How To Talk To Prospects At Every Stage Of The Marketing Funnel

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TOFU, MOFU, BOFU: How To Talk To Prospects At Every Stage Of The Marketing Funnel With Emma Tupa From CoSchedule [AMP 109]

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A funnel is a way to visualize your prospects’ journey through the marketing and sales process. Figure out where in the funnel they are at – from the unaware to the purchase stage. So, it’s time to put fun back into that funnel!

Today, we’re talking to Emma Tupa, CoSchedule’s marketing automation strategist. She shares how to create personas, find a voice, breakdown funnel stages, and change communication tactics.

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By CoSchedule
AMP109: TOFU, MOFU, BOFU: How To Talk To Prospects At Every Stage Of The Marketing Funnel With Emma Tupa From CoSchedule
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Some of the highlights of the show include:

  • Marketers, do you know who you’re talking to?
  • Create buyer personas – collection of prospect characteristics based on research
  • Ways to create buyer personas depending on the stage of your business
  • Research and information lets you pinpoint your ideal customers and target them with specific messaging
  • Find your tone and voice to input personality into copy and effectively communicate in the customers’ language
  • Top of the Funnel or TOFU: Prospects in unaware or pain aware stage; use interesting and informational, but not intense content, to soft sell
  • Middle of Funnel or MOFU: Prospects in the solution aware to product aware stages; content connects dots between the pain and the best solution for it
  • Bottom of the Funnel or BOFU: Prospect are potentially purchase ready and in the most aware stage; content is geared to converting through calls to action
  • Marketing is a science; involves reacting and re-engaging with prospects to get them down the funnel
  • Differences between marketing and sales materials, including emails

If you liked today’s show, please subscribe on iTunes to The Actionable Content Marketing Podcast! The podcast is also available on SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Google Play.

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Transcript:

Eric: It’s time to put fun back into the marketing funnel—that is the topic for this episode of the Actionable Marketing Podcast. Whether or not you still think the funnel is the right analogy, there are some saying now, “It’s too antiquated or too simplistic.” I, for one, still think the funnel is a perfect way to visualize how your prospects are going through the entire marketing and sales process—from on unaware all the way through purchase.

How we can make this fun is, as marketers, we need to understand where our prospects are at during each of those stages. We can start to play with the copy we use. We can play with the calls to action that we have so that we can better help that funnel, as much as we can, so we can slide them down, then move very quickly through that funnel to final purchase.

Our guest is Emma Tupa. She is CoSchedule’s Marketing Automation Strategist, and she’s going to lay it all up for us. How we create personas. How we find our voice. How we choose the way in which we should break down each of those stages and then change our communication tactics for each of them. It’s going to be a fun one. My name is Eric Piela. I am the host and Brand and Buzz Manager here at CoSchedule. I can’t wait to jump into today’s episode. Alright, let’s get amped.

Alright. Welcome, everyone. I’m so excited to introduce our guest for this week’s podcast Emma Tupa, welcome.

Emma: Hey, thanks for having me. It’s exciting to be here. It’s been a while.

Eric: I am excited to have you back. Yes, you have been a previous guest about a year plus ago?

Emma: Yeah, a year plus. When we were back at our first office for CoSchedule. It’s been a long time, and now I’m in a new office. It’s totally a new experience.

Eric: Yeah, this’ll be good. I’m so excited you’re on the show. In addition to us both being fans of dad pop, boy bands, you’re also wicked smart when it comes to the marketing funnel and copy creation. I’m excited to have you on the show again.

Emma: Yeah, perfect. It’s fun.  For those of you who don’t know what dad pop is, it’s where it’s literally boy bands and Bruno Mars and a little bit of Maroon 5. It’s just that nice pop sort of like move-your-head kind of beat.

Eric: Yeah. We do share the strange affinity for it.

Emma: Yes, we do.

Eric: If you could, I would love for you to just introduce, maybe again, yourself to our listeners. Let them know sort of your journey here at CoSchedule. You’ve been lucky enough to have a couple of different positions and what are you doing right now here?

