Episode Thumbnail
Episode 4  |  38:44 min

Marketing Cloud Implementation: Migrating To Warmth

Episode 4  |  38:44 min  |  06.12.2019

Marketing Cloud Implementation: Migrating To Warmth

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This is a podcast episode titled, Marketing Cloud Implementation: Migrating To Warmth. The summary for this episode is: In this episode of "In the Clouds: A Marketing Cloud Podcast," Bobby and Cole are joined by Lev's Associate Principal Marketing Consultant, Susan Prater to discuss migrating from Your Current ESP + IP Warming.
Takeaway 1 | 00:33 MIN
Overview of Episode
Takeaway 2 | 00:44 MIN
About Guest Susan Prater
Takeaway 3 | 00:58 MIN
What is IP Warming?
Takeaway 4 | 01:26 MIN
IP Warming Process
Takeaway 5 | 01:06 MIN
Moving to the Marketing Cloud
Takeaway 6 | 01:16 MIN
Spam Traps
Takeaway 7 | 01:40 MIN
Subscriber Rates
Takeaway 8 | 00:58 MIN
Best IP Warming Practices
Takeaway 9 | 01:34 MIN
Engagement Problems
In this episode of "In the Clouds: A Marketing Cloud Podcast," Bobby and Cole are joined by Lev's Associate Principal Marketing Consultant, Susan Prater to discuss migrating from Your Current ESP + IP Warming.
Guest Thumbnail
Susan Prater
Associate Principal Marketing Consultant

Speaker 1: Welcome to the In The Clouds podcast. In The Clouds is a marketing cloud podcast powered by Lev, the most influential marketing- focused Salesforce consultancy in the world. Lev is customer experience obsessed, and podcast host Bobby Tichy and Cole Fisher have partnered with some of the world's most well- known brands to help them master meaningful one- on- one connection with their customers. In this podcast, they'll combine strategy and deep technical expertise to share best practices, how- tos and real life use cases and solutions for the world's top brands using Salesforce products today.

Bobby Tichy: Welcome to the In The Clouds podcast. My name is Bobby Tichy, along with my co- host, Cole Fisher. When I said my co- host, Cole Fisher, which would be accurate, he is my co- host, along with my co- host.

Cole Fisher: I think we should audible to that.

Bobby Tichy: I kind of like it. Yeah.

Cole Fisher: That's a funny tittle.

Bobby Tichy: We are joined today by our very special guest, Susan Prater, who's a principal marketing consultant at Lev. Before we dive into that, just a brief recap of the first few episodes, we've been going through a series of how to implement Salesforce marketing cloud. Today, what we really want to focus on with Susan's help is migrating from your current ESP, as well as warming of your new IP or IPs and why that's important and why it's really pivotal to make sure that you get the most out of marketing cloud as your migrating to it. So Susan, if you wouldn't mind just giving a brief background of yourself and your career arc and how you've gotten to where you are would be great.

Susan Prater: Yeah. Great. Thanks a lot, Bobby. So I've been in the marketing space now for, goodness, over 20 years now, spending a majority of my time at client side, and then about five years over at Salesforce as a marketing consultant for the marketing cloud. And in the past couple of years, here at Lev, doing the exact same thing, which is getting my clients excited about all things digital marketing.

Cole Fisher: I'll throw in there just to add, I got to be a marketing consultant at Salesforce when Susan was there. We had all these all hands calls and things like that. Usually, you multitask and you listen in and glean what you can. Susan was one of those voices that when she spoke up, you stop and perk your ears up a little bit and you're like," Oh, because this is going to be good. I know this much." So I'm excited to have you, Susan.

Susan Prater: Well, thanks a lot, Cole. And thank you for sucking up.

Cole Fisher: It's a true story. I wrote half of what I know about IP warming from Susan individually.

Bobby Tichy: So kind of like I mentioned, why we really wanted to have Susan on the line today was to talk through all of the different elements of IP warming and migrating over from one ESP to another and the whole portion of it. I think that a lot of times when we're having these discussions with prospects or customers, that the first thing that comes up is what is IP warming? So I think that's probably a really good place to start. Susan, would you mind just giving us an overview of what IP warming is, why it's important and the specific things that need to be done to be successful?

