Prior to the pandemic, 40% of Sendoso’s program spend went to physical events that brought in a significant number of leads and got prospects to close. Such a reliable source of revenue for the brand suddenly became redundant in March, and as customers scrambled to figure out how to adapt, the pipeline froze in April.
Luckily, Sendoso had a strong foundation, with a fully scalable marketing program and a robust marketing team. The sending platform immediately shifted its focus to providing educational content to customers and adapting its marketing strategy to new buying behaviors. In this episode, CMO Dan Frohnen shares how Sendoso rebuilt its pipeline post-pandemic, transforming its product into a must-have via meaningful virtual events, powerful partnerships, and a special, Sendoso-style take on direct mail marketing. Check it out!
What You’ll Learn in This Episode
- Behind Sendoso’s scalable marketing program
- How Sendoso rebuilt its pipeline post-pandemic
- How partnerships can amplify B2B virtual events
Renegade Thinkers Unite, Episode 228 on YouTube
- Sendoso blog: Our Events Were Cancelled: Here are 10 Customer Engagement Strategies We’re Trying Instead
- Sendoso’s SuperSender community
- [0:29] Creating a Scalable Marketing Program at Sendoso
- [5:41] Hiring and Deploying a Product Marketing Team
- [8:23] Behind Sendoso’s Brand and Buzz Team
- [13:31] Losing Physical Events, Upping Educational Content
- [19:07] How Sendoso Build Back its Pipeline
- [26:50] Growing Brand via Powerful Partnerships
- [31:38] How to Get to Close Via a Virtual Event
- [35:01] Sendoso’s SuperSender Community and Upcoming University
- [39:52] Dan Frohnen’s Direct Mail Dos and Don’ts
Transcript Highlights: Drew Neisser in conversation with Dan Frohnen
[0:29] Creating a Scalable Marketing Program at Sendoso“When I first joined Sendoso, the mandate was to create a scalable marketing program.” -CMO @danielfrohnen #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: Hello, Renegade Thinkers! One of my favorite movie scenes of all time is from The Jerk with Steve Martin when he shouts, “The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!” in front of a dumbfounded Jackie Mason.
His exhilaration about something so mundane spoke to my inner child and the enthusiasm I could muster for the arrival of a new object, whatever it might be. It’s funny—even today, this still happens. We have a system in our building in New York City that alerts us via email when a new package arrives, and even though this happens a lot more frequently thanks to the pandemic-driven online shopping, I still drop everything I’m doing and go retrieve the package. I can’t help myself. Maybe it’s a boutique gin to be featured on my livestreaming show, or maybe it’s a surprise gift—it could happen. Something unexpected to brighten my day.
Which leads us to our guest today. Dan Frohnen, CMO of Sendoso, a company that literally packages moments of delight for marketers. Dan is a veteran of the startup world, having driven marketing at Skedulo, Apttus, and Relevate among others. Dan, welcome to the show.
Dan Frohnen: Thanks, Drew. It’s a pleasure to be here and I love that intro story. I get equally as excited.
Drew Neisser: I wondered about that! It’s funny—we’re getting packages every day now, but I’m still like, “Gee, I wonder what that could be!” First of all, how are you?
Dan Frohnen: Doing phenomenal. It’s a Friday morning while we’re recording this and looking forward to the weekend and just happy about life in general.
Drew Neisser: You know, I love recording shows on Friday because there is that sort of, “Ah, we’re going to be able to breathe” and so forth. Anyway, also, because we’re all virtual—where are you?
Dan Frohnen: I’m in the San Francisco Bay area.
Drew Neisser: Cool. So, let’s go back. You started in August of 2019 at Sendoso. What was your mandate at that point in time?
Dan Frohnen: When I first joined Sendoso, the mandate was to create a scalable marketing program. The history of it was that they were doing a lot of cool things. It was a lot of brand activation, it was a lot of senior logo in all the cool places, tons of events. They were seeing really good growth and success and product-market fit and they needed to bring someone in who could do that at scale in an efficient way that delivered more ROI and could scale the business.
Drew Neisser: I know you’re being gentle here, but it sounds like they were doing a lot of things, but there wasn’t exactly say, a sophisticated demand generation engine or a tech stack that could really support and help drive pipeline. Is that a fair interpretation?