Emma: I actually moved here from Jacksonville, Florida about two years ago now. It feels like time flies. I moved here because of my husband’s job, and I was lucky enough to find CoSchedule here in Fargo which is so amazing. My first position here was actually as a product marketing specialist, and that was really a lot of the marketing and copy around the new features we would launch.

It was a really busy time, and we were launching tons of features. It was super fun and then recently this past, I guess, what is it fall, I just changed position to a marketing automation strategist. My primary focus now is still on the copy piece, but it’s less about promoting different features as it is automating customer journeys and prospect journeys as they move down the funnel.

Eric: What a cool mix I think of talents undertaking that. They understand conversion copy and now really focus it on the marketing funnel and the different stages of where these prospects are at. That’s really the crux of our show today, is really figuring it out our listeners, to understand as they start to capture these prospects and talk to them in unique ways.

But before I dive too deep, I want to start and kind of pull back a little bit from a 10,000-foot view and I think before we dive into the funnel, I think it’s important for everyone to first like, we make these assumptions as marketers that we think we know who we’re talking to. What have you done to get inside of our prospects to really figure out what they’re looking for, who are they? What are some of the things that we’ve done here at CoSchedule that you’ve done to really make sure we’re thinking about our prospects in the right frame of mind?

Emma: When I was on the product marketing team here at CoSchedule, we really focused a lot on creating these buyer personas. That’s really the key, creating your buyer personas, and they’re crucial to figuring out who you’re actually, talking to. For those of you that might not know, a buyer persona is really just a collection of characteristics based on a lot of research of these prospects and figuring out who they are as people, so that way you can kind of target your messaging so that it resonates.

So there are a few ways to do this depending on where you’re at in terms of your business, or your company, or what’s going on, what’s happening with your life right now. But if you already have a customer base, let’s say you’re a little more well-established, you can literally do this by researching their businesses like, “What are your prospects selling, how big are they, where are they located?” You can research your persona’s social profile.

Once you identified your customer base, you can kind of creep them, honestly. It’s a little creepy. You figure out what they like or don’t like, what are they interested in, what are their hobbies, then figure out why they bought your product. With our customer base, we do customer stories, and we ask them, “Why CoSchedule? Why did you pick us? Were there any other tools you were considering?” and you really get to know why they love your product so much. You learn a ton by doing that.

If you don’t have a customer base, let’s say you’re just starting out, or you haven’t been able to have surveys, you’re kind of just trying to figure out how you would even begin to create this sort of buyer persona, research your competitors. Research your competitors’ customers and check out reviews on their website. If you’re a SaaS company, G2 crowd is a great resource because it outlines why the customer chose it, things they wish could be better, etc.

You can really figure it out without having to really have a customer base quite yet, it’s still early, but you’re trying to figure it out, so that’s a great resource. And then once you have all that information, whether you have a customer base or not, you can really start to pinpoint your ideal customers, and then start targeting them with specific messaging. It’s also great for ads. I know our inbound marketer really appreciates that we know so much.

Eric: Well, I love that you laid that out. Depending on our listeners who are maybe well-established, and then for those of them that are just starting out, and looking to grow, that’s great insight. I have to laugh. I love our persona. You’ve done some research, and our product market team did some research, and you guys get super granular. I know some of our staff, they have a side hustle, they have a cat, they have multiple pets. You really get to know and do some serious creeping which is fantastic.

Emma: What’s really cool about that too is, let’s say, there’s something going on in the world, and you’re writing about it in an email or a newsletter, you know what’s going to resonate or not. It’s like, Taylor Swift and her cats actually has a pretty good resonating thing. Talking about those side hustles, exactly, we know that a lot of our marketers are just rock stars, and they have side hustles, so you just mention it in a copy. It really resonates with people.

Eric: Yeah, that’s so smart. That’s actually a perfect segue into my next question because again, I think we’re not quite ready for funnel conversation because again, I still think we’re positioning sort of who we’re talking to, you talked about Taylor Swift and cats and stuff, and that really comes down to kind of what’s your tone.

I know at CoSchedule we have our super cazh tone. I know we’ve actually mixed in a couple of occasional 4-letter words. We’re kind of brazen like that. I’m sure you will probably say this, but it may not be for everyone. What’s your advice for companies that are looking to find maybe what their voice should be or how they should be starting to input that personality into their copy?

