Day 1 at Inbound16 started with the same great vibe as usual. Everyone was excited to arrive, have a break from the normal day to day and network with old and new colleagues. We began with the extremely fortunate opportunity (I have many jealous Broadway fans back home) to experience in-person the amazing talent of the Hamilton star, Leslie Odom, Jr accompanied by phenomenal musicians. Leslie gave us a tease with three songs (two from Hamilton) and we quickly changed directions with no other than Gary "Vee" Vaynerchuk. This was my first time seeing Gary speak live and I hope it won't be my last. His explosive, honest and passionate personality is contagious. There were so many great key-takeaways from Gary Vee. He emphasized the importance of self-awareness not only as a person, but as a company. In order to survive, you must understand where you exist in the marketplace and where you need to go next. Always be looking for the new idea that will put you out of business. Lastly, to quote Gary Vaynerchuk, "This is the biggest golden era of not only business, but life and you need to grab it."
Day 2 - Wednesday - The Morning After
For many, it was a very sombering day. The vibe for the first time at an INBOUND conference was missing that pep, that excitement. Where I usually am holding myself back from dancing down to my seat for the first keynote speaker of the day, I didn't hear a beat. There was a giant elephant in the room and as marketers, as humans it was one that was impossible to ignore. I mean it was Huuuuge. So as best-selling author, Ta-Nehisi Coates walked to the podium, I took a deep breath and got focused for his keynote. But like many, he too felt the pain from the night before and could not pretend or hold back. That's the thing about people, we have feelings, we are not robots and Ta-Nehisi had the courage to not stay on the script. I think that's one of the important lessons businesses should take from his keynote, whether you were happy or not with the result of the election, what Ta-Nehisi Coates showed us was real vulnerability. At last years Inbound conference, Brene Brown, spoke about being vulnerable and how you open up a whole new world for yourself if you let go of fear. So for a business, don't always follow the straight and safe path, take chances, and be human.
Now, let's get to those breakout sessions!
13 Things to Stop, Start, or Keep Doing (Only Better) with Your Email
The presenter for this session was HubSpot's Tom Monaghan, Postmaster & Director of Email Engineering. Tom provided the musts, the don'ts and the pro-tips for your email marketing. Here are the highlights from his talk:
- Stop with the Tuesday email send! Live a little, try Fridays. Go crazy and try afternoons. Statistics show elevated open rates for emails sent after lunch. Even try the weekends. Saturday is the best day for engagement. Want a click? Send it on a Saturday. People spend more time in their emails on Saturday.
- There is no one size fits all email. Stop with the swift army knife emails. Pick a goal, define success (page views, replies, etc), build the email for that specific success, provide options to get to your offers (use linked text and CTA buttons).
- Use personalization, but not too much! You don't want to be creepy. Make sure you set a default value for your personalization tokens. No one wants to receive an email addressed to firstname or defaultValue. Test, test and test again to make sure you have the personalization code setup correctly.
- Putting the person's name and/or business name in the subject will increase your open rates.
- Avoid graymail!! Graymail is the new spam, except you had permission to these contacts, but they have become uninterested in your email and the likelihood of them marking you as spam increases. As these contacts become unengaged this decreases the chances of your emails landing in the Inbox.
- Suppress the unengaged. Don't give it a 10th try! Have the courage to stop emailing the unengaged and you will help increase your chance of landing in the Inbox over the Junk folder.
- Don't buy email lists! Enough said about that one.
- No NOREPLY! Send your emails from actual people. You want replies! Personalize the FROM address to receive more opens and more replies.
As you can see, Tom provided us with a lot of insight. Try these tips out, and let me know the results!
HubSpot Product Launch
My next session was the HubSpot Product Launch with, Christopher O’Donnell, VP of Product. Here is a list of just some of my new favorite HubSpot things of 2016, I think Oprah would agree:
- New FREE Marketing Software - it's LeadIn with a little boost
- New Visual Workflows
- Upgraded Mobile App for the GrowthStack (Marketing, Sales, CRM)
- Facebook Ads App! Again, HubSpot is continuing to get everything together in one place.
- Projects! You can assign tasks, use Templates for projects that were created by the HubSpot Academy Team.
- Content Strategy Tool. Helps you gather ideas for your content based on a keyword. Brillant!
- Google AMP! Now all the posts will be Accelerated Mobile Pages. BAM!
- Increased CRM functionality and newly redesigned to match the rest of the HubSpot tools.
Though it was a meloncholy type of day, in the INBOUND world there is a lot to be excited about and I can't wait to dive in to the new product enhancements and use all the marketing tips I learned from Gary Vee and Tom Monaghan. I had a lot of meetings, so I didn't get to as many sessions, so I would love to hear what you learned. If you attended, please share a favorite thing you learned or include a link to your blog post. There are so many great sessions! Can't wait to attend more!