Email Marketing is an ongoing need that most small businesses face, so it is with pleasure that we bring on one of the top experts in the field. We’d like to introduce Tyler Garns, VP of Marketing for Infusionsoft, as one of Small Business Trends newest contributors to this important area of small business marketing.
I interviewed Tyler at the Small Business Summit in New York City a few weeks ago and include a portion of that interview here.
I’ve taken 7 of the questions from my impromptu Small Business Summit interview, and wrapped them into a new feature we’ll doing from time to time, called “7 Questions”. In the series I will be bringing you the answers to 7 questions that I pose to a small business owner, entrepreneur or business executive — a quick-take interview.
Without further ado, here are “7 Questions with Tyler Garns”:
Question 1: Tyler, how many years have you been with Infusionsoft?
Tyler: I’ve been with Infusionsoft almost 3 years.
Question 2: And you’re becoming much more of a public face for Infusionsoft. You got a big promotion not too long ago. And your current title is?
Tyler: I’m now the VP of Marketing. I started as the Internet Marketing Manager basically just figuring out how to get more traffic to our website and how to capture some leads online. The company had done all their marketing through partners prior to that. They hadn’t spent a dime on Internet marketing, even though they are an Internet-based business. And so, that was my job, to start ramping up that side of the business. It went well, so I ended up in the seat I’m in now.
Question 3: We’re here at the Small Business Summit 2010 in New York City. But I also attended InfusionCon 2010, which is the huge user conference of Infusionsoft. One of the things that struck me there was how passionate the users are about Infusionsoft. I mean people just love Infusionsoft — rave about it. I’ve been trying to figure it out. Why are they so passionate?
Tyler: I think it all stems from our dream. Our dream is to revolutionize the way small businesses grow. And our purpose is to liberate and empower small business owners so they can enjoy doing business and better serve their families and communities. We have big huge banners of those words inside the office. We drive hard on that philosophy every day and it comes out in the software that we provide.
Infusionsoft automates a lot of a small business ownerss day to day work as well as the work of their employees. And I think that’s why they like it so much. They get to the point where they realize that they just couldn’t live without it because it is automating all this stuff that they used to do manually. It is really growing their business. So they find freedom from it because it automates their stuff and grows their revenues. What’s there not to love about that?
Question4: When you say it is “automating,” give us a few examples of what it automates exactly?
Tyler: Marketing automation is core to Infusionsoft. We do email marketing, as well as incorporating it with voice, fax, and direct mail. What’s nice about it is we’ve incorporated that marketing functionality with a customer database, with CRM. By combining the two, you get the ability to automatically market to people based on their behaviors which helps you get a very targeted message to people.
So there’s the automation that happens there in autoresponder fashion, if you’re familiar with email auto responders. You can set all that automation up inside of Infusionsoft. Then of course it can be intelligent, it can make decisions based on what the people do, so you can ensure that you’re always getting a targeted message.
Question5: Does it automate anything else?
Tyler: The other thing it does very well is workflow automation. You, as a business owner, and your employees, are always doing the same things every day. Whether or not you want to believe it, you’re doing roughly the same stuff. You get the same types of inquiries, you send out the same types of emails. Your life might be very exciting and you might feel like you have a lot of adaptability and a lot of change every day. But chances are you are talking to your current customer in the same way you talked to the last customer. What you can do inside Infusionsoft is batch up these actions that you do on a regular basis and basically make them accessible with a couple of keystrokes.
Take an incoming call, say it’s a customer support call, and they are asking about a certain feature or a certain product. You might typically send them an email with more details. You might assign a task for yourself to follow up later. You might want to put some notes in the person’s contact record that you had that conversation so that if another employee talks to them they can see that history.
You can batch all that up, in what we call note templates. You hit one button and that’s all done for you. So instead of having to take that same call, respond in the same way, write up the same email, make the same note — you just hit one button and its all done for you. There’s that type of workflow automation that makes lives much much easier.
Question 6: So what is it about Infusionsoft that in your opinion sets it apart from the competition?
Tyler: The key differentiator is the fact that we combine email and CRM and also the third leg of the stool is the ecommerce piece. Small business owners, rightfully so, as they grow their businesses – they look to technology and they are on a tight budget. So they go and find the cheapest shopping cart, cheapest website, cheapest email marketing system, and try to put them all together. I would still say that’s the right thing to do. Core to growing a small business is cutting or saving on cost. You gotta do it that way. You’ve got to start the business that way.
But once the business has proven itself and you’re bringing in some steady revenues, there’s a point at which you say, ‘OK, it’s time to up our game. It is time to get a little more intelligent about the way we manage the business. The way we market.’
At that point, you put Infusionsoft in place and it replaces all three of those things in one system, which is much much easier to manage. That’s really the core differentiator — that you have an all-in-one solution that can market intelligently, and automate intelligently for you.
Question 7: So what you’re also saying is that the business has to be a little bit along in its growth trajectory. You’re not talking about a business that was a startup last week. To appreciate and leverage all of the features of Infusionsoft, it has to be a business that has gotten some of these things under their belt and now they are looking to get more productivity and automate all the repetitive stuff.
Tyler: Absolutely. We’ve actually defined our target market as businesses that are bringing in, on the very low end, $100,000 in revenue, up to about $2.5 million. They have 2-10 employees. They have already done some email marketing, they’ve started to build a list. If they fit those criteria, then they are really good candidates for Infusionsoft.
Anita Campbell: Thank you very much, Tyler Garns, for answering these 7 questions.
And there you have my short and sweet interview with Tyler. Not too long ago, I also did an in-depth Small Business Trends Radio interview with Tyler Garns here. Feel free to listen to that if you’d want to know more in general about how to automate your business.