Susan Prater: I certainly can do that. So when you think about IP warming, we do it because when you get a new IP, it has no reputation at all with any of the ISPs out there. The ISPs are things like Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, AOL. They don't know your IP at all, so they're a little leery about it. So you have no reputation. When you establish reputation, you want to have good reputation so that those emails are delivered to the inbox. Whereas if you have a bad reputation with the ISPs, those emails are going to be routed to the spam folder or even worse, they're going to be not delivered at all and that's called blocking. We also want to, when we warm up, we're going to do it slowly and gradually over time. The ISPs, again, don't want to see big spikes. They want to see things slowly, no more than doubling your value in a week over week.

Bobby Tichy: As you're going through this IP warming process, what are some of the typical pushbacks you get from customers?

Susan Prater: A lot of times it's nervous about," What kind of content do I need to use? Do I have enough content? Am I able to get information about my subscribers from the old ESP?" Because we're going to talk about a little bit, I'm sure about who we should be sending to initially. Sometimes there's little worries about that. The other thing sometimes they worry about is they purchase lists and they know that they probably shouldn't be doing that and they're worried about how that's going to impact their IP warming. Probably, the other thing is their domain reputation. While most of the ISPs look at your IP reputation, some of them, especially Gmail and the Microsoft group of ISP, such as Hotmail and Live.com and MSN. com, they also consider domain reputation. So that's usually the part between the at sign and the. com or. org. They also consider the reputation of your domain. And that's because in the past, spammers out there would just spin up new IPs whenever they trashed their current IP reputation. Gmail and Microsoft now have realized that it's harder for brands to spin up new sending domains, so they also start now looking at the reputation of your brand's domain.

Bobby Tichy: Great. As you mentioned it already about migrating over from their current system, I think that's a big part of this too, as we think about IP warming. A lot of folks are coming over from a current email service provider, whether it's on the Salesforce platform or it's not. There's a number of things to think about as we think about those migrations in the approach to them, especially I think, and Susan, I'm sure you've had a lot of experience with this too, is how do we make sure that there's no downtime essentially between these different email campaigns and going through that. And so, one thing that is really important to do when we're going through that process of we've decided to go with marketing cloud, we've started down that implementation timeline, and really going through all of the different campaigns, automations, any kind of API- related triggers that we might have set up in the current instance and really just completely audit those and figure out what we're migrating over to marketing cloud, what makes sense to do it, and then if there's a good, to your point, Susan, a good candidate or two to use as the IP warming, and so that can help us build out that cut- over plan and strategy. Typically, we don't want to have everything come over at once, because it's not possible really to do all at once, especially we don't want any downtime. But something that we were talking about previously, Susan, you were mentioning the re- engagement prior to IP warming. Would you mind talking a little bit about that and the strategy of almost making sure who's engaged prior to really moving over to marketing cloud?

Susan Prater: Oh, most certainly. The one thing is a lot of times brands forget is that their subscriber base is growing, growing, growing, but not everyone is always engaging with their emails for whatever reasons. They're done purchasing. They may have changed email addresses. Unfortunately, if brands forget to do some re- engagement campaigns, they actually know who still wants to receive their emails. There is a risk of bringing over email addresses that have been abandoned and have turned into spam traps. So it's important before you start bringing over email addresses over to your new ESP, it's to do a re- engagement campaign to make sure people still want to receive your email. They'll still save a lot of addresses. A lot of people are still going to be interested, but they're going to be some, for whatever reason, no longer want to receive it. So let's not bring those over. They can always resubscribe later. We want to, again, start on a best foot when we're doing IP warming because we want to bring over everyone who still wants to hear from you.

Cole Fisher: Susan, you mentioned a term I'd like to expand a little bit more on. Can you mention a little more about spam traps or what we call high potty emails? What is the concept behind that?

Susan Prater: Yeah. So the internet service providers, the ISPs again, the Yahoo's, Gmail's, Hotmail's, when they see an email address be abandoned in their system, where someone is no longer logging in and clicking on emails and it's basically gone dormant, they will at a point convert it into spam trap. Initially, they will start any emails that come into it, they will hard bounce them to see if the brand will move them to a status where they're no longer sending to them. When a brand doesn't do that for whatever reasons, because again, some brands like to hold on to email addresses, at a point then the ISP convert that email address into a spam trap. So spam trap is something that doesn't open or click. And for the ISPs, when someone keeps sending to a spam trap, they know that they have poor list hygiene and they will start penalizing them by potentially routing all their emails to legitimate email addresses to the spam folder or stop delivering those emails as a way to penalize them.

