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Tracy Sestili- Head of Marketing at SparkPost

SparkPost is the world's number #1 email sender and delivers over 37% of the world's B2C emails

Tracy Sestili.jpg

Tracy is an experienced award-winning marketer where performance marketing, online advertising, and social media are her passion. What sets her apart from other marketers is her seasoned background in business/service/sales operations, social media marketing, content marketing, SEO, SEM, online advertising (paid social & paid search), brand awareness, and demand generation.


Show notes

Part 1

Tracy’s Background (02:06) 

I’m one of those people that jumped from the dark side of IT and Business Operations into Marketing. 

Spark Post (02:44) 

Spark Post is a cloud service that was built on our proprietary on-prem software. We have been in business for over 10 years and we have some of the world’s largest senders. 

For companies and enterprises that send a lot of emails, we send on their behalf and those sends go to the ISP and then the ISP determines in which mailbox to put that in.

Email As a Marketing Channel (08:05) 

On average, a business person gets about 120 emails per day. The first starter is that email needs to get delivered to the inbox and it needs to catch the attention of the receiver. Email is also important because it has one of the highest ROI.

The Types of Emails (10:00) 

There are other marketing emails besides just newsletters, like webinars or event promotions. 

Also, besides marketers, there are other people in the organization that send emails. Things like new product releases, product training emails, password resets, account activations etc. 

Emails need to be personalized, helpful, and relevant.

Part 2

Writing Email Copy (02:34) 

There are a couple of things you need to look at. The first one is standardization - putting the name in the subject line and in the body of the copy. 

When you're sending an email you have to ask yourself what is the recipient's responsibility? What types of problems are they trying to solve? The next step is tailoring the content that you’re sending to them to help them do their job better. 

The Amount of Content You’re Sending (05:43) 

I think that people tend to do a lot of skimming these days because we are in the content overload society. People tend to check the highlights, so if you have numbers or bullet points it makes the copy more concise. 

How To Keep People Interested In Your Newsletter (07:51) 

First, you have to figure out the frequency.  Each recipient is going to have different thresholds. 

If you’re just launching a newsletter for the first time, you’re probably going to use the industry best practices. You can send the newsletter on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday for example, earlier in the morning or at the end of the day. 

Once you start sending the newsletter, you will start to build the data on those recipients. 

Best Practices In Terms of Optimization (10:47) 

If you’re including links in the email, you should send the full link instead of a link shortener as it could be flagged as spam. 

When it comes to email titles, you shouldn’t use the caps on. Many marketing automation tools talk about how email titles should have less than 50 characters but we are finding that this changed over the years. These days you can even put emojis or anything else that could help you stand out. 

Email Signatures (18:06) 

There are companies that allow you to put an image in the bottom of your email signature which helps with conversion. Personally, I hardly ever click on the banners at the bottom of the emails. 

I would usually type it in Google and see where I’m going to land. 

Also, mobile design is incredibly important, especially when it comes to email because most people are reading their email on the go.


Part 3

Breaking Through The Noise (02:16) 

To break through the noise, you first have to do personal segmentation. Making sure you have the right people in the right buckets and giving them what they want on a personalization and content basis. The reputation of your IP is also very important. 

The bottom line is you really want to only send email to the people that want to read your email.

You can actually be more effective by sending less email but to a more targeted audience. 

Building Up The Reputation With The ISPs (04:25) 

You have to work with deliverability experts. If your company has one they can gradually build up the warm-up period. 

Improving Email Deliverability (10:34) 

Make sure that the people opted in. Security is an important element and it adds to the deliverability and whether or not your message will be received. 

Another good practice is to separate your email streams onto different IPS. 

Part 4

Email As a Marketing Channel At SparkPost (02:24) 

Email is our most important marketing channel with a super high ROI. We use it for onboarding, customer nurtures, usage reports, special outreach etc. 

Our prospect nurture is broken up by where they are in the buyer's journey.

Marketing Mix (06:28) 

We use email as part of a multitouch integrated campaigns. From a multitouch perspective, email complements a lot of the other channels. It takes between 13-16 touches before you can get a prospect to convert and all of those touch points complement each other.

Evaluating Email (06:39) 

If you are doing traditional marketing, it is going to be scored in your marketing automation system and usually by points. If you are doing an account based marketing campaign it is usually scored by engagement minutes. 

Personalization And Outreach (13:11) 

We do some standard things like putting the name in the subject line. If we know what you do for a living, we will only send you content that is relevant. 

The maximum limit of marketing emails we send per week is 3. 


Part 5

The Future of Email (02:22)

As technology advances, email is becoming more personalized for people. We use AI these days to help marketers plan their campaigns. It is also used as a unique identifier to engage with many brands.

Email gives users a lot more control because they can unsubscribe at any time so I don’t see it dying anytime in the near future.

We are in a society where people have rules and boundaries.

The adoption of the AI machine learning is going to be a bit slow, but it will come. There's just a lot of complexity on implementing it.

Voice search technologies could be a potential game-changer for email.

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