Emma: For sure. This totally goes back to that buyer persona. When you really understand your customer, you also understand how to communicate with them. Let’s say, your ideal customer is like—for CoSchedule—are marketers with a knack for words, and they enjoy being entertained a little. Like CoSchedule, they’re marketers, they want to be marketed to. You have a lot more leeway than if you’re selling to a different more formal audience.

I used to work for a rather large global bank in Jacksonville, Florida. I was doing their internal messaging, and we just did not use those 4-letter words even to emphasize a point. There was definitely a very distinct difference in how the tone of the copy was. I would say another great resource if you’re trying to figure out the tone, go back to those reviews, go back to how your customer interviews, and see what they’re saying. You can really pick up on the intricacies of the language they’re using, then you can use that in your copy, and then you’re immediately going to resonate with the customers because you’re literally, talking the same sort of way that they would talk.

Eric: That’s great advice. I think it’s almost the first step: understand your audience, do your research, create your personas, and then voila. Once you really understand them that will give you a lot of insight into how you should be speaking to them. You bring up a good point. I actually had Whitney on the show who does a lot of our case studies here at CoSchedule, and she talked a lot about capturing that voice. I love how you kind of close that loop with not only can you learn a lot from them, but it’s really smart to think of the way that they think and use the words that they use.

Now, when you’re creating your copy, and you’re talking to them throughout the prospecting, and in funnel, you start using the words and the personality that they’re typically using, as well. Really smart. Thanks for that. Since we got those things nailed down, just for time purposes, let’s actually start the top of the funnel–the widest point of the funnel. We love to call it TOFU around here, top of the funnel. I know we break this down into stages of awareness. At this point, where are they at in this journey, and how should then we tailor the way we write way at the top of that funnel, whether they’re maybe unaware or maybe they’re pain-aware, right?

Emma: Top of the funnel, they’re typically going to be at that unaware or pain-aware phase or stage—I guess stage is probably a better way to say it. These unaware prospects, they haven’t identified a pain or solution. If they’ve stumbled on CoSchedule, they might have come across a link to our blog, or website within a piece of content they were already reading or someone they followed shared something that piqued their curiosity, and then they randomly just hopped in on our site.

Typically, what this unaware prospect type of content that we do create is something that’s pretty interesting, but also isn’t super intense. It doesn’t go into detail about CoSchedule because honestly, these prospects don’t know you, they don’t know what they want or need at this point so bringing it up isn’t going to be in your best interest. It’s kind of like when you meet someone for the first time you want to be interesting enough but not tell your entire life story.

Eric: Right.

Emma: An example of content would be, we did a Red Bull marketing strategy where we did a deep dive into what they use to market to their customers. We’ve also done a similar one with Starbucks, and that one is really popular because it’s literally like this light reading. They’re like, “Oh, this is written by CoSchedule.” and then we might have like a CTA like, “Check out CoSchedule.” or, “Read more.”

Typically, here we’ll also have some sort of, “Hey, you should sign up for our newsletter.” That’s really what the unaware prospect is thinking, and the content for them is again, sort of that light reading. Also, at the top of the funnel or near the top are your pain-aware prospects. These are people who feel some pain. For example, with CoSchedule, they’re probably like, “I’m so disorganized,” but they don’t know a solution. They’ve identified this issue or challenge with their existing process, and again, this really goes back to understanding your buyer persona, and they’re looking for information like online, they’re trying to figure out what’s going, they’re frustrated with their current state, they’re looking for tips, strategies, and self-help.

This content that we create for them is really going to revolve around connecting the dots between a pain they’re experiencing and a solution that CoSchedule provides. It’s a little more specific. We do talk about CoSchedule, and the major goal of this content, like unaware, is to gather those email addresses and build our email list so we can nurture them through some various strategic email journeys. An example of content we created for a pain aware prospect is, “How to build the best social media promotion schedule for your content.”