Cole Fisher: Yeah, it makes sense. And so as marketers, we inherently know that a subscriber that's six, 12, 18, whatever months of zero engagement should typically be let go of at some point anyways in some form or fashion. But this was an instance where even though we know what is best practices, a lot of marketers are continuing to keep these subscribers as though they were engaged customers or prospects and will continue to send them any type of messaging that they can. However, it's coming back to bite them because now these ISPs, these domains know that this is nothing more than an empty shell of an old subscriber that is no longer engaged with them. Not only are they now violating best practice, but they're really putting themselves into a trap with these domains in terms of deliverability.

Susan Prater: You summed it up nicely, Cole.

Cole Fisher: Hey, learned everything I know from you, Susan.

Susan Prater: High five.

Bobby Tichy: And so as we're going down that path of most engaged subscribers coming over to the new IP address, I think that to your guys' point, something we could probably spend a whole podcast on in a future episode is quantity versus quality, right? I think that for some reason, there are still marketers out there that feel like the bigger their list size, the better it is. Granted, if those are all great subscribers and people who really want to hear from our brand, absolutely. But a lot of times there's opportunities for us to dwindle down what's there with ongoing re- engagement campaigns.

Susan Prater: Yeah, I think it really gets down to brands taking the time to actually analyze the value that these lesser engaged subscribers bring to them, how much revenue are they bringing in versus a very engaged subscriber who's not opening, but clicking. It's interesting with some of the clients I've worked with in the past, when we ran some numbers, we found out that these lesser engaged people were not bringing in the dollars. It was almost the 80- 20 rule, where 20% of their subscriber base is bringing in 80% of the revenue. When you think about it, no matter which email service provider you're using, you're paying for each and every one of those emails you're sending out. So when you start totaling up, all those people that you're sending to who aren't opening your emails, you're spending a lot of money reaching out to people who aren't engaging with you. So running that re- engagement campaign will certainly help you call down the list and focus on those that do really want to hear from you, as well as boost your reputation with the ESP or the ISPs out there, as well as increase your open and click rates.

Cole Fisher: Yeah, that's really interesting, Susan, and I feel like you kind of hit the nail on the head there, where we have this preconceived notion as marketers that more leads, more numbers, higher volume of emails just translates to more revenue, bottom line. That's a really tough conversation, and I feel like you handle that conversation really well with a lot of customers, but it's kind of a towing a fine line of you have to do a paradigm shift of how we're thinking about things because we're used to this one- to- one correlation of more equals more, more revenue from more leads, right?

Susan Prater: Right.

Cole Fisher: We have to really back into this conversion of," Well, here's what it actually costs to have these," and hear not only the actual fiscal costs, but hear the risk assessment of what happens should we find ourselves with some of these spam trap emails. So it's an interesting conversation. I don't know. Do you feel like a lot of customers are open ears when you have that conversation? Because to me, it sounds like it's more of a matter of this paradigm shift of learning this new mode of how this engagement works rather than this old thought of one- to- one more revenue from more leads.

Susan Prater: I think that that paradigm still is out there and a lot of brands still think that, as you're just saying, more email addresses equals more revenue. Unfortunately, until they really dig into their own data to look at it, it's snapped the truth. And to also understand that if people really want to buy your product, they're going to find you. Just because they are no longer subscribed to your email, does not mean they're going to purchase from you. They're going to find you whether it's through search with Google or walking into your store. So again, it's really, let's talk to those that really want to hear from you, and the rest, they're still going to find you and they're still going to buy from you. But again, it's having the courage to let go, knowing that at the end of the day, it's going to help you overall as a marketer to get your message into the inbox. Because if you get that bad reputation, those ISPs are going to shut everything down and you won't be able even to talk to those that do want to hear from you.

Cole Fisher: Yeah, there's really no undoing that when you fall into that trap. But yeah, this lean and mean model of better performing higher engaged leads. Also, it's not just losing leads necessarily because these can become very good later on add audience leads and things like that, that it's not a total loss, but trimming the fat is really key for us when we're coming into an IP warming discussion.

Susan Prater: I agree with you a thousand percent.

Cole Fisher: Yeah.

Bobby Tichy: So as we think about where we go throughout that process, right? So let's say we've got the IP or the re- engagement on the current provider, and then we've built out our cut- over plan and strategy and our IP warming plan, and certainly as part of that is going to be some dual sending. So we are going to have some time, where we're sending from our current platform, as well as Salesforce marketing cloud as we get going on the new IP or new IPs. And so, as we're going through that process, there's a couple of things that we will need to be doing. But as we start sending, Susan, we would love to hear the typical timeline of how long IP warming takes just for one IP address for argument's sake. And then we'll go through that process of dual sending from there.

