Maximizing Email Engagement with Cynthia Price, VP of Marketing, Litmus

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When there’s a problem, the sooner you know about it, the better. And this doesn’t just relate to high-level problems. The quicker you can identify that something is an issue and rectify it, the quicker you can get to making a meaningful difference towards your end goal. This is the case for email marketing. If the subject line of your email is causing a trend towards a lower than usual click rate, you’ve got to improve that in real-time. To do this, Cynthia Price, the VP of Marketing at Litmus, focuses her attention on good content marketing. How does she do this, by analyzing and reacting to data based on real-time campaign performance? The end result is a content marketing campaign that originates from high-performing blog posts.

“Over the course of the past three months, that campaign that started as a blog post turned into a giant revolving door of great content. We’ve now done two webinars that map up to it. Sales is consistently sending updates to prospects. We hope everybody who touches that content becomes a customer, but ultimately we see the value in sort of the bigger picture of just providing something to the industry that is hard to untangle in order to figure out.” 

Untangling complex email campaigns and getting the most you can out of them is imperative in today’s marketing world. In this episode of Marketing Trends, Cynthia explains to me why email continues to prove its value in the marketing mix, how marketers can maximize its ROI, and you can turn those declining open rates into success. I’m excited for you to learn more about how to stay on the cutting edge of email. Let’s get to it!

Main Takeaways

  • Content Marketing and Thought Leadership: If you can put your mind to the task and address the new problems that no one has addressed before you can assume a role of thought leadership while focusing on some of the broader issues the industry is seeing. Don’t wait for someone else to be the leader on how to address new industry changes, industry regulations, and any unforeseen circumstances. Outline a reasonable roadmap of solutions and create an entire content campaign around it to achieve the ultimate marketing goal, giving real value to your audience. 
  • Strategic ABM Marketing: If you’re going to try to tap into the powers of ABM marketing you need to be very selective about the scope of customer you’re targeting. Use data, not feelings to make the best list of prospects. It’s okay to have lofty goals on your client prospect list, but stay focused on the size of businesses that you can best serve. You’ll both be getting the maximum benefit out of this relationship.
  • Bringing Community to the Scattered Email Marketing World: If your company can be a leading voice in your industry, that’s a big win. The way things were designed for email marketing campaigns wasn’t like the way they’re done for web pages or really anything else. The email world was a bit scattered before Litmus brought marketers together, creating community, bringing resources, and giving a definite answer to things that there was a lot of confusion around before.  


Key Quotes

“Over the course of the past three months, [this] campaign started as a blog post; it wasn’t really a campaign per se. It turned into a giant revolving door of really great content where we’ve now done two webinars that map up to it. We’ve got a big downloadable piece of content and sales is consistently sending updates to prospects. hen we can react to what’s happening in the world around us and really provide some value, we certainly hope everybody who touches that content becomes a customer, but ultimately we see the value in sort of the bigger picture of just providing something to the industry  that is hard to untangle in order to figure out.”

“One of the reasons I joined Litmus is that Litmus did a really good job over the years before I was here of being a leader in the space and being a voice. Email marketing is such a complicated, weird world to live in because the people who are designing emails know this inside and out, but mail designed for email is different than designed for the web. It’s somewhat archaic. There are over a hundred email clients that they’re trying to design for. There’s just all this confusion. Litmus had done a really good job over the years of finding a place for that community to gather together both virtually and in live events, finding resources for them that really speak to things; there wasn’t a definitive answer on a lot of these things out there and let us sort of help ‘uncloud’ some of the murkiness there.”

“We went back to the drawing board and let the data inform who should be on that list [of prospects]. You look at your close one report from the last year, and we’re only going after those industries. We’re only going after those size companies. Start really small, as small as ABM will allow you to go and then build from there and, and still have some of those wishlist customers on the list, but the bulk of the list needs to be informed by data.” 

“We made the critical mistake of 1.) doing a lot of building before we tested anything out and 2.) we didn’t put a solid marketing plan together for it, nor did we have a plan to iterate for it. We wanted it to have a bigger impact on marketers than it did. And I think part of it was that it was, it was fun. It was quirky, but it probably wasn’t providing a value on the back end for them to share it with their friends and, and think about it in a bigger way …Also, we didn’t really have a plan B.“

“We just put out an email engagement report that looks on the backend of everything.  It looks like open rates. We always say, don’t take this and everybody sends an email at 8:00 AM in the US because then it breaks [down]. [There’s] interesting trends where, first thing in the morning is the best time in the US for open rates, whereas 3:00 PM is the best time in the UK. That’s just behavioral information about people. I think as we get further and further down this A.I. path, depending on what third party data does or doesn’t allow us to do, we’re going to get a lot smarter about those kinds of things as well.”


Cynthia Price is the VP of Marketing at Litmus. Her team grows and supports the Litmus and email community through content marketing, demand generation, and events. She has been in the email marketing industry for over 10 years, previously as VP of marketing at Emma, an email service provider. She has a passion for authentic communications and the power of email at the heart of the marketing mix.

Marketing Trends podcast is brought to you by Salesforce. Discover marketing built on the world’s number one CRM: Salesforce. Put your customer at the center of every interaction. Automate engagement with each customer. And build your marketing strategy around the entire customer journey. Salesforce. We bring marketing and engagement together. Learn more at salesforce.com/marketing.


Episode 265