What I learned in 2 years of Websites Are Us – WAU
Do you want to learn from the experience of our Email Marketing specialist? So, be sure to read to the end so you don’t miss anything!
You may even have seen my name appear a few times on the blog Saia do Lugar, here in Content Marketing or even in your email inbox. But no one imagines my trajectory in Websites Are Us marketing.
I have been part of this incredible team for a little over 2 years and since then a lot has changed, and there is no way to talk about change and learning without telling a story, right? That’s why I decided to write this article telling the 11 biggest lessons I had in my career (so far) here at Growth.
Ps: (I swear this post will get more interesting, but before that, I need to share a timeline of the facts).
The beginning of the acquisition era: Get out of the place, Letícia!
In July 2016 I started being part of the Websites Are Us family and the best marketing team in the world. I joined as an intern to take care of a very important project for the company: the blog Saia do Lugar!
Saia do Lugar is an entrepreneurship blog that was part of our small business acquisition strategy. At the beginning I was responsible for optimizing and scheduling our content.
Gradually I became more comfortable taking on responsibilities within the Saia do Lugar (SDL) strategy. So, I started to take care of our editorial calendar, review and optimize our articles and then publish them on the blog. Shortly afterwards, I had already become the “mother” of this project.
The beginning was not easy, not only did I learn everything about a Content Marketing strategy, but I had to learn to deal with a universe that I was not part of: the dreaded entrepreneurial world. But one thing I say, affection and dedication have never been lacking and, therefore, o Saia do Lugar became the best experience I’ve had in my career.
An upsell of responsibilities
There came a time when I became an extension of Saia do Lugar and, with that, it was time to prove myself! A strategy restructuring process was in my hands. That was my chance to become an analyst for one of the most admirable marketing teams I have ever seen!
It was a whirlwind of changes happening all at once: visual identity, our personas, tone and voice of emails, frequency of publication, approach to content and of course not forgetting to cover the entire keyword market that was up to Saia of the place.
Given mission is accomplished mission! After the whole change process (I can talk more about that in another post) I was hired.
New changes, new responsibilities! Soon I started to take care of the social media publication of Saia do Lugar and, in addition, I became responsible for much of the keyword and content strategy.
The best part of all these changes was working alongside such an incredible person when Letícia Nonato (I leave this honorable mention here) who embraced the SDL project with me and together we did a very expressive job in results.
The Conversion era: it’s time to get out of place!
At the end of 2017 I set out to go through the process of redefining the persona of Saia do Lugar and that made me get closer to my current reality on the team. Basically, I used our base of active contacts in the email to discover the personality of the people who were going through our sales funnel, until the conversion.
We discovered many incredible things and this made us have a turnaround within the blog’s strategy. At this point I needed to pay more attention to our email nutrition, so I moved away from blogging a little bit and approached the middle and bottom of the sales funnel.
2018 started with more changes! I started to dedicate myself exclusively to the production of rich materials and SDL email marketing. It was an incredible experience and little by little I fell in love with this area.
If there is one thing that always motivates me to grow professionally, it is to leave the comfort zone. In view of the results I was showing, responsible for e-mail marketing and offers from Saia do Lugar, the invitation came: take over Websites Are Us’s email marketing.
And here I am, each day falling in love and working harder to deliver the best content to the inbox of every contact in our base. It is already little more than 4 months in this role and countless learnings!
My 11 biggest learnings in digital marketing
Now yes! The time has come to open your notepad and write down all my tips on the biggest lessons I had within the Websites Are Us marketing team. Prepared?
1. Having a macro view of the strategy is a differential
It may not be easy to go through so many changes in such a short time, as a marketer, I was always open to new learnings and threw myself headlong into every new learning opportunity here at WAU.
And I see the value of that today, two years later. The macro vision that I built of the strategy allows me to think of something that can involve other points in the sales funnel and enhance our results.
Today, within an email marketing strategy, I know how to help the acquisition team get visits to an article or how to strategically use the conversion points within our posts.