Susan Prater: Yeah, sure. IP warming typically takes at a minimum about four weeks to establish your sender and reputation identity. Typically, maximum deliverability is achieved in about four to six weeks. If you are a very, very large brand with a very large subscriber base into the millions, it may take a tiny bit longer, but on average expect about four to six weeks to really fully warm your IP address.

Bobby Tichy: Got it. One thing that we talked a little bit about this on one of our previous episodes of having a different domain or private or subdomain between your old instance and your new instance. And so, one thing we were talking about was just the fact that it's really important for there to be a separate domain altogether that we're sending from on Salesforce marketing cloud as we migrate to it. So that way we can better monitor deliverability. I'm curious if you've ever had any scenarios where someone decides," We got to stay with the same domain," even though it's not recommended, and what happens is a fallout from it.

Susan Prater: That's a really good question. Usually, the brands that I've worked with have been pretty good about setting up a new subdomain. So if you think about, let's say if your old subdomain was email. brand. com, and then as you start warming your IP, you're now using perhaps e. brand. com, that, again, helps with the IP warming. You still have that brand reputation from your top line domain, that brand. com, but again, having those different subdomains just assist in tracking how you're performing from your old emails to your new ones, again, because we're going to be focusing on a totally different set of people at the outset when we do our IP warming.

Bobby Tichy: Gotcha. It's great to hear that most are pretty amenable to it. I wish that they were as amenable to the domain conversation as they were to the not sending to bad subscribers or unengaged subscribers, but unfortunately, that's not the case, for sure. And so, as we think about that, you mentioned ramping up over that four to six week timeline and maybe longer based on your subscriber size, when you say ramping up, what do you really mean by that as far as the actual sending itself?

Susan Prater: Most definitely. So when we first started sending that first few weeks, we want to try to send to the most engaged subscribers or users that you have. Because again, this is our first time with the new IP. We want to have our best foot forward with the ISPs out there, the Gmail's, the Yahoo's, the Hotmail's. So we start out the first few weeks sending the most engaged, that being, let's say, week one, your 30- day clickers. Week two, then we're going to start sending to your 60- day clickers, so those who have clicked an email in the past 60 days. And then let's say week three, we expand the group now out to those that have opened an email in the past 30 days. Week four, those that have opened maybe to the past 60 days. So we're starting with your very, very, very engaged because they are going to open and they're going to click. Those opens and clicks are very important to demonstrate to the ISPs that people are engaged. And then we slowly work our way out to your lesser engaged.

Bobby Tichy: And as far as the ISP are concerned, they're actually providing at least a baseline for what they think we should be sending to them. Correct?

Susan Prater: Yes, there's actually a... I guess if you google, you can find different ESPs, other email service providers. They all have guidance on how you should start warming. Typically, Gmail and a lot of the other ISPs are pretty amenable. They can accept up to 20, 000 emails per day on an IP as you're warming. I have found through experience that Microsoft domains, that being Hotmail, Live. com, MSN. com, Outlook. com, they can be very, I don't know, antsy at times. I found I had better luck starting out with about 5, 000 emails per day for IP, as well as also Verizon Media Group, that being now AOL, Yahoo, and Verizon. I've been finding starting out with a lower send volume initially around, again, 5, 000 per day seems to help get better inbox placement and engagement there, instead of seeing things being blocked or inadvertently routed to the spam folder.

Cole Fisher: Yeah, that makes sense. Besides just the volume thresholds from each of these domains, what do you feel, I mean, are just the most fickle ones? So who are the most commonplace areas, issues to watch out for? So if you don't have the high engagement right off the bat, or you don't have subscribers that are more likely to open and click by week two, who do you typically run into problems, or who do we see people run into problems with in terms of domains?