Dan Frohnen: Yeah, exactly. It was probably basic CRM plus marketing automation tools and about as basic have a database marketing strategy as you could get.
Drew Neisser: We’ve got that as a mandate, so let’s just talk about it. Between August and let’s just say, February, what was your focus? What were the kinds of things that you were doing?
Dan Frohnen: I’d say it was three main things. One thing was putting in the proper target account framework, so making sure that between marketing, SDRs, AEs and then the CX team that we just had a combined view of what our TAM was and how to how to operate within it. The second was, let’s go out and do a big program together on the go-to-market side, so that we can see how we can coordinate our efforts and go do big things together.
And then the third was hire the team, because the Sendoso marketing team was a mighty team of four, punching way above their weight class and they needed product marketing, they needed some proper demand gen, they needed some customer lifecycle marketing, so building out that team as well.
Drew Neisser: Okay, so, just in case my dad is listening, as he does, on occasion, I want to make sure—so SDRs are sales development reps, CX stands for customer experience, TAM?
Dan Frohnen: Total addressable market.
Drew Neisser: Total addressable market. Okay, thank you for that. And then we have the go-to-market as in: We’ve got to figure out who we’re targeting and what’s our messaging and a lot of folks are Silicon Valley talk about plays and things—and what’s your play against a particular target? Lastly, you talked about hiring the team. Let’s talk about that. Where are you now? How many people do you have on your team?
Dan Frohnen: We’re about 17 people and that’s spread through product marketing, demand gen, content, brand and buzz, and then customer lifecycle and SDR.
Drew Neisser: So, you’ve hired 13 people since you started.
[5:41] Hiring and Deploying a Product Marketing Team“Don't take your customers for granted and make sure that you're enabling the people that are working with them as well.” -CMO @danielfrohnen @sendosohq #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: One of the things I hear a lot from CMOs is the difficulty of hiring product marketing people because they have to be in between the engineer—a lot of them are ex-engineers—and understand how the product works, but then they need to be able to translate that. Was that a challenge for you to find that sweet spot?
Dan Frohnen: It was definitely a challenge because we had never had product marketing. It was always run through our brand and buzz team. There was a product marketing deficit there for some basic stuff and a release framework. I got lucky because the person that we hired first, she actually emailed me and just said, “If you don’t hire me, you’re an idiot, and here’s why.” She was based in Arizona, which is where we have one of our offices, but I was hiring in the Bay area. Her ability to just get in front of me got her the job, and she was really the person who got it up and running for me.
Drew Neisser: That’s hilarious. I love that. “I’m coming at ya and I’m the right person and you’ve just got to see it,” and it turned out, she was. What exactly does the product marketing team do?
Dan Frohnen: It’s quite a bit because our product is complex because you think about the fact that there’s warehouse logistics, there are multiple different ways to send, and then SaaS and integration, so they’re really responsible for three main things.
One is market insights, working with the product team to make sure that we’re road mapping and keeping up with what our customers need with where the markets going. Second is release marketing, so as we’re building out that product team and the capabilities on the product, how do we release that and have as big of an impact as possible? And then the third is just straight-up internal enablement around everything from competitive to win/loss to enablement around how we’re talking in the market, all the basic stuff like first call decks, customer stories.
Drew Neisser: Right. And enablement as in sales enablement, helping your sales guys getting to the close. Taking that lead and then turning it into revenue.
Dan Frohnen: I’d say one more thing—CX enablement. I think the more we’re in this world where the pandemic hit, customers matter more than new business, so a lot of focus has been on, don’t take your customers for granted and make sure that you’re enabling the people that are working with them as well.
Drew Neisser: Yeah, and boy did that become an important focus once we got to March and April.
[8:23] Behind Sendoso’s Brand and Buzz Team“Brand is not mutually exclusive to demand. If my brand strategy is content, that content should also be driving SEO.” -CMO @danielfrohnen @sendosohq #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: You mentioned that you have a brand and buzz team. First of all, I love that name, but it’s not one that I hear all the time. Talk a little bit about what that team looks like and what their mandate is.
Dan Frohnen: Early on when I came in, I saw that we had a lot of people that talked about us through social. Our G2 crowd page was buzzing and we had a big share of voice of the categories there. And then I quickly realized that content, social, SEO, PR, all of it really manifests itself into a team that’s responsible for our brand, our look and feel, translating that out to what our messaging feels like, partnering with our product marketing team on what a release feels like and how that goes into our overall company narrative.
