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Talking Content Marketing – Interview With DJ Waldow

Interview with DJ Waldow_The ID Group_content marketing

Next up to the Talking Content Marketing discussion is an interview with DJ Waldow.

DJ a writer, author, speaker, blogger and is the digital marketing evangelist at marketing automation software company Marketo. His responsibility includes content creation, influencer relations and sales enablement. DJ stands for believing strongly that whatever you are doing, you must be having fun – not 100% of the time, but if you are not loving your job, loving life, laughing, smiling, dancing, you are not living. Don’t take yourself so seriously. It’s just life!

Our interview looks at the ways that we need to become more human in their approach and an area that is close to DJ’s heart, email marketing.

What is the biggest mistake businesses make when using email marketing as a content platform?

BLASTING. Just like any other marketing channel, you have to respect your audience. If you are blasting emails to your subscribers, it implies you have not targeted the messaging to be timely, relevant, and valuable to them. There is nothing worse then getting a message that from a marketer that annoys you. Email – when done right – should be more like a conversation: engaging, useful, fun, valuable, human.

Do we need to learn to embrace our in-box again as an old friend we forgot about while we invested more of our time in social media?

YES! Wait. Something tells me you want more than a one-word answer here.

Ha! Just look at the data. While certainly declining overall, the ROI of email marketing as a channel FAR exceeds that of any other marketing channel. In fact, I just interviewed a VP of Marketing at a major ecommerce brand. When I asked him which channel performed best for his company, he said … and I quote … “Email Marketing. By FAR.” That being said, email marketing certainly does not work for all companies, all brands, all individuals all the time. You have to constantly test to be sure email marketing works for your audience.

You’re a believer in brands becoming more human. Do you see this as a key differentiator for the companies we represent?

100% yes. As my friend Bryan Kramer says in his book, There is no B2B and B2C. Human to Human: #H2H, “I don’t care what language you speak, who your brand is or what message you’re trying to send, we all need to speak more human.” Exactly. I’ve seen this play out in so many ways for marketers. From Virgin America’s safety video to Captain Obvious campaign to 404 pages, companies need to begin (or continue) embracing a humor human side of marketing.

Would you say that email is easier to stamp our personalities more so than social channels?

Hmm. Yes and no. In some ways I think it’s easier to showcase company and individual personalities in email because too often emails are boring and use “corporate speak.” Think about it: How often do you get an email where you stop and say, “Wow. That was really well done. They sure do know me!” Answer: Not often. However, social channels allow individuals and companies/brands to showcase their personalities IMMEDIATELY. Receiving a reply from a human at a big company helps to make that company seem more human (and smaller). Case in point, this Twitter conversation between Chipotle and “Jimmy.” Awesome, right?

What is the biggest opportunity for businesses utilising email as a content platform?

Simple. It’s thinking of email marketing as conversations, NOT campaigns. Instead of blasting your subscribers with email that has no value, is not relevant, and is … well … boring, think about the email channel as a chance to develop and nurture real relationships. Email should be more of a two-way dialogue instead of a one-way talk at.

Who’s email newsletter would you not press the ‘unsubscribe’ button to?

I love Chris Brogan’s Sunday email newsletter. He infuses so much “human” into it, I sometimes feel as if he’s talking directly to me. In fact, on his newsletter sign up page, he even includes a 34-second “why subscribe” video. Smart. Very smart.


Thanks to DJ for his time and sharing his opinion. Why not find out a bit more about him via his podcasts and book.

DJ on Twitter: click here

DJ’s book (with Jason Falls), The Rebel’s Guides To Email Marketing: click here 

The Work Talk Show podcast: click here

Marketing Nation Podcast: click here

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