Susan Prater: Yeah. From my experience, I have seen problems at, again, Microsoft. Now, some of my peers will say they have no problem at Microsoft. It's really hit or miss. Gmail, I've had, knock on wood, continue to see good luck there. However, again, some brands have run into issues at Gmail. Verizon Media Group, lately they've been a little bit of a thorn in my side. In the past, they haven't. But again, they're always changing their algorithms, so it's always hard to know what now they're weighing in. Some of them out there, I've seen with AT& T and their cadre of domains, that being Packard Bell, AT& T, Southwestern Bell in the store, sometimes they will initially block your emails. I mean, they receive it, but they don't deliver it to the user. They may block it for a couple of days, and then release that block on their own. It's just every ISP does a little bit things differently. So when I see blocking at any of the AT&T domains, I tend not to get worried and I just keep an eye on them and we keep sending. Usually, within a few sends, the block is lifted. The other ones sometimes you need to take remediation with the ISP, sending an email to your postmaster, explaining that you are a new IP address and you're trying to establish reputation by sending to your most engaged.

Cole Fisher: And that's always a fun job, right? Being the one to try to remediate all those issues.

Susan Prater: Yes, it can be. But at the end of the day, it's helping the brands establish a new reputation. So that's why it's really important to try to, if you have the data, send to your most engaged first instead of just sending to a random pool. Again, if you have done your re- engagement campaign, before you bring these email addresses over into your new ESP, that will also bode well because then you're not sending to hard bouncing emails, which are invalid email addresses or to spam traps. At least-

Cole Fisher: Yeah, that really just... Sorry.

Susan Prater: ...that helps you start out on a good foot.

Cole Fisher: Yeah, that really just echoes the point about that trimming the fat sentiment that we brought up. Are there certain practices that a customer can take prior to moving over to a new ESP, a new IP addresses?

Susan Prater: Again, it really goes back to making sure your house is in order and having a clean list of subscribers that are also engaged, doing that re- engagement campaign. Also, making sure that you're suppressing hard bouncing email addresses so you don't bring over invalid email addresses. I've had some IP warmups, where they just sent over everything and didn't call out the invalid email addresses. So I was sending to an email address that wasn't even valid, which doesn't bode well with the ISPs.

Bobby Tichy: As we're going through that process, there are a couple things that are important to keep in mind from activity and engagement standpoint. So as we're going that IP warming, and even for a period of time after, while you've got access to both systems are two things. One is thinking unsubscribes between those two. So just for argument's sake, let's say we're migrating from responses over to Salesforce marketing cloud for email and we're going to have responses for the next six months, but we're going to be off of it in the next three months, we'll still need to sync those unsubscribes so people can always go back to emails that were previously sent to unsubscribe, and we'll need to pull those out of that other system to make sure that we're being CAN- SPAM compliant. So it's not a recommended thing to do. Really, it's a legally required thing to do to make sure that we're honoring those unsubscribes. As we transition systems, there shouldn't be any detriment to the subscriber element of it. The other thing is the engagement activity. So, kind of what we've been talking about about re- engagement and making sure people are staying engaged and maybe retiring certain people based on their engagement is having that open and click data, in addition to unsubscribed data come over from that other system to make sure that we're getting that full picture of what's over in marketing cloud as well. So as we stop sending from the old platform, that necessarily isn't it. Our job isn't done. For a period of time afterwards, we need to make sure that we're doing so on the unsubscribes specifically. One thing is, Susan, I know that you and Cole for sure have been doing this for a long time, I'd love to hear the best IP warming experience you've had and the worst IP warming experience you've had. No names, we do not need to throw anybody under the bus, but just interested in your experience.

Susan Prater: I know the one that comes to mind, it was my very first IP warming experience when I started working at Salesforce as a marketing consultant. That was one of the things that as you start in the marketing consulting world is you started out doing IP warming. Then this one, I don't know how I ended up with it. It was a international sender that had about 20 IP addresses. We had a warm up. They wanted to warm up during the month of December and January, which I strongly advised against because during the holiday season, all brands are amping up. Their sending volumes. The ISP are on high alert. And so it's the most difficult time to warm, but the client still wanted to warm then. We had the aggressive plan. They also had certain limitations that we couldn't send on any holidays or any global holiday. So I had to go through and try to find every holiday for every country that they had subscribers in. When I built out their plan, again, we're starting out with a certain volume. Each week we are doubling it by a domain or up by ISP. I gave them the plan. They said not a problem. We started sending that first week, and it was immediate blocking. I saw all these hard bouncing email addresses. We had talked upfront about," Give me all your good email addresses." They said," Well, we couldn't quite make the numbers that you were suggesting so we just gave you all of our email addresses, clean and unclean." So all of a sudden, we're now sending to bad email addresses that were hard bouncing. We had to stop the IP warning plan, let the IP chill for about a month to help reset it and then start all over again. So that I think was the worst one, but I learned so much from that and I will never ever forget it and for brand not to do.