And then really having this content machine that’s actually highly in tune with our customers and our prospects, so that we’re really a brand that’s educating and being highly relevant to our audiences as we’re on this journey together. We very much view this as a journey and Sendoso a way to help businesses be better, and that happens through content.
Drew Neisser: In the CMO Huddles, which you’ve gotten to experience, we’ve had a lot of conversations about the challenge that CMOs have even talking about brand as a budget line item. We came up with, I think, 11 different euphemisms for what is the brand budget. Nobody wants to call it that.
I’m wondering—you actually have this team called brand and buzz—how do you budget for that? Like every company, particularly a Silicon Valley company like yours with funding, it’s all about ARR and driving revenue and brand is this weird intangible thing. How do you deal with that aspect of it from a budgeting standpoint and from a management up standpoint?
Dan Frohnen: Yeah, I think there are two different considerations. One is the category creation story. We are creating a category—it’s the sending platform category, and part of creating a sending platform category is having a PR share of voice, it’s having a competitive SERP that is outperforming the rest of the market. Content is a massive driver to both of those. You measure that and you report it to the board, and you say that this matters and it needs to be up and to the right.
Then the second piece here with brand and buzz is, brand is not mutually exclusive to demand. If my brand strategy is content, that content should also be driving SEO. That team is actually responsible for the content production that demand is working with them on the SEO side, so we see the gain in SEO web traffic, we see that convert to pipeline and we see it convert to revenue. It’s actually driving on both sides.
Drew Neisser: Well, I know that, and you know that, but I’m wondering—from a budget standpoint, does that mean that you can then put some content into your quote “demand budget?” Do you have to itemize and show that brand and buzz is a budget line item, or do you move beyond that it just say, “I have a budget”?
Dan Frohnen: I have a budget, but I also have to show pipeline return on investment for sure. I take a percentage of that team and the contractors and the agencies that we work with and I put it in to demand, for sure.
It’s the right thing to do because at the end of the day, the COO, the CFO really just wants to know how you’re investing dollars and how are you getting these back out, and I want to tell a real story.
Drew Neisser: Yeah, as Latané Conant from 6sense put it on the show, she said, “There is no demand without brand.” I love that. I believe that firmly and we are selling that on this show.
Drew Neisser: Hey, it’s Drew, and I just wanted to do a quick mention of a new peer-to-peer advisory network I started last year called CMO Huddles. Every week we bring together an elite group of CMOs to share, care, and dare each other to greatness.
One CMO described huddles as a cross between an executive workshop and a therapy session. If you’re a B2B CMO and wish you could meet regularly with your smartest peers, just go to CMOHuddles.com and book a time to talk to me to see if you’d be a good fit. Check it out at CMOHuddles.com.
[13:31] Losing Physical Events, Upping Educational Content“Let's take our customers and prospects on this journey with us and figure it out together.” -CMO @danielfrohnen @sendosohq #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: One of the things I realized is, we probably should let people know who haven’t heard of Sendoso. The buzz among CMOs is, you’re there. I mean, you came up in Huddles all the time early on in April, May, and June when it was like, “How are we going to do this?”
What is the shipping platform or package platform that you provide?
Dan Frohnen: The central premise with Sendoso is that we help brands rise above the digital noise. In essence, our sending platform allows marketers, sellers, SDRs, CSMs, HR teams even, do direct mail gifting digital experiences at scale. With our sending platform, you can connect into CRM, any of the systems of action that you’re in, whether that’s a sales engagement platform or even your Gmail. Then we help you warehouse, store, ship, source anything and everything that you’re trying to ship.
Drew Neisser: I love it. Let’s go now to March 2020 where you had built up your marketing engine, your demand gen engine, you had hired your team, you had all these events, and suddenly, the world shuts down. Do you remember the moment? I mean, I remember around March 7th, it was just like, “Oh, gosh. What is going to happen?” Do you remember?
Dan Frohnen: Yeah. I remember being in Scottsdale for B2BMX and kind of feeling weird because we knew that this pandemic was happening, we were in this really crowded room, but it hadn’t really hit all of us yet. Then I remember getting home and I was actually really sick, and I was like, “Do I have this pandemic,” which I luckily didn’t.