These pain-aware people probably are like, “Ugh, I just don’t know how to share my social media.” and then we do this how-to blog post that shows them how to do it, and then we tend to slip in, “…and you can schedule in CoSchedule.” It’s really sort of the soft sell. I would say the top of the funnel is like the soft sell relationship building phase, where you don’t want to be super sales-y at this point because it doesn’t actually make sense, but you are still selling, it’s just quite a lot softer.

Eric: I love the analogy of when you’re meeting someone for the first time, you’re on that first date, and you’re spilling your guts, like way oversharing. They say, “It’s better to listen and ask more questions.” I think this is so hard for marketers because we get so excited about our value props, and our talking points, and our features. It’s like “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Slow your roll.” This is the part where we do a lot of listening, and we are, it’s really soft selling, and we’re naturally guiding them down, and we ask some questions, we get to know them a little bit more, we figure out what they’re looking at, what their pain points are. That’s good.

It’s harder for us. It’s hard I think sometimes.

Emma: Yeah, like you said, we really want to share these value statements, “We know how to solve your problem. Let us do it.” You can get really excited. But it is that relationship development which I like to think of the marketing funnel as just this slow build to a strong friendship near the bottom of the funnel, where you’re just meeting someone for the first time and then you have this rock-solid friendship at the bottom. Knowing that and keeping that in mind is just making sure that, again, you’re not oversharing and going into information overload, TMI, too early, and then waiting for that content lower in the funnel.

It almost feels like when you’re writing this content, you’re like, “What’s the point of this content? I’m not even talking about CoSchedule.” like you said, Eric. It’s really worth it, and actually, it can be pretty fun if you find the right topics.

Eric: We interrupt this podcast with an important call to action for you. First of all, if you’re loving this conversation on the marketing funnel with Emma Tupa, we have a great resource on our CoSchedule blog, the title of it is called, “How to map content to the marketing funnel and boost conversions by 69.77%.” it is a phenomenal deep dive into how to really create content for the funnel. I encourage you to take a look at that. Secondly, if you’re loving this podcast, if you love AMP, please do a rating and review on iTunes, take a little screenshot, and if you could just email me that at podcast@coschedule.com and I will hook you up with a CoSchedule swag pack. It’s going to be great. Alright, enough about that. Let’s get back to the interview.

Moving down the funnel, we’re at MOFU or the middle of the funnel. At this point, I think we’ve identified them as solution-aware and product-aware. Now, that we’ve made an introduction and we’ve maybe built a light relationship with them, how does this affect our copy in the way in which we communicate with our prospects at this point?

Emma: These middle of the funnel prospects are going to be around the solution-aware to the product aware stages. These solution-aware prospects kind of like they’re aware that solutions exist. They feel specific pain, and they’re discovering that there’s all these different options, these solutions to solve this pain. They’re actively seeking them, they’ve found them, they know that there are tools out there designed to help them solve any of these problems that they’re experiencing.

The content for solution-aware is really about connecting the dots between that pain, the solution to the problem, and suggesting throughout pretty much the entire piece of content or email that, “CoSchedule provides the best solution to that pain.” It’s kind of disguised. Usually, it’s like a self-help blog post or self-help something when it’s really one of the more heavy-handed sales pieces because we’re really talking about CoSchedule.

An example of CoSchedule content would be, “How to plan a marketing calendar that actually works.” It’s definitely a problem that we’re able to solve, we’re offering them a solution, but then throughout the content, we’re like, “Hey, you could use CoSchedule.” That’s really like the solution-aware, they’re very aware of all the solutions out there, and we’re moving into more of that hard sell.

Eric: Sure.

Emma: Which kind of leads me to product-aware, so they are learning that CoSchedule is the solution to the pain. They’re like, “Oh, they’ve connected the dots.” They’re like, “Oh, CoSchedule is totally an option that would work for me.” They’re looking at other tools. They’re actually trying to make up the best purchase decision, and they may not know that CoSchedule is the best solution.

The role of the content in the product-aware stage is to teach them that, “CoSchedule is better than any other options out there.” They know it’s a solution, they know it’s probably going to work, but is it the best? We really are trying to let them know that we are because we really believe it too especially with this other marketing tools out there. We believe we’re the best ones. We’re really trying to show our prospects that we are the best solution for them.

