Email Marketing

Dreamforce Session Recap: Write Awesome Emails, Understand the Marketing Technology Landscape, and Rock Your Inbound and Outbound Marketing


We are on our last day here at Dreamforce and what a whirlwind it has been! From the amazing and inspiring keynotes given by Marissa Meyer and Sheryl Sandberg, to the hustle and bustle of the busy expo hall, it’s been a blast.

Dreamforce-goers have braved the elements of San Francisco, surviving a few rainy days under’s huge inflatable structure connecting Moscone North and South. Not only has there been a cab shortage in the area (forget about Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar) but there has also been a notable umbrella shortage! There have been more attendees at this year’s Dreamforce than ever before, and first-timers (made obvious by their choice of high-heels and uncomfortable shoes) have flocked from far and wide to get a taste of the tech giant’s massive conference.

Marketo’s sessions were flatteringly well-attended (sold out, in fact!) by the many marketers at Dreamforce this year. Here are some highlights from our sessions:

11 Secrets to Writing Emails that get Opened , Read, and Clicked

Tuesday kicked off with DJ Waldow, Marketo’s Email Marketing Evangelist and Andrew Kordek, Chief Strategist and Co-Founder at Trendline Interactive, to discuss email strategy and how to create email marketing campaigns that your customers can engage with.

Be Human

First up was Andrew Kordek, who asked the audience to think about the last experience they had subscribing to emails. Was it good? Was it bad? Were the emails useful? Andrew points out that as marketers, we need to put ourselves in the shoes of our buyers. Remember, your customers are people,  and as Andrew put it: “Don’t suck at your own party!” Make your emails fun, and have your own voice. Think outside the box and add some humanity and humor. And then do an audit — a deep audit of how your campaigns work when a person first interacts with them.

 Dreamforce 2013 recap Andrew Kordek

Give People a Chance to Opt-Down
DJ Waldow made another important point — you should give your customers a chance to determine their own communication preferences. Many marketers only give subscribers a choice to opt-out of email communications altogether. But what about giving them a chance to opt-down, or only receive certain types of emails?

Dreamforce 2013 recap DJ Waldow

If you give your subscribers a chance to opt-down or change their preferences, they may stick around longer. It may not always be black and white when it comes to how often someone wants to receive your emails.

Your Subject Lines Should Have C.U.R.V.E.

According to Andrew Kordek,  your email subject lines should have C.U.R.V.E — Curiosity, Urgency, Relevancy, Value, and Emotions. What does that mean?

  • Curiosity: Peak your reader’s interest and make them curious about the content inside your email.
  • Urgency: What is going to make your readers click right away?
  • Relevancy: Speak directly to you readers. This is tough because relevancy is often in the eye of the beholder, but behavioral tracking in marketing automation tools can help.
  • Emotions: People thrive on emotional connections, so draw upon your reader’s emotions to reel them in.

And as DJ Waldow put it, “Be awesome” and “Be different” in all of your email communications!

A Perspective  on the Marketing Technology Landscape: Making Sense of the Mayhem

Wednesday kicked off with a session from Marketo’s Robin Bordoli, VP of Partner Ecosystems and Strategy Alliances, and LUMA Partners’ Brian Anderson, discussing the complex marketing technology landscape.

The LUMAscape

Brian started the session with a discussion about how marketing technology has changed. He pointed out integration, personalization, and migration/automation as some of the key trends in the marketing technology space today. He then went into a deep discussion around LUMA Partners’ Marketing Technology LUMAscape. The LUMAscape outlines the landscape, so marketers can begin to understand who the available vendors are, what they do, and what differentiates them.