But then for us, that moment was when the NBA shut down. Then we went like “Okay, this is a big deal.” A big franchise like that that’s putting that much emphasis on money doesn’t matter anymore really shook the world a little bit and that’s when we took notice. And then, yeah, as you said, everything changed.
Drew Neisser: There was this moment where all of us looked at our businesses without a clue really how this was going to impact things. There was a moment of blindness that any crisis like this creates.
I am assuming that events were a big part of your marketing strategy. You mentioned them already, but I know marketers love to go to events, it’s a great place to showcase what you do. How big a percentage of your lead gen and budget came from events prior to the pandemic?
Dan Frohnen: It was 40% of our program spend and we viewed it very much as, it influences deals and also has a net new impact in the immediate term, as well as the back half of the year because it takes a while for those relationships to build. It was a big loss.
Drew Neisser: I’m so glad you mentioned the influence deals because a lot of folks think about events really as mainly a place of generating new leads, but the truth is, they’re really good for when you have a customer who’s close and they want to talk to other customers. Then they can sort of casually mix. I think that was one of the biggest challenges in the virtual world—to replicate that. It was easy, relatively easy at least early on, to get prospects in for some kind of an event, but getting ones really close to close was a difficult challenge.
All right. So suddenly, you don’t have events and you’re trying to get money back because you had commitments—what were some of the actions that you took in order to go, “Okay, 40% of our spend, yikes! A big part of our leads!” What do we do?
Dan Frohnen: Yeah, it was pretty crazy. As any marketing team, I remember our head of field marketing was talking to our head of content and said, “All of our events got canceled, now what?” The head of content said we write a blog about it, and that was really the birth of our approach of educating. That blog turned into, “All my events got canceled, here are 10 things that we’re doing instead.”
We took the stance of—we sell to sales and marketing and we are a marketing and sales organization that’s trying to figure this out, so let’s take our customers and prospects on this journey with us and figure it out together.
Drew Neisser: It’s an inspired thing. I hope you gave a virtual hug to your content person. That was not the reaction that a lot of companies had, but the notion of, “Okay 10 things we’re going to do now.” Do you remember any of those things that were on the list?
Dan Frohnen: Yeah, I mean, it was everything from more virtual one-to-few events, it was obviously more direct mail and gifting, it was really leaning in and being hyper-relevant and asking your audiences how they’re doing. Those sorts of things.
[19:07] How Sendoso Build Back its Pipeline“We went and partnered with like-minded companies where we have a great ‘better together’ story through technology and went out and educated the market at scale.” -CMO @danielfrohnen @sendosohq #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: From your business standpoint, how were March and April?
Dan Frohnen: March was the end of our quarter and it came in a little soft, but not to the point where the sky was falling. Then April, we have a really pragmatic board of directors and exec team and we just said, “You know what? This is a global pandemic, no one’s ever seen anything like this, let’s have three scenarios on what this could be and let’s monitor this business hard and let’s be prepared for all the scenarios.
In the month of April, our pipeline basically froze into an iceberg. A lot of our prospects and even customers were like, “We don’t know how this is going to impact us, we’ve got to wait and see.” My CFO is either telling me to prepare for cuts or don’t spend a dime and we just monitored it. We talked to our prospects. We learned as much as we could. I went out and interviewed like 10 CFOs to learn about new buying behaviors myself and then in mid-May we started to see the thaw, and then it picked back up. It was touch and go for about six weeks for sure.
Drew Neisser: Now a couple of things I want to just acknowledge there. One, I talked about this a lot of my show—the CF-No suddenly emerged. If you weren’t considered an essential purchase, you did not get a PO. It didn’t matter what it was that you were trying to sell. Essential is, of course, keep our business operational, move us to the cloud, all of those kinds of things, and everybody else was sort of on hold.
I also want to just acknowledge you going and interviewing 12 CFOs—those weren’t necessarily the folks that got you in the door, but that was an inspired decision because those are the people that you were going to have to persuade. Do you remember what you learned from those CFOs?
Dan Frohnen: Yeah. The big thing was ROI. ROI. ROI. Like, “Tell me why this is a must-have purchase right now. Show me that there will be an acceptable payback period and that we will be making more money by having purchased you than not.”
