you know, do all six modules on one demo, right? So we're creating sales driven emails, where once they talk about that in a meeting, they can come back into Salesforce and trigger off an email that reinforces what they talked about in the meeting, as well. So those types of nurturing programs, I think, become extremely valuable in a long decision cycle. Because you're continuing educating, and again, offering value with every contact to your prospect and to your customer.
Brandi Starr 26:23
Yeah, and you hit on a really key point, which is the the last thing I really want to dig into is, this is where alignment is really important. Because where I see a lot of email nurtures fail, is where marketing puts together these great nurtures, they may be relevant and add value. And you know, all the things we've talked about that makes for good email marketing, but it is not aligned to what sales is doing, or how the sales process flows. And so there becomes this disconnect, where the email is not actually helping to drive the sales conversation forward. And the example that you just gave is, you know, I think a great one in terms of alignment of sales has done this thing. And there is this nurturer that can support based on what they've already done. And you know, having that information, you can continue the conversation, all of the things. And so any thoughts or advice on how you are, you know, building out your, you know, flexing your email muscle in a way that does have that alignment, so that you are leading directly to revenue?
Jeffery Hassemer 27:40
Yeah, I mean, you hit the nail on the head, if you're not applying to sales, and you're not, and you're not in service of them. You're offering, you know, marketing is playing over here, and sales is playing over here, right. And never, never the two shall meet. But for me, personally, I've always taken the tact of and this is kind of my leadership style to marketing is in service of sales. Right, our job is to give them make their jobs as easy as possible, because their jobs are hard, right? So if we can make their job as easy as possible, by giving them the tools and their capabilities to succeed, we win as a team. And so when I create a program like that, or where well, first of all, we're building our funnels, there is no marketing funnel and sales funnel in our world. It's all one funnel. And then when we create a program, like what I was talking about before, we did that in conjunction with sales. So what would you guys like? And if I did this, would that work for you? Would you use it? Kind of things? And then when you you know, then you can report back on? Hey, how did that work for you? And in that kind of feedback loop getting that going, you can be more much more successful than if you're trying to do that on your own. Right.
Brandi Starr 29:02
I love that. And for those listening after you finish this episode with Jeff, I encourage you to go back to Episode 38. With Amelia and Tara, where we talked a bit more about that marketing and sales alignment. I had a little bit of a battle between the two that ended up not being much of a battle. But that that's a good next one. Because yeah, I do. I do agree where I've been successful in it is having the conversation with sales and being able to ask, where is the process hard? You know, where is it that you wish your prospects had more information? You know, is it going into the demo? You wish they knew certain things coming out of the demo? You know, is it that they had the tangible things to take to the you know, procurement team or the legal team or, you know, it's like all of these different things and really hearing what are the bottlenecks and roadblocks that sales experiences because that has always been key places that you know, email and marketing in general, but especially email can lean in to support to try to, you know, ease the pain move things faster, like, you know, accelerating velocity of an opportunity is, you know, a key win for email. It's not necessarily driving revenue that wouldn't have come in, it's driving it faster.
Jeffery Hassemer 30:27
Truth, Brandy truth, yeah. 100%.
Brandi Starr 30:31
Well, awesome. Well, def, this has been like, awesome. But talking about our challenges is just the first step. And nothing changes, if nothing changes. And so in traditional therapy, the therapist gives the client some homework. But here at revenue rehab, we like to flip that on its head and ask you to give us the homework. And so I always like to make sure that our listeners walk away with that one thing, if someone is recognizing that they are missing the mark, in driving revenue, leveraging email, what is the first step? What's that one thing that they should do coming out of this conversation.
Jeffery Hassemer 31:12
So I'm gonna go back to that philosophy, I start with money flows in the direction of value, right. So if there's one takeaway from this, and this should cross all of your marketing, every time you interact with your customer, give value first. The more you give, the more you get, without a doubt. And that's true in life, by the way to the more what you put out in the world will come back to you tenfold.
Brandi Starr 31:42
And I love it. So that is our action item is to really take a close look at what you've got run in today and really be take a critical eye of Are you really giving value. And, you know, I know, just because I rewrite a lot of my clients emails that there are so many marketers, especially product marketers, where it's a lot of blah, blah, blah, my product is great. Look at this, look at that. And we feel like it's value, because that's what we want to talk about. Instantly, yeah, yes. You know, not so much. And so you know that giving value first and doing a little bit of that gut check of how well you are doing that. I love that as a next step. And that really can apply in all of your marketing efforts. And not just email. Truth. Yeah. Awesome. Well, Jeff, I have enjoyed our discussion today. But that's our time. And before we go, how can people connect with you?
Jeffery Hassemer 32:57
Well, hopefully we give our information here. Definitely on LinkedIn, I don't spend a whole lot of time on Twitter. So but you can find me on LinkedIn and Jeff Hosmer. You and that's probably the best way to get a hold of me or if you're in the CMO coffee talk. I'm always on there. I love that thing.
Brandi Starr 33:19
Yes, that's a total shameless plug for coffee talk.
Jeffery Hassemer 33:23
Shameless plug for coffee talk. It's awesome. What a great network. So you can DM me on slack in there as well.
Brandi Starr 33:30
Perfect. Yes, I've had a lot of coffee talkers on the show, including Matt Heinz, Episode 14, as well. But yeah, we will link to your LinkedIn in the show notes. So wherever you are listening, or watching this podcast, you can connect with Jeff. And in general, I never do a shameless plug for in Tegrita, because that's not what we're here for. But this is totally our wheelhouse. So I will say that if you are struggling with the inbox enlightenment, and how to make the most out of your email marketing programs, that is what we do. And I would love to talk to you regarding that you know where to find me. But, Jeff, thank you so, so much for joining me. And thank everyone for joining us today. I hope you have enjoyed my conversation with Jeff. We will see you next time. Take care.
Intro VO 34:27
You've been listening to revenue rehab with your host Brandi Starr. Your session is now over but the learning has just begun. join our mailing list and catch up on all our shows at revenue we have dot live. We're also on Twitter and Instagram at revenue rehab. This concludes this week's session. We'll see you next week.
Chief Marketing Officer
Jeff is a forward-thinking marketing executive and strategist who leads the marketing and product management teams at Adaptigent. He has over 20 years of experience helping organizations elevate their market position and reinvigorate their product development. Hassemer serves as Chief Marketing Officer at Adaptigent, a software company, where he helps companies bring their core systems to life through application integration.
Hassemer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Business Management from Ripon College, Ripon, WI. Additionally, he has earned certification in Successful Product Management and Pricing Strategies in a Competitive Environment from The Porter Institute, and Defining the Strategic Leader from The Center for Creative Leadership. Hassemer is a prominent member of the Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM).