secrets to scale

Secrets To Scale Podcast
025 - How SMS Marketing Can Help Your Business Grow With Lindsey Ivie

025 – How SMS Marketing Can Help Your Business Grow With Lindsey Ivie

Secrets To Scale is a marketing and entrepreneurship podcast that revolves around hearing the stories of successful entrepreneurs and uncovering their secrets to scaling their businesses. Music for every episode of this podcast was written and produced by Treycen Clausse.

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Tanner:

Lindsey Ivie, business development manager over at Via joins me on the show this week to talk about the power of SMS marketing, SMS marketing is relatively new technology that more businesses should be taking advantage of because of its insanely high open rates and low opt-out rate.

Welcome to the show, Lindsay. I’m really excited to have you. Go ahead and introduce yourself to the audience.

Lindsey:

Yeah. Hi, I’m Lindsey Ivie. I currently work for Via, so I just started a few weeks ago their business development manager, so I’m excited to get started with them. I’m just really grateful to be on here today. Just love being a part of a community and excited to start getting more involved in the e-commerce community.

Tanner:

Really cool. So can you kind of walk us through your career and also, could you also share the story of how you ended up with Via?

Lindsey:

Yeah. I started in retail, so I was working at Best Buy for five years or so, and then I had to transition more into telecom. So I was working for a company here called Veracity, and that was like a huge transition for me going from retail, selling TVs to selling like fiber connections and data center stuff. So and then my husband and I actually worked together at a few different startups. And then from that experience, working at a few different startups, we realized that there’s kind of an immediate need of cell support in the early stages of a startup, which you can’t get through a full-time employee. Sometimes you just need like that part-time help to get you initially going. So we actually started consulting for the past few years, so it was consulted SAS companies, web dev companies, SEO companies, just kind of a variety of different groups and along came COVID and last year I think a lot of people who were kind of running their own consulting, maybe hit a few roadblocks as well, where a lot of the clients that we were working with were manufacturing and other spaces like that were hit really hard and lost 50% of their business.

So from there we kind of had to make a transition. So I decided to start looking for something more full-time. And so I had actually been introduced to Greg. We met a few times and met at a tech summit. And so it would have been 2020. They did it right before everything went crazy. And we had just gone back and forth on LinkedIn. So I really liked what they were doing. I actually had an opportunity to use their product. And so I was kind of went out of the box in my approach to get a job. When I went online to see what available positions they had, there wasn’t really anything that fit exactly into what I was looking for. So I just reached out on LinkedIn was like, hey, so I see you’re hiring a lot of roles, but this is what I’m good at. Let me know if like I fit into that at all. And we had a conversation and he was really open-minded to say, yeah, we were growing startups. So we need some help over in partner sales and helping on the event marketing side. So I was able to come on in and help launch their partner channel.

Tanner:

Awesome. That’s really amazing. I think a lot of people probably don’t really think to do that, you know create a position for yourself, right? So now that you’ve had a little bit of time to settle in at Via, what are some obstacles that Via is currently facing in terms of growth?

Just with every startup, you know, you go from like three employees and then you’re like all of a sudden you’re up to 30. Like how do you get there? I think that initial stretch is a challenge for different startups.

Lindsey:

Well, and it’s interesting you asked that. So we just took on a, a good size firm round of funding. So they’re needing to basically double the sales team and like a month and a half. Wow. it’s insane. So I know like Greg is up till like two, three in the morning going through LinkedIn and going through all the applications and then you have to go interview and you have to onboard. So that’s been kind of an interesting growth you know, just with every startup, you know, you go from like three employees and then you’re like all of a sudden you’re up to 30. Like how do you get there? I think that initial stretch is a challenge for different startups.

Tanner:

Yeah. I completely agree with that. So you personally, what do you think makes you successful?

Lindsey:

I’ve been really fortunate to spend the last two and a half, three years, doing a lot of networking. I’ve done a lot of events to help build a community. And I think because of that, transitioning here into this role, it was really nice to have like a really good support system that I can reach out to a lot of different people that I could bring on as partners because of I’ve already established the relationships. So I think a lot of times we get boxed into a role, right? Like if you’re working for a large SAS company, I know a lot of people that are like, well, I don’t need to really network. I don’t really need to use LinkedIn because I’m just here, here’s my set a hundred accounts that I have to work every day. But what happens if there’s a change in job, like what do you lean on? What do you have built or established? What community have you built in order to, you know, get the next job? Or maybe you transitioned to more of a position where you do need to have those initial relationships.

Tanner:

So, yeah. And that, that’s a really good point. And I think a lot of people probably don’t really see it that way. Right. They see it as though you got all these entrepreneurs on there just trying to support their own businesses. But like you said, at the employee level where you don’t really need all those connections, you might need them Monday, right? Or if you decided to maybe start on your own startup and you are already have all these connections, this big network to support that launch, right?

Lindsey:

Yeah, definitely. So that’s helped.

Tanner:

So, so I wanted to bring you on the show to talk about your new role over at the that I also wanted to talk about how businesses can benefit from SMS marketing. So in your opinion, what types of businesses should be using or can benefit from SMS marketing?

Lindsey:

Yeah. So I think there’s a lot of use cases, right? So Via is focused more on the text marketing, so like getting people to the finish line. So you’re trying to get someone with an abandoned cart to come back in and check out with you, or you’re following up with them every week with a promotion or a different product launch to get them back to your store. So, but of course there’s different applications as far as, I know that’s why there’s so many different text SaaS companies out there. So maybe it’s customer service. Maybe it’s a billing thing. Maybe I think even now AT&T sends me a text every month I push one and then I pay my bill. I’m like, that’s amazing. I think that’s so cool where we’ve gotten through text messaging and what you’re able to do with it.

Tanner:

So I actually know a lot of retention marketing agencies that focus on SMS as a channel for that. You mentioned there were a lot of other applications to it. But do you see that that’s being the best application for it, especially with e-commerce businesses, like you said, abandoned carts or promotions.

We’ve had clients in the first month make $1.2 million through implementing a text marketing strategy that they didn’t have before.

Lindsey:

We have, like, it’s been pretty incredible to see coming from like not being any e-commerce to jumping right into it over the past few weeks, just the different use cases. So we’re fortunate enough to be able to provide a free month trial for customers so they can really see or prove out like the ROI. I think that’s a lot of people are like, well, that’s a new cost I’m taking on. Right? Like what, what am I going to see through that? In some cases, some of our bigger cases we’ve had clients in the first month make $1.2 million through implementing a text marketing strategy that they didn’t have before. And I think I probably have thousands of emails that I get through these different brands and I don’t read them ever like that doesn’t get me to shop.

But I do have a few brands that I follow on through their text campaign. And, you know, when I get the message, I’m like, Oh, that’s interesting. That, to me, it’s just an immediate, people pick up their phones like 58 times a day. I probably check my email. I don’t even go to the other ones, I just delete those emails. Like they pop up and I’d still leave them. So I think you’re just using like people that are doing most of their shopping on their phones. So why not leverage that as a tool to market?

Tanner:

Yeah. And I think that’s why SMS is so popular. I know because email is so flooded. I mean the open rates just aren’t there. It’s just hard to reach someone. Right. Whereas with SMS, I mean, what’s your average open rate?

Lindsey:

So we’re seeing, you know, usually it’s in the eighties and nineties, 90%, that’s what you’re seeing on an open rate. It’s pretty significant. And you’re not seeing much of an opt-out, especially if it’s a brand you really like, and you want to see promotions. I want to order that like a food item or something like that. I would want to keep that in place. I can wait for those promotions to pop up.

Tanner:

Yeah. It would seem to me that SMS marketing is probably best used for like lifestyle brands. Because lifestyle brands can connect with their customers on a much more personal level than let’s say a big box retailer, right?

Lindsey:

Yeah. Yeah. Like Walmart or one of those, you got texts from Best Buy I’d probably block it.

Tanner:

Yeah, exactly. So what would you say your secrets to scale are?

I lean pretty heavily on my relationships and bridging those and creating resources and creating communities around those in order to grow in whatever position I’m in.

Lindsey:

For me personally, I’m a connector. So I think for me, it’s just, I know what my limitations are. I know what my capabilities are and I know I’m really good at identifying what other people’s skill sets are and relying on those. And that’s why I really love building out partner channels. Because I like to create a two-way relationship right. Through like, not just give, give, give, or take, take, take. Right? So I lean pretty heavily on my relationships and bridging those and creating resources and creating communities around those in order to grow in whatever position I’m in.

Tanner:

Yeah. And I think that’s really important. Right? Because at least in most aspects of business are really relationship driven. Business is very much about who, you know, and not necessarily how good you are at what you do or how good your product is. Of course marketing can kind of back that up a little bit, but when you say you’re doing these partnerships and event planning, are you guys doing any in person events or featuring virtual events or is that kind of just on hold until everything goes back to normal?

Lindsey:

I do in-person networking groups. I think I’ve had COVID, most of the people I know have had it, so we’re just meeting a person it’s like the Fight Club. Like nobody talks about it, that is what people are doing. That’s how I feel. It’s not like we’re out promoting it all over LinkedIn. It’s more strategic, but you know, I think people are at the point where like they have to, that’s where a lot of businesses is done. Zoom is just, there’s such a disconnect with Zoom. You just don’t get the same.

Tanner:

Yeah. I completely agree with that. I mean, you can kind of get good conversation out of the one-on-one Zoom meeting, as soon as you start introducing them to more people, it just doesn’t really work. And so, I mean, they’re probably not big sizes of gatherings, right?

Lindsey:

It’s like 15 or 20 people. Yeah.

Tanner:

I don’t see a problem with that. And I’ve had, I’ve had COVID too. And so to me, it’s like, I don’t think I can get it again. Right?

Lindsey:

I think I had it twice. I can check that box twice. Yeah. I’m hoping my hope is like everyone gets the vaccine and we kind of get back to normal, but I think a lot of people realize it’s been a year. So I think people realize the risks, they’re not going to put other people in those situations. So if they’re comfortable with that or they’ve already been through it.

Tanner:

I’m very much an advocate of letting people decide what they want to do. Right?

Lindsey:

Yeah. That’s where I’m at.

Tanner:

So one other thing I’d like to maybe talk about since we’re a little bit long on time is the power of LinkedIn. You’re an active user on LinkedIn and you have a pretty large following. How much of an impact do you think that’s had on your success?

Lindsey:

It’s been pretty significant. I’m able been able to host LinkedIn local events. That’s just more giving back to the community and adding value there. But I think for the most part, like a good example would be coming on with my new position. I was able to schedule like 20 plus partner meetings and every single one of them worked through existing relationships I had built on LinkedIn or new relationships I was able to create on LinkedIn. Like you’re a good, good example of that, right?

Tanner:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I literally met every single one of my podcast, guests on LinkedIn. Yeah. So I don’t really know what I would do without it.

Lindsey:

Yeah. Yeah. And especially with, you know, the last year people haven’t been networking in the same way. I think it’s been even more important to get to know people to networks. I really use it. It’s like a big networking social platform. So that’s what I try to approach it as, and then engage with other people on there and reach out to other people through, through LinkedIn.

Tanner:

Yeah, no question. I mean, LinkedIn is probably the only way you can really network right now. Right?

Lindsey:

Yeah. Virtual networking doesn’t really do anything. No. And most people, yeah, I’ve done a few virtual events and they’ve been good, but I still think it’s just meeting them on LinkedIn, getting on a one-to-one chat, you just are able to establish like a relationship pretty quickly that way. And I can’t think of any other way to do that right now.

Tanner:

Right. So, so thanks again, Lindsay, what’s a good way for everyone listening to get in contact you?

Lindsey:

LinkedIn, probably. So it’s Lindsay Ivie.

Tanner:

Well, well, I’ll link that up in the show notes and thank you again.

Lindsey:

Yeah. Thanks. Have a good one.

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