That put me into action. It was like, okay, I’ve got to go and redo some customer case studies. I’ve got to punch up our messaging and really get into that. I always like the silver lining and that was one of the best things that could have shocked our brand a little bit to like, up-level that story.
Drew Neisser: Boy, that really summed things up nicely. After we got past essential and there was a little bit of a thaw, the big deal was speed-to-value. If you can get me an ROI in three months, I’ll think about that! That’s decent. If it’s a 12-month ROI, you know what? Call me in 6.
That speed-to-value. How do you turn your product into something that is a must-have? To me, that’s a great litmus test for any marketer at any time, but we just didn’t have to have that pre-pandemic.
As you were learning these things, you did some new case histories—what other things did you start to do to build back your pipeline and start to close deals?
Dan Frohnen: We really started to train our entire internal teams from SDR to marketing to sales and CS on what our messaging was and what our educational value prop was.
It was really teaching people like, how do you connect and maintain these relationships in this work-from-home world? We spent a ton of time with our SDR org because the thing we always take SDRs for granted is that smile and dial and get me those meetings. But they were talking to people that were going through some heavy-duty times. It was really teaching them how to have empathetic conversations, how to truly ask how you’re doing, how to truly find out the psychology there before you jump into some tirade about how we can help you. It went a long way.
The other thing is just brand activation. We went and partnered with like-minded companies where we have a great “better together” story through technology and went out and educated the market at scale. It wasn’t just about us—it was about the 6senses of the world, the Terminuses of the world, the Outreaches, the SalesLofts, and bringing our stories together and helping through technology, through creativity, and through being authentic about being helpful.
Drew Neisser: I want to come back to the partnership thing, but before then, I’m going to put a punctuation point on the empathy. I don’t want anybody to misinterpret this conversation because, so far, we’ve talked about making your business essential, turning it into a must-have, and being able to show the ROI. That might make you think that this is simply rational, but the key thing that you mentioned was training your SDRs to be empathetic. Why? Because we’re still doing business human-to-human, and if you don’t acknowledge the human on the other end of your Zoom call, you’re not going to be able to connect, you’re not going to be able to persuade.
Early on, I talked about the day of the all-business, all-the-time executive is over, and I think, in many ways, if there’s a good thing that came out of the pandemic, it’s that we all as leaders realized that “How are you?” is a really important question. In some ways, even though we’re separated by Zoom and these virtual things, it did force us to think about being closer.
[26:50] Growing Brand via Powerful Partnerships“Yes, you can use a sending platform by itself, but if you're a company that's leveraging technology to automate and have next-level experiences, the coordination there is critical.” -CMO @danielfrohnen @sendosohq #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: Dan and I were just talking about partnerships and how that is such a powerful way to extend the brand. One of the things to be thinking about with that is, is this a brand that might have more awareness than you have, or might have penetration that you don’t? When you’re bundled, that gives your brand a lot of credibility. Talk about how you were able to develop those relationships with the Terminuses and 6senses and so forth.
Dan Frohnen: We naturally had relationships prior to COVID. A lot of those companies either do their own industry conferences or we see each other at bigger conferences. A lot of us are customers of each other, so we have those existing relationships, but one of the premises that we had was, as we’re out educating the market on how you can move forward and be the best sales marketing CX team that you can possibly be, it’s about that customer journey. It’s about connecting your technology and the experiences and going out and telling that story.
That’s where partners come in in a big way with us because, yes, you can use a sending platform by itself, but if you’re a company that’s leveraging technology to automate and have next-level experiences, the coordination there is critical. And that’s where these partnerships come in. It’s telling that story and then using our collective brands to get that out in a big way so that we’re just rising this entire conversation through our collective audiences.
Drew Neisser: With the partnerships, I’m curious—did you have go-to-market strategies in combination with them? Was there anything interesting that you did with one of those partners?
Dan Frohnen: Yes, I mean a couple things. 6sense—we talked about Latané a little while ago. We’ve done a couple virtual wine tastings/account-based everything talks, where we get 20 VPs of marketing, CMOs together, sip some wine—Latané is super fun in a wine tasting—and talk about business and have fun doing it. That goes a long way with this audience during these times. Educate and have fun.