An example of how we would maybe write this as a blog post is we do a blog post on, “What is the best social media scheduling on the market?” And we would say, “CoSchedule.”  We do a comparison against the other ones. We’re offering them up information on other tools that exist. But also definitely, positioning ourselves because we do believe that, “CoSchedule is the best one plus you can do all these other things.”

This middle of the funnel is pretty crucial because it’s connecting the dots between, “This prospect just visited CoSchedule,” and, “Now, they’re kind of actively searching.” but now they’re really getting hot in terms of, “Okay, no, they actually could really start considering CoSchedule as their solution.” It’s a pretty important phase because it helps them get to the bottom of the funnel which is the most exciting part.

Eric: I would agree, this is super crucial. You’re connecting those dots to perhaps a random search for a resource, now they’re on your site, they’ve taken maybe some action, but now we need to convince that random visitor into like, “Hey, by the way, we actually have some things that are going to help you do these things and execute on some of these things.” I think there is a lot of tact in doing so. Are you changing the tone at all, Emma, when you’re writing this way or are we still pretty playful? Have we gotten more serious? We cleverly say, “Oh, hey. By the way, are you looking for how to plan a marketing that actually works?” How do you do that?

Emma: I would say we’re still pretty playful. We’re still selling to our buyer persona. We’re still selling to those different tiers of our customers in the way that relates most of them. I would just say, what we’re choosing to share is really what’s different. It’s a little bit more serious if you think of it that because we’re choosing to share more about the details about CoSchedule, versus keeping it a little bit fluffier. By fluffier, I don’t mean stuff that doesn’t relate to what we’re talking about—lighter.

Eric: Sounds delicious.

Emma: It does, it’s so good. But yeah, it’s definitely, still the same thing, but it’s the same tone, it’s just different. What we’re sharing is a little bit different.

Eric: Sure. That makes sense. Which leads us all the way down to BOFU–the bottom of the funnel. We’ve nurtured this relationship. They’re most aware. They’re potentially purchase-ready. They may be in a trial or demo if that’s what your business model looks like, it does for us. We’ve put all this investment into moving them down. Where do we hit them? Do we hit them with some hard-hitting stuff now or what’s that final piece?

Emma: Yeah, so this is my favorite stage of the funnel because these prospects are really ready to buy, they’re really deciding that CoSchedule is the best solution to their pain, this is what we call the most aware prospect, and they’re deciding which kind of plan fits them best. We have different tiers of pricing, and they’re trying to figure out how it’s going to work in their budget, in their workflow.

The majority of this content is geared towards converting readers into signing up for a trial or requesting a demo. We’re really heavy on the calls to action, the calls to value—which we’ll get to in a little bit—but we want them to get in the app and really start experiencing it, at this point, whether it’s a content piece that might move them to something like this would be like, “From spreadsheets to CoSchedule: How to make the transition successfully.”

We really want them to get in the app. When they are in the app, or they’re in a trial, or they requested a demo, we’d call these purchase-ready prospects—which is like a sub-level of almost most-aware in my opinion— they’re currently testing it out, they’re really trying to figure it out. This content, when they’re in this purchase-ready phase, the CTAs are really geared towards getting them inside CoSchedule using the app and giving them more reasons to fall in love with the product. It’s heavy CTA content.

The emails here is really where they’re winning. It’s no longer really these blog posts, it’s emails because they’re in our journeys, they’ve signed up for our emails. We know what they’ve been doing in our app because we have a tool like an autopilot that really shows, “Oh, this is their journey before they buy.” Our goal actually in the marketing automation team when they’re in this phase is to increase the number of sessions they have in our app. Because we’ve seen that the more sessions they have in a certain given of time, the more likely they are to buy.

An example of an email might be all about, “Connecting your social profiles,” which is still sort of like that value statement but inside it’s like, “Get back in the app. Go check it out. Get organized. Start saving time.” We have seen that when they’re using the app and they’re doing it enough in a certain amount of time, it really does indicate purchase.