And I’m sure this is a differential among other professionals in the market!
2. Regardless of the size of your team, there will always be limitations
Having crazy ideas is praiseworthy, there is no denying it, but more important than having these ideas is to know your limitations to execute them.
During my journey, I had to adapt to situations of team restructuring.
For a long time, I was running the Saia do Lugar strategy alone and for that reason I did not let it be less efficient than that of the blog Content Marketing, which had more involved in it.
We learn to adapt, given our limitations. Believe me, even with more than 30 people on a team, we encounter moments when we may have some limitations. Growth pains!
3. Foreigners have a lot to teach us
One of my biggest challenges when I was at Saia do Lugar was to understand how an entrepreneur’s mind worked and everything he needed to grow his business. And of course, I wanted something that was different from the beans and rice that we are used to here in London.
I started looking for references from other countries and soon found entrepreneurship blogs that portrayed an entrepreneur’s daily struggles. This was very important since I wanted to leave the Place to be something other than just emotional appeal.
Write down this advice: one way to stay ahead of your competitors is to look for references where they least expect it. Gringos can be a source of gold!
4. The spreadsheet is your strategy’s best friend
Who never thought of advertising to never mess with numbers that throw the first stone!
When I chose to pursue a career in marketing, I knew that from then on the numbers would walk by my side every day. Even more when it comes to Inbound, everything can be measured.
Keeping all the data generated within a spreadsheet will not only help you to understand the projection, but also to know what actions and strategies led you to obtain that result.
I realized this in practice when we started to measure the CTR of all email shots made to the Websites Are Us base. We had no historical data on all the shots fired and neither their CTR.
From that day on, I started to put all the important information for the future of the email marketing strategy here at WAU. Like this:
5. Understanding your metrics is necessary
There were some moments that so many changes ended up complicating my process of understanding the metrics of each area where I went.
Be it acquisition sessions, engagement in social networks or CTR in email marketing. I learned that understanding numbers makes them more than just numbers. Which reminds me of a recent case that I experienced when I became responsible for Websites Are Us’s email marketing.
We came to the conclusion that measuring the CTR of an email would be much more effective than its click rate, because we evaluate the effectiveness of the message we send when we take into account how many clicks we obtained only with the people who opened the email email.
It was a great challenge to understand what would be healthy for our history and in relation to our goals. Which resulted in a lot of study to understand everything that was behind this result that I would come to monitor day by day.
After that, I found a healthy metric pattern based on the volume of shots we take each day. And so to outline the best strategies to have a greater conversion more and more.
6. An eye on analytics and another on strategy
One of my greatest learnings at the time of acquiring traffic to Saia do Lugar was the issue of closely following each event and the real impacts caused by them within the blog.
Google Analytics was by far the best effectiveness thermometer in my work. And so, here’s the tip: analytics should be a fixed tab in your browser!
It is important to monitor in real time how many people are on the blog at that time, how was the performance in the first hours of a content, the growth from one day to the next or from one week to another.
Also, keep track of which channel generates the most traffic to your blog and which channel needs to rethink the strategy.
7. Marketing strategy is not cake recipe
I learned many things while on the SDL front line. Much of my knowledge came from practice and one thing I can tell you: marketing strategy is not cake recipe that you copy and have the same results!
During the first months of Saia do Lugar’s life we tried to replicate the strategy that was already used here in Content Marketing. It worked for a while, but little by little we started to see that something was wrong.
It was a crucial moment, when SdL was separated from everything that was already done in marketing and started to have its own content strategy, volume of publication and a look more focused on our persona at the time.
No use, cases serve as inspiration and not for refraction! It is important to keep in mind that each business lives a different reality and it is up to us to adapt brilliant strategies to our reality.
8. Metrics are variable
Remember when I talked about understanding the numbers? This also helped me to understand that metrics are influenced by a thousand factors that may or may not depend on our work directly.