 Dreamforce 2013 recap marketing lumascape


The Path to Marketing Technology Zen

Next up was Robin  Bordoli, who addressed the need for marketers to understand the LUMAscape and become a bit more “zen” with how they think about marketing technology. Luckily, he had some suggestions:

  • Accept that buyers are in control: We as marketers live in a new world. Buyers are in control and we have to live with it, accept it, and react to it. As such, marketers need to look into applications that can support multi-channel relationships with customers.
  • You need to measure marketing spend by revenue impact: Marketers need to have a seat at the revenue table. By attributing marketing spend to revenue, marketing can stop being a cost center and start being a revenue generator. This can be done by searching for technology solutions that offer comprehensive metrics measurements.
  • Take an ecosystem perspective: Anyone who tells you they have the silver bullet is lying. Not one platform solves all of these problems. You must take an ecosystem perspective and look for complimentary technology solutions that work together in tandem.

Dreamforce 2013 recap Robin Bordoli

10 Ways Marketing Automation and Inbound Marketing Work Together

Rounding out the Marketo sessions were Jon Miller, VP of Marketing and Co-Founder at Marketo and Rand Fishkin, CEO and Co-Founder of Moz. Speaking to a sold out room, Jon and Ran discussed how marketing automation and inbound marketing work together to form a holistic marketing strategy.

 Dreamforce 2013 recap audience

You Need Technology That Scales
Jon Miller began the session (wearing his festive purple shoes), talking about the new multi-channeled buyer. How do you market to these new self-educating buyers? You need to execute campaigns fast, build relationships, convert prospects quickly, and measure and optimize. But how do you do that? It is very hard to scale these conversations. Jon then illustrated his point by showing  the famous I Love Lucy chocolate factory video that illustrates what happens when you can’t keep up. Today’s marketing landscape is just like that — you need to run conversations and scale, and you need technology that scales.

Dreamforce 2013 recap jon miller

Rock (and Love) Your Inbound Marketing
Next Rand Fishkin hit the stage to discuss why you need inbound marketing to reach all of these new  buyers. He defined inbound marketing as channels we as marketers earn, such as organic search, social media, and content marketing.

Dreamforce 2013 recap rand fishkin

Rand exclaims that he loves inbound marketing for three reasons:

1. Click Distribution: Rand has some truly great stats around this. According to Google, 18% of all clicks go to paid results and 82% of clicks go to organic results. So you need to be where your customers are! People are clicking on earned — inbound — search results.

Dreamforce 2013 recap tailored suits click through2. Cost of Acquisition: Simply put, inbound marketing acquires customers at less cost!

3. The Flywheel Effect: Even though it is hard to start inbound marketing and gain that large following, once you do get going it generates momentum, like a flywheel!

Use a Combination of Inbound and Outbound
Jon then concluded the session by talking about how Marketo uses marketing automation, and his marketing philosophy: that the perfect storm of marketing tactics is both inbound and outbound working together. Jon showed a snapshot of actual data from Marketo’s own programs and showed all of the different types of programs our demand generation, content, and social teams run. He discussed how content drives top-of-funnel lead generation and showed all of the different programs that content touches. Still, at Marketo we complement all of our inbound programs (like content marketing) with outbound programs. In fact, Jon reports that Marketo runs an average of 80-100 programs per month! An incredible amount of work for a team of 6.

Dreamforce 2013 recap Marketo programs

In order to scale, the teams at Marketo use our own software to clone programs. On average, it takes 7 touches to turn a lead into a sale, and Marketo uses a combination of tactics to drive those leads through the funnel.

Pre-Show for Sheryl Sandberg

Finally, on Wednesday evening Marketo CEO Phil Fernandez was asked to join Christine Nurnberger of SunGard on the big stage for the pre-show before Sheryl Sandberg’s keynote. Christine highlighted how Marketo has helped them grow and manage their marketing team, in addition to giving them the ability to report on detailed analytics that matter. In response Phil talked about how Marketo helps companies drive value and growth. Phil said that for SunGard, Marketo has become their partner and helped them to have a better understanding of how expenditures in marketing attribute to revenue.

phil keynote

And that’s a wrap! Be sure to check out yesterday’s blog  Dreamforce Day 2 Recap: Rainy with a Chance of Data Clouds. Also check in with our blog tomorrow for more Dreamforce content!