We've all experienced how fast technology is changing. Examples are everywhere. In a recent Forbes article, Nick Morrison identified rapid technological change as the single biggest threat to global business. He explained:
The rapid rate of technological and digital advance was the biggest challenge for global business leaders according to the survey, which questioned recent graduates from the CEMS Masters in International Management program. - Forbes
We talk and write about the pace of change with technology all the time at Revenue River. We even put together a short video that discusses our collective call to action:
I've certainly seen a lot of change as a digital marketing agency. I think the best example of how rapid technological change has affected my business is with HubSpot. We became a HubSpot Agency Partner in August of 2012, almost 6 years ago to the day. Back then, HubSpot was an inbound marketing software platform. It provided agencies and organizations a tool set to manage a host of inbound marketing tactics like blogging, SEO, email, social media, and premium content. That seemed like a lot of capabilities at the time, but times have changed.
Today, HubSpot features an entire growth stack of features and capabilities. They've added dozens of additional capabilities to their software stack, including a CRM, website CMS, customer service and ticketing, chat bots, sales enablement tools, and more. They've greatly improved on their ability to deliver on inbound tactics too. They've also opened up their software other other software providers, called Connect Partners.
Each of these software providers integrates seamlessly with HubSpot, expanding the capabilities (and complexity), for businesses like yours and mine. I believe it's been their rapid development and change that has empowered my agency to grow from a small team of marketers to one of the fast growing private companies in the country.
Today I'm going to break down one of my favorite advancements in technology, Seventh Sense. I'll share some of the secrets behind how Revenue River improves email performance and share why it's such an important tool.
Seventh Sense - Taking email delivery to a whole new level
What is it?
Seventh Sense helps marketers and sales pros reach contacts more effectively. With a native integrations with with platforms like Marketo and HubSpot, it uses artificial intelligence to optimize email delivery times for lists of contacts we want to send email to. With Seventh Sense, you have the ability to gain a lot of value you may be missing currently. Let's take a deeper look at some of the additional capabilities.
Send Time Optimization:
The ability to send emails when they're most likely to be engaged with is at the heart of True send time personalization as emails are automatically delivered to every individual at their optimal engagement time.
You can avoid fatiguing your database by throttling increases deliverability. Throttling empowers you to pause campaigns, make changes, and spread load on your systems and people.
By increasing engagement with your email sends, you'll increase your reputation with major email providers, improving overall deliverability.
Remember, your customers have different needs and preferences. Automatic engagement-based segmentation allows you to easily email customers at their preferred frequency.
Seventh Sense empowers your sales and marketing teams to share data on when individuals engage with your organization. These can be valuable sales triggers you're currently missing.
This is the money-maker. The ability to optimize send times and frequency means happier customers, shortened sales cycles, and higher conversion rates. More on this below...
How does it work?
By pooling data from a contact's email engagement history, Seventh Sense refines to optimal delivery days and times. They call it send time optimization.
The term “send time optimization” or STO, has recently been used to describe many various levels of email timing optimization/personalization. - Mike Donnelly, Seventh Sense
Instead of delivering a group of emails all at once through HubSpot, the Seventh Sense integration allows for smarter delivery with its machine learning capabilities. The more history it has, the better it gets.
When we send marketing emails we set a send range of time (like an entire week), rather than a single time for delivery. The software matches each recipient on your smart list to their optimal delivery time (when they actually want to read emails). It's proven to be extremely successful at increasing open and click rates.
Why is it important?
Email fatigue is a real issue. Everyone’s inbox gets bombed, and there are certain times when we just can’t deal with any emails that aren’t mission-critical. By getting your marketing emails to your prospects when they’re most likely to enjoy the content, everyone wins.
With the pace of information and change these days, effectiveness is all the rage. Marketers are forced to fight through the noise and distraction to reach an audience that's being overwhelmed by information. We simply have to be better than the competition if we're going to win for ourselves, and for our clients. Seventh Sense is one of those tool sets that helps us win the game. It's dynamic set of capabilities helps us get our client's message through to their audience with greater frequency and engagement.
What's it look like in action?
At Revenue River we've added Seventh Sense to a lot of technology ecosystems over the last year. It's helped our team leverage email marketing for our clients. I'm a firm believer in adding the right tool sets to our skill sets and Seventh Sense has proven to be a perfect example of that methodology in action.
One example that stands out to me is long-time client ORR Protection Systems. We've been helping them promote an annual seminar series for several years. In fact, in 2017 we won a HubSpot Impact Award for growing attendance. In short, we've been dominating for them.
2018 brought the same challenges as years past. We were challenged with the need to grow an already successful campaign even further. Faced with the difficult task based on our consecutive year-over-year attendance records, we decided to add Seventh Sense to their technology stack in hopes of improving engagement with their pre-seminar email campaign. We planned to optimize the send times for their database of over 30,000 contacts with hopes of improving on our already stellar open rates of 26.36% in 2017.
Our 2018 efforts generated a 28% improvement on open rates, achieving a whopping 33.63% open rate on the entire set of promotional emails leading up to each event.
Email performance increased across the board. We used another fantastic technology we leverage for our clients, Databox, to report on overall campaign performance every month. Our most recent report found more than 4,600 more engaged contacts. We've engaged a larger chunk of their audience, increased registrations, and overall seminar attendance. Big wins all around, thanks in part to optimizing send times with Seventh Sense.
Sometimes the best results aren't the biggest numbers, especially when the numbers are already great. The ability to add significant growth to our team's previous efforts is one reason why I'm so confident in Seventh Sense.
If you want to learn more about how Seventh Sense can help your organization, please book some time to chat from the meeting link below. We'd love to help you evaluate your existing inbound efforts to see how you might be able to leverage Seventh Sense to increase your overall digital marketing performance. Or, you can always reach out to Mike Donnelly directly. If you'd like a personal introduction I'd be glad to accommodate an introduction.
I interviewed Mike on the Hot Seat recently, at Inbound 2018 in Boston. Check it out: