Q&A: Brian Giese, CEO of True Influence

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Q&A: Brian Giese, CEO of True Influence
Q&A: Brian Giese, CEO of True Influence

Brian Giese, CEO of True Influence, discusses what kinds of content works well for b-to-b emails, addresses the challenges of list churn for b-to-b marketers and talks about email deliverability at the enterprise level. Giese has held executive level positions at Harte-Hanks, I.T. Selling Worldwide and Avectra.

Direct Marketing News (DMN): What kinds of content are you seeing b-to-b markets using for emails these days?

Brian Giese (True Influence): Emails need to be educational in nature in the business market. Business buyers are very savvy. They view email as a way to learn information about a topic, so emails that educate business people work best. Content should also offer something to the recipient, be it a webinar, a white paper or an eBook. There should be a value in it. Emails should also be behaviorally targeted with relevant content that is of interest to the recipient.

DMN: What challenges do b-to-b marketers face when it comes to email delivery?           

Giese: With consumer email, you have a handful of ISPs, that marketers have to form relationships with like AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo. They establish a relationship with these ISPs and the process of getting delivered is fairly straightforward. This is not so in the b-to-b market. In the business market there are thousands of different ISPs since every business handles their email differently and many do it in-house. It is a much more complicated trail to blaze to deliver a b-to-b email than it is to deliver a b-to-c email. It helps to keep data clean.

DMN: What challenges are b-to-b marketers facing with list churn?

Giese: Email list churn is somewhere around 6% a month. If you buy a list from any of the providers, about 40% of that list will be inaccurate because mail and email addresses are always changing. Marketers shouldn't buy lists. Data is a challenge. It is never really very accurate and most marketing departments don't have great ways to manage it. We bring data in and use our systems to verify it and make sure that it is accurate.

DMN: What new trends do you expect to see in the b-to-b email space going into the new year?

Giese: I expect to see the rise of a pay-for-performance model. It just makes sense for the customer. It is easy to justify because there is no risk. Also, companies are smartly buying marketing automation products for nurturing like Eloqua or Marketo, then putting data into Salesforce.com, which seems to be a fairly good process. We'll see more of this kind of thing. It can help get leads that are interested. Just because a customer clicks on a whitepaper, it doesn't mean they are interested. It's better to follow up with a nurturing program to make sure the lead is qualified.

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