Then the other thing has actually been our own branded events. We’ve brought in 20+ partners together multiple times now to just have a half-day of thought leadership around different topics, whether that’s being connected, whether that’s thinking outside of the box in everything that you’re doing, or our first one, which was, the show must go on. Like, how are you going to move forward? It starts with closing out the past chapter and moving on.
Drew Neisser: Those are great, fun events and I’m imagining that it wasn’t just a wine tasting. 6sense would use Sendoso to package and ship the wine.
Dan Frohnen: Yep, so we leverage each other’s technology too. We used 6sense to target who we wanted to invite in the first place, and then we leveraged the Sendoso platform to get wine tasting kits and the virtual sommelier teed up. Then, there were a couple of customers that used both of us, so you have this combined 6sense/Sendoso experience, plus customers, plus two CMOs from both brands, so you’re just immersed in it.
Drew Neisser: In a number of conversations that I’ve had with CMOs, they’ll have 10 to 15 prospects at a wine tasting like you’re describing, and they’ll have a couple of customers. The key to that is, that allows the customer, if they’re so inclined, to speak on your behalf. You don’t even have to do any selling. You’re just getting people together to have wine.
Dan Frohnen: Exactly. That happened naturally at physical events, too. You’d be mingling and someone would be like, “Oh, and I need to check out such and such technology,” and they’d say, “Oh, I happen to be a customer. I’m happy to give you my experience and how I thought through this.” Ultimately, we’re all peers of each other and, actually, we fundamentally come together by a different bond. It’s actually not the technologies we’re marketing or selling, it’s the fact that we’re marketers and sellers and we’re trying to figure this out for our businesses.
Drew Neisser: I love that. Again, that goes back to the empathy part of this. We are all in this together.
[31:38] How to Get to Close Via a Virtual Event“One of our strategies has been to make part of the virtual event special for the prospects that are at a later stage.” -CMO @danielfrohnen @sendosohq #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: One of the things that I had mentioned that physical events were particularly good at is helping you get a customer or prospect over the finish line. They’re deep into the process. Did you find that these virtual events could do that as well?
Dan Frohnen: We’ve seen a ton of pipeline velocity out of these things. We’ve seen a lot of close-one opportunities that are attributed to these. One of our strategies has been to make part of the virtual event special for the prospects that are at a later stage, whether that’s special one-on-one time with our CEO, a branded experience that goes beyond just the virtual event—a conference-in-a-box goes out to a certain number of our prospects. We’re just up-leveling that experience so that they definitely feel special the way that they would at a physical event.
Drew Neisser: What is a conference in a box?
Dan Frohnen: A conference in a box—it’s a branded box and we allow every one of our partners to put a little bit of their brand in there. When you used to walk a show floor, you’d stop by our booth and they might have a little something for you to take away. We wanted to bring that experience to people so that they could feel that physical element of going to that event. It still matters, and it creates that brand affinity in such a different way because it’s tactile and just means something different.
Drew Neisser: I seem to recall—a couple of CMOs who got this conference in a box—it was before the event. It was so substantial that they felt obligated. They had to show up at the conference at least for a little while because the gift was so substantial.
Dan Frohnen: I love it. That’s part of it. When Kris and Brayden founded Sendoso, it was one of those laws of reciprocity. That’s case in point.
Drew Neisser: It’s just funny—that came up and I had to laugh that it guilted them into it. Probably the biggest change in all of this that ended up coming to your business is that, to make virtual events special, you need something physical to elevate it. Otherwise, it’s just a Zoom call, really. You ended up becoming an essential because, as brands looked to make their virtual events better, they needed what you guys do.
Dan Frohnen: For sure. I think it’s part of that, and I think it still goes back to the old fundamentals. It’s content, content, content, and then more content. The virtual content has to be really good, and I think marketers need to understand that some people are going to consume it live, but it also has a really great afterlife. I’m thinking day of, but I’m also thinking shelf life as well, making sure that it’s just meaningful content that helps people.
[35:01] Sendoso’s SuperSender Community and Upcoming University“From me to our chief product officer to our CEO, you have access to everyone and can get responses.” -CMO @danielfrohnen @sendosohq #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: What’s your marketing mix right now?