Bobby Tichy: I remember, we'll just phrase it as a large flower company when I was still a Salesforce and we were implementing. They had been known as spammers for a really long time. One of these companies who send two or three emails all day every day to their subscriber base. And so the different providers out there had started to be really strategic with how they blacklisted them. For those of you who don't know what blacklisting is, it's essentially where you cannot send at all. You can try, but nothing's going to get through. The more you try that, the better, or the worse off you're going to beat. And so the two biggest holidays of the year for these folks were Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. Obviously, flowers, right? And so the two weeks before each of these holidays, while we were implementing because they were still just being a terrible sender, they got blacklisted. So their revenue was just completely hit. And I remember I was on the phone with their legal counsel, I think it was their senior vice president of legal or something like that, and he said," Who do I need to pay to get off of this blacklist to make sure I can send email?" And that's the thing, right? You can't. There's no one you can pay. There's no way around it. It is truly a permission- based type of scenario. Susan, I'm sure you have stories too of people who have gotten blacklisted or have gotten off to a bad IP warming start, and to dig yourself out of that is a really a Herculean task.

Susan Prater: It is. It is. I had well- established brands also have those problems during their highest season for revenue. But it really goes back to list hygiene and also understanding the ISPs out there, they have customers that they want to take care of and give them the best experience using their email systems. So when you think about Gmail or Hotmail, they're protecting their customer base. They don't want those peoples to defect and go over, let's say jump from Gmail to Hotmail and the sorts. So they're trying to protect their own people. A lot of times the brands forget that and say," Why is Hotmail being so mean to me?" And it's because they're trying to protect their own customers. So it's a love- hate relationship there, for sure.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah, definitely. The one last thing I wanted to mention as we're thinking about IP warming and the migrations is should marketing KPIs or even revenue KPIs be adjusted a little bit to account for a migration? So I typically get a 10% click rate and 4% conversions on my emails. Should we think about readjusting those or garnering expectations a little bit as we're going through that process?

Susan Prater: Oh, I definitely would say so because as we are migrating over with some of those inherent blockings or spam foldering that we see initially as you were warming an IP, those emails aren't going to get through so that you could see a slight decrease in your revenue, as well as your open and click rates. But that's why we want to try to lead with our most engaged so we can quickly establish reputation out there. So it is important to make a note of that as you're, especially at the end of the month, you're looking at your revenue numbers, as well as your email engagement numbers too, to flag that as this was something different, and then it should improve as we continue through our IP warming and get everyone migrated over to the new system.

Bobby Tichy: There are a couple of other questions that I had for you, so we'll definitely have to have you back and talk through some other elements too, like ongoing deliverability. How do we manage that? What are some good platforms to do it? How and when should we look at multiple IP addresses versus just one? All those different things. So really appreciate your time, Susan. We'll definitely circle back for another deep dive into deliverability and ongoing monitoring and things of that nature, but we'll go ahead and transition to completely unrelated. Actually, Susan, I'm going to have you start. I'm going to put you on the spot.

Susan Prater: Oh my gosh, I'm drawing a total blank right now. Completely unrelated. Tell me, well, completely unrelated about what? Anything about email?

Bobby Tichy: Anything about anything. It doesn't even have to be about email.

Susan Prater: Oh my gosh.

Cole Fisher: Last time we ended up talking about Bobby Seinfeld's socks, which is the best show ever. I think that's going to be a thing. That's probably a good sign. It's probably going to get mentioned to every episode.

Bobby Tichy: That really should be a goal.

Cole Fisher: Well, their goal or Seinfeld's goal was to have what? George wear the same pair of sneakers, have a Superman reference in every episode.

Bobby Tichy: Yep. Yep.

Cole Fisher: I don't know that our writing is creative enough for that, but [ inaudible 00:32:15].

Bobby Tichy: We'll have to get better writers.

Cole Fisher: Yeah, these guys are the worst. Only their special guests are any good.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah. Susan, where do you live?

Susan Prater: I live in beautiful sunny, Michigan. So I'm on Eastern time and the sun is out and it's supposed to actually get into the 60 degrees finally. I think spring is finally here, and I'm going to be able to start working outside on my patio and sell people's email marketing challenges while enjoying a beautiful weather.