Let’s go to two practical situations. The first is in relation to blogs. It is not easy to go through months like July that has holidays (and the world cup as it was 2018) and that is why it is cool to understand the seasonality of your business. A travel blog probably makes July a month with super expressive results.
And with that, it is legal to study the history or follow the growth of the result of your content strategy and not be frustrated to take other strategies as a reference. For example, as much as Websites Are Us is a reference for you, it is nice to understand that the time of strategy, the type of business, the persona and several other factors influence the result.
The second situation is related to the results of emails. Before taking care of WAU’s strategy, I was only responsible for the email marketing of Saia do Lugar and because the base of contacts are of different sizes, it makes healthy numbers different too.
Understanding the difference in engagement between two different bases was not an easy task, but it was fundamental to project our objective. The definition of a good click-through rate at Saia do Lugar, for example, was not the same for the Websites Are Us base.
9. Friendly communication brings results
One of my first projects when I took on the email marketing part was to bring more friendly communication and create a bond of trust with our contact base.
Since Saia do Lugar went through a change in strategy and I started blogging, I started to bring a little bit of my personality to my emails.
I created a more fun and lighter communication so that a link of trust was created with my contact base and it was a success! In a few months we improved the SDL’s open and click rate and created a brand that was the use of GIF’s in our emails.
Right when I became responsible for WAU’s email marketing, I tried to bring this feature to our emails and searched all of our main flows and made communication more friendly, lighter and clearer.
And that applies to any email I create! A lighter and more reliable communication with our contact base has been reflected in good results and incredible months of lead generation and opportunities.
10. Deliverability can take away sleep
Believe me, every email marketing analyst is liable to this event and yes, lightning can fall even more than twice in the same place.
We recently went through an email delivery crisis again, but this time the reason was different than the one we suffered last year (Marina talked more about it here in this post).
I learned three things that I would like to share with you:
The first is that a healthy delivery rate is above 95%. It is normal for some cases to occur that prevent the email from being delivered.
The second is that if your deliverability is too low, it is worth reviewing your entire strategy and seeing what may be happening and preventing people from receiving your content.
A tip for those hours is to revisit your mailing lists and check that everyone is able to receive your emails (fake profiles or people who marked you as spam are not considered able).
The third is related to your disengaged contacts. A good practice is to exclude all of these people from your mailing list. Hubspot recommends this to ensure that your deliverability is better.
Bonus: In most cases, when you hire an email marketing automation service, you end up sharing an IP with other companies. My advice is that even if you take all the necessary measures and your deliverability remains low, contact the company that provides service to your company and report the problem.
11. Understand the behavior of your contact base
There is no point in structuring an entire strategy without knowing your contact base. Understanding who are the people who want to learn more and be closer to your company is an extension of the recognition of your persona.
In this case, there are some particularities such as the type of subject that draws attention, which material is most suitable for each list, whether the approach needs to be different between them, copy size, Gifs or not, sending time and millions of other details.
Knowing who you are communicating with makes a total difference to your results, reaching the “perfect coupon” of email requires many results! And I do each one of them with great enthusiasm in discovering new things to continue to grow our lead generation and MQLs.
The future of knowledge belongs!
I have always been passionate about challenges and getting out of my comfort zone, it is precisely in those moments when we learn the most and add value to our professional career.
I will always be ready for new challenges here within the team, my next step is to build an identity for our new newsletter that has a new face!
If you still don’t subscribe to “Content +”, here is the opportunity:
I would say that if there is one thing that has become the greatest learning experience for me in these two years, it is NOT to be afraid of changes because they happen and make us grow! Oh and of course, studying is never too much and it leaves you prepared for situations imaginable.
Ufa! If you made it this far I hope I have added some lessons from my experience within the marketing team of the largest Content Marketing company in Latin America.
I’ll be in LinkedIn answering any doubts that may arise during the reading and finally, I leave the recommendation of WAU University for all those who want to have a complete digital marketing apprenticeship, just like me.