Eric: I love it that we’re so transparent on this podcast. It’s like, “Marketing Automation Strategist Emma Tupa tells all.” I hope our listeners appreciate just kind of the candidness in how you really have thought through every stage of the funnel, and the different types of resources we’re offering, the type of content we’re providing. I think sometimes, it’s easy to glaze over that, but I think if you’re methodical about that, it really helps them much more of a natural organic experience than just hitting them with the buyer stuff, which I think doesn’t work.

You brought up a good point. We talked about autopilot. We talked about kind of these journeys and how we’re dripping out communications through email. I think we also have to have the reality that, “Look, it’s not always an actual funnel.” It’s not always so linear and buttoned up, and people jump in, they take different actions. How do you keep an eye on that? What indicators are you looking for? This may sound bizarre, but are there actually reasons or occasions that you might actually, try to move them back up the funnel, or re-educate them like, “Hey, have you thought about this?” How do you handle that in those situations?

Emma: Right, throughout our funnel that we’ve set up and I’m thinking of this specific for one of the tiers because one of the tiers just worked on. We’re looking at conversions. Conversions to us are, if a prospect is moving down the funnel, we consider that a conversion from stage to stage. Not just to become a customer. So for instance a conversion like the solution stage is both of our prospect’s move, like if they move lower in the funnel end if they started trial not just if they started trial.

Really, the goal is to move them lower in the funnel because if it does happen too quickly, it is sometimes concerning. Because you’re like, “Okay, did they get enough information? How did they get on the sign-up page? How do we make sure the copy in the blog post that they’re visiting or that the emails they’re getting now are still relevant?” Sometimes what happens, like you mentioned, a prospect moves down the funnel a little too quickly, and that can end up in a lack of conversion because they just weren’t ready. They didn’t have enough information to make the right purchase decision.

When this happens, we can see it because they’re not opening emails, they’re not clicking their emails. We can figure out that we want to move them back to a certain stage in the funnel and engage them in a more relevant journey to move them back down, hoping that getting them to re-engage with the content higher up in the funnel, where it might actually resonate more will spark something, and then they do end up moving back down the funnel.

I almost wanted to say earlier that marketing sometimes, I feel like in a way, gets a bad rap because people just think, “We’re all just like creative writers and designers.” but it’s really pretty scientific because you have all the state at your fingertips now. I mean, it’s 2018. You have all this data that you’re able to look at, and you’re able to predict these buyer decisions. If you’re using that, it’s actually pretty scientific. It’s just that people are people and you can’t ever quite get it down to an exact science. But learning how to react in these different situations, and trying to think through and problem solve how you can get them back down the funnel or re-engage them, is really the fun part because it allows you to think strategically, and then you get to implement these cool new tasks in your in your funnel.

Eric: It’s so funny you said that. In my last episode, I had Talia Wolfe, and we actually, talked about how the modern marketers is like this part-artist and part-scientist just because there’s so much creativity, but also so much research analytics. When I’m hearing you talking, I can definitely see how much we look at activity, and we have the right tools in place, and we can kind of analyze and see, “Okay, is this working or not working? Let’s tweak. Let’s test. Let’s bring them back up. How are they interacting with their tool?”

Again, I think if you’re a listener, it’s figuring out what are going to be those gauges, what’s your measuring stick going to be for you to see if this is resonating or not, are they taking the right actions, are they doing the right things and you have to have sometimes technology in place to be able to track those, so great commentary there.

You brought up this blend of marketers and then we talked about if you feel like we’re selling. I got to bring this up because we have a sales team at CoSchedule too, and they’re communicating with prospects, and then marketing might be communicating with prospects depending at where they are at in the funnel. I guess maybe the question is, is it okay if they’re talking to prospects simultaneously? Should the sales copy maybe feel a little different than the marketing copy? How’s that shake out at least at CoSchedule?

Emma: We’re actually working on this right now. Sales copy, the key to actually looking and sounding like a salesperson is what makes it a sales email. The emails are cordial, they’re short, and to the point, they’re plain text. It really needs to feel like a real person wrote it. Let me caveat. Usually, a real person did write it with these sales emails because they are communicating with them, but sometimes, if you were to visit a demo page or something like that, it might be an automatic message that perhaps a marketer wrote named Emma.