Dan Frohnen: As you would imagine, it’s actually heavy Sendoso. We’re using our own product pretty much in every single team as a main component of our mix, and then heavy SEO, heavy digital, heavy SDR, and then a lot of virtual conferences, a lot of community that’s layered on that for engagement and field.
Drew Neisser: You mentioned community. Talk a little bit about what you’ve done over the last year to nurture that community, particularly in the pandemic period.
Dan Frohnen: We have a community called SuperSenders. That’s our top sending companies that really want to be creative, share ideas with each other, and be interactive with our company. Everyone is part of this group. From me to our chief product officer to our CEO, you have access to everyone and can get responses.
It’s a place where they share a ton and then our advocacy manager does special events just for them pretty regularly. They get a voice at the table as it relates to the roadmap and it’s been great. Obviously, bigger, broader swathes of our community we engage with through different social channels and then a university that we currently have in beta is launching in March or April.
Drew Neisser: You said several things that I just want to pause on. The SuperSenders essentially act like a customer advisory board, right? In that sense, they get a preview of products—or as you called it, the roadmap—so that makes them invested in your success, which is cool. You mentioned that you do special events for them specifically. Can you give an example?
Dan Frohnen: Yeah, so Leslie, who’s our advocacy manager, at the holidays had a comedy show for them. We hired a comedian, and they got a wine.com card ahead of time and they all had drinks and listened to comedy together. That’s one example. Another example is every year they get an exclusive SuperSender swag bundle that’s pretty valuable and just a way of saying thank you. At least every quarter we’re doing some special event for them.
Drew Neisser: Got it. Both of those are great. Boy, I imagine the holiday comedy session was welcomed. We could all use a laugh.
Then you mentioned the university. By the time this show airs, it should be out there. Let’s talk a little bit about what it took to develop this and the value of this program.
Dan Frohnen: It’s been a massive project. We released a university into beta in the last part of last year, and really what it’s designed to do is two things. One is help companies get their senders up and running at scale. Typically, if you’re buying us and you’re a marketer, you might bring on 10 people to start, then another 10, then another 10, then another 10, but what happens when you’re a bigger company and there’s 1,000?
It’s a curriculum to actually get these people up and running and sending successfully as part of their day-to-day business. We continue to expand that so there’ll be over 100 courses that you can take depending on what you’re looking to learn when we launch this in April, and then the plan will be to build some interactive community elements on top of that.
Drew Neisser: Do people pay for this?
Dan Frohnen: No, it’s free. It’s part of being a Sendoso customer.
Drew Neisser: Very cool. Well, again, that goes back to where this conversation started. What can you do to help your customer? When the pandemic began it was like, “Okay, what do we do with our budget? Hey, we’re marketers! We’ve got to figure this out.”
As it went on, it became, how do we relieve stress and how do we make sure that everybody’s communicating. As we start to think about post-pandemic, it’s a world of opportunity.
[39:52] Dan Frohnen’s Direct Mail Dos and Don’ts“Take the time to do proper segmentation to make sure that you're landing the right thing to the right person.” -CMO @danielfrohnen @sendosohq #RTU #podcast Click To Tweet
Drew Neisser: If you could offer CMOs two dos and a don’t when it comes to putting packages together for their customers or prospects.
Dan Frohnen: Do know what your audience is like. Be thoughtful about what you’re putting in that package. And do take the time to do proper segmentation to make sure that you’re landing the right thing to the right person.
Drew Neisser: And what’s a don’t?
Dan Frohnen: Don’t spray and pray. I mean, it goes back to the do.
Drew Neisser: There you go. Don’t spray and pray. All right, well Dan, we covered so much ground but I’m so grateful that you could join us today on the show.
Dan Frohnen: Thanks for having me. It was a blast.
Drew Neisser: And to the listeners, I hope you got a lot out of this show. If you did, hey, do me a favor: write a review on your favorite podcast channel and/or share the show with a friend, because sharing is caring.
Renegade Thinkers Unite is written and directed by Drew Neisser. Audio production is by Sam Beck. The show notes are written by Melissa Caffrey. The music is by the amazing Burns Twins and the intro voiceover is Linda Cornelius. To find the transcripts of all episodes, suggest future guests, or learn more about quite possibly the best B2B marketing agency in New York City, visit renegade.com. And until next time, keep those Renegade Thinking Caps on and strong.