Enjoy the podcast with Jeff Stanislow (CEO of Chief Internet Marketer) and Antoine Bonicalzi (Director of Marketing of Cyber Impact).
Email Marketing is a cornerstone of a good Digital Marketing Strategy.
Enjoy the Podcast, and the transcripts are also below! If you would like to be a guest learn more and schedule your podcast with Jeff Stanislow here.
The Host: Jeff Stanislow, CEO - Chief Internet Marketing
Our Guest: Antoine Bonicalzi (Director of Marketing of Cyber Impact).
Transcripts for the discussion:
Antoine B.: 00:15 I'm really good. Thanks for having me Jeff.
Jeff S.: 00:18 Well, my pleasure. I'm glad we got a chance to catch up here. I know we've had some dialogue via email and been trying to put this together, but I'm excited to have you. So we're going to talk about email marketing today and that's kind of your sweet spot, right?
Antoine B.: 00:32 Yes, exactly. Yeah, I've been, I've been working in digital marketing for a long time and email has always been a part of the dish, the strategies that we put together for customers and clients. And, uh, now I'm working for sovereign back. So yes, I do talk about email marketing every day.
Jeff S.: 00:50 Well, that's good. A lot of times in the industry people the flashy sign shiny things. That kind of come up with them and artificial intelligence and all, then there was social media that kind of displaced email marketing, you know, kind of that flashy. Email marketing is definitely a cornerstone of any good digital marketing strategy. Wouldn't you agree?
Antoine B.: 01:17 I certainly agree. Sometimes I joke, I say email marketing is a little bit like the band Coldplay. There've been around forever. They're not new, but they always seem to be able to reinvent themselves and come up with a new album and you know, something great and is still very popular. So email marketing is kind of the same way, you know, it's kind of the whole O.G. of online marketing, and it's funny that you mentioned social media as well, Jeff, remember maybe like seven years ago, something like that we thought that social media was going to kill email. It certainly didn't happen in social media has its place in a modern marketing, but email marketing it's still there. It still has its place and it's still a very important communication channel for sure.
Jeff S.: 02:11 Definitely. I've always been a big proponent to, you know, basically been in the business since '95 and what you do first you build websites and then it seemed like second was email marketing, but one of the things I really enjoy about email marketing is that it can touch whatever you're focused on in the buyer's journey. It can create awareness. It can create interest. It can create kind of a conversion bales. It can create loyalty. So every function of the buyer's journey, email marketing can touch. That's why I really am a big, big proponent of it.
Antoine B.: 02:55 Yeah, absolutely. I think that's a great point that you bring up. Yeah, email is just more versatile, you know, like you need other ways. You needs social media. You need to do like a little bit of inbound marketing and content marketing to attract people, but once you can, once you can transfer the discussion to email it like an important step has been done and now you can reach them directly into their inbox and you can stay top of mine. Like you say with time you can bring them down the funnel, but if you're there, you've made it to their email inbox and now it's your chance to nurture them and answer their questions and be there, you know, to be still be top of mind when they're ready to purchase. So email does that in a very good way.
Jeff S.: 03:50 So your business is Cyber Impact?
Antoine B.: 03:55 Yes, absolutely. Cyber Impact, we're located just outside of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. We started as an agency, we were doing websites and we were doing some custom software development and a little bit of online marketing for our clients. The first version of Cyber Impact was actually a project that we sold to a customer that wanted email the marketing tools to manage their Fan Club business. So, we did that, but we kept the intellectual property. So we started offering Cyber Impact as a service, as a platform to all of our customers. Then it grew from there very locally, you know, it was really the only tool that you could use in French. It really grew organically like that word of mouth inside of the province of Quebec, and then CASTL came into effect. CASTL is Canada's Anti-Spam Law and it pretty much changed the marketing landscape in Canada. It turned Canada into its own market with different rules, and different needs for small business owners. So we said, you know what, this is probably our opportunity. So we started doing a lot more marketing inside of Canada and translating everything into both English and French. Yeah, it's working so far. We're growing nicely in Canada for sure.
Jeff S.: 05:31 Security [inaudible] are always top of mind and we seem to have like the Can't Spam Act in the U. S. and now the E.U. with the GDRP and you know, learning and in the CASTL as you mentioned. Talk with me about where do you see a responsible digital market in regards to following these processes. It's one thing to write them, it's another thing to follow them. How do you handle the chicken and the egg? It's always been like if you got [inaudible], how do you make that first contact? Tell me your strategy and what you guys do.
Antoine B.: 06:17 Yeah. So, there was a lot that we can talk about in there, but I think the first step for businesses, small businesses and marketing professionals is just know enough about the different legislations. Like here in Canada, it's important that we know about Canada's Anti-Spam Law, and if we do business in Europe, it's important that we know at least enough about the GDPR and the same thing in the U.S. so you have to know about these things. It's not the most sexy topic, but you have to drink a big mug of coffee and read some through some legal texts a little bit and might invest in some, you know, legal advice, but just know that it's your responsibility to know at least enough about these things. One thing that's really happening in the market that I see is more and more people that are really, really attentive whether they store their customers or their contacts, personal data, and then who has access to this data and what they're doing with it. So, even though, you know, the age of the Internet and the age of cloud computing and software as a service pretty much, you know, turn the whole world into one global marketplace. I see a return to local companies having or going with local companies for things like email marketing for things like just data hosting or things like your CRM. So we'd get a lot more companies that made it a policy to only choose cloud providers within Canada because they want to make sure that all of their client's personal information is stored in Canada or that they're following rules that way, so it makes them sleep better at night. So, even if you're outside of Canada, just be aware, choose wisely where you send your data and what cloud, our SAS you decided to use. I think that's one big part of it.