It’s really supposed to sound like, “Hey, thanks for scheduling a call. We’ll be in touch soon.” something like that. Then that really should look like a real person wrote it because that’s literally the handoff between the website and sales team. But you want it to feel fluid, so making sure that it looks like it is and really making you feel like it is, is important. Which means, with marketing emails, you want those to look and feel like marketing emails too. Especially like CoSchedule, we’re selling to marketers, so it’s got to be clean.

You really could argue for both plain text, and a well-designed email with marketing, it really depends on the stage. If you know a prospect which is kind of what you’re saying like, “What if it’s happening at the same time?” the key here is, if they are receiving communications from a salesperson, they’re signing up for demos, they definitely have like these plain text emails showing up in their inbox, maybe do designed emails at this point.

If you know they’re low enough in the funnel, “Let’s do these designed emails.” that way they really look different, so it’s not confusing. Because otherwise, I think if you think you’re talking to Emma, and you’re also talking to Chris, but that looks the same—one is a marketer, and one is a salesperson—that can be a little bit confusing in your experience.

I also think another way to make sure you’re differentiating those emails is making sure your CTAs or as we like to think around here, calls to value, are clear and they’re inciting the right type of action. Whereas again, one you know is a marketing email and one you know is a sales email. I think they can take place simultaneously. Be smart about it. Then knowing what stage they’re in is really important too. I, personally, love plain text for marketing emails when they’re higher in the funnel.

When we are in the product marketing team a lot of our emails are also plain text because we’re real people too, we are talking to you. We are trying to talk to you about CoSchedule, the new features, or trying to get you to try things. I’m a pretty big advocate for plain text actually. But I think in certain instances, like when you’re receiving sales emails at the same time, the designed emails might be a good way to go.

Eric: One thing, maybe to end with, you’ve obviously put tons of thought into this, and one question I try to ask all of my guests if I happen to remember because I can be flighty sometimes, but who is your inspiration? Who is your biggest marketing crush? Where do you feel like you have gleaned most of the information—besides Emma Tupa, which is a great resource—who else can folks go to learn more about this process?

Emma: Totally, Joanna Wiebe. She is my marketing brain crush for sure. One time I think I saw her in one of my docs because we partnered with her on a webinar. I basically, texted everyone. I was like, “I think Joanna Wiebe is in my doc.” She’s just so talented. Her writing is just major goals, her blog posts, her courses, her books–I’ve read them all. I did her 10X Copy Hackers courses, read her books, they just taught me so much about copywriting as I know it today. I owe a lot to her for my own writing abilities and thinking through especially these stage of awareness. I just learned so much.

One time she actually even edited a little bit of my landing page copy, a CTA for a webinar we did, and honestly, she was right. I was like, “Wow, I can’t believe I just got a live demo.” But yes, check out her stuff on Copy Hackers. There’s tons of great, useful, and actionable blog posts on there where you just learn so much, and you’re able to apply a lot of it right away, and she keeps it real. I really appreciate her. I think she’s awesome..

I will also say Kathryn Nyhus, our product marketing manager. She hired me, and she taught me so much too. I think she’s been featured in a couple of blog posts and stuff before. She’s super smart, and her writing is really good. I’ve learned a lot from her too.

Eric: Awesome. Two great people to follow and look up more. I definitely appreciate you sharing some of that. Emma, thank you again. My goodness, I knew you were to be a great guest, but you totally crushed it.

Emma: Thanks.

Eric: For our listeners out there, make sure you check out some dad pop, some boy bands, you’d really appreciate it. We should get a Facebook group going or something where we can support conversations about—maybe another podcast, maybe I could just do a side hustle podcast called “Dad pop.”

Emma: Right, if you’re ever looking to just make your day, had a long day, it’s like 3 o’clock, just turn on some N’SYNC, some Backstreet boys, anything like that. It’s a guaranteed mood lifter.

Eric: It is indeed. Thank you so much Emma. You’ve been a fantastic guest. I guess I’ll probably see you in five minutes.

Emma: Yes, perfect. Thank you. Thanks for having me.

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