Bobby Tichy: Nice. Good deal. Cole, what do you got for completely unrelated?

Cole Fisher: Well, right now, so we're in Detroit area, Austin. I'm actually in Seattle right now, and that was kind of the thing. So full disclosure, obviously, we're doing this remote. We're doing this via a conference software, Zoom. And I've always been honestly frustrated. I think Zoom is probably the one that I have the least amount of problems with, but I feel like I just always have issues with conference software. So basically until Salesforce comes out with conference cloud or something like that, we're always going to have some sort of an issue. Man, this call we've made, we've just been fine. But I feel like when I was at Salesforce, we tried to do the Hangouts migration. And without fail, more than half the time on whatever call we were on, somebody either didn't have audio, could hear but couldn't speak back or something like that, just always had issues. I don't know why there is because this has been around for what? A good dozen years, this industry, the virtual conferencing.

Bobby Tichy: Yeah.

Cole Fisher: How can it get glitchy still?

Bobby Tichy: What's funny is one of the larger conferencing companies, it was one of my customers way back when, and it was really interesting because I got to go to their offices and I got to meet their product team and all that kind of stuff. It was very much not based on user feedback of how they improve their products. One thing that, Cole, you and I were just talking about the other day is I would love for there to be a transcription service as part of any conferencing software, right? So anytime I feel like I'm taking notes, I'm missing out on the conversation or thinking of the next question. So it'd be so cool to have that laid out. But no, I agree. I think Zoom has been really good. One of my favorites for sure. And then I actually don't mind being on the go too. What's really nice is Zoom will automatically put in the mobile... They'll put in the comma, so it waits a couple seconds and automatically put into your meeting ID. So it's been pretty good so far.

Susan Prater: Yeah, I would say I think I've enjoyed Zoom the most too. It's the easiest to use for the most part, unless there's a group of us trying to start a call and we don't know who has a user rights to actually record it. But other than that, I find it very user- friendly and very intuitive.

Cole Fisher: That's a hypothetical, of course, right, Susan?

Susan Prater: Yeah. Fortunately, it didn't happen with the three of us.

Cole Fisher: Yeah. So I remember about, I think it was five years ago or so, there was, I think it was called Uber Conference or something like that, but I thought it was the disruptor. I thought that was the one that was going to come in and be the game changer because all you really need is one disruptive software to really blow everything else up. When it came in, it had all these really cool analytics features, so you could see which callers were talking during how much of the conversation. And so it would give you analytics reports that would say," Caller A at this number spoke for 33% of the conversation and caller B was 12% or whatever." It was actually really neat. It had all these cool analytics and recording options. You could segment out the recordings and things like that. I don't know whatever happened with them. I think they just dropped off the face of the planet or maybe they got acquired and slowly just put to pasture because the software was working too well, but it wasn't without its glitches still, I mean, when it came to actually being able to hear people or calling in and sitting in a conference room, like waiting room with no one there, even though you're on the right line [inaudible 00: 36: 46 ]. Things still happens.

Bobby Tichy: Well, if you guys haven't seen it, definitely check it out. It is A Conference Call in Real Life on YouTube.

Susan Prater: Oh my gosh, that is funny.

Bobby Tichy: Oh, it is great. It is one of my... I've probably watched it a dozen times and it is just so entertaining. They've done a couple other ones. I think they've done Flying in Real Life and a couple other ones over the last couple of years. But if you haven't, check it out.

Cole Fisher: It hits home painfully well.

Bobby Tichy: It does. It does. And to your point, Cole, there, I think WebEx for a while was touting some functionality where you could actually show the engagement of the different users. So if someone was multitasking, you could tell because they weren't spending time on the WebEx screen itself, which was kind of creepy. It also scared the bejesus out of me because I thought that my boss was able to tell that I was playing solitaire when I was supposed to be paying attention to the all company hands meeting or something.

Cole Fisher: Oh, that would be devastating if those types of reportings got out, who's multitasking? If you're on a phone though, I feel like you could still get away with it. That would be [inaudible 00:37:53]. That would be the workaround.

Bobby Tichy: For sure.

Susan Prater: Oh, sorry, I was multitasking.

Cole Fisher: Well played, Susan.

Susan Prater: [ inaudible 00:38:02].

Bobby Tichy: Well, thanks so much, Susan, for your time. We really appreciate it. Look forward to having you back on, and we'll see you next time.

Susan Prater: Excellent. Thanks a lot. Happy Sunday.

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