Jeff S.: 08:34 Yeah. Excellent point in regards to it, and it's only going to adhere, but it's actually created an opportunity even for you to do better in your local market place and corporate governance that are really following what would make sense to have their data stored with a company that's operating on Canada. So everybody's kind of in some compliance. I can see where that'd be an advantage to you.
Antoine B.: 09:05 Yeah, exactly. What's happening in Europe is the same kind of thing. You know, like we have legislation that legislation is, it's crazy. It's pretty different, it has a lot of details and stuff like that. So I see a lot of cloud providers that are specialized for the European market. So it's kind of funny how the world became like a global market with no frontiers but somehow because of all of these privacy and personal data issues it's coming back a little bit to more of a local market. Yeah. It's interesting to see that.
Jeff S.: 09:46 Yeah. I think here, in the United States we have compliancy kind of being crafted now with the California Consumer Privacy Act. It's going to tighten down, I guess the communications and what we have to do with data and compliances related to California. So, I think this will be the next evolution of probably the Can't Spam Act in in the United States. As they say, you know, when California goes the rest of the country goes. So, you know, we'll see. We'll see how that trickles down and what's going to happen. I'll set a link to the California Privacy Act article that I wrote in our page as well. But talk to me a little bit about, uh, email marketing. You know, maybe what are the three top things that, you know, as an email marketers, as a business owner you recommend that people spend some time on.
Antoine B.: 10:56 Yeah. Well, I think you need to spend time on thinking how, like different strategies on how you're going to grow your email list, because email should be a priority because we know that when you have an email address if it's targeted, if it's a prospect or a customer, basically if it's a prospect email will be one of the best way to turn that prospect into a customer or client. If you're building a list of customers we know that email marketing will be one of the best way to increase customer loyalty. So, they come back to you more often and they buy more often and all that. So, we'll be focusing on growing that list, and then it really depends on the type of business that you're operating. I talked to a lot of small businesses, even brick and mortar, small, small retailers do not ask for their customer's email addresses, and that's the first thing that the they should do. What I tell them to do is create some kind of a club, because if you just ask people to be able to be on their newsletter. "Hey, do you want to give me your email address?" That's not attractive enough. You know most people are going to say no because they feel like they receive too many emails already, but if you put it in a way that's a lot more attractive. You say, "Hey, you know what, you could be part of our VIP club." "Oh, what's that?" "Well, every month we'll send out the emails and you're going to find exclusive articles like how to's and tips and tricks and you're going to find exclusive offers and discounts that we only send to the VIP customers." Now all of a sudden that's really attractive, and you don't want to miss out and you want to be like, if you like that company, that retailer, you're going to say yes. So, nobody wants to receive more emails, but everybody wants to be part of some kind of club, you know? So, you bring it that way and I guarantee that most people are going to say yes. So then you're actually growing your email list and giving out content. I know it's not groundbreaking or anything like that, but we have a simple e-book on our website. Then everyday some people join our email list just to download it and read it free. Free training or online, how to's, a series of training videos sometimes can be really effective to grow your email list. So one out of different strategies that you can come up with to constantly, everyday grow your email list on autopilot like that. It's simple, but most of the companies I talk to, they have a few low hanging fruit that they could take advantage of.
Jeff S.: 13:53 I agree with all the channels of media coming at you nowadays. You really need to kind of define your value proposition for an engagement. And I know, me personally, I kind of looked for better marketing, more reasons why to do something not just sign up to sign up anymore. So I completely agree. As we've come to a close here Antoine, tell me a little bit about the business quick like what's the website, if someone's up there in Canada and wants to get ahold of you and then I'd be happy to share that as well.
Antoine B.: 14:40 Yeah, thank you. Yeah, it's very simple. You go to cyberimpact.com. We have a pretty active blog in both languages, both of Canada's official languages. You can try out Cyber Impact for free and see if you like the platform and you can always also start a live chat with one of my colleagues and we're always happy to educate people and to help people in doing, you know, better marketing and communicate better with their customers and their members. That's as simple as that.
Jeff S.: 15:20 Well, Antoine I really appreciate your time today and I think you provided some value some insight on privacy, supporting email marketing as a cornerstone strategy in digital marketing and provided some tips in regards to good email practices as far as leveraging your lists and adding subscribers. So I appreciate your time.
Antoine B.: 15:47 Thank you so much. I appreciate your time as well. I was happy to do that.
Jeff S.: 15:51 Fantastic. We'll talk to you soon then.
Antoine B.: 15:52 Okay. Yeah. Take care.